My fitness journey or why I went for PT.

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Six weeks ago I started my fitness journey… well… no…actually that’s a lie. I should probably say that 6 weeks ago I have finally committed to my fitness journey.  And this time I know this is for real, this time I am going to achieve my goals and get that size 8 body that I once had.

This might sound very shallow and people might start saying: “Hey, what are you talking about? You are not that fat. You have to learn how to love yourself the way you are. Your body size does not define you. It’s what inside you that matters and not what’s on the outside.” And I totally agree with all that, but I also have to be honest and true to my feelings. I was not happy with the way I looked and the way I felt. Size 12 (which is totally OK, IMHO) I felt that my body is getting out of control. Not only I felt that I am gaining weight, but I also started noticing that I am drowning in some bad habits. The minute my ass was on the couch in the evening and Netflix was on, I would get this unbearable urge to check out the fridge.  And I would get up, and I would find whatever is hiding in it, and I would eat it. Best favorites? Hummus and crackers, smoked salmon and crackers, cottage cheese and crackers. Oh yeah, cheese, cheese and even more cheese and (guess what?) with crackers. Add pizza and wine at the weekends and you have your perfect “How to gain 5 kg in 3 months” diet. So all this started getting a bit out of control. My jeans were tighter, my shirts were too small and this jelly like belly was wiggling from side to side. I hated going into fitting rooms to try on things, cause I knew it won’t look nice. I didn’t want to be in any pictures, cause I couldn’t look at myself. And it wasn’t even the body that got me so frustrated, but the fact that I kept breaking my own promise of getting control of my behavior and my body back.

In January last year I promised to myself that by my 30th birthday I will be at least one size thinner. That gave me full 4 months to achieve this goal and get into a nice routine of regular exercise and healthy eating… Guess what? That’s right! It never happened. Yes, I started going to the gym, but it wasn’t consistent at all. I might go 2 days in a row and then find an excuse for next 2 to 3 weeks, then have a run at it again for, like, 3 days in a row and then again nothing for another two weeks. I might be really good with my food for a few days, eating salads and soups, not eating any sweets or drinking fizzy drinks, but then binge eat at the weekend and forget about “being good” for a week, and then start again. And so it went on, and on, and on… And this constant thought in my head: “It’s OK, you’ve already done some damage today so you might as well eat the rest of that ice cream tub and I’ll start tomorrow.” To achieve something you need to be consistent, and the only consistent thing in my routine was that I kept dropping exercise and kept binge eating.

It got worse 7 months ago when I quitted smoking and in the space of 2 months I gained 5kg. My weighing scale was literally moving up every day. At one point I just stopped weighing myself and then got a real shock after a few months. I was really unhappy with the way I looked, but more then that I was frustrated because I felt useless. So many times I promised myself that I am not going to eat after 8 pm, that I am not going to have all the biscuits once I open the pack, that I am going to go to the gym at least 5 days a week. Not going through with these promises made me feel like a failure… a fat one!

The memory of being so slim growing up, going to ballet school and wearing size 6 at the age of 21 made it worse. But I could only blame myself and blame my poor choices and lack of exercise for the way I looked and felt. Of course, when you are young your metabolism is way faster and you can have all that processed food, drink and still look like a girl on the cover of the magazine. But I didn’t know that 10 years ago, I thought I was very lucky and can eat whatever I want, whenever I want and forget about gym memberships. I did not take into consideration, that I was working as a waitress, on the go for 8 to 12 hours a day, lived a more active lifestyle, walked everywhere and had no Netflix.

So, before my 31st birthday I ended up still being size 12 with saggy body and constant frustration from failing all the time. And at that point, I think, I’ve reached my bottom. I’ve had enough! I realized, that I can’t do this on my own.

This is how I came to an idea of getting a personal trainer. Now… I know how it sounds for most people. I think, we are still living in the times where personal trainers are associated with celebrity life style, Kim Kardashian’s butt and a lot of dollars. But I have to admit, that it is not the case anymore. Personal training became (or maybe it always was) quite affordable. And you don’t have to go to PT every single day, as a matter of fact you don’t even have to go there every week, you can do as many times and as often as you like and make sure it doesn’t cost you a fortune. At the end of the day YOU are the one who is paying the trainer and not the other way around.

I called, I made an appointment, I tried and, honestly, I got hooked. I am six weeks in now and it feels so much easier. You know what the difference is?

This time I know what I am doing! And I am not doing it on my own. There is somebody there to push me when I am ready to give up, support me all the way through, motivate and cheer…

On my very first session, which, by the way, happened on the day of my 31st birthday (ironic, I know), I met with my trainer who gave me a tour around the place, explained how everything works, asked me questions on my lifestyle, foods that I eat, what am I struggling with and, of course, the most important thing: what do I want to achieve. After telling him my story, filling in a very detailed questioner, where I had to include information on my normal day menu, what foods I don’t like, what foods I am ready to drop everything for, what type of work do I do, so on, so on, so on, we moved to measurements. Now THAT….. was scary!!! The figure on the scale, measurements around waist, hips, arms and other parts of my body and the scariest one… the “fatfold”. “Fatfold” or “skinfold” is measured to determine how much fat you have in your body. Skinfold caliper is used to measure how big the skinfold on your tummy (or somewhere around that area, there are specific places that you need to measure) is. Mine was 35 mm. I knew it wasn’t great, but I didn’t know what exactly this means, and, to be honest, I still don’t know. I just know I need to get it down and my trainer told me how low I need to go. So far we agreed on somewhere around 23-25 mm.

After taking all the measurements we did out first session for an hour. I think at that stage he was trying to figure out what my fitness level is, how strong I am and how far can he start pushing me.

I felt amazing after that hour. And not only physically but mentally highly motivated. The feeling of: “Yes!!! I can do it! This time I will totally get there in no time!” I felt more confident in myself. And it gave me a huge kick in the ass to actually keep going on my own. Next day after work I went straight to the gym. And on a normal day, before I get there, I would find at least three different excuses for why I should not go to the gym. Every time would feel like a serious effort and that’s even before I start working out. My head was working against me. But not this time. This time my brain didn’t give me any excuses, on the contrary, I couldn’t wait to start exercising. Now, I don’t know how it worked, but it did. After a PT session I felt extremely motivated, high with the hope for the future success. This time, I knew what I was doing!

I also got a nutrition plan with my sessions. And it wasn’t complicated. It was a detailed menu (2 different menus, actually) based on the foods and dishes I would usually eat (that explains all the questions about my favorite foods and what I usually eat). Straight away he made it clear that if there is something that I don’t like to eat, I need to tell him so that he can change it to something that I am going to enjoy. Because chances that you are going to stick to foods that you don’t enjoy eating are minimum to none.

Honestly, I had no problem following the meal plan. More than that it magically eliminated my binge eating in the evenings. It doesn’t even cross my mind now to get to the fridge and I think the secret to that is that I simply wasn’t eating enough during the day, so was hungry in the evening.

I am six weeks in now and can see some results. I know I have to be patient, and consistent. But it’s easy to be patient and consistent when you know that you are moving in the right direction. Every Monday I have a PT session and that gives me a kick start to the week. I keep following my meal plan. And so far, this works for me and I feel happy.

Even though I don’t have that body (just yet!), I am still size 12, I feel happy and confident. Because I finally got control back. I realize now, it wasn’t that much about the body size, it was about control and assurance that you are doing things right. I obviously wasn’t able to get it back on my own. It took me more than a year to ask for help. But I am here now… and moving in the right direction.

So, Rule #2:

It’s OK to ask for help, because you can’t do and you don’t have to do everything on your own…

Thanks for reading.

A.

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