My relationship with fitness has changed a lot over the years.
In fact, I realized when writing this post that fitness and relationships are VERY similar: there's the honeymoon phase when you're super obsessed and in love. Then, sometimes it feels like you lose that initial 'lust' and it takes grit, dedication and true love to keep pushing through when things get tough.
In today's post, we're taking a look at my fitness journey and hopefully you'll be inspired to know that even as a *fitness coach,* we ALL have our ups & downs in our relationship to fitness.
Whether you're going through a rough patch with fitness right now or you're completely in love with it, I hope this article inspires you to keep coming back to fitness - even if you fall completely off track (as we all have at some point).
The Ups & Downs of Any Fitness Relationship
Back in 2013, I started to become increasingly obsessed with fitness and nutrition.
I was in college at the time and had gained the 'dreaded Freshman 15.' I quickly realized that without the help of multiple-hour high school dance practices, I was actually going to have to work out and not eat foot long Subway sandwiches every day if I wanted to stay in shape. *Sigh*
So I hired a personal trainer.
This is when I fell in love with lifting weights.
I started my first blog in 2013, called Health Nut Julie (shout out to all you OG peeps who remember that one!) to share my personal experiences with getting fit, sharing recipes, all the typical health blogger things.
From 2013-2015 my obsession with fitness continued to grow:
- I became a group exercise instructor.
- I started creating meal plans and workouts for people to follow online.
- I became a certified personal trainer.
- I kept blogging (kind of) and started an Instagram account for my fitness business.
In 2015, I got so busy with my fitness business that I decided it was time to take a leap of faith and leave my full-time, salaried job in Advertising.
Since September 11, 2015 when I left my full-time job, there have been SO MANY CHANGES:
- I got the opportunity to intern at Strength Camp which turned in to a full-time position for all of 2016, putting my own business / blog / content on the back burner.
- I became a certified nutritionist.
- Mark and I got engaged in January 2017 and decided we wanted to start our life in Canada.
- We traveled to Texas from March - June so he could pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter.
- We moved to Canada, where I'm in the process of becoming a permanent resident.
Allll during this time, I've been trying to stay on top of my fitness and trying to keep my business going.
And I'm not going to lie: things change when you turn your hobby/passion into a full-time career.
What was once my 'outlet' and something I genuinely adored, suddenly became a self-imposed 'obligation.'
I felt like I HAD to work out, eat healthy, be this walking image of health in order to keep growing my business and be in alignment with who I was being online.
Duh, right? All of those things make sense. And when you love something, it should come naturally to you to want to do.
But if you've been following me on social media for the past year or so - throughout all these changes, the LAST thing I've wanted to do is post my workouts or my meals, create the same YouTube vlogs that everyone else is doing.
Honestly, at times, I didn't even feel like working out or eating healthy whatsoever.
All I felt like doing was eating tacos and watching Netflix.
So, just like any relationship, you go through rough patches.
There are ups and downs. Times when you feel super in love and like everything is just falling into place (the honeymoon stage). Followed by some times when you may wonder, "Is this what I really want for my life?" Followed shortly by, "OMG I LOVE THIS! I'm so grateful to have it in my life. It makes me feel amazing, strong, sexy, confident and on top of the world!!!" Followed by, "I'm so over this. I need a break for a bit."
Who knew fitness and relationships were so similar? ;)
So while my relationship with fitness has ebbed & flowed, I'm definitely back in that honeymoon "I love this so much" stage.
I'm back in the gym consistently.
I'm back on track with my healthy eating.
I'm loving my workouts again and don't feel like I'm going to the gym out of 'obligation' to fit a certain mold or standard of what a fitness coach 'should' be.
I'm feeling stronger, sexier, more vibrant and alive than I have in almost a year.
If you're in a 'rough patch' with your relationship to fitness, keep pushing through.
And if you really want this to stick for the long haul...
Don't put pressure or expectations on yourself to be perfect or love your workouts or feel super inspired and motivated all the time.
Let yourself go through the ebbs and flows.
In the times when it doesn't feel natural, remember WHY it's important to move and how amazing it makes you feel.
Even in my 'rough patches,' I never used that as an excuse to stop working out completely. There was a period in Texas where literally all I did was walk and a few 20-minute at-home workouts per week. But THAT WAS ENOUGH for me at the time -- I was doing something to get my body moving, get my endorphins going and make myself feel amazing while still respecting my energy and what my body needed.
Whatever stage in your fitness journey you are right now, accept it for what it is.
Know that if you've fallen off the bandwagon, there's nothing wrong with you. You're not lazy, unmotivated, unfit.
You're just going through a rough patch.
Find your reason WHY you fell in love with fitness in the first place, and let that inspire you to create change in your life because YOU WANT TO do something positive for yourself.