Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Don't Look, Just FEEL.

Hands up how many of you, like me have 'wasted' thousands of dollars (insert applicable currency) on gym membership over the years?

Each time you join, you PROMISE yourself you'll go regularly, watch what you eat and reach a specific goal weight. For all sorts of reasons, you don't. Your membership lags, you don't rejoin, tho you do join a new gym 6, 12, 18+ months down the track and do it all over again with similar results. Occasionally some of us break the cycle and reach our goals (YEAH YOU!).

Imagine receiving at the very least, HALF the money back that we've wasted on gym memberships!

The only gym I have ever felt 'at home' in, and therefore saw results, was at Curves (this by the way isn't a plug for them, but merely part of my personal story).

No classes.
No 'be there on time'.
No massive machines to navigate.
No fancy change rooms, or showers.
No one yelling at you to C'MON! Only 3 to go (which is really 10 cos no gym instructor worth their name badge can count properly)
No weigh ins.
No lectures.

30 minute prescribed circuit, minimum 3 times a week.

Hey, not only could I do that, I DID IT! 3-5 mornings a week, straight after Montessori drop off, I'd be there. Half an hour later I'd be on my way home to shower'n'change and get on with my day.

The results were great - I felt good, clothes were loosening, I had more energy, was sleeping better ...... and I was finally getting my moneys worth from a gym membership. The one thing I refused to do was weigh myself. I didn't care what the scales said - it was all about how I felt, and what my clothes were telling me. The coaches at Curves allowed me this 'space' to work in, and shared my joy in looser jeans, more comfortable bras and more.

We left Dublin for Yokohama. Everyone either jogged or ran; played tennis or squash; rode bikes or walked; there was Curves but it was miles away from where we lived. There was a gym at the Club we belonged to but it was full of mums from school who trim, taught and terrific AND FIT, that I felt like a blob. Didn't go. Didn't start to learn to run or jog, have no coordination for tennis or squash; can't ride either.

I was convinced to start boxing. I LOVED IT! The choreography reminded me of dance classes and I really enjoyed it til the coach started to make us run around the friction' sports field before class, and do full on cardio work outs. I was quite happy to punch and box. The coach was coming from Tokyo and ultimately decided it wasn't worth his while, so classes stopped. And so did I.

Didn't do anything in the UK. Despite having all the time in the world, in hindsight it probably would have been a very good thing to join a gym. I did start walking with a group of friends and enjoyed it, tho my stride is small (apparently) and I was always the last one at the cafe for coffee.

Every move is only 2-3 years which allows us a very specific, managable time frame in which to set goals and achieve stuff.

Every move, so far has been met with minimal success in terms of fitness goals.

I will never be skinny. I don't expect to be. It's not in my DNA. I don't think I'd look any good skinny - big boobs, curvy torso, child bearing hips, big bum. But I can be healthier, have more energy and loose a few kilo's. There's a few lovely pieces of clothing I'd love to 'get back into' and several 'loose' items I'd love to loose!

We joined the local gym/leisure centre.  It's within walking distance of the house and G's office; has free parking; is open long hours, 7 days a week; has a heated indoor pool (and an outdoor pool, which is open in summer), there's tennis courts, a huge choice of classes, a state-of-the art gym, weights, Pilates, Yoga and a healthy cafe/restaurant.

MissM's done a swimming course there. Now she's learning tennis.
G swims or rows, walks on treadmill.
I do the treadmill, zumba and stretch classes. Still not into cardio stuff!

After a year of doing this gentle routine, which I enjoy, I had an assessment and personal program written. Again, my goals were not necessarily weight loss, but simply feeling better about myself in my clothes, increasing my energy and improving sleep. Any weight loss would be a plus - right?

My clothes are definitely looser; discarded two pairs of favourite jeans cos they were simply too baggy and looked messy. My loose clothes annoy me now. People have started to notice and comment on 'how much weight' I've lost and I am thrilled they notice AND say something.

However, today, I did what I said I'd never do cos it's not important, but I was curious. I'm feeling so good, have thrown out a few 'fat' clothes, am receiving compliments ... now I have nothing to compare to cos it's the first time in y-e-a-r-s since I've been on scales or had my BMI tested.


I thought I'd weigh LESS!

Talk about a psychological downer.

My pants ARE looser.
I have more indurance - I did a mini-marathon!
My rings ARE looser!
People are noticing my thinner hips!
I do feel (slightly) healthier.
My energy levels are better than they've been for ages.
Not sure about lifting cos of my back.

The piece of paper with my weight and BMI printed on it is now in the bin. 

I'm going to forget the numbers and remember how I FEEL, which is pretty good.

So, from now on, I'm not going to Look. I'm just going to FEEL.

FEEL good that my clothes and looser; that my back is less sore, that I completed a mini-marathon and looking forward to doing it again in May; that I can still keep up with MissM and that I am looking forward to going to the gym tomorrow. 

What's your thoughts on gyms?
Do you have a favourite workout program?
Do you agree with Don't Look, Just FEEL?


  1. Yay you! I've never, ever joined a gym. I think exercise is pretty dangerous, given the injuries I see from gym bunnies. So I walk, I run around after the kids, I try to remember to stretch - used to do yoga, hated the class but loved the result. You are 100% right it is how you feel, not what the scale says or the BMI or whatever. And it is a great feeling having your jeans be loose....

    Mind you I'm sitting here with my fourth cookie. and they aren't the diet kind.

    I used to bike or power walk every morning before going to work. then it was marriage then it was kids and I never got back that 'me' time - although I didn't recognise it at the time as 'me' time.

    How old do the kids have to be before you get back to that????

    1. How old do the kids have to be before you get back to 'me' time, depends on so many things ..... but in general, mums tend to put themselves last, unless they get up at the crack of dawn and walk/run/jog/gym before everyone else is awake. Could you power walk at lunch time? (Imagine, me saying that rather than suggesting meeting for lunch in a nice cafe!). Maybe go to the gym when the kids are in bed and hubby is home is too hard but works for some. (G often goes straight from work, or comes home, has a light meal then goes to the gym when MissM is in bed). Not sure how I'd fit it in if I was commuting to/from work. A friend takes her kids running with her - they are on the bikes or scooters and manage to keep up that way. Her oldest is 11, youngest 3. The older kids are now running with her. Guess at some point, the time is right, the motivation is there and ya' just make it work.