Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Getting active

So... I've joined a gym.

It's been a very long time. The last time I belonged to a gym was ten years ago, when we lived in London. I was pretty good, and went regularly for the whole year. Not much about my body changed in that time, but my fitness went through the roof. I guess that's something, but I had been hoping to slim down a little too.

Cut to now. I'm okay with my body, but at the same time, there are bits I don't like, and I would be more than happy if I went down a dress size or two. My current weight is what it was pre-kids but it's all about the jiggle. A little less would be nice. My arms are heading dangerously into 'tuck shop lady arms' territory, and I need to sort that out.

There are a few other reasons why I've finally jumped into this fitness kick.

I've never been great at motivating myself to get active, so I've been fairly sedentary over recent years - especially since moving to Los Angeles. In Sydney, I did a hell of a lot of walking, as part of my daily routine. Even the walk to the bus stop (on my way to work) involved a trek up a hill each morning. We lived in a hilly area, with cafes and shops within a decent walking distance, so I only drove to the shops if it was raining. Here, even though it's much flatter, nothing is conveniently located without having to get in the car. Annoying.

I also want to start setting a better example now that the Faery is getting older, and more aware about healthy choices. I can't exactly preach to her about playing outside if she only sees me sitting on my toosh in my down time.

Lastly, I want some of those exercise endorphins, dammit. A more positive attitude and headspace is something I'm in need of, and I hear exercise is great for that... so bring it on.

Luckily, some friends have been raving about a nearby women's gym with child-minding. Just what I need! Having a few friendly faces to run into also helps.

It's early days - I only signed on last week - but so far it's been interesting. I can't help but chuckle already at some of the differences between my London gym experiences and my current situation. The gym in London was tucked away down a narrow lane way, behind a large railway station. It had a lot of squash courts (which I don't think is as popular here?), was mixed gender membership, and a number of the women played rugby. For fun.

In contrast, this gym is part of a large office building near a freeway. Plenty of parking available, naturally. Being a women's gym, there is definitely a wide range of clientele, but in terms of conforming to LA stereotypes, I've already seen quite a few women who have succumbed to Botox, dermal fillers, and silicone. The area we live in has a high Armenian population, so there are also plenty of girls who look, dress and sound like they could be long lost Kardashian sisters.

Anyhow, I have a feeling that by making the effort to hit the gym several times a week, it's going to cut into my internet time... but then, that's the point. Get off my arse, get active. Stop reading, start doing.

I just need to keep reminding myself of a quote I saw on Pinterest:


I like it.


  1. Good luck with it, MJ. Once you get into the routine you'll be right as rain. I think then the feelgood factor will kick in and that will make it easier to keep going.

    I'm a bit gym phobic myself and relied for years on my walking and high stress levels to keep me in shape but it doesn't seem to be working anymore. Sigh. Have actually pulled out the hand weights and the step so I can get in some exercise every day. Just need to stick to it now.

    1. I've never been a person who enjoys exercise, so there's no chance I'll turn into a gym bunny. I do need to adjust my attitude so that my perception of exercise is less one of torture, and more one of something that can be enjoyed... at times.

      I tried a step class last week and... torture. I was so uncoordinated, it wasn't funny. Combine that with an intimidating Aussie instructor (of course!) and I was very relieved when I was called out before the end, to the the child care room because P was inconsolable (it's all very new to her).

  2. I think it's awesome, as you know.

    When I first started going to the gym in my early 20s, I had been deeply sedentary. Despite not particularly enjoying sport, I was very active as a kid but that all stopped once school was out and beer was in. So I fully expected to HATE the gym and felt I would never enjoy it or be converted.

    I was so wrong.

    Once it gets under your skin, you find you NEED to do it. Not doing it feels wrong, like forgetting to brush your teeth.

    So stick with it, lady. You'll find the things that you most enjoy but keep trying those things that scare you, too, because those are the classes that will push you out of your 'safe' zone. The endorphin kick is infinitely better when you survive a class you hated!

    1. I would love for it to get under my skin, but we'll see. Baby steps here. I'm also tracking the calories I eat (something I've never done before, but have an iPhone app which makes it super easy to do), and trying to stick within a certain amount, and already seeing results with that too - 1.5 kg lighter in less than a week. Who knew it was that simple?

      Hopefully it's not just beginner's luck! We'll see where I am in 6 weeks' time.

    2. You're a legend! Well done.

      Absolutely, baby steps. All you had to do was make a start - DONE! If you can push through the initial resistance (which may hang around for a while longer yet - let's face it, there are soooo many other things we could be doing), I think you will start to feel it become a more normal part of your life.