I was the kind of girl at school that would forge notes to get out of PE (sorry mum). I hated it. I’ve got asthma and I ran like a pigeon (I probably still do), so for me anything involving sport was just a means of me hideously embarrassing myself.
Taking that through to adulthood I still had a phobia of anything that was going to push my body too far, because it was uncomfortable and a horrifically pointless waste of energy to me. I have dipped in and out of going to the gym on occasion. And by that I mean sitting on a treadmill for two minutes and rewarding myself with some congratulatory chocolate immediately afterwards.
Alongside my irrational fear of anything heartbeat inducing, I’ve always had quite an unhealthy relationship with food. If I felt down some days I would eat nothing at all, or worst case I would eat 7 chocolate bars and an onion ring sandwich. I knew nothing about nutrition and little about cooking. Baking on the other hand, well, I can whip you up a batch of cookies in 15 minutes flat!
I’ve never been very big but I’ve yoyo’d from my smallest at a size 4-6 (7st 6lbs), to my biggest at a size 10-12 (8st 9lbs). The weights don’t sound that different I know, but I am short and a small weight gain is a big difference on me!
The most important thing, though, is I was not healthy or physically fit…
That defining moment
The turning point for me was on a holiday a couple of years ago. I noticed a mum playing with her child in the swimming pool and she had an incredible figure, slim but muscular. She was probably ten years older than me and I was in awe of her.
I looked back on the photos of myself in a bikini from that holiday and I was suddenly very ashamed of myself. There was no excuse for me, I was young, I had few responsibilities and yet here I was looking like an absolute blob in comparison. And yes maybe you shouldn’t compare… but I did, and I’m glad for it.
I had a really tough year last year, it’s not something that I am going to go in too much detail with just yet (we lost a close family member to cancer). But personal challenges left me having to reconfigure my life, find a new home and start a new chapter in my life. At this point I was very contemplative and my health and fitness was one thing I thought I could drive all that negative energy in to.
After that I read hundreds of articles. Hundreds. I confused myself, went round in circles, and then finally settled on Paleo and yep I lost a stone in weight. But… I looked bad for it. I looked skinny and flat… nothing like slim-muscular-goddess-swimming-pool lady. Not only that but I suffer with Oral Allergy Syndrome (also known as Seasonal Allergy Syndrome) and the paleo diet was leaving me with very few options.
Now I needed some guidance, I didn’t know what to do in a gym or what I should be eating to get where I wanted to be… so I chose a local PT and approached them for a nutrition and training plan.
Armed with more knowledge and direction I gained the confidence to go to the gym by myself. I was no longer bumbling around looking lost meagrely picking up a dumbbell and holding it like it might give me rabies. I went with purpose, knowing what I was doing and I got my training done.
If you’re struggling to find the motivation, I strongly suggest you find a coach or PT to get you started!