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Fitness Health & Wellness Mental Health

Five Fitness Mindsets I Would Go Back In Time To Change Today

There is no “one-size-fits-all” regarding fitness. However, there are scientifically proven facts about the link between our mindsets and how it affects our progress and overall self-worth.

If I had learned this sooner, I would have avoided some mistakes early on and not had to spend the first half of my twenties healing over a decade of the diet culture mindset. 

Should time travel ever become possible, here is what I would tell my younger self to change in her fitness journey. 

Being terrified to start lifting weights

For years I primarily did cardio and avoided the weight world altogether, terrified that I would look like a bulky bodybuilder.

But to achieve the physique of a bodybuilder or Olympic weightlifter requires an incredible amount of commitment and years of regimented exercise and nutrition.” –Shape

You won’t wake up one morning wondering why you have the body of the incredible hulk. 

After finally putting my misconceptions aside, I started incorporating heavier weights into my workouts. The change was almost immediate. I traded the runs I hated for lifting, hikes, and small cardio bursts and watched my body transform. 

Believing carbs were my “enemy.”

The majority of diets tell the same story. You can eat most food groups, but carbs are the energy that will wreck your diet, waistline, and life. 

For years I bought into this, believing that carbs instantly stuck unto my body, causing me to gain weight. Forget that I had almost no energy and was living on caffeine to survive; there was no way I would dance with the devil.

There is a difference between the health/nutrients that simple vs. complex carbs provide, but the jury is out that carbs are a HUGE part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle. 

Now I always incorporate carbs into my diet, and I am the leanest I have ever been and have the most energy. 

Viewing workouts as an atonement for my sins 

When I was around sixteen, my dad always had a bowl with Hershey’s kisses.

That damn bowl would taunt me when I walked by, the silver wrapper glistening, promising a sweet relief from my troubles. All too often, I would give in, and the moment I did, I regret-filled my body, and I realized that I had to be punished.

Eating one of those Hershey’s kisses would result in a workout punishment that would last for minutes, even hours. 

The chocolate wasn’t my enemy; my mindset was. Making it a “bad” food caused me to want it even more. 

Ignoring how alcohol affected my progress.

Partying was a massive part of my life throughout college and my early twenties. 

Happy hours, concerts, weekends, wine nights, taco Tuesdays, the drinks flowed, and the excuses to partake were endless. Although I worked out daily, it didn’t matter because any progress was lost on the weekends. 

Alcohol can cause weight gain in various ways, but I focused on the fact that it was empty calories. Instead of me focusing on getting the nutrients that I needed, I was trying to fit alcohol into my life, and it was affecting me in more ways than I wanted to admit.

It wasn’t easy initially, but I took a few months off drinking entirely, which changed my relationship with alcohol. Now, I indulge in a drink occasionally, but only in moderation, and I am mindful of what I drink. 

Focusing on how my body looked instead of how I felt.

How we look is not a primary indicator of our health and what is happening inside our bodies. 

At seventeen, I was the skinniest I had ever been. On the outside, I looked great and got compliments left and right.

What the people around me didn’t know was that I was starving myself, eating 800 calories a day, working out incessantly, living in terror of certain food groups, going to bed every night exhausted and starving, and even isolating myself to avoid social situations where food would be present. 

There is no comparison to how I feel today, as a strong and healthy person who doesn’t stare in the mirror or critique my body regularly.

Do I have moments of insecurity? Of course, everyone does, but now I can reshape my mindset so that the roars of self-hatred are left in the dust of my past. 

And so can you. 

Carrie Wynn



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