The return to the evil exercise outlet

New Year, New Me and all that… it often relates to fitness goals, and for me it’s no different. I haven’t been to the gym in two weeks over the Christmas period, and for a once-regular gym-goer, this is a big stretch. Treadmills and weights were switched out for video games and copious amounts of chocolate and alcohol – and so I knew I had to get back into it sooner or later, as it really did make a difference once upon a time.

The gym can be tough enough at the best of times, but tonight, my God I suffered. The dust was swept off the trainers and the entry code was keyed into the door. Surrounded by tons of people working out, making it look easy. Walking into that step aerobics class and building up my box. Hearing the music begin, and knowing that for the next half an hour all I’m going to feel is excruciating pain shooting up and down my legs while I try to regulate your breathing. Sweat pouring off my body like a leaky faucet; muscles being stretched to their absolute max.

And yet we endure it, all in an attempt to improve our body image and gain more confidence in the way we look and feel. I’m yet to meet another woman who is genuinely completely at ease with her weight or shape, and going to the gym not only makes you feel better in the long-run, but it helps you sculpt your body into something you can be proud of. It’s a bittersweet relationship really – horrendous at the time, like you’re being tortured slowly, and yet uplifting and liberating afterwards, like you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

If you want to see positive change, exercise is great for toning up and strengthening your core, on top of a healthy diet for faster weight loss – just make sure you’re doing it for you and not someone else, because trust me, the minute I stopped worrying what other people would think about my size so often and decided what I wanted for myself, I’ve been a hell of a lot more focused and satisfied. At least that’s what I’ll tell myself after the shaky healing process tomorrow!

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