Thursday, 19 January 2017

My personal fitness progress

Overcoming fears.
One of my biggest fears has been putting myself out there. I have been happy to share my creativity on this blog because there is no right or wrong for style; everyone is entitled to their opinion and I’m confident enough to encounter criticism on my fashion without it phasing me.
It’s this whole writing and communicating my thoughts part that held me back. English, even though it’s my first language has never been my strong point. I’ve never excelled in creative writing or even basic grammar. I didn’t and still don’t click well with it, so I was really anxious to start writing posts, but the response I’ve had from you guys reading them has been extremely encouraging and I’m sure you can overlook the rustiness of my writing and understand what points I am trying to put across.

Releasing this set of images has been my 2nd biggest fear. We shot them about 4 months ago and you may look at them and think, what’s the big deal?
For someone that has consistently worked out for the past 3 years 3 times a week minimum without fail I was extremely disheartened by what I saw. I was expecting different results, I genuinely thought I’d have more definition; Instead I just saw chunky little legs, my usual skinny torso and a chubby face.
But again I need to remind myself that everyone has to start somewhere, the idea of ‘perfection’ doesn’t exist and is all fabricated by the media. So with that in mind, 4 months later I am posting this to have as a benchmark, things can only get better!
I'm still a fitness rookie and have many more mountains to move but for now let’s dive in to what I do know…

Why do I exercise?
So putting aside my appearance issues ( I need to practise what I preach every so often and re-read my Body Confidence write up)
I exercise for my health, I exercise for a better future. In my early 20’s there were no sirens flashing in order for me to think there was anything wrong with my lifestyle. I would eat irregular meals, skip breakfasts, binge eat junk and wouldn’t really go near vegetables or whole foods with a barge pole, my hair, nails, skin and body seemed healthy.
It was only 3 years ago when I lost weight through stress and anxiety (that’s a whole other post topic) I dropped my ‘baby fat’ rapidly. Looking back on those times it was an extremely unhealthy way to lose weight but it was all too much for me to handle.
I decided I wanted to turn things around for myself and not only feel good about my weight, feel fitter and healthier.
I invested in a personal trainer to show me the ropes. I was clueless about fitness and what exercises to do, I knew it was an area I needed schooling in. I cleaned up my diet, introduced a variety of exercises and training methods and overtime my silhouette changed from tubby to toned.
I instantly knew exercise was the key to life, (as cheesy as that sounds) Keeping healthy and fit felt imbedded into my everyday routine. Not to mention how much I enjoyed the results visually and internally. You feel fresh, revitalised and approach life with a can do attitude instead of a defeated/full of excuses lifestyle.

You are what you eat.
When you eat crap you feel like crap. What are you feeding your body? It’s essential to be fully aware of the foods we put in our bodies, I read this online and Chaka Clarke has hit the nail on the head entirely;
‘Healthy is a necessity for happiness, only when you are healthy can you be truly happy. Respect yourself, you have been given the gift of life, so why are you killing yourself?
‘’Cancer, obesity, diabetes, allergies, chronic illnesses and mental health issue etc are all exacerbated by eating and living unhealthy.
You are what you eat, natural healthy food is medicine.
If you go to the doctors complaining about having a headache, the doctor will say take an aspirin/ paracetamol and rest. Never really addressing the root cause of the problem. Lack of water, looking at the screen all day, not sleeping enough, poor diet, too much alcohol etc. Yet you didn’t get a headache for lack of aspirin…
Medicine is an industry as well as science. The human body is remarkable and is the only place we have to live. Our bodies are made up of skin, muscle, bones and organs. The organs are made off tissue and those tissues are made of cells. So in essence we are just millions of cells, but those cells die out every day and have to be replaced every day.
So how do we replace them? How do we build new cells?
Raw materials come from only one place, what we put in our mouths. If we put healthy nutritious food in our mouths we can make healthy cells.
If we put bad food in our bodies, then we have raw materials that will make inferior cells, or sick cells that make us sick. If you poison your body with toxins your body will become toxic and poisoned. You will endure illness as a result of your actions.’

Feeling a little more aware after reading that paragraph? Me too, it definitely struck a chord with my perception on food. My food policy is simple, if it come from the ground or a tree I’ll eat it, anything else no thank you. I refuse to eat a ready meal for a handful of reasons;
Where has it come from? Who made it? What is inside it? How many ingredients am I familiar with?
My mum has always made clean, wholesome, healthy meals from scratch so I literally freak when I’m presented with processed food. I need to know what I’m eating is fresh, natural and isn’t pumped with more chemicals then needs be.
Not to mention I’m extremely happy to sit and eat plain vegetables all day every day. I don’t eat based on my emotions, I like to eat to feel satisfied and energised, eating for nutrition not weight loss.

What is the end goal?
The goal is to be fit, healthy and flexible for life.
The goal is to be strong and less vulnerable to illness and injury.
The goal is to be better mentally and physically than yesterday.

A little food for thought.
And lastly, for those that have an opinion on what I show and how I dress. (Perfectly worded by Sam James)
Modesty is not the only way to be respected. I used to think I would never post ‘revealing’ pictures online because people would think I was a certain ‘kind’ of girl, it would make me less respectable.
That way of thinking was a bit of internalized misogyny, thinking the idea that girls who show off their bodies are ‘less’ then girls who cover up, but here’s the thing; someone choosing to show parts of themselves does not give anyone a free pass to throw judgment, demean them or think they don’t respect or value themselves.
I’m not saying this because I think people think this about me, I’m saying this for my old self who would think that about other girls or even my current self.
If you think less clothing = less respect, take a step back and think about why you believe in that.
If you think a post like this is an excuse for me to post pictures of my body, take a step back and think about why you believe in that.
Does it ever resonate with you that maybe someone being proud of their achievements, their hard work, their progress is a sign that they do respect themselves? That taking steps to change what they don’t feel secure about is a respectable choice to make? That sharing their journey takes a level of confidence that may have only been gained through acceptance of themselves?
I sat on this post for four months and only now am I willing to accept it. So before judgment is passed, please consider my reasons, respect my journey and learn with me.

Outfit – Bra/Nike Leggings/Nike Hoodie/Nike Trainers/Nike

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