Tuesday is now an unofficial gym day with some pals since they are avid gym-mers and I am like the tourist who lands for a day and drops by to do an one-time sightseeing. The good news is, I found out how therapeutic it is to exercise in a 10% occupied environment at 5 p.m. on a work day. I’ll work out just enough to head out when the crowd starts flooding in so I might be going more often. I know ‘might’ is a very non-commital term but .. I just might! For now, I’ll stick to once a week. I know a lot of people will gawk at the prospect of eating dinner after working out hard but I think different. I view the gym as a social playground where I get to meetup with some friends whom I don’t see on a regular basis. It is my one motivation to be able to sit down and enjoy dinner with friends after exercising some.
You see, the point is, I’ve gotten past the stage whereby I think I will actually lose weight if I go gym and once you get past that mental hurdle, the process becomes more enjoyable. You start thinking of exercising as a mean to improve your health. You no longer trigger the panic mode and visually assess the distance of that nearest traffic light when you encounter a gigantic overhead bridge you had to cross. You feel good about being able to climb that overhead bridge without fear and evade the telltale huffs and puffs and have your heart swelling like it would burst. Sure, it is a very small thing, small enough to be negligible but all big things start out small.
I did not run at a speed of 8.5 for an hour, neither did I ‘cycle’ through the terrains. I merely started with 25 crunches, climbed 5.46 km worth of steps, walked at a pace of 5.7 for half an hour next to my very fit friend (who did run at a constant speed of 8.5 for an hour), cycled leisurely while browsing through a copy of free Catalog magazine and did 15 minutes worth at those ‘running simulators’ (I have no idea what’s the name of those machines). It is really pretty mild in the eyes of the hardcore gymmers but I did not have to push myself hard to do them either. The next time I will do better.
How to motivate yourself to go back to the gym:
I was more resistant to going to the gym initially because I think I had a pair of aging running shoes that did not quite fit me in the fashionable way. It did not reflect the way of how I want to look (like those healthy models in Shape magazine) to the world. I have a beautiful Stella McCartney water bottle in the palest pink contrasted against grey to make it more striking, I have a pair of Puma sweatpants and a Nike shoe bag to match but the shoes, oh the shoes! They were my grief. I kept meaning to buy a new pair but then I procrastinated … and waited .. and grew lazier. That was till when I discovered Royal Sporting House had a “Swop Your Old Shoes” event (and sorry, it was over on the 8th of March). You can bring in your old shoes and get 25% off the next pair, not to mention that the old shoes will go towards a charitable cause. You get to be fashionable and kind at the same time!
I brought the old shoes that pinched my feet there without a word and painstakingly hunted for a pair of pink and grey shoes that would reflect me, my philosophy of life and all things that matter. After a tedious hunt and many disappointments later, I am a now proud owner of a pair. To its credit, I now go to the gym so as to admire my shoes while cycling. I am in favour of big tee-shirts and comfortable sweatpants because wearing anything else makes me self-conscious of my less-than-perfect body. The satisfaction level that you have with what you wear to the gym plays a part in you actually going there.
Point 2 is totally self-explanatory. Avoid toxic friends at all cost. By toxic, I mean evil, calorie-obsessed friends because they make you acutely aware that whatever effort you’ve put in, you are not going to be able to match up. Even if you do match up, you will be unhappy.
I found myself moving faster than my willpower usually tells me to by virtue of fast and catchy tunes. I am totally with the amazing Lady GaGa in this aspect. I will move (and very fast too) when you play “Just Dance”, “Paparazzi” or “Poker Face”.
It goes without saying that the best proof of all this talk now is to see how long I can keep up with the regime but I have a gut feeling – I found the gym bunny in me.