I’ve been a member at my closest Pure Gym for around 3 years now and my attendance is best described as ‘on and off’. The low monthly fee often makes me feel like it’s okay if I miss a trip here and there. Then that one missed trip turns in to a missed week, then a missed month and sometimes I’ll go up to two months without even looking at my gym kit.
My complacent attitude to keeping fit has come to bite me in my muffin top recently though, and for the first time in my entire life I’ve now got clothes which no longer fit. It sounds ridiculous, but I swear I’ve been the same size since I was about 16. Skip 14 years later and despite still looking around 16, my now 30 year old metabolism is becoming my newly acquired enemy. Trying on a few garments from this time last year and finding that I couldn’t get them past my thigh led to the exclamation ‘SHIT JUST GOT REAL’. In the past I’ve always found that clothing still fit, but didn’t suit my shape. It’s always been my shape which has changed, not my weight.
Whilst a few people have commented that they cannot tell that I’ve put on around 2 inches, this doesn’t detract from the issue. I know that these clothes don’t fit, so I’m forever wearing loose fit clothing which does fit. That’s the beauty of a collection of tunics. I simply refuse to replace much loved summer clothing because I’ve been neglecting any kind of work out routine and can’t say no to eating a full packet of Haribo Balla Balla (aka, the most delicious sweets in the world).
With my sole motivation being to make my clothing fit, I’ve had to devise new ways to up my fitness game and get in to the zone to shed a few inches and sort this newly acquired layer of pudge out.
1 – The Starting Point:
Working at the same HQ as MyProtein gives me the little luxury of not only a discount on site, but an office full of people who know their shit. The first thing I did was place an order of some products which I can use to replace other food I often crave. I eat endless amounts of noodles, and these come in at around 280cals a pack (hey, I live alone and have minimal time for food prep). Instead of these I’m going for the MyProtein Spaghetti, which comes in at 7 calories a pack. I don’t eat these alone, but instead pop on some stir fry sauce and pile on the veg. The consistency of them is a little weird at first, but they really remind me of glass noodles that you get in Thai salads. I’m going to experiment with different ways to eat these, but for now this is a good daily switch for me. I also bought some Protein Puffs, which are replacing my daily packet of crisps. As the protein content is high and carbs are reasonably low, these are an awesome replacement – coming in at 100 calories a packet. I’ve also restocked my Impact Whey for after work outs. Having a high protein diet is not only good for building muscle and muscle repair, but your metabolism also has to work harder to digest the food, which speeds it up in the long run.
2 – The At Home Equipment
The one thing which puts me off the gym the most, is that I don’t get in from work until 7pm. The gym is about 20minutes from my house, meaning that even a half an hour work out can pile on 2+hours to my day. Being out of the house from 7am makes for a super long day if I include a gym visit. This is where I needed an at home solution. Last year I made great use of my bike and regularly rode it around one of the many greenways near my house, or the two miles uphill to my parents house to collect my post. This year though? Well, the days its not rained we’ve had blistering heat, making bike riding outdoors a pain in the ass. Whilst browsing eBay for an actual exercise bike, I found this rather nifty clamp so you can use your pushbike indoors. It raises the back wheel up meaning the bike remains static when you’re pedaling. It cost around £50. which isn’t all that cheap, but I’ve been on it every day since I got it for at least 20 minutes, so I’ve more than made my money back. If I added up how much petrol it would have cost to go to the gym for all those days, we’re probably pushing close to that amount! I also have a pull up bar which goes above your door frame. I’m not too great at that, but it’s better than not trying at all! (You can find a similar bike exercise stand here)
3 – Joining A New Exercise Class
One of my friends kept posting about going to Caveman classes all over social media, and straight away I was intrigued. It seemed really scary at first, as there’s a lot of tyre flipping, weight work and burpees involved, but I’ve been 4 times now and just signed up for a round of 10 classes. As it’s in circuits, I’m finding myself becoming competitive with… myself. Each time I leave I’ve been thinking about the amount of weight I’m going to go for on the Deadlift next, or how many squats I’m going to manage with a 20kg weight above my head. I think I’m hooked. Apparently it can take as little as 8 sessions to start seeing the rewards of all the hard work (and it is bloody hard work I tell you!), so I’ve taken a ‘before’ picture so I can actually monitor my progress.
4 – Buying New Work Out Clothing
Nothing seems to motivate me more than buying new clothes for the gym. A little treasure I’ve found for workout clothing is Matalan! Their tops are PERFECT for what I want. I picked up one a while ago which is a T Shirt style, with a racer back, in a really nice and light material. I went in after a new one for Caveman training and found the perfect style which incorporates a layer underneath a floaty top part. This is really good for when I’m a little concerned about my pot belly sticking out! And the underneath layer can be tucked in to my leggings to provide maximum coverage when doing all those burpees and planks!
5 – Setting An Actual Goal
Well this one is just a no-brainer really. I’ve not had a reason to really go to the gym or lose a bit of weight before, but now I have a goal which is to fit in to all my summer clothes from last year, I can really concentrate on the ‘prize’ – which is saving a load of money by not having to restock my wardrobe! I’m not measuring or weighing myself though, I’m just trying to get in to my goal clothes once and week and monitoring my progress by how far I can get my floral playsuit up my thighs, or by how many buttons I can do up on my shirt dress. I’m keeping it simple so it doesn’t take over my life.
So, in a few weeks I’ll hopefully be in a good place to post this ‘before’ and ‘after’ picture… If I stay motivated and see some kind of improvement that is! If all else fails, it’s just nice to get in to something again which is making me look forward to an activity outside of work. It sounds so sad, but when 80% of your days are in an office, having something more regular to do outside of work with a pal or two is always a good idea. Especially when it’s not my usual activity of just eating food!