No More Excuses!
I, like most women, put on a little weight after the birth of my babies (I have 3 and my ‘little’ weight was around a stone with each of them!) that I assumed would just eventually disappear by itself. I always had a reason why I didn’t have time to fit exercise in to my life…too busy, too tired, not feeling well, can’t afford to join a gym/go to classes, no babysitter…you name it, I’ve used it. I worked from home as a childminder and it was all too easy to snack all day then eat a big dinner plus the children’s leftovers in the evening so this weight didn’t disappear. I started most January’s intending to go on a diet, but when I hadn’t lost 7lb in 48 hours I gave up! After a family bereavement I was diagnosed with depression and given medication. Eventually I came to realise that I suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and my symptoms would arrive promptly in Sept/Oct and disappear in April as the daylight hours increased. Medication and Vitamin D kept me sane during the hardest times.
It was when my daughter (the middle baby) was 13 and announced she wanted to give up her dance classes and running club that things changed for me. I was super conscious of having this impressionable teenage girl watching and learning from me and she slapped me in the face with that when I asked her what she was replacing it with because being active was important. Her reply was ‘a look’ and a very withering ‘is it…says who?’ Out of the mouths of babes and all that….
At that point I realised I had to find something that I could do with her to set the example myself. We joined a class that we both enjoyed, during my first session I managed less than 20 minutes before I had to take a rest and I genuinely wondered if I’d make it through the whole hour alive, but I kept the smile plastered on to my face and soldiered on, determined not to let my daughter see me give up easily. We continued to go once a week for 3 months until the instructor was forced to retire due to injury. Over that time I became a little fitter, although still struggled with the co-ordination most of the time. I’ve never been particularly elegant or graceful so I must have looked a right wally at times.
Wanting to continue the example I was setting, when the classes stopped and I was unable to find anymore locally, I started using the gym 2-3 times a week. It quickly became a habit that made me feel better and at the start of 2015 rather than go on another diet, I implemented 4 new rules into my life:
* Drink more water (I bought bottles with times on the side to help with this)
* Exercise at least 3 times each week
* Never go more than 3 days without exercising
*Never miss Monday (this proved to be the best rule as it set me up mentally)
With these simple rules my mentality changed and I naturally wanted to fuel myself in better ways, so without ever going on a diet or strict plan I started monitoring what I ate with an app on my phone, logging everything and learning which food contained carbs, protein, fats etc. By then of course noticeable changes were happening and over the next 18 months I got back to the pre-children weight (the oldest baby by now was 17!) and the SAD symptoms were diminished to almost none (no more medication needed). I realised that I was not alone, almost every woman automatically puts herself lower down the priority list when she has a family and many struggle to find their way back to the top.
That was when I first started thinking about becoming a trainer myself. I looked into courses several times but the old Helen crept back in and I never signed up for them. I kept asking myself who I thought I was, why would people listen to me? I still missed the Piloxing class so I bought a DVD from Ebay which was only playable on my computer due to the region coding. I started trying to do it occasionally but with limited space in my bedroom and eyesight that has never been great, I’m not sure I was all that successful! It did get me thinking though, that there had always been at least 15 people in those classes, so if I missed it, maybe others did too? I happened to have a look on the Piloxing website over Christmas 2016 and saw there was an instructor course running in January 2017 in Southampton. Having always believed in fate, I decided this was a sign and I should become an instructor in the class that had started the changes for me. I completed the course, took out insurance, found some local halls to use and my first class opened on February 28th. A few weeks later 2 more followed.
It was this new found passion for sharing my love of these classes that led me into taking courses in Sport and Exercise Nutrition and gaining my Personal Training qualifications. I now have an Advanced Diploma in Sports and Exercise Nutrition, a Level 2 Fitness Instructor certificate and Level 3 Personal Training certificate as well as being a licensed Puloxing instructor and white rank TRX instructor. On top of that I am fully insured and first aid trained. I continue to teach my Piloxing classes several times a week and look forward to expanding the sorts of class I offer.
I initially continued working part time in an admin job while I started building my business, but at the end of 2017 I left that to focus full time on my own business. I am very lucky that I have a supportive family around me to help, I don’t think I’d have managed otherwise. The clients I have been working with so far have all hit their 12 week goals with me, which I am incredibly proud of.
My personal goals for the coming months are naturally to grow my business and help lots of other ladies hit their own health and fitness goals, but I am also going to set myself some fitness goals for the coming year. I have never been able to do even a single pull up…women are naturally less able to do these so it takes a lot of work and training for most of us. One of my gym goals is to be able to do a pull up…just 1 will be fine. I have a couple of development courses I’d like to attend too…TRX RIP training and kettlebell instructing particularly. You can keep up with how I get on by following me on my social media pages. I try to post different things on each so you won’t get lots of repeats of the same stuff.
Fingers crossed for a healthy, happy and all round successful 2018.