My Fitness Blog

10th March 2015

Exercise & healthy eating eureka moment!!

Since Christmas I have been on a healthy eating programme and exercising at the same time; guess what, it works! It’s not been easy because during our life we often create bad habits and negative coping strategies that include food! I would turn to food if I ever felt angry, sad, stressed or came across any other difficult situation. Changing this mind set and these habits has been the hardest part but gradually, with hard work and dedication, I am making positive changes.

This may be no surprise to most of you but for me (someone that loves eating all of the things I shouldn’t) it’s been a breakthrough, a real eureka moment. It’s never too late to start to look after ourselves, like stopping smoking, small changes make a huge difference.

I am loving my exercise and I am getting fitter but I was struggling to become the best that I can because I wasn't putting good nutritional food into my body.

Before I started eating healthier I would convince myself that I had earned a treat after each session at the gym because I had worked hard. On the way home I would nip to the shop and buy unhealthy food such as chocolate, crisps or cake thinking that it wouldn't make a difference because I had burned calories during my session. This is totally against trying to be healthier, fitter and slimmer but I would make myself believe that this was okay and that I had earned it. I recently read something that struck a nerve, it was that only dogs get rewarded with food and I am not a dog! Upon reading this I realised that all I was doing was ruining the good work that I had done at the gym by putting rubbish back into my body!

The last couple of sessions I have really noticed a difference! I am working harder and becoming faster, I’m by no means like lightening but in my last session I managed to run 1.5 miles in 20 minutes; I ran nonstop whilst doing interval training. The interval training comprised of running at 3.7mph at an incline of 16% for 1.5-2 minutes then up to 5mph at an incline of 6% for 1.5-2 minutes, it felt brilliant! I could never have done this on my own though, I would not have dared to go that fast and I have never changed the incline on a running machine before. Having Zak there to encourage me and tell me what to do and when to do it was brilliant. I am also finding that I am becoming less intimidated at the gym and more confident; having 2 young children means that I do miss some sessions at the gym because they pick up every bug going and then some and share with me! However, I miss the gym when I don't go now and it makes a huge difference to how I feel, I find that when I don’t go now I feel sluggish and disappointed.

I have learned something very valuable and that is that every day is a new day and a new start, it is never too late to start again! Do NOT wait for next week start today!

 

20th January 2015

Post Christmas Podge!!

So Christmas is over, I ate enough calories and food in 2 weeks that may have fed a small family for a week!!!! Total pig out and NO exercise. The lack of exercise was a BAD decision!

I have been back in the gym for 2 weeks now, and I can really notice that I haven't been over Christmas, it was like starting back at square one, especially during my personal training session.

I have started a new class called Kettlercise and I love it! It’s a workout class that uses Kettlebell weights (weights with handles on), the weights are 2kg, 4kg & 6kg. You can start out week one with 2kg and work your way up to 6kg.

I really enjoyed the class, the group of people doing it were friendly and we spurred each other on. The class requires minimum co-ordination which is a bonus for me as I resemble a fairy elephant when trying to follow too many instructions at once! Everybody has a mat and work space and that is where you stay for the whole class, the instructor is brilliant, demonstrating each exercise until everyone has the hang of it. He also motivates you, helping you to work harder and faster, ensuring that you walk away feeling great about how hard you have worked. All in all it is a brilliant class and I recommend that everyone tries it at least once!!

I also had my Personal Training session which is where I really noticed that I hadn’t been to the gym in a while! Exercises that I had really been getting the hang of and able to work at a good pace completely knocked me for six; it was as if it was my first session. I was really frustrated and annoyed with myself for not sticking to at least one session a week over Christmas, something that I won’t repeat unless I am away on holiday or ill!!

A few weeks’ worth of hard work and I will be back to where I was before I ate too much, drank too much and sat on my bum far too much!!

Thanks for reading!!

 

3rd December 2014

Brick Walls and Boot Camp!

It has been about 3 weeks since my last blog, during that time I’ve gone from hitting the proverbial brick wall to actually MISSING the gym!!!! Yes I did say MISSING the gym!!!!!!

I had the hardest session that I’ve ever had, I couldn’t run as fast as I had been and I felt mentally and physically beaten!!

It is at this point that having a PT is brilliant, Zac was able to explain that this does happen, because he had been pushing me to work harder and harder at every session there had to be a point where I plateaued, there is no way that I could keep on going at the same pace. It is at this point that a PT can assess your limitations and begin to build you back up.

It really got into my head, honestly I could have walked out and not gone back, it did make me feel like a failure, I didn’t walk out because I trusted what Zac had said. We continued the session and we took is easier on the cardio and did a lot of circuit exercises such as squats, lunges, planks etc. At the end of the session he suggested going to the Boot Camp session the following night to pick myself up a bit.

