Ahhh... working out. It's definitely not on everybody's to-do list. We have heard over the years how wonderful it is for your mind and for your body. Yet, many still shy (or run) away from ever stepping foot in a gym.
About a year ago, I decided it was time. It was time to re-vamp my muffin top and puckered bottom and take the first step. I have to admit that initially it was sheer torture.
Not only did I dread going to the gym but I actually hated it. I hated the whole scene at the gym. There were the perfect bodies, the almost-perfect bodies, girls that only wore a head-to-toe matching "workout" ensembles and then there were the ones like me. You know, just a regular girl trying to make it in a big gym and get my sweat on.
Fast forward to today. I now look forward to (I know, it's insane) a quick half hour of burning calories and changing my body. I workout right in the morning, get it over with and then have the rest of the day to myself. The only reason that I have stuck with this routine is because it actually worked. I lost seven pounds and have been able to keep them off! (Applause here would be nice.) More importantly, the shape of my body has truly changed. I am now leaner and firmer.
Absolutely there is still more to do but, overall, exercise has made me feel better about myself. There are a few other special perks that I realized I had gained from my consistent workouts.
1. You become conscious of how much you like to be touched. Yes, it's true. I noticed that when my husband touched my arm accidentally it felt almost electric. I definitely wanted more. I wanted him to "accidentally" rub up against me and "accidentally" do it again.
2. You want to show off your body. This relates to showing your body both in clothing and out of it. I realized this the last time I went to my local mall.
I will admit it... I am a "Loft" girl (Ann Taylor Loft for those of you who need clarification.) However on this trip to the mall, I found myself drawn to Forever 21. Yes, I did just write that. No, I am not drunk and no I am definitely not 21! The point is that I decided that I wanted new, tighter clothing to emphasize my smaller and slightly firmer figure. Even more, I was perfectly happy being naked and less self-conscious being intimate. That's a win-win for everyone!
3. You smile more. I am certain this may seem trivial to you but, truthfully, it is very important. There is something to say about those people around you that are always smiling; it makes you want to be with them more often. It's lovely to be surrounded by happy people and you want that happiness to rub off on you. Now, imagine if you were the one that always looked that way. Everyone would want to be around you. Smiles can definitely be contagious!
4. You become better organized. It takes serious effort to exercise and it takes serious effort to make the time to exercise. In order to make the time, you need to plan for it. As you become more committed to working out, you find yourself building your day around it.
Being organized leads to many added benefits. You begin to find you are less stressed out. You realize you have extra time for family and friends. You are less overwhelmed by new stresses and more relaxed in general. Additionally, you can accomplish exceedingly more with your day as a result of your efficient organization.
5. You talk and think about sex frequently. It is not just that you talk about it and not just that you think about it, but you want it more. I am not completely certain of the brain mechanisms behind all of these connections but I will tell you that they do exist. And it is glorious.
6. You begin to encourage others around you to take part in working out. I realized how much better I was feeling about myself and how much less self-conscious I had become. I wanted my friends to experience the positive impact that working out was having on me. Convincing them to give it a try became important to me. I would explain to them that the more I was working out, the happier I was becoming and the better I was feeling about myself. I wanted my friends to feel the same enjoyment that I was having when I incorporated working out into my life.
Truthfully, exercise has become a big part of my life. It has not taken over my life and it is not a fad or a phase that I will outgrow. Rather, it is an invaluable addition that will hopefully extend my life and help me to feel good about myself for years to come.
Let's not forget all of the wonderful perks that exercise brings with it. Hello, Sexy! You talkin' to me?!
HuffPost Lifestyle is a daily newsletter that will make you happier and healthier — one email at a time. Learn more