September

My fitness barriers… an honest reflection

Let’s be honest, many of us at different stages of our lives embark on a fitness or weight loss journey because we were or are unhappy with the way we look.  I, like many before me have used dieting/exercising to either lose weight or change aspects of my body.  As I was gathering my notes to write a fitness update I felt it necessary to address a few questions, predominantly to myself.  However, I think we should all be asking ourselves these questions in order to reach our goals and be happy with ourselves.

I’ve been so frustrated because my progress has been slower than I would like… so here I am reflecting and trying to identify what my long-term goals are, and the emphasis on realistic long-term goals!  I’ll be honest, in the past when I trained for obstacle courses or races I had the time to train twice a day, six days a week! I had no real career aspirations and my daughter was younger, so I had more time for myself.

Now we are all subject to social media, magazines and TV influences which can make it look so easy to get fit and have a lifestyle that for most of us is unrealistic! If you are like me you have bills to pay, at least one child to pick up from school, homework to go through, after curriculum clubs, house-hold chores and a job in which you want to progress and develop, it is a HUGE challenge to prioritise fitness.

I am doing this because I gained a little weight and I’m not happy. Let me make it clear that during the period of time in which I gained weight I have also been training, but not often or hard enough and my diet has been poor.  I will be honest and say I didn’t gain a huge amount. I’m not big by any standards but I’m not happy.

So, as I enter the journey of finding a sustainable fitness routine that helps me feel strong and great I ask myself:

Why am I really doing this?

It is so easy to be influenced by our peers and the media! If you are going to embark on a fitness journey make sure you are doing it because of you! Be honest with yourself and ask,  ‘what are you really unhappy with?’ And is it changeable? Personally, I think this will help you be mentally ready to make the changes in your life.

I will give you some examples of my answers:

  • What am I really unhappy with? Decrease in fitness levels & mid-section (it’s the area where I gain the most weight!)
  • Is it changeable? Yes! (I had initially written that I was unhappy with my stretch-marks but there is nothing I can do.)

What is realistic for you and what are your obstacles?

Think of the time you have available, your responsibilities and create a schedule where you can include realistic time frames to work-out and take your schedule into consideration when measuring your progress. This is something that I’ve struggled with and has demotivated me the past few weeks.  I’ve been so busy with my daughter being off school, work and chores..  whatever you do remember that getting the balance right is important in order to make sure you also succeed in all areas of your life! As a mum I want to make sure my daughter knows that eating healthy and being active is important to our well-being.

Recognising obstacles has helped me plan my work-outs better and integrate them into my daily life.  For example, my biggest obstacle is lack of sleep, therefore I really try to get five or more hours sleep on my workout days.

What is my long-term goal?

 I have this memory of how I felt when I was training for my first Tough Mudder https://toughmudder.co.uk/ the aches from my training routine and being able to do loads of burpees; plank with 10 kg weights; I felt so good physically and mentally! My long term goal is to feel physically and mentally great again and ensure that my clothes fit.  Most importantly, I want my daughter to see the rewards of living an active and balanced lifestyle.

To conclude, working out as well as healthy eating can seem daunting and can feel like there are so many barriers but it is a lifestyle choice which in the long-term pays off both physically and mentally! I want to be the best role model I can be… I truly hope I can teach my daughter that living a balanced lifestyle is achievable and leads to physical and mental wellbeing 💖

Julie

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