Weekend Rewind: The Gym & Me. A Love (Hate) Story.


I am so shit at going to the gym.

Nup. Not even going to sugar coat it (mmm, sugar).

I’ve always been this way. It’s not a recent thing. I’ve never been sporty, never enjoyed PE at school, never even learnt to ride a bike for goodness sake.

There was, however, a time when I was pretty good at going to the gym – but I had a pretty massive goal (look amazing in my wedding dress) and I was paying someone pretty massive money to get me to go to the gym and look amazing in said wedding dress.

These days, I’ve changed gyms to one that’s closer to home, thinking that might help. It hasn’t. These dark, cold mornings aren’t doing anything to help either.

My gym doesn’t have classes and to be honest I don’t have the money to pay a personal trainer anymore (not a high priority when we’ve still got loads of work to do to finish our house renovations and need to buy furniture for half of said house). I’ve also got a minimum of 4 months before I can get out of this gym membership – which I refuse to quit, because I can’t think of any other form of exercise I enjoy and/or doesn’t cost the earth. Pilates, I’m looking at you.

So it’s all up to me. And I suck.

I wish I could be more like Mr Styling. A sporto (AKA sporty type) from way back, he’s good at everything – including going to the gym 5 days a week. Could we train together? No way. He trains upstairs in the scary room where all the muscle types grunt and groan and drop their weights like lead balloons, while I like to float around downstairs where the girly machines and cute coloured weights are.

When I actually get to the gym.

Which brings me back to my point at hand.

I’m staring down the barrel at 30. A brand new decade is dawning upon me in September and I’d like to enter that phase of my life fit, healthy and in good nick. I’d like to set myself up with an exercise habit that I don’t dread or make excuses to get out of. I just want to flipping do it.


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  1. Penny says

    Sadly, the only cure I found was to make it a habit and that took some doing. Like, seriously, forcing myself on days when I just couldn’t be stuffed. Not when I was sick but that can make it even harder. Once you’re well you gotta get right back on that horse (or bike or treadmill). My advice is find a time of day when you can make it happen monday to friday and make it a part of your working week routine. No sugar coating here either 🙂 But, hey! In six months you’ll be so in the habit you’ll hate the thought of breaking it. And it will be getting warmer and your butt will look great going into summer 🙂

  2. says

    Hey Sonia, I was never sporty as a kid either. But like you, did pre-wedding training and then post baby training! Last year I did a 12 week challenge and it totally changed how I feel about training – plus I was staring down the barrel of 40!! (Boy how 10 years flies). I posted a blog last week about my 12 week journey and how it’s changed more than just my waistline! You might find it motivation or inspiring. Nothing like a birthday goal or major event to motivate you though. Good luck xx Leanne

    • Sonia says

      I think goals definitely do help but I’m wanting more than that – I’m wanting a lifelong change here. Consistency is key and it’s something I’m yet to master. Just gotta start, and then one foot in front of the other each day…

  3. says

    Oh I hear you sister! I am SO useless at going to the gym. Last week I decided to put myself on a Get Fit Quick routine, which lasted all of 5 squats before I decided my time was better spent at my local Westfield. Meanwhile, Guns hits the gym several times a week which means he can get away with doing things like inhaling Maccas and king size Mars Bars like they’re a some sort of raw kale smoothie 😉

    • Sonia says

      If I could shop as much as I liked, I have absolutely no doubt I’d be the fittest, strongest woman in the world!

  4. says

    I was like you, got SUPER hot and fit for my wedding, at 29 and then when I hit 30 I got pregnant and the will to exercise dwindled, add 2 more children, 30 hours of writing a week and umm guess what doesn’t make the top 5 list. However, I think I’m going to get back in to it with a nice stroll at night, after a nice red to calm me the hell down after a stressful day! Have a great weekend!

    • Sonia says

      Ha, love your thinking Emily! I think by doing something active just for 30 minutes a few times a week is the key to starting the good habit. I mean, look at my wine drinking. If it worked for that…!

