Where’ve I been? Achieving my goals down the gym!

‘Make it short & snappy’

…Ok well maybe not down the gym 24/7 all the month of March, but it has been one of my January resolutions I have completed along with creating my blog, hopefully step by step I can achieve them all.

Here’s a bumper post with some confessions of my past experiences of “going to the gym” with tales of ultimate laziness, and ultimate trendiness and my latest foray back in the dreaded house of sweat.

‘Just the facts please’

  • Better Gym
  • Website: http://www.better.org.uk/
  • Twitter: @better_uk
  • £1 entry opening offer for the month of March
  • Price ranging from £20 range up to £50ish for a month with classes, gym and depending on the gym swimming pool and other facilities.
  • Gymbox
  • Website: http://gymbox.com/
  • Twitter: @gymboxofficial
  • Price: when I went around the £70-80 per month mark. Lots of cool classes if you can afford it and like the atmosphere

‘I’ve got a cup of tea, tell me all about it…’

To make up for my lack of posts in March. I’m going to punish myself by publically revealing the shocking and sadly true story of my relationship with gyms. My relationship takes two extremes. One is of excess: a flurry of activity and determination, and the second is the all too familiar tale of lethargy and ultimate laziness.

The majority of my past experience of the gym has compromised of the following: an overexuberant desire to become some Hollywood starlette lounging on the sunlounger in summer with an airbrushed look of perfection. I gleefully join the gym with starry eyed visions of a future me. One session under unforgiving strip lighting with an offensive mirror reflecting my panting, beetroot sheen is evidence that it’s not that easy. Shouted orders leading to an unpleasant hour of trying to keep up and going home for a kitkat to give myself a break does not lead to model physique!

The Confession

I’ll get the worst out of the way first. The lowest moment of extreme laziness was following a year of being in a dream job. I was working at Cadbury’s in the sweet design team. Fabulous! Sadly not for my poor figure. Bowlful after bowlful of Cabdury Roses were planted by my desk, regular trips to the Easter egg plant and a criminally cheap factory shop opposite my house led to some hideous binging.

Luckily there was the shining light of the gym a mere 15 minute walk away, aha salvation to my sweet tooth addiction! I joined up as soon as my contract was signed, a way in which to get the best of both worlds, or so I thought!

Alas mere months later, several pounds of membership down, many more pounds up on my rear and I had descended into the shameful following situation.

Typical day of eyeing up, talking about, designing, playing with and eating “in the name of science” copious barrels of liquorice allsorts, jelly babies, chocolate truffle roses (because they’re clearly the best!), and exciting new concepts… thinking all the while about the gym. I should go. It’d make me feel better. A little jog or run would work off some of the excess.

Come 6pm, leaving work, eye up the street to the gym, go home for some tea, too full afterwards. Get in the car. Drive to the gym. Pick up complimentary DVD rental without looking the receptionist in the eyes. Run out the door. Go home. Watch film whilst shovelling in guilt food. Next day get back in car. Drive to the gym to return DVD again without making any eye contact. Don’t even cross the turnstiles. Go home and eat a Wispa bar to make me feel better about the shame. Oh yes.

I recount this reprehensible and repugnant tale so that I never forget it and feel the shame each time I recall the absolute disgrace of the situation.

The Mania

Onto a more positive tale. The tale of what a week of free membership can do for me! Through a previous job I was offered a whole week of free membership at the uber-cool-ultra-swanky-super-modern-dark-neon-lit-eye-wateringly-expensive-party-hub that is Gym Box. The delight of an unexpected free week induced a mania of multiple bookings of back to back classes to capitalise on the deal. I transformed into a demon, throwing myself into new classes with abandon and a healthy dose of “devil may care” attitude. I broke through the sashaying City sweethearts in my Asda bought George saggy faded sports attire, eyeing up the Sweaty Betty clad clan with a supreme confidence only possible when you know you’re never coming back!

That week took me into the clutches of class instructors that were drill sergeants. Along with the more standard classes, I also took advantage of the Gym Box’s cooler classes; I joined killer kettle bells, crazy kangoo bouncing and childish fun disco rave trampoline hi-jinks. On the whole I had a good level of success. The class that stumped me with the circus class. There, I spent the majority of it helplessly gazing in envy at those who could actually get onto the trapeze bars in the first place! I think I took the sad faced clown circus class rather than the graceful flying trapeze artists’ version. I’ll write in more detail about those classes another time I’m sure. Fun, but not something I could afford to keep up for long with their rates!

Finding the Right Fit

Ultimately I have grown over the years to know myself. I know I am not motivated by brightly lit clinical clone like gyms where you go in and spend time on various equipment to get fit. It simply bores me to tears and I find myself ticking down the minutes until I can leave – not a great inspiration to return regularly! Why oh why do they always have such boring TV on? Why on why is the music so one dimensional – where’s the variety? No pop, no country and western, no musicals, no indie channel?

Similarly I know from my collection of DVDs still in their cellophane and covered in a thick layer of dust that exercise DVDs for home also don’t work.

Swimming itself also bores me, aquafit classes are marginally better but I hate the cold wet and faffy aftermath. Having to pray that the verruca god spares you as you tip toe across the hair strewn bobbly wet floor; hoping your clothes can cling onto the one broken peg and don’t drop into the wet drain below; cleaning yourself in the 2 minutes 34 seconds allocated by the push button showers and the final undignified scramble to reclothe yourself in the sticky, humid, wet floored cubicle juggling items of clothing to avoid the soggy sock syndrome.

Nordic walking, now there’s something that was a little more fun – being outside with others. Ultimately though it doesn’t work up much of a sweat and is a little weather dependent. Normal walking, again available but I do find without someone to talk to a little quiet.

The Solution?

Back to the main topic – the gym. It is something that saves us “big boned” bunch. There are plenty of them and they do their best to accommodate. I’m very much hoping I am on a step towards a solution for my exercise aspirations. I’m lucky enough to be in a gym hotspot where I have a few to pick from and being community gyms they aren’t quite as “hip” as some other City gyms but they also aren’t quite as ridiculously priced.

From all the above that I have discounted, there is one area I know I love: to dance. Dance exercise classes, in particular Zumba and the cheesiest pop lets me flail around all red in the face and having a great time for an hour and not realise it – joy!

It’s also important in terms of the time and day of the week. At the moment I’ve established Mondays as a good day to get some lunchtime Zumba in, and an evening dance class too. It’s annoyingly on quite late so to fill in I’m pushing myself into the territory I detest: pumping bass and count downs of exercises you’re fully aware you’re doing as your muscles burn in protest! I’m treating my dance class after as my reward for jumping jacks and goes-against-every-fibre-in-my-being burpies.

IMG_20150309_140348Here’s hoping this time with a convenient location, plausible price tag and a semi habitual system in place I can push myself to stay here longer. On the plus side there are no free DVDs to distract me!



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