Last week I was lucky enough to be offered a preview of the brand new FlyeFit gym on South Circular Road as well as a year’s membership. Naturally I was chuffed, as I had fully planned on getting myself a membership when it opened so myself and my boyfriend could motivate each other in weight loss. With three months to go till I have to fit nicely into a bridesmaid dress and be in photos that will be kept forevermore, I was dying to get started on a path to fitness and being more comfortable in my own skin – and now have the opportunity to get started on just that!
Today I rocked up to Flyefit SCR along with about 20 others, and we were given the grand tour by the lovely Doug Leddin. On entry we were handed a goodie bag
(which I’m now referring to as my gym starter pack) and blue cloth booties for putting over our shoes. Me being me, I arrived in a pair of Docs which went just fabulously with the booties….
The gym, situated in the old Garda Club, is amazingly laid out. In the past I’ve found gyms to be daunting places, as they’re usually organised so everyone
and by this I mean I spends a lot of time avoiding eye contact with other gym goers. This gym has maintained the integrity and structure of the original building, so rather than just one big open-plan floor, there are many different rooms and sections spread out across the building, with some front-facing rooms housing just 4 or 5 treadmills or other equipment each, leaving potential gym-goers with the peace of mind that the chance of being in the same space as a seasoned gym attendee is significantly reduced, leaving self-esteem fully intact. Phew.
In true homage to the fact it was a Garda Club, wall art and murals display caricatures of Gardaí – which, if nothing else, will entertain you while you lift weights!
The gym officially opens tomorrow at 10am and while we were there, people were running around putting the finishing touches on everything. It really is a fabulous space and I’m glad to have been able to see it before it opened, if even so that I know what I’m letting myself in for!
I’m really excited to get started during the week – three months is not that long, but should be long enough that I’ll start to see even a smidgen of a difference in myself that will keep me coming back for the full year and beyond. On that particular note, I wanted to talk briefly about something that is often a bone of contention for me. A lot of you who have been following my blog or know anything about me know about my struggles with depression, bipolar-II and BPD. All too often we see fitness, exercise, and ‘just go for a run’ touted as a ‘cure’ for depression and other illnesses. All too often, it doesn’t work the way people suggest it does. Yes, absolutely, exercise can and probably will help in the long run, but for the most part, I feel the suggestion that it ‘cures’ mental illness is demoralising for those that it doesn’t have an instantaneous effect on. For many, depression makes it too hard to get out of bed, let alone summon up the energy to go for a run at 6am. What I’ve been considering, alongside my desire to be comfortable in my bridesmaid dress, is a potential mental wellness experiment. I’ve been uncomfortable in my own skin for years and years, and in this upcoming experiment, I am going to see what exercise specifically does for my self esteem
(of which I have none). A lot of therapy I’ve taken part in has focused on the idea of acceptance, and change. Try as I might, I have been unable to accept my body for what it is, and I subsequently do not respect what I put into it or how well I take care of it. The only other option, therefore, is to change. A lot of thinspo and fitspo online has completely skewed my perception of a) how I look, and b) how I want to look, and through my experiment I want to physically address, through exercise 3-4 times a week, how exercise specifically impacts my perception of my own body. While I know I can only get out what I’ve put in, it seems scarily exciting to be attempting to do something that isn’t just sitting my laptop all the time working away at something. I’m actively ( ha) attempting a lifestyle change that is entirely different from every other form of therapy I’ve had in the past year and a bit. In a way, this will be a therapy in itself, and will be something I’ll check in on towards the end of August to assess what kind of impact exercise has had on my mental health. I’m by no means a fitness blogger, but I am a mental health advocate in my own way and would never suggest something until I’ve tried it myself – so for the sake of anyone who wants to make positive changes in their self-perception, I am putting myself on the line by offering myself as a test subject in my own little experiment. I’m nervous but excited. I’m possibly a masochist. Regardless… wish me luck?
Have any of you found exercise has had a positive impact on self esteem? I want to hear your experiences!