Oops, I seem to have decapitated myself. Ignore that! Also, please forgive crappy iPhone pictures (the top two taken in the hall at my parents’, the third taken in a Monsoon fitting room). I won’t try and claim this is a very scientific comparison exercise, but if you lean in closer to your screen – no, closer than that – you may just be able to see that I’m a little bit smaller than I was this time last year. I can even make out the beginnings of a waist!
Looking at these pictures got me reflecting over the last 12 months. This time last year I’d just started to exercise regularly, and although I had plenty of enthusiasm for running, walking and going on our exercise bike (all the free stuff, basically) I had no intention of participating in any group activity. If you’d told me then that a year later I’d be doing yoga and zumba classes every week I’d have laughed you right off your chair. Let other people (not just strangers – colleagues too) see me all sweaty, legs akimbo, spare tyre all a-wobble with a face so red it glows like a nuclear beetroot? And pay actual money for the privilege? NUH UH.
But. I finished the Up & Running 5K course (in June, I think) and carried on exercising three or four times a week. When a colleague suggested getting her yoga teacher to come in and give a class at work I was the first person to sign up. Yes, I worried about being the fattest person in the room (I pretty much always worried about that, if I’m honest), and yes, I spent a stupid amount of time pulling my t-shirt down to make sure my legging-clad bottom was covered at all times, but when I found myself smiling beatifically during Savasana (the lovely lying-down bit at the end of a yoga class) I knew I’d be back the following week. In the six months that I’ve been doing yoga I have learnt that a) no-one is looking at me (well, apart from the teacher and that’s her job), because they’re concentrating on their own practice, and b) skinny people sweat too.
And now I’ve added Zumba to the mix. It’s early days (I’ve been to three classes) but it’s such great fun, as well as being a great workout – it takes about an hour for my face to return to its normal colour afterwards. I remain perturbed at having to jiggle about in front of a mirrored wall, but that’s the only negative so far.
I think that deep down I thought I’d fall off the fitness wagon by Christmas, but here I am a year later still going – and I love it.
I love being able to do a shoulder stand.
I love that a lady told me after my second Zumba class that I’ve got good rhythm.
I love pedalling furiously to terrible music TV on the exercise bike.
I love running through the park to a really great song on my iPhone.
I love feeling the effect of the previous day’s exertions on my body (even if I do moan “OW, my ARMS!” on Twitter).
I’ve even learned to love being sweaty 😉
Now, have any of you done a spin class? I’m thinking of trying that next…..