A few people have recently asked if I have any top tips on losing weight or getting fitter and I’ve decided to be brutally honest with you all…
It’s far from easy if you’ve got a lot of weight to lose or a long distance goal in mind, nothing happens overnight, as lovely and fluffy as an Instagram photo might show the journey.
I haven’t been vocal about the low points – that is until now, as I feel that people need to know that there’s more to my achievements and goals than the happy snaps or pretty recipe ideas.
I know myself that I can be great at talking up the positives of my current weight loss, but I’m ready to let you in on a few secrets & stories that I’ve experienced over the last few months. I also want other people who plan their own goals to know that I don’t find this a breeze, even with a personal trainer by my side – it isn’t all fluffy and lovely, as much as I’d love to tell you that’s the case.
Since I was a kid, I’ve struggled with my weight. I was always the chubby girl at school, a complete tom boy most of the time so as not to stand out like a sore thumb next to the skinny girls in my year. This went on into my teenage years and I’ve dipped up and down on the scales ever since. Food can be my best friend and my worst enemy, I am a comfort eater through and through – this is one habit in itself that needs kicking and won’t be an exact science at all.
So here it is, my blood, sweat and tears – quite literally, please don’t judge me ; )
As I’ve experience/d these events or issues, I certainly haven’t laughed about it until a fair while after each experience. I’ve been an emotional wreck most of the time and it hasn’t all been plain sailing – I simply want other people to know that this is stupidly NORMAL and that you’re not alone in feeling this way from time to time. Or most of the time, as the case may be.
Ok, so there isn’t too much blood, but I’ve had my fair share of accidents, cuts and bruises over the last few months including a nasty trip over my own feet and cutting my knee open on a concrete path on Xmas Eve. I did this in super style – I was actually doing “The Running Man” in my walking boots… my boots have fantastic grips, so good that I stacked it and landed face first in a pile of leaves, completed in epic style with the dog licking my face as I cried toddler-esque tears, whilst screaming out that I will never, EVER dance again. The mister stood and laughed, he said it was hilarious, as sorry as he was for this – I can laugh now. Just about.
Bio oil is now my friend for the huge golf ball-sized scar I have on my knee from this little “trip”. I spent most of Xmas with my leg elevated, I couldn’t walk or wear tight fitting clothes, not forgetting the fact that I couldn’t exercise properly for weeks without crying or wincing in pain – this could only ever happen to me!
Blisters from running in cheap trainer socks that ride down into my trainers, leaving me with blood-soaked socks as a result. I have since bought myself a pair of “proper” running socks, well worth the £8 investment!
Broken fingers from last summer have been making press ups hard work and painful to boot, but I have to suck it up and deal with it – I’m such a trooper ; )
Back pain, of which I had previously, comes to me with a vengeance after a particularly tough circuit. I now pop a painkiller if I need to and try to keep moving so as not to stiffen. I try to breath through this pain, it’s always going to be there, so I have to deal with it – “learn to love the pain” as my NHS therapist once told me. Hmmm.
I’m also thinking back to the very first sports massage, which felt amazing but stopped me from sitting back on a chair for three days after. My car seat was included in that one – no pain, no gain, right?
Saddle Sore – especially in my lady parts when starting back on my bicycle. We are plotting a cycling holiday later in the year to the Lake District, so training has started locally and boy, oh boy, the “John Wayne” walk is in full swing currently, oof!
I mustn’t forget the multiple carpet burns from planking in front of the TV or the pinging of my lovely finger nails as I throw a “Slam Ball” across the garden – it’s really not too glamourous, I did warn you.
Self motivation is the hardest bit and people may just see the ball flinging that I do with my personal trainer or a short jog around my village, but I’m putting my ALL into these activities and it’s working steadily. It’s not a quick fix, it’s a healthy lifestyle that I’m adopting and not everything will work, but that’s ok.
If, like me, you get tetchy when you haven’t exercised and are prone to slamming doors on stressed days, then a “Slam Ball” is the perfect toy for you! Weirdly, no matter where I am within my circuits, I always get tougher with this as the exercise goes on – I ADORE this beauty and it’s helped me relieve some real tension by sweating it out when I need to unleash some fury. Get yourself over to Jordan Fitness to buy yourself one, I use their 9kg ball.
This is so gross, but when detoxing at the start of my training, the exercise made me need to go out and buys men’s deodorant, no word of a lie. I stank to high heaven, even though everyone said they couldn’t smell me – I could smell me. It’s not bad anymore, now that I’ve detoxed, but boy, even in winter climes, I was ripe.
There’s also the “sweat” at the new and not so exciting foods that you are about to encounter. I’d never have thought I’d be eating steak and raspberries for my breakfast or drinking spinach in my smoothie. Sometimes it takes a few drips of sweat to get past those worries, especially when you are a fussy eater like myself, but you’ve just got to do it – it’s honestly worth it!
