After turning 40, I knew that it was going to be time to start getting serious about working out. Being a naturally thin person for most of my adult life, I was really able to keep my weight down, and a pretty decent amount of muscle tone, even though I wasn’t working out very regularly. I’ve never cared for getting sweaty, and 18would rather spend my time window-shopping or writing or crafting. But after hitting the 4 decade milestone, I noticed that my pants started getting a little tighter, that muffin-top got more pronounced, and generally I just didn’t feel as tight anymore.

Being that I am not very athletic – and never have been – the idea of just dropping in at a gym and starting a program gave me some serious anxiety. My biggest fear is that people would be staring at me, noticing that I don’t know what the heck I am doing. My head tells me that they probably wouldn’t even care, but something about stepping into a gym turns me into an insecure teenager, convinced that all eyes are on me. So instead, I decided to hire a personal trainer for a few sessions, to get me started and so I could try and shake those dreaded insecurities.

That first day, I felt a bit like a fish out of water. I have to say, that the trainer – also a woman of similar age – was very kind to me. She created a plan for me that was challenging, but not overkill. I started slow, but quickly gained momentum in a few areas over the next coming months. I started to focus on what I could do, rather than how my body looks, and stopped comparing myself to my own ideal of what I used to be. I can’t go as far as to say I became addicted to exercise, but I did find a few things that have helped me to find joy in my workout sessions.

Cute Workout Clothes

Because I never was a workout girl, I didn’t really have any appropriate workout clothes other than an old pair of Lululemon’s that I had been wearing for years. Coupled with a ratty old t-shirt, it wasn’t exactly inspiring! So I decided that I wanted to amp up my style for the gym, and you know, I think it actually empowered me to do better. Galaxy themed workout pants paired with a cute slogan tee makes me feel like I’m showing off my best assets, while also showing off my colourful personality. Somehow a cute pair of pants reflected in the mirror takes away that feeling of being nervous in the gym.

A Comfy Sports Bra

As my weight has gone up over the years, so has the size of my bust. Those first few weeks, working out in a regular bra demonstrated to me that a bouncing bosom is painful and distracting from the task at hand. I’ve purchased a few sports bras, some more expensive and some from department stores, and both work equally as well. When I’m not distressing over my bouncing bust, I can concentrate more on the exercises.

A Great Playlist

Sometimes we aren’t the first into the gym, and so the music playing inside has already been chosen by another member. While I like listening to classic rock, it’s not as inspirational to me when I am working out. I have to find joy in the process, or it’s easy for me to make excuses not to return. A good 80’s or 90’s dance mix, keeps me singing along, and therefore I forget that I am actually a couch potato at heart and I can get my groove on while exercising.


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In order to stay consistent with any goal, I have to make it a habit, and the only way I can do that is by enjoying it. Finding joy within something that I have never really felt confident doing, has been an unexpected benefit of exercising consistently. And when my trainer says to me “You are looking really strong”, then I know that I must be on the right path.

And seeing my now-toned thighs in those cute galaxy-pants didn’t hurt either!

three essential workout items to keep the joy in your workout