I’ve become that annoying friend who constantly talks about fitness and the gym. Haha! Like you didn’t know that already. Sorry! It’s kinda crept up on me and has become a bit of an ‘in joke’ with family and friends. Firstly because if you skipped back 12 months I was a complete gym-o-phobe and secondly I’ve moaned my whole life about how exercise is so boring and how much I hated it.
I’m still a novice, I’m still learning the ropes but I’ve been training almost a year now (the longest I’ve ever stuck with any form of exercise) and I’m feeling pretty great!
A little highlight came a few weeks ago when we moved house and I got a raised eyebrow from the removal men “Don’t try to lift that box love…” then I picked up the bigger box next to it and carried it pretty easily to the truck. #smugface I might be only 5ft 3 but I’m actually pretty strong now! Buying new skinny jeans 2 sizes smaller than this time last year was also a bit of a high five moment. I might have even done a little dance in the shop. Haha!
Aside from personally feeling better about myself, I’ve loved getting messages and comments asking what’s the ‘secret’ and what I’ve been doing to lose weight? There’s been no magic pills, no scary low cal diet and I don’t live in the gym either.
So what have I done?
1. I’ve cut down on booze. It might surprise (some of) you but previously I could easily put away 6+ pints of cider on a night out. Or easily polish off a bottle of wine (or 2!) at home on a Friday night. At 200+ calories a glass it’s no wonder I started to put on the pounds! Curbing the binge drinking and just being a bit more conscious of what’s in my glass has made a huge difference. Now I tend to opt for gin and slimline tonic when I’m out and generally drink a lot less. Ordering a glass of water with each glass of alcohol also helps me feel a lot fresher the next day!
2. I exercise around 3-4 times a week for about an hour at a time incorporating a mix of high intensity exercise and heavy weights. Lifting ‘heavy’ for me at the moment is around 90kg for a deadlift, 32kg bench press and 70kg squat. For this I recommend getting some expert coaching to get your technique right and you’ll also need a ‘spotter’. Setting aside 4 hours out of my week for exercise is totally worth it and has meant that I haven’t had to make much of a change to my diet. I can eat like a horse, enjoy the odd glass of wine, eat chocolate, have that slice of cake and not feel guilty!
3. I’ve changed my mindset. I’m more organised with food shopping. I always make a proper breakfast. I plan what I’m going to have for lunch and dinner in advance so I don’t have to shop hungry. I always carry healthy snacks (as I’m a nightmare when I get ‘hangy’), I always make time after work to go to the gym, no excuses, it’s just one hour, I get it done and pretty much always feel better after I’ve been.
What else is new?
The Nutrition Course: I’m soooooo excited to be enrolling on my first professional nutrition course this week. Ask anyone who knows me and I’ve always loved food and been a bit of a geek but I can’t wait to learn more about the science behind what you eat and when. I’ll keep you all posted on what I learn!
The Hand Grenade Session: We had a complete ‘hand grenade’ of a gym session a few weeks ago which completely messed me up. I was expecting my usual leg or arm day but instead it was a killer session against the clock involving sprints around the block broken up by 21 reps, then 15 reps then 9 reps of burpees, press ups, squats, Russian twists, kettle bell swings, body rows and lunges. It was hard but often it’s those challenging unexpected sessions that help you progress and get the results!
Born Survivor: Last month I went completely outside of my comfort zone and took part in Born Survivor – a 10km military designed obstacle course. This was actually so far away from my comfort zone I couldn’t sleep the night before and was pacing around the living room. On the day, I was fuelled by adrenaline and it was soooo much fun especially being part of a team of 50! I crossed icy cold rivers that I couldn’t touch the bottom of, ducked under barrels for the full submersion, jumped into muddy trenches, crawled under barbed wire (and embarrassingly got my headscarf and hair caught and had to be rescued), launched myself off a 150ft vertical slide (screaming all the way down), carried a log up a bloody great big hill, was hoisted (or thrown) over huge wooden fences, ran up a curved wall (smashing my shin) but feeling pretty triumphant when I grabbed the hands of the team at the top, got covered head to toe in thick cold mud but loved every minute and came away feeling like I could do anything! I thoroughly recommend giving it a go. It’s a great challenge and people of all levels of fitness completed it on the day. It was all about team work and helping each other through the obstacles. The 10km also disappears in no time and we ran or walked for about 10 minutes each time between the obstacles.
The Great Manchester Run: My next challenge is running the Manchester 10km later this month. I don’t class myself as a runner at all but I know that I can get around the course in about an hour and the atmosphere on the day will carry me through! Does it give me an excuse to buy new trainers! Sure as hell it does! Haha!
Keep the messages coming. I love hearing how you’re all getting on.
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