Due to so much time spent sweating it out at the moment, my hair is getting a regular washing – twice a day sometimes! There’s not much better than a hot shower and a lovely cup of coffee (or hot lemon) after a hard workout, it’s heaven. I’ve had more hot showers than hot dinners of late and the dye is running out of my hair faster than it takes to put it in!
Oh, so many tears, I have lost count of the amount of days I’ve actually spent crying into my soup.
There have been tears at the back of my local running group, trying to catch up with the faster runners and getting so frustrated that I want to give up (but don’t!) – but, that’s ok because now I’ve got the basic advice & support, I can continue at my own pace, no dramas. It’s just about finding a way around these things to make it work for YOU.
Even if you have a personal trainer helping you, there’s no magic machine of which they flick a switch and shed the weight for you. It’s hard work. It’s emotional. It’s tough. It’s painful. It’s draining – but we all know losing weight isn’t that easy when you have serious weight to lose. Anyone who tells you to drink a magical drink or pop a magical pill are kidding, don’t do it. You’ve got to work at this and I’m being as honest as humanly possible – I can laugh looking back at some of my own hissy fits, but it’s been REALLY hard. It WILL be hard in future, even if I enjoy some elements, so please know that this is a normal feeling.
If you are on a weight loss mission and you feel like crying, screaming, thrashing out, eating a wedge of cake or just giving up all together… I KNOW how you feel. Sometimes you just have to go with it and let it out, that’s fine to do sometimes too.
Your real friends will show their support for you throughout your own mission…and the not so good friends will show you just how little they care about you. Mixed with the emotions you might already be experiencing, this is tough to deal with, but I now know who I can count on and who will lecture on it all being common sense and scoff at my “silly” diet. You truly don’t need this negativity in your life, so don’t dwell on this, instead, concentrate on the positive support around you : )
Clothes are always a HUGE stress, with them being too small or too big. Emptying three quarters of my wardrobe was a horrible experience, as some of the clothes I threw out had been a part of my life for ten years or so, as scary/criminal as that sounds! It felt good to let go and give them away to a charity who might need them and it also gives me motivation never to fit into the larger items again. I did keep a couple pairs of jeans back for future laughs, but it was a tricky job to get my head around and more upsetting than I had anticipated.
There have been tears over eating a piece of cake the night before a gym session.
Tears because I can’t reach a goal.
Tears because hot yoga wasn’t for me – I lasted an hour before slapping myself in the face!
My glamorous 30th birthday was spent in tears (a plenty) for many different reasons.
Tears because I’m just feeling overwhelmed – sometimes you just need some “me time”.
I’ve had to deal with a lot of changes all at once including setting up a new business venture, busier days, alongside a new fitness regime to squeeze in too. Women can be more vocal (in my experience) – my other half will just implode, as I will just explode. Everyone is different, but it’s normal to feel disheartened or panicked, please don’t ever feel alone on that one!
This can be (without wanting to sound cheesy) an emotional roller coaster for somebody who isn’t used to it and I think it’s been an education for Sarah, my trainer as much as it has been for me.
Let’s also not forget the single, most horrific part of this weight loss mission so far.
The caffeine withdrawal. This is a TERRIBLE curse to any household.
If you are a big coffee drinker, wean yourself off slowly if you value your
sanity life! I asked my other half what the worst thing has been in his experience over the last few months and his response was “YOUR CAFFEINE WITHDRAWALS” – be warned!
A FEW OTHER LESSONS LEARNT:
I’m ravenous all the time. If I’m not eating, I’m thinking, writing, dreaming about food.
Conflicting information can be confusing and stressful – be careful and stick to your beliefs.
Worrying about fitting it all in – but we found as soon as you turn the TV off and put the “Dexter” box sets away, we’ve gained a good 2-3 hours a night, shocking…
For me I’m lucky that I can see my trainer or exercise myself throughout my working day quite flexibly, whereas some people are tied to a desk, so this can be stressful too. Plan exercise into your day, no matter when it might be and stick to it, no matter how tired you feel, you’ll thank yourself for it.
If you eat something “bad”, don’t panic about it, draw a line under it and move on. We are all told to enjoy everything in moderation and it’s true. You can’t deny yourself everything, just plan your treats into your healthy eating plan and enjoy fresh, healthy food around your “treats “.
The start of a serious health kick can result in tiredness and severe mood swings, as I learnt when I first detoxed. I was needing midday naps at around day 25 of my raw food diet and this is quite normal due to your body using up the last of certain reserves, including all the carbs your body may have clung onto. This is where healthy eating advice comes in VERY handy and I recommend getting some advice when taking on this sort of diet.
Have fun, you only live once! I may find it tough at times, but I love my personal trainer to bits (in fact I shouldn’t share her really, but if you want her yo can find her here!) and I have so much fun making silly little videos and taking selfies (much to my mums amusement as I’ve ripped it out of my sister for taking selfies for years!) – if you can’t laugh and have fun with it then you’re not going to be very happy on a (potentially) very long journey.