Why I dumped the gym in favour of my body
I use to be one of your typical “gym-junkies”….. intensive fasted cardio in the mornings followed by a hard-core weight session in the evening. I worked out 2 hours a day, 6 days a week & believed that it was what was required of me in order to maintain a certain “look” the health & fitness industry wanted. It was what I expected of myself as well in order to feel satisfied & happy in my body. This is my story of why I dumped the gym in favour of my body.
As you may guess (or have experienced yourself) this can become very time consuming & physically exhausting. My body became completely depleted, it plateaued often & I never had enough energy for the important things in life. My friends, family & the ability to LIVE LIFE suffered! I was just living for my “rest day” so that I could sleep & recuperate to start it all over the next week.
Working out became a chore & I started to dread it. That’s not what I had envisioned when I started my fitness journey. I started out loving what I did but as time passed I started hating it. I was influenced by the wrong people, wrong role models & wrong information.
Before I even continue, I just want to say that I am NOT discrediting the gym environment and the people there who help change lives by getting individuals fit and healthy, NOT AT ALL!
I celebrate and encourage these people and I believe we all have a preferred choice for our fitness journey. HOWEVER I want to share my story of extreme behaviour and limited beliefs that nearly killed me physical and mental health. I want to share this with you to show you that there is another way to achieve amazing confidence, health and fitness without breaking and destroying your body. So, if you are relating to what I have said above, this story is for you!!!!
I started at a very young age in fitness, 14 to be exact.I used fitness as escapism and a way to give me strength and courage because I was bullied a lot through my school years. Fitness was what I was good at and this gave me self-confidence and self-belief.
As time moved on and I transitioned from a small town studio to a big international gym I very quickly felt the pressure to look a certain way at all times. There was a lot of competition in the field and I constantly felt scrutinized by eyes from those who felt threatened or superior to me. As a young woman, this was very pressurizing and I quickly got sucked in.
As I got older and gained more experience by worked with different women of different age groups, I quickly learned that these struggles were felt by MANY.
All women who were trying to improve their fitness, body and life. It wasn’t just for those working in the fitness industry, it was literally every women who stepped through a gym door!!!
The bonus of working out so hard (and let me just note I had a very strict diet), was that I had an average of 12% body fat with some serious muscle. As amazing as this body composition felt, it was killing my soul inside. Even though it was amazing motivation to my clients, at the same time it was very unrealistic for them to expect the same results for themselves. No working woman, with kids and a husband can spend 2 hours a day in the gym, it’s just nuts!!!
I wanted to be able to enjoy life more, take it a little easier without loosing my mind that I might be falling 10 step back from my progress.
In 2010 I started competing and this is where the shift actually started to happen in my mind. I was exposed to very different side of fitness. I learned of many weird, crazy and down right dangerous methods of creating the “ultimate fit body”. Over the next 6 years, I experimented with different training techniques and methods and slowly found something that was working for me. As much as it was a challenge, I enjoyed that time of my life and learned valuable lessons! I started to LISTEN to my body more and respect and appreciate it’s power AND limitations. However, I was still not finding that balance I needed and my body was tired.
In 2016 I experienced my 1st anxiety attack. 1 year later I was completely finished and was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and anxiety disorder. Literally, I was forced to stop…..I believe it was the universes way of telling me “it’s time to change Jody, as much as this has served you, it no longer serves you anymore”. And so I started my journey of changed.
I dumped the gym environment and conventional fitness mentality & I went all the way back to the basics. Working on my body with JUST USING my body was what I did. I haven’t even touched a dumbbell or barbell.
And guess what??? My body not only started to heal itself from the chronic fatigue and anxiety, it actually started to re-transform itself. I started to fall in love with it in a completely different way. My body became my best friend and not my enemy. I started to listen to what my body was telling me and make conscious choices based on that and not what others were saying.
This is why I dumped the gym in favour of my body. No, I am definitely not as lean or defined as I was 10 years ago but I am much stronger and more confident in a completely different kind of way. The “gym part” of my life was necessary to get where I am today, but I feel it’s important to show others there are other ways to achieve amazing health & body goals!
I now follow a plant based vegan diet. This has been a huge revelation compared to the carb obsessed culture the fitness industry is in. I do regular yoga & body weight exercises called BODY BASE. Hiking & enjoying the outdoors along with regular meditation & breathing has been my saving grace to overcome my anxiety.
There are so many ways to get fit & healthy without having to destroy or manipulate your body. I encourage you to choose something that brings you joy every time you do it. It should not feel threatening, demoralizing or hopeless. It should feel invigorating, uplifting & absolute pure enjoyment, even during the physically challenging parts 😉
If you feel you are wanting to break free of restrictive beliefs, exhausting training routines and destructive thought patterns, I encourage you to start here with me! You can begin to embrace your body with more love, care & confidence!
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