I have recently joined a gym in my local area. It has been on my mind to restart this hobby for quite some time. I used to go with friends when I lived with my mum, and I sometimes also went with my ex when I lived with him. I have made life long friends through the gym and working out had been a big part of my life for quite some time. So when I decided to get a place of my own, knocking the gym felt like quite a blow. It was an obvious necessity that had to be made, as cutbacks are part of the deal of solo living, but trust me, it was not an easy decision for me to make. So imagine my delight when I found an affordable gym in my area. I joined without a hint of uncertainty, bought a new kit and hit the treadmill with my ipod blaring. But by being open about this, I didn't realise the reactions I would get. I have had more than the occasional well meaning tutts, the shaking of the heads and the woe be gone looks of some of those around me. Someone then said to me that I didn't need to join a gym, and I know they meant it as a compliment, but in honesty it made me quite angry! So it's here that I want to point out that yes, ok, I can fit comfortably into a size 10 pair of jeans, but that does not mean I am in love with my body. I want to clear up that I am not joining the gym because I want to become a skinny mini who has to use a belt to hold up her size 8's. Nor do I want to become a bicep queen. I decided to join a gym because I enjoy it, I also want to make the most of the health benefits by being fitter and more toned.
Surely it is a better hobby than drinking my body weight in beer, or working my way through the local take away menu. I am not going to get fitter by sitting on my backside watching the box, nor will my strength improve by lifting a mug of tea throughout the day. I want to join a gym because, quite frankly, I don't want to watch what I eat. I'd hate to deprive myself of that bar of chocolate or glass of wine for fear it will sit on my hips or stomach for the next decade. I am quite an indulgent character who likes her food and drink, and if I had to cut this out, I would become a moody moo! Going to the gym allows me to treat myself on more than the rare occasion, and it keeps the guilt at bay if I have a pig out. Working on my fitness levels helps me keep my asthma in check, and it helps with my stress levels too. Joining a gym has had many benefits, and they are not just the usual weight loss ones. So if someone you know announces they have joined, I am sure they would rather have your support than be given the third degree. And if you are joining a gym yourself, maybe I will see you on the treadmills or at the weights, but there is a chance I won't hear you approach me, as my ipod will be blaring.