I need to start by just clarifying that the title of this post is an optimistic one. Today is Thursday and I just bought a gym membership. The last time I did such a thing, I think I never went back to the gym in question again. In fact, that gym still charges me £35 a month (I got caught out with a rolling contract that I now can’t cancel until October because I’m a major wally) and I don’t even live in the same county anymore. That is how bad I am with gyms.
It’s not even that I haven’t had the time/opportunity to go to the gym over the years. My best friend is a fanatic, she goes to the gym/circuits class/on a massive run every day (I would say ‘delete as appropriate’ but I’m fairly sure there’s been days when she’s accomplished all three without breaking a sweat). I’m sure she’d have let me join her on any day that I wanted, but I never did. For one simple reason – I was afraid of showing myself up. I am unfit – some of it I can blame on my asthma (which is genuinely bad – when I forget to take my inhaler I do lose the ability to breathe within 2 hours) – but most of it is just my fault for not exercising more since I left school 7 years ago (Christ, that sentence made me feel old). I’m short, chubby, I wear glasses and I don’t look great without make-up. And until recently, those things held me back. But now, for some reason, I’ve decided I don’t care. Everybody has to start somewhere. And I *want* to be good at exercise.
But, even after all this, why should this time be any different? First of all, because I’m documenting it here, and that should give me the motivation to carry on. I’ll be posting reviews of my classes I’ve taken each week, documenting the sure-to-be hilarious process of learning to swim all over again, and anything else I think might help would-be gym bunnies that are currently too nervous to strut their stuff at their local gym. My challenge, if you like, is to exercise once a day (gym class, gym session, running/sport or swimming) on every day that I am not at work. I’ve excluded days that I’m working from my exercise schedule as my shifts are 12 hours long, and I don’t want to feel that I am punishing myself.
This brings me nicely onto my second reason – I want to be healthy, but my main goal is to have fun whilst doing so. I enjoy exercise, as long as it’s not competitive sport, and so, although I intend to try many types of exercise during this endeavour, if something bores or scares me, I’m not going to return to it just because it burns more calories, than say, a yoga class. In years past, I went to the gym to lose weight and ‘like’ my body more. I’m not saying that these aren’t perfectly good motivating factors for some people, but for me, that kind of motivation doesn’t ever last. Chocolate will always win when I’ve had a bad day. Always. I still have memories from when I first signed up to the afore-mentioned abandoned gym-membership and every time I ate something sweet, my (ex, obviously) boyfriend would say, ‘Are you going to go to the gym tomorrow to burn off the calories from eating that?’ and my answer was always a resounding ‘NO!’ And, again, it always will be.
I technically attended my first exercise class today, but I’ll write that up tomorrow as it’s 22:30 and another one of my new health resolutions is to go to bed at 21:30. So, all I can ask is that you stick with me, and I’ll let you know in due course if I do manage the impossible and become someone with a regular exercise regime. All that’s left to say is a massive thanks for reading my first blog post, and please feel free to let me know what you think!