You dont need to know who wrote this as to be honest this story is all about one person's story from do nothing to doing something.
This will really tick some boxes for people when the read this as they will so easliy be able to relate to what is being written. It is so honest and raw that I have not touched any of the content ... sometimes I smarten things up or make the word count come down to as to make it more readable BUT this account was perfect in every respect and I'm sure you will congratulate this person on making steps that beyond what she thought was possible.
We have all been there and it is lovely to see someone coming through to the other side.
She has asked to not to share her name so I will respect that so I will simply say now read this amazing account of one persons journey through fitMK for the last 10 months.
"I am 54 years old and have been overweight and inactive for too many years & simply wasn’t motivated to do anything about it. Historically, I’ve always been the biggest one in any group of friends, so that just became who I was. I didn’t have a good attitude to food either. I would binge on rubbish food when I was bored or upset or lonely. I’d like to bet that I’m probably one of the most overweight (22 stone +) 50+ females who has crossed the FitMK welcome mat!
Since turning 50 there’s a few experiences that I’d like to have a go at, flying taster lesson, zipwire in wales, to name a couple – but guess what – there’s a weight limit.
I’ve dabbled with diets & exercise occasionally over the years, (never at the same time) but gave up quickly when results weren’t quick enough, and found diets too restricting, denying myself foods only made me crave them more, then a binge session, then give up on the diet, you know how it goes!
In August 2016 I was chatting with my sister about wanting to be motivated, she seemed to be getting a lot out of FitMK & she mentioned the Countdown to Christmas programme. I looked at it & um’d & ah’d over it for a while, it’s a lot of money, can I justify spending that much on me, etc etc, all the usual thoughts that go through your head. Then I decided that although it was a chunk of cash right when I should be putting it toward Christmas for the family, I needed to commit to something, it’s now or never (and I was hopeful that this might work because it wasn’t a New Year Resolution, which from experience are doomed to fail!) so I bit the bullet, signed up, instantly had shoppers regret – what if I can’t do it, omg what have I done, how do I justify it to my other half etc etc, but then having made the financial commitment, the mental commitment followed otherwise it would be a waste of money. Because it was for a specific period of time (3 months) I felt I could see the end so it was ‘do-able’, and because I knew I would be accountable to a mentor I knew I would have stick to my targets.
I lived a sedentary lifestyle and have a sedentary job, so in September when the programme began & I was asked to come up with a goal – mine was so flakey – ‘to be more active and to eat better’. Being non-specific made it pretty much impossible to fail. I decided not to have a weight loss goal & went with the view that if a little weight came off whilst being more active then that’s a bonus!
Simon started the FB group specifically for the Countdown to Christmas crew, which was a godsend. It meant that I could share my goals, trials, tribulations and successes privately with supportive people & not with the whole world who are all too ready to laugh at your attempts – as a plus size older person, people expect you to be a certain way & can be very cruel when you try to change. One of Simons’ first posts in the group was asking ‘what small thing can you do today to step toward your goal’ – and I committed to taking a walk every lunchtime, and to doing the daily muscle activations. I was afraid of being laughed at for wanting to change but was able to do the muscle activations in private while on holiday and no-one was any the wiser.
I looked at the classes and chose Onefit – a 45 minute session with no running, and Core & Flex (yoga) to start because they looked achievable for someone who hasn’t done any exercise in years (decades!!) At Onefit, I couldn’t hold a plank for more than 5 seconds, couldn’t even do a half decent squat or lunge & could only do about 3 pressups. At Core & Flex it was the same, couldn’t keep any of the poses for more than a few seconds. I often had negative thoughts about being useless & rubbish & why am I even bothering, but I can honestly say that I have never been made to feel anything but supported and encouraged by the DI’s and other session goers and fb groupies, that quickly wipes away the negative thoughts, and week on week I became stronger and my technique improved, and more important, I could see the improvement for myself! This gave me the courage to try other classes, some I liked, some I didn’t and that’s OK, I stick to the ones I like.
I also started using a couch to 5k app on my phone and was going out on my own to do that a few times a week, I didn’t want to go out with anyone because I was embarrassed by my inability to run for even 30 seconds. I was chugging my way round the Stadium one evening when I heard some people shout & laugh out of a car window, I was a little upset but then thought, ‘I don’t know them, they don’t know me, we’ll never meet – crack on!’ I was mortified when I went into work the next day & a male colleague said he’d seen me, I assumed it was him in the car & waited for the mickey taking to follow, but then was pleasantly surprised at the supportive comments that followed, and that boosted my confidence.
By the end of the C2C programme, I had achieved my goal of being more active, (let’s face it, it was so flakey, but for me it was necessarily so.) I posted my times for the daily activations in the fb group, and posted my lunchtime walk times too, as part of the accountability, it was proof that I was doing it. As a by-product I also lost a little weight and definitely changed shape.
So, along came Christmas, the classes stopped, I stopped doing the C25K because it was too dark to go out alone, but managed to go out a couple of time at weekends. I also managed to keep the shopping under control & not buy all the traditional chocolates, biscuits and treats that linger on for months after the holiday. Then January came along and I had some decisions to make. Would I sign up & carry on or go back to where I was? I decided to sign up for another couple of months & see how it went without the mentor. I had to set a new goal or it would be pointless. New goal, do a 5k run for charity before the end of the summer.
It’s hard to motivate yourself to go out in the dark & wet or freezing weather, but you know what, it’s so worth it! So much nicer than going to a gym! the DI’s and the other session goers keep your spirits up when your flat on your back in the mud wondering why the heck you’re there.
I tried the FitMK beginners runfit but it was too much for me at that time, then someone in the fb group pointed out another beginners running class doing a C25K type programme starting in January, so I went along, because I has set my new goal but didn’t want to go out alone in the dark. My goodness that was tough, the weather was so cold I couldn’t breathe some evenings, but I stuck with it, & did my homework runs every week. It sounds daft, but I feel disloyal talking about another supportive group, when FitMK have been there from the start of my journey, but you have to find what works for you and this beginners running group was what I needed at the time to achieve my goal, and on 25th March 2017, I ran my 5k for charity and raised just over £300 for Macmillan. Strangely, once I’d done it I felt kind of adrift, because I had achieved my goal and now had nothing to aim for. My goal for now is to maintain this level. I have no desire to get faster, or go longer. I’d like to be able to do 5k in my normal average time, but to get to the finish without being utterly exhausted.
So, here I am, 10 months on from the start of my fitness journey. I can do a half decent lunge, and squat, I can plank/pressup hold for about 60 seconds, I don’t think I’ll ever achieve a level 2 or 3 burpee, but a walking one is good enough. I attend 3 – 4 different sessions a week, although I think Core & Flex is my favourite. I still attend my other running group & now support the new beginners who are at the same point I was in January. I regularly run the parkrun 5k and feel better about myself than I have in a long time. I have lost weight too, and 2 dress sizes, which inevitably makes the exercise & running a little easier. It’s never going to be too easy at my age! I still see the weight loss as a by-product and not as the focus of my efforts. I’m not on a diet, I eat healthier food that I ever did, and try to stick to a calorie limit, but if I go over or fancy a treat, then that’s ok.
I just want to tell you, you can do it, with the help of FitMK - you’ll never get this kind of motivational, encouraging and nurturing support in a normal gym"