Tuesday 10 May 2022

I first joined a gym when I was 16, and looking back I probably didn't make much progress but rather just maintained my figure and weight. I definitely think there's a lot more information and resources now than there was back then. I just remember seeing a lot of keto diets in magazines and the outdated '1200 calories' rule! Fast forward to university, and somewhere in my 4 years away I managed to gain 10kg. When I finished university back in 2017 that's when I really started to focus on my fitness journey and getting into the 'best shape of my life'. If I look back at pictures of myself in 2018 I definitely had a lot less body fat and muscle than I do now, but I also remember how obsessive I was getting with calorie counting and getting mad when the number on the scale would go up even if I had eaten well the day before. Whether you're starting your fitness journey, or looking for some new found motivation, here are 5 things I wish I would have known when I started.

1. Progress isn't linear

You'll probably find that when you switch up your diet or start a new gym regime, you will see the pounds start to drop quickly and then suddenly you might hit a bit of a plateau where you feel like nothing is changing. This is because at first it's a shock to your body, but when you've been doing it for a while your metabolism adjusts. This can be un-motivating and make you feel like you won't make any more progress, but's important to just stay consistent and the results will follow. I also wouldn't suggest weighing yourself every day as an indicator of your progress, as there are many factors that can cause you to go up on the scale from one day to the next. Here are 12 reasons why you might weigh more the morning after. 

2. You can eat chocolate everyday and still reach your goals

I'm not suggesting you eat a mars bar for tea every afternoon, as there are probably things with more nutritional value that you can opt for and that will keep you fuller for longer. That being said, I do have a sweet tooth and I know if I cut sweets and chocolate out completely during the week I'm just going to pig out on the weekend instead. So I do have a few squares of chocolate here and there to curb the cravings! As long as you are eating in a calorie deficit, you don't have to eat clean all the time to reach your goals. 

3. Weights can be just as good as cardio for fat loss

I think a common thing for people to do when they want to lose weight is start running for an hour on the treadmill every day to see results. Even though cardio is good for you, it's even more effective when combined with weight training. This won't make you suddenly bulk up and get bigger, in fact the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn whilst resting. If you're just starting out, I suggest starting with 10 minutes on a cardio machine, followed by 4-5 weight exercises on a particular body part (i.e. upper body or lower body) and then finish with 10-15 minutes on the treadmill. 

4. Progressively overloading is key 

For ages I would stick to my workout plan of 4X12 at a certain weight, instead of slowly increasing the weight as soon as I began to find my current machine weight 'easy'. If you do this it will be harder to see changes in your physique as your muscles will adapt. There are a number of ways you can progressively overload, including increasing the rep range, increasing the weight gradually, or by having shorter intervals between your sets. 

5. No one else cares what you're doing at the gym 

Being a beginner at the gym can be daunting, but unless you're doing some wacko exercise throwing dumbbells around the gym, no one is going to be watching you! Everyone is too focused on themselves and their own form. My advice for feeling confident at the gym is to get yourself a good pair of noise cancelling headphones,  look up movements on Youtube if you feel like you need practice, and make yourself a fire playlist for your workout. 

For me personally, I also like wearing a nice co-ordinated gym outfit as it makes me feel more confident and subconsciously I feel like I have a better workout if I feel comfortable and good in what I'm wearing. A brand I am loving lately is Yvette which specialises in high impact sports bras. I've found that on the market a lot of high impact sports bras aren't as pretty as low support ones, which is why I was so impressed with the range of colours and design of the Yvette collection. Another feature I like about them is that they have non-removable moulded cups. There's nothing worse than the padding moving around in the washing machine and then having to try and get them in the proper place again! I also purchased some matching green leggings which passed the gym test - they don't fall down, they're squat proof and they even have a pocket for you to fit your keys, phone or Airpod case in. 

yvette high impact sports bra

Wherever you are in your fitness journey, I think it's important to reflect back and see ways that you can improve but also how far you've come. I may not be as 'fit' as I was 4 years ago when I was 23, but I love my curves now and still feel strong and healthy. 


* this post contains gifted items but all words and opinions are my own *

1 comment

  1. Love this! Recently started the gym again after stop-starting for months, I always find people are looking at me / judging me in the gym haha!

    Courtney x


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