Four months ago I joined the gym and actually managed to stick with it. As someone who is fully convinced they are allergic to running (it makes me itch) this was a BIG accomplishment for me. Literally if a car is coming and I’m in the middle of the road, that wont even force me to run. I have two failed gym memberships under my belt and after wasting a significant amount of money, I ended up feeling even worse about myself than I had before for not persevering. I have since been able to change my negative attitude towards exercise and found little ways to use the time I spend in the gym to my advantage. So if anyone reading this is on the cusp of motivation and needs a little push, I hope this helps!

The best thing I ever did for my body was book a holiday to Ibiza this summer, although I’m 100% sure I wont be able to say that afterwards when my liver is hanging on by a thread however it sparked some serious motivation in me and really pushes me whenever I feel like I don’t want to bother. The thoughts of lying up on a perfect white beach for two weeks and squirming feeling like I look like something that crawled out of the sea was a thought I couldn’t allow become a reality. Despite people perceiving me as an extremely confident person, I actually suffer a lot with random bouts of anxiety so even plucking up the courage to walk into a gym and ask them about prices was really hard for me. I went around a few before finding somewhere I felt comfortable. The gym I finally decided on isn’t crazy busy and the majority of the members are old people so that suited me perfectly, no macho men or gamey girls in sight! After being in there a few times I felt confident enough to make an appointment with a gym instructor to get a fitness plan done out for me. It was immediately after this that I copped one of the instructors was a guy I had shifted on a night out and given a fake number to, talk about awks, so I spent the next three days praying it wouldn’t be him I had the appointment with and thanks be to god, it wasn’t.

I felt like if I could somehow slide through that awkward ordeal unscathed, I could definitely pull it together and work my ass off to get where I wanted to be. My confidence started to grow and before long I had my fitness plan learned off by heart. From being in the gym and surrounded by other people with the exact same goal as me, it changed from a place I always thought of as intimidating and isolating to somewhere that I felt comfortable and encouraged. From seeing how other people exercised and through trial and error I learned what exercises I liked and didn’t like, what worked best for me and what didn’t suit me at all. I even braved the weights room and started using the machines that the big muscly guys who make weird noises go on!!! The more I go the more confident I feel returning each time, knowing that I have become a little fitter, a little faster, a little stronger. Its also a great stress reliever, I challenge you to try to think of anything else except dying when your 60 seconds into a plank. Its like I have rediscovered my body and how it works, I have pains in muscles I didn’t even know I had and I can see changes in places I didn’t think it possible to tone. It was while I was realising all of this that I discovered the most important thing of all.

For the first time ever, I was approaching exercise with the single goal of improving my physique and becoming a more confident and healthy person as a result. What I wasn’t doing was thinking “hmmm I’m so much fatter than her I wish I looked like that” or looking at magazines and feeling upset because I’m nowhere near as thin and as perfect as those girls in the photos… Those girls aren’t even as perfect as those girls!! None of it is real and even if it was it wouldn’t matter because focusing on someone else to get somewhere you want to go is never going to work. I am doing this for me, because of me and staying focused on myself. When you stop constantly comparing yourself to someone else you have time to appreciate the results you have achieved and it feels 100 times better acknowledging yourself rather than stressing about meeting false expectations. Everyone is different and people lose weight in different ways, in different lengths of time and from different areas, and the sooner you learn that the better. There is no other feeling like the sheer joy when your able to fit into those jeans you’ve been holding on to for years with the hopes you would one day parade down the street in them like a catwalk, or taking selfies and realising your sans that double chin. Knowing you’ve worked your ass off and feeling good about yourself, thats the ultimate goal.


- @sinsandsparklesblog 💖

Published by Aoife Moore Kavanagh