…up until this point anyway! I wanted to write this post because one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place was to hopefully help someone else who was struggling the same way I was. I was tired, sick, uncomfortable in my own skin and just generally living a blah life before I decided to embrace getting and staying healthy. I am hoping that my ups and downs, struggles, mistakes, successes and eventual results can help and inspire other people to never give up on themselves.
This journey I embarked on about a year ago is one that I have become extremely passionate about and have loved living and sharing since pretty much the day I started. I wouldn’t be doing justice to my story or the process though if I didn’t talk about a few of the ways I almost derailed myself along the way and how I overcame those obstacles. I am hoping that by sharing the top three mistakes I have made in the past year below that I can help someone else navigate around them and have a slightly easier time of it than me. Here ya go…
- The first big one I made was falling into the good ole cardio trap. Somewhere along the way it became beat into my brain that spending endless hours on a cardio machine was the only way to lose weight and I don’t think I am alone in this thinking. It wasn’t until I hit my first plateau about three months into my journey that I realized what I believed just about all my life was wrong. I started doing some research into how to effectively get toned up and lose the fat and suddenly my mind was blown. All the evidence pointed to strength training as the answer! Since that day, I haven’t looked back! Now that’s not to say I don’t still incorporate cardio into my routines but I have shifted my focus and fallen in love with lifting weights and my body has responded in ways I didn’t even know it could! I also credit this as the reason that I haven’t abandoned this journey yet like everyone other one I started and gave up on in the past. Weight training for me isn’t boring at all (like spending endless hours on a treadmill or pedaling a bike that isn‘t going anywhere)! I genuinely look forward to getting those weights in my hands and pushing my body to get stronger and fitter…keeps me coming back for more! It also conveniently leads into my second mistake…
- I overtrained. Yep, the dreaded overtrain. This is really a testament to how much I fell in love with this process, but also a really important lesson I had to learn the hard way about listening to my body. About four or so months into my new “Get Beth Fit” endeavor, after I had discovered weighs, but before I found the programs I am currently following, I was going to the gym every single day, lifting weights but not really following any sort of planned out routine. I was winging it I guess you would say. I wasn’t paying attention to what muscle groups I was training on which days or how often, I really would just walk into the gym and start doing whatever exercises seemed like fun at the moment. What ended up happening was I was working out too many of the same muscles and neglecting other ones to the point I ended up injuring myself. And not only did I injure myself but I felt like something was wrong, proceeded to ignore the discomfort, continued working out and ended up in a brace for weeks. While I would not recommend learning lessons in this manner, I did get a lot out of this particular setback. I started doing a lot of research into the proper ways to train, found a great program that basically allows me to just show up each day and follow along to make sure I am doing things correctly but I also learned the importance of resting when my body is screaming at me that it needs it. Pushing yourself is not a bad thing but also allow your body time to rest and recover. That recovery time is just as important as training is for avoiding injury and building strength and muscle…your body will thank you for it!
- Taking vitamins/supplements without researching thoroughly! Yikes, this is a big one! I have become very careful about what I am putting into my body but towards the beginning of me trying to take better care of myself I started buying and popping vitamins/suppliements like my life depended on it without doing a whole lot of research into how to do it safely. I figured if they sold these products in a store where anyone could get their hands on them they must be safe to use, right? WRONG! It is so important to know what your body needs before throwing a whole bunch of stuff at it that may be doing more harm than good! I read casually about some of the vitamins and supplements that might help me get some of the desired results I was chasing after but what I didn’t do was pay attention to the dosage information or even check to see if I was deficient in any particular area before deciding I needed it. Needless to say, I started having some peculiar and not so pretty side effects (that I will spare you from having to read about) from popping too many unnecessary pills. I finally got smart, did the research, had a full physical and blood work up and now I only use the vitamins and supplements that I need in the dosages that are correct for my body. Luckily, I caught on early with this mistake and made the necessary corrections but it sure was a wake-up call to be more careful in the future! Just because they sell something in a convenience store, grocery store or on the internet doesn’t make it safe to just blindly use. Do your research, make sure you know your own body and then decide which vitamin or supplement is right for you.
I am nowhere near the end of my journey, frankly because there is no end when you are talking about living a healthy lifestyle, but I have come a long way and learned a few valuable lessons through making those mistakes above. Just like I celebrate my successes I also celebrate these setbacks because they were invaluable in leading me to where I am today…happier, healthier and so much more knowledgeable about the right ways to take care of myself. If you take anything away from this post its that mistakes and setbacks are bound to happen. The real choice you have to make is if you are going to let them derail you have you throwing in the towel on the whole process or if you are going to embrace them and use them to make you even stronger.
Let’s keep growing, challenging ourselves and loving this process mistakes and all, because after all perfect would be a little boring, don’t you think?