Sometimes we want to make small changes, and we don’t know where to begin. There is this crazy idea out there that you have to be super fit in order to go to the gym, or that just by going to the gym you will start looking super fit. That is completely untrue! You can start going to the gym whenever you want and because everybody is different, the changes will be different. For me, the gym is a type of therapy, and every hour I go is a more affordable therapy session. I have seen a few changes in my body but it is hard for me to notice them or to talk about the exercises I do or the ways I have changed my eating and thinking habits. For that reason, I reached out to my friend Diana Patricia and asked her to share her newest life change with us. Her results at the gym have been noticeable and so is her new attitude towards life.
Photo: Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash
Lara: When did you start going to the gym and why?
Diana Patricia: I have actually been going to the gym for years, but not consistently. I would go once or twice per week to a cardio class and that was about it. In November 2018, I decided I wanted to change, not only my body but my mind as well, and I thought the gym was the perfect place to get my mind and body to work together towards one goal, which primarily was to be healthy.
L: How many days a week do you go?
DP: I try to hit the gym five days a week, more than that I feel it’s an exaggeration. People think that going every day will bring you better results and that is not true. Your body needs time to rest and recover. Days off are KEY for muscle growth if you overwork you will NOT see results.
L: What motivates you to go?
DP: I like seeing my body change. I like looking in the mirror and noticing what has improved and what has yet to do so. For me the gym is my safe place, when I go I don’t think about anything, I am just focused on getting the work done. That has done wonders for my mental stability as well because it’s ME time. I also like feeling stronger, every time I can lift more weight or do more reps I feel proud of myself. That really motivates me to keep going and see how far I can push myself.
L: Do you follow any specific diet?
DP: Yes and no, I don’t have a meal plan or anything like that. I also don’t restrict myself of any kind of food. Food is fuel and if you are working out, you NEED to eat. Just be mindful of the quantity. Everything in moderation. You need protein, you need carbs, and you need good fat. It’s all about finding what works best for you. Trial and error, see what food and how much of each sit with you better depending on your goals.
L: Do you take any supplements? Do you recommend taking them?
DP: You don’t really need any supplements to actually see results. I think it’s a personal choice to take them or not. Pre-workouts are good because they will give you energy and allow you to be more focused at the gym. I am currently taking branched-chain amino acids (BCAA). BCAAs are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are commonly taken in order to boost muscle growth and enhance exercise performance. They may also help with weight loss and reduce fatigue after exercise. I feel it does help with my performance, and I really like drinking something with flavor when I work out.
L: What would you say to someone who is trying to start?
DP: Have discipline. That’s the best advice I can give. You have to be consistent and put in the work even when you don’t feel like it (especially when you don’t feel like it). Also, don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re new to the gym start small, walk 15 minutes, do light weights, do some exercise research and learn. It takes time and effort.
L: What do you do when you get frustrated about not seeing any changes?
DP: Ok, this happens to me almost every single day. Seeing changes takes time, you probably won’t see extreme changes within weeks, but celebrate the small changes, be proud of yourself for putting in the work. And when you feel frustrated look at pictures from months ago and see how far you’ve come, and think about where you will be if you keep going.
Diana Patricia (follow her on Instagram) is one of many who have decided to change their lives for the best. Her journey will probably inspire you to take the step you need to make your life a healthier one. Do not worry about what others may say or think. Focus on yourself and the changes you want to see. The gym is a lifestyle that can help you change both mentally and physically. And, honestly, you deserve to do something that helps you feel better!
Lara was born in Argentina on Christmas; raised there and in Mexico. She graduated university with a BA in Latin American Literature and then moved to America where she currently lives with her girlfriend and cat. She works at a daycare as an Infant Teacher and during her free time you’ll find her reading or watching several TV shows while drinking diet coke.