Tag Archives: exercise

Motivational Monday #6

22 December 2014

healthy foodIt’s been over a month since my last Motivational Monday and I wouldn’t blame you if you assumed I’d fallen off the wagon and have been spending my days in front of the telly shovelling a share-pack of Tangy Cheese Doritos down my gullet with no actual intention of sharing. Surprisingly though, you would be wrong.

If you read my last Motivational Monday, you’ll know I was getting back into running in the mornings which was great – I was feeling energised and was losing weight steadily. But in the back of my mind I knew that all cardio and no weights wasn’t going to get me the body and general health I truly wanted. I kept putting it off until a friend of mine put me in touch with his personal trainer. I’d never had one before and although I was curious to try, I didn’t fancy squirming unattractively on the ground while a big buff man barked orders at me. But, as the saying goes, a shy baby gets no milk.

So, I’ve been doing three sessions a week with my personal trainer for the past two weeks and it’s been an experience to say the least. The sessions are intense and exhausting and half the time I feel like I’m going to vom, but as he says himself, if it was easy we wouldn’t be doing it. No two sessions are the same which keeps things interesting; I’ve been doing a mixture of running, sprinting, boxing, weight training, high intensity interval training, core exercises and everything in between. He’s also given me a diet plan, educated me on supplements and generally got me in the right mental head space.

Surprisingly the sessions aren’t particularly embarrassing. Do enough squats in someone’s face and you get pretty comfortable pretty quickly. It’s just been a relief having an expert tell me exactly what to do, how long for and when without having to think about it or getting stressed out about it. Before, I’d go to the gym and just mill around not really knowing what to do and end up doing yet another treadmill run.

I have spent most of the last fortnight in astronomical pain and aching in places I didn’t know existed. But otherwise I’m feeling good. I don’t want to weigh myself just yet but I can definitely feel my clothes getting looser and my posture feels better. And more importantly, I genuinely feel stronger. I even did my very first weighted sit-up yesterday – these small steps really are more important than what the scales say.

Diet wise, he recommends the ‘Bulletproof’ way of eating which is basically Paleo. It’s not for the faint hearted but luckily I have dabbled in Paleo in the past and generally live a low-carb life so the transition hasn’t been too bad. The photos above show some of the things I’ve been eating – lots of eggs, oily fish and vegetables.

Obviously personal trainers are expensive but if you can afford it I’d highly recommend giving it a go, especially if you need a little motivation or feel a bit overwhelmed at the gym. If you’re shy like I am, I promise you get over it before the end of the first session, and no, he’s not looking at your bum when you’re planking! (I sincerely hope not anyway).

Motivational Monday #5

17 November 2014

fitspoJudging by the lack of Motivational Monday posts over the past couple of months, you’d be right in thinking I wasn’t feeling particularly motivated. However, with the weather finally getting colder and days getting shorter, I’m back into sorting out my rolls. A lot of people seem to be more active in the summer but I HATE getting hot and sweaty and feel like summer is a bit of a jolly so any serious exercise tends to take a back seat. I love running when it’s cold out (less sweat) and dark (people can’t see me) so I have been ON FIRE the past two weeks (realising you only have a few months before your wedding day and you still have to get through Christmas tends to jolt you into action). It hasn’t been easy but I’ve learnt a few things to keep me on track when I’m on the verge of giving up.

(Quick disclaimer – what I do might not work for everybody. This has just been my experience!)

Meal preparation

This is key. Ironically having a fridge packed full of food makes me super careful about what I shovel down my gullet. Every evening, I’ll assess the contents of the fridge and use My Fitness Pal to plan out the next day’s meals and snacks, and box up everything I need to take to work. Knowing exactly what my food ‘bank’ contains for the day is essential for keeping me on track. That means I can dip into my supplies as and when hunger strikes, safe in the knowledge I’m not going to overeat. If I fail to do this then the chances of me grabbing something carby and calorific on the go skyrockets, and screws up my mindset for the entire day.

Having a goal

Focusing purely on weight loss is only going to end in tears and disaster. Some weeks you’ll feel like your exercise regime has been enough to rival Usain Bolt’s and find you haven’t lost a single gram – I’ve been there and it’s quite frankly, soul destroying. However, I’ve found by shifting my goals from ‘I need to lose 20 pounds” to working on a fitness goal to be much kinder on the brain. I’m currently training for a sub-50 minute 10K by February, and tracking speed and distance progress is a lot more exciting than watching the scales. Don’t get me wrong, I still weigh myself but I’ve prioritised getting more exercise into my life over losing two pounds a week. It’s a much healthier way to live and by genuinely challenging myself, I make sure I don’t miss any runs on my schedule – which makes me feel great. The weight will come off but I try not to obsess over it.

You never regret a workout

This is what I tell myself at 5:45am when I’m snug as a bug in a rug and the last thing I want to do is get out of my pit. The level of regret I feel when I miss a workout is astronomical and I feel guilty about it all day. As much as I feel like I don’t want to get out there, it’s 100% true that you never EVER regret a workout. Just getting out of the damn bed and getting on with it ensures I’m at peace with myself and puts me in a healthy mindset for the rest of the day.

The early bird catches the worm

This ties in with my previous point. If, like me, your power animal is the sloth, waking up at an unspeakable hour to workout seems like a tall order. But it’s because I love nothing better than getting into my jammies at 6pm and cutting myself off from civilisation that my early morning workouts are vital. I’ve learned the hard way that as much as I promise myself I’ll go to the gym after work, it NEVER happens. A tiring day at the office and a stressful commute home put me in a foul mood and in no state to leave the flat until the next day. By getting my exercise in at 6am, I’m still half asleep when I leave and am much less likely to talk myself out of it. Plus, like I said, a healthy start to the day makes for a continued effort the rest of the day.

So, those are my little nuggets of advice. If anyone else is on a health and fitness journey please leave a comment – I’d love to know what you’re doing to keep yourself on track.

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