It’s been a while. I started this blog to fill some time on holiday and whilst I had some small inkling of what my foray into fitness development was turning into, it was early days and continuing to record it didn’t seem to be that important.
I’ve been talking with some other respected bloggers recently (www.noneonnorep.com and http://www.imperfectlife.net – both well worth a follow) and enjoying the inspiration that has come from reading their stories. Whilst it’s a little uncomfortable for me to admit, I have a story too and maybe there are other people out there who might be going through similar things to me, or wanting to, and my simple words might help them. I’d like that.
I didn’t realise this when I started this blog, and it sounds OTT, but I think what I’m going through right now is somewhat of a transformation. It’s way more than just fitness development anyway. And, when like me you struggle to recognise how well you’re doing, one thing you can do to help with that is to document where you have been. Even now, just a relatively short time in, I’m doing things in the gym that I would just not been able or willing to do at the start – burpees I’m looking at you. I sometimes get frustrated that I still can’t do all the things I want to do – double unders and pull ups I’m looking at you – but it is quite amazing to reflect on all the new and cool things I have developed into being able to do, in a very short time. So, I want to document what I’m up to so that I can look back and remind myself how far I have come.
Anyway, here’s me. Always been overweight as long as I can remember. Bullied through high school for it, plus for my uselessness at sports and intelligence in the classroom. In the end, I just stopped going to PE lessons and even the teachers were Ok with that. Been on a variety of diets but usually given up anywhere between a few pounds and a couple of stones in. Never accompanied the diets with any physical exercise. Didn’t know how to and the school experience left me convinced that it just wasn’t for me.
In August 2013 I started Slimming World and lost 12kg. By June 2014 though, having seen that initial success I had pretty much given up on it and weight was starting to creep on again. In July 2014, I happened to meet my now personal trainer through an exercise class at work and, without really thinking about it, I asked him would it be possible to work together for three months until I started my Masters degree. I had three quiet months and thought maybe something might stick or I might learn something. My clearest memory of that period was my certainty that he would laugh and refuse.
We started training, nothing very strenuous but it all felt very daunting to me. Every time I opened the gym door in the early days I could almost hear the kids from school taunting me. But I’d promised to give it my all for three months and then I was done. I just had to get through 12 weeks and I turned up pretty much most days. I will also never forget my trainer warning me about going too hard and doing too much because he was worried that I would burn out and give up. My husband, when I told him this, said “Well, he’s never met you.” I also remember telling my trainer that he could expect me to try hard at the physical stuff, but he couldn’t expect me to like myself through it, and him refusing to accept that. I remember walking on the treadmill and him saying “Eventually it’ll turn into a run” and me being sure that he was wrong, people like me weren’t made for running!
The three months passed and I achieved a load of milestones for me. First time I allowed myself to undergo “fitness tests” (or DMEAs as we prefer to call them) or first time I let myself be measured. First PT session I got through without saying “I can’t” to every direction. Lots of things that I wish I’d recorded. Increasing bravery on my part pretty much every day.
When I started this, my biggest hope was that I would just complete the three months without getting hurt either physically or emotionally. And three months later I’d found something I was really enjoying, was developing reasonable skills and I wasn’t ready to stop. So the Masters started but my fitness development didn’t end, and in fact, I committed to completing a triathlon in 2015. I’ve since registered for a 5k run, a cycling sportive, a super sprint triathlon (London), a sprint triathlon (Blenheim) and an Olympic triathlon (Eton Dorney). And the factor that has permitted such brave moves on my part isn’t really my fitness, it’s my self-belief. I can do these things and why shouldn’t I? I’m entitled to, just like anyone else. I’m not marginalised and I’m not marginalising myself anymore.
So in the past 4 months I’ve lost a further 11kg in weight (23kg total – 51lbs – 3 stone 9lbs). I’ve also lost 8% body fat and 4 dress sizes. I’ve gained a lot of self-confidence and I am a noticeably different person in many ways.
The cliched journey isn’t anywhere near over though, and I can see now that it’s worth recording to reflect on and maybe help others like me who maybe feel like they’re worthless or useless or powerless. I’m nothing special but if I can do this, so can anyone.
Let’s do it!