10 Things I Wish I Had Known About Fitness 5 Years Ago: A Listacle

…and in no particular order…

10. How much fun I’d have

I wish I knew how much fun I’d have in the gym. If I had, I would have gotten into the fitness game a long time ago. Of course, my current experience of the gym is wholly informed by the people who workout with me, the atmosphere, endorphins, and especially, our trainers, Jenny & Chris. They all combine to make our workouts so much fun! Don’t be deceived, our workouts are challenging too….but the feeling you get when you crush a set at a higher weight than last week. Whoooo! 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼

9. How wrong I was about Gyms.

My attitude about gyms, since high school, really, had been wholly negative. We tend to get locked into a way of thinking and when we experience something one way we always expect our experience to be the same the next time it comes up. It’s a human fault but here’s the thing, I’m not the same person I was in high school so why would I expect the gym or the people who go to gyms to be the same as they were in high school? Ridiculous, right? Give yourself the opportunity to be proven wrong! Being wrong isn’t always a bad thing.

8. How Good It Feels

And God, does it feel good! The endorphins and adrenaline rush post workout are alone worth it but watching your body change brings its own singular elation.

7. How differently people relate to you

As your body changes people start relating to you differently. The way they speak to you changes, and the way they look at you changes which, if you’re even moderately self conscious, can be bit strange at first. When you’re fat, you’re used to either being looked at with disdain or frankly, not looked at at all. That will change. So, get used to blushing and saying, “Thank you,” a lot.

6. How differently I’d relate to myself.

This was the real biggie for me. When you’re used to viewing yourself one way for so long and then suddenly, your reflection doesn’t match your self perception…things can get “wonky” (a technical term.) Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. Those wonky months were a deep and yes, dark journey for me because I no longer knew who I was. You may also experience similar dysmorphia. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel and, perhaps even better, you realize there was no “tunnel” at all – only the limits of your own perception.

You are not your body. You are in a body. Your personality will only change insofar as you need it to so you can maintain your new health habits. I discovered so much about myself (and still am) and my journey now is full of hope, anticipation and excitement.

5. How much fun buying clothes would be.

Gah! I hated buying clothes when I weighed 370 because the only stuff they design for men that size is invariably, either in plaid or solid colors. I’m not a lumber jack and I’m not the Kool-Aid Man. Never was, and never will be but when it’s your only option you’re kinda forced to make it work. That, or wear shirts that are big enough but too short for your torso which kinda just adds insult to injury. (Not to mention pants, which they do a little better job about, but trying on 46’s only to find you’re now in 48’s is soul crushing.)

But now I love shopping because I have the run of the men’s section! I can finally dress how I’ve always wanted to dress!

4. The importance of NOW

Now is the only moment that exists. And every moment of NOW only brings me closer to my inevitable end. If I don’t do it NOW, then when? If not then, when else because we never know when our “whens” will end.

3. The weight of excuses

Excuses pile up on you like old winter blankets and before you know it your immobilized by them. They’re rain checks on a life you’re, on one hand, desperate to live, and on the other hand, have become terrified of. It is at this point where small, methodical, and dedicated steps towards a fitness goal (or any goal for that matter) become the most important. If you’re scared, take a tiny step forward. Still scared? Take another tiny step forward. Before long you’ll realize that the fear you’ve nurtured for so long wasn’t real at all. It was just a figment if your imagination.

2. Squats!

I love Squats. Squats. Squats. Squats!

1. How important it Fitness is

If I could go back 5 years in time and shake my old self into a healthy lifestyle I’d do it in a heartbeat. Hell, I wish I could go back 20 years but I can’t. We only have now and we only have our fitness. Fitness isn’t the “end all be all” of life but it sure as hell puts things like illness into perspective. Good fitness doesn’t mean we won’t get sick or that we won’t die but it does give us a statistical buffer against their early arrival.

When we’re young, we think we’ll live forever. When we’re older, we wish to God we had those young healthy years back. But whether your young or older, fit or ill, NOW is the only moment we’re guaranteed and starting a journey towards fit NOW can only but help.


Joshua T.


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