Why I Quit The Gym In January

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January, a typical time to get fit. New Years resolutions made, promising that this year is “going to be your year.” Gym classes are packed. Every man and his dog in the town is on that piece of equipment you want to use. It can almost weigh you down. The sheer volume of leaflets from Slimming World, Weight Watchers and get fit quick schemes bombarde your doorstep. It makes you think twice about eating that Christmas left over cheese board.

January 2017, all the above was me. I joined the gym and was determined to go at least a couple of times a week, “get fit” and I thought that the gym would help me do just that. I have been into fitness since I met my then boyfriend and now husband. He was playing rugby at the time, training every day and seemed to eat a balanced diet (meaning he still pigged out a bit.) Having my husband into fitness has made it easy for it to become a part of my life too. On and off for the last 8 years I have tried all sorts of fitness plans and diets, in an attempt to try and find that perfect figure.

Resolutions are there to be broken right?

At the beginning of 2017, I made a resolution to get my “pre-baby” figure back. It wasn’t until November 2017 when I took part in a 30 day “Run Every Day” challenge that my outlook began to change. How could my body ever be the same after I became a mum? In short, it can’t. I grew a life, I ate a shed tonne of salt and vinegar crisps. The only movement that I did in my pregnancy and maternity leave was pretty much the walk to the shop to buy more crisps. It is unrealistic to aspire to achieve the pre-baby version of me. But I have learnt that it is ok.

I am finally in a place where I am happy with who I am and the house that my soul lives inside.

Recently, I started following more “body positive” accounts on social media. More to be inspired above anything. However, I was saddened that there seems to be a negative attitude to those who do want to diet or exercise. Now, don’t get me wrong. For those that pro-claim they are “fat and fabulous” – that is amazing. I stand here behind you applauding that you are comfortable enough to shout that from the rooftops. But spare a thought for those that are skinny and sassy and also just as comfortable in their skin. Lets empower each other, those that want to diet and those that don’t.

Why I quit the gym…

My 2017 membership runs out at the end of January 2018 and I am not going to renew. The main reason is because, for me, fitness is not about going to the gym 5 times a week desperately trying to lose weight anymore. Keeping fit is a challenge to myself. A challenge to live that little bit longer and to push my body to new limits. Last year, I had a pretty good routine going combining HIIT workouts with free weights. My weight has remained the same all year through even after eating relatively healthy and working flat out. After running every day in November, my mind finally got it. It is time for a shake up.

For 2018, my plans are to run. Simple. All I need for this is a decent pair of trainers and a bucket full of get up and go. I have entered the “Race At Your Own Pace” challenge to run 50 miles in January. As soon as January is over, who knows where else I will run. All I know for certain is, I am running because my legs are able to, because it empowers me.

Whenever I am moving faster than the wind, I am in a good space both physically and mentally. Running outside is my chance to realign, refocus and sort out my thoughts. Please take note, I am not a runner and I started off hating every step. It is a process and my running journey has got easier and better with each day which is just like life really. Life is best lived one day at a time.

Having entered 2018, if you do not yet feel all “New Year, New You” that’s okay. If you feel New Year, Same You, that’s okay too.

Do whatever is best for you and forget the rest.

The below pics from September 2013 (major throwback!) to when I was into weightlifting and challenging myself to lift heavier than my own body weight. Looking back, I was very slim here and not in a comfortable way. However, I didn’t weigh much different to what I do now. It just goes to show. Images can be deceiving, don’t count weight, don’t rely on photos. What does matter most is how you feel in your mind. My only goal this year is to have a healthy mind, and no gym alone can give me that.

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