I had a gym membership, then they closed the gym next to my office, then I moved to a new house with no Fitness First gyms near me and then I no longer had a gym membership. It’s a short story, that is the beginning of a long story. Let us begin…
After leaving Fitness First, I could have easily joined another gym near me. In fact, if it was a priority, I would have looked into local gyms when hunting for a new flat. Unfortunately, going to the gym was in no way, shape or form a priority for me. I’m not proud of this, but I have to be honest. I’m not an exercise junkie. I wish I was, but I’m not. I’m the girl that really likes to work out, but only realises this when she is working out and after she has finished working out. My thought process in the lead up to any form of exercise is “I do not want to this. I really do not want to do this. I hate the fact that I am going to do this, but they say exercise is good for me, so I’m going to do this”.
When I was younger, it was a totally different story. I was insecure about my body and I thought exercise was the only way I could fix it, so I had all the motivation in the world. And then with age and with my walk with Jesus Christ, I became less insecure. In fact, I now love love lurve my body. Praise Jesus! Now the issue is without the motivation to fix my body, my only reason to go to the gym is to take care of my health, which apparently is just not enough motivation for me.
I said all that to say, when Fitness First presented me with the opportunity to cancel my membership because they had no locations near me I jumped at it. I told myself that I would be saving money. I convinced myself that I would start working out at home. I was making a sensible decision all round. And this would have been the case, If I had started my home workouts, but I did not do that. I took a little break and 8 months later my break was a lifestyle choice that was usually expressed as “I used to work out” in conversations. However, with 2019 came a new me, with a new determination to implement the sensible decision I had made 8 months earlier. I was going to start working out at home regularly.
What Happened? And What Have I Learnt?
2 months into the new year, I haven’t worked out every day and I’ve had a couple bad weeks, but I’ve done more consistent exercise this year compared to the last 8 months of 2018. Furthermore, my fitness journey has taught me some lessons about how to make positive changes in your lifestyle.
- I’ve learnt to get the right tools in place to support me. So instead of just saying “I’m going to work out at home”, I’ve downloaded an app (7M Women) to help me try out various exercises and to remind me to work out on a daily basis. This app has been amazing because at the gym I heavily relied on machinery and I’m not an exercise guru, so when it came to exercising at home, all I knew to do were squats. Now I don’t have to think about what to do. The app designs the workout routine for me and all I have to do is follow along.
- I’ve learnt to start at the level I’m at. During the 8 months workout hiatus, I had days where I’d decide to work out, so I’d get on YouTube, find an intense workout and go for it! And it would feel wonderful…until the next day and then let’s not even talk about the day 2 pain. On day 2, walking hurts, standing hurts, sitting hurts. Everything hurts. And when everything hurts, I’d need to take a break from exercising. To clarify, I would need to take a break from exercising after just one workout. This became a pattern that hindered me from developing a fitness lifestyle. Using an app helped me overcome this because I started on beginner levels, which gave me a work out and would leave me slightly sore on the following day, but not so sore that I couldn’t work out again.
- I’ve learnt that the things that are difficult at the start will soon become easy, so don’t give up and don't rush yourself. When I first started using the app, a 30 second plank with just my body weight was a struggle and now it’s barely noticeable. It is more than okay to start as a beginner and to patiently work through the difficulties till you’re ready to move to the intermediate level and then advanced.
- And last but actually most importantly, I’ve learnt to find something that motivates me. In my case, recognition works. On the days where, I do work out, the app puts a dot on my calendar and this tiny little dot has had me in my gym clothes at 11.30pm because I don’t want a dotless day on my calendar. I want to look back at my week and see all the dots because it makes me feel like a boss! This might not motivate you, but I’m completely like a child when it comes to the acknowledgement of my achievements. Whether it’s a dot, a green tick or a gold star, I always want it. And this is probably the most important reason, I’ve been working out more. I’ve tried other apps in the past, but they didn’t stick because they didn’t tell me how amazing I was for taking the time to take care of my own body (feel free to pause and acknowledge my obvious amazingness). Now a gold star might not be what motivates you, so find out what motivates you and find a tool that will appeal that in you.
And for those of you that are wondering, did she just say that she is so superficial that she was motivated to make changes to improve her looks, but she does not have that same motivation when it comes to maintaining her health and fitness levels? And even now the only reason she manages to get any exercise is because she gets a dot on a calendar? I want to say no. I also don’t want to lie. In summary, I will not be answering that question. Thank you for your time.