The Lazy-asses guide to losing weight: the workout edition

Not to be confused with the lazy-asses guide to losing weight: the food edition, which will be posted at a later date.

Hi, I’m the Black Widow, and in the past three months, I have lost ten kilos. To some, that may be a walk in the park, but for me, that’s a whopping change. For my entire life, I have relied heavily on my metabolism to cut down my body weight and remain the trim little spitfire that I am, but it eventually caught up on me and I packed on a few extra kilos that weren’t necessarily wanted. Finally, after snatching a good deal with Anytime Fitness, I decided to shed that extra weight and return to my most fitting form.

I know some of you have read weight loss stories and thought “But these people have all the motivation and discipline in the world to achieve their goals, and I don’t. How will this work for me?” The solution is simple: me. I can honestly tell you that when it comes to physical exercise, I am one of the laziest mofos in the world. Usually, when someone starts going to the gym and they get into a regular pattern, they love going to the gym and can’t get enough of it. For me, after three months of regularly attending the gym, I still dread going to that metal clanging-and-banging hellhole.

Those are interesting coloured paperweights...

Those are interesting coloured paperweights…

To help others get fit and get into the shape they desire, I have compiled a list of steps that I personally took to help me achieve my weight loss:

Step one: Set a goal
I know it’s cliché to say this but a goal is needed if you’re even thinking of getting into shape. I set a goal as soon as I decided to go to the gym and it’s definitely helped me. When I am struggling to breathe as I run for my dear life on the treadmill, or my arms are about to snap off when I’m lifting weights, I think of my ultimate goal and picture it in my head… and it allows me to keep going. For at least another like two minutes or so.

Step two: Stay disciplined
After a few days of hitting the gym, you’ll feel really pumped and think “Yeah! This is for me!” but then you’ll gradually stop going until you realise you’re donating money to the gym. Don’t fall into this trap. If, for some reason, you feel yourself thinking “Hey, I don’t need to go tonight” or “I can do without the gym just this one week”, discipline yourself . You won’t achieve that goal if you skip a day or two. You’ll go back to the way you were if you miss an entire week. For me, if I keep this thought in mind, I will always go back to the gym: “If I miss the gym tonight, I won’t get to walk around the beach without a shirt on because people will think a whale has washed ashore and throw water on me.”

Step three: Stick to a schedule
In a similar light to setting a goal, planning a weekly schedule will keep you going. If you go to the gym with no real set plan in mind, you’ll just aimlessly wander around, pretending to use cardio machines and looking at your dumpy ass in the mirror and then go home. What did you achieve? Nothing. However, if you know that Monday is leg day and Wednesday is abs day, then you’ll know what to do, how long to do it and what’s up next. For me, I plan to go to the gym at least five times a week with three of those days being dedicated to specific parts of my body. If I miss a day, you can bet your sweet ass I’ll catch up with it next week.

Step four: Believe you can do it… the results will show
I had a really good week at the gym in mid-December. I had been hitting the gym really hard and felt great about myself. I stepped onto the scale and… still the same. Honestly, it shattered me a bit and I thought “I’ve been killing myself for so long and nothing is showing!” Like all good things in life, however, it’ll come to the patient ones who wait. Don’t let a bunch of numbers and results slow your efforts down. Stick to your plan and I can guarantee you the results will show themselves eventually. It also helps if a friend of yours stops and says “Hey, you’ve lost weight!” because then you’ll know that something is changing, and it’ll motivate you to keep going.

Now I’m sure there are plenty of other things you could do to maximise your efforts at the gym, but these four fundamental steps will prove vital in your journey to your ultimate weight loss destination. If a naturally lazy writer like me can get off my laptop and go to the gym (begrudgingly, of course), then I’m sure you can as well.

Of course, the other (bigger) half of weight loss is eating properly. Stay tuned as I tell you what I did to my diet which led to my weight loss.

– by The Black Widow

From Doing Diddly-Squat to Actual Squats

If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s how much we hate our friends on Facebook who do nothing but check-in at the gym and post statuses about how good their workout was. We get it; you do in fact lift…bro. The trouble with these irritatingly fit friends, though, is that they’re smarter than the rest of us. Why? Because – spoiler alert – exercise actually is good for us.

Endorphins are wonderful little neurotransmitters released during exercise that make us feel happy and amazing. Because I have the mentality of a four-year-old, when I’m running I sometimes like to imagine them as happy little dolphins in my brain cheering me on. Don’t judge me.  If I may quote Legally Blonde for a moment, “Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands…they just don’t.”

This wonderful, happy feeling also leads to increased self-esteem. Note, this does not mean that being skinny makes you happy. What I mean is that increasing your fitness levels gives you an amazing sense of achievement. Eighteen months ago, I was the last person anybody would expect to be a runner; a massive dweeb who spent all her time reading and watching old films. Now, I run every day, or I train on my spin-bike. Hell, I even started Pilates despite months of cynicism and active resistance (turns out, it’s not half bad). My point is, that I look back on where I was and compare it to who I am now and I beyond proud of myself for my accomplishments.

I know I’m the girl who advocates for chocolate in any scenario, and while it’s true that chocolate releases the same endorphins as exercise, unlike eating half a block of Wonka’s Marvellous Creations as a pick-me-up, you’ll never regret a workout. It may not be until a few days after said workout, when you finally get feeling back in your thighs and butt that you feel good about it, but damn, when the limping stops you will feel like a Goddess (or God, for those of you with XY chromosome).

I may in fact smack the next person I hear shout “no pain, no gain!” at the gym or the mini-workout stations along the running track. I know it’s true, but working out should not be torture. It’s not like we’re all lining up to get whipped or strappadoed. Let’s come up with some new chants. Repeat after me: “I am only a little bit uncomfortable and I am not in fact dying so I will do five more squats before the Maccas run.” I know it’s not as catchy, but at least it’s realistic. You are in charge of your body. You know your limits and you know your goals. The tip to a good workout is making it fun for you, whether that means bringing a friend to keep you motivated or just mixing things up every now and again. As long as you have a wicked playlist, you’re good to go.

Personally, I’m a huge fan 90s pop music.
Wannabe – Spice Girls
MMMBop – Hanson
Dr Jones – Aqua
Backstreet’s Back – Backstreet Boys
I know admitting this to you is only making you judge me more, but I’m cool with it. You listen to your white noise, techno crap and I’ll be on the next treadmill rockin’ some Venga Boys. Game on.

The best advice that I can give you is this; if you’re at the start of your fitness journey, the important thing to keep in mind is that you need to set realistic goals for yourself. You will not wake up looking like Alessandra Ambrosio or Charlie Hunnam after just one gym session. Start slowly to avoid injury and build up from there. Arnold Schwarzenegger was not born with -0% body fat. He started with 10 reps lifting small cars, then slowly moved on to trucks and larger buildings. You should start with kettlebells though. Or toothpicks…just to be on the safe side.

Oh, and it’s best to work out in the morning before your brain has time to wake up properly and hate you.

– by Blaire Gillies