The Road to Abs: Losing My Gym Virginity

Asics runners, Voss water bottle, Kate Hill handbag

Until a couple of years ago, I was mildly allergic to sport and physical activity in general. It’s a miracle that I was able to maintain a petite figure, given the colossal amount of carbs I would ingest on the daily. Much to my dismay, my metabolism refuses to uphold its previous 5-star functionality, forcing me to adopt a weekly regime of this thing called exercise. A sweat fest if you will. 

I can’t say I’ve fully embraced the pleasure of gasping for my breath as my heart works to capacity. Not to mention the lovely pools of sweat that form in unmentionable places. Delicious. However, in an effort to avoid a hefty wardrobe overhaul and to feed my carb habit (priority number one), I made the necessary sacrifices and joined the gym. (Applause)

As eager as I was to cut out the weekly fee and DIY my way to a summer bod, I just couldn’t seem to master a weekly routine. I figured it was because I had nothing to lose. Although the weight gain was slightly disheartening, it wasn’t enough motivation to push me out of bed for a morning run. And plus, winter in Melbourne doesn’t really help the situation. A gym membership, on the other hand, is an expensive commitment which eradicates all weather-related excuses. Wallah – motivation levels reinstated (sort of). It’s been a whole month (15 or so sessions) since I joined the gym junkie society and in celebration, I wanted to share a snapshot of my journey. 

Joining the cult

It was a teeth-chattering cold Tuesday evening and I was already off to an awful start. I couldn’t find the entrance. Actually, I found it, but the chlorine stench and pool facade convinced me otherwise. They definitely need more obvious signage for gym virgins like myself. I was later greeted with the typical, well-rehearsed sales pitch to which I smiled enthusiastically and pretended as though they won me over with their ‘just for you’ deals. I’m such a good customer.

My first solo session

I was feeling very nervous and very out of place. I was entering a foreign land of gym junkies and veterans with nobody to hold my hand. I was anxious about using the machines incorrectly and making a rookie fool out of myself, but I quickly learned that everyone is focusing on themselves, not me. A shocking discovery, but it’s not all about me!

Losing my yoga virginity

It’s safe to say that I completely underestimated the intensity of yoga. I pictured myself emerging from the class completely zenned out, ready to conquer the week ahead. Instead, I was sweating uncomfortably and struggling to keep up with the pace of the class. The soreness that plagued my body afterwards made it incredibly difficult to even reach for a glass on the top shelf (short girl problems intensified) but I persisted on. I was actually ready to quit after the second class but was telepathically convinced by the instructor to continue on when she announced that yoga is something that takes years to master. I’m certain these comments were directed at the uncoordinated girl in the back – me.

The soreness factor 

I anticipated the soreness. I even welcomed it with open arms. Well, the soreness definitely hugged me back, a bit too hard. My lifting abilities were severely compromised in the aftermath, but it was strangely satisfying at the same time and it still is. It’ll all be worth it come summertime when I can strut down the beach runway (abs and all) without having to suck in my permanent food baby. That is of course if I make a few critical amendments to my diet. 

The diet meltdown

I knew that reevaluating my eating habits was part and parcel of losing the chub. I don’t know what was more painful initially – reducing my processed sugar intake or continuing to run on a treadmill long after my body had screamed stop. First, you need to know that sugary baked goods are my number one weakness. Next in line is ice-cream. I knew that weaning myself off these decadent creations would be a challenge and a half, but I needed to try and exercise a little discipline to reach my fitness goals. Reducing my sugar intake was far too vague an objective, so I broke it down further. These were the conditions I established initially: a maximum of 1 treat per week and if I had any more than that, I would have to schedule in an additional 1-hour gym workout. Needless to say, I was off to an ambitious start. Sadly, my sugar control methods worked for about 3 weeks before I accidentally indulged in more than one treat. My diet is evidently a work in progress. I’m still exercising discipline and saying no to the unjustified treats. I guess that’s where it all begins – saying no.

The hunger game

I’ve always consumed a surprising amount of food for my size, but these cardio-intense gym sessions have triggered unexpected bouts of insatiable hunger. Invading the fridge and pantry has always been standard practice, but I’m almost certain that I’m burning additional calories from these exercised-induced scavenger hunts for food. I’ve even had to transform my trusty handbag into an emergency hunger kit, though I am often left hungry for something more decadent or carb-filled. The struggle is real.

If you’ve encountered a similar metabolic speed malfunction and you’ve been double tapping those fitspo grams in pursuit of that sexy summer bod, make it happen ladies and gents. Now… Where are my abs?


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