Oh dear, the last time I wrote my Fitness Challenge diary it was last July. Now it’s February, the following year!
Here’s a quick review of the last six months, what went well, what went wrong and what I’ve learnt.
July to December
I started having personal training sessions in June and this continued until the second week of November. A total of five months of consecutive weight-based exercise twice a week.
Now commitment to exercise has always been a problem for me. I get bored, I start wishing I was sitting with a good novel and a lovely cup of tea, I start dreaming of cake…
But this actually worked… For a while.
The sessions were held at 8am, Tuesday and Thursday, at my local gym. They weren’t extortionate but not cheap either, so I wanted to make it worthwhile going. Paying for the 45-minute sessions and having to meet the personal trainer twice a week did made me feel accountable. Although I did cancel a couple of times, it wasn’t as easy as just deciding “I can’t be bothered going to the gym”. I felt as if I had to have a good reason. Which is good for motivation!
So twice a week, apart from the odd time I cancelled, I headed to the training sessions. I did lunges, sit-ups, press-ups, squats, arm and leg weight exercises among others. The variety stopped me from getting bored.
During the week, I took myself down to the gym for cardio exercises.
K, the personal trainer, suggested a weight loss app and a calorie intake of 1,300 calories a day. Now, my aim was to be fitter and fit into my clothes again. But counting calories wasn’t really something I was too interested in. I still wanted to eat cake! But I did want to become a healthy and fit woman.
So I tried. For a while.
And it worked. My weight dropped nearly a stone, my too-tight clothes started to fit again and people started to notice I was losing weight.
In all my months of fitness challenges, this was the first time this happened!
But the summer months turned into the autumn months of October and November. 6am was once a bright and light time to wake up and an apt time to let the hens out before getting fit. How constructive a morning for me and the chickens!
But by October, the hens were still fast asleep at 7.45am, never mind 6am (quite sensible too). But I felt more and more sluggish waking up at such an unearthly hour. And although it felt worthwhile after the session, beforehand I felt like I’d lost my motivation.
And of course, Christmas was coming soon, together with all its edible treats. Did I really want to continue paying for a trainer and counting calories when I would want to be eating Christmas pudding and the like?
So I stopped, for now. I did find a personal trainer a fantastic motivation but, personally, I would prefer to tie that in with a challenge to aim for. Working with K was good in the beginning but by the fifth month, I needed a new goal as I started to feel aimless.
That’s no reflection on the trainer. As I said, it worked and I saw and felt the physical and mental effects. But motivation becomes an issue for me, especially during the winter months.
So this year I thought if I tie in personal challenges during the year with, possibly, a personal trainer for a month or so for the bigger challenges, this might work. Maybe.
Ironically, while I focused on personal training, my walk challenge didn’t do so well. I aimed for 1,000 miles by the end of the year. Instead, I walked 817. That means an extra 200 on top of my 1,000 target this year!
So my first challenge is Fitness February, with an attempt to try to do some type of exercise every day.