A Fitness Journey Never Ends

The gym has changed me. The gym has changed me not just physically, but also mentally. I no longer look at myself, critiquing my body every time I pass by a mirror. I don’t hate how big my calves are in comparison to my thighs. I no longer feel the need to find something wrong with my body. I spent too many days, months, and years disliking parts of my body hoping it’d magically fix itself overnight. Guess what? It won’t.

Achieving fitness goals in college & how the gym saved my life

Body confidence had been an issue for a while. I’ve always been a small, petite person, but people always commented how I needed to put on weight because I looked too small or how I was so short or how my hair looked better straight than curly. Yeah those comments bothered me, but they bothered me more when I gained 10 pounds freshman year. I know 10 pounds may not seem like a lot of weight to some people, but I went into my freshman year weighing 110 pounds, and that 10 pound gain is close to almost 10% of my body weight. My freshman year was more difficult than good – struggling to fit in, not getting along with floor mates, and feeling isolated and lonely. Add a 10% weight gain to that, and life was awful. I felt terrible about the way I looked, wishing the weight would just go away.

How did I gain 10 pounds anyways? I was a stress eater. Food was my comfort. Classes and life stressed me out so I’d eat to make up for that. Then I’d feel bad about the way I looked which made me depressed and stressed which led me to eat more. It was a never-ending cycle.

When I moved home for the summer, my dad insisted I join a gym. And then he insisted that I get a personal trainer. For months and months, my dad had stressed how I needed to start training with weights and not just do cardio. I listened, and since he was going to pay for it, I wasn’t as opposed. That’s when my life changed.

It’s been six months since starting a 3x-a-week workout regime, and I’ve never looked back. (It’s now a 5x-a-week routine, but who’s counting?)

I pass mirrors looking at my muscles, being proud of what they are and what they can do. I love wearing tank tops because I get to show off my shoulders and arms (my two favorite muscle groups to work. Actually, no. Let’s be honest here, I really love working every muscle group). I walk with a sense of confidence that I never had before.

The gym has become my new sanctuary. It’s my hour a day that I get to be alone, ignore my responsibilities, and just focus on lifting heavy things. And it’s a sanctuary I never want to lose.

~abigail gray

  • this is so important to read! I recently started working out (just to relieve stress and feel stronger) and now I’m 9 weeks into BBG and I love it. it’s so important to take care of your body and learn what workout routine works for you!
    xo, Hannah
    hannahwithacamera.com

  • Awh, I love seeing how happy you are this year! It is definitely showing through in your post 🙂 I know it can be really hard to stick to a workout schedule, especially when you’re a college student. It sounds like your dedication is really paying off!

    Colleen | Buckeye Bliss

    • Thank you!! I don’t think I’ve ever been happier 🙂

  • I love the power lifting weights gives me! Shoulders and back are two of my favorite things to work! My story is so similar to your’s! If we went to the same college I’d totally ask you to be my workout buddy! Thank you for sharing this!

    Caitlyn | http://www.collegewithcaitlyn.com