How To: Quit the Gym

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Hey Cats!

 Happy Wednesday! This week has gotten off to an interesting start. Sunday night and early Monday morning, Houston and the surrounding areas flooded, so Monday I worked from home. Fortunately, it wasn’t terrible in the area I live in, but I have teacher friends who may not be able to go to work at all this week- yikes! We are expecting more rain this week, so please keep Houston and the surrounding areas in your prayers!

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For those of you who are a bit confused by the title of this blog post, let me explain. My last year of college, I was obsessed with going to the gym. I went every day and it  became my favorite pastime, stress relief, and way to avoid homework. I was convinced that it would be a lasting habit. Well, then I started working full time and no longer had the spacious, free rec center filled with courteous individuals, and working out got to be really difficult.

After searching for a gym with an indoor track for weeks, I found none. I refused to use the treadmill in my apartment and after a few weeks without doing my ab circuit or lifting weights, I started to notice a change in my appearance, my energy level, and my mood. So I hastily bought a membership to what I deemed the best replacement, a large local gym that was affordable and close to my office.

And I hated it. It was so crowded at 6 pm that I rarely was able to finish a workout. People were rude and literally told me I was in their way. And don’t get me started on the creepy men that stared all the time. I missed the rec center, the indoor track, and boys that didn’t make me feel uncomfortable. Sometimes I cried about it, not a joke.

I toughed it out for a while, but ended up going to the gym only once or twice a week. I tried Pure Barre but I decided it was for wimps (sorry if you like, love it.). I was so frustrated with how my level of fitness had fallen in the past few months, but I didn’t know what to do. I was tired of paying for a gym I didn’t use, but I didn’t want to have zero options.

My mom had been suggesting for months that I try to find workout videos and use the gym in my apartment complex. I kept telling her that workout videos were for wimpy girls and I only liked to run on the actual ground and lift real weights, so no thank you. But out of desperation, I started searching one day, and came across the Nike Training Club app. I was skeptical, but I perused the workouts and they looked really great! They incorporated cardio and strength training which was perfect. So I did it. I quit the gym. No more monthly fees, no more frustration over unfinished workouts, no more excuses for not getting a workout in.

As much as I loved the gym, it just doesn’t fit into my life anymore. It was a strange transition, but I’m so glad I quit the gym. Here are some tips for those of you who are in a similar situation:

  1. Find a program you love. Whether it’s the Nike Training Club, Blogilates, or a routine from a personal trainer, the possibilities are endless! Actually, since I have someone telling me what to do, I’ve noticed more consistent results, as opposed to when I would just wander around the weight room and say, “oh this looks like something I can do without embarrassing myself!”. Switch it up when you get bored, that’s the beauty of quitting the gym!
  2. Invest in equipment. You’ll have to choose your program first, but I would suggest starting with a yoga mat and a pair of hand weights at the very least. I use the mat for all floor exercises, and the hand weights for a variety of exercises, like lunges, arm presses, and abs. You can expand into a medicine ball and resistance bands, too! At first, I didn’t want to spend the money on these things, but compared to a gym membership it’s pretty reasonable. Plus, they do not have to be expensive- both of mine are from Marshall’s!
  3. Use your resources. Earlier I mentioned that I did not want to use the treadmill in my apartment complex. Well. I had to get over that. Obviously, I can’t go for a run inside my apartment. If your apartment complex has a treadmill, use it-you pay for it! I only use it when it rains or when I want a quick run, because I feel like a hamster on treadmills. I found a small neighborhood behind my apartment complex that I’ve been running through when the weather is nice. It’s full of old people, so it seems pretty safe. But always be mindful of your surroundings!
  4. Do not stop with the coordinated workout outfits. Hi, sometimes the only reason I could convince myself to go to the gym was by wearing my LuluLemon tights. Not a joke. So I still like to look cutie, even if I’m by myself.
  5. Break it up. If you can’t stand the thought of working out at home all the time, consider attending a workout class once a week or so.
  6. Stick to it. It can be difficult to keep yourself accountable to a workout plan when you can literally walk two steps and plant yourself on the couch for the evening. But if I can do it, so can you! I like to make it a challenge for myself. I never turn on the TV until I’ve finished my workout. I also like to have a set time to start. I come home, eat a snack and am ready to go at 5:45. Trying to get back into the routine is extremely difficult, but once you’re used to it again, you start looking forward to it!

So there you have it. Did I convince you to quit the gym? It’s definitely easier than I thought! I don’t think this will be a forever fitness routine for me, but it’s working right now! Do you exercise at home or go to a gym? Which do you prefer? Let me know!

WorkIt Wednesday- My Power Playlist

Hey Cats!

