Monday, 31 March 2014

This might be the scariest one I ever post

In late 2012 I made a decision to lose weight and try and get fit.  I wasn't really sure why I wanted to do it, it wasn't that something had been said, or something had happened that made me decide it was the right time.

Yes I got married in November 2012 to a wonderful man, but he loved me the size I was, and never once has he asked me to lose weight, he tells me daily how much he loves me and how beautiful I am, and that hasn't changed.

I was just 'ready' to do it.

So in 2013 I started looking around gyms.  I decided that I enjoyed my food too much to go on a diet, plus we all know that diets don't work.  I decided I would eat a little healthier than I had been doing, but I would go to the gym and lose weight that way.

I looked around a few gyms and to be honest they scared me.  Men pumping iron, watching themselves in the mirrors.  Girls fully made up in skin tight lycra posing on machines.

I couldn't do this.  I wasn't confident enough to walk in there and start exercising.

I was scared.

I decided I would try one further gym, and saw there was a female only gym in my area.

I walked in, looked around and immediately asked if I could sign up.  The girl on the desk laughed and asked if I wanted to try it for a week first, but I knew I had to commit.  I signed up for a year, giving her my bank details there and then.  I made an appointment for a induction session, and I went home and ate chocolate.

This was scary stuff.

I decided I wanted to get into a size 16 jeans.  That was my goal.  It felt such a long way away (I was a size 24/26) but I wanted to lose weight, get skinny and fot into those jeans.

On my induction the trainer asked me to get on the treadmill to see what I could do, well I managed okay, but it was walking, I walked to work every day, where was the big deal.  Yes I thought, I can do this.  But then she asked me to get on the stepper.....two minutes later I was DYING.  My face was sweating, my breath was short and I thought I was going to die.  But I was determined.  I asked, what do I do next?  The cross trainer was next, two minutes on that and my legs were like jelly, I couldn't breath and I was sure I was going to die.  The trainer asked me if I wanted to sit down and got me a drink of water.

I was scared, if I couldn't do this what would I do?

But I was so sure this was the right time for me.  I wanted to lose weight.

I then started going to the gym.  The girls at my gym were brilliant.  They gave me a program of cardio and weights that I could stick to.  They encouraged me to work a little harder every time and I got so much encouragement from every girl who attended the gym as well as the trainers.

After two months attending the gym three times per week I started to do classes, I tried Zumba (died after 10 minutes), I tried spin (5 mins in I thought I would be sick) and I tried pump (lifting weights, thats ok, I was strong enough).  It was hard, but I kept going.  I tried harder everytime.  I pushed myself further.  I told myself I wasn't allowed to stop.  I brought my gym stuff to work, and didn't go home after work, I went to the gym first.  Little by little things started changing.

I saw how my clothes were starting to fit a little better.  Then they got loose.  I needed to buy a smaller size in clothes.  This was okay!  Then other people started noticing.  I tried harder.

After six months in the gym I signed up for a 14 mile challenge.  I climbed a mountain, I completed those 14 miles and I felt great.  I started wondering what else I could do.

I was doing spin classes now with ease, well no-one really does a spin class with ease, but at least I didn't feel like I was going to be sick after five minutes!

I got a few sessions with a personal trainer, this had mixed benefits to be honest.  The exercise program she gave me was great, she encouraged me to lift heavier weights and to push myself more, but the diet plan she gave me, no I did not like that.  Diets don't work, and the diet she gave me was so restrictive i couldn't do it.  It had me down to less than 1000 calories a day.  I felt tired, grumpy and lacked motivation.  I didn't have the strength to go to the was this helping me?  So i stopped her diet plan, I took some advise from her re healthier eating and I let her go, no more personal trainer for me.

I joined a couch to 5k ten weeks they had me running a 5k.  When I started I couldn't run the length of myself.

I signed up for the colour run, I signed up for a five mile assault course, I signed up to climb Slieve Donard, I can do all these things now.

My goals have changed. I no longer care about being skinny.  I don't care what the numbers on the scale say (although I have to remind myself of this nearly every day).  I want to be healthy.  I want to be fit.  I want people to be encouraged by my healthier lifestyle and try it for themselves.  If I can do it, you can do it too.

I am still on this long journey, but I am ready now to show a before and so far picture.  Its not an after pic, because my journey is continuing, but I am taking the very scary decision to share my picture with you.

If you have any questions please get in touch.  I really would love to hear from you. 
Me now, and me in December 2012, what a difference a year makes


  1. Tina, you look awesome! Thank you for sharing your story it is very inspiring!

    1. Thank you Amanda. Its hard to put ourselves out there and show the before and after pictures. Heck, its hard to let those before pictures be taken, but hard work pays off. xx