Ahhhhhhhh! Woooooooooo! That's what it feels like after you finish the best workout ever. You guys know that feeling right? True resilience. Every person I know, whether man or woman, who is in the gym or working out at home has an inner confidence within them that shines through everything they do. They feel empowered, unstoppable, and ready to conquer the world. It's amazing what lifting a few weights can do.
Confidence is gained by loving yourself inside and out. The more you cater to your body, the more you will feel amazing and empowered.
Our inspirational fitness guru Shoya Clough shared her personal journey with gaining confidence through working out, and how she learned to love her body as it began to grow and blossom.
I’ve always been a confident person. My single mom instilled in me the importance of self-love ever since as long as I can remember, and it created a thick skin of confidence. However, after I started working out I could see the changes occurring with my body and it was satisfying.
My body was developing in a way that I never knew it could. I never knew that I could fall in love with myself—in the most non-egotistical kind of way. In everything we do as people, we strive to see the results. Whether it’s school, work, or in this case, working out, the positive results are gratifying. I started looking at myself naked, a lot. Something I seldom ever did before.
I started paying attention to every curve and newly developed muscle on my body. I was proud of my hard work. People who knew me began pointing out my improved body and it enhanced my confidence. It’s not that I relied on their opinions of myself to feel good; instead it confirmed to me that I’m doing something right.
The feeling was reminiscent of being in high school and making the honor roll. There my name stood printed clearly on the honor roll list in our school’s hallway for the world to see. It brought me pride and confidence, non different than what I feel in my toned body. It’s not a matter of superficial beauty. Rather, it’s the fulfillment of seeing how magical the human body is.
Biologically, working out creates a feeling of euphoria. It decreases stress and the physical results add to the positive feel-good emotions. Medical professions typically mention exercise as an ideal way to advance one’s health, so why not be healthy and look good? Working out allowed me to experience my body from an alternate perspective. I began to see myself as being both mentally and physically strong.
It’s hard to push your body to do things a part of you is too lazy to have it do. But you begin to win over your mind and it makes you feel stronger. The muscles are just the external reward of your determination. Working out makes you confident because you know you’ve earned your amazing body by sweating, maybe throwing up after a too-intense workout, overcoming lazy days and leg/squat days, dieting, and all that made you into the amazing lean machine that you are.
We are given this one beautiful body that many of us neglect or abuse. I realize that making a lifestyle change to start and consistently workout doesn’t just affect me, but I inspire other women and men to give it a try. To me that’s amazing. I can’t believe that something I decided to do for myself would have any impact on anyone else. I’m more confident twenty-five pounds heavier than I was when I first started.
Follow Shoya's fitness journey on her Instagram page @rudegyalskc