I thought I’d talk about how I’ve been building confidence in myself. Basically the gym, the gym is helping me to look after myself. It’s made me conscious about what I’m feeding my body and therefore my mind (and also my skin!) There’s a few of my tips but please bare in mind, I’m not an expert and what works for me, won’t work for everyone.
Now I’ve mentioned this before in a previous blog and I am in no way telling everyone that they need a personal trainer for their fitness journey to work. I tried on and off for years to enjoy the gym and be successful but in the end I needed an extra hand with it all. That’s why I train with Ben so that I have some one helping to keep track. Yes, Josh would always try and help me with this but it’s harder for him to push me and keep track because you end up arguing.
That’s my first tip – don’t ALWAYS train with your girlfriend/boyfriend because it will cause arguments. I’m not saying it does every time and there have been plenty of time when I have really enjoyed training with Josh but then it’s the frustration when he’s trying to train but also teach me something that I’m struggling with or me having a wobbly self-esteem day in the gym that just ends in everyone getting annoyed at each other.
I wouldn’t say I care about being Vegan but I understand the benefit that making Vegetarian decisions can have, for example, I don’t need to rely on meat and thinking about waste, if people could make a few veggie changes, there wouldn’t be the need for so much meat on the shop shelves. From a selfish point of view, I feel a lot less bloated when I focus on veg rather than meat as part of my meal, veg is cheaper than meat AND eating the same meat day in, day out, gets too samey. We eat chicken pretty much every day due to personal preferences and not wanting to cooking different meals – it’s just easier to eat together – but this is so boring. So I’m trying to find new options. I recently tried Jack Fruit. I’m not convinced I like it but I also know people that rave about it so maybe it was just the particular brand and flavouring that I bought and need to experiment more.
I have been tracking my calories using MyFitnessPal. The app is free, although there is a premium version, and run by Under Armour. The blog and recipe suggestions are also bangin’.
I’ve tried using the app before and struggled to stick to it due to becoming a little obsessed with weighing food out and then getting bored and stressed if I didn’t do it.
I think I’ve successfully used it this time due to training with Ben, he asks all his clients to use it and as a friend on the app, I’m pretty sure he can have a scroll through what food you’ve eaten that week. I also think, I’ve gotten much more used to the app now so it’s a lot easier to eye ball what I’m eating if I forget to weigh food out, for example, I always forget to weigh how much Courgette I’ve cut up before I cut it, or there’s times where I’ll make something knowing I’ve put 50g of spinach in but then have split the meal and Josh has had 2/3 whilst I’ve had 1/3 so it’s just sensible estimation then and that’s not an issue. I’m a LOT more settled in using it.
Advice: Persevere with the app because it can take some getting used to but is actually really simple to use and completely free! You’ll learn some things about yourself and you’re eating for sure.
I got a Fitbit for my birthday in October. It’s helped to see how little I move during the day when I’m at work and therefore encourages me to move more in the evenings and go to the gym. I would also say having a Fitbit has become a little obsessive, making sure it’s tracking the exercise I do etc but it’s definitely helped. I would also say, yeah it’s not cheap, but I don’t think some of them are unreasonably priced. I have the Fitbit Charge 3 which is currently £130 in Argos/Amazon, and I think it’s great. I don’t think I needed one that was more expensive at all, it does everything I need it to do.
It’s definitely not a necessity but I think it helps in the sense that I know if I’m pushing myself enough at the gym and in classes because I can view my heart rate as I work out.
This is an app that Ben advised me to use. When you weigh yourself, there are so many reasons your weight could fluctuate. With this app, you weigh yourself as often as possible, so for me, this is usually every morning when I wake up. You enter it into the app and it will give you a moving average of your weight. So even if there’s one morning that I forget to weigh myself but then do it the next day, the app will still work out your average which takes into account any fluctuations in your weight due to things such as water weight.
I’ve really liked having this app because then if I’m having one bad day of food and have seemingly gained 2lbs over night, the average takes this into account. This helps with staying motivated and not feeling deflated at the idea of stepping on the scales!
For anyone who doesn’t know what HIITS is, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. The idea of the class is that for 30 minutes you push yourself to your highest intensity possible for short intervals. I honestly live by these classes.
At my gym there are multiple HIITS classes on weekdays. There’s usually a 7am class (ew), often a 9:30am (which I used to go to a lot when I did shift work) and a 6 or 6:30pm class (the class I now go to).
My tip for exercising after a long day at work is, don’t go home and get comfortable. Especially in the winter, it will be almost impossible to leave the house and go to the gym. I finish work and go straight to the gym for HIIT. It’s only 30 minute class so it definitely feels doable after a day of work, even if I’ve had a bad day.
Doing HIITS also means you can push yourself as much as possible because you only have to do each exercise for 30 or 40 seconds (depending on the gym instructor), this breaks the class up and you know that if you can push yourself for the whole 30 seconds and then get through the 30 minutes, you can go home, eat, get into bed and not move for the rest of the night. This is exactly what gets me going to HIITS because then I can relax.
Buy gym clothes that make you feel CUTE AF
Feel like a boss lady, achieve like a boss lady! Most people have heard of Gymshark and as much as I would L O V E to buy clothes from them, they’re just out of my price range most of the time. My favourite gym brand, and go to that I suggest to all my friends that haven’t tried them, is MyProtein.
They do some really fantastic women’s clothing and always have discount codes that make orders completely justifiable, especially when you end up spending £90 just on gym clothes. I love the quality and almost every pair of leggings I’ve bought from there are completely squat proof.
My only thing to note would be that, although they don’t look it, I think I have relatively short legs and so with some pairs of leggings I have to roll them up or they bunch a little bit at the bottom. However, this isn’t every pair!
Find a training buddy
This makes the gym so much more bearable. For example, I know that we’re probably not gonna talk much because we’re exercising but it’s nice to go to a gym class with a friend, because it also means that I have to go or I’ve bailed on them!
Surround yourself with people who are going to support you.
Josh has constantly tried to support my efforts in the gym and although he’s trying to increase his calories intake, whilst mine has decreased, he still tries to be mindful of what food we’re eating to help support me. He’ll also help out with food prep, making sure I’ve got food that’s been made and weighed out ready for my lunch at work the next day.
I also have friends who ask how the gym is going and we talk about our progress together.
At work, most of us have been trying to make a conscious effort to eat more healthily. This includes not bringing unhealthy snacks to the office, offering healthy snacks to hungry colleagues by reading out the calorie, fat or sugar content (depending on who’s asking for food). We ask how training is going and give each other tips and advice we’ve learnt. This is normally our Sales Director telling us we need to eat more protein to support our muscles, repaying him by providing him with sweet treats that are low calorie.
It’s really important to clarify again that I am by no means an expert at any of this. I’m learning as I go along but if there are any people scared by the gym or looking for tips, I just wanna share my experiences.
Adulting is… supporting people who are brave enough to ask for help.