Lifestyle

My Fitness Journey (aka how I got fit with minimal effort)

Hello lovely people!

Today I’m going to be talking about fitness! Us bloggers don’t spend all our time writing you know. I recently posted some progress pics over on my Instagram, and received lots of positive feedback from followers, so I thought I would explain how I went from couch potato to working out up to 4 times a week.

At the start of my third term at university I decided it was time to make positive changes in my life. I’d recently made the switch from part catered to completely self catered, meaning I had much more choice over what I ate and when I ate it. This meant two things; I could eat healthier and fit working out into my life more easily. Combined with my new-found need to become the powerful and successful woman I’d always dreamed of being after a year of some pretty dark times, I was set to get my life together.

fitness

Exercise

My relationship with exercise throughout my life has been, at best, rocky. As I said in a post I made after climbing a mountain recently, when I was in school I absolutely detested PE. My friends and I often purposely tried to derail the lessons (honestly, I feel for whoever had to teach us) if we actually turned up at all. In Sixth Form I improved slightly, signing up to a local gym and going fairly regularly. However, the moment that A-Levels got more intense I gave up, which I still regret now. It’s proven by a whole bunch of science (said like the expert I definitely am) that exercise is linked to reductions in stress levels, mood improvement and better self esteem (source: Mental Health Foundation).

Fast forward to first year at uni. After two terms of a similar “I’ll do it later” attitude, I decided it was time to kick my ass and get to exercising. My college has a cardio gym which was downstairs in my old house (honestly I don’t know what my excuse was when I literally walked past it multiple times a day), and whilst it is pretty badly equipped there’s space for  circuits along with some treadmills and the like. I started going a couple of times a week, and had a pretty standard routine. 20 minutes interval running, followed by a Kayla Itsines circuit (which I somehow found free online).

What helped was that a lot of my friends were joining me on this health kick. Every other day, as much as we could depending upon our schedules, we were in the gym at 5pm. This was helpful for lots of reasons. Going at the same time each day meant that it became part of my daily routine, and felt as normal as going out to uni in the morning. Moreover, I had that added motivation of not only letting myself down, but letting my friends down if I didn’t go. And, after the workout we often ate together, which ticked off socialising!

Towards the end of term I even got into running. One day myself and a friend headed to the gym as usual only to find that the room was locked. We decided not to waste our efforts and went for a run around the racecourse. I was so shocked to find out that I actually enjoyed the run, after having said for years that me and running just doesn’t work. Now I actively look forward to my cardio sessions, who knew?

Diet

As the statistic goes, fitness is 80% nutrition (source: Very Well Fit). I wouldn’t say I ate badly before I started this fitness journey, but there was definitely a lot of carbs involved. I’m looking at you, holidays to France and college menus filled with potatoes.

Cooking for myself all the time made me learn that eating healthy is really not difficult. My main tactic was to do a big food shop once a week, and simply avoid buying the rubbish foods. I learned pretty quickly that if there were no biscuits in the cupboard or pizza in the freezer I definitely wasn’t going to make the effort to walk to Tesco to buy some. An added bonus is that healthy food really doesn’t have to be expensive. Bulk cooking curries or chillis and freezing them is much quicker and cheaper than having chicken nuggets every night.

I’m not saying I’ve given up on unhealthy foods completely. You can definitely still find me necking pints on a Friday night or joining in with pizza & films night with my friends, but it isn’t everyday. These things have become a treat rather than a regular occurence, meaning I actually appreciate them more than I did before too.

4 Months On

I’ve been following this pattern for four months now, to the point where it’s no longer a change for me but just part of my lifestyle. Working out every other day is now a habit, and I’m setting myself goals and changing my playlists/workout plans to keep it exciting. For example, in the last couple of weeks I’ve been aiming to get my personal best for running a kilometre down to below 7 minutes. Today I completely smashed that, hitting 6″52 on my 5km run. I’ve also been trying out some different circuits I found on Pinterest.

Diet-wise, I’ve just recently gone vegetarian. Two of my housemates are vegetarian, and after travelling with them and following the diet for a while on and off I wanted to take the plunge completely. I’ve been officially vegetarian for about three weeks, but I think I could count the amount of times I’ve eaten meat in the last two months on  one hand. My motivations aren’t really fitness based (post coming soon), but I think it’s having a positive effect on my health at the same time.

When I move back to Durham in September I’m going to be joining a gym near my house, and I’m very excited to finally be able to play around in a big gym again. I’m also thinking about joining my local Parkrun, because the course in Durham is in the racecourse right next to my old accommodation, and it’s one of my favourite places in the city. My college wife and I are even going to try out pole fitness, so I’ll keep you updated when I inevitably get injured trying to be sexy and failing as usual.

 

What about you? Do you do a sport, or like me, prefer other ways of keeping fit? Let me know in the comments.

-Megan, listening to the playlist “Your Favourite Coffeehouse”, because I’m too skint to actually go to a coffee shop and write.

24 thoughts on “My Fitness Journey (aka how I got fit with minimal effort)

  1. It sounds like we had very simialar PE lessons! I really hated them too and used to try to skip the classes for 3 whole years (poor teacher again). PE is seriously not sport though, (who ever needs to dodge a ball or run wall to wall between beeps?) It gives going to the gym such a bad rep lol. Your food pics look so delish! Well done on your achievements so far ♥

    Like

    1. Honestly when I was doing my GCSEs I was so bad for using studying as an excuse for skipping PE class aha. You’re right though, sport is all about finding your niche and PE doesn’t exactly help with that. Thank you lovely! x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This post was so inspiring. I’m sitting here with aching hamstrings just from working in the garden yesterday. Lame! I have to commit to an ongoing work-out schedule and let nothing get in my way. Thanks for the encouragement!
    Joan
    kindness-compassion-and-coaching.com

    Like

  3. This is sooo relatable. At first I thought the exercising part was going to be hard but once I go into the rhythm, it wasnt too bad. I’d be great if you did a post about what workouts and recipes you eat during this journey x

    Like

  4. Wow! What an awesome achievement, you can really see a difference! Great work! I’m also a vegetarian and enjoy exercise, mainly swimming, walking and yoga. It’s alway good to have a treat occasionally, yay for pizza & film nights! Thanks for sharing, fantastic post 💖 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    Like

  5. Love the blog and yes, I love exercise but I don’t get the chance to do it as much as I did! I like some of the ideas you’ve shared here though might try and coerce some friends to the gym with me x

    Like

  6. Wow this is quite inspirational! Especially for someone like me who’s trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle recently. I love food SO much so the eating healthy part is what’s going to get me but I guess everything in moderation eh? I really just want to get more active again because I always used to be active, at the gym and on the go. I love Yoga and have been doing it almost every day for a year or so now so I’m currently working towards higher intensity Yoga practices 🙂

    Like

    1. Aha thank you, glad to hear it! Eating is absolutely the hardest bit, cake is just too good. Go for it! I’ve wanted to get into yoga for a while but just haven’t kicked myself into it, I might take some classes in the new term

      Like

  7. Congratulations on making such a change at such a young age. I have been in and out of running over the years (mostly out) but am back in the game at the moment. Having got back into a health kick and losing a little weight I started running again. I have never been very good at it but I was seeing the difference and making progress. This is a very inspirational story, keep up the great work!

    Amy
    http://www.missamyrach.com

    Like

Leave a Reply to ellieslondon Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s