Each semester when I come home, I have one week that’s filled with doctor’s appointments, and that week is upon us. With the exception of the eye doctor (HATE that puff of air business, and I can’t tell you the last time I could read the smallest line- like, face it, I’m blind, just adjust my prescription and “oh I have to drive myself home, I can’t get my eyes dilated today SARS”), I actually don’t mind all of these appointments- it gives me something to do with my time. My favorite is the dentist appointment, mainly because I’ve had the same hygienist since I was in high school, and we’re besties. She loves to ask me all about my life, and I love to tell her in between teeth scrapings. All I want is for everyone to be as excited to see me as my dental hygienist is every six months. I digress.

Also, remember WorkIt Wednesdays? Yeah, I barely remember them myself. It was supposed to be a weekly series on fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Oops. The good thing is, I kept going to the gym! Until I came home for Christmas and just found my way to the track only yesterday. Oops again. But it definitely felt good to start getting back into my same routine!

I like to go to the gym by myself- it’s really great “me time”, a luxury I require large doses of. Very large. However, since I’m by myself, I need music to keep me entertained and motivated, and to drown out the girl talking on her phone whilst walking on the track. Depending on how I’m feeling and what I’m doing, I have a few different playlists for my workouts. Today, I’m going to share my all-time fave, The Power Playlist. This is what I’m listening to most days, but especially while I’m in the weight room, or when I’m feeling extra energetic. Also, disclaimer: my taste in music is a little lame, so please don’t laugh. But I’m hoping that you will find a few new tunes (or old faves) to add to your workout playlist!

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1. Boom Clap by Charli XCX- this is great for warming up and stretching, and sometimes the first walking lap around the track.

2. Fancy by Iggy Azalea– A personal fave for the transition from walking to running. It makes me feel like the hair flip emoji girl. Except I’m not in the fast lane, I’m def in the “slow jog” lane.

3. I Can Transform Ya by Chris Brown– Old, but this was in my Songfest routine, and I’ve always loved it. This is for when you hit your stride.

4. Yeah! by Usher– For obvious reasons.

5. Break the Rules by Charli XCX- this is for when the track is crowded and you have to be a little rude and break through that group of girls walking four abreast. MOVE PLZ.

6. Survivor by Destiny’s Child– for when you thought it would be over by now but it WON’T STOP and you have 3/4 lap left.

7. Come & Get It by Selena Gomez- for your water break in between running and the weight room.

8.Circus by Britney Spears– for when you first get to the weight room and it’s really crowded, and you’re not exactly sure how to use that new machine, but you’re going to do it anyways. #bye

9. Started From the Bottom by Drake– for when you’re adding a little more weight to the seated row machine, or when you want to pretend to be a university athlete.

10.Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani– for when all the ab mats are occupied and some jerk is laying down scrolling through Instagram. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

11. Piece of Me by Britney Spears– rounds 1-2 of abs. Do you want a piece of me and this medicine ball? That’s what I thought.

12. Work B**ch by Britney Spears- for the extra set you’ve talked yourself into, because if Britney says keep going, you keep going.

What are some of your favorite songs to sweat to? Let me know!

That’s all for meow!

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Friday’s Five

Hey Cats!

Happy Friday! I’m in Houston this weekend visiting my bestie Ashley! I’m sure I’ll have lots to share next week! But this week isn’t quite over yet, so let me share with you what I’ve been loving this week:

1. First is this article “In Defense of Having No Idea What to do With Your Life” by NYC PR Girls, one of my newest favorite blogs. As we all know, and I’m sure will be hearing more about as I search for jobs this year (STOP, old), I really don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.  It makes me feel better to know that there are many other people in the same boat, and that it will be okay!

2.

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Next is the Kendra Scott GlamRocks Collection that launched Wednesday. My favorites are these Ellie studs in multicolor drusy, but the whole collection is fabulous, so check it out when you have the chance!

3. Next is a chance for me to toot my own horn a bit. I’ve been to the gym every day this week! I’ve never enjoyed working out, but for some reason it’s my new hobby. It feels good both mentally and physically to get some exercise, and I’m going to keep it up as long as I can!

4.

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Next is Sassy Kate, because why not?

5.

Milania

 

Saving the best for last: Jersey’s back, trolls. I’m so excited for this season, mostly because of Dina and Milania. I think that Milania Giudice is the true star of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, and apparently it’s a common opinion. My roommates and I found this hilarious Buzzfeed article with 15 glorious reasons why Milania is everyone’s favorite Housewife. (Also filed under: reasons Milania Giudice is my spirit animal)

I’m linking up with Amy & Karli today for Oh Hey Friday!

 

Have a great weekend! That’s all for meow!

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