From a skinny kid to health and happiness. This article discusses motivation, priorities and How to get started. I hope my fitness journey will inspire someone to take active steps towards a better life.
I was always a skinny kid since school. It wasn’t easy to hear people make fun of how slim I was. Their words made me feel self-conscious and insecure.
When I entered college, I saw other kids with good physiques. I saw them going to the gym, and I decided to give it a try.
I went to the gym alone, without any guidance, and I just started lifting weights. I didn’t know anything about good nutrition or strength training, but I learned by watching others and trial and error. I kept working out, even after moving cities and countries and getting married.
I got injured a few times, but I always came back to the gym.
My motivations for working out changed over time. At first, I was motivated by a desire to look good.
As I got older, I realised that the most important thing to me was to be the best version of myself. I wanted to be strong, healthy, and capable. I wanted to be able to do what I wanted to do without feeling limited by my body.
I am grateful for my fitness journey, which taught me a lot about life and myself. I am stronger, healthier, and more capable than I ever thought possible. I am also more confident and more comfortable in my own skin. I am proud of myself and know that my fitness journey has played a significant role.
I am not mentioning this, so you think motivation is unimportant. But discipline and consistency play a huge role in whatever we do.
I want to share my learnings about fitness, hoping that it might benefit you in some way and can improve your overall life.
Start with your “Why”
Throughout our life, we have been taking time for a bath, brushing our teeth, drinking coffee or tea etc.
These are not necessities but have become a habit, a part of our lifestyle.
But why? It’s because we believe that these habits are healthy and hygienic. Hence we have made these a priority. Yes, priority; this is the word. Anything that you have made a priority, you are always going to make time for.
The challenge of fitness is that there is no peer pressure, unlike brushing your teeth. You don’t need to find your reason for brushing your teeth. Someone in your family or society will do it for you.
However, in fitness, no one will push you, so it becomes easy not to prioritise this.
Be fit not to have six-pack abs, not to impress anyone, not to look good.
But be fit because it feels great to walk a few miles comfortably, play with your kids or pick up the groceries.
Most importantly, do it because it is your personal experience that you have 100% control over.
“We sacrifice our health in order to make wealth, then we sacrifice our wealth in order to get back our health” – Dalai lama
Colonel Sanders officially started KFC when he turned 40, but could he have a body of 20 years old if he wanted?.
Time is irreversible. You can get rich or find a career at any age, but you can not get your desired body at any age.
It is not the only reason to stay healthy, though. Health means how comfortable you are in your body and skin each day. Can you walk, work, and perform errands comfortably; do you feel proud when you look in the mirror? Do you feel comfortable wearing any type of clothing?
Ask someone who has been in a fitness lifestyle for a long time. Many would agree that achieving a healthy body is a by-product; a healthy and strong mindset is the main product.
It does not matter what your reason is as long as it gets you started. It is important to remember the WHYs to face the challenges you will encounter on this journey.
Like any other journey (career, relationships etc.), fitness is not free of challenges. The good thing is that you will have 100% control to overcome these challenges; what you give is what you get.
Fitness can not be bought and can not be delegated. If it was the case, wealthier people would be the fittest people on the planet. Find your why; it will keep you going.
How to Get Started
Unlike your career, your body is real, and you have got only one. Set your priorities wisely.
Getting fit is a slow process, so sometimes it could be overwhelming to set an ambitious goal and not be able to achieve it. Set a minimal goal that you can achieve and progress gradually.
“You only get one mind and one body. And it’s got to last a lifetime. But if you don’t take care of that mind and that body, they’ll be a wreck 40 years later.” – Warren Buffett (92 years old billionaire, still working)
Staying consistent with your fitness routine while managing work or business can be difficult.
Without consistency, it is hard to see results. If you are a professional like me, then I understand your struggle. Trust me, it will be challenging initially, but you will love it as you see results. You just need to get started!
1.Start with 15 min
I suggest anyone starting or resuming a workout routine should begin with a 15-minute workout each day.
This is not a magical number, but rather a minimal amount of time everyone can commit to, regardless of their schedule.
It could be as simple as going for a jog, some yoga, weight training, or simply going for a walk.
Don’t worry about making progress at first. Just focus on doing the workout without any expectations. This is how to build consistency.
2. Measure progress each week
Track your weight and take progress pictures regularly, at whatever frequency works for you. This will give you immediate feedback on your progress and help you stay on track.
Even if you don’t feel like you’re making progress, or if you’re even feeling like you’re getting worse, keep taking measurements and pictures.
The goal is to document your fitness journey to see how far you’ve come and have a record to look back on. You don’t need to share these pictures with anyone. They’re just for you.
What Time should you Workout
Some people ask when is the best time to work out. It’s whenever you can fit it in!
If you are busy and work during the day, you can work out before or after work (or even during your lunch break).
Personally, I prefer working out in the morning because I don’t have any other commitments then. However, some people find working out in the evening easier when they have more energy.
If you can’t spare 15 minutes for your body each day, you need to slow down, pause, and ask yourself why.
In many cases, it is our insecurities that are holding us back, not a lack of time.
Remember, fitness is a delayed reward. Our minds tend to prioritise things with immediate rewards, such as watching a movie, relaxing, or eating junk food. If you understand this philosophy, you need to gain control of your mind – make it work for you.
Fitness is less about your body and more about having a strong mindset.
Consistency over Hard Work
You cannot build consistency without discipline. Motivation won’t work.
Fitness is a journey, not a destination”. It’s a lifelong commitment to taking care of your body and mind.
Remember, you’re not just doing this to look good. You’re doing it to feel good and live a long, healthy life.
Anyone can get caught up in the idea of reaching a certain goal, like losing weight or running a marathon. But once you reach that goal, it’s important to remember that it’s just the beginning.
You need to keep working to maintain your fitness level or even improve it.
Sometimes you will want to give up. But it’s important to remember the ‘why’ and think about the reason you started this journey in the first place.
Fitness is not just about how you look; it’s about how you feel. When you’re fit, you have more energy, you’re better able to handle stress, and you’re just plain happier.
So don’t give up on your fitness journey. It’s worth it. Just remember to take it one day at a time and enjoy the process.
Remember, it all starts with just 15 min each day.
I started my fitness journey 1.5 years ago with the goal of losing a few pounds.
I never imagined that I would end up in the best shape of my life.
It all started with a 15-minute workout and consistency. I made a commitment to myself to work out every day, even if it was just for a few minutes.
I also started eating healthier foods and tracking my calories. I injured my ankle and lower back badly, which resulted in a break but did not stop my fitness journey.
Gagan works as a Senior Software Engineer at Amazon in Seattle. He firmly believes in maintaining a strong body and mindset, as he considers a healthy body to be his strongest asset. Despite having a busy career routine for 13 years, he has prioritized his health and fitness by leading an active lifestyle. He has completed two half marathons (21Km), one high-altitude Himalayan trek, several small hikes in India and the USA, and is an active gym-goer. Furthermore, he believes in giving back to society and actively writes on Quora, in addition to providing free consultations via zplusedu. In free time, he likes making short films and videos. He completed one year of certification course from University of Washington in Film and Video Production.