Wherever I lay my Dumbbells that’s my home – Part 1 Lessons of lifting!
The site of the Olympic athletes and their amazing physiques this summer has inspired 1000s of comments in the media. These guys really work their butts off and it’s a full time job for many of them.
I work in the health and fitness industry and so therefore exercising and eating well are pretty much engrained in me now. However, it’s all relative. When I was teaching at my peak, I was training for hours every week and so in time developed an athletic body. But now it’s very different. I no longer teach and train for 20 hours a week. And while I know I am fitter and leaner than most people, I still need to push and challenge myself and I felt I was losing control just a little. My long hours sat at my desk was changing my body slowly.
Watching the build up to the Olympics it really inspired me to do something about my recent fitness stagnation. I realised I had no fitness goal or focus and so was getting more and more inclinded to skip my workouts in favour of ‘work’.
I also knew that if I didn’t get this in check soon, I could on a slippery slope back to brain fog, fatigue and love handles.
10 years ago I was a cardio junkie and did all things cardio to maintain my HUGE appetite. I would exist on carbs! But I was tired, burnt out and permenantly hungry.
2012 Olympic Gold Medalist – Jessica Ennis
My love affair with DBs started pretty much as I lifted heavy for the first time about 5 years ago. The inital response from my body was overwhelming:
- I felt powerful
- I had confidence in my body
- My muscles felt alive
- I felt sexy and incredible
- I stood tall
- I wanted to eat well
- I wanted more
- I was getting lots of male attention!
It was addictive to say the least. Watching myself transform in the mirrors was so motivating and I loved the transformation. I became leaner, stronger and more sculpted. People commented ALL the time on how fabulous and well I looked. I felt it too! In fact when I lifted heavy, I got into the best shape of my life and into skinny jeans that I had only ever dreamed of getting into!
Life has it’s ebb’s and flows and in time life did indeed get in the way and I started to skip the odd workout and my weights dropped dramatically. This was demotivating and so the cycle continued. I missed more workouts.
While I have remained above average lean, I started to notice a few things happen. The definition was slowly being hidden underneath a layer of sweling fat cells. I started to crave more starchy foods as opposed to lean proteins and veggies. I stopped sleeping so well and my posture started to change. While my thighs remained muscular and solid due to my years of regular teaching, the extra layer of fat meant they looked bigger and my jeans were tighter.
So my 6 pack was disappearing and along with it was my motivation to do anything about it!!!
Various half hearted attempts to get back have meant I have maintained fairly easily what I had built but I was frustrated at the return of extra layer of body fat! I missed seeing my hard work visible in the mirror!
How can I get back on track and fall in love with lifting again?
I looked at what made it easier for me to engage in the previous regime I had loved so much:
- I worked in a gym so had easy access to kit and times to train
- I was surrounded by other lovers of lifting and so was enthused by them
- I read countless magazines and books on the subject and kept my routines fresh
- I was confident on the equipment
- I had developed a clear plan, schedule and made it a priority
I looked at the challenges I faced now and asked myself ‘how can I fix this?’:
- I joined a gym
- I enlisted the help of an expert to help gain back my confidence and learn some new fresh techniques (Martin Stevenson from http://www.olneyfitnessclub.co.uk/)
- I booked my training sessions in advance in my diary
- I started reading articles, blogs and books on body building
- I re-visited my shopping list and menus to make my nutrition plan easier to follow
- As I went to sleep every night I pictured how I used to look and how I used to feel. I made the picture really clear and experienced the feelings I felt when I in my best ever shape!
- Instead of focusing on the fat, I started focusing on my strength, form and ability to lift the weights again!
Over the next 6 months I am going to chart my progress back to strength, more cuts and definition.
I will chart my changes to my training, nutrition and schedules. I will also journal my experiences and changes to both my physical and mental being
To look better is one goal, but the over all desire for me is to feel as strong, confident and as powerful as I did before
Until the next installment…
Big dumbbells, small tummies!