Thursday, August 16, 2012

On Working Out & Falling Off Treadmills

The best advice I was ever given about working out was that it takes 21 days to make something a habit.  For almost my entire post adolescence existence I have longed to be one of those people who goes to the gym on the regular, has a body to show for it, and actually enjoys working out.  Unfortunately, that was never really my thing.  I've always been naturally clumsy, nonathletic, and non-enthusiastic about working out.  I was the typical "buys-a-gym-membership-after-every-New-Years-Eve-girl."  By January 15th of every year I became the typical "I'm-not-using-that-gym-membership-I-bought-girl."  It wasn't until I came to graduate school that I became the "I-go-to-the-gym-everyday-girl."
Around this time I was lamenting about my post 23-year-old weight gain, how I had to actually pay attention to what I ate now, and how much I hated being 30 pounds over weight.  I blamed my lack of a steady gym partner on my inability to keep a gym schedule, because obviously my lack of gumption in this arena was someone else's fault...then a friend suggested I try making myself go to the gym, even if it's just to walk for 10 minutes every day for 21 days.  He told me it takes 21 days to make something a habit.  So for the next 21 days straight, I went to the gym.  Some days I was more determined than others...but I stuck to it for 21 days straight.  To my great surprise...I started liking it.  I hated the idea of NOT going to the gym.   
And that was all it took to get me started...21 days of routine and three years later I am six sizes smaller, 30 pounds lighter, and I'm happier with my body.  Now you don't have to keep going EVERY DAY, find whatever routine works best for you.  Maybe you like three days a week, maybe you like five.  I personally like weight training three days a week, doing indoor climbing or cardio for two to three days a week and then spending the other days walking on the treadmill (I need to go every day to maintain my routine; my "off days" - or the days when I don't actually workout and I rest my body - are the days I go to the gym for ten minutes and walk on a treadmill just to keep myself in the routine).  
Now I'm not saying there weren't other important factors that helped make gym-going a routine for me, for example, I highly suggest you make some gym-music-playlists, find an online website for easy workout routines (youtube is an excellent resource for those "workout moves" you've never heard of, as is a personal trainer if you can afford one), and most importantly, develop a gym crush.  I'm serious.  I know what I am doing here.  The biggest problem I had at the gym was that I didn't actually WANT to be there.  I had to find a reason to keep myself there long enough to finish whatever workout I had planned that day.  That reason turned out to be a six-foot tall blond with a glorious backside.
Let me introduce you to the art of "gym crushing."  First, find yourself on a treadmill, sweating, hating every stride you take, and counting down the minutes to a shower and freedom.  Second, enter barely clothed, tall, muscular, divine piece of man-flesh.  Third, find yourself open-mouthed-gaping and falling off the treadmill.  VOILA PEOPLE, you now have a reason to workout every day!  You're welcome!
Now, there are ground rules for gym crushes...for starters, you must never actually TALK to the gym crush.  No, we don't do that, because if you talk to him, you might find out he's stupid and then lose the attraction and therefore your reason for staying at the gym for those extra thirty minutes...or worse, if you're in a relationship or married talking to a gym crush could lead to indecent and immoral acts.  Instead, you must become a ninja-treadmill-creeper, always casting sidelong glances to check him out without him seeing and hopefully without falling off the treadmill.  Trust me when I say, he will notice you gawking if you fall off the treadmill *shifts uncomfortably*.  
Now, don't go judging me if you're in a relationship.  Just because you're on a diet doesn't mean you can't look at the menu ladies.

Remember the rules, you must never talk to the gym crush!  You don't even know his name!  He is purely there for eye candy purposes only, and if it ever goes further than this, well, you've broken the rules and I can no longer help you.  
Now that you have all the tools you need in your get-fit-arsenal, I release you into the wild!  Go, work those muscles, get the body you've always wanted, and for the love of all that is holy, use the little emergency shut-off clips on the treadmill so you don't fall off while you gawk.  

You're welcome, world.

Disclaimer: I am not a physical trainer, I am merely a decently fit, happy-go-lucky-gal who is passing along some trade secrets from one curvy-gal to another.  You should do what is best for you, and take my advice in stride.  I don't actually know what I am doing, but I hope I've at least made you laugh.  

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