One of the things I’ve learnt on my journey is that fitness, like so many other things, is about getting a foot in the door. It’s really tough to get into the swing of things until you find that one activity that you actually enjoy doing.
When you find something you love you’ll stick at it, then you’ll start to get good at it and to see results. Then you’ll enter the cycle of results inspiring further work leading to more results and things take off from there. You’ll get more and more obsessed by fitness and start to love working out and cooking healthy meals and learning about nutrition. You’ll spend your free time finding different classes to try and researching new recipes and the momentum you’ve created will gradually make it easier and easier for you to stick to your programme. It’s getting that first foot in the door that’s the hard part.
For me, the activity that helped me get my foot (or six inch heel) in the door was pole dancing. In school I would have done anything to get out of PE. I was tiny and really weak, and I’m pretty badly co-ordinated which meant I was terrible at team sports. I was also extremely shy so I avoided anything that I thought I’d be bad at in case I was right and it was embarrassing.
I first tried pole dancing the summer before my final year of university. Of course, I was hopeless at that for a long time too, but it was so much fun that I didn’t mind. I kept going back and built up some pretty impressive upper body and core strength without even realising it. In a few months I was able to lift my whole body up into an invert despite not actually consciously trying to get stronger.
Once I realised how much I liked being strong and how great exercising made me feel I joined a gym properly and now I train with my PT once a week. These days nothing makes me happier than lifting weights, doing hill sprints or cooking a new healthy dish!
It’s really important to remember that change is still a process and these things do taken time. Even after you find the thing you love doing the results will be gradual not instant, but believe me when I say that it gets so much easier from that point. My advice to anyone who’s been on fitness kicks before but didn’t stick to them is to keep at it – keep trying different things as you may not have found the one that’s going to work for you yet. It’s tough, but getting fit has honestly changed my life, and if anyone had told me how much better I’d feel as a result I would have done anything possible to make it happen sooner.
Good luck to everyone reading this, and if you ever need a motivational pep talk you can find me blogging about fitness and clean eating over here!