Happy new Year to you all. I hope that you had a good one and things went according to plan. That’s the challenge on New Years isn’t it? We put so much pressure on ourselves to have a good time, to dress up and to go out when often all we want to do is curl up at home with some good food and a movie.
I was married in my early twenties and had my wonderful daughter Ella who is now 21. At the time I was still modelling and really keen to get back into pre- pregnancy shape. I didn’t do it the right way. I tried to Lose the weight so quickly by not eating the right foods at first. I was hit with post natal depression and was thrashing around in the darkness of that too. I didn’t want to take anything to feel better so My GP suggested that the gym would be a good idea. At first I was thought the gym would be a great place to go for me to lose the weight, Of course that helped but it gave me so much more.
In the past when I have peered through the window of gyms, I thought that people always looked so together. Perfectly kitted out, expertly using the machines or wrapping their legs around their heads in a yoga class looking super Zen. This just put me off. I had no experience in the gym and I simply didn’t feel good enough to go in there, especially with my tummy and body still weighing in at 30lbs heavier than 9 before I was pregnant.
I still had this urge to go, and I saw my main hurdles as not feeling good enough, not looking good enough and not knowing what to do when I was in there. Sounds a bit like life! Does any of this resonate so far?
Being a determined person I wanted to find a way around it and so bought myself some basic kit and a very baggy t-shirt and walked through those gym doors. I started off the first few days on just the treadmill, walking at a slight incline at first. But my main goal was to watch other people as they worked out and see what they were up too. After a week I was exchanging friendly nods with some regulars and it only took about 7 visits until I became more comfortable. After a week, I booked in with a trainer for a consultation and orientation of the gym which really helped. The first session was complimentary and she gave me a programme to work on for the month. We set some achievable fitness goals and also discussed some healthy eating ideas for me too.
Setting the goals and realising where I wanted to be, in addition to acquainting myself to the gym first was what changed it for me. I knew I wasn’t happy where I was then physically and I knew that this, on top of healthy eating would really help me reach my new goals.
But then after a few weeks of going, something else changed. My post-natal depression started to lift. I started to feel lighter and brighter about things. I was ecstatic about the birth of my daughter of course and I loved spending time and playing with her but there had been a kind of heavy rain cloud over my head for sometime which caused me to lose a little of the spring in my step… but it began to lift.. bonus!
To this day I know how important going to the gym is for me to feel positive and happier. There are times, of course when I don’t go for a while due to work, a cold or just for a couple of weeks rest. But exercise for me is now a gift, something which I feel very grateful for and that I see as something wonderful and an act of self care and self love rather than a chore. I hope this list below will help you begin and stay with an exercise routine:
1. Write a list of reasons and goals that you want to exercise including why it will be good for you. If you have exercised previously and have now stopped remember how good you felt before
2. Have a look at social media accounts such as #myfitnessjourney and hashtags like that and look at peoples inspiring fitness Journeys that you can relate too. Perhaps follow some that resonate with you
3. Get a post it note and stick it on your bathroom mirror and write on it “I’m good enough!”
4. Get a gym kit together that you know you’ll be comfortable in. If it’s new, pop it on and move around your house a bit. It’s super important to make sure that your kit is comfy. For a starter Kit which is really well priced and fits well, H and M do great gym stuff
5. Pop down your local gym and see what they have on offer. Do you fancy classes? (I am not a fan, but many people I know love them). Do you want to try boxing, spinning, yoga? Have a nosey around and look into classes to see which ones look appealing to you.
6. Find a staff member, someone with a friendly face to talk about your goals and questions.
7. If you have settled on an actual gym Pop in and just walk on the treadmill and scope out the joint. Do this for as many times as you need to until you feel comfortable. I know if when your arrive you may not feel like going in and just going home but do something awesome for yourself and go!
8. Book in a session with a trainer to help you with equipment and what you need to do to reach your goal and Remember that everyone was new once and everyone has to start somewhere.
9. If you’re going to go in early morning set your alarm, get all your clothes, water for the gym etc ready the night before so that when it’s time to get up everything is easily accessible when you’re all sleepy and discombobulated first thing.
10. Be kind to yourself and give yourself a break if in your head your are not feeling that confident. It’ll come. Talk to yourself the way you would a good friend who was in your position and give yourself a boost.
11. If you are lucky enough to have a friend who can go with you then go together. If you don’t have someone who can go with you enlist a mate to be your motivator on the phone. If that doesn’t work then put motivational quotes as reminders on your phone to pop up at times during the day every day for inspiration to exercise and to feel more self-confident like “you can do this” “fitness is not about being better than someone else, it’s about being better than you used to be” “fit is not a destination, it’s a way of life” ”
12. Give it six months to really get into the swing of it. It may take a while to find your exercise groove and the kind of sessions you want to do but always remember why you started and keep on pushing through.
14. Schedule in your exercise time. Put it in your calendar like an appointment so you make the time rather than find the time to do it.
15. If money is a barrier, there are lots of videos on YouTube and Instagram with home exercises which you can do. Always make sure it’s a trained professional telling you how to train that beautiful body of yours.
16. I workout in the mornings some days and when I do, if I am feeling super tired, I have a matcha green tea or a shot of espresso to get me going
17. Be patient whilst you wait for changes in your body. And remember it’s 80% diet and 20% exercise. Both need to change consistently before you see results
18. The gym can seem intimidating especially when it’s busy, but just put on your headphones, remember that you have just as much right to be there as everyone else.
19. We are all fighting some kind of battle and have some kind of struggle going on, some people are just better at covering it up than others so you just go confidently in that gym, be the first to crack a smile at others here and there and do your thing.
20. Think of who you’ll be inspiring when you get into a regular routine. They’ll see how much happier you feel and how much more confident you’re becoming and family and friends may want to start exercising too, especially if you start logging your fitness and health journey on social media. This will help motivate you and others too!
Remember that if you can physically exercise, it’s a privilege denied to many. So See it as a precious gift embrace it and go for it!
Ps: if you see any typos let me know and I will correct them. Thank you