I have now been exclusively working with women for over 6 years and I have learnt so much in that time from the many wonderful women around me. I wanted to share a personal story with you as I hope it might inspire you to stay on track with your own fitness journey.
My Personal Struggle
I am 32, 5’7 and a size 12/14 jeans. I eat healthily, I exercise, and I weigh 163 lbs (which is just over 11.5 stone) so I actually weigh the same as my Dad! Even when I used to dance, I couldn’t get my weight below 9 stone and although I was a size 6 back then, I was still nearly 2 stone heavier than everyone else. No one wanted to lift me in dance routines and I was always conscious of my weight even if a guy offered to give me a piggyback at school!
Truthfully, I developed body confidence issues and low self esteem as I simply couldn’t see the larger picture and spent too long trying to put my body into a category where it just didn’t fit. Think round peg, square hole!
I’ve posted a photo of myself below dancing (at 9 stone) and a photo of what I look like now (nearly 12 stone) to demonstrate that my ideals were never going to be my reality and my focus and reasoning was all wrong.
Please be kind, I do not like uploading these sorts of photos of myself!
A very similar story has been true for so many women I have trained and known. Weight can be helpful as a method to track progress, but too many people put emphasis entirely on weight and that shouldn’t be the case. Direct your focus to how you feel, the girth of your tummy, arms and legs or your fitness level. Take photos (lots of them) as this way you will clearly see the differences that you wouldn’t normally notice over time.
It Shouldn’t Be a Numbers Game
Weight is a number, but try not to focus on numbers when working towards a weight loss goal. I know that I can get leaner, healthier, fitter and drop several dress sizes and still weigh the same. So, why not start looking at fitness differently and rather than dreading numbers on a scale, judge your results based on how you feel. Take the time to think about what your own goals are and what you want to achieve most from your fitness. Do it for more energy, leaner abs, better health and improved body confidence. All of the trainers at Beattitude are passionate about helping women fall in love
with fitness and achieve positive results. Whatever your motivation is, make it something that is based on improving your health, body confidence and the way that you feel rather than simply aiming to ‘lose weight’.
Women on the Warpath to Weight Loss
Over the years I’ve spent working with women in health and fitness, I’ve noticed some repeat offenders when it comes to the behaviour patterns of women on the warpath to weight loss. I want you to start thinking about focusing on achievable goals rather than reasons tied solely to weighing less.
- We take action once it’s urgent. Holidays, weddings, the Christmas party season – we often use these events to catapult us into the mindset that something needs to be done instantly. Enter the yo-yo diets and up and down weight loss patterns. This is probably one of the main reasons why our mindset towards weight loss is so negative. When we leave it until the last minute, we stretch our willpower so much that weight loss represents hunger, stress, tiredness, restriction and resentment. Instead, appreciate that your nutrition and training can work around your life and that by keeping it consistent you can steer clear of the mad dash leading up to the holiday ‘diet of doom’.
- We rely solely on the trainer to push us. This is more common than you think! Trainers are here to support you, to help you with technique and motivation, and yes to help drive you, but you know more than anyone if you could do 1 more rep, pick up a slightly heavier weight, or jump a little higher. So, when you are in class, take control of your progress and push yourself to achieve it. Ultimately you are the only one that can make that change!
- We assume it’s a sprint when in fact it’s a hurdle race. We set out with the goal to ‘lose weight’ and think by restricting food and adding exercise it will be simple. We then face hurdles as maybe we don’t lose as much weight as we wanted to, we get injured, or work/family commitments take over. It’s never as simple as going from A to B. Like anything in life, there will always be hurdles to get over and you need to prepare your mindset for this. Try to think of them as something you face up to, get over then put behind you as you continue so you don’t allow them to become an excuse to throw in the towel.
- We face the ‘2 week itch’ For some reason, we often face a dip of motivation in week two of a fitness plan (once the week one excitement has slightly worn off!) You can end up convincing yourself you haven’t achieved anything if your goals haven’t already been met. However, this links back to my previous point that it’s a hurdle race (and sometimes up a very steep hill) and not a sprint. The goal is to be consistent and in the end the pay off will be so worth it!
- We don’t bother recording the progress. I have been a sucker for this one so many times in my life! Setting out on a plan, putting all the effort in and not taking any measurements before, during and after to monitor how I am doing. Losing weight is 100% outcome based so if you want to see the outcome, don’t go into the process blind. You need to monitor your progress and check that you’re not starting to plateau. This can prevent you from entering a downward spiral and instead help keep you on track so you continue to see positive change. Nothing drives us further than seeing results!
- We don’t prioritise ourselves. It’s important to allow yourself to occasionally prioritise your fitness over work, family or relationship commitments to help you get to where you want to be. If it makes it easier, we give you PERMISSION to prioritise yourself.
- We don’t tailor ‘when we workout’ to our personalities. We’ve all got that one friend who can get up early for a run come rain or shine whilst you can’t resist hitting snooze. You then assume that she must be more motivated than you and it’s just not true! Scheduling your workouts at times that suit your personality type will reduce the amount of mental motivation and energy needed to convince yourself to do something outside your tendency. You’re never going to stick to something if you don’t enjoy it, so try to schedule workouts at a time that suits you so you’ll work harder and enjoy it far more!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this and that you can hopefully take some inspiration from my story and my shared experiences from working in female fitness over the years. My mission is to provide women with effective, inspiring and innovative fitness classes and nutritional plans within one club and community and that is what Beattitude is all about.
Click here to start your fitness journey with us now and see what Beattitude can do for you.
Siobhan (Founder of Beattitude)