Currently I’m the happiest and the healthiest I’ve ever been.
Its no coincidence these two things have come together.
But it has not always been this way…
Since having my daughter in 2014 I have slowly put on weight and become more introvert, anti social and unhappy. I didn’t even realise it was happening until about a year ago.
Approaching my daughters 2nd birthday I suddenly noticed I was referring to the weight I had gained in pregnancy and after as ‘baby weight’.
Something clicked in my brain and I thought WTF, be real with yourself. You have become very over weight and really unhappy.
I was a fitness novice and had no idea where to begin, so I weighed myself. To my horror I weighed over 12st. At 5’2 this put my BMI at 30.7, well into the obese zone. At this point I knew I needed to start eating less and moving more but I was crippled with self-loathing, doubt and a severe lack in confidence I couldn’t bring myself to walk into a gym.
However, I did try to do a fitness class. I arrived, paid and then watched all the smiling slender people walk in chatting to one another and I turned around and walked home. I was convinced I had no place there, would fail and only make a fool of myself.
So still determined to do something about my weight I started using at home fitness DVDs. You name it I’ve tried it. Each DVD came with a new set of daily exercises for between 5-6 days of the week and a fancy new meal plan. I would happily do all the workouts, but I rarely even attempted the meals because it meant making up 6 meals a day for myself on top of the meals I have to cook for my partner and my daughter already. It was just impossible!
So instead I would limit my calorie intake to 1000 Cals per day. At this time I was unaware of the importance of protein and what a real balanced diet could include. Inevitably I would run myself down catch a nasty cough and cold and give up only to start the cycle again in about 4-6 weeks. I wont lie I lost weight with every single one. But I couldn’t sustain any past 4 weeks and would end up putting most of the weight back on. This is not a healthy way to lose weight and it never stays off.
After the 5th failed DVD attempted I was pretty miserable, my clothes were tight and I didn’t even want to go to my best friends wedding because of how I looked. One evening I was cruising Facebook, in between going up and down the stairs trying to get my wired 2 year old to sleep, I found a video advert posted by James at JMF Fitness. That inspiring video was of a lady deadlifting an incredible weight and I thought I want to do that. I can do that. I need to ask for some help. So I contacted James who got back to me straight away and invited me to chat over a coffee and work out what I needed and what my goals were.
Stepping foot into the gym for my first group session was hard. I was so nervous I barely slept, I felt sick and I nearly didn’t go. I’m so glad I did because James was so welcoming and I learnt so much in that first week.
James gave me a welcome pack, which showed me where to go online to listen to short videos. These videos explained the importance of protein, sleep, hydration etc. They are amazing because they educated me in a way no DVD ever could. They have and made me aware of how to eat properly whilst exercising so that I can make the most out of each session.
I started off going to the small group sessions 3 times a week over a period of 12 weeks. These sessions were fantastic and all the ladies I have worked out with have been so encouraging and motivational. The support from James and his other clients is second to none; it’s an amazing community to be apart of.
To accompany my exercise routine I used a Fitbit and a calorie counting app to make sure I didn’t over eat and to measure my activity level. I found that eating a balanced diet was easier and way more enjoyable than I had thought possible. James provides some great meal ideas with all the calories, protein etc. information I needed to help get me stated eating right regularly. I don’t have to cook a million different meals a day. We all eat the same food mine just tends to have more salad than anyone else.
I also don’t deprive myself of nice treats and chocolate. I have one treat a day and I try to make sure that it is under 100 calories and contains chocolate. We even have the occasionally take-away and I don’t feel guilty about it because I work hard and I’m not perfect.
Working out with James and the small groups really changed my life for the better in every way. I’m so much happier and healthier. My confidence has sky rocketed. Now I have to confidence to talk to other mothers at my daughters’ nursery and in parks, whereas before I would just look at the ground and hoped nobody noticed me. All of this has made me a better mother and partner.
So, the weight loss and smaller clothes are a great achievement but they are not the best things I have achieved since starting my weight loss journey.....
Now I can do things I thought only men and or real buff gym bunnies could do. I can do at least 10 push ups unaided and I can do push ups with an extra 5kg weight on my back. When I started I couldn't even do one.
I recently achieved an accidental personal best and hip trusted 180 kg which is just under 3x my body weight! I can bare crawl forwards and backwards with a cup of water on my back without spilling it. I can Romanian deadlift 60 kg which is only 3kg lighter me and heavier than my 19 yr old brother. I can bench press 32 kg when I started I could barely move the bar.
And a whole week earlier than planned I achieve completing not one but two chin ups!! This has been one of my main goals since the very beginning. Chin ups are really hard for women to do and I was absolutely buzzing after achieving that goal. Basically, I can do anything in a gym because I'm strong I know if I push myself I can achieve and do anything a man or a real buff gym bunny can do.
Today is my 30th birthday and I can't wait to start my birthday at the gym because it's not a chore I love going and reaching my goals and making new ones. I'm the fittest, healthiest and happiest I've ever been.