Guest post from @vikkispeed – aka Mrs Oxford Fitness!
To put it simply, I don’t like the gym. I wouldn’t say I hate it – that word is far too menacing. But to say I don’t particularly enjoy it is about right.
Admittedly I’ve only been going to the gym for the past four weeks. My husband is a gym bunny through and through (bunny is a little feminine, but I couldn’t find a more pertinent word) and I’ve always loathed the thought of it.
We’ve been married less than a year, but we’ve been together for almost six. Throughout that time I have always wondered what’s the appeal, why does he enjoy it so much? Surely there’s more to life than lifting weights?
But then again, he’s always stayed in pretty good shape. He’s incredibly disciplined and can resist most tasty treats, except peanut butter. A jar of Nuts n’ More or Pic’s Peanut Butter is never usually more than two feet away.
And in time, his discipline and focus got me thinking. I’ve never been particularly worried about my shape or size but I know that the older I get and the more chocolate I eat, it’s inevitably going to change.
So I started doing a few home workouts, mainly HIIT, to try and keep fit. I really got into it at first – I tried to do a HIIT session in the morning before work or when I got home in the evening. I became addicted to feeling good about myself after exercise.
It didn’t last very long though. A couple of weeks would pass and I’d realised I hadn’t done anything, mainly because of work or other commitments getting in the way. Recently we have bought our first house together which is amazing, but my commute is twice as long which means trying to find even the tiniest amount of motivation is really tough. Especially when it comes to home workouts.
Which is why four weeks ago I decided to join the gym. I figured that paying for a membership would force me to get my arse in gear and actually do something. So far it’s worked – I have been three or four times a week and I’m feeling good about myself again. In fact if it were possible to have your eyes closed the entire time whilst at the gym, it would be positively perfect. But as is the case with most things in life, there’s a definite downside which makes me question my choice.
The ‘Gym Stereotypes’…
We all know they exist and social media has only perpetuated this fact. There’s the 16 year old lads who treat the gym like an after-school club; the guys in their snapbacks and tiny vests; the men in their 30’s who chat amongst themselves whilst sitting on equipment but not actually using it; the ones that stare at anything that moves and don’t appreciate how uncomfortable it can make you feel; and the girls in their crop tops and skin-tight leggings wearing a full face of make-up. It’s this final stereotype that really gets to me.
It’s still early days but I find myself getting frustrated at the very thought of facing these stereotypes every time I want to work out. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not perfect, I’m just your Average Joe in female form. But I can understand why some girls like me would completely avoid the gym altogether. Fortunately there are some great female bloggers out there who are strong-willed and really encourage women to face their fears and just do it! (I recommend Zanna Van Dijk and The Food Medic).
I hope whoever you are reading this post, that you aren’t put off giving the gym a go. Perhaps you’ve been going to the gym for a while already and hopefully you can see where I’m coming from. I’m determined not to give up, to stay healthy and to keep that feel-good attitude. Eventually I’ll learn to ignore the stereotypes and to focus on me.