Working out has never been my strongest suit. As a kid, I had a slight interest in gymnastics and karate (mostly fueled by my obsession for the pink Power Ranger) but once I was a teenager, I detested those obligatory gym classes at school and – most of all – hated running. Now that I’m older (and wiser), I understand the importance of making efforts to be healthy so much more than I used to. The last couple of years or so, my interest in food that’s good for you has grown exponentially. Cooking with fresh, healthy products is one of my hobbies, I love to try new recipes and read about this topic. Sometimes, I even consider going vegan – but for now I try to keep it as healthy and natural as possible. The fact that this is something I’ve grown more and more passionate about also had an influence on the way I thought about working out.
In the past, I made several attempts at being more sportive but they usually only lasted for a short while. Now, I feel like my mindset towards this has changed for real. I figured, if I’m going to make serious efforts when it comes to food and cooking because I think eating healthy is so important – I should do the same when it comes to working out. Since that made so much sense to me, I decided to start running again two months ago, and I’m still going strong.
Am I a major athlete now? No, certainly not. Is that my goal? Not at all. I just made a conscious decision to make more of an effort that was good for my body in the long run (pun intended). Before, people would often give the advice to sign up for a competition so that I would feel motivated to work towards something, but that never really worked for me. Being motivated to work out all depends on your own character and goals, and these are some of the factors that really made the difference for me.
Health. Obviously, this is my number one factor that started all of this. I once read that going for a walk every day proved to be the healthiest thing you can do for yourself – so I keep that in mind for the small stuff (walk instead of taking the car for shorter distances & always take the stairs), but also try to at least do some kind of half-hour work out three times a week. Whether it’s spinning, going for a run, squatting, planking or whatever I feel like doing that day. I avoid making it a super intense obligation but try to work it in my schedule and always tell myself that every effort I make is a good one. It’s not about beating myself up when I don’t do it, but encouraging myself to keep on going. This makes it fun, instead of a dread.
Nature. I’m lucky enough to live super close to some beautiful parks, which really helps my motivation to go work out. Going for a run when the sun is out and being surrounded by beautiful nature is one of my favorite things to do – what better way to clear your head after work? I also love doing this on the weekends, since it makes me feel accomplished and even more motivated to get other things done.
Looks. Of course I’ll enjoy it if my body looks more toned and slim because of these efforts. I don’t want to lose too much weight, but I’d be happy with losing a few pounds. The fact that working out gets your blood flow going and is beneficial for your skin is also a plus I’m happy to add to the list.
State of mind. Ever since I started, I feel better in general. Being active is a natural mood booster, and it has changed me for the better because it has made me reflect on my own behavior and happiness even more. And feeling accomplished after running is, you know, also quite nice for your state of mind.
Hope you enjoyed reading about my journey so far, and I hope to keep on developing my healthy habits even further. If you have thoughts on this, or want to share your own story – please do, I’d love to hear about it! P.S. The last picture was taken during a run after work at the absolutely beautiful Hallerbos, which is a different forest than the other pictures.