Why Is Working Out Not Working For You
It doesn't matter where you go or what you do, all you will see nowadays is health messages, telling you what to do and when to do it and what order to do it in!! But what if you are not a gym bunny or have the testosterone to pump iron like the Geordie-shore-esque-clique in the weights room? Where do you start and more importantly, how do you make sure that you don't lose your motivation?
"No wonder I was such a bitch all of the time being snappy with my old work colleagues and a mardy bum with my boyfriend"
Sure, I'm a personal trainer now, but I wasn't always into health and fitness. There was a time that I hadn't exercised since I left school in 1998 and I chain smoked. I used to go to an exercise class once a week and think I was a "gym goer". And even then I would eat a pizza for tea because I had earned it, right???
Fast forward to 2009 when I was made redundant and determined not to get stuck in a rut of staying in my pyjamas until 3pm, only to get showered and changed into a clean pair of pyjamas (yes I did do that several times). So I quit smoking, joined at running club and made myself go to the gym every day. Even if I was just coasting along on the cross trainer, I felt better for going. More importantly, it made me want to eat healthier...all this coming from a girl whose staple diet used to be McDonalds (other fast food chains are available).
This was the start if my journey and before I knew it, I couldn't think of my life without exercising! Now this didn't happen overnight and there were still times when I would have a pig out, or I couldn't be bothered to go to the gym. But on those times, I felt rotten. I felt lethargic, dirty and bloated. Is this what I felt like all of the time?? No wonder I was such a bitch all of the time being snappy with my old work colleagues and a mardy bum with my boyfriend. I'm surprised that I had any friends at all! So now I don't miss the gym unless I really can't help it, even on the days that I can't be chewed, not because I have to, but because I don't want to feel like crap.
You must now be thinking, "oh that's all fair and well, congratulations to you. But I don't like the gym, you won't catch me dead in there and I'm never going to be one of those people who I've to work out". But what if I told you that I guarantee that you could change all that???
However there's no magic wand, there's no wonder pill and these shakes that they sell now, really don't work. So how am I going to get you to be one of those annoying people who brag about their workout?? You can do it by following these 3 simple steps:
Sounds obvious right? But if you don't make a first start then how are you going to get to the finish line? And I don't mean that you have to sign up to the Cross Fit Games tomorrow (other fitness competitions are available). But why not start walking to the shops? Why not plan a family walk along the coast or countryside? Why not try a low intensity fitness class at your local gym/leisure centre?
Let's face it Rome wasn't built in a day but neither was Arnold Schwarzenegger born looking the way he does! (Other body builders are available- are you getting tired if this joke yet??). I didn't run 5 miles on my first run, we did about 3 and I would jog for 10 paces, walk for a hundred while gasping for breath and then start "running" again when I thought I might get spotted being a loser by walking. But hey, I kept at it and I ended up properly running the Great North Run!
"Let's face it Rome wasn't built in a day but neither was Arnold Schwarzenegger born looking the way he does!"
The clients I work with as a personal trainer who struggle to succeed are the ones who eat healthy for a few days, don't lose a stone that week and think "oh we'll it's not working, what's the point!? Where's that bag of Revels??" (I won't say that other brands of chocolates are available lol). So if you make a commitment to do something...here's the secret ingredient....FOLLOW IT THROUGH!!!!
But make your goals achievable. Don't say that you are going to work out 6 times a week if you are working 60 hours a week, have a newborn baby and a dog to walk. Because, guess what, you're going to fail straight away!
Set achievable goals. It may be to only have a takeaway once a month instead if twice a week. It may be to try one new recipe a week if you are not a keen chef. Or even something as simple as doing 30 minutes exercise from a workout DVD once a week while the kids are in bed. I see so many people on Facebook saying that they are going on a health kick and they are going to do the Insanity DVDS (you know what i'm going to say don't you...) and they don't go beyond 3 days. Why? Because it's too much too quick, that's why. Do you think Shaun T got abs like that overnight?? So make a goal that you are confident you can achieve!
"....I did was a 5k event for charity. I was gutted though that my sister who had just had a baby a few weeks before had a better fitness level than me!"
So you've made the first step, you've made achievable goals and smashed them...then what? Do you let your motivation wane? Do you just keep doing what you're doing and don't see any any changes and your motivation wanes. Do you revert back to your old self because you stood seeing changes and your motivation waned. See where I was going with that? Do you recognise that cycle?
And what usually happens when you revert to your old self is that you put on the weight you lost and you end bigger than whether you started (I will be covering that issue in a future blog). So rather than set goals at this stage, set challenges. Push yourself, see how far you can go, see what you can achieve.
I never thought for a million years that when I first started running that I would be going any kind if organised race. The first one I did was a 5k event for charity. I was gutted though that my sister who had just had a baby a few weeks before had a better fitness level than me! But I persevered and before I knew it the girls from the running club had convinced me to sign up to a 10k. And before I knew it I had signed myself up to a 13.1 mile half marathon! Before you ask I have no intentions in doing a marathon as running is very much not my thing but instead I follow a weight lifting programme that challenges me every time as I am always working towards a personal best. At the moment I am seeing where that may take me....who knows. Now I'm not saying sign up to a marathon or Tough Mudder (yes we know, others are available!), make your challenge appropriate, but not too easy mind, it is meant to be a challenge after all!
Get in touch if you want any help or advice on health, fitness or weight loss. I am a mobile personal trainer in the North Shields area but can offer help to anyone via email, Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook