Liv - November 2015

NEWS | Opinion

The Uphill Struggle Personal trainer SAMBLAKEY on the highs and lows of starting a new fitness journey.

H ow many of us have wokenuponaMonday morning determined to change bad habits, get off our butts and lose weight? Let’s face it – few of us lie in bed thinking, “Today, I’mgoing to train for the Olympics.” The reality is, most of us are just doing what we can to look and feel good in that little black dress by Christmas. But waking up and deciding that you’re going to make progress today involves more than just a thought. There are no calories to be lost in prevarication and yet, no matter the exercise challenges we’ve set ourselves, half of us will have already talked ourselves out of them before leaving our beds. “I’ll start midweek.” “But Wednesday is Ladies’ Night!” “Free- flow champagne? Don’t mind if I do!” And the cycle repeats itself. Sound familiar? I took a client out on her first run last week. Through light exercise and a healthier diet, she’d already lost an impressive 30kg, or as I pointed out, “the equivalent of half a person”. (Yes, somany things sound better inmy head!) Seemingly unimpressed with our run, she later sent me a text saying, “I never run with scissors…actually, the last two words are unnecessary – I never run!”

In many ways, her statement honestly reflects many people’s experience of trying to get fit. What we know is going to be good for us can actually make us feel pretty miserable in practice. With a mountain of bad habits to break, starting a new way of life and changing our diets (goodbye crisps, chocolate and gratuitous glasses of vino) can seem an impossible task. In fact, all it takes is baby steps. Once you finally embark on that journey, you start to develop good habits and become addicted to them, in a positive way. It’s all about getting into the swing of things, changing your mindset. You become more active, because you know that rest days mean storing calories. You become inspired to run like the wind, to Zumba like you’re auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance , and to interval-train until your muscles cry, “Stop!” You enjoy group Pilates and yoga, or even rolling a tyre down an alleyway during CrossFit. Reaping the rewards will help to keep you going. Oh, the joy of fitting into smaller sizes and bikinis – minus the belly, of course. Like a phoenix, we rise from the ashes, glowing and transformed – and ever- so-slightly smug. We’re new women who’ve become more conscious of the food we put in our bodies, except at Christmas, on our

birthdays, and maybe Wednesdays… but that’s all right. If we do temporarily fall off the wagon, there’s always a huge tyre in some alleyway outside a gym just waiting to be picked up and rolled a dozen times! The important thing is to enjoy the process, find your balance and focus on your goal.

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