Towards the end of 2017, I really slipped when it came to fitness. I spent the majority of November eating, drinking, socialising, working, and going to bed late, and boy was it a fun couple of months!
However, when you’re keen on working out and usually have the gym as a big part of your life, it’s inevitable that you’ll always carry that guilt around. I went into 2018 stressing about being unhealthy in general, my skin had also gone dull and spotty from copious amounts of fizz and party food, and I just felt like a sluggish potato.
I made a pact with myself in January – just a small one, not a new years resolution or anything – to pick it all back up for the new year. And you know what, I’ve really impressed myself when I look back at the year…
The first thing I did sounds a little silly, but I invested in new gym wear. I know I know, you don’t need to wear branded, expensive fitness wear just to excel at the gym, and it’s definitely all about your mental attitude and strength rather than how good you look at the gym.
But, have you ever noticed how much more motivated and hyped up you are for a gym visit when dressed in new sports wear? I for know that when I’ve been working out a little more, have been focusing on a healthier lifestyle, and genuinely feel better about myself, I feel 10 times more fabulous rocking up to the gym feeling like I’ve worked hard to improve myself, and I’m wearing shiny new gym wear too.
Maybe it’s a simple mind over matter thing, but it’s a little trick which has worked for me anyway!
I’ve managed to get a few new sassy gym outfits behind me, including a few from my favourite brands – GymShark and MyProtein. It definitely has made me excited to at least get dressed for the gym.
So this year, I’ve been giving myself a target of 3 sessions a week. With good time management and a bit of prioritisation, I think that’s reasonable. However, I decided to push myself towards the end half of 2018 and try something I haven’t done much of before – deadlifts!
One of the aspects of my fitness that needs working on is strength, so much so I realised that putting some time aside to learn more about deadlift training would be beneficial to me. For me, it’s about increasing my strength by working on my arms, back and abdominal muscles, and I found this really great fitness guide all about deadlift training here.
I’ve also been paying much more attention to the timings of my sessions. I think it’s super important to remember to do the length of sessions which work for you: I have a 45 minute to an hour attention span with work outs, so I’ve half stuck to this and half set myself new goals to reach an hour 30.
There’s also the beauty of squeezing in a 30 minute work out in the morning, or over the lunch hour. If you can set yourself 3 gym sessions a week, just try and be easy on yourself for how long each one lasts. I usually do two 1 hour 30 minute sessions (trying to reach a new goal!), then the final one is just 40 minutes.
Being easy on myself by setting reasonable targets has been the key for me!
Something else I’ve started doing which has spurred me on this year may not be ideal for a lot of you out there, but it has encouraged me to be more hard-working. I’ve started to get my BMI and measurements checked at the gym once every fortnight, to see if I can see an improvement in body fat.
I know people say you shouldn’t weigh yourself, and don’t judge anything by numbers: you should go off how you feel and how your clothes fit. Which is absolutely fine. However, I had to admit I’m driven by seeing physical numbers and results via stats or numbers. So although I’m not weighing myself much, I like to see if my body fat percentage changes every fortnight.
I have a high carb, high fat diet I’m sorry, I just can’t quit the pizzas and prosecco, so there will also be a porky piggy side to me!
There’s thing I don’t do as yet too, so I’m not fully there yet. I haven’t upped my free weights in a while and I haven’t worked on my abs for a long time. I’m sure they are alive under the fat layer somewhere, but maybe I’ll dig that one out in Summer 2019.
How has 2018 been for you with your fitness? Have you been on a journey similar to me? Feel free to share any motivation!