A few months after my 27th birthday I swore to myself I would get fit and healthy…the same thing I had told myself after every birthday for the last 8 years! Many times I tried and failed to eat healthy and consistently work out four times a week. I was left with a feeling of guilt, failure and lack of motivation. This time though I felt different. The big 3 0 was not that far off and the articles in the media about humans falling apart after 30 years of life instilled the fear of god in me. My BMI was in the normal range, however, my physique was more flab than fab. I knew I would have to just change everything in one day and commit to a new lifestyle. The next day I signed up to a 3-year gym contract. At £15 a month for 36 months I knew I was not going to waste over £500 by not going. I then took a trip to the supermarket to stack up on healthy foods. My plan was to eat 5-6 clean meals a day and cut out sugar completely. Sugar is the devil! (but I’ll give that topic its own blog entry at some point).
My drive to commit to healthy foods came from how processed sugary food made me feel. I had-
- Broken sleep
- Mood swings
All these things combined whilst trying to work full time and study part time left me feeling very low. My skin began to heal within just a few weeks of changing my diet and this increased my confidence when I went to gym. I did not know much about fitness, although through various sporting activities at school I remembered certain things about having the right form to maximise workouts and prevent injury. It turned out that this was enough to set me off and I began adding to my workouts by taking inspiration from other people in the gym and on social media, particularly Instagram. Instagram allowed me to document my fitness so that I could check my form, progress and also receive feedback from other gym bunnies. I am six months into my fitness journey and I am not ashamed to say that I am nowhere near where I want to be! However, I have progressed steadily and have made noticeable changes to my physique. Initially, weight training took priority until it got bit dull and repetitive. I have now changed two of the workouts each week to a trampoline session and a yoga class. Since incorporating these activities I am achieving a leaner look as opposed to a muscular one. My confidence has grown significantly and all my ailments have now left me.
There has been another effect of changing my lifestyle which leaves me with mixed feelings… how the changes I have made to my life are perceived by others. I am sure someone reading this will be thinking middle finger to the negative people, which is on point, although the realisation that these vibes can come from loved ones is rather saddening. On numerous occasions my fitness aspirations have been picked apart and I have been made to feel stupid, angry and upset. I now use this emotion to fuel my workouts and I have made a stronger commitment to myself to only let positive people around me.
Interestingly, the negative comments usually come from people who do not workout at all. Generally speaking, individuals who are passionate about fitness will be enthusiastic about others achieving their goals because they know how it feels to be on the journey. Almost everyone has days where they fall off the wagon by having a feast, going out drinking or taking a week off exercise. This does not mean they have failed or that their journey is over. These intermittent blow outs help us create balance, which is the key to stress management.
Once the fun is gone from something what is the point in doing it?!