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Katherine Moon
Katherine Isabella Moon
Meow, hello there, my name is Katherine, but you can call me Kat; because I basically am a cat. Anyways, I am a 26-year-old, lifestyle blogger, with an INFP-T personality type, from the United States. I love fashion, the color pink, cats, dogs, and spending all my time on my computer. I'm often seen wearing cat ears headbands.
The Kat Life
The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

Saturday, September 19, 2020

8 Things To Know When Starting A Fitness Journey

Woman in athleisure preparing for a workout
Photo courtesy of Anastasiya Pavlova on Unsplash
Embarking upon a fitness journey can be rather exciting. With that said, there are a few things you should know as you begin your journey.

Embarking upon a new fitness journey can undoubtedly be exciting, but at the same time, if it can also be a bit daunting, especially if your fitness journey is a rather drastic lifestyle change from what you're used to. I can also tell you from my own personal experiences that when you start a fitness journey, it can be rather frustrating at times; and sometimes a bit confusing. Although I knew going into my fitness journey that it wasn't aways going to be easy, especially not in the beginning, there were quite a few things that I didn't really anticipate as I progressed in my fitness journey. There were also quite a few things that, although I had heard them before, I didn't really grasp them until after I had progressed into my fitness journey, or until after I had temporarily fallen off the workout wagon. Let me be honest for a second, I've actually learned quite a lot about embarking on a fitness journey through the many times that I've "rage quit" on my own fitness journey out of frustration or when my motivation was lacking. Although for me, frustration and a lack of motivation tend to go hand in hand. I tend to lose my enthusiasm for my fitness journey when I get frustrated with myself or with the journey itself. Then I get frustrated when my motivation is lacking. Then I would end up skipping my workout because I'm frustrated and unmotivated, and I just don't want to keep going, even though I feel guilty about stopping.

All of that being said, I am not telling you this to discourage you from embarking upon or continuing your own fitness journey; as a matter of fact, it's quite the opposite. My whole reason for telling you these things is so that you know that it's normal to get frustrated and lose some of your motivation when you're on your fitness journey. It's not only normal if you end up falling off the wagon, but it's okay; it actually happens to everyone. I am telling you these things because I don't see a lot of fitness or motivational blogs talking about these things enough. I'm telling you these things so that you'll be ready for them when they arise, and they won't discourage you or catch you by complete surprise. I am also telling you some of these things so you don't end up standing in your own way and hindering your own progress on your fitness journey due to any misconceptions or beliefs you may have about living an active lifestyle. Because let me tell you, I have quite a few misconceptions about this lifestyle when I first started. There were also a few things that I had just wished someone told me when I was getting started on my journey.

Things To Know When Starting A Fitness Journey

No, you do not need a gym or any special equipment!

Home workout equipment
Photo courtesy of cottonbro on Pexels

As someone who has gone about the entirety of my fitness journey working out from home, I can tell you from personal experience that you do not need to go to the gym to be successful in your fitness journey. Seriously, if the one thing that's holding you back from starting your fitness journey is the fact that you don't have access to a gym or you simply don't feel comfortable going to the gym, for one reason or another, know that you don't have to go to the gym, at all. You can actually have an incredible workout journey even if you workout exclusively on your own from home. You also don't need to own a single piece of workout equipment to have a phenomenal sweat session at home; you don't even necessarily need a yoga mat. Heck, you don't even necessarily need to own any workout clothes per se. As long as you have clothing that is light, comfortable, and allows you to have a full range of motion, you can absolutely make do with what you already have. Seriously, if you want to start your fitness journey, but you don't have access to a gym or don't have the money to spend on a gym membership, personal trainer, workout plan, equipment, or anything of that sort, you can still do it. And not only that, but you can absolutely be successful on your fitness journey without any of these things.

There are thousands upon thousands of workout videos available for free on YouTube that can be done at home, using no equipment at all. Some trainers even offer monthly workout plans that you can access 100% free of charge if you would like a calendar to follow. I personally highly recommend Blogilates' and Yoga With Adriene's free monthly calendars; they both release a brand new calendar every single month, and no two months are exactly the same on either calendar. That way, it won't be overly repetitive, and you won't get sick of doing the same exact routines every day. The vast majority of their workouts are also equipment-free, and in the rare case that they do use any equipment, they offer suggestions for how you can substitute the equipment used. Seriously though, just because you can't get to the gym, and you don't have any workout equipment, it doesn't mean that you can't still be 100% successful on your fitness journey. You can achieve your fitness goals right from home, making do with what you have, as I have always done...

