Image-16I’m 21 years old. I was born in Spokane, Washington but moved to Kirkland, WA with my parents about two years later. I grew up in the Seattle area and moved to Hope, ID when I was 10. It was quite the change moving from a large city to a small little town. Eventually I moved to CdA ID and went to school there from 6th-12th grade as well as my first year of college (at NIC).

I enjoy fitness because of the ability to change my body physically as far as strength and shape. I also love how much stronger my mental health has become since beginning a fitness lifestyle. And obviously I like the health benefits that come with working out. Overall though I would say the mental health aspect is my favorite considering I was very depressed and had a poor mental health for all of high school and a couple years of college.

I’ve been active in sports all of my life, but it wasn’t until March of 2017 that I really decided to get serious in the gym and begin weight training (which is the type of training that has shown me the most change in my body).

I got into fitness from a friend who talked me into getting a gym membership about two years ago and I slowly built up my confidence in the gym and eventually decided to try my hand at lifting.

My turning point happened around March and April of 2017 when my mental health was very poor, and I had no confidence with myself or any purpose really. I felt lost and useless and it definitely showed on the outside. I was in horrible shape health wise since I was abusing different drugs and alcohol constantly to make me feel better. Not only was I unhealthy but I was the skinniest I had ever been and did not like the way my body looked. I felt sorry for myself for months and months and finally I decided to do something about it and began working harder in the gym.

Fitness has impacted my life in such a positive way! My mental health has improved immensely in just over a year of really putting in work. Not only that, but my self-confidence/self-love has skyrocketed because I feel strong and healthy in my body. I take care of myself and actually feel a purpose for my life which keeps me motivated to continue to better myself every day. Fitness has become a passion of mine when I never thought I was good at anything and never had a passion for anything in my life before. It has filled a void I used to have in myself and now it is so full it overflows with love and positivity. I can 100% say I love my life now when before I would have suicidal thoughts daily. I can’t thank myself enough for making the decision to push myself to grow and become better even when I felt like I couldn’t change anything.

For someone just beginning their fitness journey, I encourage you to do the research and learn as much as you can about exercises to do in the gym and what is going to be best for your goals. Learn as much as you can on your own and don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help because that’s when you’ll learn the most. Find a workout buddy who is more knowledgeable, even if you have to pay a personal trainer then do it! Because nothing is more valuable than education especially when it involves your own health and well-being. Your health is a necessity not a luxury so do what you can now to better yourself rather than waiting until it’s too late!

Instagram: @rhines.tone

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