Social media is full of inspiring pictures, of super fit people, who as a result of working out have obtained a certain "look". They look great and big shout out to these people, as it takes hard work to get fit and to maintain it.
There's an un-sexy side to being fit. Behind the glossy poses, is the day to day "grind of being fit". Yes, it can be a bit of a grind, logging those workouts and runs. Day in and day out, with no followers, no thousands of "likes", and no one telling you that you are an inspiration.
It's about getting up early when your mind screams at you "roll over and get more sleep", but instead you lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement before work. You do this because you know work is going to be stressful and you need a little "me time", just to keep your sanity.
It's about doing that one more lift in the gym when your muscles are tired, but you are working towards a one-rep max, and it's the heaviest weight you've ever lifted. You lift, you groan, you put the weights down, and no one captured the moment for social media, it's just you.
Being fit is also about what you eat. You too love fries and sugary lattes, but you know these are not good for you, so you limit them. You add greens to your smoothies and your friends make fun of you, but you know that life is an endurance sport, not a sprint, so you are placing your long term health over immediate gratification.
You experience DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), that pain that hits you 24 to 48 hours after a push in the gym or on your runs. It makes you wonder why the toilets are so low, and yet the stairs are so high.
Workout selfies where the women are in full makeup, astound you, because on your best day you don't even brush your hair before a workout, You pull on your hat and a pair of sunglasses and feel grateful the paparazzi aren't following you.
You work out because you know it makes you a better parent. Other times the bully at work has gotten to you, and your workout is about keeping your “mojo” strong. There is a massive connection between fitness and confidence.
The progress is slow, way slower than fitness challenges led you to believe it was going to take. So you deal with frustration, an occasional sense of failure, and you fight the desire to give up.
Don't buy into the glamour and gloss of the fitness industry, buy into this instead. Being fit is amazing; you are going to have inner and outer strength. It will enable you to deal with challenges that you thought would crush you. You will experience better energy, a healthier, and maybe even longer life.
One day years later, your older self will thank your younger self for all the self care.
Yes, the un-sexy side of fitness is that it's about routine and training, not quick fixes. It's about loving yourself enough to commit to exercising even when you don't feel like it.
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Sheree Nicholson is the owner of Live With Spirit Yoga & Fitness studio in Whitby, Ontario. She has a certificate in plant-based nutrition from eCornell University and is working on her Masters in Metaphysics. Sheree holds certifications in Advanced Yoga, Pilates, Reebok Spinning and Kettlebell training,. This benefits you as she focuses on functional movement, strength and weight loss.