  5. monica says

    I am hearing you. I can’t stand the gym. Having said that I am a member of one and happily pay for it. I would love the motivation to go but this weather makes it awful to get up. I am up at 6 out the door at 7 am. Get home at 5 pm then homework dinner and then relax with my family. When does someone have the time. Would love some tips.

    • Sonia says

      Wow, our weekday schedules sound very similar! Evenings are definitely out for me so I think my only option is to get up earlier and just try to get to the gym for a 30 minute session 3 or 4 times a week. I’d really love to be an early riser, but the lure of my flanette sheets are stronger than my willpower. Need to change that!

  6. says

    OH I KNOW. I kind of live between two towns (we moved to a rural area last year for my partner’s work but he does Fly In Fly Out so I spend a fair bit of time back at “home” while he’s away) and when I’m at home with my gym classes, my PT and usual hiking tracks I’m so in the game it’s not funny. Put me back on the Tablelands where I’m left to my own devices and I cannot make myself do it. And I know I want to – I know it makes me feel better, I know I want to lose my last 15-20kg, I know I enjoy it. And I know I hate how even though my weight hasn’t changed I can feel my body has for exercising less. But I can’t make myself do it.

    • Sonia says

      That’s my problem too! I know I enjoy it and love the results, so why can’t I just get myself there to do it in the first place?!

    • Sonia says

      I wish I could flick a switch and be a Gym Star! I think some tough talking to myself is required when my alarm goes off in the morning…

  7. says

    I think that you are more than halfway there huni in that you are mentally strong for your 30s… everything else will flow with a bit of grit and determination… says she who is allergic to gyms 😉 xx

  8. Riss says

    I found joining a team to play sport with makes me leave the house. I joined a netball team, we were all randoms who just wanted to lose a bit of weight and have fun doing it. We didn’t know each other and played in the bottom grade and lost very game that first season but boy we had a lot of laughs! 5 seasons later we still play together every Monday night and it’s brilliant fun – made it to the grand final last season couldn’t believe our luck. I’ve also joined a running group – it’s a female group who believe safety in numbers so we often run/ shuffle in the dark (early morning, late evening) lots of chatting along the way. Goodluck!!!

    • Sonia says

      I love that you’ve found some cool people to do your exercise with! Sounds like you’re having fun and I think that’s the key.

  9. says

    I hear you big time lady! I’ve had a hate/hate relationship with exercise my whole life. I’m crap at it and I would rather eat or shop.

    However, twelve months ago a personal training studio opened very near to our place and I started going once and then twice a week – one individual session and another with one or two friends from school/kinder (much cheaper). The sessions last half an hour, we laugh and chat the whole time and then I realise I am actually exercising, getting fitter and enjoying it. It is part of my routine now and I go twice a week before the kids go to school and it sets me up for the day.

    It’s taken me my whole life to find something that works for me. Keep trying. If you are social and extroverted like me, I think making exercise social is the key. Good luck! x

    • Sonia says

      Thanks lovely. You’ve got some excellent points there. I’m going to keep my eye out for local more social exercise options (that don’t cost the earth).

  10. says

    I loathe the gym and haven’t set foot in one for about 15 years. My exercise regime last year consisted of netball twice a week, jogging a couple of times a week, at home DVD once or twice a week and some basic yoga. Then my back issue flared up again and I’m back to clinical pilates (which I love and will do for the rest of my life) and walking. I’m struggling at the moment as I want to work up a sweat and get rid of the Easter indulgence that is showing a little too much but frustrated that I physically can’t. Seems I will have to try and eat a little more healthy instead. As a few above have said, you need to make it a habit, when you do it will be part of your life and when you can’t you will miss it. That’s where I am! lol Good luck x

    • Sonia says

      I want to be where you are (and I feel you with the back issue, I’ve got a similar problem)! Thanks for the great ideas.