If you exercise at home, your household (especially pets) may react to your workout...

Observant pet
Photo courtesy of Taylor Deas-Melesh on Unsplash

Just as a fair warning, if you opt to have your sweat sessions at home, be ready for your household to potentially react to your workouts, especially your pets if you have any. Although I must say that the reactions that your pets may have to your at-home workout can be rather funny and/or cute. When I was first beginning my fitness journey, there were quite a few times that my dog would give me that "what are you doing" look, or come right over to me and try to investigate what I was doing. And the first time I did a cardio workout, he thought I was trying to play when I was hopping around, and he decided to join in. Admittedly, I found that one a lot funnier after I had gotten back up off the floor. You may also find that if your workout is a bit on the noisy side, your pets may react to that as well. There are a lot of cute and funny things that your pets might do in reaction to your sweat session, including just laying right on your mat (or on you) demanding attention. Honestly, the way your pets react to your workout can be quite cute or entertaining and can be a nice distraction from "feeling the burn" as you're working out. However, I will say that if you're going to allow your pets to roam in the same room while you're working out, just be mindful of where they're at. You don't want to accidentally kick them or bump into them while you're working out.

As for the human members of your household, the reactions that they have to your sweat sessions, or your fitness journey as a whole, may not be as funny or cute; although I will say that this depends on the people in your household. In a lot of cases, you may find that your family is supportive of your fitness journey, and they'll even encourage you to keep going. However, I know that this isn't the case for everyone. As the only person in my household who has chosen to live a more healthy and active lifestyle, I personally receive some rather snide remarks about my fitness journey from my family. Honestly, I tend to get similar comments from my family about a lot of things, as I'm sort of the "black sheep" of my family, and I believe that all of these comments all stem from a similar place; a lack of understanding of something. And let's be honest, there are a lot of people who may not fully understand why someone may choose to go on a long-term fitness journey, especially if their fitness journey is about something more than just a physical goal. That being said, even if your family doesn't react to your fitness journey in the most positive way, and they make comments that are less-than-encouraging, don't let that discourage you. Keep working towards your goals, and keep living the healthy lifestyle that you want to live.

Peaceful yogi
Photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

Remember to always be mindful and respectful of others...

Just as a friendly reminder, I would like when you're going on a fitness journey, it's essential to practice mindfulness and to be respectful of other people. If you're working out at the gym, always remember to respect the space of others who are working out, be mindful of how much time you spend with each machine if others are waiting, and for goodness sake, wipe down the equipment that you use after you're done. If you're working out at home, and others will be home, or if you live in an apartment, be mindful of how much noise you're making, and be sensible about the time that you choose to have your sweat session. Your household and/or others in your building might not be too thrilled if you opt to do a HIIT routine at 1:00 AM when they are trying to sleep. Personally, I feel that it wouldn't be a bad idea to make your household and/or neighbors aware of your workout plans beforehand; that way, they won't be taken by surprise at the additional noise. But even then, it is never a terrible idea to be mindful of your noise level and to avoid being unnecessarily or excessively noisy if you're in any sort of a shared space. 

Your fitness journey shouldn't become a nuisance to those around you, and you don't want to upset your household or neighbors with excessive noise. I can honestly go on and on about fitness etiquette, but most of it comes back to basic manners and common sense. So just try your best to be mindful and respectful, as this is the best way to avoid getting unfavorable reactions when you're working out.

You're likely going to have some muscle aches, especially at first.

Woman holding her sore neck
Photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

If you are going to be moving your body in ways that it isn't used to moving, you are going to feel it, especially in the beginning. If you are doing any sort of intense exercise, you are more than likely going to have some muscle aches afterward. Even if you've been on you're fitness journey for years, you will still get muscle aches after an intense workout, and this is not a bad thing; this actually means that change is happening in your body and that you're getting stronger. Seriously, do not panic if you wake up with sore muscles the day after an intense workout, as it means that what you're doing is working. Of course, if you are at all worried about your achy muscles being a sign of a possible injury, you should certainly take it easy; and if your pain is unbearable, you shouldn't hesitate to talk to a doctor about it. However, I will say that generally speaking, you will intuitively know the difference between a "good" ache and a "bad" ache, especially as you progress into your fitness journey. You know your body the best, so use your own judgment when it comes to determining whether your aches are "good" aches or if you need to take it easy and/or see a doctor.

