Finding a Lifeline in Fitness

We all have those special things that we do that get us through the hard times. The special things that are our ways of self-care that combat the doubt and depression. Music, cooking, drawing, getting outdoors, writing… etc. For myself personally, and I know for a lot of people as well, my main way to combat stress, fatigue, depression, (the list goes on and on) would be fitness. Getting into the gym, sweating it ALL out, and lifting heavy. I can take my frustrations out on the weights and at the same time help keep my body healthy! What a win win situation. I find I feel my best when I am lifting heavy and doing…. Drumroll please… squats. There is something about doing squats that clears my head for me. I use it as a metaphor as well sometimes for life. If something heavy takes you down, you push right back up. Keep your standards high and your squats low because everything will get better down the road. You just have to sweat out a bit of the nerves first.

Before I started getting into fitness I was a stick. Looking back at pictures of myself now I can’t even imagine how tiny I used to be all the way up to the beginning of college, that is when I started lifting in earnest. All through high school though I sat at about a hundred pounds and would get sick often. I ate healthy, but not enough and many people thought I was anorexic. Starting college I was taking about twenty-three credits a term as well as working part time. I was a music student so outside of my classes and homework and work I also had to learn music and practice for concerts. So my life was just crazy crazy busy. I lived in a constant stress bubble and would often have breakdowns and noticed I got sick easier. I remember one week clearly…. every day that week I had a panic attack and would end the day saying I couldn’t do college anymore, it was too much. I thank God for my mom talking me through each of those panic attacks, never getting frustrated with me and always helping me get back up and face the next day. I needed to end that though and that is when I decided to change my life. I was tired of being sick, stressed, depressed, and tired all the time… I needed a change! So I started going to the gym. I didn’t know anything really about working out, but I started out light and would watch people around me plus YouTube videos on form and how to do certain exercises. I took it at my own pace and worked out a regiment that worked for me, and you know what…. Wonders and miracles started happening. One of the first major things I noticed was my mental health improved SO MUCH. I wasn’t as stressed and depressed all the time. I was actually smiling more and laughing and my panic attacks were minimal. I was taking the time to do something that was helping me not only in the moment, but also in the long run.

Fast forward to present day Mikaela. Since starting to work out about five years ago now I have gained around thirty-five pounds and most of it has been muscle due to the fact I still look pretty slim. Nothing compared to high school Mikaela though… I have become more secure and confident in myself. Not only because I am getting muscles, no but because delving into fitness has changed me in such a good way. My work ethic has improved and so has my mental health. I don’t mind pushing myself that extra bit in the gym and wearing myself out because I know down the line my body will thank me. People still say I’m a pretty quiet person, or as my best friends say until you get to know me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not confident. Many times people get shyness and not being confident confused. I may be a bit shy or quiet, but that is more due to the fact I say what I want to say and am not a huge small talk person. If I feel what I have to say won’t really benefit the conversation I will not say it. That doesn’t mean I am unconfident though. Since working out I have definitely found myself having way more self love and wanting to share that with others.

So long story short, I wanted to share a bit of my journey not to be like oh poor me, but to give an example of the positive changes of finding a lifeline. Find something to carry you through the hard times and help you grow as a person as well. Something that nourishes your soul with the self-care and love you are giving yourself in the moment. If we are always on the move, always going down the road of life quickly we are going to get burnt out and crash. If you take a bit of time out here and there during your daily life to treat yourself you will not only be more physically and emotionally happy, you will also be mentally happy. Your brain will thank you so much for taking that extra time to make sure you are doing okay. That little bit of extra time you take out during each day could help prevent a large train wreck for yourself later down the road. We all know what it feels like to be exhausted, burnt out, full of doubt. It’s no fun at all to feel that way. What if we all cared about ourselves as much as we cared about other people and took that extra time to treat ourselves. Well we need to do that. We need to give ourselves that time during the day or that change of lifestyle to avoid the burnouts down the road. Put yourself first once in a while. Don’t be afraid to say no to something if you know it will not be beneficial for you in the long run. We have to have our backs because in the long run we are stuck with ourselves for our whole lives, so why not take care of ourselves then!

