Strong Is Not A Size.
I am proud to be a part of the new campaign set up by British Weightlifting and Women In Sport to encourage women to lift weights, and find their own strong.
This is my personal story; from how I got to where I am today in my fitness journey. How I found my strong.
VIVE LA FRANCE
My journey began September 2012, when I was away in France on a study year abroad. I had a lot of spare time and had nothing to do, so I decided to get more active. I had previously always been active in school, and sporty from age and had lost it during years of college and university, indulging in junk food with no exercise.
In France there were a multitude of activities I did whilst at Strasbourg university including athletics training and football. I also went to the gym regularly and started to take up running as a hobby. It was safe to say I got my mojo back. However, in terms of eating habits, I was not exactly there. Around that time there weren’t many influencers as there are currently, and I did not have any one to speak to – when starting my journey. I followed a few Americans and found one had a diet, so I tried it. It was a 7 day detox kind of diet, where you were promised to lose x amount of pounds in a week.
The diet is what you call the ‘all you can eat’ diet; where you exclude food groups from your diet for 7 days for optimal results.
Day 1: Only vegetables
Day 2: Only fruit (no banana)
Day 3: fruit and vegetables (no banana)
Day 4: 5 bananas with 6 glasses of milk
Day 5: a cup of rice with vegetables
Day 6: a cup of rice with fruit (no banana)
Day 7: a cup of rice with fruit and vegetables
I did the diet, and it worked. I continued doing it for a number of weeks because I was addicted to the fast results it got me; but I was not necessarily eating well for my body and the amount of exercise I was doing. The days I was off the diet, I was scared to eat anything else in fear of putting on weight. I remember specifically one day I ate a packet of biscuits and purged it up in guilt. During this time I was also putting my body under considerable pressure by training for at least 2 hours 5 days a week, followed by almost 4 on Saturdays which I named ‘Super Saturdays’. These days consisted of light resistance weights and heavy cardio. I wouldn’t stop until the timer was up, religiously performing 1 hour on the treadmill followed by an hour on a bike.
After a year in France, my relationship with food did not improve that much. I would go on holidays and try and quick fix habits of eating in a few weeks. I had put on a bit of the weight I had lost in France, but I was certain I was on the right path. I joined the local gym back at uni and started to learn more about what to eat and how to train, although I mostly took part in classes.
Personally, I would say it was not until a few years ago where I decided I had had enough of chasing a certain body type and not actually looking after my body nutritionally. This change was simultaneous with the beginning of this blog, it was a new start.
Since then, I have learnt so much through my own research and now as I have been a Personal Trainer for just 5 months. My aim was to share my experiences with people that were like me when I started. To show that life has to be balanced, you do not always have great days, and that is fine.
I fell in love with lifting weights and was addicted to the burn and I wondered why I ever loved cardio over this feeling. Weightlifting boosted my confidence in the gym and in my own clothes. Weightlifting made me appreciate my body a whole lot more! It also made me develop a sense of persistence and discipline, which I do not think I had previously had. It made me hungry to be better and do better, something I work hard with my clients! Anything is achievable, all you need is the right mentality.
My takeaway tips:
- Love your body; you only have one for life. Love it with the food you eat and mentally. Do not compare yourself to someone else!
- Love your food! Eating well doesn’t mean you have to cut out food you like! Think about making foods you crave, or even if you do give in, eat in moderation.
- Tomorrow is a new day! If you slip up, do not beat yourself up about it.
If you have any questions health and fitness related, do not hesitate to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org