Degree Unapologetically Strong Campaign

Recently, you all may have noticed a shift in paradigms, both on my twitter account, and here on this blog. I’ve been bitten (hard) by the fitness blog, and this newfound love and addiction has manifested itself into a decidedly more fitness-minded tone on this blog here, as well a brand new fitness blog. I’ve always divided my attention between my many interests, but what I hope to accomplish here in the coming months is the honing in on the beauty of life, New York City, and of course, of fitness. Think of it as the pursuit of both inner and outer beauty, folks. Anywho, this post’s purpose is twofold- the first, being to introduce Degree Deodorant’s Unapologetically Strong Campaign, and the second, to tell my own story of unapologetic strength.

First, a note on Degree Women’s Unapologetically Strong Campaign:

“Whether it’s beating your own personal record, striving to run faster, workout longer, or go above  and beyond your regular routine, Degree Women® will be there to provide inspiration along the way.”

Today, September 12th, Degree has launched a contest that is being hosted on the Degree Women® Facebook page, inviting women like you to share their own unique and inspiring Unapologetically Strong stories and goals.

By sharing your stories of personal challenges, you will be entered for a chance to win giveaways from Degree Women® to help on your Unapologetically Strong journey. One winner (hey, it could happen to you!) will also have the opportunity to win the grand prize of $5,000 to spend on achieving your goal.

To make it easy on you all, I’ll go first! Here is my own Unapologetically Strong Story.

I’ll start by painting a picture, of a girl who never felt at ease with her own body. Back in the day, I was a competitive dancer (pointe, tap, jazz, ballet, etc), living in a world where fitted leotards were my required uniform, and my size determined my success. I became obsessed with being small, thin, and dainty. Despite being active, on any given day I was on some form of diet, ranging from portion control, to weight watchers, to straight starvation. This cycle (dance/fitness and diet) lasted through my teens, up until the point when I graduated from college. Then I moved back home, started a career in finance and a blogging hobby, and fell far and hard off the healthy bandwagon.

Fast forward to about a year ago, where stress-eating was the norm, and my figure was looking more gelatinous than toned. My idea of exercising was walking to and from the train station each morning. Between my finance day job and my writing hobby, fitness had fallen off my list of priorities, period. As a result, I gained a bit of weight, and lost a lot of self-confidence. I was squishy, mushy, and miserable, with no clue how to fix things until an event with Degree Deodorant where I had the opportunity to take a Zumba class showed me what I had been missing all those years. To make a long story short, I discovered that I really MISSED being active, and so, I joined a gym!

I began my fitness exploits a year ago with straight cardio, alternating between jogs on the treadmill, jaunts on the elliptical, and trials with the stepmill. Weight loss was my ultimate goal, and the weight did come off, but I still wasn’t happy.

And then, on the recommendation of a trainer, I picked up heavy weight lifting, and my world changed dramatically for the better. I abandoned my own self-conceived notion that women aren’t cut out for weight lifting, and just went for it. I first entered that weight room with nervousness (will I look stupid, what will I do?!) and trepidation (will I hurt myself?), but eventually it got better. I learned more exercises, did my research, and slowly but surely, my confidence grew, as did my numbers. I began tapping into that secret place within myself, the one that pushes us forward and reveals what we want most, and in turn found a new passion and a hunger for greater strength.

Working out every single day involves conquering those everyday obstacles that stand in any individual’s way. Standard excuses that I refuse to accept are as follows: an already jam-packed schedule, exhaustion, lack of time, lack of motivation, and daily aches and pains, and I flat-out refuse to allow them to exist in my book. Sure, all of those things are there, but I simply don’t let them affect me. Another question that I’m often asked is how I find the drive to create and then execute my daily workouts. For me, it’s all about setting new goals for myself every single day, whether it’s a drive to run a faster mile, burn more calories in my overall workout, or just put up more weight. There is always room for improvement, a higher goal to reach, and a new limit to be pushed. There is also no shortage of variety when it comes to mixing up both cardio and weight workouts.

In the gym I become stronger, wiser, better. In the weight room I crush self-doubt, insecurity, and fear. My name is Adina, and I am addicted to weight-lifting, and the general pursuit of fitness. In fact, I love fitness so much, that I now work out 7 days a week!

While my own notions of fitness and my desire to lift big are not uncommon, I’m afraid that there are many who don’t fall in line with my thinking, and still think that a woman’s place in the gym is on a treadmill or in a yoga studio. And therein lies the heart of my own unapologetically strong mantra- that I just don’t care what people think anymore. I want to become stronger, and so I shall, and no one can stop me. I am unapologetically strong, both physically and mentally. Take that, world!

It all happens in an instant, really. You embark on a mission with a clear goal in mind (mine was weight loss), focusing solely on said goal. You don’t think about the individual constituents of your journey, until you really have to (as I have, being a blogger and all). At that point, you step outside of yourself to realize that you are forever changed. You are stronger, and unapologetically so. See what we’ve done here?

It goes without saying that on this journey of self-discovery, and on the way to my strongest, baddest self, that I’ve been around the proverbial block when it comes to trying deodorants. Degree Women® Clinical Protection with motionSENSE™ in Cotton Fresh is my current favorite, because it allows me to CONQUER the gym, without having to worry about smelling like a petting zoo. When you work out like I do, you need the strong stuff, period.

Ladies, this contest runs from September 12-26th, so be sure to enter your stories on the Degree Facebook Page today to win prizes. Also, be sure to  follow Degree Women on Twitter at @DegreeWomen

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