  11. says

    It’s so tricky when you don’t enjoy it Sonia! In my previous life I was a gym addict, but that was back when I had only myself to worry about. The best thing I can fit in now is walking along the beachfront on the way home from school drop-off in the mornings.
    I’m staring down the barrel of turning 50 in just over a week…..EEEEK!!
    Have a glorious weekend xx

    • Sonia says

      Beach walks are the best! This no daylight savings and working full time caper is really getting in the way of my exercise routine (or something like that)…!

  12. says

    At least you know your not alone! and I join this sisterhood of anti-gym / exercising desire.
    I was not the sporty kid at school either I think I was the only girl that didn’t play netball, I was the arty / musical nerd. lol

    The funny thing now is that I have no desire to do it, I loathe it! positively hate it. Am I lazy! no not at all, I have no problem carting 6 bags full of groceries up 3 flights of stairs or spending 4hrs cleaning my house, but you tell me to join you in a pump class, or lift a bar, I’d tell you where to go shove that bar!

    I would prefer to sit on my couch and what some brain-numbing tv with a cup-a-tea after a flat-chat day and I am not sorry about it either, I have friends that bike 40+kms and go one about there Kale smoothies etc I don’t care! you want to do that knock yourself out, am I proud of you, sure am… and I gona do it… Hell NO!

    So I say don’t worry about it just enjoy life, if you healthy your fine, everyone could do better, its not the be-all-end-all to be perfect all the time.
    If you find something you like to do and it helps keep you fit, great! But I’d just do what makes you happy end of story. And if the gym doesn’t make you happy cancel your membership and use that money on something that does make you happy… like shoes!!! lol

    You can also just say what I do to people “My husband does enough fitness for both of us!”

    Happy Lounging 😛

  13. says

    I used to be a gym person, but like you the motivation eventually wore off and I was ending up dragging myself to the gym and hated every minute of it! I have since found exercise that I love – running, outdoors. I still have to motivate myself to do it, but I actually love getting outdoors, with some awesome tunes + I’m lucky to be live near the water. My advice would be to find something you love doing so it’s not a chore – turn it into something fun + mix it up so you get bored doing the same thing. Have a fab weekend lady xx

    • Sonia says

      Excellent advice. I do need to find something I love (and can afford) so that I enjoy doing it, rather than forcing myself to. Life’s too short!

  14. says

    I’m useless at gymming too. I love me a class – a boxercise or step class, none of this spin class stuff – but actually going in to stand on a treadmill or lift weights? Pass. I do love my Wii Fit though. And we’ve got stairs in this house so I do my step stuff while holding canned goods. Sad but true.

  15. says

    I have fallen in love with my treadmill all over again…. and it is all thanks to Sex and the City and Baby Macs Pod Cast – Over The Back Fence. I now actually look forward to my 30 minutes on the treadmill (that is all I do, 30 minutes every day and I just walk). I download an episode of Sex and the City on my iPad and watch that while I walk, I love it. When Love Child was on I would really look forward to those days. I also listened to all 4 seasons of Over The Back Fence, so sad now that I have finished. I too used to dread exercising, but now I look forward to it. I have gone back to the beginning and watching all of SATC all over again, I am up to season 3. Love it. You can do it, just find something that doesn’t make you cringe. Snap that iPad into gear and start enjoying the treadmill! PS: I have just linked up my blog – what a great idea, thanks!

    • Sonia says

      What a great idea! That’s going to be my first challenge: 30 minutes walking briskly on the treadmill with the iPad. If I can get that happening 4 times a week for a few weeks, then hopefully the habit will have kicked in and I can then up the ante a little bit. Thanks lady!

