Brad* was 24 Hour Fitness’s version of Michelangelo’s “David” (although he wasn’t naked—darn) He was also my personal trainer. Going into my first session, I expected a (beastly) woman along the lines of Jillian Michaels, and instead I got the Latino version of Brad Pitt. Tall, dark, and…anyway, you get the picture. Although at first I felt intimidated by Brad, I later used his god-like beauty to motivate me to work out harder during my session. The last thing that I wanted was for Brad to think that I was weak. And this is what got me through those final sets. When all I wanted to do was drop to the floor, I pulled through.
Although I didn’t believe that finishing that last push up was going to result in Brad getting down on one knee, I used the idea of Brad to fuel a competitive side of me, a side that was hard to bring out when working out on my own. Rather than Brad, it was what Brad represented---the pressure to push myself to my physical limit, not the false limits imposed by a tired mental state. (However, if Brad wanted to represent more, I wouldn’t turn down the offer…)
I truly believe that everyone has a “Brad.” Everyone has a trigger to motivate them to finish the end of a gruelling workout, reject that slice of cake, hold downward facing dog for an extra 20 seconds. This muse stems from a motivation to achieve what we want for ourselves, not what others want for us. So please, pause for a second and consider or not whether you are engaging in this quest in order to achieve the approval of others. If the answer is no, you may read on.
If you can’t find the muse off of the top of your head (ie: I just wanted to be healthier/more muscular/ect), you can create your own system of rewards. Establish your fitness goals and reward yourself when you achieve them! [Reward yourself for achievement instead of getting angry at yourself for slipping. That will
only lead to a vicious cycle.] I would recommend making these goals weekly or biweekly. For example, set a (healthy) daily calorie limit for yourself. Go to a website, like loseit.com, which will help you plan your daily allotment based on how much weight you wish to lose. The great thing about loseit.com is that it does not let you lose more weight per week than what is healthy for your body time. When you stay within that allotment for two consecutive weeks, treat yourself to a 25-50 minute massage. Girls: treat yourself to a manicure? Boys: buy a new bro tank? Make sure the reward system is both affordable and appealing to you! Decide the amount of money and time you are willing to put aside to create a good reward system. Think of the money as necessary celebratory expense. In reality, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will save you thousands of dollars in the future!
(*name has been changed to maintain my dignity)
The whole point of this is to get you excited about your journey. Above all, fitness starts with having an optimistic, upbeat attitude. The better spirits you are in, the more easily these healthy changes will become habits. If there is anything that is worth celebrating, it is you getting in your best shape.
The Woman Behind the Fitness Section:
Samantha Salis is a Psychology Major and Political Economy Minor at UC Berkeley. She is a dedicated young woman, ambitious and sharp as a whip. Our dear Samantha tutors high schoolers and works at a Psychology lab at UC Berkeley. Even with this busy schedule, Ms. Salis creates the time to divulge to us her passion about the fitness and health of women, and is (fortunately for us) very well informed on these topics. Enjoy!