I have wanted to do this post for ages but didn't want to feel as though I was preaching. After a few conversations with different girls I have decided to write it out to try and help us ladies out a bit! I am going to start off with the important bit.
I am not a naturally athletic person. I am lazy and was one of those people at school who would feign period pains to get out of the compulsory once a week P.E class. I was naturally tiny up until around the age of 16, so never felt the need to exercise and hated working up a sweat.
Then womanhood hit me like a truck on MDMA and everything changed. I got much curvier, especially around the hips and thighs. (And boobs, much to my teenage angst's pleasure.) I got to uni and lived off alcohol and takeaway, and let's just say my body didn't appreciate it. I didn't realise how shitty I felt until I felt really good to compare it!
So I decided to start going to the gym to get back a body I was happy with. I'm still not quite there, but I think that is because when I get to my aim, I just want to get even stronger and more toned! I'm going to answer a lot of first-timer worries which I had before joining a gym.
1. What do I wear???
An old baggy t-shirt, some running shoes and running shorts or leggings. You can pick these up cheap as chips from your nearest Sports Direct, and when you get into exercising frequently, treat yourself to some nicer ones! My running shoes which I got for Christmas motivate me even more to go out and put them on! Get a sports bra too if you are chesty as otherwise it may be a painful experience! You can get some fun bright ones cheap at H&M.
2. What do I not wear??
Here are a few of the things I do not recommend you wearing, because you won't fit in and may get uncomfortable. When I say trainers, I do mean running trainers with proper support. Not Vans, Converse, or Hi-Tops. Those are fashion shoes, it would be similar to going to the gym in pumps! Also, jeans are a no-no. People look at you funny.
3. What if hot guys look at me while I'm a sweaty mess?!
Guys like that you look like a sweaty mess. Any male I have spoken to have said they respect girls working out and look down on the ones who go in full makeup and don't break a sweat. They notice you for your fitness, and apparantly the sweat is a turn on because it reminds them of sex??? I read that in a magazine somewhere. So yeah. Sweat is good!!!
4. I don't know what I'm doing, what if people judge me because I'm unfit?
This was a big fear, and now I have been I can safely say, nobody is looking at what you are doing, how long you are doing it for, or what technique you are using. When you're working out you're in your own zone, everyone tends to be focussed on the machine or their ipods. You may notice someone walk in but I could not tell you what anyone in the gym is actually doing or how long for. Just do your own thing and rest assured, nobody else in the room gives a shit.
5. I'm so unfit, it will be embarassing!
So get to the gym and get fitter!! It's a vicious cycle! Also, being around so many people pushing themselves is a great motivator. When I get tired and I see another girl still going, I think 'if she can do it, I can do it!'
I go to the gym 5 days a week at the moment and can tell you now, it is the best feeling when you come out and know you worked hard. You never regret a work out. Nothing embarrassing happens at the gym and nobody judges you, everyone is in the same position. Maybe 10% of people in the gym are hardcore athletes and know what's what,but everyone else is the same as you, just trying to get a bit fitter.
Don't let being embarrassed or ashamed of yourself get in the way of making you happier. You feel better on the inside and the outside, so try it out at least once. If you absolutely hate it, then fair enough but if you don't even try you will never know and will miss out. I'm so glad I went! Even get a girlfriend to go along and try it out with you, make it a social thing and go together! Healthy lunch date post-workout. :)
I'm still to scared to go down into the separate weights room where all the hefty men tend to be,but I'm going to go this week because I want abs and I want to go and lift weights to get them. I want abs more than I care how sweaty I will look.
Of course, there will always be some things you don't like doing. I still don't like the treadmills, and will do fifteen minutes before getting off and feeling stupid for only doing fifteen minutes. But at the end of the day, I don't enjoy it. I enjoy the thigh machine and increasing the weights every day and seeing how much stronger I am getting. I enjoy the cross trainer and can do that for ages before getting bored. So don't feel bad if you don't enjoy something, try something else! At the end of the day to be able to get toned you need to lose the weight by combining cardio and weights. Without gym equipment, this is really hard to do successfully at home and to keep up.
I hope this has helped some of you, if you have any more questions I will answer anything!
Let's all go out and get our bikini bodies ready for the summer!
Edit: Also thought I would add, the only time I've seen someone at the gym and thought 'what the hell are you thinking?!' was when a girl was on a bicycle... eating an ice cream. Yep. She brought an ice cream into the gym and was cycling ever so slowly whilst eating up her creamy dessert. Very odd.