Seven: How I’m learning to love exercise

Right now, everything hurts and I’m dying…

This is because I’ve just had my first personal training session in 5 weeks and I am feeling it!

My legs feel slightly dead, even though right now I’m just sat on my sofa with a nice toasty laptop on my legs. My arms are also total dead weights and I shall be making small movements for the rest of the day… or week.

And even though my body is objecting to what I put it through this morning, I’m actually really happy! Which is definitely not a feeling I thought I’d ever associate with exercise… For a long, long time I actively objected to any form of exercise that felt like exercise – it was too hard, it hurt too much and I didn’t like it, so I didn’t want to do it. End of story.

But this changed a couple of years ago, I lost a load of weight and then (a year or so later) began to think about exercising. I started doing gym classes, because I realised I’m much better if someone is telling me what to do and pushing me to keep going. On my own, I’m useless! And I actually started enjoying them… it was a weird feeling. Especially when I realised I missed them when I hadn’t been in a while. And I still enjoy it today – and no, the surprise hasn’t gone away!

I’m incredibly lucky because my university gym offers free one-to-one personal training sessions once a week, which I know I usually pretty expensive! So I thought I’d give it a try at the start of this year, especially I was getting out of the habit of doing anything on a regular basis. I really wasn’t sure at first and I had no idea what I’d be doing. In my first session I nearly passed out! But I kept going even though I actually feel like I might die during some of my sessions.

Why?

Because I know it’s worth it! I’ve started to see a difference. I can lift heavier weights, do more reps, jump onto the highest box and my body wobbles less. I can see my muscles tightening and I can feel my body getting stronger and I LOVE it! It’s an amazing feeling and one which I never imagined I’d actually feel. My PT is amazing and continually pushes me to try harder and do more and when he says I can do it, I actually believe him!

However, I’m not and will probably never be, a gym bunny. I don’t go 5 days a week, I’ll count it as a good week if I make it to the gym 3 times. I work out in old t-shirts, with zombie motifs and bad science jokes on them. Sure, I’d love some new kit, but it’s so expensive I can’t really justify it – and I keep finding other stuff to spend the money on… like films, box-sets, food and my impending wedding! Plus some of my reasons for exercising do centre around the fact I can then eat more yummy food – in my opinion kale is not, nor will it ever be, acceptable as food.

But to get to a point where I actually enjoy exercising, that’s a new one for me and it’s a place I never thought I’d get to.

So if you’re just starting out with exercise keep going! It’s worth it, I promise. And if you’re struggling, hating all forms of exercise you do then try something new – lift weights, go dancing, swim, try yoga!

I never thought I’d enjoy going to the gym or doing exercise but I do and if I can do it, so can you!

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