My relationship with exercise can be likened to Donald Trump’s hair: loose, unreliable and not all there. Even as a child I had to be tricked into going for walk, “Shall we look for conkers?” they said, “It’ll be fun,” and then the penny dropped, “Grandad, this feels like a walk to me.” Without realising it, I was a fairly active child and a lot of my weekends were filled with forced bike rides around reservoirs or walks up yet another hill. In hindsight this is probably why I was quite a skinny child. When the mandatory weekend activities stopped and I hit the awkward teen years, my waist line began to grow. I think I was about 17 when I excitedly joined the gym for the first time, full of big ideas and hope. Sadly, I struggled to channel my inner Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and would instead spend 45 minutes leisurely cycling on the bike whilst watching the Weakest Link on the TV.
Just as you need to find the diet that suits you, you need to find the exercise programme that works for you too! In 2013 I discovered the world of Jillian Michaels and her 30 day shred DVD. Whilst I would never say I ‘love’ anything exercise related, I found something that I didn’t detest. If I remember correctly it is a 20-30 minute DVD that you do everyday for 30 days. There are 3 levels and you can work your way through the levels when you are ready. After a number of failed attempts and motivational droughts I finally completed the full 30 days!
I was ready for a new challenge, my time with Jillian was over and and so began my search for something new. Wonder Woman Sarah to the rescue! I knew I couldn’t join another gym: Anne Robinson’s face was no longer a staple of evening television and it was time to make Dwayne proud. After much googling I found Beach Fit Bootcamp and tentatively messaged Sarah to find out what it involved, while emphasising how unfit I was. I went along one Thursday evening and kept myself to myself. I was last in every sense of the word. I brought up the rear in the warm up run, I was last in the circuits and managed only half the reps that others did, but I was there and I was doing it! I tried out some other classes including Metafit, Boxing and now Insanity and Piyo. I guess it became infectious as I have now been going for over 3 years!!!
Perfecting my single leg downward dog…obvs!
Ridiculously, exercise is now not my problem, I go regularly and even almost enjoy it. I would fully attribute that to Sarah and her classes. There is good variety from the high intensity intervals of Insanity, to the weirdly sweaty positions of Piyo and cold nights in the park doing burpees in the mud. I have never stuck to exercise for this long but I have finally found what works for me. I like knowing that we are all in it together, perhaps it comes from my inability to be part of a sports team at school. Whether it’s a wheezy ‘is this getting harder?’ between Insanity rounds, avoiding each others sweat pools on the shiny floor or pushing each other up the stairs after class, we are one big sweaty team!
For anyone interested, Beach Fit Bootcamp really is amazing. Sarah is the perfect balance of shouty and friendly. Plus if you distract her with chat for long enough you might just manage to shorten the exercise part! Or at the very least you’ll enjoy a good laugh should you catch sight of my sister channelling her inner Dick Van Dyke with her switch kick attempts.
Go forth and burpee my friends!
Day 2: Shred Log
Breakfast – Green Juice (kale, cucumber, pineapple, passionfruit, lime & chia seeds) and a Bootea
I freaking love my Nutribullet but more on that later. Don’t knock a green juice until you’ve tried it. As long as you have a good bit of fruit in it, my go to is usually pineapple, then it will counteract the veggie taste, I promise.
Lunch – Leftover chilli & cauliflower rice
I am ALL about the bulk cooking and leftovers, partially because I am cheap, but also because it makes life so much easier. Where possible I like to have a good sized meal for lunch. If I’m going to try and cut down on snacks then I need to have three filling meals.
Dinner – Stir fry with butternut squash noodles
Quick and easy for nights when you get in a bit later than normal. I am staying at my sister’s this evening so it is nice to have dinner cooked for me!
Drinks & snacks – Bootea & approx 3 litres water
Exercise – 50 minute (or slightly less due to above mentioned chatting) Piyo class
Today’s top tip – I am a firm believer that jazzy leggings and good intentions will get you through anything!