What I forgot about exercise . . .

My New Year restart has two components — getting a new job and getting in shape.  And getting back into shape involves two more things — eating healthy and that dreaded word — exercise. 

I already eat fairly healthy — lots of vegies, lots of fruit and lots and lots of water.  Which means, to lose weight and get back into my ‘skinny jeans’ (in this case, a pair of black suede pants), I have to exercise more.  I had that stereotypical ‘filled with dread’ feeling on that one. 

I just hate the pressure of going to a gym.  

First, there’s trying to actually get to a gym.  I work as a corporate in-house attorney.  I go into work early.  I leave work sometimes at normal hours but more often at oh-dark-hundred.  I will frequently end up in the office on weekends.  Most gyms don’t have classes at ridiculously early or late hours, and if it’s late, there’s a very good chance that I’ll be too tired to even want to drive there.

Then there’s the image thing.  I’m pretty good at blocking out people when I’m doing something, a holdover from my days in journalism, but even so, a gym stocked with model-like people, even if they’re people who are perfectly nice, is a bit disheartening. 

And finally, there’s what I call the pressure factor.  At this point, I know what my body is capable of doing; what stretches, exercises, equipment work for me, and what’s just a waste of my time.  But with one exception, at every gym I’ve ever tried, there’ve been people who insist I need to join a particular class to get back in shape.  And while I like trying new things, my goal at the gym is to get in shape asap, using what time I have.   Given my schedule, odds are I’m not going to make it to that class on anything approaching a regular basis anyway.  

(That one exception?  A Gold’s gym just down the street from my apartment.  I loved that place.  Sadly, it closed.)

Rather than looking for a gym, I decided to try working out at home.  Won’t have to drive like a madwoman to get to the gym before it closes, and I could work out at my own pace.  So I picked up yoga DVDs and weights and planned out a routine.  Last night was the first workout.  And as I moved from stretches to  calisthenics to weights to a full yoga rep, I remembered something very important.

I like working out. 

Without those eyes on me, or interruptions from people wanting to sign me up for a class, I blew through the routines at full speed.  I finished, and I felt wonderful.  I was actually ready to go again.  Being smart, I didn’t — but the fact that I wanted to, that I didn’t look forward to the next workout with dread and stress, bodes well for my getting back in shape.


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