Why I've finally rejoined the gym after 8 years off

*This is a collaborative post. Please see my disclosure policy for details

Last week I re-joined the gym after around 8 years. I was pretty scared to take my induction but it was absolutely fine and I survived! Back in the day, I used a gym from age 16. Boys and alcohol took over for a few years but I rejoined when Harry was born and continued until Heidi was a baby and Harry was a toddler. It was pretty easy then as I worked part-time, my local gym offered childcare, I had my own car and lots of willing babysitters. I really loved it and I am certain that all the advice that tells you that exercise is important not only your physical health but also your emotional wellbeing is true. Going to the gym feels pretty indulgent too - as parents when else do you get a full 30 minutes - 1 hour to yourself to listen to Beyonce?? 

It's not really an excuse but then Jack came along and I was suddenly running around after 3 children and the gym really was the last thing on my mind. The years passed by and we moved away from the gym with childcare, I no longer had my own car and if you fast forward to the present day, I work full-time on my blog whilst juggling looking after 3 kids with little help so trying to squeeze in the gym seems almost impossible at times and the whole thing was just pushed to the back of my mind.

The thing is though, in your 30s (or any time of life really), your health should always be a priority. The ONLY thing that works to improve my health and fitness is going to the gym and it's the only thing I ever stick to. Once I get started, I actually love it too. I joined my local council gym which is £32 per month so not too expensive at all. I plan to go just twice a week to start off with and hopefully as I get more organised move this to three times. If I walk the kids to school, walk to the gym, complete a 45 minute workout and then walk home, I should be back at my desk by 11am which means I am only taking 3.5 hours out of my work time to do this. It also means that I'll be walking 6 miles per day on top of my workout on gym days. September always feels like a good time for a fresh start and now that I've been working full-time from home for two years now, I feel comfortable enough to make some more time for myself and that the world won't end because of it.

I'm not exactly skinny though and I think one of the barriers for me to overcome has been not knowing where to buy decent gym clothes that look ok and are supportive. I'm a size 18-20 and it's not like I can just pop to JD Sports. I also had the problem of buying a sports bra - I'm  a 38 HH and it's not an easy task. Even M&S don't stock a Sports Bra in that size. So the mission was on to find somewhere! 

Before our trip to Florida, I popped into Simply Be at the MetroCentre for the first time ever and I was actually impressed with the range on offer and how comfortable their clothes were. I picked up this gorgeous Maxi dress for £35 which is now my new favourite holiday dress. I picked up a few bits and bobs in fact and loved every single piece - even their denim range fit me perfectly and didn't feel like it was digging in at all. I vowed to go back when I needed to update my wardrobe again. 

I wasn't sure if Simply Be also offered gym clothing too so checked online and was delighted to see a full range of active wear. They offer everything from a variety of leggings in sizes 10 - 32 to sports tops, joggers and swimwear. I even managed to find a Sports Bra that fits (whoop whoop). Here's my new gym kit below. I love it! 

My gym membership includes unlimited swim (which will please the kids) and unlimited classes too. There is so much choice though and I am a little overwhelmed as there are over 100 to choose from. Let me know if there are any from this timetable you'd recommend to beginners like me. 

So there you have it, I'm now one of those annoying people who will probably start checking into the gym on Facebook and posting pics of my workout on Insta Stories. Don't hate me too much! 



  1. Pilates is great for people who are uncoordinated like me. It is easy to keep up with and if you get tired you just stop and start again when you're ready. I used to do aerobics years ago and I much prefer pilates. Better than yoga too.

  2. I agree with pilates - it's great for lengthening and strengthening the body but isn't high impact. I love metafit but it is hard, hard work so maybe one to build up to! Have you tried Zumba before? That's normally got great music and good fun! Hope you enjoy it :-)

    1. Thank Jennifer - will definitely try Zumba. Also fancy clubbercise!

  3. Body Balance
    Total Tone
    Body Pump

    My friend Ema teaches there.

  4. Good for you! I always used to go to the gym until my daughter was born then our local ones ended up being so expensive to have childcare (and the rare babysitters I get were definitely for nights out not workouts!) Totally agree about how important health is though, am restarting my running routine - looking forward to seeing how you go on.

  5. Clubbercise! It's great cos they turn the lights out so it doesn't matter if you're uncoordinated!

    Best of luck with your new routine! I really need to bite the bullet and get back to running!


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