It hasn’t been as easy to jump into this fitness journey as it seems. I guess that shouldn’t be surprising as more and more people in the “healthy life” community are really trying to show that it takes time, a lot of effort and even more patience. I’ve seen quite a few instagram posts of really strong and fit women showing their bodies when they are tensed, and when they are relaxed. To aim for the goal of having no stomach rolls is just impossible. Even if you have abs, muscles roll too whenever you relaxed or bending down!
I have had days where I just don’t want to train, it is as if my entire body will make the work out as gruelling as possible even though I easily did it two days before. I haven’t done the pre-training perfectly either. There have been a couple of times where trying to fit in the workout – be it at work or home – it just won’t slot in into my schedule. This has meant I just do it a day later to make up for it. As long as I’m doing what my body tells me, and that I’m making sure I’ve got a balance of work, rest and play, I know that my future self will be grateful!
I am discovering new things every day. It can be either about what I eat, what I enjoy, what I feel is worth my time, new tips on how to get the best out of this lifestyle change and even things that I don’t want to give up and don’t have to. A friend recently asked me about the whole fitness thing as she’s been wanting to join the gym and get started on her own fitness journey. It is not so much a full-on lifestyle change in terms of what she eats as she’s already pretty good on that side of things. Yet, to get started can be the biggest challenge.
Friends: I guarantee there will be someone you know who wants to do something exercise-y whether it is going for a run, going to the gym, to a fitness class, or even a good long walk. Since I announced I was training to do a run in June as part of fundraising for the MS Society, I have had a few opportunities to go with friends! Nichola has actually taught me how to jog at a normal pace as I have always thought that going for a run meant running pretty fast… how wrong I was! Kathy also has shown me how to pace myself, although I felt like my body was going to flop into jelly after about two minutes 😂
Motivation: It can be really easy but also hard to stare at social media all day and see all kinds of photos of what you aspire to be or achieve. It is hard because this can knock your confidence or make the goals seem much further away than they realistically are. It is easy because, heck, we use our phones waaaay too much. I follow a few fitness ladies on instagram and every now and again I can feel my inner demons stir ready to just play with my emotions about the comparisons. It hasn’t been simple to just ignore them, but I have learnt to take it as motivation, to watch their vlogs, to what they have to say, and make sure I am following people who underline the important values of self-confidence and loving yourself. As that can make any type of challenge that little bit easier! #mondaymotivation
Rewards: This is a bit of a cheeky reason as part of the fitness training process but I am definitely guilty of treating myself after completing a week of workouts. This could be a meal at a restaurant – maybe even a McDonald’s (😈) -, a splash of cash on a Birchbox [you can see what I’m talking about here], or buying something you’ve had your eye on for a few weeks. The added bonus is that starting to regularly exercise and aim for a fitness goal eventually gives you reward in terms of fitting into a pair of jeans again (which is totally me right now).
Incentives: This comes hand in hand with the rewards and treats you spoil yourself with after you’ve achieved a certain goal. I also believe that there has to be a pre-training encouragement to get you over the start line. My friend Chloe recently messaged me saying “I finally got some cool looking gym kit and it actually makes so much difference in whether or not I want to go” and I couldn’t agree with her more! Just getting something new, even if it’s a fancy water bottle, a fitness armband for your phone or gym clothing! You’ve got to feel a little ready to help the confidence of getting started. 😀
No matter how small, something is better than nothing: When I used to not have a plan to follow, or didn’t know what I wanted, but knew that I wanted to exercise… I found even going to the gym, the swimming pool, or even putting on sportswear to move about in my room or backyard was a struggle. I felt like I had to do something big to achieve even a little. Doesn’t that sound mad? Well, realistically it was a silly mindset. My mum told me that even just walking into the gym, getting into the swimming pool, putting the sportswear on and doing any form of exercise moves is enough. The mental barriers we erect make this change to include exercise in our daily lives are more prominent and important than our physical ability. To show the little voice in your head that you have more than enough potential and capability to confidently make any change you want to (with anything in life, I don’t just mean fitness), it makes a difference to just take it step by step. Remember to step back and look at the bigger picture, if you can do any type of activity, with and without friends, a few times a week, even if it’s for fifteen minutes each time… you’ll feel way more accomplished than doing one full-on exhausting session a week. ❤
The mental breakthrough is the biggest part of the journey and I cannot wait for the moment that I feel I have busted through this block. Of course, I am always going to have days where I have to drag myself out of bed, even ones where I just burrow away and ignore the notification to go and exercise. But hey, it’s all part of the joys of life 🙂