Health & Fitness

BACK TO THE GYM…

As the name suggests… I’m posting all about getting my ass back to the gym! I’ve posted before about losing weight with Slimming World, a plan I love and trust wholeheartedly and will probably follow for the rest of my life. This may sound extreme but I need accountability or I fall off the wagon.

The Slimming World plan works whether you exercise or not. You really do eat yourself slim BUT I do feel like exercise is great for so many different reasons beyond weight loss. All those feel good endorphins PTs and fitness gurus talk about? They’re not a myth. Exercise really is a great stress reliever, can improve your mood and sleep quality, and can boost your self-esteem. It’s also fab for toning which is something I really needed when losing weight. Luckily for me, losing weight young means my skin still has a lot of elasticity and I haven’t got as much loose skin as I expected but losing weight isn’t a miracle. I lost just under 6 stone and still didn’t get those abs or biceps I was hoping for.

I have danced since I was two years old so I have always had a pretty decent base level of fitness but heading to the gym challenged me in ways I couldn’t have imagined and muscles I didn’t even know existed began to ache. It was so worth it though. The end of 2015-the beginning of 2016 I was at my fittest and leanest, and I felt incredible because of it. My bestie, Becca, and I gymmed regularly and kept each other motivated. We went to classes, looked into different fitness programmes and watched vloggers to put together exercise plans that worked for us, and if all else failed and we couldn’t be bothered? We’d go for a walk. Walking is so simple and having a good catch up means you don’t even realise you’re working up a sweat and burning calories.

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Unfortunately… Summer 2016 saw me 21 and while I had the best time, health and fitness totally took a back seat. I went on five holidays (boohoo, I know!) and had so many events centred around cocktails, prosecco and eating out. I felt completely stuck in a rut and could not get myself out of it. Fast forward 18 months and I am feeling properly determined and motivated again. I have gone to the gym, gone swimming and walked in this time obviously but I’ve not had a proper plan or schedule and I’ve made so many excuses.

Recently a new gym has opened up pretty close to where I stay and it’s cheaper than the gym I was previously paying for so I’ve made the switch and luckily for me, so has Becca! Going to the gym with someone really keeps me motivated and I feel like I can’t bail on a session and let them down. I’m also keener to try new exercises and resistance machines because if it goes horribly wrong (which it often does!) I have someone to laugh with instead of being conscious everyone else is laughing at me.

I guess this post is just a bit of a ramble but I am so excited to get back into a proper fitness regime and become healthier again. I still have weight to lose but I’m determined 2018 will be my year. I will achieve my weight loss goal and I will be fit and lean. I want to start doing a monthly health and fitness round-up to keep you all updated and knowing I have to post about it will keep me accountable and make me think twice before demolishing an entire tube of pringles or tub of ice cream… It happens more often than I’d care to admit.

Some thoughts I’m currently having that I think are relevant to everyone who wants to improve health and fitness are…

  • Everyone has to start somewhere. Can’t lift as much as someone else in the gym or run for as long? They couldn’t do that either on their first session. Build it up at a suitable and maintainable pace.
  • Rest days are important. I’m a very ‘all or nothing’ person. I can gym everyday for a week and then not go back for months. I need to stop letting one day off put me off going back!
  • Set goals and track progress. I got Becca to take a video of me doing pull ups the first time I did them and they are pathetic but I know with hard work, they will get better and whether it’s in one month, or six, I’ll be able to look back and see how much I’ve improved.
  • Youtube and apps are underrated. Let’s face it, PTs are expensive but you can learn lots and get free workouts by doing your research online.
  • Don’t be scared to ask for help. I find that (mostly) staff at the gym are friendly and really do want the best for members so if you’re not sure of something, ask! It’s way better than trying to use equipment you’re not sure of and causing an injury.
  • Find something you enjoy! Although it’s good for you, there’s not point in lifting weights or heading to the gym multiple times a week if you absolutely hate it. There are so many exercises and classes about these days that finding something you enjoy will make it easier to stick to.
  • You can’t outrun your fork. I lovelovelove this saying and the varieties that surround it. Most of the time, I’m feeling great after a workout and don’t want to stuff my face when I get home. I don’t want to undo all my hard work in the gym by eating an entire bag of percy pigs as soon as I get home. Your diet is crucial to increasing your health and fitness. Abs really are made in the kitchen.

This post is longer than I intended it to be but I hope you enjoyed it! I’m looking forward to getting fit and lean, and posting all about my journey. Have I inspired you to get back to the gym? Or have any tips on getting better? Let me know in the comments!

-Shona x

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