Sorry about the lack of new posts. I’ve been a little busy with a whole bunch of stuff. I have a lot of random things in mind like all my other posts, but let’s just set those aside for the time being. I’d like to talk about a change in lifestyle.
How it began
I may not have mentioned this in my blogposts before but I did on my facebook profile -
I, for the first time in my life, purchased gym membership!
If you ask any of the people I grew up with, or who know me very well, you’ll find out that I used to avoid the gym like the plague. The only time I went to the gym, even slightly “seriously”, was in the summer of ’11. And that was because I’d put on a ridiculous amount of weight, because of a mostly sedentary university lifestyle. Especially at the end of the university year, which was spent mostly cramming my face with revision snacks under the pretense of studying. And so, when I went home to Dubai in the summer, for fear of relatives exclaiming about my weight (Indians. Sigh. Why are we like this?), I took to going to the gym everyday, running on the treadmill for around 30-35 minutes,alternating between 1 minute jogging and 30 seconds of sprinting. It was pretty good, in the sense that it did bring about quite rapid weightloss. Short term. For me anyway. There was no way I was going to keep it up whilst at university.
Summer ended, I went back to uni. This time, though, I decided that enough was enough. No longer can I avoid the gym. So I marched my unshapely, large hiney into the university gym, filled in the membership form, gawked at the fee, gritted my teeth as I inserted my debit card into the card machine, cringed as the gym guys took £200 out of my account, and made up my mind that this was the only way I’d ever go to the gym. There were other gyms outside of uni that were cheaper and whose membership included free extra classes (zumba, aerobics, etc) – probably all better deals. But the university gym was nearest to where I live, and there was always the option of going directly after lectures. Also, I hated that it was £200 for 12 months, of which I’d probably not be around for 4-5 months or so (what with flying back to Dubai for holidays and stuff), but I figured that annoyance would drive (well, force) me to attend the gym. Yes, I know I used the word “attend”, like it’s some kind of seminar or lecture.. but that’s exactly how I felt about going to the gym. It was a chore.
Sadly, that didn’t happen for a long while even after I’d purchased membership. I just could not be bothered to haul my ass out of my house and into an enclosed area surrounded by active, fit people. It just wasn’t going to happen. The treadmill, for me, was only fun when I was in the gym at home in Dubai. It was almost always empty, and I’d put my ‘workout music’ on LOUD, maybe jig around, dance and stuff while ON the treadmill, singing and pretending like I had my own workout video. Yeah. That’s how I am. It was fun that way.
I felt bad about wasting money, but clearly not bad enough.
The boyfriend is really into strength and conditioning. Always has been. And he has a pull-up bar in his house. I’m always in awe when he does pull-ups and I happened to mention to him that I wished I could do a pull-up. Just one. I would be over the moon if I could. He said, of course you can; it might take a little while to be able to do so, but he could show me how to go about it. He bought me the Kindle edition of this book:
Said maybe I should give this a read, and see what I think.
Weight lifting? But I’m a girl.
Is what I thought when I looked at the book. I didn’t want to get huge or bulky, and look like this:
Turns out you can’t. In order to look like that you need to gain muscle, which isn’t very easy. It requires a specific diet, and an insane amount of working out. Bear in mind that the women in those pictures are BODYBUILDERS. And anyway, they take steroids to alter their genetic makeup in order to look more masculine. No thanks.
These are women that do weightlifting as a form of exercise:
There were a LOT more photos of amazing looking women but I wasn’t too sure about putting up pictures of scantily clad women (if you thought these^ ones were bad, you should see the ones on the website. Whoo mama). I thought it would’ve been a tad distracting.
Of course, the woman in the second picture is really lean (i.e. has extremely low body fat on her), which is only possible with a rigorously strict diet and a LOT of commitment to training her body to look like that. They’re fitness models/athletes anyway, and they usually train really hard to look like that before a competition or photoshoot.
Other times, they look like the woman in the first picture, or this:
Just to give you an idea.
Obviously you don’t go from looking like how you do, to that, after just one workout.
I began going to the gym, weightlifting! And I actually like it and think it’s really cool. As I’m getting physically stronger, I feel like as if I’m becoming mentally stronger too. I feel more confident, and more ABLE. The feeling when you hit a new personal best is amazing. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d lift weights! It’s really awesome.
I follow the program on the the book I mentioned above, but since I have quite naturally wide shoulders, I’ve substituted certain exercises that work on arms and shoulders, with other exercises.
At the moment, I’m training three times a week, and I alternate between two set workouts. The exercises include squats, deadlifts, push-ups, assisted pull-ups (on a machine, of course. I can’t do one on my own… yet), step-ups, lunges, planks, glute bridges and prone jackknife. This coming saturday, I will be attempting to do 70 kg in deadlifts for 8 reps! EXCITED! But nervous too!
Wish me luck