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.