As part of my to-do list for 2017, I decided I needed to look after myself more. I’ll be honest, it took me over half a year to actually make a start on this. But I did make a start. I found lots of online exercise plans and researched local classes to join, but I never actually did them.
Firstly, because I just never have time. I’m a busy working mum and I always had something else to do rather than exercise. Added to that Ant’s working hours meant even a night-time class was out of the question as I didn’t have childcare for Luca.
Secondly, I didn’t really know what I should be doing. As much as a trampolining class looks fun, what would it actually do for me? I know I love yoga but also knew I needed something a bit more intense than yoga to help me tone up. After lots, and I mean lots, of deliberation I started to scour the internet for personal trainers. Someone who could tell me exactly what I needed to do and tailor my exercise to me. Someone who could help to motivate me and push me to progress. But then when I started to think about it, the thought of going to a gym to workout made me feel all sweaty and anxious. Gyms just aren’t for me.
This got me thinking and I remember one of my work clients had a personal trainer that came to her. So I started to look for that. A personal trainer who could come to MY house to train me. No gyms full of mirrors where I could see my own sweaty face pulled into some form of a grimace whilst I tried to do a press up. My own house, my safe space where I could make old woman noises and sweat in comfort.
Both myself and my friend Ash were going to do it together so I booked us a taster session to see what we thought to the experience. I was genuinely worried that I just would be too far out of my comfort zone and not enjoy being bossed about and made to sweat by some gym buff.
Luckily, the guy who turned up wasn’t like that at all. Instead, he fit right into our crazy group dynamic and we decided there and then that we would like to train with him.
Matt, my personal trainer is such a lovely, down to earth guy. He pushes me just enough without outfacing me. After 4 months of training with him once a week for an hour, I could see my pre-baby body slowly returning. In fact, my pre-uni body if I’m totally honest. 7 months in and I’m actually starting to feel confident in my own skin, which is such a massive achievement. My body changed so much once I’d had Luca that I just didn’t really recognise myself anymore. But if I think back to my youth, I don’t think I ever had much body confidence then either. Or at least I didn’t appreciate it. So feeling comfortable in my own body is incredible for me.
Not only that though, I feel better. I feel fitter and stronger and healthier. I’m less tired, even though I’m perpetually tired if that makes any sense. As a mum, those are the things that truly matter. I want to be a good role model for Luca. Showing him how important it is to look after our bodies but in a healthy way and I’m definitely feeling like I’m doing that now.
Since I’ve started to feel better and really started to enjoy the physical exercise (believe me I didn’t at the beginning), I have become a bit addicted to that achy feeling. You know when you’ve worked out and everything hurts the next day. I now kind of crave that feeling, to know my body is improving in strength and fitness and I really look forward to my Tuesday night sessions. Who the hell am I?
Having Matt come to me means that I don’t have any excuses for not working out. All those online exercise classes are great in theory, but for me, the day has finished before I even remember I was supposed to be doing it. Or I put it off because I need to do the washing up or clean the bathroom. Whereas when Matt knocks on my door every Tuesday night it means I have to stop what I’m doing and actually work out.
He’s great at motivating me and pushing me whilst also helping celebrate our successes too. And here’s the best bit, he’s agreed to help you lot too.
I’m going to be doing a monthly post with Matt to help you get fitter. For me, it’s not about “losing weight” or getting that “bikini body”, (anyone else hate that phrase?). It’s about making small changes to your lifestyle to make yourself healthier and stronger. And the strong bit is so very empowering let me tell you. When I started I could plank for about 20 seconds before shaking like crazy and collapsing to the floor. Now I’m doing 2-minute planks before my arms give out. I couldn’t do a press up to save my life and now I can bash out a couple of “proper” press up, as in not on my knees. I do still do most on my knees though. And it feels amazing. I’m feeling pretty kick ass let me tell you.
I have a long way to go but I’m gonna share that journey with you and also share some wisdom and insights from Matt along the way.
So let me know, if you could ask a personal trainer anything what would it be? What do you need more advice on? It can be absolutely anything from nutrition advice or to exercises to do at home with the kids in tow? Leave me your questions in the comments below or drop me a message on any of my social media channels and I’ll put them to Matt.