It’s going to sound super cliché but it’s true, fitness really did save me. It saved me from myself and made me realise how strong and amazing my body is. It didn’t happen overnight and I certainly got a lot of things wrong in the beginning but it started a recovery journey I am proud to have completed.
When I was 18 I began to have a negative relationship with food, exercise and my body. Food wasn’t a priority for me and the less I could have the better, exercise was a necessity and a punishment if I had over indulged and I hated how I looked and felt. I didn’t do anything for my body in a positive way – I thought I was but really it was all about control and trying to be as small as I could be. This mindset continued all the way through university but due to external factors, there were some positive changes that happened. As I was doing a dance degree I needed to be eating more and exercising in a way that helped my dance, therefore I did just that. However, the control didn’t go instead barely eating and over exercising was replaced with calorie counting and planned out daily workouts. Binge eating and body dysmorphia were two things that followed and continued for the next 3 – 4 years.
It took the help of a personal trainer to shift my mindset with exercise from something that burned calories to something that could make me stronger. This also spurred my shift in career from dancer to a fitness instructor. Whilst learning to be an instructor and then a personal trainer I discovered a whole new world of exercise and how the body could move. It was amazing to see your body getting stronger through weight training, getting more mobile through stretching and flexibility and getting fitter through cardio based workouts.
Aesthesis surround the fitness and social media world, the focus on how good we need to look taking over everything else. Working out is a means to get the look you want, the weight off or the muscle on. HOWEVER this needs to be pushed to one side because that shouldn’t be what drives you to workout. Instead of focusing on what the body looks like we should focus on what it can do. Fitness is something that should enhance your life, to feel fitter, stronger and healthier. It is this feeling that spurs us on and makes us more confident in ourselves. Then the rest will follow I promise.
Fitness is multi-layered there are so many different types of exercise and movement that fall under the umbrella. Whether you weight train, run, yoga, CrossFit, do classes, walk, swim, cycle or a combination of them all you are doing fitness. There is no right or wrong instead it is about what makes you feel good, what enhances your lifestyle and what is going to improve you as a person in the long run. Try anything and everything and do your research to find your groove. It has taken me 7 years to find mine but I’ve finally realised what works for me and my body, and I don’t do it for anyone else!
Fitness truly did help me recover but only when I was fully invested in working on myself for me. I would recommend anyone who is feeling lost in themselves or wanting to get out of the negative relationships to write down what you want, seek help from professionals and start working on that mindset. Once you have that you open a massive door where you can get fit for fun, have some time out for you and use it as a release.
Let’s take the pressure out of looking a certain way and instead focus on getting fitter, stronger, healthier and happier. Most importantly you want to feel incredible and confident!
Love Vicki x