We all have our reasons for wanting to get our asses to the gym, drag ourselves outdoors for a run or attempting to beat your friend in a game of badminton but for now, I’ll tell you my reason for starting my fitness journey. After only a short time of allowing myself to get lazy I had managed to make myself feel low, sluggish and overall a bit of a mess. My face was looking inflamed, greasy and a lot rounder than I remember it to be (yes I noticed this when taking selfies), my productivity and my focus in work was going downhill (sorry Nick) and of course adding on the pounds never makes anyone feel that great.
I was beginning to feel less and less…’me’, and that’s no good for anyone.
I could bang on about how I feel podgy but when it comes down to it, the most valuable reason for getting into fitness and sticking to it, is so I can be healthy; both mentally and physically.
As I mentioned in my last blog, I’m going to be very open about my next 12 weeks with UP. I don’t want to be telling you how amazing I’ve felt while I change my diet, exercise the hell out of my body and say no to all of the sugary treats I will crave for days. I will, however, say how brilliant I’m feeling and when I do, I will bloody well mean it. I will also only stick to the relevant bits, so you may not hear about day five because…unlike the way social media tends to show everyone is having the most exciting day every single day, the likelihood is that nothing happened that day. So here goes my first week:
Day 1 – Death
It may not be the case for everyone, but I won’t lie and say I actually could not wait to get back into the gym and get a right good sweat on. We’re not all built this way; you may only be doing it purely for the health benefits, but I personally love the training side of things…or at least I think I did. Whether you’ve been an Olympic athlete, an avid gym-goer or you’ve never ventured into a gym before, your first time back training or training full stop, will be tough.
You’ll be excited, raring to go and maybe a little nervous but overall…you’ve prepared yourself for it as much as you think you could. Let’s just say you’ll never be prepared; day one is going to be hard, there’s no avoiding that. You’re probably not going to want to do it again; you may throw up mid-way through, and you may have taken the rest of the day to recover from said ordeal.
Another thing you may feel is disappointment; I’ve been there several times where I remember the gymnast days of being super strong and fearless…then there’s now. I’m now much more of a wimp, and of course, I’m not going to be the flippin’ machine that I used to be.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from day one is to remember, it’s only day one.
Day 2 – Don’t Like Running
Another example of the above is when I try and go for a run. A couple of years back I snapped my Achilles and let’s just say I can no longer go for a casual jog, as what I think in my head may be a casual jog, turns out to be a horrendous, burning, ‘never again will I attempt to run’ type of experience.
As much as I’d love to be able to say, I can run for miles and look incredible doing it…I can’t, and I don’t.
The running did, however, prove UP’s point of it not being the most effective way of burning fat, after an epic fail of a cardio session, it makes sense. That doesn’t, of course, mean you shouldn’t run but I sure as hell couldn’t run for the same amount of time I could doing an intense weight session.
Day 3 – Clean Eating At Alton Towers?
No, clean eating is not possible at Alton Towers. This was my first lesson in ‘food plan adherence’ i.e. there really is no excuse.
Day 3 of 84 (yes, 84 days of me talking you to death about my fitness journey) taught me that if I’m going to have a social life for the next 12 weeks, I need to be prepared to do weird things…like food prepping for a day at a theme park.
I didn’t food prep, but I thought ‘hey, it’s okay, there’ll be something healthy I can eat’…right? No, not right Sam. There is nothing healthy at Alton Towers; it’s all so incredibly bad for you, tasty, but bad. So day 3 meant I did not stick to my food plan and yes, I felt guilty for it. Of course, I enjoyed my fries and burger and savoured every last moment of it, but it also gave me a very quick reminder of the ‘sloth-like’ version of myself I was before I started this journey.
Then I told Mark, Mark is in charge of my nutrition and his response was ‘Why?’. Every excuse I came up with, his response would be ‘Why?’ and this would keep going until eventually, I felt stupid for the daft excuses coming out of my mouth. All he had to ask was ‘why?’ and I would literally be eating my own words. Well played Mark.
Day 6 – Fresh As A Daisy
This time last week I was an emotional wreck. Mentally and physically I was worn out, my skin was a mess, I was sluggish and generally a moody little Sam. Less than a week later of pulling myself together, eating well, drinking water and getting my ass to the gym…day six started with a smile.
Day 7 – Body Fat
Day 7, well first of all the sun was belting out the rays, so I probably could have sweat off a few pounds just by sitting in the office…a delightful sight I know, but we’ve all been there. Every week, for the next 12 weeks I will walk the walk and allow the fat on my body to be pinched and pulled to measure how I’m getting on and whether the training and nutrition are working for me.
Well, it’s working, that’s for sure. The benefit of having a real professional track your progress, monitor your food and adapt your training to suit your goals is exactly all of that. Every detail is thought about, so day 7 showed me that I’m already losing body fat from my face (double chin can do one), stomach and the grand old lump I would call my arse is wobbling a little less…so physically, I’m on the up (or down) depending on which way you look at it.
Until next time.
PR & Content Manager at Ultimate Performance.