I love fitness. I look forward to it. I include it in as many aspects of my life as I can. To be honest, fitness is a part of me. It doesn’t define me, but yes—it is a major part of me. Over the past 5 years or so, I have had lots of highs, but also have had my fair share of lows when it comes to my involvement with fitness.

I’ve tried many new things and gone to several extremes; I’ve done many things I am proud of, but also some things I could have easily gone without. I won’t bore you with the details, but I will tell you that where I am now is a place that I love. And, from someone who’s been through it all, I want to share with you the 6 major things I have learned that have gotten me to where I am today.

1. ‘Fitness’ and ‘Health’ do not have set definitions.

They are set by YOU. I started a brand called YouMakeYou® that focuses on this idea. What works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. What makes you happy might not make me happy. When it comes to your health, you have to find what works for YOU, figure out what YOU want to do, and go do it. You need to not let what others think steer your decisions, you need to not worry about if you are going against mainstream whatever. You are YOU, and this is YOUR life. Define it.

2. Not everyone will ‘get you.’

Building off of number one, you will have people who question you and try to tell you what to do. Ignore them (unless they are a professional and are helping you or trying to keep you safe). If someone is trying to control how you live your life, you don’t need them in your life.   Don’t ever let your ego get in the way of your happiness. Ignore negativity, but also brush it off. It is not worth your time. Accept that some people just won’t get it.

3. Do it for the right reason.

From experience, I can PROMISE you that being a certain size or a certain shape does not make you happier, or more liked, or more popular. It just doesn’t. Decide to find your fitness because you WANT TO. Find it for personal reasons. If you set out on your journey with the intention of satisfying others, making yourself ‘more appealing’, or fitting a standard—you will not enjoy it, you will get wrapped up in worry and dissatisfaction, and you will most likely fall off the wagon or lose your balance along the way.


A photo posted by Colby Triolo #YouMakeYou on

4. Have fun with it.

If you aren’t, you’re not doing it right. Yes, fitness is not all fun and games: you will have tough workouts. But everything that’s worth doing gets tough sometimes. Forget about the individual days and lifts and runs. Are you, in the greater scheme of things, having fun with it? If not, don’t be afraid to try something new. Try a new type of workout, switch up your routine (try working out outside!), grab a friend, go to a group fitness class… The list goes on. Think about what I have mentioned in the above bullets too: do you have the right motivation? Are you trying to satisfy others before yourself?


A photo posted by Colby Triolo #YouMakeYou on

5. Share your journey.

**Disclaimer: I swear on my jars of almond butter I am not sharing this point because this is for FitUniversity, a platform for students to share their fitness stories, this a personal view. **

I can’t tell you how many years I’ve spent not only working out alone but also refraining from sharing my beliefs, interests, and journey with anyone. I always thought of myself as someone who loved working out alone and doing my own thing, which is true. On the most basic level, I do love doing just that: I feel like I get an awesome workout in on my own terms, it is my ‘me time’, and I just simply enjoy that experience.


A video posted by Colby Triolo #YouMakeYou on

That being said, everything is better when you have someone to share an experience with. This is completely new to me, but this past summer I have begun doing almost all of my workouts with a partner, or just with someone else beside me doing their own thing. I still get in a #bangin workout and there is the extra umph and accountability that comes from having someone there with me. It adds a really unique dimension to my workouts. Don’t be afraid to try something new and expand your horizons. You will find like-minded people and learn from each other.


A photo posted by Colby Triolo on


6. Be proud and happy with where you are.

You will always want more. You will always want what you don’t have. It’s just the way we are. But I want you to put all of that aside and realize: where you are right now? You are there for a reason. You are meant to be right here, right now. Be happy with where you stand currently and embrace it. Stop criticizing yourself for what you’re not and be proud of everything you are. Be proud of the things you have done, rather than focusing on what you haven’t yet. It is O.K. to want to improve, and in fact I often preach the importance of having goals—hello YouMakeYou®. But I just as often preach embracing each step in the journey, because it is there for a reason.


A photo posted by Colby Triolo #YouMakeYou on

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About The Author

Colby Triolo is a knowledge hungry fitness lover. She is at Cornell University studying Computer Science Engineering and someday hopes to change the virtual fitness world. Colby is a Certified Personal Trainer and loves all things fitness. She also thinks the beach is the best place in the world. (IG makeyou)

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