7 Stages We All Go Through When We Start A New Exercise Regime

#4 Extreme smugness

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With summer in full swing and the sweet hope of New Years resolutions still knocking around in our subconscious, a lot of us are vowing to get a bit more exercise. I know I am.

And it’s undeniable that we all believe our own bullshit when it comes to the health and fitness #lyf. We truly believe we’ve miraculously reincarnated from the shell of a trashcan we were into a fresh #fitspo #inspo version of ourselves. But undoubtedly, every holier-than-thou exercise makeover starts and ends the same.

#1 Realising What You’ve Become

We all reach a point where we realise how out of control our unhealthy lifestyle is. For some, it’s when they drive 30 seconds to the shops instead of walking five minutes. For me, it’s eating seventeen Cadbury Favourites in a row and seeing the shameful pile of wrappers I’ve accumulated in my wake.

Thus ensues a moment of deep reflection: will I live to 45 if I keep this up? What happens to your body if all it does is sit down? How do I stash these chocolate wrappers without anyone else in the house seeing them? Y’know, the usual stuff. So we resolve to make a change.

#2 Getting Into Action

The getting into action phase starts with you actually waking up a little earlier than usual (before 9am) and hauling your sorry ass to the gym. Simply stepping foot in that musty, air-conditioned feet palace has ignited your need to succeed.

Yes, you’ll take the 12 month option. No, you won’t need to worry about the $300 million cancelling fee. Yes, you promise to be here at least five days a week – seven, even! You cackle about New Years resolutions and “fresh starts” with the sweet receptionist. You’ll remember her name for when you come in later that day. You’ll be a regular soon enough.

#3 The Height Of Motivation

Two weeks later and you’ve been to the gym pretty much every single day. Katie at reception is so impressed with you. Your colleagues and friends are sick of you talking about what type of protein powder tastes best in smoothies and how you feel like “the person you’ve always meant to be”. You look in the mirror and, like Leslie Knope, feel big enough to admit you’re often inspired by yourself.

#4 Extreme Smugness

You look at the non-exercising people around you and wonder why they’re not taking up a new exercise regime like you are. Honestly, you’re a changed person??? Why wouldn’t everyone else want this perfect life?? That Favourites shovelling shame spiral is a world away now! Guess not everyone has the motivation and rigour you possess? Hm. Shame.

#5 The Beginning Of The End

Unfortunately, your shifts at work have piled up and you have like, six assignments due. So you have to skip the gym for a few days this week. All gravy. You’re an exercise junkie at heart, you’ll pick up more next week. (Should you call Katie and let her know? Wait no, that’s overkill. Never mind, forget about it.)

#6 M.I.A.

That week of extra shifts and heaps of assignments has turned into four whole weeks of sloth level chilling. Every time you’ve planned to go to the gym, you hit snooze, or you open Netflix or stare into your fridge. But you’ll keep your membership of course. You will go. Just… Not right now.

#7 Back To The Start

Your dip back into sloth territory was way longer than intended. You realise you’ve essentially been throwing $80 a month down the drain for three whole months. That’s $240 that could have been spent on literally anything else. It’s only now that the reality of the obscene cancelling fee settles in.

So you go back and start all over again. Or, maybe you don’t. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. You can go back to the gym whenever you want (or, if you don’t want, that’s fine too). Putting too much pressure on ourselves to achieve an arbitrary fitness goal, while memeworthy, can drive us totally bonkers. Keep moving and exercising (it’s good for your brain) but don’t run yourself into a frenzy. You’re perfectly fine the way you are.

(Lead image: Parks and Recreation/NBC)