  16. Ella says

    I hear you, Sonia! I wish I loved exercise like most other people do but I don’t (yet). I’ve been told you have to teach yourself to love it! I love pilates but it is on the expensive side. Try some at home exercise or pilates. Blogilates (a mixture of Pilates, HIIT, cardio or you can choose a certain area of your body to focus on) + Seven (search 7 minute workout, aqua green logo with 7 in the middle) are two free apps that might get you excited about working out. Works for me – when I can be bothered 😉 Good luck x

  17. says

    I have found that sports which have a social side have helped me. Netball, tennis and golf. Chuck in the occasional walk/jog and it works for me. Great way to get fit and have fun at the same time. Just finding something you like to do is important. I wish there was pilates nearby here because that is something I could do everyday. (that and yoga)

  18. says

    I totally hear you Sonia! I’ve never been really sporty either and like you I only went to the gym in the months before my wedding. I’ve been trying to get back into exercising lately too so I’m looking at doing something fun like Hula hooping or Zumba. I know it’s not like running a marathon or anything but I figured it’s a start. 😉

    I also find setting deadlines sometimes helps so I guess you could always set yourself a certain goal to reach by your 30th birthday and use that as extra motivation?

    Good luck!

    • Sonia says

      I definitely need to set myself some realistic goals for my birthday. Excellent advice, Pearl!

  19. says

    I wish I’d appreciated the body I had when I was in my early 20s. I started to appreciate it when I was in my mid 20s and in love with a man who appreciated me.

    In my 30s, my body was all about harvesting eggs through IVF, growing and nurturing a pregnancy, and then a tool to feed and care for my baby. Just when I started to get my body back to being mine, I was diagnosed with an auto immune disease that left me an invalid unable to exercise and who needed to drive everywhere with a disabled parking pass.

    At 40, I know I’m not in the best shape of my life. I also know I’m not 22 and I’m ok with that. I try to fit in as much incidental exercise as possible. Walking to school. Taking the stairs. I learnt that doing 8km walks isn’t the best for me – even though I love them at the time and get totally high on the endorphin rush. The inflammation and joint pain fall out over the next few days is a killer.

    I think the answer is pretty boring actually. Everything in moderation. Do what you love Love what you do. Walk the dog. If you drink wine, drink water too. If you have dessert, have a healthy dinner. Carbs aren’t evil. Neither are M&Ms. But a whole packet isn’t an awesome idea.

    Being strong and healthy is an excellent idea – but maybe you don’t need the gym for that?

  20. says

    When I began my weight loss journey nearly three years ago, the last thing I wanted to do was exercise. I even made excuses to get out of a walk, I was that bad. I now go to an awesome gym that I love, in a way they are like my second family. But in saying that, you have to find the right gym for you – that’s what I reckon anyway. You have to feel comfortable to actually go otherwise you are wasting your time. Once the habit is in place, you’ll be away. Exercise is my ‘thing’ now, it’s my stress reliever when I am having a hard day and I always leave feeling waaaaaay better than when I walked in! Good luck finding what works for you, great post xx

    • Sonia says

      You’re totally right, Deb. I need to find the right place for me – whether that’s a gym, a class, a studio or a trainer. Thank you. x

  21. says

    I’m reading through these comments in need of tips myself. I suck at anything exercise related. Oh I’m full of ideas and good intentions and buy a bazillion books and dvd’s and start new things every 5 seconds, but that’s about where it all goes down the toilet. I was the person that would eat cereal in time to the music played on the Arobics Oz Style tv show in the mornings.
    I have eleventy excuses at the ready. I still blame my 5 and 2 year old boys for the bits that stick out and hang lower than they should, saying “I’ve just had a baby” (in my defence it is their fault and I’m sure this excuse will stick around for a few more years yet 😉 I’m unfit yes, but I’ve also realised I’m pretty unhealthy. I eat quite well but and I’m not hugely overweight but I’m 33 and have to take daily medication for high cholesterol. I’ll skip meals because “I’m busy”. I’m constantly disappointed in myself. I know what I need to do, so why the heck can’t i do it!?
    Someone suggested to me once that I just do something for 10 minutes, then the next day 15 minutes, next day 20 and so on. Maybe I’ll give that a crack?

