So one year ago I took out my first every gym membership, and it has been the hardest, sweatiest and most amazing time! I have made some amazing new friends, pushing my body to the limit both physically and mentally and found a new hobby that will be part of my life forever.
Prior to this I had dabbled a very small amount in exercise, but mainly I avoided it whenever I could. I always liked the idea of going to the gym, but in reality I just could never get my mind in the right place, never thought I had the time, and frankly didn't know how to push my body, and so never felt confident enough to just get stuck in.
BUT at this point a year ago, I had lost a fair chunk of weight, and was feeling energised and wanted to try some form of exercise. I started by going to Les Mills Body Balance at Ipswich Sports Club, and after my first class I was hooked. I loved the atmosphere, the challenge and the way I felt after it. I embraced the new challenge and started going twice a week. The exercise bug was starting to take hold and so I thought i would give Spin a try.
That first class was hideous - I was out of breath, out of time and a complete sweaty mess! However, for the first time I didn't feel self conscious or a failure I was just pleased with myself for getting through the class alive and for giving it a shot. So I invested in some padded cycling leggings and added two spin classes into my regime. At this point, it wasn't about loosing more weight, but more about the mental and physical challenge as I had never done anything like it before.
A few weeks later, I was waiting outside the Studio to go into Spin and began chatting to a gentleman outside. He looked fit, and I had seen him absolutely blasting it in several spin classes. He told me frankly that my body needed me to start lifting weights, and suggested that I try a Body Pump class. Little did I know then that this guy would go on to be my workout partner!
So a week later, I checked the timetable and went along to a class with the same instructor who had motivated me through the spin classes over the previous weeks.
The first pump class was a huge challenge, I didn't know what weights to use, or whether to go up or down or sit or how to squat or anything, yet despite all of that (and the several days of DOMS afterwards) I absolutely loved it and couldn't wait to do the class again.
Fast forward a year, and I cannot even describe how much my body and mind have changed. I have gone from a couch potato to training at least 5 days a week. I push myself every day, and even though I am not always bounding out of bed ready to work out, I always feel so much better both mentally and physically when I do go. I usually work out with my Gym Spouses, and it is so useful having some one with you to push you motivate you and to get through it together.
I have now just cut back on the number of classes I do, and instead working out in the gym, experimenting with weights and what my body can do. Even now I cannot believe that a year ago I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without feeling slightly out of puff, and hated any form of physical exercise. I know that they way I train now is at the high end, and some may even say extreme, but everybody is different and you need to find what works for you and your lifestyle. When you do you will sweat yourself happy and healthy in the same way that I have.
So... whatever you do today, try to move your body a little bit more than you usually would, take each day at a time and eventually it will become part of your life, a habit, and you will miss exercise when you don't do it.
Motivate yourself to achieve something more everyday, you are stronger and more incredible that you realise - you just need to believe it.