Monday, June 9, 2014

10 things I learned from working out

1. Waking up early is possible if I really want to.

Starting my day at around 6:00 to 6:30AM is almost automatic for me now. But back when I was just beginning to commit to exercise, I drag my butt off my comfy bed (which just gets comfier in the morning rather than at night) and grudgingly change into my workout clothes. All before breakfast. Waking up earlier than others eventually taught me the value of being able to do something I set my mind into.

2. Appreciation is greater when I work hard for something.

There's this strange tribe of women that were born sexy and doesn't really need to exercise or diet to look good. Those who eat tons of carbs and can comfortably fit into a bikini the next day.. I hate them. Haha! But then.. We all have to work with what we're given. Working hard to make my body sexy healthy is something I don't take for granted. It makes me want to take care of it more because I know how hard I worked to achieve it.

3. I'm stronger that I ever imagined.

Sweating our butts off on a Jillian Michaels exercise video is not easy. Her words of encouragement carry me through the workout. The constant statement that gets me every time is "You are stronger than you ever imagined! Don't forget that! You can stay in this pose for 5... 3.... Drop it." It makes me want to not stop, to continue in spite of the sweat, the soreness, the soft pain. During the cool down, I realized how right she is. I survived. I might have drowned a towel from my sweat but I survived.

4. Black isn't the only color that will look good on me.

I used to have a wardrobe that consists of dark colors. It was a dark time in my life as well, I guess. I wasn't happy with how I looked, how heavy and sluggish I felt. I was on a no-carbs diet. It was all before my friend introduced me to my first Hiphop Abs video. It was life changing. As I gained strength and lost pounds, I became more confident in trying out a complete redo of my choice of clothes. My wardrobe turned into the rainbow (see here, here and here) , it was awesome.

5. Do things for yourself.

Working out wasn't for others to like me, to notice me (though that's a plus). I do it for myself. There are times when we don't see ourselves worthy of such great things. We usually put others' needs ahead of ours that we became last priority in our own lives. I see that as an imbalance. Loving others is only sustainably possible if you love yourself. Self love is making time for yourself, working to be the best version of who you can be, and being happy.

6. Lifting weights won't bulk you up.

Lifting weights usually have a bad impression for women but doing it on exercise sessions changed my mind. I use it to make certain sets harder since gravity is stronger when I'm holding weights. It trained me to be stronger, to push myself slowly.

7. You discover things.

When you do an activity consistently, the moves became more bearable that you have moments to look into what you're doing. You realize that certain exercise videos make you feel good, energized and helped you sweat. After working out, you tend to read more articles and watch more videos about exercise--something that will not involuntarily enter your mind if you don't exercise. Reading more about what you're doing teaches you a lot. You'll know more about the science behind your moves.

8. Fitting into store brought jeans feel good.

Enough said.

9. I don't get tired easily.

This is the best side effect of working out for me. I have asthma and it makes me have spurts of breathlessness whenever I climb steep staircases or when I hike up on an incline. Doing cardio and simple plyometrics helped my endurance and I can slowly see the improvement on my breathing even if I did a lot during the day.

10. Self awareness.

All the exercises I tried taught me this: how to be aware of myself--my body, my feelings, my thoughts. It made me aware of what's going on inside me as I do warrior III, what my tummy tells me when I do high knees, what thoughts enter my mind when I lie down in Savasana. Self awareness makes life more meaningful, inside and outside the 30-40 mins of working out. It made me look beyond my vanity, my health and into my being. It taught me to love and take care of my body because it marvels me on how it's so intricately designed that certain activities change it beautifully.


  1. I absolutely love this post!!! Really encouraging!! I am actually going to read that again <3 As you know I am very into healthy lifestyle and exercise…I also am a early riser. Though I cannot work out without breakfast. I always have my breakfast first and then do the work out.

    Love from London,

    Mahshid مهشید

  2. Thank you so much! Exercise really changed my life and I'm happy with where it had led me. I usually have a good dinner so it carries me through next day's workout.

    Good luck with your training! :)


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