In 2011 I had a good year for health and fitness, and I mean a really good year! I lost six stone and got to my peak fitness level. I worked hard. I changed my diet. I did it! I had the ultimate goal… Lose weight, get pregnant, start a family. It worked, eventually, and I had my little boy in late 2012. Boom! All’s well that ends well, right?
My problem is I want to get fit again and lose the weight again, but my motivation and determination has been rather sporadic! My weight has been up and down more than the infamous hooker’s undies, and I just can’t seem to stick with anything. My pattern is this: I’ll lose a few stone, then pile it all back on in record time (last year I gained a stone in the time it took the BBC to air a series of Masterchef- needless to say I’m not watching it this year). There’s something stopping me from sticking with it this time- is it that there is no motivation quite like having a baby, to enable me to reach my goal? Well, I simply need to get a bloody grip! We don’t want another baby yet, but I seriously can’t allow myself to stay unfit and overweight until the time comes for rugrat number two. I’ve played the whole “doing it for myself” card, but that wasn’t enough of an incentive.
I felt at a total loss until a bit of good old body shaming came along at the end of last summer! A colleague of mine looked me up and down and said “come on then, are you pregnant or have you just put weight on?” Awkward! I’d clearly just beefed up somewhat over the summer break- which I promptly told my work “buddy”. She cried, I comforted her, pretending it was ok to say such things. Why wasn’t it me crying? Because I don’t like to upset people! It was a slight turning point for me as I decided to do something about my weight, but I was pretty much humiliated into doing it. Between September and now I’ve lost three stone- which sounds more impressive than it is! I don’t think I honestly look any better for it, and I certainly don’t feel any better!
Because I’m still overweight! To lose three stone, which is more than what my son weighs, and still be “fat” is pretty disheartening! I was all for giving it up as a bad job, and accept my lot as everyone’s fat and jolly (and let’s not forget the dreaded adjective “bubbly”) friend, until my Nanna- who’s prone to a bit of unintended body shaming herself due to her limited tactfulness- gave me a £10 note one weekend because she was pleased with my weight loss so far! That pulled on my heart strings, and I cannot get the look of pride my Nanna had out of my mind. More recently, when I go to eat something “off plan” I see her cute little face and stop myself. I’ve found my motivation at last, my 86 year old Nanna, who doesn’t mind having a big backside because she can’t see it, is my healthy lifestyle inspiration! There’s irony in there somewhere!
The rest of this blog, which I will update as I try new activities, is about finding my own fitness regime, and doing something to help myself which I enjoy.
First up, is walking. I’ve never quite walked as much as I should- the benefits of this activity are enormous, but I’m lazy! Fitbit has rectified this for me (for those who aren’t familiar with Fitbit, it’s a fancy pedometer and exercise tracker. It’s a good piece of tech that is really motivational- for me it is at least). I now regularly, and I mean 5/7 days, walk over 10,000 steps a day, averaging at about 5.5 miles in a 24 hour period. It has really helped me to focus, and even as I start trying more intense fitness classes etc., I will continue to use this magical little piece of equipment! It’s been the best £69 I ever spent, anyway!
On Sunday, I dragged the hubby to play badminton for an hour, much to his heavy protestations. Let me make it clear to you now- I am atrocious at this sport! I barely know the rules, and have no skill whatsoever. I’m not self-deprecating here, I’m being honest. When I was at school I had to play with a “special racket”, which was a short-handled one. I wish I had one of these on Sunday! We stopped counting score after 5-0, and it’s fair to say I spent the hour chasing my tail. The highlight was getting hit directly in the eye by the shuttlecock. It certainly made us laugh! Despite the disastrous game, I will be going back next weekend because I had a stupid amount of fun and burned a lot of calories from moving about so much.
Aqua fit was my exercise of choice this evening. I hadn’t been since before getting pregnant and it has changed a lot. No longer is Aqua Fit the soft option in terms of classes on offer at my gym. It was all about resistance and toning, and my arms have had the biggest workout of their life. It was fun, but hard work, and I felt my “problem areas” (arms, arse and belly) wobble every minute of the session. This means that they were heavily involved in the work. I’m aching already but feel content and happy, so needless to say I’ll be returning next week! My poor mother was dragged along too, and it was nice to do something fun with her.
I’m impressed with what I’ve tried thus far. Undoubtedly I will carry on with the three activities I’ve tried this week. Next week I am going to try Spinning and Kettle Bells, just to see how they work out. I am intrigued by both, although I suspect they will metaphorically kill me! Nothing has scared me too much yet, but I feel that the hardest is yet to come. Wish me luck, and come back next week to hear of my endeavours with two intense classes!
One hopes one will be able to report back!
Until next time…
30th Apr: Update
The gym has long been a frenemy of mine and tonight we’ve made up! Sort of. I went late enough for it to be quiet so I didn’t feel too stupid. I know people are more concerned with themselves, but I can’t help but get very self conscious and awkward! I did two miles on the cross trainer, three on the bike and five minutes on the other equipment. I was there for about 40 minutes, and felt good afterwards. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to be a slave to the gym, but I’ll try little and often and see how I get on. It’s handy to go to on a whim when you can’t fit in a scheduled class.
7th May update:
I know I said I’d try Kettlebells and Spinning this week, but having maintained Badminton, Aqua Fit and the gym, I decided to opt for just one new activity. Spinning was my class of choice this week, and my goodness can I feel it now! I’d heard rumours of it being hardcore, but I’d signed up for “beginners”. Realistically, how hard could it be? Hmm… The underestimation was mistake number one! I almost vomited after the first 10 minutes, and was very tempted to leave and write it off. The only thing that kept me there (besides the stirrups) was the embarrassment of walking out in front of everyone. Being forced/shamed into staying was the best outcome as I thoroughly enjoyed it once my body got over the shock of how hard it is! It wasn’t as repetitive as I had anticipated, and the instructor was extremely motivational. I fear I won’t be able to walk too well tomorrow, but I won’t let it put me off. I’m signed on for next week, and will have, hopefully, forgotten the pain by then! If you see me walking funny tomorrow, you know why!