Hello! Wow, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve actually sat down to write a post for the week it’s actually going live. In case you didn’t know, I had all the posts written and scheduled for the month of August. Life was a bit hectic with res life training, move-in, classes starting, and trying to figure out my routine for the next four months. But, I’m back, and to be honest, I’ve been itching to write this post all week.
Today we’re talking mistakes. Gym mistakes to be exact.
I’ve been on this fitness journey of mine for the past year and a half, and let me tell you, I’ve made so many mistakes and had so many ah-ha! moments that it’s not even funny at this point.
I was just thinking this week about what life was like a year ago, my mentality towards working out, eating healthy, caloric intake, cardio needs, and all that good stuff, and I was just shocked at how wrong I was approaching things.
As a gym newbie, it’s easy to fall into the “I want to see results fast so I’m going to eat nothing, work my butt off in the gym, and hope for the best.”
Trust me, I’ve been there. I fell into that trap, and now I’m here to hopefully help you not fall into that same trap!
Neglecting the Power of Food
So as y’all probably know, I’ve had the goal of seeing my abs for a good while. I knew that food was important in making my abs magically appear, but I had no idea how significant the impact of food was on my body.
I will admit that when I’m at school, my diet isn’t exactly the best. Cookies, cupcakes, cookie butter, Chipotle. I eat it all. But this spring was particularly bad. I was within my caloric goals for the day (which were way too low) but I wasn’t focusing on the quality of food.
I was so confused as to why I wasn’t seeing the changes I wanted.
Then I moved home for the summer, my diet became a lot cleaner than what it was, and guess what happened. My abs started to appear.
Y’all, food is important. The old saying you are what you eat is so true. Fuel your body properly and it’ll reward you.
Too Much Cardio
This is what EVERY SINGLE GIRL does when she looks at herself in the mirror, doesn’t like what she sees, and thinks cardio is the answer.
Umm okay past-Abigail. What were you thinking!?
Girl you walked 15,000+ steps a day, weight trained relatively intensely 6 days a week, and you think you need 30 minutes of cardio 4x a week!?
No. No. No.
See. I feel into the same “I want results quick” trap, and I also blame the media for the whole cardio mentality.
While I was relatively lean back in the winter/spring, I still had a few extra pounds I wanted to lose. So hey, why not add some extra cardio into the mix…
That sounds okay, right? Add in some cardio here and there to help speed up that fat loss. Pretty average suggestion from most people, but when you’re walking as much as you do on campus, cardio wasn’t going to get me to where I wanted to be.
If I wasn’t losing the weight with all the walking I was doing, I wasn’t going to lose it by overexerting myself with excess cardio.
Too Little Food
Okay so on top of that whole cardio idea, I definitely was not eating enough.
Again, I blame the media for this because they love to share the idea that the less you eat, the faster you’ll lose weight and the quicker you’ll achieve that (body of your dreams).
So, like I said before, I was walking 15,000+ steps a day on top of working out 6 days a week and you want to know how little food I was eating. 1,400 calories to be exact.
Thats like enough food for a freaking bird. ABIGAIL WHAT WERE YOU THINKING.
I ended up increasing my calories right around spring break to 1,700 (still not enough tbh), and you want to know what happened? I started leaning out just like I wanted.
Amazing how eating the right amount of food will help you.
The whole ‘not having a plan’ thing isn’t smart.
I’d go into the gym, hit specific muscles on specific days of the week, and that’s it.
I didn’t write out my programs in advance, I didn’t think about progressively getting stronger, and I would just lift until I felt like said muscle group was going to fall off. I was training way too hard, making myself way too tired, and eating too little food. If you want your results to be slowed or hindered, that’s the recipe to do it right there.
Looking back, I would’ve accomplished so much more had I figured out a workout plan, if I’d been consuming the right amount of calories, and if I didn’t see cardio as this ‘quick fix.’
But, making those mistakes is how I learned what I know today, and I will never regret any of those mistakes because they were essential. Trust me, it’s taken me almost a year and a half to get to where I am today. It’s taken a lot of trial and error and experimenting on myself, but that’s all part of the fun!
After all, fitness is a marathon, not a sprint.