In January 2020 I set myself the challenge of getting back into fitness, shaping up and living a more active lifestyle. To sum it up with one word, my workouts up until this point were inconsistent. In my childhood and teenage years I had always loved being active. I played everything from football to cricket and competed in Athletic competitions, and I loved every single second of it! (I even somehow got scouted for Crystal Palace F.C.) As I joined the world of work, I began to learn and appreciate the benefits from exercise on my mental health. It relieved stress after a busy day of work and in that 30 minutes alone I would find complete stillness and peace of my mind. The pressures and challenges I encountered that day were all of a sudden a distant memory. However, there had always been an issue – I hadn’t found my groove. (Side note – Define groove as according to Urban Dictionary: a verb meaning to smoothly interact, maintain or improve relations with business associates, a person, or a situation). My workouts were either always too repetitive and boring or too challenging and off-putting. There was no real structure or guidance of where to go after those first few sessions. I mostly trained as means to an end and thought of exercise only in the short term, this basically being for aesthetic reasons to slim down or tone up before a holiday, a wedding or a party etc. I had no real, sustainable incentive or intrinsic motivation to make me want to exercise. There was, as I say, a lack of groove!
I had never been a huge gym-goer, preferring home workouts, the odd gym class, or run instead. I liked my workouts to be convenient, time efficient and resented having to hold myself accountable for letting my gym membership fee go to waste. I would typically go through a couple of months (most likely timed before the aforementioned holiday) where I would attend workout classes feeling like a boss because I managed 3-4 days that week. Only for this hard work to soon be diminished, as I’d then break the routine for several reasons (and excuses). Maybe I had over-trained and overdone it with the weights at the start of the week, which would leave me sore and unmotivated to ever look or think about lifting a weight ever again. Perhaps I had a bad night’s sleep and the dreary Winter months were just too depressing and cold to take myself for a run. Or it could have been that all the classes were over capacity and I was going out after work. Then there was the classic, “I am too busy”. Truth be told, the majority of my actual thought process went a little something like this…
I could not be bothered to do any exercise because then I would have to wash my hair and that is simply just too much effort. In the meantime I would probably embarrass myself in front of a large group of people, as I displayed my uncoordinated self. My arms and legs always somehow manage to move in different directions! I’ve had actual fitness instructors and some of my pals laugh in amazement, at my interpretation of moves. Then there is the pressure of what or what not to wear. I would inevitably turn up in my not so chic or highly unflattering workout gear which displays all my sweat (which then also would need a wash!) Plus I’ve already gone on holiday this year, so can’t I just stock my body up for Winter now?!!!
So that’s just what I would do.
Then rolled in January 2020 and with it, so did the New Year resolutions. By this time I had shifted my perspective towards exercise and what I wanted from it. Sure, I still wanted to trim up and for my jeans to fit a bit better after Christmas, but recent family health matters had reminded me how important my actual health was over vanity. There was also this pandemic I had heard about and I thought there is no time like the present to look after myself better. I also knew from past workouts, the power exercise had to “reset”my mind. How it can completely change my attitude to the day. The idea of what I could achieve was also very appealing… maybe my fastest 5k yet to date or perhaps I would finally attempt that 10k I was always too scared to try? If I followed the right workout and did something I enjoyed, maybe I would stick to it consistently. All in all, I was set and clear on what my motive was. I wanted to feel healthier, fitter and begin to live a sustainably active lifestyle.
With step one being complete (establishing my new exercise intentions), I needed to action step two… which workout plan I would commit to! Having not stuck with purely running or YouTube workout based videos in the past, I decided an e-book or fitness app would give me the kick start I needed. Lo and behold, Sarah’s Day a holistic health & fitness YouTuber that I had followed for the last 2 years or so, had a sale on her 8 week fitness guide e-books, Sweat It To Shred It & Sweat It Reload. As an even bigger incentive, all the proceeds were being donated to the bush fires in Australia. At £22 per book, that worked out to only £2.75 a week – a cheap cost for something I was determined to stick to (and didn’t have to leave my house or pay a hefty fee to participate!).
Now fast forward to June 2020, I am by no means a fitness expert, but the 16 week guide gave me the push and motivation to be consistent in my training. Here I am 6 (nearly 7) months later since I set on being more active and I feel better than ever! Despite the challenges that came with the pandemic, the lockdown actually really assisted me in finding time in my day to exercise. So how am I doing and feeling? Well, I genuinely look forward to each workout; I even slowly built up into now training 6 days a week! My workouts are habitual and mostly take place in the morning. This helps me feel like I’ve achieved something and leaves me feel motivated, recharged and ready to tackle the day ahead, as I continue to work from home for the foreseeable. After completing the 16 week guide, I mixed in some 5K runs and can actually confidently say I can do several push ups! I have now moved onto Shaun T’s Insanity Workout which I am also loving, although I’ve never sweated so much in my life!
Want to hear my review on Sarah’s Day E-books? Stay tuned for Thursday’s blog post!
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