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19th Sep 2019

10 things I thought today during my first gym workout in OVER a year

The struggle is f*cking real.

Denise Curtin

“This is what you get for having Indian takeaway every weekend…”

Today, I finally rejoined the gym after one year of doing basically no exercise besides walking on and off the bus.

Bleak, I know.

All summer I planned on returning, however, between no motivation and no money (due to excessive holiday plans and the need to “treat maaaself” far too often), I kept putting it off.

But today, I did it. I joined and completed my first session and oh, it felt good. My final kick up the arse most certainly came when I caught a candid glimpse of myself in the mirror at the weekend and although I’m not preaching self-hate here, I was NOT happy with what I saw.

So, since we all have to start somewhere to get on that fitspo road, I bit my lip and re-entered hell.

1. Trainer: “So how long has it been since your last session?”

Me: “A couple of weeks.”

Your lies are pathetic.

2. Wear nice gym clothes and nobody will suspect a thing.

Yes, I come here often, I love the “kettlebell swing” and of course, the “bench press”. Use the lingo you see on Instagram, good girl, Denise.

3. Amateurs forget hair bobbles.


4. When in doubt, go on the treadmill.

I feel like the treadmill is a safe haven when all these machines look like they need an instruction manual. AGGH.

5. Of course, there’s a hot boy. FFS.

Casually walk back out of the room.

*Inside my mind*

6. Try not to squat and fart.

You’re better than this.

7. Beetroot face.

Well if my “couple of weeks” lie wasn’t obvious enough, I’ve now got a red face and I’m literally SWEATING after sitting on a gym ball… on my phone.

8. This is what you get for having Indian takeaway every weekend.

Why am I so partial to a chicken madras with rice AND naan. Denise, the naan wasn’t needed.

Oh, but it was.

9. You need to get a programme.

I am doing this tomorrow so I stop walking around like a clueless ape.

10. Oh, the pain tomorrow will be tragic.


Yes, joining the gym is never easy. Be it six months, two years or never since you were inside a gym, it’s difficult, daunting and scary to put yourself out there in the hopes of becoming fitter and healthier.

But if I can do it, so can you. And as self-deprecating as I sound above – I’m actually really happy I went back and now, I feel a lot better already.

So, if you too are on the road to a healthier you, I’ll be sharing some cheap and quick delish recipes (we can be nutritious and broke) as well as any little gym tips I pick up along the way so we can both be stunnin’ health hunz in no time.