We all have those days where we think we are the real life Bridget Jones – out of shape, overweight, a bit scatty and basically a ‘bottle-a-night’ functioning alcoholic – thinking at some point I’ll be a driven, disciplined adult with her life in order…and a toned derriere.
Well, February 2016 I realised it had gone too far when feeling like Bridget Jones was a damn good day. I looked more like I ATE Bridget and my discipline was only one trip to the drive-through on my way home from work (this is not a comment for humour…there are 3 McDonalds between work and home and no witnesses).
There were loads of reasons (excuses) I could justify for getting into bad shape, but at the end (and start) of the day I couldn’t put down the fork (or the wine glass) and didn’t pick up the trainers.
The Trip of a Lifetime
My moment of clarity was on the trip of a lifetime. I wanted to travel to Australia for as long as I can remember (thank you Home & Away) and on December 15, I booked it, packed it and flew off.
I got my PADI (Scuba Diving Licence) a good few years ago, so the Barrier Reef was up there on my bucket list.
“I was there, in Cairns, I could smell the salt water, so close, just get on the boat, so close but the fear of putting on a wetsuit, or the fear of them not having a wetsuit that would fit, or even being mistakingly harpooned in said wetsuit…STOPPED ME!
I didn’t dive the barrier reef, I didn’t surf, I didn’t paddle board, I didn’t ride a horse on the shore with my hair blowing in the wind (animal cruelty also came into consideration here) and inside I was crushed. I like to believe I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie at heart, but something as crazy as my weight had literally grounded me. All the way to the other side of the world and the muffin top won the battle.
So instead of swimming with the fishes – I ate them.
Every fish in the damn ocean, to cover up how truly gutted I was with myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% a foodie and enjoyed every moment…but why shouldn’t I have both? The answer is ‘I SHOULD!’
Time to Get In Shape
Determined to get back in shape (by back in shape I mean actually finally get IN shape – I was born with a muffin-top, who am I kidding?) I researched everything Manchester had to offer. I found UP and their “Results not Promises” slogan matched with ridiculous before and after pictures and googling the hell outta #beattheBS with Nick Mitchell. Where I learned that I won’t turn into the Hulk from weightlifting as “news flash ladies” you apparently need testosterone for that.
The UP family had me hooked, and within the first couple of weeks of training, they had me really believing I could do it. I could get into the best shape of my life. I could make their wall. This is it!
Staying the Transformation Course
I was a robot client for five months. I didn’t cheat with even a morsel of “naughty” food. I didn’t drink. I didn’t miss a training session – Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 am (I know! But I had to fit it in before work, and it really kicked off my day) with ‘Evil Steve’ and Strongman on a Saturday, where all UP clients can take part in a group session.
This has been a vital part of my progress. I’ve made some amazing friends here who know the struggle is real – I have been inspired, motivated and kicked up the arse when needed by them. (Shout out to Stevie C Survivors)
I felt strong, focused and determined. For the first time in my life, I realised reaching my goal was nothing more than a waiting game. I don’t need to do anything more than what I am doing right now, and as each day passed I got stronger, more toned, the scales were going down, and my chins were dropping to single digits. I was awake, I mean really awake and not just the “my eyes are open, and I’m going through the motions of my day until I get back home and can flop on the sofa).
“I was alert, empowered…I felt amazing!”
Glastonbury my face in food
Then along came Glastonbury! Five days off. I told myself, “don’t worry about it, make better decisions and all will be well.”
And I did, I made better decisions and didn’t put weight on… boom!
Well, not quite. Then came “I’m on hols next week, so a glass of fizz won’t hurt.”
Then. “It’s my birthday, so a little celebration is allowed.” Then “I’m back on holiday, so I’ll be strict when I get back.”
Then came the lies – “How’s your week been Kel? Food good?”
Of course Steve. However, I may have had more of my pecan nut allowance than normal, and I’m a little low on water. AKA my pecans were cashews, cashews that came with the Chinese and my lack of water is because there was physically no more room for liquid after all the prosecco.
He knew! I knew he knew; he knew that I knew that he knew – oh my god WE ALL KNEW! I had become a booze guzzling fiend who attacked food like the walking dead.
Surprising to me I wasn’t putting weight on (OK, OK not much weight) because I was still training four times a week (who knew if you train hard you can treat yourself and maintain(ish)?). But I had to remind myself – “I’m not here to maintain, this isn’t the goal ‘achieved’. I don’t see my picture on the wall, and I can certainly still see muffin top (which is now growing).
Falling Off the Wagon
Sometimes there are going to be times when you fall off the wagon (and down the hill and off the cliff) but you have to pick yourself up. Or if needed, get yourself lifted off the floor by the scruff of your neck by someone who is just as invested in your success as you are (thanks Steve for all the lifting this summer, I bet it’s been quite a work out).
I have learned so much more than expected. I started this process thinking all I was after was to fit into skinny jeans and hopefully one day not be seen when I turned sideways.
Strength, energy, and confidence are now what this ‘journey’ has become (I used to hate that word, journey. I thought how corny, you’re on a diet, get over yourself – “a sodding journey”…behave). But the simple fact is – it’s true. It’s a journey in every way, physically, emotionally and self-discovery (bear with me, I promise I’ve not gone all hippy dippy on you).
I’ve found that the weights I thought I would never be able to lift, I actually smashed through and now they are my warm-ups. I realised that not only can I reach my goal but that I deserve to. I deserve to be at my best and achieve all of my goals – I DESERVE IT (repeat this, so you don’t forget).
So this brings me to today. Too far from the summer to blame those balmy nights of booze and getting scarily close for the excuses to be justified by Christmas.
But six weeks is six weeks and the difference I felt from day one to 6 weeks was phenomenal, so I now have the chance to feel that again before the pigs in blankets, mulled wine and CHEESE…oh god the cheese!
So, as with anything that’s worth it in life – I have to refocus, get back on track and dig a little deeper to achieve my goal.
I have finally digested Bridget – now I just feel like her (progress).
I feel more positive, and I’m feeling stronger – not quite at said ‘goal’. In fact, I’m only half way. So now I am going to track my progress week by week to help keep me focused, take me through the festive season and out the other side.
I will be at goal by the time Glastonbury comes back around…then I can ‘maintain’, guilt free, as life should be.
I will make that wall!
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