Round is a Shape

Following on from my original post, the theme of this website overall could be summarised as “stop whining, if you want to change something then change it.”

Now I know that is easier said than done. I get it. But my patience has a limit.

I thought for a long time that I was rather unfit and should probably do something about it. I’m an okay shape, thanks to a balanced diet and a young person’s metabolism, which has not completely abandoned me yet, but I always felt that should one be put in a survival position, due to a flash flood, fire, or unexpected entry to the Hunger Games, one should be able to survive at least 5 minutes. At least.

That is quite an ask for someone with the muscle definition of string cheese.

Fitness is not something to be boasted about, it is a requirement of life, especially if you want a lengthy one. If you are attacked, you should be able to fight back, or run away. If you are being chased by zombies, you should not collapse after 100 yards because you have never done a day’s cardio in your life. If the Titanic starts sinking beneath you, maybe you should have learnt to swim, or checked the name of the ship before booking tickets.

Now, obviously there are exceptions to this rule. Asthmatics need to look after themselves, wheelchair users are unlikely to become professional sprinters, let’s not go crazy. My point is that fitness should be introduced as a basic necessity to people’s lives at a young age, just like washing your hair or changing your underwear is done on a regular basis, so should exercise be build into your routine. Changing your perception of exercise from a luxury (if only you had the time or the money!) to a chore like cooking or cleaning suddenly makes it much easier to get done. And you still get to be smug about it!

For example, I joined a gym in September last year. I’ve joined gyms before and paid through the nose to wander down there once a week to sit on the bike for half an hour then spend just as long in the sauna and call it exercise. This time, I told myself it would be different. I lack motivation- in a big way- so I signed myself up for classes instead. Being surrounded by people doing the same exercises as you is excellent motivation, because you are too embarrassed to stop, even if it hurts, even if your muscles are shaking and you feel sick. And then the moment the teacher says “great job Hannah!” is fantastic, it’s like having a personal trainer without the shouting and torture.

But now it’s March and my will power, always pathetic, is dwindling. The gym takes up my evenings, it moans to me, and I walk to and from work already- isn’t that enough? What more do you want from me?!

Will power, I want you to get a grip! In only a couple of months I’ve noticed that 1 weights class, 1 Yoga/Pilates session and 1 core focused half-hour a week has increased my strength, improved my mood, regulated my sleep and increased my smugness 100%. Why should I have to give up feeling great and go back to moaning and lounging about? While the gym is part of my routine it’s easy. I have to go, because on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursday evenings I go to the gym. It’s expected of me, so I go. Unfortunately, illness meant that I had to skip a few in favour of lying in bed with purring kittens and Vicks on my chest (yes, both), and getting back into that routine is proving to be a bit of a killer.

The solution? Stop whining about it and just do it. You can’t be bothered to go to the gym and suffer through a weights class? Fine, stay home, change into comfy clothes, find a Tabata soundtrack on YouTube and do HIIT training at home. 30 minutes of panting and sweating later and you’re ready to shower, relax and laze around the rest of the evening like you were planning to do anyway. 30 minutes is not taking up enough of your time to complain about it.

I even surprised myself. I enjoyed it. I did it again on Wednesday, and Then went to the gym for yoga. Mad!

So this is why I get a little bit annoyed when people moan to me, “Oh I’m so fat. I’m so unfit! I have no money for the gym, it’s too far and also my car needs petrol to get there. There’s nowhere to exercise at home either.” (I have enough just floor space for a yoga mat at home and manage just fine.) “Plus I don’t have time to exercise, I have so much work to do!”

I’m sorry, that’s rubbish. You’ve just spent half an hour moaning when you could have done a work out. If you have no time, why are you watching TV? If you have no money, why are you posting photos of your night out on Facebook?

If you want something, genuinely want it, then you have to be prepared to go and do it!

Posting photos of flat stomachs on Pinterest will not make you thin. A little exercise often, with a healthy diet, will actually make you thin. Unless you are a whale, in which case- how are you reading this? That’s amazing!!

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