What I Wish I Knew Before I Started Working Out

Hi guys! Happy Thursday! And it’s officially summer… but as you guys know I’ve been in summer mode since May 😜

I celebrated the first day of summer yesterday at Chloe’s Fruit with this fabulous green smoothie. Chloe’s, I’ll be back soon!

When I first started blogging I was a straight up fitness + healthy living blogger. I was still pretty new to this working out thang and bursting with excitement for my new found passion. I’ve talked about this, but fitness became more and more routine and less and less of a novelty. Which is great, don’t get me wrong. Waking up and working out has become second nature.

But because of this, I got burnt out on blogging about fitness. Don’t get me wrong, I still love chatting about fitness. I’ll talk your face off about my favorite fitness classes in NYC.

I don’t have anything exciting to say about the matter these days. I’m not training for anything. My fitness goals are non-existant. I’m happy to enjoy the endorphin rush (okay, and the defined biceps) and nothing more.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my fitness journey, though. While I was always an active little thing, I didn’t start really working out until sophomore year of college.

The main reason I started hitting up the college gym is because it allowed me to disconnect from the world. I’d stash away my phone in a locker. No one could text me about homework or rehearsals. As a very stressed out college student, it became my escape. And it did help me feel better. That endorphin rush is no joke.

But the part of the story I never talk about is, I was also thinking about my appearance. What twenty-year-old actress isn’t?

Today I’m dishing out the workout advice I wish I knew back then.

What I Wish I Knew Before I Started Working Out

what i wish i knew before i started working out

Working out is NOT a punishment. It’s a celebration.

I do not treat working out as a punishment for food I ate.

I’m grateful that my body can workout. That I can move my body and take the time out of my day to do something good for me. Changing this mindset changed the way I work out.

With this in mind, I focus on workouts that make me feel good. None of that summer bodies crap, please.

 

The scale doesn’t tell the whole story.

The scale hasn’t budged since I started working out. I’m very okay with this because I was already at a healthy weight.

But what the scale doesn’t show is the transformation I’ve gone through. My whole body toned up. I went from feeling like a weakling to confident that I am strong.

And even beyond that, the scale doesn’t tell you that I went from not being able to run a mile to running a marathon.

Progress is SO much more than a number on the scale.

 

You don’t need a before and after picture to have a transformation story.

Sometimes I feel like my fitness journey is not a journey. I wish I had a shocking before and after picture to share — hey maybe then I’d be instagram famous by now. But I don’t have a before and after picture. Or even a very exciting story to tell about how fitness changed my life.

transformation tuesday not

Kayla at age 18 versus Kayla at age 26. Still short. Still the same weight.
And still pretending to be sassy.

My transformation thanks to fitness can’t be seen in a photo.

What you don’t see in the above photo of me at age 18 is what an anxious mess I was every second of every day. How self conscious I was of every single word that came out of my mouth.

Working out helps me deal with anxiety. More often than not it keeps me sane. I am a more confident as a person now. I have gained literal strength. And it inspired me to start a fitness blog that changed my life.

Take that, Transformation Tuesday.

 

Working out won’t solve everything.

My senior year of college I was struggling with a lot of stomach issues. It didn’t make sense. I was working out 6 days a week. Eating better than ever. I even had an incredible boyfriend. So why was I feeling miserable all the time?

Through trial and error I realized dairy does not like my belly. Going [almost] dairy-free cured me of the nausea spells that used to plague my life.

I turned to yoga as an additional way to settle my restless mind and unhappy belly.

And post-college I learned that none of that shit matters. If you’re not happy with your career or relationships you’ll still feel like crap. There’s a whole lot more to health and happiness than working out and eating kale.

Working out doesn’t cure everything. Sometimes I wish it did.  But I now know that all the endorphins in the world won’t make you happy if other parts of your life are out of whack.

 

Tell me: Does anyone else have advice for the former self about working out and fitness?

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