Anyway, I also must say that, as crazy as it sounds, you'll actually learn to love having sore muscles from time to time, as it's a sign that you are challenging yourself and that you're building up your strength. Seriously, I actually get an odd sense of satisfaction when I can feel my abs throughout the day, or when my thighs shake as I'm sitting down, and I know I'm not the only one.

You might not like the first workout plan that you choose to follow, and you may need to switch it up.

Preparing for a workout on the beach
Photo courtesy of Nathan Cowley on Pexels

There are a lot of different ways that you can choose to get your sweat on, and there are a ton of workout plans out there that you can choose to follow. Even as someone who once despised the very idea of working out, I sincerely believe that there is something out there for everyone who wants to be active; you just have to look around and experiment a bit to figure out what you like. With that said, you might find that you may not enjoy a particular workout plan as much as you thought you would. There have been quite a few times where I've tried out a new workout, either because it was trendy or because it looked like fun, and it ended up not being for me, even if everyone else seemed to be swearing by it. Seriously, if you aren't enjoying your current workout plan, and you absolutely dread doing it every day, don't feel bad about dropping it and trying something else. Your workout should be something that primarily brings you joy and that you enjoy doing; it shouldn't be something that you hate every single second of. You are in no way obligated to stick to a specific workout plan if you're really not enjoying it; you are 100% allowed to switch it up and find something that you like better. Heck, even if you love your original workout plan, you're allowed to divert from it from time to time if you want to try something new. As a matter of fact, I actually believe that it's necessary to try new things in fitness from time to time

But seriously, committing to an active lifestyle is not making a commitment to a specific workout plan.  You don't have to stick to the first workout plan you try. You don't even have to religiously adhere to a workout plan that you are absolutely loving if you find a new workout that catches your eye, and you'd like to try it out. Personally, I feel that it's necessary to switch things up from time to time when you're on your fitness journey, as it keeps things interesting. Honestly, as much as I love Pop Pilates and yoga, I know that I would get bored rather quickly if I didn't allow myself to switch things up from time to time. Sometimes I am intrigued by a dance routine that I find on YouTube, and I want to give it a try instead of doing the workout that I originally had planned for the day. Then, some days, I find that going for a run sounds like a great way to get my sweat on for the day, instead of doing yoga in my room. Sometimes, I'll find a new trainer on YouTube, and I'll want to try out a few of their videos. My point is, as long as you're not giving up on your fitness journey, it's okay if you choose to drastically switch it up. Especially if switching it up is what is actually going to help you keep going, as I know from experience that it's hard to stick to something if you're not enjoying it, or if you're getting bored of it.

Some things will come very easy to you; other things, you may struggle with...

Doing a yoga balancing posture
Photo courtesy of Elly Fairytale on Pexels

When I embarked upon my fitness journey, I found that there were quite a few workout moves that came relatively easy to me; some of them came almost naturally to me, even in the beginning. When I started my fitness journey, I discovered rather quickly that it isn't too difficult for me to do the advanced modifications of many ab and leg moves. I'm also pretty good at balancing in stillness when I'm practicing yoga, which was something I was actually a bit surprised that I took up so quickly. We all surprise ourselves sometimes, right? Now, this isn't to say that these things aren't a challenge for me. Honestly, I want them to be a challenge because otherwise, it would defeat the purpose of doing them; you don't grow when you're comfortable, especially not in fitness. But as I was saying, although these things may be challenging for me, I can usually do them without any serious difficulties. However, before I start to sound braggy about the workout moves that I picked up right away, or almost right away, there are quite a few things that I still struggle with to this very day. I almost always find myself struggling to get through workouts that focus heavily on the upper body, and I still have to do the "beginner" variations of a lot of upper body moves. Heck, I actually struggle with a lot of the beginner variations of many upper body moves. Even after multiple years, I have yet to do so much as a single knee push-up.

