365 days have passed since I rather rashly declared to the world that I would do some form of exercise or activity every day for the next year, and the time has come to reflect on everything that has happened during that process…
ok…not everything…I am not going through the whole year day by day…that would be pure craziness…
It’d also take me another year…and I have new and exciting things to do in the coming year!
No don’t ask me what…I don’t know yet…
Ok, I do know some things but I will come to those later (in my what next? post)
Firstly my year…
I had one aim:
To get fit enough to dance in a mask
To become sufficiently fit and healthy that I could dance as many dances as necessary without having to have breaks and without looking like I was only just keeping up!
I had one method by which I was going to do this:
I pledged to do at least 30 mins of exercise / activity every single day for the next 365 days. I decided to blog about it to keep myself accountable, and so that I would have a record of the year at the end!
Did I achieve what I set out to do…
In short yes I did, I exercised every day as stated, and I definitely became fit enough to dance in a mask .
Where weight loss wasn’t my primary focus, I was hoping for it as a side effect, after all it was pretty apparent that I wasn’t going to achieve my goal without becoming lighter…
To that end I have lost a grand total of:
2 stone 9.3 lbs
(equivalent to: 37.3 lbs or 19.9 kg)
I have to say that this was not achieved through exercise alone, about 2 weeks into my challenge, it became obvious to me that I wasn’t going to see the positive change I wanted without sorting out my eating habits! I needed to do this to really see a healthier fitter me!
So a faced the fact that I was still comfort eating like crazy, and that I had a huge sugar dependency, and I cut it all out! It sounds easy put like that, but it wasn’t easy at first…however, the longer I ate healthy for, the less I wanted to eat badly.
The most important thing about this overhaul was the fact that I was not on a diet, and I am not on a diet now. I track what I eat and keep an eye on the calories and macros, but only in a vague way to make sure I am paying attention. I deny myself nothing (within reason) I just make sure that I am making conscious eating choices. I make healthy choices 80 (ish)% of the time, and if I want a chocolate or a biscuit, I just have to make sure I know why I want it.
Gone are the days of eating because I am sad or cross or in the car.
Most of the time I cook real food from scratch and avoid processed sugar. simple as that! More or less… there is a lot of stuff about artificial sweeteners and insulin spikes and such too but I will tell you all about that another day, if you want to know…
So…in a year of exercise and eating healthily, I have lost weight and got fitter…to be honest these are the expected results and I would have been cross if I hadn’t!
What I wasn’t bargaining for was the unexpected outcomes and things I have learned this year:
1) I wasn’t expecting anyone to follow my blog…let alone people who would provide me with such amazing advice and support that I now consider them to be friends albeit ones who are separated from me by oceans (at most) and half the country (at least) I honestly think that these people have made my year considerably easier!! Thank you!! (Nancy!! Helen!! Fi!!)
Not to mention of course all the support I have had from the people who know me in real life too 😀 (Mark, Rachel, Dan….EVERYONE!!)
2) I wasn’t expecting to become a qualified level 2 gym instructor and half way to becoming a personal trainer! I have become so invested in this lifestyle that I want to make it a permanent part of me and help others do the same 🙂
3) I have learned that I can face my fears and try new things (and old newly scary things) and the world doesn’t explode!
I have gone climbing despite being terrified after breaking my leg
I have gone to gymnastics for the first time in 25 years
I have tried Zumba (although I wish I hadn’t)
I have tried Sh’bam (despite not being able to take the name seriously)
I have found a kickboxing class after not having one for 4 years
I have done 4816 (or so) squats in one month
I have learned to hula hoop
this list goes on!!
4) I have learned to run but decided I will never be a runner. I have run on and off for a year, I have improved beyond everything that I thought I ever would, but I have discovered (decided) along way that I have not got the physiology to be a long distance runner. I have not got the right endurance type muscle fibres. I can (and have) improve, but long distance running is never going to be my thing. I am happy with that too. I am happy with the running I do and I find it helpful. But in general, I am built for picking up heavy things!
5) related to that…I have learned to pick up heavy things! I have a current maximum deadlift of 80kg (176 lbs) and this makes me very happy! I had to run the gauntlet of funny looks at first when I was the short overweight girl in the freeweights area…but I don’t get these any more 😀
6) I think the biggest unexpected change has been in my outlook. I have turned form a person who was very unhappy with myself, into someone who can now smile in photographs. I have turned into someone who is (mostly) un-self -consciousness and not ashamed of the way they look. I see the progress now instead of the flaws (most of the time).
Before this year, I was not unhappy with a lot of aspects of my life, but I was not happy with myself, I could see my self-destruction but for some reason not stop it!
I have found myself this year, the me I lost somewhere under a pile of sugar and comfort eating.
I have turned back into the person my Mum would be proud of!
I don’t normally so quotes…they can get a little cheesy…but that one seemed particularly appropriate 😀 and Roald Dahl is cool!
I’ll leave you with all that for now! There may be more if I remember other things I have learned…