Body Strong, Fit Habit – why this old dog needs to learn a new trick

So I have embarked on a fantastic experiment that I am convinced will fundamentally change the way I live. And if that’s not a dramatic enough start, I don’t know what is. I am taking on a new habit, if you willl. The Fit Habit, I call it fondly.

For too long, I have neglected fitness and there are several reasons for it.

1. Fitness isn’t a priority for me. Read a book or work out ? Book. Watch TV or work out? Watch TV. Cook a massive meal or work out? Cook!

2. I don’t entirely hate my body. Most of the time I like the way it looks.

3. The gym is a shallow and scary place. Personal trainers are mean and expensive.

4. If I feel particularly fat, I can do a few days of eating less or a bit of working out / running and hey presto I’m okay again. So why bother with anything more?

5. Seriously who has the time? Lunch time? Yeah right I’m going to shower and do my hair and makeup routine again. Evenings? I never had stable work hours. Plus why does that studio keep canceling zumba class?!

But I have come to realize that these are not much more than excuses I have made up for something that genuinely scares me. Fitness is a scary goal; getting fit is a daunting task. In fact it seems unsurmountable for some of us who are juggling our careers, our kitchens, our love lives (or lack thereof). Something’s gotta give and in my case it has been fitness.

And I am paying a price. I am now heavier than I have ever been and at 32 years of age, there are more than enough occasions where I feel less than sexy.

So why do I want to get fit?

1. I am tired of “feeling fat”. I am tired of feeling tired. There are some days when I can hike up macchupichhu but there are many others where a walk wears me out. I don’t want to be afraid of being tired and not venture out to do things cause I’m not fit enough!

2. Osteoporosis. The sooner I start taking care of my bones, the lower my chances are of getting this nasty disease in my latter years. How do you care for your bones. You pick up some weights!

3. Getting healthier inside-out – more lean muscle mass, better circulation a d a jump started metabolic rate – is good for me. Once I get to this body ideal, the calories will stay away from my butt and my waist of their own accord.

And what have I done to move towards this body ideal? Well, ten weeks into this program I feel more comfortable writing this than I would have one week in. I have joined a bootcamp style training program that entails working out six days a week at 630 am. It is called bikinifit. I do cross-fit style strength workouts, HIITs, bodyweight training, yoga and boxing. And if you don’t know what half of those mean, neither did I.

I have gone from someone who didn’t work out at all to someone is constantly advancing up weights in deadlifts and thrusters and kettle bell swings. I installed a monkey bar in my apartment and this week I started doing pull ups. Fucking pull ups!

Have I lost the weight? Not really – barely one or two kilos. And that’s a bit discouraging, if I am being completely honest with myself. But then I think – this is what happens as we get older, it gets harder to shake the real weight off. After all, I can’t expect to shake off two decades of laziness within ten weeks, can I ? I should be grateful that I am seeing real results – real strength, real muscle, a more slender face, a sexy back…

The bigger change is going from someone who woke up at 8 am, as late as she could manage and still get to work on time, to someone who gets a workout in by 730 and still has 30 minutes to do a load of laundry or take out the recycling or at the very least plan a nice work outfit. I wake up sans alarm at 550 am. That’s an achievement in itself. As the popular meme goes, “a hour’s workout 4% of your day, no excuses!”

The program ended this week but I have already signed up for the next round – thirteen weeks, all the way through to Christmas. And staying true to my fashion-loving self, I have also ordered loads of cute winter-ready sportswear. Working out everyday means you need an extensive workout wardrobe! I also own two pretty cute pairs of asics shoes now because these wods have highlighted my inherent underpronation issues and the need for arch support.

And speaking of support, Ike has been very encouraging of my new project – he makes me a protein smoothie every morning as a reward for my hard work. It is the perfect post workout treat!

I read somewhere that the three traits of happy people are that they 1. Make their bed every morning 2. Cook their meals and 3. Work out regularly. I can now say that I do all three. Am I happier because of this? Well, I am happier in general so make of that what you will.

Anywho the point I am trying to make through this post is an earnest one. If you are scared of the journey towards a new, fitter you, know that you are not alone and that it is not a futile pursuit. Find a program or a community that works for you and make time for fitness in your life. Ten weeks in, I believe I have successfully turned this regimen into a “fithabit” (what’s that they say about doing some x number times to make it a habit?) If I can do it, anyone can!


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