My top 5 tips for getting fit (or how I realised I didn't hate running)
I get asked about my food and fitness choices, and I thought I'd share some of the things that helped me along the way.
1.They may be called jogging bottoms, but you can't jog in them. I started in them (as the bagginess makes you feel safe and hidden) but by gosh they're hard to work out in. I also find that by being able to see your 'true' body when working out, you find a bit more motivation from within. Get yourself some proper sports pants; think leggings but thicker.
2. Don't set yourself a crazy goal, but do set some sort of markers. If you swear you'll go from no gym visits to 4 a week, chances are you won't last long. But perhaps you could schedule in one or two visits, and any extras are a bonus? If you want to be 'fitter' rather than 'I want to be 3 sizes smaller' you are creating a goal that doesn't lead to failure. Each day it is possible to work towards 'fitter', but trying to be an exact size can just become demoralising. Do you want to feel fitter? Be stronger?
3. Step away from the scales and get in front of the camera. Unlike me, you don't have to share yours, but you may well end up wanting to! I find photos invaluable for reminding myself about the progress I have made. If I'm having negative thoughts about my body, I force myself to take a photo.....often that view of my body, from outside of myself, reminds me that I look fine. At the beginning of my journey I found my first picture pretty motivating too - I'd never look that way again.
4. Your food choices are 80% of the 'problem'. Our body needs food to work, and although it will work when fed 'junk' and 'processed' food, it works tons better with good, fresh, healthy food instead. I have transformed my food choices this year, and this is now how I plan to eat forever. I am not hardcore 'clean' but definitely have a cleaner diet now. By 'clean', I mean lots of unprocessed food - lots of veggies, fruit and lots of vegetarian protein. I eat minimum carbohydrate now. I never calorie count. I eat lots of 'high calorie' foods, such as nuts and soft cheeses.
5. Cut the crap. I used to say I could never exercise as I had bad knees and a bad back. Turns out I had bad knees and a bad back because I didn't exercise. I used to say I couldn't run because my boobs were too big. I used to say I enjoyed 'food' too much and I didn't want to sacrifice my choices to try and be thinner. I used to say that my body was naturally a 12-14. Turns out all of those beliefs were nonsense. We all have the same 24 hours in the day. I can choose to stay in and have a pizza, or I can choose to exercise for 40 minutes. I don't know anyone who has ever regretted getting fit.
I'm definitely not at the end of my health journey, and I'd still love to develop more muscle and get leaner, but for now, I'm happy with where I have got to. I just got to the point of wondering what on earth I was waiting for. I decided just to start, and just keep going. Each and every day just decide to keep going.