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18 Jan

How do I become a gym bunny?

It has recently occurred to me that, although I am yet to turn 25, my body and I are not getting any younger.

It’s time to start taking care of myself, and said body, for real this time. And by take care of myself, I don’t mean treat myself to whatever I want food or clothing wise, or to have a pamper night with (insert last months masks) once a week – because I do that anyway.

Taking care of my body means taking care of my insides as well. I never realised how unfit I was until four flights of stairs at my new job made me want to keel over (and maybe get checked out to see if my lungs were working at full capacity) – and at my age I think that’s just embarrassing.

With being maid of honour at my sister’s wedding, and a trip to New York booked for 2020, I really want to be looking and feeling my best.

Now, I noticed my weight gain after I broke my ankle four years ago – and I know what you’re thinking ‘it’s taken her this long to do something about it?’ – well yes, because I just assumed that after sitting on the couch for three months that once I got moving again I’d end up looking how I did before the dreaded pot was put on (clearly in my dreams).

I’ve never been a slim person, and I’m not afraid to admit that, but what I don’t like to admit is how much of a couch potato I am. So, cue me joining PureGym – open 24/7 I can go whenever I want (or can) and ease myself into this new me. And that is just what I am doing.

On my induction, the trainer said that cardio will be my best friend to drop the pounds, even though it’s everyone’s least favourite part of the gym. But you know what, I disagree. I might not be running 5k (or anywhere near it) just yet, but I do enjoy the treadmill. I’m yet to get anywhere near the weight machines, because in all honesty they terrify me, everyone walks up to them with so much confidence, I just know I’d be the one to do it wrong. But that’s not to say I won’t get there eventually.

So, how did the lazy couch potato come to enjoy the gym? I think it’s all about the gear (even if you have no idea).

I haven’t allowed myself to go all out and hit Sweaty Betty with my credit card just yet, that will be my treat when I see some major progress. But I’ve started off small – the ASOS 4505 pieces are all really well made and fit like a glove – to my stomach’s dismay. That aside, I feel comfortable wearing them and actually think they look good on everyone – so don’t mind me while I add every colourway to my basket.

I also invested in the Apple AirPods – the first two times I went to the gym I had the wired version, and I just don’t know how people can use them. I felt like they were pulling my concentration and I’d end up somehow tripping over them and breaking my nose on the treadmill, so the AirPods were coming home with me. And they’re perfect, so perfect I sometimes forget I have them in and almost drive home with my gym playlist blaring in my ears – illegal, I know.

Speaking of the gym playlist – I curated my own tailor made Spotify list full of tunes that really pump up my motivation (plus with Spotify premium, I don’t have to think about adverts to distract me). As a gym newby, I think that the playlist really helps. My mix of gold old 80s, 90s rap, noughties pop and current chart music really works; you never know what’s coming next and all the beats seem to push me to keep on keeping on.

And, the final thing I think is pushing me – mainly because I’m now obsessed – is my FitBit. It tracks your steps, you heart rate, your sleeping pattern and spotify can link up to it, meaning I can leave my phone in a locker and really concentrate on sweating.

So, when I say I’m obsessed with my FitBit, I mean I check the steps and heart rate on average five times a minute (a bit of an exaggeration), and always want to beat my steps from the day before – which is hard when my job involves sitting at a desk for 7.5 hours a day. But I really think the mixture of comfortable gym wear I feel confident in, little things like wireless headphones and a watch to track my progress, not to mention the best playlist I’ve ever created are the key ingredients to help enjoy the gym.

My progress may be slow at the minute, but like the tale of the tortoise and the hare – slow and steady wins the race.

Sophie Cain

I am a 24-year-old journalism graduate from the University of Huddersfield, currently completing a business administration apprenticeship within the NHS. I currently write a monthly fashion article for a local lifestyle magazine, Excelle and have done for the last three years. I also currently manage the social media accounts for Ragdoll Nails and love to keep up with friends, brands and celebrities through social media. In my free time I do a lot of shopping, but I also love to read - true crime mainly - and have a slight obsession with gin and tonics.

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