Body Conscious: How a Self Proclaimed Exercise Hater is Learning to Love the Gym
I hate exercise. Hate it. I always have. I’ve long been jealous of people who talk about things like a runner’s high or how they just have to get their daily cardio to ‘feel normal.’ I feel perfectly normal lying on the couch thank you very much.
What might strike you as funny is that I played soccer as a kid, on up into high school. For soccer I had to run. A lot. Running is exercise. Which we’ve already established that I hate. So that pretty much meant soccer wasn’t my favorite thing.
I did enjoy the camaraderie and getting to wear the cute matching uniforms. And eating oranges that different team moms would slice up and bring for after practice. Plus, even though I might not have been very good, it was a good learning experience for me being part of a team. In case you’re wondering why I played soccer for eight years, it’s because my dad made me.
Fast forward to college where I was tasting freedom (and all-you-can eat cafeteria food) for the first time. Let’s just say I did not opt to participate in intramural sports. Nor did I ever visit my school’s multi-million dollar gym, with its weight training and recreational facility.
After college, I was even less active. In my first real job…I found myself sitting at a desk all day every day. My health deteriorated and my weight increased. I didn’t feel good, but I also didn’t consider there were actually ways to change it.
Then, a few years ago something sort of clicked. I watched a bunch of health documentaries on Netflix which prompted me to do some research on veganism and vegetarianism. For two years, I was a strict vegan and, through healthier eating, lost about 50 pounds. I even joined a gym…but never really knew what to do with the equipment so I’d end up walking on the treadmill. EVERY. TIME. Boring. I definitely don’t think my membership was worth it because I dreaded going and always felt like a fish out of water.
Occasionally, I’d eat a little bit of cheese or something made with eggs…and then as I did it more and more I felt like a hypocrite calling myself a vegan. I guess now you could say I’ve been vegetarian for the past year or so.
But french fries are vegetarian. And so are potato chips. And Newman’s Own Mint sandwich cookies. Just because I’m calling myself a vegetarian doesn’t mean I’ve been all that healthy.
This past spring my southern beau (of ten years!) popped the question. We’re getting married in April and I really want to look and feel great.
My best friend and I pledged our efforts in ‘shedding for the wedding’ but haven’t had much luck. About a month ago, I had a semi-breakdown, crying to my beau how I felt so out of shape and had no hope of changing it.
He shocked the heck out of me by suggesting I hire a personal trainer. I thought trainers were for really fit people and exercise freaks. Never did I dream that someone like me could have one. My beau helped me find a gym near our house that specializes in one on one training. I stopped by one day to check it out and ended up buying a package of training sessions on the spot.
Currently, I’m about halfway into my package…five weeks. It might not seem like a big deal, but for someone who has always hated to exercise, the fact that I get excited about going to the gym means something to me.
Last week I took a Pilates class for the first time and LOVED it. Who knew exercise could be fun? I can’t say that I’ve lost any weight, but I feel like I’m getting stronger. My trainer (a tiny, lively woman) is such a cheerleader, encouraging me every step of the way.
Eventually I might just go to the gym by myself, but for now, it’s been great having someone by my side showing me how to do the movements and giving me pointers.
I’m much more conscious of my body…but in a good way. I know it’s only been a few weeks, but I feel like something has shifted in me. While I probably can’t afford to work with a trainer forever, this experience is one that I feel is totally worth it.
It’s cheesy to say it, but in life we only get one body. And if we take care of it, it might last a little longer. At 32, I don’t care too much about wearing a halter top or skin tight clothing. But my own version of body conscious is doing nice things for myself…things like eating more green veggies, getting a massage or spending a few afternoons each week at the gym. Are there any other former exercise haters out there who are learning to love the gym too?
I hit LIKE because I like your honest piece not because I like exercise, haha. You are already such a beautiful bride to be but good luck and keep at it.