Fitness Isn’t Cookie Cutter

The other day, I received some feedback on my IG Stories on why I was doing “double workouts” for the week. Some comments were funny and light-hearted (because yes, it sounds crazy) but a few stopped and made me think about what I was really saying and putting on the Internet.

With health and fitness becoming more and more prominent in people’s lives, I wanted to take the time to explain what fitness means to me and why my workout routine may not work for everyone. Pretty much I’m about to spill some major tea.

Two things before we get going:

  1. This is a lengthy post, so bear with me!
  2. Nothing in this post is meant to offend or spark negativity in anyone. If anything, it’s meant to shed light on a situation that’s prominent in the world of social media and fitness.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Well, not THE beginning, but rather where my fit life began. Growing up, I was a major tomboy. Hated shopping, my haircut looked more like a bowl than an actual hair style, and my attire was basketball shorts and a t-shirt. Pretty much, people would comment to my mom of how cute their “son” was.

When I was 8 years old I joined my summer league swim team and from there grew my love for the sport. In the coming years, I joined a few local teams (Texas Gold in middle school, then Nitro Swimming in high school) and took it to the collegiate level and swam on the women’s swim team my freshman year for the University of Texas at Austin.

I’m going to call the sport of swimming out and say that it is probably one of the most challenging sports on the planet (no offense to other sports but like… to each their own). You train as a team but you compete as an individual so there is no one there to catch you if you fall. You wake up at 4am for a 5am practice, go straight to school, then are back in the pool 5pm for practice. There are about 20 hours a week, every week, put into the sport. On top of that you travel for competitions at least once a month, join gyms for cross training and lifting, seek advice from nutrition specialists, the list goes on y’all.

Even though it was a HELL of an experience sometimes, I’ll always be grateful for what the sport taught me and I’ll always have that competitive drive because of it.

Fast-forward to Senior Year of College.

This is when my blog, Spin Syddy was created. I loved working out but didn’t know how to workout outside of a pool or someone coaching me what to do.

Side note: While in college, I studied Nutrition, so I was learning about athletic performance, proper nutrition, and overall well-being.

I would sit at home at night, research local gyms, the latest fitness craze, and try everything and anything because, why not? I was introduced to an app that allowed me to try different studios without committing to one or paying an insane amount out-of-pocket per month. The idea of trying something new and getting out into the community was fun to me since all I knew growing up was swimming. Boutique fitness was fascinating to me, and I slowly started to learn the idea of enjoying your workouts.

From there I found out about indoor cycling, quit the app, and committed to spin classes for about a year. Then I got to a point where I wasn’t being challenged enough anymore. Riding to the beat of the music was fun but I felt my body mentally and physically plateau.

After the app.

While on the app, I came across a gym in East Austin called Athletic Outcomes. What first sparked my interest was their “Recovery Lounge” because I was working out 5-6 times a week, but needed a place to give my muscles a rest.

After quitting the app, connecting with the owners, and slowly but surely committed to AO being “my gym”… and if you follow me on Instagram, I’m now coaching there and help to run their Social Media!

Ok, I think I’ve lost track a little bit. I like to talk (or type) okay!?

Bottom line is when I found AO, I found my inner athlete again. So cheesy I know.

Where this blog post stemmed from.

You look at some of the top athletes in the world, and some put their weekly routines out there for people to see. Some train an insane amount of hours, both daily and weekly, because that’s what they need to do to be the best, that’s what their bodies need to progress to that next step in their career.

For me personally, OF COURSE I love a good challenge. When I complete double workouts in a day, it’s not because I’m trying to lose weight, ate poorly so I’m “making up” for bad decisions or even bragging rights. It’s because I’m challenging my inner athlete. There is totally such a thing as over-training and training for the wrong reasons. I’d be lying if I told you that was never me, but that’s all the more reason to listen to your body.

Now being in the fitness industry for over 3 years now, I’ve tried just about everything and found a routine that I love and enjoy. There’s now balance in my life where I’m working out because I want to and because I feel good when I sweat. To me, it feels good to lift heavy and sometimes, it even feels good to push myself to a point where I just might throw up! Guess what, that’s just who I am and what I like.

The end all, take-away.

Losing weight is one of the benefits of working out, but it definitely shouldn’t be your main driving force. If it is, you’ll build unhealthy habits and probably not sustain a healthy lifestyle. When you tap into what you truly love to do and what makes you feel good, it’s crazy but you just might find that you’re a happier person. The stress of working out to fit a certain mold melts away and you realize that fitness is what you make of it.

Instead of trolling Instagram or thinking “if I workout and eat like them, I’ll look like them too”. Try something that interests you. If you enjoy long distance runs outside, go for it. If you enjoy lifting heavy AF weights every single day, great. If you want to do a double workout one day because it sounds challenging and enticing to you, awesome! But weight loss, or striving to be someone else because “they do it, so I should too”, isn’t a way to build your healthy lifestyle.

All the tools are there to make the path and the people around you are there to inspire you to stay on it, but it’s up to you where that path goes.

Alright, rant is over. If you have questions or comments, message me!

xx
Sydney

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