I have a love/hate relationship with exercise...
I hate the thought of exercise. I hate sweating. I hate getting in my car and driving to the gym. I hate Lycra. BUT I love the feeling after I have exercised. Apart from the sweat.
So.. This year has been up and down in terms of a lot of things. Especially the scales and my visits to the gym.
So a brief explanation of my relationship with exercise goes like this; I joined my local gym in December 2015 - two months before my wedding. I had loads of time on my hands as I was a student so spent at least 5 days a week, sometimes 6 if I was feeling really enthusiastic, in the gym. When I went for my final wedding dress fitting mid February 2016 and discovered that I had lost 6 inches from my waist, and two inches everywhere else including my thunder thighs. I was delighted!! And also classed myself as a gym obsessive... until I couldn't be arsed to go anymore.
I moved house at Christmas and joined a new gym. This gym has all the state of the art gym machines and plays decent music (which is always a bonus when looking for the motivation to exercise). So I promised myself I would make an effort and visit at least three times a week.
I did visit three times a week for January and February, then it dwindled down to twice a week, then once. Before I knew it I had not been the gym, or done any form of exercise for weeks. Weeks turned into a month (or two!). With that, the weight piled on and all of a sudden I was back in the all-so-familiar rut that I had found myself in so many times before...
I found that the key to having a successful relationship with exercise is to enjoy how you are exercising. Find something in the gym that you can do and feel comfortable with and put your effort into that. For me, this is the bike. I can't run, I hate running it hurts. Haha. But I can cycle. I then do some light weights which I can lift without giving myself a hernia. And I enjoy this routine. I concentrate my efforts on cycling a bit faster than the previous time or going further than before. This way I am still making progress whilst doing an exercise I feel comfortable with.
Also, exercise because you want to, not because you feel like you have too. Do it for yourself, not for anyone else. That way, you are more likely to stick it out if you know you are only pleasing yourself.
Try Something New
So recently I have been trying Yoga. OK - let me set the scene for you. I am a size 16/18 woman with very short and inflexible legs... getting my drift? Yoga is not as easy as it looks! But it does make you sweat and my gosh was I sweating the first time I tried it. But y’know, I actually love it! I do it in my own home (I cancelled my gym membership after I found it in an old handbag covered in dust) and it really makes you feel centred and oddly relaxed. I follow a channel on YouTube (which is linked below) and they do loads of yoga videos for beginners all the way through to pro. If you’ve never tried it - give it a go!
Exercise because you want to!
We are surrounded by fitness gurus on instagram and YouTube these days and we can probably end up scrolling for hours wishing that it was us, amirite? Well don’t. A lot of the time what your seeing isn’t really what’s happening. A lot of photos are highly edited and taken in the most perfect conditions. If you’ve fallen out of love with yourself and you feel exercise will help you then do a little at a time and start to build up to more when you are ready. You don’t have to be doing yoga or being in the gym to exercise either - stick your fave playlist on and dance around your living room like no one is watching! You’ll be surprised at how good you feel afterwards!
Whatever you do - just enjoy it.
- Lea Bella x