So yesterday I had a mini light-bulb moment after dance. A revelation. A personal breakthrough. Call it what you will, this realisation that came to me forced me into a state of reflection and mindfulness. And I can conclude that I’m pretty content with life at the minute, particularly when it comes to my health and well-being.
At the end of a sweaty and tiring Lyrical class yesterday, I was talking to another girl on the team (we’ll call her M for the purpose of this post) about the gym and other fitness type things. M proceeded to tell me how she had started slimming world, wanted a personal trainer at the gym and we soon discovered that we actually attend the same gym in Nottingham (it’s a small world). It was during this conversation with M that I explained that I’m not bothered about losing weight and it’s not what I think about at the gym. I attend the gym to improve my fitness, get stronger and feel good about myself. And this is where said breakthrough happened.
If someone had put the same question to me or I had a similar conversation with someone 6 months ago, my response would have been very different. Or my response may not have been any different but my internal thoughts would have been. Now I won’t go into details as I’m not sure it’s something I feel completely comfortable talking about on such an open platform but my weight and body image has always been something I’ve massively struggled with, so much so that it made me very ill a few years ago. So as I was walking away from my conversation with M, I couldn’t help but smile to myself and feel incredibly triumphant as I realised what I had just said, without any thought.
I’ve always been interested in fitness and I first joined the gym two Septembers ago at home but I never really managed to establish a real routine in that time due to the fact that I was studying for my A Levels and I was relying on taxi of mum and dad to get me to my workouts. There just wasn’t really the time and it wasn’t practical for it to be a priority or part of my regular routine. Since joining university however, my love for the gym and fitness has truly exploded and I find myself in there 4-5 times a week. Don’t get me wrong, I still despise cardio (and struggle to understand anyone who enjoys it) but my current routine is usually 2 upper body sessions, 2 lower body sessions and a cardio sessions a week.
These days, instead of forcing myself to the gym as a punishment for what I’ve eaten, I go to reward myself. If I’ve had a long and busy day at university, I look forwards to going to the gym as that’s my ‘me time’ where I can put my headphones in and get a sweat on. Alternatively, if I can feel myself getting tired but know I still have a full day ahead of me, I like to go to boost my energy and wake myself up by giving myself a nice big endorphin rush. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be lying if I said I never had days where I don’t want to go as I’m only human. We all have days where we’d rather stay hibernating under our duvets with a bar of chocolate and Netflix (or at least I do). And I’m completely fine with that as life is about balance.No one can run at 100% exertion all of the time. I am working hard at the gym most days, most weeks and I am beginning to feel and see the progress. In the long run I would like to sculpt and tone my body more but am I going to give up pizza and chocolate to achieve this?? Hell no. I’m sorry but that just won’t happen and I’ll happily admit that because as I’ve learnt, the odd pizza or cookie now and again, doesn’t effect your progress. It took me a VERY long time to learn this but as soon as I found that balance in my lifestyle, I can’t tell you how much better I felt about myself.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have off days but I can honestly say I feel more comfortable in my skin than ever and I can acknowledge that even though my progress may be slow and small, it is still there. And I honestly can’t tell you how satisfying that feeling is.