*Alcides performing kettlebell cleans.
Just another busy day at the gym with my clients and allegedly it's Valentine's Day. I discovered this because my gym was decorated like Cupid vomited up pinks and reds. But this isn't anti-Valentine's Day post at all!
One of my clients, Alcides, brought to my attention how important fitness became a part of his life and dating took a back seat. He feels more empowered through health and fitness than ever before. We spoke about how you really do have to love yourself and put yourself first in order to make a relationship with another person work best. He doesn't need validation from others, he found that he needed validation from himself and he discovered so much self-worth through exercising and eating a healthier balanced diet.
Self-care takes shapes in many different forms, not just being focused on your physical health. Self-care can also mean your emotional and mental health. We can't function at our best if we don't take care of ourselves. There are days that exercising is more than just my lifestyle but also my remedy to the stress in my life. Sometimes life can make us feel like we are overloaded with so much to handle. I find that through meditation or even giving myself a "mental health day", my energy can really get boosted back to fully functional and prepare me to take on the world the next day.
Being in this lifestyle brought me to a higher level of self-awareness. Of course, I am nowhere near perfect but I strive to progress myself and push forward everyday. In the past, there were times where I looked for validation outside of myself. I have always been athletic but never fully committed. It wasn't until a pool party in LA, a few years ago where I felt inadequate because I was just skinny and a lot of the men there were in great shape or 'roided up. I felt so out of place. I started to look for ways to fit in and get to this idealistic underwear model look. The men that I surrounded myself with were so superficial and went for pretty faces with chiseled bodies. So many times I was put down that I wasn't muscular enough or I was too skinny. It's a shot to your self-esteem, there isn't any denying that.
I made a plan to myself that I would look like the rest of those guys that I felt the need to fit in with. However, through my journey, I found myself and what this new lifestyle meant to me and how I don't care about what others think. I was loving how I felt both on the outside and inside. I'm definitely not going to lie that I didn't love the compliments that came along with it, but my reason for exercising shifted from pleasing others to pleasing myself. Eventually I got stuck at a plateau which pushed me towards hiring a personal trainer. Totally changed my world around! She pushed me to limits I never thought were imaginable. My body started to get more cut and I was putting on mass. She truly inspired me to take up personal training on the side (I worked in audio production at the time). I studied with NCCPT and became certified which led me to train part-time at LA Fitness. This lifestyle change all began because I felt like I wasn't good enough, but I found out that I was more than good enough and I am still growing and changing everyday. Now, I found a different career path to help inspire others find their self-love and challenge them to to reach their goals.
*When I was training with such an amazing and inspirational individual.