I'd asked for a gym membership for my birthday this year. As I'm getting further in to my twenties, I'm finding that my metabolism isn't as fast as it used to be, and I'm starting to put on weight at a steadier rate. I'm in no way overweight, but whereas I used to feel active, for the past few years I have just been bone idle. And because I am such a big foodie lover, if I carried on this path, I'd end up a recluse, living with on hundred cats, dogs and small rodents and surrounded by Chocomel cartons and pesto jars.
I had to make a change.
The whole gym thing started off quite well. I decided to go at weekends. My working schedule means that during the week I don't know what my days will entail from one day to the next and I didn't want to make a promise to myself that I couldn't keep.
I think I made it to the gym about three times before things went down hill. I lost my interest. I'd find other jobs that needed doing. I'd make plans. Anything to avoid the "g" word. I was working out. But it was at home. When I felt like it. I was hardly benefiting from a healthy lifestyle.
And then one day I woke up and realised what an idiot I was being. I wasn't only letting my parents down, who had bought me my years membership. I was letting me down. Things had to change.
Part of it was my old trainers. I think I must've had them for about eight years (they were even quite possibly hand-me-downs from MG.) They were velcro, old, and had absolutely no flexibility whatsoever. Which, when one of your feet doesn't have an arch, isn't the best thing.
Boyfriend very kindly treated me to a new pair of trainers - Reebok Sublite -and I love them. They are bright, bold, have great grip, and above all, are extremely flexible. Just looking at them makes me smile inside.
But still, the motivation was lacking. Actually getting up at the weekends and going to the gym was a chore. I didn't know what to do. I was in a big fat old rut of unhappiness and deflation....I needed a wingman.
Boyfriend, being a hero, was there to save the day.
We are now gym-buddies. We have our own separate goals, but now, I know I have somebody there to kick my butt in to gear if I'm being a couch potato. We have made a joint commitment to go to the gym together at least three times a week.
And what's more. To make sure I push myself, I have signed up for the Roy Castle Dream Walk, the Race for Life, and Run or Dye this year. There are so many wonderful people out there, bravely battling illness, or working to help find a cure, that the least I can do is get off my arse and do something to support them, their amazing work, and show my appreciation for some amazing causes.
And, in a few weeks, Boyfriend and I are climbing Snowdon.
I have no excuse now. I have to start training like a beast.
I started off slowly, working on lowering my walking time for 2km on the treadmill. I went from walking to 4.1 km/h to 4.6 km/h to 5.1 kn/h. Each time I have been to the gym I have set myself a goal, and pushed to complete it. So far I have knocked 4 minutes off my 2km time. So now it's on to tackling 3km.....I'm not going to lie. I'm scared.
Boyfriend is always there to keep me motivated. We plan goals together. It's a way for me to let out my competitive side. I go in to competition with my previous PBs. I find its the best way to keep my pumped and make me push myself. And so far it's working really well. Last week I went to the gym four times. Yes, I even surprised myself with that one!
We have also invested in an immersion blender so that we can make post-gym smoothies. It's a great way to replenish my system after a really sweaty workout, and make sure that I get nutrients, fibre, and all the goodness fruit brings! Plus, smoothies are super-tasty. Bonus.
For anybody wanting to get back in to the gym, I'd say
Take your time.
Set attainable goals,
(and if, like me, you need it,)
Get yourself a wingman/wingwoman.
Boyfriend and I may not workout together, but there's something about knowing that he is in the gym that makes me want to work harder and push myself. He's always in my peripheral, so he'd know if I was slacking....I have no place to hide when he's there with me. Which is what I need.