With all of that said, if you find that something is more difficult for you than it is for others, don't be so hard on yourself about it. Even if you've been working at it for years, and you're still struggling with it, you shouldn't beat yourself up over it. Everyone's fitness journey is different, and we all progress at different paces. Also, keep in mind that there may be a few things that practically came naturally to you that others may struggle with. I know for a fact that there are a lot of people who don't particularly enjoy ab day or leg day, or who have difficulty staying in a balancing posture for any length of time. And some of those same people may be able to do 100 full push-ups in a row without even thinking about it. Honestly, instead of focusing on your weaknesses and beating yourself up over them, perhaps you should focus on your strengths instead. Seriously, think about what your body can do, not just what it can't do yet. Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't work on your weaknesses, even though I'm highly guilty of skipping arm day, but if these things upset you or bring you frustration, they don't need to be your primary focus.

Some days you'll feel strong and unstoppable; other days, you'll struggle.

Laying on the floor after a workout
Photo courtesy of Anastasiya Pavlova on Unsplash

One thing that you may find as you progress through your fitness journey is that some days, you'll feel absolutely unstoppable. You will have days where you will feel as if you can conquer just about anything that your workout throws at you, even moves you usually tend to struggle a little bit with. I sometimes have days where I can do the more advanced modifications of upper body exercises, and I'll feel as if I can hold a plank forever, despite my upper body not being my strong suit. On days like these, time will fly right by as I'm doing my workout, sometimes time will fly by so fast that I'll want to add a little something extra because I'll feel like I can do way more. I'll feel so strong that I feel practically like a superhero. But then, some days, I'll struggle to complete a workout that I would usually have absolutely no problem completing with no breaks; and it will feel as if a 15-minute workout video is dragging on for hours. Sometimes on these days, I'm tempted to throw in the towel, shut off the video, and call it quits for the day; but I won't just because I had already rolled out my mat, and I'll feel as if I might as well finish what I had started. Seriously, sometimes "finish what you started" is the only thing that keeps me going, or should I say, somewhat going. At that point, I'm usually only going through the motions, whining and swearing the whole time. And sometimes I'm on the floor just watching the video.

At first, I found this phenomenon to be rather strange, as I thought that I was supposed to be getting stronger every day. Why was it that I was at the very top of my game one day, but then the next day, I could barely muster up the strength to even get through the warm-up? I did not understand it. I understood that progress wasn't going to be linear, and that ups and downs are an inevitable part of embarking upon a fitness journey. I even knew that there were going to be good workout days and bad workout days. However, I did not anticipate such massive fluctuations in my physical strength from one day to another. I did not foresee smashing all of my personal records one day, only to struggle with the warm-up the next day, and I mean literally the next day. It seemed odd to me that I can be beating my personal best one day, then somehow feel as if I'm at square one the next day, or even pre-square one. Was I doing something wrong? Was it all in my head that I suddenly became weaker? But then it occurred to me that this is something that happens to everyone, and not only that, but there are actually a lot of factors that can lead to a crappy workout...

Why you might have had a crappy workout

Some days, you really won't want to work out...

Avoiding a workout
Photo courtesy of Anna Shvets on Pexels

No matter how motivated you are on your fitness journey, there are going to be days where you really, really, do not want to work out for one reason or another. There are going to be days where anything and everything is going to be more appealing than having a sweat session. As much as I know how good it is for me to be active and get my sweat session in for the day, and how good exercise makes me feel, there are some days where I have to force myself to stop scrolling on TikTok, get out of bed, and start my workout. Admittedly, there are also some days where I'm so unmotivated that I do end up skipping my workout entirely. And although I can't say that I don't feel guilty when I ditch my sweat session for the day, I know that everyone does it every now and then, even those who seem to be super motivated all the time. Remember, most people only share the highlights of their life, both on social media and in real life; they aren't going to share much about the days where they weren't on top of their game. But seriously, no matter how motivating your reason is for going on your fitness journey, you can not expect to be super motivated to get your sweat on every day, and some days you'll be tempted to skip your workout. Some days, you probably will end up omitting your sweat session from your day; and that's absolutely okay, just as long as it doesn't become a long-term habit.

