Exercise…the word that either fills you with joy or complete indifference. If you’re anything like me, the thought of anything that makes you sweat and look like a pond monster just isn’t interesting to you. I had never found an exercise, or way of eating that i could keep up successfully. I’d avoided the countless gym invites from friends because i didn’t want to be the token fatty puffing away at the back of body combat; because avoiding doing something is so easy so why would i change now? Over the years i’ve been fully aware of situations that i’ve avoided due to my health and lack of confidence, any exercise or diet i took up, was all part of vanity and comparing my body to others. I knew this was an unrealistic way of trying to be healthier, and the main reason i kept failing at my efforts to become that perfect size 10.
Luckily i am no longer on said quest for the perfect body, instead i am now looking at my diet and fitness as a way of improving myself for the right reasons. Below is my usual red, puffy post exercise face, you can tell in my eyes that i was not born to exercise. I am not a natural born cyclist that’s for sure, but all i can do is try.
I wish there was a filter that could cover this much redness, pure whore red. Seriously if i can exercise and look this bad you can to.
It all started two weeks ago when i was running up the stairs at work. When i got to the top of these 10 steps i was out of breath… ‘oh my god’ i thought to myself. It had happened i had reached peak unfit April. This hadn’t happened before, and i knew that i had to do something about my health. Although this time it would be for myself and not for vanity i promised myself.
This is not a blog condemning those who don’t exercise, or are carrying extra weight, that’s just not my thing. This is a blog for people who can relate to huge anxiety attack that is the gym, and exercising in front of others. The people that want to make small changes, and those who want to read about a fat girl trying to be healthier.
1.Start slowly – If you power storm force 10 into hardcore intense body shaping boot camp for 60 minutes, a) you won’t make it through the 60 minutes and b) it’s going to put you off massively. I started doing fitness workout videos on YouTube, mainly on Popsugar Fitness because the woman didn’t piss me off as much as the other workout videos i have previously tried before.
This video was the hardest workout i had ever done, and still is the hardest thing i’ve ever done now, BUT i am improving as the weeks go on.
2. You’re not drinking enough water – The average daily amount of water you should be drinking is 2-2.5 litres, which sounds easy enough but it’s very easy to forget. I found a helpful app called Plant Nanny which goes by your weight as to how much you should be drinking daily, and it reminds me hourly not to forget to have a glass of water.
Oh, and in case you were wondering my plants named after Yannis Phillippakis.
3. Keep a track a track of your progress and achievements – Keeping a diary helps keep me motivated through all those times where i’m left questioning whether all this green veg and exercise is really worth it. I keep track of the tiniest things like how many steps i did that day ,or if i drank all the water i was meant to.
4. Don’t deprive yourself – If you were to take every food that was unhealthy out of your life, you would feel as if you were back in Victorian England. I don’t care what anyone says, if you have a choice between Papa Johns and a salad you’re gonna be going for that stuffed crust Hawaiian every time…unless you’re some kind of alien. Depriving yourself of all things unhealthy is one way to make yourself unhappy and fall back into your old habits. Try incorporating healthier options gradually, and replacing your go to snack for something in the same kind of taste zone. I have a huge love affair with Haribo bubblegum bottles, they are a delight but i found pineapple to be as sweet, and also satisfied the craving for sweets. Each week i cut out certain foods from my diet and add them back another week, or sometimes not at all. It helps keep food interesting.
*This is an example of how much avocado i can stomach because it just tastes so much better when its guacamole.
5. Take time out for yourself – Emotional wellbeing is just as important, if not more important than physical wellbeing. I have a jolly old time keeping my anxiety under wraps in front of friends and family a lot of the time, and i’ve never really found anything that’s helped it. But i do find taking time out for myself to do the things i enjoy really important, i took up painting again even though i’m by no means a painter. It gave me the energy to focus on something else for a change, rather than the 100s of pointless worries i had. Emotional wellbeing is so important, and i can’t stress that enough.
6. I joined a gym – The thought of the gym before i went to the gym, filled me with absolute terror, all those sweaty judgemental people will judge me i thought, they’ll point at me for being over weight. I avoided going so many times, i said i’d join so many times. But i was just lying to myself, i would never join because i let my anxious mind get in the way. I felt awkward exercising in front of others, even my own boyfriend, it made me feel strange even i knew i was being ridiculous. Then last week my boyfriend signed us up to the gym down the road from our house, i was excited, i couldn’t believe i was going to go to the gym. I had 5 days to think about it and i was fine, until the Friday, i cried on and off all day, i was terrified, utterly terrified. My anxiety was sky high, i was freaking out i decided i didn’t want to go. My boyfriend somehow convinced me to put on my exercise clothes and trainers, get in the car, and go to the gym…so i did. We arrived and i got straight out the car, he did all the talking to the reception woman and we were in. We were at the gym i was here…and guess what it wasn’t even worth worrying about. Every one keeps themselves to themselves and gets on with their own thing. I had worried for nothing, but isn’t that always the way with anxiety.