    • Sonia says

      You know what I think, Kate? I think we need to start small but be consistent. My personal challenge is going to be getting up and going to do the gym and simply walking briskly on the treadmill for 30 minutes, 4 times per week. I’m going to try and do this for a few weeks before I even think about changing up my routine, in the hope that it becomes a habit and I just keep on going. Let me know what your personal challenge will be – let’s keep each other accountable!

  22. says

    I loathe the gym. And ironically, the only time I was ever consistent about going was when I was trying to look good in my wedding dress!

    These days I stick to what I love – running.

    And more recently I have tried (and really enjoy) Crossfit (well as much as you can enjoy pain) because it’s short and sweet. It might also be superhard, but it’s a nice superhard – one that you know will be over before you can say ’30 burpees?!’

    • Sonia says

      You can keep your running and Crossfit, Kel! I’m going to start small but use one of your words – be CONSISTENT! Let’s see if I can catch this habit all you crazy kids have with exercise…!

  23. Samantha says

    My career as a health professional has meant I don’t take good health for granted. By making regular exercise part of my life I enjoy the luxury and benefits of good health, fitness, social life and physique. I was never especially sporty at school either, but after years of variable gym attendance, I moved my fitness outdoors and I currently meet up and ’train’ regularly with small groups for walking or running, swimming and cycling, with a gym and pilates or yoga session thrown in for good measure. Now in my 40s it’s just part of what I do. I hope I am a good role model to my children and I am fit and confident enough to kick a ball around the park or shoot hoops with them. So maybe think outside the square and mix up your weekly fitness schedule with a range of exercises. Also, consider a ‘no alcohol’ rule in the week so you are a bit more sprightly in the morning and create a few calorie savings too : ). You can do it. You seem such an organised and dedicated person on your blog. Start tomorrow. Feeling fit and fabulous is quite addictive!

    • Sonia says

      After reading all of these fantastic comments, my intention is to start small but be consistent. I hope that this plants the seed of a future flourishing exercise habit!

  24. says

    Okay, so you are definitely on the right track….you want it to happen, it’s just a matter of finding the right fit for you!

    I worked as a receptionist at a functional training facility (kind of like Crossfit, but less scary) and we had an online booking system that members had to use in order to do classes. If you didn’t show up for a class, I’d send you a polite email asking where you were. This seemed to work for a lot of people – they didn’t want to answer my calls or emails and give an excuse for their no show! The type of training was really good too, in that you get in and get out, no fluffing about on the treadmill or bike, just high intensity interval training that keeps your body guessing.

    I would highly recommend shopping around for a gym or fitness centre just like you would for furniture or a car. Do not be intimidated! The owner or manager needs your business and often will give you a great deal, or at the very least give you a free trial.

    Since you have 4 months left on your current membership, get amongst that ‘scary room’ and own it like Beyonce. Don’t be afraid of weights, they’re a girl’s best friend. Pump up your workout playlist (Ministry of Sound Running Trax is always good) and Google or Youtube some HIIT workouts. Also a reward/punishment system might work for you. For example if you don’t go 5 times a week, you don’t get to buy new shoes for a month or something – Might need Mr Styling’s help to enforce that one though! 😉 Find your own currency for making yourself get out of bed and eventually it will just become a habit!

    Good luck xxx

    • Sonia says

      Alex, thank you so much for your brilliant comment. You’ve given me a lot to think about (and act on). I really appreciate it!

  25. says

    I love the gym and sport but classes are it for me. I am not motivated or interested enough to tell myself what to do. Les Mills classes for the win!

    • Sonia says

      I definitely need someone to tell me what to do! Might be time to look into some group fitness options in my area.


  1. […] then got me thinking about my gym membership and why, despite writing this post and having the greatest of intentions, I just wasn’t using it…despite said gym being […]

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