I’ve been going to I Want Fitness for two years. That’s a long-term relationship. I must be in love.
With any partnership, it pays to think about what’s working for you: how you feel, what the spark is, what you’re getting out of the connection.
So, what are the qualities about this relationship that I like?
1. No Pornification
Kasey Edwards wrote a most excellent piece about what’s wrong with the fitness industry for DailyLife. She argued one of the reasons why people avoid gyms and PTs is the ‘pornification’ of exercise.
You know, skinny chicks in Lorna Jane crop tops showing off their ripped abs and solarium tans. “People don't avoid exercise because they don't like exercising. They avoid it because they don't like their bodies - and they fear the way other people will judge their bodies,” writes Edwards.
I may have some decent muscles (Intimo lady said I looked like Serena Williams when she was fitting me) but I’ve also got the trademark apron tummy from a C-section.
None of us are perfect, but I never feel like anyone is body shaming me or that I have to aspire to the Miranda Kerr body school of how to look like a tween boy.
2. We Have Fun
I never joined a bootcamp to lose weight. I have lost 7kg and 35cm from my measurements and people tell me all the time how great I’m looking, but weight loss was never my intention and it’s never been the focus at I Want Fitness.
I just wanted to move my body, sweat out my stress and have a laugh, and in doing that several times a week, I started shifting weight. I’m exercising because it feels good – physically and mentally – and I feel like I’m looking after myself.
In a group, it always feels like a catch up, and that really is an enjoyable way to work out.
3. You’re Never Boring
We’re always trying different workouts, and our PT pushes us in different ways to keep us motivated.
Over summer, we’ve been doing the 5 Week Step Challenge and these ladies are fierce competitors. Suddenly, we’re walking 20,000 steps a day (16km) to stay up on the Matchup leaderboard, and posting pics of our walking feats.
Amazon Sisters Katy and Amanda have clearly been cheating and attaching the FitBit to the dog, but I’ve called the RSPCA and they’ll be charged soon.
We’re also training for RunForTheKids – 5km or 16km. I’m more interested in this year’s VivaNondas team costume than my running time but don’t tell Isabella.
4. The Flow On Effect
When you’re exercising every week, and getting ideas, and inspiration from your fitness group, you’re in a healthy mindset.
You start thinking about whether you should be drinking every day, or if you binge on junk food when you’re stressed.
Facebook posts, newsletters and our face-to-face contact have me constantly thinking about my diet, and my health – not in a pressured way, more like having the radio on in the background.
It’s what we do with our best friends – share, talk, listen, and support.
5. No Boys Allowed
Guys are great. They can reach the top cupboard and can wear the same pair of underpants for a week without anyone giving a hoot. But we don’t want them leering at our bouncing boobs, or stinking up the room with that blue cheese boy smell.
I don’t miss hanging out in the gym weights room watching meatheads trying to out-pump and out-grunt each other.
Our bootcamp is a boy free zone and we like it like that. We can openly talk about pap smears and stretch marks and trying to juggle work, family, sport, groceries, school drop off, the mother-in-law, bills, dinner, email, walking the dog …
We can sweat in all the wrong places and nobody is looking at the wet patch. And that’s another thing we don’t like about boys.
Click here to see Katie's transformation.
Kasey Edward’s story ‘How the fitness industry turns people off exercise.’
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