My gym bag, my socks, and my new work-out top from H&M! That’s right, you gym-goers know exactly what I am talking about. To the girls who leave the gym looking immaculate, are you even human? To the guys who are tan in the middle of January, you are fooling no-one; you have ‘Vita Liberata‘ written all over you. Fitness blogs are filled with pretty neon tie-dye leggings, rainbow-coloured Nike fly-knits, perfectly manicured stiletto nails, hair extensions, and of course, big boob jobs. This post is about the real fitness life; the dirty, not-so-glamorous side.
A couple of years ago, I was at a gym in Belfast working my butt off to try and stay in shape. One of the trainers approached me and began chatting to me, and then he made a comment that has stuck with me ever since, “You sweat… A LOT.” The strange thing is, when he made this comment, rather than feeling embarrassed or ashamed, I actually felt quite proud! That’s right. I sweat profusely when I work out. This is because I drink lots of water and I completely work my ass off. Normally, I leave the gym absolutely soaking with my hair stuck to the back of my neck. There have been times when it looks as if I have wet myself and there have been times when I have left wet ass imprints on the benches and the mats. Why do you think so many people carry towels around the gym? Sweat. Proud, not ashamed.
Eggs, broccoli, sprouts, protein shakes. What do all these things have in common? They make you fart. Wind can be painful and rather than keeping it all sucked in, it is better to just let it out. If it happens at the gym, just know that this is one environment where you won’t be judged. I apologise to anyone who has come in close proximity with me while I am doing my afternoon ab work. Everyone passes gas at the gym at least once; don’t be embarrassed, just slowly walk away and move to a different area.
Being attractive at the gym is pretty difficult. Guys grunt like wild gorillas as they lift ridiculously heavy weights. Girls make little orgasm noises when they are finishing their last rep of their last set. Then there are people like me who accidentally let out a huge snort during their sprints. And other fitness freaks who shriek and moan like people in a psych ward as they push their bodies to the limit. My advice to you? Do not hold back. Shout, groan, squeal and make whatever noises you want because we all do it. And don’t even get me started on the faces. Constipation faces left, right and centre. Some of my favourites are, “Trying not to poop myself,” “Something is stuck up my ass,” “I feel like I’m dying,” “I’m spaced out because I didn’t drink enough water,” and “I’m jacked up on pre-workout and I don’t know what is happening right now.” Be proud of your gym face. Own it.
Fake tan lasts a day or two if you are lucky; it tends to sweat off. If it sweats off badly, please exfoliate, or you will look like an orange and beige zebra. Laundry must be done at least once or twice a week, because you go through a huge amount of clothes. Do not re-use your work-out clothes, as tempting as it may be, or you will smell like a piece of rotting meat. Your skin will be dry from showering excessively so you’ll need to moisturise regularly, or people will think it is snowing. Dry shampoo is a must if you are female; sweat will make your hair look stringy and greasy, even right after you washed it. Get one of those Ped Eggs or a skin buffer to keep your feet looking good for those summer sandals. Do not make the mistake I did and ignore them or you will blister over your blisters and end up with layers of dry skin. Pedicures are your friend.
So, still think the fit life is super glamorous? Things can get sweaty, smelly, and a little bit disgusting. But that moment when you put on a new outfit, and your body looks and feels tight and lean, is totally worth it. Besides, most of your gross-ness can be fixed with a little TLC or a good spa day. Get down and get dirty, and don’t be afraid, it will all be worth it in the end.