 

S’agapo

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Andreea Popescu says:

    Useful post 🙂 Love your body & Improve your life! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mjaquette says:

      Thank you girl! Exactly!

      Like

  2. Gerard Potvin says:

    Love your outlook!! And the way you look now, amazing! From what I can tell, always a beautiful woman, but now, strong confident and fit. Thank you for sharing, such truth and honesty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mjaquette says:

      Thank you so much Gerard!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ellie says:

    Fitness really helps me to look beyond all of the stresses and negativity, it helps me feel more positive and mentally awake. I dont know what it is but it really is refreshing, I never feel bad after a workout.
    My recent post: https://lifeofellabella.blogspot.com/2019/01/skincare-saviours.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mjaquette says:

      Yes I couldn’t agree more girl! Xoxoxo

      Like

    2. mjaquette says:

      I tried to comment on your post but I couldn’t on my phone. I’ll try later on my computer. I love that skin care line though. I use it all the time!

      Like

  4. sugisays says:

    Such a good contribution to the conversation on self love. Fitness doesn’t often fit into the conversation, but i think it should. Thank you for sharing your story! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mjaquette says:

      Xoxoxo thank you girl!!! I love your newest one!!!! I’ve already read it twice and keep trying to comment but it won’t let me :/ but it’s so good to work on improving ourselves. You’re so awesome girl xoxo

      Like

      1. sugisays says:

        Thank you so much for YOUR support! Can’t wait to see what you put out there next 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  5. OthFit.com says:

    I’m really happy that I found your blog. Thank you for sharing a bit of your journey. I think it’s interesting how many people find fitness as a way to help with stress and end up transforming their lives. I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mjaquette says:

      Thank you so much!!!! I appreciate you a ton 🙂

      Like

  6. raheelajames says:

    I love the metaphor that you used about squats , when life pushes you down you push up harder. Squats are definitely my least favorite exercise but I get stronger each time I do them. I had stopped working out because of health issues but started back up again and what a difference it has made. I can dance with my daughter who is 7 and a dancer. Her face lights up every time I dance with her. I’m back to lifting heavier like I used to and it is absolutely amazing. Thank you so much for your post Raheela

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mjaquette says:

      Thank you so much for sharing beautiful!!! I’m so glad you’re able to be working out again! Xoxo

      Like

  7. wmeberle says:

    Ah, Mikaela, that’s a real blessing! Not only for you but also for all of us who get to hear your story and see your progress. Congratulations on making such a positive change in your life and for understanding that the benefits to you in the long run are so impactful. It’s easy to focus on the short term and the immediate benefits, but the more we understand that hard work, dedication, focus, training, etc., is an investment in ourselves and our abilities to have a positive influence on those we touch, the happier our lives will be.

    *chuckle* I can relate to the relatively greater positive influence of squats on my view of myself. We run to skinny legs in our family and it’s always been an area that I felt I could improve. And squats can have such a powerful, short-term, visible impact that it has a multiplying effect. Love squats and I just don’t do them enough 🙂 But, this is another good reminder for me of the things that I need to make a priority…

    Thank you for being honest and open, for letting us see your struggles and your progress. Seeing the two together is encouraging, inspiring, and very helpful, in my opinion.

    Congratulations on 35 pounds (or thereabouts) of muscle! You should be very proud of yourself, my friend 🙂 I can’t imagine having that workload that you did during college, that just seems overwhelming and it’s a sign of strong character, I think, that you were able to get all of that done! And, yes, it’s wonderful that you had your family there to support you through the hard times and give you the encouragement to see beyond the immediate to the things coming in your future.

    Love this post, Mikaela, very well done! *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mjaquette says:

      Thank you so much!!! I’m so glad you read it 🙂 and what a lovely comment too. You are way too kind and supportive. I really appreciate it so much. Xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

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