Fitness, why & how?

Hiya beautiful people. There's that word thats dashed all over instagram 'fitness'. We see hundreds of accounts day in, day out with beautiful 'fitness models' with all the latest gym gear and all the 'ads' and 'spons' for funky protein mixes which in fairness, tastes like crap unless mixed with milk really. We see people post videos of themselves in full makeup, doing some sort of routine in the gym with perfect hair, not breaking a sweat. Myself, like most people, will hate going to the gym in full makeup and 'perfect' hair doesn't stay too perfect after a down pour of sweat leaves hair strands clinging to your face, head and neck (very glamorous). 

I used to dabble in going to the gym every week when I was younger, mainly because I wanted something to do when there was no Eastenders on a Wednesday so to the gym for a few hours and come home and that would be me done. I also used to do netball and high jump at school and I used to go to dance classes every week, sometimes several times. In addition, I was lucky to have a good metabolism so pizza was a constant diet stable for me. Accompanied with chicken dippers and potato waffles and the occasional bowl of packet pasta. Being size 6/8 and eating all that crap was heavenly back then, and I never even knew it. 

So, why now? 

Now I'm 23, in a committed, comfortable relationship and have my own home, eating out whenever and wherever we wanted became too easy. Pizza night consisted of 2 large dominos pizza, chicken and alcohol. Dinner out was normally a fatty, unhealthy Indians or a meat place that gave you 2000 worth of calories in one sitting. Film nights in would involve £10 worth of cheap sweets and chocolate and fizzy pop. Picky tea nights would be full of pate and cheeses and rich meats. Then came the love of baking. Cakes, pastries, you name it. Every week. Within the space of 2-3 years I bloomed from a size 8/10 to a size 14/16. Not healthy. 

I also went from doing 2-3 jobs which were heavy going to just 1 and went from doing some exercise to none at all. Shift work left me craving treats and unhealthy food. Coming home and eating pizza became too good until I began to burst out my work uniforms and my best jeans. Even things like knee high boots became tighter than ever. I went from being quite confident in my body shape to being the most unconfident I have ever felt.

I had a gym membership for about a year with a local gym and never have I ever felt more uncomfortable. 'Hench' lads hogging the weights and thin, young girls giving dirty looks when you sit on the bike, sweating, bare faced and panting whilst they sit, not a panting breath heard, face full of makeup, gassing about their college life or going out at the weekend. Not what you want when trying to better yourself. I then kept making excuses for not going to the gym and within my year contract I think I went 4 more times and cancelled my membership. A stone heavier than when I first signed up, I needed to work on my body, and fast.

Then, I joined Pure Gym, a 10 minute drive from my house and a 24 hour service. Nervous, I went my first day of my contract and was full of energy, ready to go. I don't know if it's a thing, but, I used to get so anxious before the gym incase I seen someone I knew, or someone would make comment on my form or what I looked like. The first time I stepped into this new gym, I was amazed. Friendly staff, people actually sweating their arses off working out, people of all ages, shapes, sizes it was a great sight and made me feel at ease instantly. So far, I've been to the gym 2-3 times a week since joining and I absolutely loved it. The moral of the story is find somewhere your comfortable going to, most gyms offer a session for free and then no obligation make a contract with them until the end of your first session (I only just found this out recently from a fitness obsessed friend).

Healthy eating was never my forte and still, I adore a good bowl of pasta and cheese or a fatty pizza from a takeaway shop. However, the pounds crept on and became stones quickly and then I shot from a tiny size 8 to a blooming 14 in 3 years. Something had to change. I started to introduce more fruit and veg into my diet and reduce my carb intake. Obviously, I didn't get rid of carbs all together as my job is quite heavy work at times and I genuinely think I'd pass out if I had no carbs at all so I used 'healthier' carbs such as sweet potatoes and couscous. A small change like this has allowed me to lose a stone in under 4 weeks. A blooming stone! Thats 14lbs of fat gone. I was amazed. I used to hate stepping on the scales and seeing that horrible number which to me, made me feel huge. I felt uncomfortable in all my clothes, I would refuse to buy clothes so I ended up wearing Rob's old T-Shirts and 'comfy' pants. Pants that had stretch in them so I could get away wearing a 14 and not bitting the bullet and buying a size 16. Another technique I use is making thing all from scratch, sauces, curries, casseroles, everything. If I could, I would make it from scratch, this way I can control how much of things I was consuming. Although is it time consuming, the results make it worth it. Plus this means I could have tasty treats such as Chinese meals and Indian curries. Just as long as they were homemade and packed full of veggies, perfect!

Don't get me wrong, I haven't quiet cracked the no gin rule and a sneaky meal at our local pub yet. As long as I am exercising I found that my weight hasn't crept up as I am burning off everything I am intaking. I've also found My Fitness Pal to be my best mate. This way I can keep track on what I am taking in as well as keeping tabs on how much fat and carbs I'm taking in. You'll be surprised what food is high in carbs and fat that you would never had suspected, just as it left me shock at what foods I could eat as they were high in protein but low on carbs. I also love how My Fitness Pal allows me to add progression images of my shape and weight. Visually seeing the difference has been a massive help for me to see the progression I've made over 4 weeks.

I hope my post has inspired some of you to start your fitness journey, small steps to a bigger picture (and hopefully a small bod) I have found is the easiest way to get into exercise and healthy eating. 


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