When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I had an issue with my legs. Not in a medical sense. They functioned perfectly well – walking, skipping and occasionally, under extreme sufferance, running. I can scarcely recall even a bout of growing pains in my lower extremities and given that 5ft was the maximum adult height I would go on to achieve, this makes sense.
But despite the perfect working condition of my legs, I hated them. I spent entire summers schvitzing in long pants. I wore lace-up knee-high boots all year round despite having no aspirations to be a prostitute.
I literally never bared my legs.
I thought they were hideous. I thought they were short and white and chubby. I felt they lacked a certain downward tapering – or in other words, I had no ankles. Just white slabs of flesh from hip to foot.
I did, however, have a keen appreciation for my breasts and most of my tops were cut tight and low. But from the waist down, I wore all the clothes. Like seriously, ALL OF THEM. Skirts over long pants over knee-high boots. To be fair, it was the 90s and grunge fashion did tend toward a skirt/pant combo. There were no long, lithe limbs of caramel. And thank goodness. I traded heavily on pale and interesting. With perky cans. That was my shtick and I worked it. But Christ on a cracker, it got hot in summer.
But don’t worry, with age and maturity, I learnt to love my legs and I now accept them wholly as they are. Hahaha! I’M LYING. I am still MAJORLY hung up on my legs. Only in the last few years have I begun to wear shorts again after a friend asked, “How come you never wear shorts?” Prior to this, I hadn’t worn shorts since I was 16. I’m confident this is not an exaggeration.
But I don’t just spring out of bed on a temperate summer’s day and pop on a short. Oh, no. I will only wear a short if my legs are slathered in fake tan. Faux bronze, I discovered, will hide a myriad of pin sins. Now certainly fake tan breathes a good deal better than knee-high leather but I’m still dismayed by the leg cards I’ve been dealt and feel it necessary to mask their natural state. I am still hiding my legs.
At almost 40, I confess, this is a sad state of affairs.
So you can imagine my surprise when I received this comment under a photo (the one up the top) of me a few years back from a friend who had known me since high school.
Ridiculously good looking…you've always had the most amazing legs!!!
Now I love my friend Belle but she does love a vino so who can truly say what frame of mind she was in when she wrote this? But I was shocked, in the best possible way, and I allowed myself to believe her when she said she has always thought my legs are nice.
I think now about how many summers I missed, hiding my legs, avoiding the beach, refusing to go swimming. What a waste!
Though I am still hard on myself – particularly my poor legs – I am getting better at embracing life regardless of whether I think I “look” good enough to participate in it. If I need to cheat a bit and use fake tan and wear make-up every day, that’s okay. Sometimes small tweaks can help make us feel more comfortable – and if that stops us from missing out, then it can only be a good thing.
Exercising regularly is part of that participation – and inspires further participation. The more active I am, the more active I want to be in all areas of my life. The knock-on effect of growing stronger and getting fitter is incredible. It’s hard to get down on my legs when they prove to me how strong they are in the gym, on the treadmill, carrying steel frames back and forth at Cinch. And with every squat, they grow a little stronger and hopefully, a little leaner.
Maybe my story is all too familiar. If it is, I want to encourage every single one of you to prioritise your health and happiness NOW. Don’t miss another summer on the sidelines! This is not about getting “a bikini body” – it’s about feeling great and living our best lives. There is no better time than NOW.
Week 5 Check In
On track to bare legs this summer. Training at Cinch has taught me so much about what I am capable of, how strong I can be….and where my weaknesses are – hello, triceps! I still have a long way to go in terms of a wholesome, clean diet being natural and normal to me but I am so proud that working out three times a week absolutely feels natural and normal to me now.
Over the years, I have convinced myself I’m just not a sporty person and for that reason, exercise could never be a comfortable part of my lifestyle but I was SO WRONG. I look forward to going to Cinch. Walking in the doors, I feel like Norm from Cheers. Everyone calls out my name in greeting. It’s bloody beautiful. The workouts are HARD and Nikki pushes me further than I ever pushed myself at the gym – and yet I love it. Love it, feel like dying – it’s all the feelings at once but none stronger than accomplishment. I can do this. I am doing this!
I want everyone to feel like I’m feeling. And if you happen to live in my neck of the woods, we could even train together!
8 Week Training Transformation at Cinch
Cinch (in Melbourne suburb, Macleod) is a small boutique studio focusing on small group and personal training. An antidote to huge, impersonal gyms where many of us can feel intimidated and lost – especially when it comes to strength training – Nikki and her tertiary-qualified trainers aim to foster genuine relationships with their clients to maximise results.
Cinch are looking for two or three committed individuals who they can tuck under their trainer wings and really take to the next level in terms of strength, confidence and general awesomeness. There are a variety of options available to new clients but the Angie Package (I have my own package!!) which includes 3 x group training sessions per week is absolutely the best value for money. Clients achieve far better results when they train more frequently and can build a relationship with their trainers.
Optimal Results Package:
(The Angie Package)
- 8 weeks
- THREE small group training sessions per week (6 per fortnight – includes yoga)
- Pay up front $528 or
- Direct Debit $99 per fortnight (SAVE $132)
- One on one goal setting, health check, body composition (measurements, body fat, muscle, hydration, bone) session with your trainer. Optional reviews are available at either two or four weekly intervals.
- Text/phone/email support from your trainer
- Weekly tips and guidance via email
- Heavily discounted sessions with a medical nutrition expert.
- Advice on other areas of your fitness e.g.: a program to use in your own gym/home, what to do for cardio
Twice a Week Package
- 8 weeks
- TWO group sessions per week
- Pay up front $387.20
- All other inclusions as per The Angie
Once a Week Package
- 8 weeks
- ONE group session per week
- Pay up front $220
- All other inclusions as per The Angie
Budget options – these prices are for group training sessions ONLY (no further inclusions but still loads of love!)
- Pay as you go $27.50 per session
- Book of ten sessions $247.50
- Book of twenty sessions $440
So if you're local to Macleod or nearby (I travel about 10 minutes to train at Cinch) and you're ready to make a change or change up your current exercise routine, we would LOVE to see you at Cinch. It's the most fun hard thing you'll ever do!
If you have any questions or want to sign up, contact Nikki:
Call 0406 261 171
Note: these packages are all small GROUP training sessions. For further information and pricing on individual personal training sessions, contact Nikki.