Joining a fitness programme for the first time.
In Mid December, I saw an old friend post on Facebook about a fitness programme she had taken part in. She had incredible before and after results, and said she was feeling much better for it. I don’t know her as well as I did all those years ago, but what I do know is that we live quite similar lives. Drinks with the girls, going out, meals out, brunches, while also holding pretty busy jobs down.
I have been wanting to take steps towards better health and fitness for so long, years, but always find myself overwhelmed. As soon as I think about becoming healthier, I eliminate sweet treats, look up healthy recipes, and create a programme of workouts that I’ll definitely (not) do each day.
Do I need a coach or fitness programme?
That’s the thing that always got me. Everyone knows how to lose weight and get fit. I know that a calorie deficit will allow me to lose weight and that eating more healthy and substantial foods while doing regular exercise will keep me fit. It’s obvious. We’ve been told it again and again. For this reason, I have never thought I needed any help, I just had to get on with it!
I’ve spent a lot of time over the years working on mindset, my career, and have really turned myself around from some pretty tough times, doing a lot of deep work on myself, by myself and with a life coach. However, I have always neglected my body. Even when I was younger, thinner, and looked fit, I was never that good at taking care of my health. I was just very lucky that I’m usually naturally active and had great metabolism, because booze and burgers do not make a good diet!
I finally gave in before Christmas and messaged the fitness coach my friend had worked with. It all happened really quickly and I found myself joining the programme. I asked for a promise of lifestyle change rather than diet advice, and I needed something to get me where I want to be. Just two weeks in, and I’ve realised that the help and verbal kick up the arse is exactly what I’ve needed all along!
I want to give some context as to where I am now fitness-wise and where I hope to be regarding this journey and beyond.
Firstly, I like myself. Shocking, I know! I like how I look most of the time and I’m confident in myself. I love my body and my mind, and how I use those. Having said that, every picture I see of myself I can’t believe it’s me and am horrified by. The self that I like is in my head, not quite there in body!
I am overweight by about 3 stone for my height. I say about because we all know we can’t base things on BMI alone, but I have been at my healthy feel-good weight before and that’s where it is. I’m office (home at the moment) based, so sit for most of my working day, and live quite a sedentary lifestyle. Part laziness, part feeling I have no time, although I’ve come to learn through being furloughed that’s not the case!
I can walk for hours, but feel as if I’m about to die if I run for 2 minutes.
I eat healthy meals most of the time at home. Vegetables are my favourite thing and I love colourful, nutrient rich dishes. However, lunches while working from an office would mostly be convenience food – which actually is often less convenient than bringing in food. It’s not that the meals were always altogether too terrible, and with balance I am always for eating what you like. Moderate amounts of everything can satisfy you, but these meals weren’t substantial enough and would have high sugar/salt content that would wipe me out, causing me to snack throughout the day, especially at that 3pm lull.
I turned this around a bit. Walked to and from work, ate better meals for lunch and snacked less, and I actually lost 1.5 stone just from those quite minor changes. I didn’t exercise any more than walking, and I still ate what I wanted, had snacks – but less of them – and drank alcohol. I thought I had this thing down for a while, but eventually it crept back once I started feeling less motivated, or had an off day that turned into an off week, then maybe an off month!
I’m also a quick fix person when it comes to busy days, so will grab a takeaway when it feels convenient, which is probably only about once a week on average, but sometimes it can be none for weeks, then 3 in a week. It’s definitely my mood at the time that decides it, so I need to take control of that.
Aside from the weight part, I love going for long walks, and eat well enough that I have plenty of energy most of the time. I love that wiped out feeling from a busy day. I’m fairly fit (somehow!) in that I’m always up for anything, be it a long walk, rowing down the local canal, or a mountain climb! However, what I don’t love is routine, and I certainly never work out. I think I do plenty because I’m always on the go and busy, but I don’t take time out to properly care for my body in the right way. And sometimes I reeeeally cannot be bothered – more than I can be!
The Fitness Programme
When I saw the results someone working hard could get in just 10 weeks, I knew this was what my impatient self needed. A set deadline rather than my rather relaxed ‘do it later’ attitude. Some forced accountability, a plan that will actually work for me, and some proper fitness goals – my usual being ‘get fit’. Something kicked in. I’ve seen loads of inspirational videos and online accounts but this felt more real to me.
Krystle Jackson is the coach and is very fair, very kind and super supportive. I know I would completely rebel against somebody bossing me around, but she has a gentle approach while also giving me tough tasks (for me) to complete. The programme is structured around what I as an individual need, rather than just a one fits all regime, which doesn’t work.
There are a group of other women going through the same programme, with different individual goals, so we get a chance to support each other throughout and its good to have some people routing for me who understand what I might be going through.
The main thing I found difficult was finding my ‘why’. This is something I am still struggling with a bit and working on. It’s obvious that it’s good to be fitter, and to lose weight to a healthy standard, but that’s not deep enough to kick into my instincts and make me do it. So far accountability and an idea of what I want is working for me, but I need to do some deep work into why I have chosen to do this and what it will do for me.
I have written a list of intentions and goals for my results within the 10 weeks, which will hopefully help keep me on track too. I don’t want to share all of these just yet, but mostly I want to lose weight, feel fitter and more energised, and not hate photos of myself!
This falling in January makes me feel so basic! But when better to really go for it than the start of a new year?
I’ll be posting weekly about my wins and failures, and giving an honest account of what it’s like to take part in my first ever fitness programme. I plan to post my weekly updates – I’m starting Week 3 now so will do a roundup of the first 2. I’m hoping this can either help others to just go for it, or will at least keep me more accountable each week! Wish me luck!
Have you started the new year with a fitness kick or any other resolutions?