I Hate Working Out But I Want to Look Like a Personal Trainer (and I’m not prepared to give up good food)

Isn’t this all anybody wants?

In the office, I am a cultural anomaly. In Sweden, I am clearly not Swedish. I just don’t like working out. I’m not sure if it’s the Brit in me or the African in me (I’m a British-born Nigerian). Exercise isn’t really an African thing, eating is. Are British people healthy? Generally speaking, no (please don’t hit me!).

At work, we workout three times a week, maybe four (and I say we despite the fact that I never join in): Running on Mondays, Floorball on Tuesdays, Running and Tabata on Wednesdays, Yoga on Fridays.

In Sweden – exercise isn’t a random hobby, or something people phase in for a few weeks after Christmas, it’s part of life. People run, for fun (can you tell this is new to me?). Cycling to work is very common. EV-ERY-ONE has a gym membership, and luxury gyms are commonplace.

“Unfortunately, walking isn’t enough to to help you build muscle and tone up”

And then there is me. I hate running. And before you ask, I have tried it. I ran about three times at University and whilst I will admit that I felt good afterwards, I think that was just relief that it was over. I tried Aquaerobics. I was not the only person in the pool under the age of 60, and I really enjoyed it, but the only place where I could go was miles out of the way and kind of pricey. Then there’s weight-lifting and crossfit-style training. Neither of these are things I can really get behind. But I do like walking. I love walking. I walk as much as possible as long as I have the time. Unfortunately, walking isn’t enough to to help you build muscle and tone up.

So I set a goal to workout once in 2016 (feel free to call it a New Year’s resolution, even if that isn’t the name I’m giving it). I told my boyfriend and he told me one workout wasn’t enough. So he upped it to five workouts in 2016. And then when I got to work, my team set a goal to commit to working out a certain number of times before the end of February. Things were getting out of hand. I decided I’d try and give this very dark raincloud a silver lining. I decided to use the times when I had to workout to find an exercise I actually enjoy and don’t have to convince myself to do. I also decided to team up with our nutritionist Frida and share her tips and tricks on how I can look good, feel good, and build my strength without having to compromise on absolutely everything I stand for.

First class, Monday, at 5pm. Flex.

– Femi

Femi A-Williams is a health and fitness convert trying to reconcile a healthy lifestyle and a happy food life. She is 80% whole grain and 20% donut.

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