Honestly, there are cases where I believe that it's not only acceptable but absolutely necessary to omit your workout from your day. Seriously, if you aren't feeling very well, it's okay to give yourself a rest day, or even a rest week. If you are legitimately having a busy day, it's okay if you want to shorten or omit your workout to save some time. I will let you be the judge of whether or not it's acceptable for you to skip your sweat session on any given day, no matter what your reason may be. However, I will say that more often than not, when I skip my workout, it's out of laziness or because I want to do some other activity that can be put off for an hour or so while I do my workout. So in other words, some days I just need a little extra motivation...

Remember, everyone's fitness journey is different!

Working out with a friend
Photo courtesy of Elly Fairytale on Pexels

As you embark upon your fitness journey, it's essential to remember that everyone's fitness journey is different. We all have our own unique reasons for embarking on our personal fitness journeys, and we also all have our own goals. Obviously, a lot of people start their fitness journey to lose weight, while others may be looking to gain weight or build some muscle, whereas others may be looking to maintain where they are currently at. For some people, the journey may be entirely about building up their strength or endurance. Then, for some people, their fitness journey may not have anything to do with a physical goal, but it may be something that they are doing as a way to manage stress, anxiety, or depression. Or perhaps, they are working out to boost their energy level or to build their confidence. Or maybe they just find working out to be fun. Honestly, there are a ton of reasons that someone may decide to embark upon their fitness journey, and it's always important to honor and respect other people's reasons for embarking on their fitness journey, as well as their goals. Also, remember that different things work for different people, so not everyone is going to have the same exact method of reaching their goals, and what works for someone else may not work for you, and vice versa, which is absolutely okay.

Another thing that is absolutely essential to keep in mind is that we all have unique bodies and that we all have our own strengths, and we all start off our fitness journey from different places. Some people may find that they are naturally athletic from day one, while some people may find that they need to build up their strength little by little over time. The same applies to flexibility; some people may be able to reach their toes while doing a forward fold on their first day of practicing yoga, while it may take others a few months of practice to be able to even come close to touching their toes. Seriously, we all start off at a different place when we embark upon our fitness journey, and we also all progress at different paces. Some people may find that they can achieve their fitness goals within a matter of weeks, whereas others may be working toward a milestone goal for months. You may also find that throughout your own fitness journey, some of your own milestones are more challenging to reach than others, and that's absolutely okay. Seriously though, as long as you aren't giving up on your goals, and you are going about your fitness journey in a healthy way, the pace that you progress at doesn't matter. And honestly, with all of that said, it wouldn't be fair to compare your fitness journey to anyone else's, as every single person's journey is going to look at least a little bit different.

When you choose to embark upon your own fitness journey, you will find that it's full of ups and downs. There are going to be days where you are excited to start your workout, and you end up absolutely crushing it and beating your personal records. However, on the flip side to that, there are going to be days where the last thing you want to do is work out, and it'll take a lot of motivation to get you onto the mat. Let's be real, some days, you probably won't make it to the mat; either because you're legitimately busy, you're not feeling well, or you can't seem to stop watching a show you found on Netflix. Then, some days, you might make it to the mat, but you'll end up having a bad workout for one reason or another. You will experience a lot of ups and downs all throughout your fitness journey, whether you're just starting out or if you've been on your fitness journey for years. You may also come across quite a few things that you weren't expecting, in both a positive and a negative way. Perhaps, you may discover that you are naturally flexible as you start a yoga or stretching journey; but you may also find that you struggle with upper body workouts. I still have yet to do a push-up myself. 

All of that being said, while there were undoubtedly be some obstacles along the way, don't let them discourage you. If this is something that you really want, don't let anyone or anything stop you. Remember, it's okay to move at your own pace and to adapt things in a way that works for you. Just don't give up!

Thank you for reading, and I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!
If you liked this post, I'd really appreciate it if you'd help this blog grow and hit the follow button! :)


  1. Kat :D They're doing a writing contest at Fashion Potluck right now. Where if you get the most reads of the day, you'll get a $20 price and I think their grand price is $120 - the rough conversion from Euros to USD. The contest lasts until Oct 10 :D

    I'm sure you'll win their price! x

    I think these are very good trips for those who are scared to give fitness a try. Or people that started but have given up too soon!

    Your pins are on-point as always :) x

    Mari |

  2. *tips!

    Sorry, I mispelled that one.


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