Saturday, 6 February 2016

5 Things I've learned from going to the gym

"Acceptance is usually more a matter of fatigue than anything else."
— David Foster Wallace


Hello, hello. The gym talk is here. It's time.

I've been going to the gym regularly for about a year now. If I am correct, I bought my old Adidas trainers exactly one year ago and I didn't even own a decent pair before that. It was kind of pathetic. 
As a side note I can say that physical activity was never really new to me - I used to dance ballet for ages and at one point I'd go to two rehearsals per day; however, that was long, long ago...

Motivation

Motivation is everything and the truth is, it has to come from your own strong will. I used to look at myself in the mirror and sure - I was quite slim and had that svelte figure, which ballet gifted to me in exchange of sweat and blood (not exaggerating). Also, genes. Yes, genes matter as well but they're not definitive. So the realisation that I didn't like myself that much and knowing what my body was once capable of, pushed me to go for it and sign up. 

And let me tell you, seeing results is an incredible motivation. Beating an extremely low mood in the end of a shitty day is also quite something. After a good session I feel better about myself - knowing that you have done something good for your body does the trick for your mind too. I learned that exercise can keep me sane and make me feel good about myself.

Food

What you eat, obviously, does matter but I'd say everything in moderation. I have cut all processed food as much as I can and to be honest, I don't miss it. Actually, it makes me cringe every time I get close to a frozen pizza or a fast food joint... and I used to love me some KFC. But why would you treat your body as a waste bin and put all sorts of trash in it?

 Don't get me wrong, I love me a juicy burger and fries (holla to all my potato lovers out there!) but the ones which are not made on a conveyer belt. I'd say - be a bit more conscious about where your food comes from and what you put in your body. It does make a difference.


Gym Environment

I was quite self-conscious in the beginning. I thought everyone was watching me and inevitably, judging... The truth is - no one effing cares. I have heard people sing out loud on the treadmill! And  it's definitely great when people start to know you. You feel like an insider, like you belong to this small community. 

I also learned that a gym with good facilities is important - going for the cheapest option may come with a price in the end. My place has a pool, a gym and offers a great variety of classes, which gives me choice whenever I fancy a change.

Gear

This absolutely applies to the point about motivation too. It's so awesome when you buy a new piece of gym gear and can't wait to use/ wear it. Call me superficial but it's vital to feel comfortable  in your own skin. Obviously, make-up is a no-no, but buying a pair of awesome new sneakers and that top you saw, makes all the difference and boosts confidence immensely.

 I also have a pair of dumbbells at home, which I rarely use anymore but they were very useful when I started. You can find great stuff in Argos or TKMaxx and exercise at home, if you'd prefer.  

Practical

  • Forgive my lazy mind's choice of cliches, but make sure you've got some realistic goals in set and don't beat yourself too hard if you don't achieve them. Stay determined but not obsessed, eat healthy but don't starve, a small change in the lifestyle can make a huge difference. Goals help to make your progress quantifiable.


  • Listen to music. It has a huge motivation factor. 50 Cent's In Da Club is my ultimate gym song. Yup... 


  • Go with a friend or someone who can ease you into the whole experience - I rarely go without my buddy and soulmate H. She is my personal trainer, my inspiration and my nutritionist. She made the gym a less scary place for me. 


  • Don't take it too seriously. Sometimes instead of lifting weights, we browse social media and roll on the floor laughing. I have also learned that laughter is the best exercise for the abs. :) 


I am by no means a specialist in any of it really, this is just my personal experience and perspective. I am happy to share a bit more practical stuff or elaborate on any of the points above. Here I wanted to outline the general stuff I've learned in the last 12(ish) months. Hope it was useful.



Thanks for reading and stay tuned!


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