One day I was trying on my favourite bikini to check it still fit for my holiday. It did. Like a glove. To be honest, I thought I looked great. I’d been working really hard in the gym and actually remembering to feed myself at regular intervals throughout the day (instead of you know, eating nothing all day then eating my entire house and the complete cast of Newsies when it got to 8pm). So yeah, overall I was feeling pretty hot. And then I saw them. These long white stripes across my bum cheeks. I have stretch marks. Continue reading “How To Survive Feeling Like a 2/10 (When Everyone Else Seems like a 12/10)”
Please don’t see the title and immediately close the browser! It’s not going to be as bad as you think I swear. To be honest, I think working out at home is the WORST but sometimes it just has to be done. I don’t really want to pay for two gym memberships for when I’m home from university, but I hate the thought of all my hard work going to waste over the holidays. So, I’ve gathered together my best thoughts about working out at home, without completely hating it. Whether you’re a complete newbie, just taking a break from the gym or want a little something extra, there’s loads you can do without a gym. Continue reading “How To Survive Working-Out Without The Gym.”
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I’ve always been told I’m headed for great things. I’d like to believe that. Who knows, maybe I am? However, right now I can categorically say I am not doing great things. I am nothing out of the ordinary. I’m average. I’m a student. I drink, I write essays and hand them in on time, I maintain a good grade, I go to the gym. I know that sounds quite productive, like the usual good student having fun but remaining studious, but it’s average. Masses of twenty year olds in the country are doing the same.
Now, that thought may seem like a belittling, negative one, but bare with…
All my life, I’ve been reassured by loving parents, grandparents, sometimes even strangers that I’m the “prettiest” , the “most intelligent” , and a “very promising” girl. That could be correct, given the right circumstances, but it’s probably not. This isn’t an “oh boo hoo I’m so ugly/stupid/useless” post, it’s positive, I promise, I’m getting to it. Basically, my whole life I was conditioned to be something special, something exciting. I was going to be a performer, I was going to be something so admirable, and exciting and I’d have hilarious stories to tell quirky strangers in bars. There was this huge pressure on me, particularly through college, that being ordinary, being like everyone else just wasn’t enough. That’s probably because it was a performing arts college, leading us all into a competitive industry, however, I do believe at some point everyone feels this same pressure. This pressure that to be important and popular and unique is everything.
I used to spend ages scrolling through Instagram looking at people I thought were the most beautiful. I wanted to look like all these girls with perfect make-up and gorgeous clothes, and I wanted to be surrounded by these gorgeous, edgy male models drinking gin and flashing their watches. They were the best, the elite and I wanted to be part of it. I wanted this lifestyle that involved gorgeous people, with cool creative jobs, who seemed to just effortlessly stroll into VIP Lounges and tell people stories about the time they met such-a-body from the radio or how they partied with such-a-body from TV through their most recent acting job.
Basically, I used to spend hours convincing myself I had to be something more than what I was. I’m not the sort of person who gets into VIP just by strolling in. I don’t even like clubs that much anymore, I’d really rather be in bed by 11pm. My stories are somewhat quirky, but they’re usually at the cost of my own dignity, and don’t often involve celebrities or much more than me making a fool of myself. I like gin, but I’d really rather drink it with my friends on a weekday than with some guy in a snobby bar who just wants to tell me how much his watch costs. I used to think I had to do all these things so I’d have something to impress everyone with, so I could be the kind of person who had a witty anecdote if ever needed. But really, how often are they needed? And who am I impressing?
The fact is, being cool, being new and exciting is nice. If you are cool and exciting and you have all these amazing stories and interesting careers, really, more power to you and keep up the good work. I admire that, and there’s still this part of me that wants all of that, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting that. But some of us aren’t there yet. And that’s okay too.
It’s okay not to be the most beautiful. It’s okay not to be the most intelligent. It’s okay to not have everything together yet in a nice Pinterest-worthy package of a life. You probably are headed for great things, but your parents will be proud of you if you’re happy. It’s equally as impressive to have what you need and not want more, to have a quiet life with a small circle of loved ones. Your job doesn’t have to be the most exciting to strangers if it’s exciting to you. You don’t need to post a quirky picture of “the best night out everrr [insert party popper/champagne emoji]” on Instagram every week to make people think you’re interesting. Doing the ordinary isn’t settling. Doing something you’re uncomfortable with is settling. Never settle.
I hope this made some sort of sense. If you need a summary after my rambling: Ordinary is okay. Most people are ordinary and they’re perfectly happy. Just be happy, and do you, boo, do you.
Once upon a time, mid-workout, I thought “maybe it’s weights room time.” So over I went to the weights room, strutted in confidently, ready to own the show and not be intimidated by anyone. I did well, I made it over to the bar bells, picked one up, and dropped it on myself, not only causing a racket (making every scary, beef-cake guy ever glare at me), but also slamming the bar against my shins. Ouch. Pain and embarrassment in one hit. Gym-1. Laura-0.
If you’re anything like me, you don’t always feel totally comfortable and confident in the gym, but the fact is, you should. Whether you’re a guy who’s not quite a beef-cake yet, or a girl who’s just starting out to get fit, that gym is just as much your second home as anyone else’s, you just have to make it as such.
After speaking to a couple of female friends of mine, I’ve found, as much as most of them don’t want to admit it, sweating bothers them. It’s understandable, nobody likes sweat patches. It might be stating the obvious here, but take a small towel with you to wipe any sweat off yourself (if you’re not sweating you’re not doing enough) and off any machines you use. (Nobody wants to use a spin bike with your sweaty bum mark on it.) Also, girls, the gym is a no make up zone, you’ll only sweat it off and look like a melting wax work. (Tried it once. I wanted to look like an IG model with long hair, fleeky brows and yoga pants. I ended up looking like cousin it had been dragged through a sauna backwards. Hair on neck sweat is not good)
*Dress to Impress (Yourself)*
I personally found buying new, fun, gym clothes that I felt great in really helped. I looked good, so I wanted to be there. Go for stretchy material- cotton shows sweat marks (if that bothers you) but I also find it doesn’t leave much to the imagination (camel toe city.) Or guys, go for loose fitting shorts and any top you’re comfortable in. But generally, if you’re loving your outfit, you’ll be wanting to stay in it longer, and therefore in the gym longer.
*Attention Attention Attention*
Everyone, regardless of gender and body shape worries about people judging them/staring at them in the gym. Simultaneously, everyone is too bothered about themselves, their own work out and how they look, to be staring at you. However, it’s also important we remember how uncomfortable being gawked at makes us, so it’s probably more polite to keep all eyes to yourself when that hottie with a ripped back or fabulous bum walks past.
So there you go. I hope this helps any gym newbies, or those who are like me, and literally just make a fool of themselves regularly.