A Change Of Mindset

University gave me more free time than I had previously, allowing me to join a gym in the city and go pretty much everyday! At first I wanted to join, as we all do, to improve myself aesthetically. I wanted my abs back I took for granted when I was younger and a toned physique as well as a bigger bum and less wobbly arms. I started out doing a lot of cardio – which for someone with my ectomorph body type, did absolutely nothing for me! I also used to hammer my abs, squat and that was all I really did. It was becoming an unhealthy obsession. However, my mindset has completely changed…

From reading a ton of health and fitness books, articles and blogs I now understand my body type and the way I should be training and eating to gain the rewards I seek. Now though, I don’t have the same goals. My goals in the gym are now not aesthetic at all, but all to do with improvements in my strength and seeing how far I can push my body. I want to be able to do 5 pull-ups by the end of my first year at uni, I want to be able to hold the plank for 5 minutes (currently at 3:20), not bad hey! I also want to squat 70 kilos (currently at 55 kilos).

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Don’t get me wrong, I’d still love to see my abs again and getting my body fat percentage down to below 12% should do that for me, but I’m not stressed over it. My training should make this happen eventually but it will take time, my other goals are more high up on my list of priorities and they are a much healthier goal to focus on, both physically and more importantly, mentally!

I do go to the gym a lot and health and fitness is becoming a huge part of my life but in the way that I enjoy going to the gym and doing yoga, it helps me de-stress and with anxieties. If I’ve had a particularly shit day I’ll put my noise cancelling headphones on (highly recommend for gym lovers btw) and go smash a workout! At first the obsession may have been an unhealthy one because I was totally focused on the way my body looks, but now I am seeing different changes to my body. My legs/arms have become more muscular and toned instead of very skinny as they were before I started resistance training, I am a lot stronger than I was previously and I feel more confident in myself. I have increased my weight by 4 kilos in muscle and my body fat has dropped to around 15% (previously on 19%). I feel healthier and happier and am now wanting to work in this industry in the future.

I recommend reading Zanna Van Dijk’s book ‘Strong’. It really helped change my mindset towards the gym, along with her youtube videos. ‘The Lean Machines’ are another pair of personal trainers on Youtube that really know their stuff and promote this mindset whilst training. There are plenty of other books, blogs and articles, too many to name, that I have read, but I suggest reading a few to gain a more positive view and even to motivate yourself into changing a few of your life habits for healthier ones!

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