Do workouts make you selfish?

I am a self-confessed gym rat. I love exercise. I love going to the gym and doing a hundred kettlebell squats. I love sweating (it makes showering the greatest thing ever). So it’s a bit frustrating to feel like I can’t post anything on Facebook about exercising or keeping in shape. Apparently, it makes other people feel bad about themselves. Well, I shouldn’t be made to feel bad because I complained about not getting a chance to go to the gym for a few days.

If other people are allowed to talk about how much time they spent on a game to reach a certain level, then I should be allowed to talk about the goal I reached during my morning workout. I bet we’ve spent equal amounts of time on the task. I bet each of us has struggled as much as the other. But god forbid my lifestyle should make you feel inadequate. You know what? If my hobby makes you feel bad about your hobby, then maybe you should find another one. Instead of complaining that it’s selfish to keep showing off your body when the rest of us can’t find the energy to do more than drink coffee in the mornings, find something that makes you proud to show off what you’ve achieved. Everyone who’s run that 10k, who’s cracked that quest in whatever game they’re playing, who’s had their writing or artwork featured in a major publication, has worked hard to get there. It’s not called showing off if you post a picture of that drawing you spent a month on, so why is it showing off if you post a picture of your abs that you spent a month toning?

Someone once told me that they think less of girls who wear leggings without shorts or a skirt, because they look slutty. Never mind whether the leggings look good, if they’re nearly as thick as regular trousers or if they cover up far more than a teeny, tiny pair of booty shorts. Nope: leggings = slutty, because they show off a girl’s actual shape. I would like to say that I wear leggings all the time; they are incredibly comfortable and if I look good wearing them, that’s a bonus. If I get looked at because of it, I don’t actually mind.

There, I said it. I don’t mind guys staring at me and my body. I’ve worked hard to get the figure I have, and if it gets noticed, it’s validation that getting up at 6.20 every morning to get to the gym before my 9am lectures is worth it. I used to worry that I would feel uncomfortable if a guy were to stare at my boobs while I’m having a conversation, but the truth is that very few guys I’ve come across actually do that. If they do they’re usually drunk, and watching their eyes drift downwards and then snap back up again is quite funny. Yes, we notice. I’m usually flattered that a guy is watching me over the countless other girls he could be staring at.

So don’t feel bad because someone else has got the body they’ve always wanted. Go out there and get the body you’ve always wanted, and which I promise you is in there, it just takes a little bit of effort. Plus, working out is far more fun than you’d realise, particularly with a good playlist and a gym buddy to have a laugh with while you’re there.

And if that isn’t motivation enough, switching up your diet, cooking properly and working out means you can eat as much as you like! Including chocolate! And pizza! Seriously, I’m on five carb-laden meals a day and I’ve never felt better!

I could list everything that’s in this post, or I could sum it up: everything! All at once!

I’m checking in again ! I’ve been here three weeks and I am loving it, despite the wave of Fresher’s Flu which swamped me last week. I feel a bit guilty using ‘I’ve been busy’ as an excuse for not posting so often, but the truth is I have. Even when I haven’t had a stack of things to do, I’ve been so worn out by the lectures and sports and activities and socialising that I’ve spent most of my down time staring blankly at Netflix. That, and trying out all of the chairs in Imagine, which is my favourite place on campus. It has swinging chairs and giant floor cushions and a whiteboard wall and good music and it stays open until midnight!

My room feels like home now, particularly since I went slightly crazy at the poster sale and absolutely bat-shit insane at the houseplant sale. There is a small kitchen garden, complete with fruit trees, completely covering my windowsill and I’m not sure what you can do with calamondins, except make marmalade and liqueur.

I tried out for the riding team, and got a place in the Development Squad. This more than suits me, as it means I’m training at team level without actually having to compete; ergo, no scary competitions. It’s painfully expensive but I love being able to ride regularly, I find it so therapeutic (and fun!).

I’ve also started fencing and am really loving it, although you get unbelievably sweaty and the kit never quite seems to fit. Also, no one said anything about girls having to wear a plastic bra. I’ve called it ‘bramour’.

Plus I’m taking advantage of having the gym a mere stagger down the hill from me and have had two exercise classes today. I have also learned that it is possible to sweat from every part of your body, including out of the back of your hands. This is completely worth it though, as it means I am free to eat like a student: cheese, bacon, chocolate, repeat.

It has been confirmed that my love life is somewhere on par with Bridget Jones’. I met a really nice guy; we chatted, I thought we flirted, he messaged me a lot…and then he mentioned that he had a girlfriend. I’m fine, I was a little disappointed, but I’m quite happy to remain friends with him and just find someone else.

Of course, this zen state of mind was only achieved after a night of drinking, dancing and an encounter with a drunken fresher at the uni club. This has served to remind me that I must keep my standards up or face being stuck with one night stands with guys who are entirely too confident in their ability to kiss with passion.

The weather has also turned (the Brit in me feels compelled to comment on this) and we’ve gone from having an Indian summer to a thoroughly English autumn. This would be rain, particularly of the heavy, driving variety. And it’s coincided with a drop in temperature, which means I’m finally able to start wearing knitted things. I’ll admit, I love weather like this. There’s something so comforting about sitting inside, wrapped up warm and the knowledge that you don’t have to leave your room at all if you don’t want to.

Sitting in my room all day is what I’m used to, and it’s very easy to put myself in a little bubble where I don’t actually have to meaningfully interact with anyone. I’ve decided I need to stop this, and am accepting as many invitations to events as possible. On the one hand, this is terrifying as my social anxiety kicks in as soon as I get anywhere away from my flat and my friends (I actually ran away from having lunch with the fencing society, much to the combined annoyance and amusement of my friend). On the other hand, I’m doing so well with staying calm right now that I’m actually beginning to enjoy myself on nights out. Case in point: I went out for dinner last night and didn’t feel anxious once!

I’m going to end this update here, because I could keep talking…and talking, and talking, and there’s only so much you can hear about student life before it becomes Vogon poetry. So, until the next time!