I cannot believe that I am going to say this. In fact, I NEVER ever expected these words to come from my mouth but… I am really loving gym. The team at Curves Walker Drive have completely changed my attitude in their fun approach to gymming and have figured out just how to challenge me to push myself. In the two short weeks that I have been a member, I get it. I get why people who start gymming find themselves constantly talking about it, sharing their progress, watching what they eat and thriving on that high.
I am not going to lie, my first week was tough. I felt like my chest was going to cave in and when my chest wasn’t heaving, I felt like I may vomit or pass out from the dizziness. It was hard not to lose motivation, but my trainers reassured me that it would get better. There were also one or two days where I just didn’t feel like going to the gym but with it being a commitment to both Curves Walker Drive and myself, I ended up going and being grateful for having done so. After all, it is only 30 minutes out of my day.
Curves’ workout program is a circuit which alternates between working on a machine that targets certain muscles, and doing work on the mat, like stretching, running on the spot, pretending to jump rope or boxing. Everything is set up in a giant circle so that you don’t waste time walking between machines and you don’t have to struggle to change weights as all their machines work on a hydraulic system. While the fast-paced music plays, a voice prompts you to change over to the next activity every 30-seconds which means that there is no waiting for machines because as you move to your next activity, so does everyone else. I also like that there is always a trainer in the middle of the circuit, motivating you, helping you with your posture and ensuring that you’re getting the best workout from your 30 minutes by showing you what to do on the mat, to target certain muscle groups.
While the first week may have been tough, my second week was very different and something that I wasn’t quite prepared for. Each day, I woke up excited to get to the gym, for my 30-minute sessions. My trainers greeted me with welcoming smiles and would push me to do better than the day before. But what came as a major surprise is that on Wednesday, when I didn’t have a gym session, I was already wishing I had gone. I was noticeably irritable, restless and had done absolutely nothing productive with my day because I couldn’t focus on anything. On Thursday, I practically ran the circuit because I was so excited to be back at the gym and noticed how much more energy I had than usual. In fact, it was the first time I finished gym without feeling shakey and nauseous. With my new found confidence in the gym, I braved the cold that Friday had brought and hit the gym that afternoon when I would usually be stocking up on junk food and binge watching series. After my session, I did my stretches and realized that I wanted to do more, I actually WANTED to do it again – I was on an energy rush and being able to keep up was just the most amazing thing.
I have always felt so limited by my body. It is big, heavy and weighed down. Starting gym was really testing my confidence, the very little that I had. I hated that my shirts didn’t quite cover my bum and that when I caught the reflection of myself, I was reminded about the 12 KGs I gained in the last 6 months. It was heartbreaking to start but having started has been my best decision yet. Every day, I am reminded just how “clever” my body is, how much stronger and better it gets. I love the feeling of the perfect squat, the funny-sore that comes from a fast-paced gym session and of course the endless amounts of energy – is it normal to be so high on energy!?
Going to the gym was also just the right push for me to cut out my junk food habits. Something, which I had never admitted until my first session with my personal trainer, is that my relationship with food had gotten out of hand. Emotional eating is one thing, but eating without even tasting food is another. I would easily demolish 2 chocolates in a day, 2 or 3 big cans of coke, chips and whatever other junk food I may have picked up that morning. I would often eat without tasting the food and scoff it down so quickly that I questioned whether I had even bothered to chew it. We usually pop in at the shops daily, for milk, dinner, and bread. On the days that I didn’t actually feel like a sweet, I would grow anxious while waiting at the till for not having picked a chocolate because, “what if I had a craving that evening?” It kills me admitting all of this, but I can’t tell you how satisfying it has been to say no to a glass of coke and not craving chocolate. I think it has been a little easier because I know how much I hate physical activity, that I don’t want to undo any progress by eating junk food that doesn’t nourish my body.
The nice thing about the Curves Complete program is that you have a weekly session with your coach where you get to discuss the week you’ve had, you weigh in and set 2 goals for the week. One thing that I have noticed is that my coaches never say a food is bad for you, in fact, when I told them I had stopped eating chocolate, they asked why? The idea is not to deprive your body of something (carbs, sugar, dairy, protein – whatever!) it is learning to eat to nourish your body and that everything is good for you, in moderation. Making such a drastic change risks me going crazy when I do eventually crave the chocolate that I have given up, so they had even gone on to suggest that I allow myself a chocolate once a week so that I have something to look forward to. Working with a coach has been an invaluable experience as they’ve made me aware of my low blood pressure, they have daily recommendations on how to deal with my current challenges, whether it’s nausea or struggling with my eating plan, they also show me how to get a good stretch and best of all, they challenge me to push my body.
Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my year-long Curves journey. A shout out to the Walker Drive Team who have been nothing but dedicated to creating a good start and ensuring that I felt welcomed and comfortable in the new and foreign environment.