My Gym Story
I am very happy to see diversity at my gym, as it is in a city centre. Amongst female bodybuilders, Asian break dancers, male yoga instructors, beautiful people with prosthetic limbs, people with tattoos, pale skin, dark skin and every colour in between. I am glad to see it is not an intimidating, dominated, toxic environment where only insanely ripped people are considered to be acceptable. It is such a good environment to be in, and has contributed to my new found confidence.
As a 5'6 young woman who weighs roughly 55kg I often felt out of place because of my noticeable collar bones and pale complexion. I felt that other people saw me as 'sick' and 'weight obsessed' which even to this day I am still unable to shake. I would not go as far to say that I have body Dysmorphia but I agree I had similar tendencies as there are some aspects of myself I see differently to what they are. For example my weight is perfectly healthy for my age (19) and height, however, some days I feel 'fat' because of bloating and other days I fear I am underweight and shouldn't be lifting weights.
But now I am trying to move on from that unhealthy mindset I know that I can use tanning products to feel more confident. A strangely effective solution really but I can really see the definition in my muscles when my complexion is a slight shade darker.
When I first started going to the gym in 2017 I was a stranger to weights but I had been an active child as I adored rollerskating, ice skating, bike rides, ballet, netball and swimming. My mother was also athletic in her youth and is a slender woman so the genes are in my favour. For the first few months I stuck to meaningless cardio and ab workouts thinking I would become a Victoria Secret model in no time! Oh how silly I was... It was not until the summer of 2018 when I made the wonderful discovery of Gymshark. My best friend at the time wore a pair of their leggings into college as she was going to the gym after class, I was curious and did some research as they looked insanely good on her;) The brand led me to understand that gym-goers could be seen as athletes and were no longer considered 'unfeminine' but acknowledged for their strength and shown to be beautiful.
Then my fitness journey began, I spent waaaay too much money on yoga mats, gym gear, water bottles, protein shakes and what not. But I regret nothing, I am so much happier and stronger than ever.
So as of right now I am lifting weights 2-3 times a week, my confidence in the weight section is at its highest and I feel happy in my own skin now I have made positive changes to my diet and lifestyle.
Changes such as eating when I am hungry and not denying myself a meal just because I ate a few hours before. Drinking less fizzy drinks. Including more protein in my diet. All of these changes are not restrictive or negative in any way and they work for me. I am not (yet) a qualified dietitian or PT but I have had years of researching and testing so I do think I know what is best for my body.
I'm grateful I can share my gym experience even if it is only myself who will read it.