Featured in Fit & Fabulous

My Gym Starter Story

I started the gym about a month ago, and this is my story.

So, as you can tell from the title, I started the gym about one month ago and it has been a big struggle for me.

It all started when I moved in with my partner about one year ago and realized that my jeans were starting to get a little tight about six months in, and for the life of me I thought it was because I was using a tumble dryer, so I thought nothing of it and just changed to air drying them. 

However, one day I said to myself, "You know what? I'll step on the scales to see what the numbers show."

And to my horror, I had put on two stone, and this was something I didn't want to believe. So I stepped off the scales, made sure they were working correctly, and decided to try again. Yes, I had indeed put on two stone.

That night I stayed up all night crying and panicking because I had never felt so bad about myself and I had never felt as though I was fat before this point in my life. 

After this horrendous night, I thought to myself,  "I need to do something about this. My birthday is coming up soon and I'm going on holiday, so I want to look nice for my week away."

So I decided to look at what I was packing away and noticed my diet had changed drastically since I had moved out from my parents' house. I had started to eat out so much more, and I went to the pub a lot more often than I used to, so I made the decision to no longer eat out and I chucked away all my sweets, chocolate and much more.

But that still wasn't good enough. I came to the conclusion that I needed to start working out, and the idea of this was such a daunting task for me. I didn't even want to think about joining a gym, but I knew I had to. 

Eventually, after thinking about how mortifying it was to go to the gym, I picked up my phone and typed in "gym in my area" and found one that was doing a free first-month trial and snatched it up, reluctantly. 

The first day I went was the worst. Even driving up to the gym I felt intimidated by the building and the gigantic drawing of someone on a bike on the side of the building, but I took a deep breath, parked my car, and slowly assented to the front door. I punched my number in three times, after getting it wrong twice due to how worked up I had gotten myself. 

As soon as I got in, it was incredibly large, and there were so many people and machines all over the place that I couldn't tell you what a single person was doing or what the machines were for. I nervously paced all around the gym to find my bearings and found myself at the bottom of some stairs where a bunch of treadmills were, and I found my people! The non athletic people, or the starters, and my nerves came right down. 

I stepped on the treadmill next to an old man, smiled at him, and started walking while listening to a true crime podcast. I eventually got into my element and forgot that I was in a gym. I just listened to my podcast and all my troubles seemed to fade away.

For the first five minutes that is, and that is when I started to get out of breath. But I thought about that two stone I needed to shift and I powered on. After ten minutes on that, I moved to the cycling machine for ten minutes and carried on doing some machines that I knew how to do and avoided anything new like the plague. 

It wasn't until about three times at the gym, when I had gained a slither of confidence and when I didn't feel like a fish out of water, that I did start to look at those particularly daunting machines. And after about one week of dragging myself to the gym, I had finally psyched myself up to attempt one of the machines. Considering that at this point I had participated in no upper body workout in the slightest, it was like a new beginning by even starting on them. It felt like I was entering stage two in the battle that was the gym. 

So now at this point, I have tried many of the machines and still have so many more to try. I try about two or three new machines every time and try to keep up the extra work at the gym, but it has not always been the easiest. The struggle is real.