For those of you who don't know me, I'm one of the laziest people to walk this planet. My favourite place to be is my bed and I find it extremely hard to drag myself out of it during the day. However as some of you may know I'm leaving to go travelling for a month on Tuesday and faced with the knowledge that I will be in my bikini in public I contemplated getting in shape. Now first let's get a few things straight, I am not fat, I don't think I'm fat and I never have been fat I have a fairly normal figure, under average height (5ft 1) and I'm a size 8-10. My goal was to tone my body up a bit (I was starting to get a few rolls that I wasn't happy with) and just become generally a bit fitter. I was contacted by Money Supermarket and asked if I'd like to test out a month's membership at a local gym as part as their 'Gym for the Win' campaign, and this gave me he extra motivation I needed to properly get in shape.
This summer I have been doing a placement at my Uni for some experience so I've been living in Nottingham and there are a fair few gyms close to me. When I go to the gym the most vital element for me is that there is a swimming pool and it offers classes, some people can spend hours on a cross trainer or a treadmill but I am not one of those people. I decided on the Lenton Centre which is a short 5 minute walk away, has a small swimming pool, a gym and offers a few classes.
It offers student deals throughout the year therefore is a very reasonable price, it is very much a local gym for a small community (mainly students) and so doesn't have the best facilities but I found they were good enough for me. The pool was open three hours a day, morning, afternoon and evening; obviously because I was working 9-5 I would go in the evening. I went swimming 2-3 times a week for a month and absolutely loved it. I usually find exercise such a chore but for me swimming is very enjoyable. The pool was usually quiet and was split into three lanes; I would go into the medium lane at a steady pace and swim for about an hour. When I was younger I used to swim a lot, however the cost and time eventually got in the way so I don't swim as much as I used to, although it means I am fairly competent when it comes to the strokes.
The first week I swam moderately paced breast stroke with a length of front crawl every 4 lengths since this was the most front crawl I could manage. I could feel myself getting fitter and more toned after each week and by the end I was able to swim a decent paced front crawl for the whole duration of the swim. This for me was a big achievement and one of the goals I had set myself at the beginning. While I was there I didn't use the actual gym once even though I had a membership to both the pool and the gym which made me realise that if I didn't go to the gym then I never will. However I have been inspired to do more exercise and when I come back to Uni after travelling I will definitely be getting a membership to a gym again. I would have extended my membership at the Lenton Centre however I only had 2 weeks left after it ran out and the minimum they offer is a month. Instead I decided to look up some videos on YouTube that I could do at home I found a channel called fitness blender which offer videos of different lengths and content.
When I first started doing exercise it was a massive effort to motivate myself to treck the five minutes to the gym after a day of work, fortunately it did get easier and hopefully now I will stick at it. As well as exercise I resolved to eat healthy as if you want to change your body the two go hand in hand. I started taking a salad and some fruit for lunch and decreased the amount of carbs I had with my dinner, I also tried my best to stop snacking. I endeavoured to eat as well as I could during the week but at the weekend I would eat what I wanted mainly as I spent a few weekends visiting friends and it would be rude to turn down the food they had cooked for me. Anyway you have to allow yourself a few treats as otherwise you will just be miserable. I stopped getting the bus to uni and started walking the half an hour instead.
So have I noticed a transformation over a month and a half of doing this?
The answer is yes, although I have seen no difference on the scales I can see a change in how I look. My legs have become slimmer and my whole body has become more toned. My jeans no longer feel tight around my waist and I feel so much better with myself. I now feel confident to wear my bikini on holiday; I have even bought a few crop tops!
As I have said I would like to carry on this lifestyle when I get back from travelling. However while I'm out there I'm going to eat what I want when I want. While I have been on this "diet" and I use the term loosely I found myself looking up pictures of celebrities in bikinis and longing to look like them. This is so easy to get obsessed with and I had to give myself a good shake to stop fixating on perfectly toned stomachs. I realised that they are not real life, real life is the boyfriend who loves me and my little layer of fat that I have. I am set on to loving my body from now on, which I know is easier said than done but I do know that when I was obsessing about being skinnier I wasn't happy and that kind of defeats the point. The "diet" will continue but so I can be fit and healthy not "skinny"
I would like to say thank you to Money Supermarket for funding my month at the gym and for helping me discover that I don't hate all exercise.
Lots of Love