I have always been sporty, having competed in swimming from a very young age – when I was eleven I was training six times a week with two land-training sessions per week.
I reached what you might call my “peak” around aged thirteen when I won a silver medal in the national championships, competed at the national school championships, was selected to try out for the British swimming team and was selected for a study on young athletes by Sheffield University. I carried on swimming since then, but because I had to put more time into my studies when I reached sixth form, I did not train as much. When I got to university, I was the President of the swimming society, but the focus was more on drinking than training. The evidence of this part of my life is detailed below. My favourite drink in those days was “red beer” and we were on a first-name basis with the owners of Dixie Chicken.
When I started working professionally after university, I joined the gym, having become a bit rounder after the heavy drinking and 3am fried chicken runs to “Dixie Chicken”. I was one of those people that just did cardio and was too scared and intimidated to venture into the weights area. I managed to get into shape, but alas, this was all ruined when I went abroad to work my “seasons” – one in Mallorca for Thomas Cook (my uniform was too small for me by the end of the summer), and one in the French alps as an Assistant Resort Manager. When I got back I weighed about 70kg and was shocked how much weight I had put on without even realising it (when I went away I weighed about 58kg!) It was the photo below that made me realise that something had to change.
I signed back up for the gym and went on another cardio spree for about a year as I thought that this was the only way that I could lose weight. It was only when my friend and I started training together that she introduced me to weights. Don’t get me wrong, I lost weight very quickly when I was just doing cardio, but in the end, I plateaued, and I was quite bored with doing 40 minutes of cardio five times a week and I found it difficult to motivate myself.
I used to think bodybuilders, especially women, looked horrible, and I couldn’t understand why they would want to do it. But having switched to weights in the gym and seeing the results, I can really understand why they get satisfaction out of seeing their body change through the hard work and dedication that they put in.
Fitness is in fashion
Isn’t it funny how fashions change? A couple of years ago women wanted to be skinny, with skinny legs and a flat bum, but now a lot of women aspire to be more muscular with thicker legs and a bigger bum. I think this is great and I hope it is here to stay. I have always had big thighs, but the only difference is that when I was younger, I used to be embarrassed about them, whereas now I am comfortable with them. I only realised this when I was uploading a photo of myself in a bikini to Instagram this summer and I realised that I had never posted a full-length photo of myself in swimwear because I was so embarrassed about my legs. But now, at the grand old age of 25, my view of what is attractive and beautiful has changed dramatically, and I have become a lot more self-accepting about what my mamma gave me.
Nowadays I still train around five times a week and do a mixture of weight training, HIIT (when I can be bothered) on the treadmill and classes such as BodyPump and pole fitness. I go through phases of tracking my calories via My Fitness Pal, which is a really useful app, but at the moment I haven’t been tracking calories for the past couple of months. My weight now fluctuates between 60kg-62kg, but I am happy with the way I look, and I no longer think about how much I weigh.
Whilst I have always eaten healthily, my attitude to food has changed dramatically and I am now more mindful of what I eat (apart from when I am hungover and eat EVERYTHING). You can’t look your best 100% of the time and if you want to look even better then you have to be willing to sacrifice a lot more like your social life and alcohol. Am I willing to do that? HAIL NO!
So that’s me in a nutshell, what about you guys? What do you guys do to stay fit and have you got a fitness journey to share with me? I’m always looking for things to motivate me!