A beginner’s guide to: going to the gym

I’m all about that “balanced lifestyle”. I’m the kind of person that’s happy to guzzle water and eat a kale salad for lunch, but at the same time I can’t say no to, well, anything that Gillian McKeith would have thrown down one of those plastic cyclinder tubes circa 2007.

Okay not that extreme as I don’t even like McDonalds (feel free to stop reading now if that offends you, I realise it’s a bit weird). But unlike most “healthy people”, I don’t see food as fuel, I see it as bloody delicious and I want all of it. But equally I want to be healthy and look good in a bikini – it’s a very confusing headspace to be in.

I’d like to think I’ve got the balance right and that Gillian McKeith and her healthy stool samples would be proud of my efforts – I drink green tea, I sprinkle flax seeds on my fruit & yoghurt and I always choose coconut milk over full-fat. But there’s one thing that’s wrong.

I hate the gym.

Believe me, I’ve tried it. I’ve joined plenty of them and regularly pay my monthly membership fees…but just as regularly don’t actually end up going, ever. We all know we should do it, we pin HIIT workouts and gym outfits on Pinterest, scroll through fitspiration posts on Instagram and see other people’s ‘before and after’ pics, but we don’t always actually get round to doing it ourselves.

For me, it’s a combination of a few things:

#1: Not knowing what the hell I’m doing when I’ve actually made it to the gym…

#2: Being lazy (and preferring to spend my evenings doing anything other than going to the gym)

It’s probably mostly the latter but I’ve figured that now I’m 25 (fastly approaching 26) I’m never going to be as capable as I am now of getting fit. Something has switched in my head and I’m seriously determined to get fit and keep it up. That’s not to say I wont allow myself treats (all about that balance!) but I want to be the best version of myself that I possibly can be. Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate. And I want to see what mine is capable of!

Recently, I’ve joined a gym that I can walk to (no excuses not to go now!) and have done three things I’d never thought I’d do:

  • I did my first ever spin class, which nearly killed me. The sweat was pouring off me and I felt like I was going to be sick during it (I definitely threw myself in the deep end as it was only second time at the gym!) but I felt incredible and unstoppable afterwards and I can only get better at it!
  • I did a yoga class where we had to attempt to do headstands (I couldn’t do it but santosha* and all that). I’m proud that I tried as I’ve always wanted to be able to do a headstand, maybe in a few months I’ll be able to if I keep it up…
  • I went to the gym on a Friday night! Who am I?!

So I’ve made a pledge to do things I’ve never done before, to get results I’ve never had! Here’s to no more excuses and for always remembering why I started this journey the next time I think about throwing in the towel.

*Santosha is an Indian philosophy about being completely content, satisfied and accepting of your own ability. Its about understanding your body’s limits but also appreciating everything your body is capable of. And I think that pretty much sums how I’m feeling at the moment.

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