18 months ago I started running, then proceeded to banjax my knee. The knee had healed by Christmas 2014 but then I had a bad fall which resulted in me not being able to even do the school collections for a few months. Yes, you see, I can sometimes be a walking crock.
Something had to give. My body has been caught in a bad injury cycle where I eat, put on weight, heal, and then struggle to get back to my original fitness. My muscles were growing lax and I was even more prone to injury, especially with carrying extra weight. My upper body strength was low.
Last Autumn I signed up to the gym, and unsure whether it was going to be a long-term thing I joined under a buy a month-get a month free deal. I joined a training group and pretty much instantly broke my wrist in a totally unrelated incident. Another sign that I was just making myself sicker and sicker by not being fit. Training with a cast was not easy, and my upper body strength declined even further because I couldn’t train with my arms. My core strength did improve.
I resolved to go to the gym more and renewed my membership for a much longer term. I still put down slow training days to the days when we didn’t have our group class. A classic error. After all, I’m the only person responsible for my training.
HERE’S THE KEY (for me anyway)
Ah here, I am no dullard, I know the key to losing weight and improving fitness is based on 2 cornerstones. 1. Have a calorific deficit in your daily intake. 2. Exercise regularly and consistently. There’s a third key to this and that’s getting my arse in gear and committing properly to staying on track.
With the three keys in mind I’ve changed my daily schedule and am now training on a much more regular basis, under my own steam. This is the key thing. I’m doing it myself, I’m not hanging around waiting on a trainer, nor am I waiting until my husband is around to go with me. Joining a gym was never about finding a place where I can do cardio and steam away on a treadmill or bike. I actually walk 8km per day on average outside of the house. It’s about using resistance training to improve my muscle tone, strength, and reducing the chance of injury.
MAKING THE DIFFERENCE
Slowly I’m starting to see changes. The love handles are less grippy (this is a technical term); I can flex the muscles on my arms and pretend that there are no bingo wings below, and I can engage my core with ease.
On the weight thing. I struggled with this for a long time, got caught up in eating high fat & protein stuff and making myself feel full. A few weeks ago now I reinstalled myfitnesspal on my phone and set myself calorie limits. This has certainly worked and finally, I’m seeing a realistic amount of weight loss that’s directly related to my food and exercise.
I finished with the training group in early March. Training is expensive, and I’ve come to a point where I need to do this under my own steam. My trainer has been great, but for now I’m going to continue weighing my food, counting my calories, and training 4 days a week. I can return to personal training in the future, and probably will when I’m closer to my goal weight to finish off a few things. I know that that last few kgs will be harder to shift than the first few!
I’ve also committed to going to hot yoga at least twice a week, this is essential for my flexibility, and also for my personal health. I find that my mind clears really well in yoga, and it gives me valuable headspace. I never sleep better than after a yoga class, it’s amazing.
DO I NEED MY HEAD EXAMINED?
This might sound intensive to you. Written down this sounds like an insane amount of cardio and resistance training to undertake for anyone, nevermind a work-at-home mother with small kids, and plenty of things to keep her occupied. Exercising keeps me alert, helps with the household tasks, and importantly, is a huge part of keeping my mental health on track. I might not be training with a specific target in mind, but I am training to better myself.
The Easter holidays were challenging. I really thrive on a routine around bringing the kids to school, and getting out of the house every day. It wasn’t easy to keep to my fitness routine with them off school. The good news is that I’ve not put on any weight over the holidays, but I’ve not lost any either. It’s just a case of pushing onwards at this stage, I really need to do this for myself.