Boot Camp!!! Going to Boot Camp was another learning curve, the lesson was understanding that I’m not competing with anybody but myself. When you take part in a group class it is easy to become bogged down with thoughts of inadequacy and watching how good everyone else seems to be and comparing myself to them. What I needed to do is work hard for myself and push myself, this session was about me and I went to improve myself and not to compete with others.

Now I love Boot Camp, there is a sense of comradery with the others in the group, they want you to do well and will spur you on. Yes it’s cold but you soon warm up and yes it’s dark but the astro-turf is lit so there is NO excuse for you not coming. Don’t put yourself off before you have tried it, give it a go and see what you think.

My little boy was poorly last week and I had to have a week off. I never thought that I’d be saying this but I did miss the gym, I missed the sense of achievement and that feeling of wellness after I had been, your ability doesn’t matter the fact that you’re out of the house and doing something is what does matter!!

 

10th November 2014

Personal Training sessions Love/Hate!!

I have had 2 personal training sessions over the past 2 weeks with Zac, he is one of the gym instructors at Montsaye Sports Centre.

I entered the gym with trepidation, I was very nervous and very conscious about my low fitness (although improving) levels. Zac put me at ease within about 30 seconds, he’s really keen for you to do well and is passionate about bringing the best out of you.

He started by asking what my goals were and if there were any specific areas that I wanted to work on. I explained that anything between my ankle and chin needs ALOT of work. He explained that the sessions would always have 2 or more parts; the first would always be cardio, then weights and then circuit exercises (squats, lunges, planks etc).

Zac always tells me what the goals are for each session and what he wants me to achieve, not for him but for me. Each session the treadmill goes faster and the weights get heavier and I began to realise that instead of being intimidated I should be pleased because he obviously thinks that I am capable.

Your PT (personal trainer) should stay with you at all times, it is their job to push you and make you realise that you can do a lot more than you think!! The sessions have been brilliant, they are hard but if they were easy I would not be gaining anything plus if something is worth having then it’s worth working hard for. I sweat and go ridiculously red if I catch myself in the mirror (something I try to avoid) I don’t recognise the person staring back, it is normal to look like this!!

No so long ago I took up running, I’m not fast at all but wanted to do something so I started the C25K, I ran my first 10k in September and did it in 1:28, it nearly killed me. On November 9th I completed another 10k race and knocked 3mins off of my time with a finish of 1:25!!! I felt more comfortable, my stamina was better and my recovery rate was brilliant I was sooooo pleased after only 3 sessions the improvement is massive!!!

Another thing that I have to keep in mind is that fitness takes hard work and dedication, it is about changing the way I think and learning a new attitude. It will not happen overnight but it WILL happen.

I decided that I do love my personal training sessions, it is giving me a sense of wellbeing and a reason to feel proud about myself at the end of each week. I have never entertained the idea of exercise being good for the mind and now I definitely do and think that doctors should be able to prescribe it.

If I could offer 1 piece of advice it would be to give it a go, they have some fab instructors that do the job because they love it and it really shows when you meet them.

 

20th October 2014

Hi, my name is Rachel and I’m a 30 year old mum of two children, my youngest is 2 and my eldest is 6, since having my children my weight has slowly crept up. This autumn I decided that enough was enough and that wanted to get fit and become a more active parent.

I decided to join Montsaye Community Sports Centre Gym, I chose to join this gym because having done my research it had the best combination of classes, personal training, gym facilities and swimming sessions.

I started on a Monday and I took part in the Legs, Bums & Tums class, it was certainly a baptism of fire. It’s a high energy, fast paced, dynamic workout. The class instructor was great and really spurred you on, she also understood the different abilities of the clients in the class and made revisions to all of the exercises so that no matter your ability you could still join in. The next day I could definitely feel that I had worked hard and although it was uncomfortable I knew that it was benefitting me.

The next session was a swimming session, it’s a good pool and the water temperature was perfect, they spilt the pool into 2 sections, one for lane swimmers and the other for those wanting a more relaxed swim. I managed 40 lengths in about 45 minutes, it really helped with my muscle aches and is a less intensity exercise.

My third session was a personal training session. This started with a 10 minute warm up walk and then went onto 6 reps of 45 seconds of skipping. After each rep of skipping I did another 45 seconds of 6 different exercises such as lunges, weights and squats followed by 10 minutes on the bike to cool down. It was the most intense exercise session I have ever done, the instructor made me work so hard for a solid hour. Although I was glad to finish I was also so glad that I had done it, it was a huge sense of achievement and I felt a real sense of pride that although I am very overweight and unfit I could still do everything she asked me too.

Overall my first week has been really positive. Although I had huge reservations about joining the gym and being intimidated by all the super fit lean people, what I did find was friendly, helpful staff and a lot of likeminded people all trying to improve their fitness and learn new healthy habits.

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