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Hi! I am Shreya Pattar

My Gym Progress Pictures

published4 months ago
3 min read

Hey Reader,

It's me, Shreya.

If you follow me on Instagram, you must have seen my regular Stories about my workouts.

The intention with these is not to give a "life update"
Rather it is to show what routine and consistency look like.

In fact, I go to the gym more often than my Stories show. There are many days when I don't share an update.

All I hope for is that when I do share these updates, one person may get inspired to challenge their physical self and hit the gym.

I am happy to say that this is happening now more than ever:

Every single day for the past couple of weeks, a new young girl has been messaging me saying she started working out after seeing my stories and is inspired by my consistency. It's good to see my mission accomplished in such good ways :)

At the same time though, I get a fairly large influx of the following two kinds of messages:

  1. "Do you go to the gym to take a selfie or to work out?" (As if spending 10 seconds to take a picture AFTER your 90-minute workout is going to affect your training)
  2. "You look so skinny, what are you even flexing?" (This is during those rare days when I'm flexing a decent pump after a workout I am proud of.)

I am just sharing with you the reality of my DMs - Neither of these messages affect me now.

First, because I have grown up hearing how likely I was to get blown away by the slightest wind (happy to say that I have stood strong and grounded while facing 75km/hr winds during my 3 years in Dublin), and apparently how my parents didn't feed me enough food.

Second, because I know how much progress I've made since I started working out.

So here are my "progress" pictures: 2020 vs 2022 (ft. super inconsistent workouts until last month)

Solely looking at the second picture, there's not much to "show off."

But put the two pictures together and my effort looks decent in comparison, huh?

The first image is from 2020 and even that isn't from ground zero.

At that time also, I was roughly 3 months into consistent work out. But without enough protein and food intake, and a terrible, terrible sleep schedule, there was no physical growth.

After that my workouts became super inconsistent. "Life" happened: The pandemic shut the gym down for over half a year; then I moved countries twice, I was unwell, I got busy... overall, the gym wasn't even on the list of my top 10 priorities for the day.

The second picture is from last week.

This is after 45 days of consistent workout, AND consuming over 80g of protein a day without fail.

Although overall I still look like the same skinny me with giraffe legs - and I've made my peace with the fact that I'll look this way for YEARS because muscle gain is a looooong-term game - I have never felt better than I do now.

My form is better now and I am lifting heavy with confidence. I'm going through 3 sets of reverse lunges without shedding a single tear (yes, I used to cry when doing that exercise.) I did my first chin-up! I'm challenging each set to failure. I am not rushing my sets and am patient with the 3-4 minute rest periods between sets. My nails are stronger and a glowing pink; my hair's growing really fast. I'm sleeping better, and above all, I have stopped looking at the scale everyday as an attempt to measure the success of my workout.

If nothing else, even my posture and physical self-confidence in both pictures are different.

So, why am I sharing this with you today?

To tell you that your progress is relative to YOUR past self; not with the definition of others.

It doesn't matter that my flex is basic or that my biceps are 1/10th of what would make it worth flexing,

And that's because when I see my pictures from 2 years ago, all I can think is, "Damn, I'm a whole new person now."

So stop comparing your progress with that of others, or what you think others find acceptable.

The only person you should be comparing your success with is yourself from a month ago; 3 months ago; a couple of years ago.

Yes, it's good to look up to others, be inspired by them, and to want to be like them. But that doesn't mean your progress is meaningless until you get close to being like them.

I gave you an anecdote related to my workout - the same thing applies to freelancing, revenue generated, content creation... everything.

As long as you are putting in the work everyday and seeing improvement, you are doing good.

The improvement may be small to others - But for you, it IS growth compared to where you were a couple of weeks or months ago. And that's all that matters.

Work towards a richer, smarter and healthier you every day.

Celebrate your progress.

You're doing good :)

Love,
Shreya

P.S. If you liked this email, please hit 'reply' and share your thoughts/ progress stories. I love reading your emails (and yes, I read all emails, even if I'm not able to respond to yours every time.)