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Exercise is: a) for burning calories and losing weight b) for learning new skills and getting stronger/faster

Sunday, 5 February 2017

I wasn’t a sporty person growing up and my only exposure to exercise were aerobics classes that one went to to lose weight.

Fast forward 20+ years and endless gym memberships that I stopped using after a few months, I have an “allergy” to group exercise classes where everything is done in synchro. I know these things are very popular right now – spinning, Rebel 1, Barry’s Bootcamp, Les Mills, etc.  For me though they bring back the voice in my head that says “You’re here because you’re fat. You’re here to lose weight. You’re here to burn as many calories as you can.”

I therefore do my own thing and the stuff I do is ‘sport’ to me, it’s not exercise. At no point does it make me think about calories or how I should be smaller.

Take Crossfit, for example, it’s just fun functional stuff – it’s picking up things, pulling things, pushing things, jumping, running, rowing, climbing, lifting. There are some smaller movements sometimes for activating muscles needed for these activities, but in general there are no bicep curls, no half pullups, no half push ups, no synchronised situps or jumping around or swinging limbs up and down and sideways.

Take running – it’s not possible to run a half marathon and think about how many calories you burned. Instead, I think about what a badass I am for having just run a distance like that! And while I’m training I don’t think about calories either, I think about getting faster, getting stronger / more resilient, having fun.

Similarly, when I rock climb or swim, I do it because it’s fun and I get a kick out of learning new things and getting more skilled and/or stronger.

It’s so easy to jump on the bandwagon of whatever’s the cool thing and sometimes I feel bad for turning down invites to what the ‘cool kids’ do, but I just can’t… just because everyone is doing it, it doesn’t mean it’s for you.

You find your own thing. You do your own thing.

My sister mentioned to me a while ago that she can’t go back to body pump because she’s not lean enough, that you have to be really lean to go to these classes because everyone else is. Dios mio. That just does not sound right. That just does not sound like a healthy environment to get fit.

So I’m gonna do my own thing. And my own thing doesn’t require me to be ‘less’, it just requires me to be present and to give it my best go and to have fun.

Here’s a video of climbing. It’s another fun thing I do that doesn’t feel like exercise and that doesn’t make me feel fat – it makes me feel strong and capable instead and you never know when amazing grip strength will come in handy in real life! (I watch too many action movies with my kids)

Over and out.

Do your own thing.

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  • Katie@TheseGirlsDo Wednesday, 22 February 2017 at 23:41

    Yeah there’s way too many boutique classes and fads going on that I just don’t have the time for. I’m constantly gobsmacked when people just seem to have all the time in the world to go to every class and document every single session and also always look way more presentable than I ever do when doing so. I’ve more of a get in, get it done, gym selfies are super awkward kind of approach to it. I have one place that does organised classes that I go to regularly and it’s such a no-bull kind of place that it’s kept me coming back for 18 months, which is by FAR the longest I’ve stuck with something that isn’t me going running by myself.

    • MrsB Tuesday, 28 February 2017 at 08:50

      I like to document my workouts (and see my form and speed, etc.) but instead of selfies, I set up my phone to video me during Crossfit and then later on take screenshots or post video snippets. I prefer seeing and showing what a human body can DO, not what it looks like in front of a gym mirror :P

  • Anna @AnnaTheApple Wednesday, 8 February 2017 at 13:42

    100% agree. You couldn’t pay me to go to a Body Pump class or something like Zumba. It just isn’t me. I wouldn’t enjoy it. I don’t mind group things per se but I am a bit of a lone wolf when it comes to exercise. That said, I’d love to try CrossFit. I know it would be right up my street but sadly I just can’t find a box that has a schedule that works with my work. One day!

    • MrsB Friday, 10 February 2017 at 14:13

      Maybe you can find time for Crossfit during weekends? I personally never do because I go to a Crossfit box near my work and it’s too far from my home. I’d love to have one close to my home but that hasn’t happened yet so I just squeeze all my sessions into the work week.