Listen here you crazy fools who go to the gym like twice a freaking day: I am not one of you. I do not take sweaty post-working Instagrams and get all #gymlyfe, #sweatisfatcrying, or #thinspiration on it. Honestly, I’ve always hated the gym. My mom used to drag me to the gym when I was younger and homeschooled and needed “Physical Education.” Translation: at least three times a week for about an hour I had to run on a treadmill whilst listening to the grunts and groans of strange men and simultaneously enduring the sharp sting of their armpit stink touching my nostrils. Tell me, what is educational about that?! (Nothing. The answer is nothing.)
Lately, however, I’ve started enjoying it more (not the smelly growling men, NEVER the smelly growling men). It’s become a personal goal of mine to lose 30 pounds and every time I go to the gym I am proud of myself for my discipline. That’s just what going to the gym is; it’s not only physical exercise, but mental exercise as well. It’s important to notice the slight transformations of your body once you start working out; it helps keep you motivated. For instance, I am so much more flexible now than I used to be. I can finally bend over and comfortably touch my toes. I’ve been noticing my legs and arms look sleeker, my skin and hair healthier, my cheekbones more pronounced, and a sparkle has also emerged in my once-dull eyes. Every morning I wake up and I feel a little better about myself.
I like that “runners high” that comes after about 10 minutes of treadmill time. I like the head rush, the feeling of invincibility in your bones as you climb the stair machine to nowhere. I like to imagine that I’m climbing a mountain and at the top is everything I’ve ever dreamed of. I like to imagine my sweat as literally fat tear droplets slowly oozing from my pores –- symbolic of my past that I’m running from. Or I like to imagine that I’m running towards that hot guy, over there, with the weights – the one who isn’t groaning like an ape in 100 degree weather, and is therefore boyfriend material. I may never catch him, but I take solace in the fact that I will have a body as taut as his one day, perhaps so taut that men will imagine chasing me instead (…a girl can dream…). I love using the sauna and the steam room and feeling my body completely and totally relax. I love waking up the next morning, stretching and feeling that tight soreness in my muscles that tells me what I’m doing is working.
Still, the gym is a tough place that requires determination and patience. I struggle every day to get myself there. The one thing that keeps me going is imagining the feeling of finally being comfortable in my body. I think of all the different clothes I could be wearing if I didn’t have to worry about a muffin top or jiggly thighs. I think of all the different bikinis I could be looking ahh-mazing in. I imagine the feeling of achieving this goal that I’ve set for myself.