It’s the long weekend of hot cross buns and Easter eggs so perhaps now isn’t the best time to start talking about fitness – or perhaps it’s the perfect time, depending on how you look at it. I’ve never really talked about fitness or weight or anything like that on my blog. So perhaps a recap would be helpful – let’s start from the beginning (promise I won’t babble on too much).
When it comes to fitness, I was never particularly sporty at school. I had a glittering start as one of the fastest runners and an A-team netball player in primary school, but these talents soon dried up from the age of 11 onwards (probably due to there being more than 15 people to pick from for teams in secondary school). Pair this with an annoying personality trait where I basically stop trying if I don’t think I’m good enough (a kind of self-preservation from presumed embarrassment that rears its ugly head in many aspects of my life) and its meant that my attitude towards exercise has been less than favourable. In other words, I hardly did any.
Things ticked along like this pretty much until my mid-twenties – with my youthful metabolism keeping me at a weight I deemed acceptable enough and any fluctuations combatted with a few sit-ups here and there. However, at around 25 I noticed my weight was creeping up and also noticed that my fitness was near non-existent (when a flight of stairs start to really puff you out, you know things may have gotten out of hand). So I joined a gym, started running and ate better and things all got better….haha lol jk. NOPE, no they did not. In hindsight, there were two vital errors. Firstly, my healthy eating was healthy but I was eating way too much of it (I was living with a boy at the time which I tend to try and blame but really…I was just being greedy and food is yummy – sue me). Secondly, I didn’t have the first clue what I was doing at the gym. I’d just wander in there, do a little bit on the treadmill, a couple of sit ups and then go home smug that I was basically a fitness guru. I wish I could insert an eye roll emoji here.
Unsurprisingly I wasn’t seeing or feeling any differences. But then, I was unexpectantly single again – urgh, I hate that this sounds so cliche but this life hiccup did actually spur me to taking this fitness thing seriously. A ‘revenge body’ wasn’t in my sights (where’s that eye roll emoji already?!) but having something to focus my energy was. So I picked the gym and getting healthy – and here are a few things that I found worked for me. It’s by no means a list of magical secrets, I’m sure you’ve heard this all before but – this is what worked for me, kept me motivated and helped me to learn to love exercise (seriously, who am I?!).
1. Find your thing
I tried my hand at many forms of exercise until the right ones just stuck, for me this is currently the gym, running and a little bit of yoga here and there. For you it could be horse-riding or zumba or hiking. I’m pretty aware though that I’ll no doubt get bored of my current routine so next on my list to try is ballet barre, pole-dancing and pilates.
2. Kayla bloody Itsines
If you want to try and make gymming your thing, then I implore you to try Kayla Itsines’ bikini body workout. It has literally transformed my attitude towards exercising, giving me a really easy structure to follow so that I felt like I at least look like I know what I was doing in the gym. If you’re on a budget, just do a little Google and you’ll find pdfs and YouTube videos that show you the workout plan.
3. All the vegetables
After realising that one of my major failures in the past was eating too much healthy food, I made a new rule for myself. Portions sizes were going to be really cut down, except for vegetables where I could eat as much as I wanted. This meant that I filled up on things like spinach, broccoli, salad and courgetti – not rocket science but it really worked for me.
4. Treadmill -> Pavement
Again, just something that worked for me, but I was consistently finding running outside a struggle. Whether it was starting too fast or giving up too quickly, I just couldn’t get the knack of it somehow. What seemed to do the trick for me was improving my fitness with the cardio from the Kayla workouts then moving onto the treadmill where I could control my pace easily. It took a few weeks but eventually I was able to run 5k on the treadmill under 30 minutes and after that, running outside was a whole lot more enjoyable.
5. All the pretty workout gear
most important piece of advice, but this certainly helped my motivation – pretty workout clothes! Before I started my ‘fitness journey’, workout clothes seemed over-expensive and just not a priority – and that’s fine if that’s how you feel too. The two things I would recommend investing in is a good sports bra and leggings. For your more specialist things, I love Sweaty Betty and Nike, but everything else (like tops, vests and shorts) I pick up at places like M&S and Primark. I’m loving these dreamy galaxy print leggings from OWfit
, which are some of the comfiest I own – perfect for yoga. And how cute is my Gym Bunny sweat?! It’s from Ellie Ellie
and I just can’t stop wearing it at the moment (even if it is when I’m lying in best munching on Easter eggs).