what i learned from two weeks at the gym

So with a few totally minor and acceptable relapses (a rum+ginger beer and a glass or two of vino), I’ve almost reached the end of Dry January.

You might remember just how grotty I was feeling just after Christmas, following my December diet of chocolate, chocolate coins and chocolate cake washed down with any alcoholic beverage in sight. The good news is, I have changed my ways, and have actually been overheard declining offers of chocolatey snacks in favour of healthy salads and easy peel clementines.

There was one occasion, last week where a moment of weakness following a particularly stressful day led me to purchase some delicious white chocolate cookies from Sainos, crying “it’s cheat day!!!” to the perplexed girl over the counter that didn’t really think any less of me for buying the cookies. I got them home, however, and divine intervention had led me to buy a packet of stale cookies which completely ruined my evening, they didn’t even taste nice. That’s what you get when you cheat, I guess.

So along with my new-found healthier diet, I have in fact followed through on my prophecy and started using my slowly decaying gym membership. I joined PureGym Greenwich in November of last year, a couple of days before my 23rd birthday, in the hope that I would by now be an exercise-addicted gym bunny with killer abs and a Kim Kardashian booty.

Unfortunately for me, I am a pretty good self-negotiator, and I managed to talk myself out of going whenever I reached for a pair of running shoes with the intention of taking the first step. In all honesty, I could’ve probably saved myself from that evil part of myself, but that was too much effort and eating chocolate seemed like a better alternative at the time.

At long last, I hauled my lardy arse to the gym two weeks ago, with a little loving support from my housemate. I honestly think I would’ve turned around and walked straight back out of there if she hadn’t been with me, but I stuck at it, and here I am two weeks later feeling a little more positive.

This is what I learned from spending two weeks in the gym:

  1. I cannot run for shit, but neither can most people

Unfortunately for me, I found that the cross-country prowess of my teens had slipped slightly during the years of somewhat unhealthy eating and lack of exercise. Although there are a handful of people in there who do look like super models on the treadmill, however, a lot of people in there were in the exact same boat as me, and all it took was getting over myself and just getting on with my own workout for me to see that not being able to run for shit isn’t actually that big a deal.

  1. A little support goes a long way

Going to the gym with my housemate made the experience totally different, just a little push from someone else and the support when walking through the doors for the first time is so invaluable; I would still be avoiding the place like the plague if Laura hadn’t accompanied me on my first trip.

  1. Working out is hard

I’ve been for a solid two weeks now, four times each week, running (and walking) 5K each time and tackling a few of the leg, arm and ab machines. Currently, I’ve not lost any weight whatsoever and the exercise doesn’t seem to be getting any easier – I totally envisioned me being fit and ready for a marathon by now. I suppose it’s worth remembering that it’ll start to kick in some day, they say it takes four weeks for you to notice a change and six weeks for someone else to notice.

Wish me luck in my continued gymming pilgrimage…

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