I titled this ‘My Fitness Journey’ because fitness isn’t a destination or something you eventually achieve. To me, fitness has been a journey, a discovery and something I’ve been absolutely taken in by. Now I haven’t lost a great deal of weight, I haven’t been through a diagnosed eating disorder. I have however had unhealthy relationships with food and used exercise as punishment, which in itself is a disorder. So here’s as much of my fitness journey that I can condense into one blog post.
Teenage years are awful. Fighting a battle with your inner demons and school friends/foes to look the best and fighting off those nasty teenage comments. I wasn’t unhappy with my body growing up, but when I reached 17 I began to develop unhealthy habits. Binging on junk food (particularly crisps and Chinese food) and then punishing myself by not eating for a day and doing a Davina DVD. I found that it was really easy for me to lose weight, but then to gain it again very easily. This unhealthy relationship continued quite the way through uni too, where alcohol was the obvious choice over food and I lost a lot of weight from this. My university halls even had a gym, but I didn’t know what to do in there and the only time I had used the gym was for the treadmill and cross trainer.
When I finished Uni I went into a full time job. Teaching was very stressful and I began to find that the stress was overcoming my health along with my sleep. Something had to change. Being desperately unhappy in a job which takes over your whole life isn’t the way. So I joined a gym as a way to relieve myself from the stresses off my day to day life. I began going to classes like body pump, spin and HIIT, loving the feeling of those endorphins flowing and forgetting about my job for all the while I was there. Then I signed up for something bigger, the Great North Run. I did this in memory of my Great Grandma, who lost a battle with Alzheimer’s. Training was hard, running with my Dad (who had ran a marathon before) was tough and I’d never even ran past two lampposts! But it’s incredible what your body can do and I did it, even more inspired.
After I left my job, I began to put my health first. I invested in Kayla’s BBG and began learning about nutrition. Turning from cardio to resistance based exercises allowed me to see changes in my body but there’s no way you can sustain those guides forever. Then I made the move to work at sea, on cruise ships. There was little time to exercise and the food choices were terrible, not protein sources and just carbs carbs carbs. But it was January this year where I decided something had to change. I left sea and came back home. Joined a gym and began following Grace Fit’s guide. It was amazing, I had finally discovered lifting and I mean lifting heavy weights, barbells and working damn hard.
I had finally found something I loved doing, getting stronger and fitter. Along with this I began closely tracking my macros, learning more about the make up of food and how to fuel my body properly in order to get the best out of my lifting sessions. Cardio was long gone, up until last month when I started adding in LISS like 20 minutes on the stepper and short HIIT sprints, just for my holiday cut. Now I’ve been going it alone making up my own workouts, using an upper/lower split and training around 5 times a week. I’m learning to pull up my own body weight, squat more than my body weight and hip thrust double. I no longer track macros, but eat intuitively, now that I have a good knowledge of food. I balance a flexible approach to eating with training progressively in the gym and I couldn’t be happier with the way my body has changed. After my holidays I’ll be beginning a bulk, which is a first for me. Fitness hasn’t only helped me look stronger, but it’s helped me to feel stronger on the inside and fight my own mental health issues. It’s now that I am stronger I feel I can talk about what i’ve gone through and how training and the dedication helped me to overcome this. I’ve felt my strength carry me and it’s continuing to do so. Fitness isn’t just about losing weight, it’s a journey, a commitment to bettering yourself, for you! I’m so excited to continue this journey and share it with you all, even if I can just help one person feel better about themselves.