**Disclaimer: this is my honest truth and is written to be melodramatic and satirical. Don’t like it? Go away. Do like it? Awesome, share it and make me internet famous so I can quit my job and adopt more cats.**
People frequently ask me about fitness; as if me going to the gym three times a week somehow makes me as knowledgeable as someone who dedicated years of their life to learning the science behind it (I’m not, sorry). I’m very fortunate to have some incredible Personal Trainers as friends who have taught me from the outset about correct form, tolerance, muscle performance, recovery, strengthening techniques, and various other important aspects of weight-loss and weight training. I also read stuff, sometimes, maybe.
But guess what… I HATE THE GYM. I hate it. Hate. Now, this may surprise most people because I went for a solid two years, before taking a 6+ month hiatus due to lack of funds and motivation, and I’ve been back to my training routine since October. Spoiler alert, my attitude towards it really hasn’t improved. I’ve tried everything (swimming, cardio classes, yoga, training with friends, a Personal Trainer, goal setting, etc.) to motivate myself into loving fitness and being active – but nope, still not for me.
“Why?” you may ask. My honest answer is because I feel worse about myself now than I did when I was at my heaviest; wearing baggy clothes, and feeling like a cartoon sloth trying to get my fat head out of clothes that no longer fit. My diet isn’t terrible, I train frequently and I’m STILL not happy with my body or my mindset. Weird, right? For me, I find that I compete too much with myself and with those around me. If I’m not the best then why bother. Dumb? Correct. Especially as the gym is pretty much the only place in my life where I do this (psychology majors eat your heart out).
One of the biggest things for me is watching what I eat. If it’s possible, I hate that more than the gym. Having to watch macros and calories and saturates and polyunsaturates and everything else makes me cry – sometimes literally. I find no enjoyment in measuring how many milliliters of milk I put into my coffee or the weight of dressing on my salad. I DO NOT CARE. All I want is to eat as well as I can, while still eating the things that fill me with happy butterflies and not feel like said butterflies are going to turn into a plague of locusts and burst out of my gut from guilt and shame.
“So why do you bother at all?” This is an easy one, you see, I am vain. Shock! I give a crap what I look like in the mirror, I care what people think about me (everyone loves a genuine compliment about the pertness of their butt or the arrival of their collar bone). I am also convinced that maybe one day I’ll become one of those gym obsessed people who actually enjoys going and smelling like a laundry hamper and feeling like they’ve walked through a torrential downpour of their own H2O excretion. I wish I was one of those body positive gals who was absolutely fine with the fact that my jeans don’t fit and I can’t raise my arms in a shirt out of fear of ripping the thin seam holding my dignity together. That would be fab.
Also, for this “weight lifting doesn’t make you bulky” bullshit – IT IS LIES. At least for me (you keep doing your best though because most of my friends are shedding inches and weight while I’ve gained inches, weight, and a dress size). But don’t worry because I can deadlift my body weight so hey-ho, swings and roundabouts.
Now you may be thinking I’m a Negative Nancy over here, and you are absolutely right. But I’ll give you some positives, just to balance the scales. I have made some lasting relationships from bonding with people at the gym and they are one of the main reasons why I continue to put my tight-ass gym clothes on and pretend I know what I’m doing. Hiring a personal trainer was also one of my better ideas, without her I would have quit months ago and continued to eat cake like it was the sole provider of nutrients and life. I also upgraded my gym membership so that I can bring friends to train with me. I like that. That is good. I also enjoy seeing results, even though they are small and only visible for precisely 20 minutes, Monday – Thursday mornings.
As I write this, I am conscious that I may be putting a nasty damper on people who are thinking of joining a gym but aren’t quite sure if it’s for them. Just do it. What do you have to lose (other than weight)? Make up your own mind and, hey, you may agree with me. We may end up walking in and out of the gym like those slower zombies on the hunt for brains – but at least we went (AMIRIGHT?).
I don’t like the gym. Hate it. Working out makes me feel like I am repenting for all of my sins from every previous life. Hell for me would be never-ending circuit training. But nevertheless, I will keep going. I will keep lifting heavier. I will keep running on the treadmill while constantly thinking “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO YOURSELF, YOU SICKO.” I will continue to go to classes that I am not fit enough for. I will continue to compete with complete strangers while envisioning myself running through the bakery section of Waitrose and shoveling muffins into my face. I will continue to look like I’m into fitness and help those around me who seem to be excelling.
If you see me at the gym: smile at me, give me your sympathy, and for the love of whoever please spot me because I’m clumsy and frequently get myself stuck under heavy things.
See you on the squat rack, bro.