Long hours at work, unhealthy eating and drinking, downtime spent playing games on the phone or watching TV - that was my life, I thought it was normal, I thought that's all I had to look forward to, and I wondered why I needed good coffee to get me started every morning? I had all the excuses in the world, I was a grandmother, I was a foster carer, I had a high pressured job working long hours.
I had not really exercised for more than 30 years. Yes, I had tried things before. I joined a gym once, paid for a year and went three times. Once every couple of years I would tell myself this was it, I would go shopping for healthy food, walk for an hour or do some fitness dvd then not be able to walk for two days.
I'm not sure what made me try again. My daughter was just about to start her second 12 week TT challenge after her second child and somehow managed to convince me to join her.
I had followed her progress, seen her before and after photos, but still thought it was something for the young or the fit, and remember I still thought I had all those excuses. I remember that first night, we were still in warm up stage, doing squats and all I could think was "what have I done, this is too hard, and I could be at home where it is warm." At the end of the session I was exhausted, by the time I woke up the next morning I was hooked.
I felt sore but felt like I had achieved something. After only a couple of weeks I noticed the change in my body shape and every day I felt better than the day before.
I have now completed my second 12 week challenge and I am still hooked!!
What do I love:
- I am now one of those people who WANT to exercise, I am not dragging myself out there, I am looking for opportunities to get out there
- Coming home from work early and doing a training session
- Push ups on kitchen bench while waiting for kettle to boil; yes I still drink coffee so this means lots of push ups! I also do squats in the lift at work which can be embarrassing with others in the lift!
- Buying new clothes - in the past 12 weeks I have had replaced most of my wardrobe and am looking forward to my summer body
But mostly I cannot believe how much I want to exercise now, its part of my life. Yes I understand the health benefits of my new life but to me it's now part of my mental health too, riding bikes, taking kids to the park, I was even showing off at the park on the monkey bars, something I have never been able to do EVER.
What I don't like:
- When life is busy and I just can't get out there as much as I want, yes 15 mins or so is good, but I want more!
What am I looking forward to:
- I have always believed that I was a positive influence on my children and grandchildren by showing them that working hard and being a good person towards others was enough but now I know that looking after yourself and having a healthy lifestyle is a gift that I now have and I want others to have too.
This is my way of life now. My original goal was to get through a 12 week challenge, I did that. My next goal was to do a 50km (31miles) walk, I did that. I now have goals to achieve that have been on my bucket list for many years like run a marathon the whole way or walk the Kokoda Trail, these things are suddenly possible.
Life is not about the final prize, it's about enjoying the journey!