Saturday, April 21, 2012

Paying it Forward

finally caught up to commenting on all the bloggers who linked up to the Summer Challenge. I felt kind of strange talking about Week 4 when we're pretty much done with it, but still, I wanted to show my support. I tried to comment on other blog posts as well, not just the Summer Challenge update, but couldn't do that for everyone. I hope that I can get around to the posts sooner next week.

This week's mini-challenge was about paying it forward

I'm not sure how I do this actively at the moment, but I have started looking into getting a certification in nutrition and fitness and maybe one day work up to be a trainer of some sort. It's been a dream of mine for quite a while though I've never vocalized it before. I guess I'm just afraid of putting it out there in case I don't succeed. However, I really, really want to be able to pay forward the things that I have learned by being more involved in health and fitness. So I guess this is the way I can pay it forward in the future. 

As for right now, I think the best I can do is continue to comment on blogs and communicate with others who are struggling to lose weight. For me, having a supportive community - whether real or virtual - has been incredibly important. I know that I don't want to let myself down, but I also know that I don't want to disappoint anybody else who may be rooting for me or at the very least watching my progress. 

Aside from the blogs, I also try to be friendly and approachable at the gym. I think this is important because I know how intimidating the gym can be. You walk in and see already super-fit people running on the treadmill and lifting lots of weight; you see them doing the classes with lots of gusto and energy; you see the trainers having a good relationship with these people and wonder - where do I belong? How will I ever get there? 

I think by being an overweight person who enthusiastically hits the gym and is not afraid to sweat, to try, to stumble and pick myself up can hopefully take the fear and intimidation out for some people. When I'm in the classes, I try to put my all into it, and people have commented/noticed. I've had several people, especially new Zumba-goers, come up to me and compliment me on how well I do in the class and they have said 'I could never do that' or 'I don't think my body can move like that' - to which I can say. Yes it can. It will. You just have to try. If you don't try or if you don't keep coming and practicing, you're right, it won't. Stick to it, and there will be a change. Even if you don't do the exact moves, at the very least, shake your ass :) 

There have also been a few times when I've stopped doing whatever I was doing in a class to help someone else with an exercise. This is a tricky one. I know nobody wants to be told what to do and nobody wants to feel like they are being criticized/watched. At the same time, I know that when there were exercises that I struggled with, I would have loved it if someone would have come up to me and given me a suggestion or some advice. I try to frame it like: I used to have a lot of trouble with that exercise, but then I tried it this way, and it slowly got easier. Usually I've gotten a good response, but at the same time, I don't want to step on anybody's toes. The fact that they're at the gym at all is a huge achievement. 

So that's my contribution to paying it forward in terms of health and fitness. I hope that I can continue to do so in a more significant way as my own health and fitness improves.


  1. What a great way to pay it forward! The gym was scary until I went. Classes were scary until I went. They got so much easier when there were people I looked forward to seeing there. :)

    I'm still struggling on what to write with the pay it forward thing.

  2. Your commenting on my blog posts means the world to me. I appreciate it so much. Thanks for your support! That is a great pay-it-forward.

    Like Nanette, I have no clue what to write.

  3. Great post. I appreciate your comments on my blog. Thank you. :)

  4. I so appreciate the comments you leave on my blog! And I think it's so cool you're considering certification in nutrition/fitness! It's one of the things that I would totally throw myself into if I didn't choose my current loan heavy career :)

  5. Great idea for the certification in something you love to do. And thanks for the comments to me. I always appreciate them!

  6. You make the world a better place. :D

    People should ask for help. The very reason why I've gotten so far is that people have helped me. They've corrected my form. They've offered great ideas, and sound perspective. Most of all, I *belong* at my gym. As you describe yourself, I also try to be a fun and friendly part of my gym. Why not! :D

    :-) Marion

  7. From all you say here, and all you've said in the past to me (or where I've seen your posts to others), you seem to have a calling and a talent for encouraging, informing and motivating people who are working on their fitness level. I know some gym-employees and a PT who seem to be in their positions in order to celebrate and flaunt their own fitness level, and that shows. It's might be helpful to some regardless, but it's obviously not their calling or gift. Your thoughts about it suggest you'll be great at it, and an answer to prayers for quite a few people. Gyms ARE intimidating!! They need more people like you.

    I really hope you make this goal a reality eventually!

  8. I think those are great ways of paying it forward. I know I appreciate it when I try new things and more seasoned people help me make sure I do it right. :)

    I love the idea of you becoming certified, I think you'd be an awesome coach/trainer!

  9. I wish you could come with me to my first official gym experience on Monday! I agree with the others, I always appreciate the comments you`ve left on my blog! :D

  10. I know I really appreciate your support on my blog, it means a lot to me - and I am sure it does to everyone else too!

    Being friendly and welcoming at the gym is a great way, I know first hand how terrifying that place can be when you're new!


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I can use all the support I can get :)