Let’s just be honest right off the bat…cardio is not a fun time. It’s just not. However, spin seems to be quite the hot trend right now so I decided to give it a shot. Most spin studios (or class based gyms in general) have a plan for two weeks of unlimited classes for around $30 so I decided to hit the ground running and commit to two weeks of all the spin my body could handle (mainly because I’m poor and this was the only way I would justify investing the $30 in spin). .
A little back story..for the past year or so I’ve been struggling A LOT with my depression and anxiety. I’ve always had these two clinical conditions, however, last year it became nearly unbearable. I got into the habit of eating complete crap when I did eat and skipping meals because my anxiety was too high to even muster the confidence to leave my little room for food. After a lot of time and a lot of effort, I found myself in a better place and my depression and anxiety drifted to the very back of my mind. But, my body had taken a toll already and I had already become pudgier than I’ve ever been and on top of that, I was still eating crap and not regularly exercising. Now don’t go getting all hypercritical on me and judge me for feeling chunky. I know I am not and have never been overweight, but I am (or was?) skinny fat and I felt bloated all the time and lethargic and just all around gross.
So, I went to my first spin class. HA! It was painful and sweaty and breathless and, did I mention painful? BUT, the teacher was so inspiring and motivational. The different exercises and positions and speeds and everything made it bearable and (dare I say…) fun! I did NOT make it through the first workout slaying it and killing the whole workout. I modified almost every move towards the end of the sprints and I didn’t dare touch the weights when it was time for arms, but I did it. I survived. I gave it everything I could. And I felt accomplished when it was over. So I went back the second day. And quickly learned the instructor I had the first day was an easy one. But this time, I killed myself trying each time the instructor reminded us it was just 45 minutes which was just ours. Everything we came in with, we left at the door and now was our time to forget about it. This time, I made it through the whole damn thing without modifying and it felt great. I kept going back day after day and it got “easier” and “easier”. On the first weekend, I made the genius decision to sign up for spin and hot yoga in the same day…and I did it. I killed both workouts and much to my surprise, I felt amazing afterwards – sore, but amazing. By the end of the two weeks, I was obsessed. The last two days of my unlimited plan, I went to two spin classes each day. It was amazing what my body was capable of and I became in love with every bit of it.
SO, as I was getting better with the spin, I decided to make this change all in. I decided to commit to just two weeks with tons of spin and eating healthy for the first honest time in my life. I became obsessed with watching health and fitness vlogs and became inspired by them. The youtubers I was watching just seemed so fit and energetic and I wanted to get there, to be that. I headed to the grocery store after spin one night and stocked my fridge full of fresh fruit and veggies and alll the healthy foods so I was set for a nutritional diet. The added improvement in my diet left me feeling so refreshed and energized and genuinely happy for the first time in too long.
Flash forward to today (ya know, because it’s been so long just a week after my unlimited spin ended…) and I am still sticking to eating healthy. Snacking on juicy pineapple and strawberries and munching in to some rice cakes or banana chips or veggies and hummus has become something I actually enjoy. I surprisingly don’t feel restricted in the least. And if I’m craving something, I damn well am going to eat it because I know that I am treating my body right and I can handle a little cheat every once and a while, but the best part is, I haven’t really been craving unhealthy foods too much (until my period hit, then it was chocolate galore, TMI I know but whatevs). I am still going to spin about three to four times a week (and I even wish I could do more but as I said, I’m poor) and going to hot yoga once a week. AND I even made the leap to actually go to the gym and like lift heavy stuff or whatever. This is the first time I’ve been to the gym here in the two years I’ve been at Pitt and the first time I’ve really lifted since freshman/sophomore year of high school. (I’m even planning to go back too so yay me!)
The changes I have felt in my body over the past few weeks have been so incredible. I’m energized and I feel fit. I haven’t noticed much of a visible change yet but I just feel amazing so 1) I’m sure physical change will come and 2) I’m perfectly happy with where I am right now in my body, even with a little extra skin. Guess what I’m going to say next…that’s right, now it’s your turn. Time to get off that lazy bum and try something for yourself; I guarantee there is a cycling gym near you. Go sign up and dedicate yourself to those first two weeks. Give it a chance before you make a decision if you like it or not. It’s going to be hard at first, especially if you’re not in the best shape at the moment, but it will be worth the shot if you give it your all and put your heart into it. Make this your 2 week spin challenge. Wishing you all the best of luck!