Exercise has been mostly missing from my life for as long as I can remember. My sister was the sporty one whilst I was the academic one. Whilst she was competing at numerous sports I could usually be found on the sidelines with my face buried in a book. I didn't have an ounce of fat on me though, I was a skinny little thing and stayed this way til I went to Uni and didn't have my Mum making sure I ate well. I managed to avoid most exercise until I realised I really needed to do something about my expanding waistline.
In 2007 I joined my local ladies only gym. It's independent but works in the same way as Curves or LadyPace. You can find detailed information as to how it works on the Curves website. Briefly it is a 30 minute circuit using resistance machines. You do as many repetitions as you can in 30 seconds before moving onto a recovery station for a further 30 seconds before moving onto the next piece of equipment and so on. You aim to maintain your target heart rate for the duration of the workout and in doing so burn more fat than a conventional work out. They claim that one 30 minute circuit is the equivalent of slogging it out at the gym for 1.5 hours. I don't know if this is true but I can vouch for the fact that it definitely works! In six months I managed to shift a total of 20lbs and just over 20" - not bad hey?! This included losing 1" from my neck - I had no idea I even had an inch to lose there.
Unfortunately I injured my knee whilst out walking and had lost my motivation by the time I recovered. I ended up spending more time exercising my mouth chatting to friends than getting on and working out. It all went downhill for me from there. I joined a conventional gym so I could go swimming every morning and this gave me the boost I needed. I became obsessed, I would swim before work and then go back in the evening to do a class or two and some cardio. I even went some lunch times too. I was overdoing it and completely plateaued. I didn't lose any weight or inches in the whole 6 months I kept up this routine. Not once in this whole obsession did I ever enjoy going to the gym. I didn't once get that buzz people talk about and it didn't get any easier for me.
I got fed up and quit which brings me to where I am today, zero fitness but ready for a challenge. Two weeks ago I started walking and have tried to fit in an hour or so most days. A week ago I started the couch to 5k and am replacing alternate days with 'running' On Wednesday I rejoined the ladies only gym which will replace most of the evening walks. I will not get obsessed. I will not give up. 2012 is the year that I get to my target weight and make exercise part of my daily routine.