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‘Don’t Earn Your Food in the Gym’ and Six Other Lessons I Wish I’d Learned Sooner

I heard this saying recently: “Don’t Earn Your Food in the Gym.” It’s haunted my ears since. So many of us think this way, like we’re eight years old again and if we do our work, then we get a cupcake.

The concept of food as a treat is baked into our society. I’m not immune to this concept and, before I learned to love lifting iron for the sake of how it made me feel (versus the way it made me look), I was much more of an outcome-motivated gal. I was in that gym thinking that an extra set of this or more time doing that allowed me to eat more. I was earning my food in the gym.

But those days are gone now. Why? Because I do what I love and I let those old proverbial chips fall where they may. I’m deadlifting and squatting (and doing all sorts of other things) because I love how strong and powerful these movements makes me feel. The fact that those deadlifts work my glutes and make my butt look firmer? Icing on that cake that I’m not eating. (I’m not a big cake fan. Go figure. Chocolate chip cookies, however, have taken my virtue many times.)

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