I bet you never thought you’d see a fitness post on this blog, I’ll be honest neither did I. However in the last few months I have really started to enjoy exercising and going to the gym. So today I thought I would share with you my fitness journey.
I managed the first 21 years of my life without setting foot in a gym. It has been a running joke in my family that I am uncoordinated, lack sporting ability and am generally a sloth. However in the last few months I have really changed my perspective on exercise, and dare I say it, started to enjoy it.
Frightened of the Gym
I’ve never felt like I needed to go to the gym to lose weight so I’ve never felt overly compelled to go. However I will admit that one reason it’s taken me this long to go is I was frightened of attending the gym for fear of feeling like I didn’t know what I was doing. I worried I would look out of place and would struggle to understand what each machine was for and how it worked. I was worried about going alone or going with a friend who already knew so much more than me. To be honest I think I used this as part of my excuse not to go sooner.
To combat being nervous of a gym environment I decided to enlist the help of a personal trainer. My friend Aimee’s business, The Happiness Bootcamp, offers personal training for complete beginners- perfect for me! She gave me the motivation to try out fitness as a means of having fun and de-stressing. I initially joined Aimee in October for 2 sessions a week for 6 weeks. In these first weeks she taught me exactly how the equipment worked so I felt safe and comfortable operating them. She also helped me suss out what weights I could lift and how much I needed to be eating to help me build muscle without losing weight.
I felt so confident after these few weeks that I decided to stick with Aimee to learn some more advanced techniques and to increase the results I was already starting to see. Now at the end of the year I am feeling confident to go to the gym alone following a plan which I know I understand and feel comfortable with.
Aimee if you’re reading this I want to say a huge thank you for giving me the confidence to join the gym and also for motivating me to push myself further than I would push myself on my own. If you’re nervous about the gym and you’re in Sheffield, you should definitely give her a shout!
Aim To Feel Strong
My intention when starting up an exercise routine was not to lose weight but to become stronger. I wanted to improve my overall fitness whilst building up a bit of muscle. To do this we created a plan which involved minimal cardio and plenty of weight training. I split my training into upper body (arms, back and shoulders) and lower body (legs and bum) and alternate it each session to incorporate time for rest. It’s worth noting I have a reasonably active job so I’m constantly walking between 15,000-20,000 steps a day. I now have a new found love for lifting weights, I’ve surprised myself with how steady I can be and I want to keep upping my weights over time.
Without doubt going to the gym has helped me deal with stress from work in these last few months. After a long day I enjoyed nothing more than going to meet Aimee and lifting some weights and seeing myself improve. It’s a well know fact that exercise is one of the best things you can do to improve your mood and I can confirm it is very true. That’s what this fitness journey has been about for me, being able to feel good and seeing myself get physically stronger each week.
Not only has Aimee taught me a load about macros, pyramid sets and stretching, she’s also introduced me to likeminded people who also train with her. Her business aims to build a community and her and all us clients have even been out for a meal together. Not only have I learned to enjoy exercise but I’ve also made a very lovely friend!
Aims For 2019
I intend to keep up this exercise routine during the new year. I’ve even gone so far as to actually JOIN THE GYM. I know, let that sink in. My aim is to try to get to the gym twice a week (upper and lower body) and attend Pop Pilates each week because I love that class. I always feel so nice and stretched out and it gets me moving to some pretty banging tunes each week. At a push I might try and squeeze in an at home work out too.
Obviously I’m realistic so I know this won’t be possible every week but I’ll try my best to stick to some kind of routine. I find the best way to stick to exercise plans is to write it into my diary as if it’s an appointment I can’t miss. That way I still go to the gym even if I’ve been at work all day, or if it’s the weekend.
What is your relationship with exercise? Are you a bit of a novice like me, or are you a real gym bunny? I think the key is to pick workouts or classes that you enjoy! I think I would genuinely hate the gym if I just ran on the treadmill for an hour, instead I mix up my training with interesting plans and try to have fun. Let me know in the comments what your exercise journey has been like, and what you’re planning for 2019!