Self care.

I joined a gym. This is something I said I would never do and I feel like a trader to myself because of it. I am not a gym person nor do I want to be a gym person.

In all fairness it’s not quite a gym- it’s the YMCA. That feels better but still kind of like a sell out. They have cheap childcare and discounts on swim lessons for the kid and whelp, we are doing it.

I’ve gained weight and eh, that is what it is but I joined a gym because of my mental health. I feel constantly stressed. I can’t focus. I have no energy. These things lead me to believe that I need to change something and maybe increasing my output will help. Gus does swim lessons at the Y two days a week so I will do something one of those days and then hopefully two more. My goal is an hour of physical activity three days a week and to see if it helps mental clarity.

I feel so awkward about this. After joining today we walked around for a minute. There are machines I have no idea how to use (nor do I ever want to really…) and people there and it just feels so overwhelming. This is all so far out of my comfort zone. They do offer you a meeting with a trainer of some sort but that kind of sounds like my hell. So I will pick on thing at a time and try to get comfortable.

So that’s that. And I am telling you, dear corner of the internet, because while I don’t intend to ever be someone who posts gym selfies or other fucking bullshit this is so far outside of my comfort zone and causes me so much anxiety BUT I already have so much anxiety so I am hoping making things uncomfortable for a few weeks makes things better. Here goes nothing. (except not here goes right now. I joined the gym. I have no idea when I will go to said gym.)

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Posted on September 6, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Gus loves our gym. I haven’t been in months, because I’m definitely more the pregnant-on-the-couch type, but my mom will take him with him when she goes and he has the best time there. I’m actually looking forward to when I’m feeling back to normal after baby #2 (for a variety of reasons) but mainly so I can get back to the gym a few days a week (and I am NOT a gym person). Sometimes I just stretch, and walk and listen to music, and it helps so much with my anxiety and energy levels.

    • I think our Gus will like it too. He is always spying the toys when we go for swim lessons. The pool has super open hours so on the weekends we could put him in care for an hour or two and then all swim together. I have mom guilt about it but it will be fine. I am hoping to ride a bike there. I want to bike more so I figure that will be good strength building during the winter. Eventually I would like to lift some weights because I would like to have a bit more arm strength for the 38 lb toddler with no intention of not being carried but I will have to build up to that. Sitting somewhere listening to music while moving around for an hour sounds dreamy.

  2. Ha! I love the y, and the kids love it too. I usually stream a show on my phone while on the elliptical or bike, it satisfies my need to veg out to a show and my need to burn some energy 🙂

  3. I love the y because it’s low key. It’s not all Hollywood glam like 99% of the gyms out here. At the y, I don’t give a shit. I usually stick to the treadmill. It’s my safe place. Like you, I’m in it for the energy & mental health more than weight loss. I fucking hate gyms, but I love the y. It’s a great place to start.

  4. I so feel you on the gym dislike. I always feel awkward and out of place and like others are watching me. Oh and of course I am married to a gym rat who loves everything about a gym and has memberships and a couple different ones. When I do go I too get on a treadmill with some sort of Netflix documentary that Corrie has no interest in and zone out. I vote you give that a try 🙂

  5. I always felt like a hamster in a wheel when I’d go to the gym, fucking hated it. I haven’t been in years (since my pre-Evelyn days) but like you, my energy levels suck right now and I’m not feeling so good in my skin/body, so I was thinking of joining one of the gyms at the university I work at and going a couple times a week…I just don’t know if I’m there mentally yet. Anyway – I hope it goes well for you and you end up feeling comfortable there. I used to go to the Y and found it a lot more laid back than say, a GoodLife Fitness type hell.

    • The great thing about the Y is that we can just cancel it any month so I figure we will go for 6 months and if it isn’t worth it stop paying for it. I do like that the average age there is roughly 45. It is for sure a more comfortable environment than your standard gym.

  6. I’ve been really wanting to join the Y or our rec center here because I need to be moving my body. But I have the same shit about gyms and the culture that can do easily crop up. I used to be able to do fulfilling physical activity within my social or regular life – dancing, riding a bike for transportation, hiking… But that’s not the case now and I need to feel better in my body. I’m thinking of you, and I get it. Hugs.

    • Callie and I were just talking about this last week. So of course we registered for our local rec center. When it was just us, or just us and Mariah, it was easy to get up on the weekend, hike or ride bikes for a few hours, and get on with our lives. BUt now, it’s a production to get 5 kids ready, and by the time we are done, 2 hours have passed by and we haven’t even left the house yet!!! Joining the Y is awesome. If you have a kick ass Y, they may even have a kickball league like ours. Lots of fun!

  7. I wish we had a Y here. I need to do this too and am definitely not a gym person. I just feel like my body is slowly melting into my desk chair in painful ways. Here’s hoping that you can find a place in the gym world that makes you feel good and not out of place!

  8. I definitely don’t think of myself as a ‘gym person’, but I used to work out every other day at the university gym (and then the YMCA) and I really loved it. A big part of why it was such a positive experience was because I met with a personal trainer. I had no real goals, and I felt like we were sort of from different planets, but she taught me how to use all the weight machines properly which was SO worth it – it made the whole thing less intimidating, and I felt so competent. After that, I could watch beefcakes improperly lifting and chuckle to myself because it seemed like it was so performative. It demystified the gym, and the feeling of both knowing how to navigate the gym and also feeling my body become more competent at lifting and bearing weight was really fantastic. I haven’t been for years after some health stuff stopped me but thinking about it is making me miss it…

    Anyway, I definitely don’t think you’re a traitor to yourself or your values – going to a gym can be whatever you want it to be. Hope you get what you want out of it!

  9. I’m a big fan of the Y since it usually caters to a wide group of people instead of the very gym-specific group of people of which I do not belong. With that said, I still don’t work out at our Y, but I do walk it’s length about four hundred times while I am there shuttling my kids around which I think counts as exercise? So even if you only ever just WALK AROUND your Y, I think you’re doing just fine! 😉

  10. Echoing what others have said, the Y is a good gym if you aren’t a gym person because it’s more than just a gym. I really enjoyed when we were members, but it was so expensive. Getting into an exercise routine always helps me feel more centered and have more energy. It’s seriously lacking in my life right now, it’s so hard to make time as a parent. Hope you find a groove that works for you.

  11. Do you know anyone else that goes there that would be willing to show you how some of the stuff works? That helped me a lot. A friend from work was willing to give me a few ideas and show me how the equipment worked and that was much less anxiety inducing than getting a stranger that worked there to show me. I like working out, but going to new places where I’m not sure what I’m doing gives me major anxiety. Hopefully once you find 1 or 2 things you like you can just go and do those and it will not cause anxiety. For me it helps to remind myself that something is better than nothing, so anything I do is good. That helps relieve some of the pressure. Exercise definitely makes a big difference in my mental health, helps with my depression, anxiety and my ADHD. I usually walk on my lunch break, about a mile, and I use a free app called sworkit, and try to do a 5 or 10 minute strength workout 2 or 3 times a week. Some days I’m eating a bag of chips while I’m walking, but I keep saying something is better than nothing. Good luck!

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