Discover more from Lou O'Reilly takes out the trash.
I'm starting again. Join me?
TLDR: I'm starting my health and fitness journey again, and I'd love it if you would join me.
Hiya sweaty pals.. how are you today?
It’s been a while eh.. and I can explain. Whenever we are in lockdown, level 3 or 4, I pretty much have to jump into survival mode to get through it. I focus on my kids and my family, my day job, and my own health and wellbeing. There isn’t a lot of room for much else. And a lot of you have been with me since the very start (thank you) and so you’ll know what happened last time we were here.
This time though, it’s not so much a shock of the unknown as it is a wait it out feel. We know that eventually we get our life somewhat back to normal. And so that’s what I’m looking forward to. On reflection though, I quizzed myself on what normal was and truth be told, I wasn’t sure.
Sweaty Pals started with me heading back to the gym after years away. I was so unfit and jointy (my word for everything hurts) that launching myself in to a fast paced boxing gym was a shock to the system. Weirdly though, I loved it. There were lots of exercises I couldn’t do when I started, but after a few months, I was in pretty good shape. It was at that point that I had this epiphany to go learn about exercise and become a personal trainer. My undiagnosed ADHD brain was hyper focused on this goal being my own and only.
I moved on through a series of gyms, and ended up training at CityFitness with the amazing Roger Betham. He showed me what it was to lift weights properly. To get on a bench, or chuck some weight on my back and squat with it.
By this time I had qualified through a nutrition certificate and my PT ticket, and had made a headway on a couple of other certs. I started working at CityFitness and met Vicky McCartney who took me under her wing and taught me a lot about what PT-ing was all about. Vicky is also responsible for getting me interested in powerlifting.
With both Roger and Vicky in my corner I was set up for success. And that mentorship was really important for me as a fat personal trainer. I can tell you right now, that it doesn’t matter how much a gym says they are keen for body diversity working on the gym floor - they don’t mean it. Look at every other fat personal trainer you know. I would say most of them are independents not working within an established business. I’m not throwing shade here. The fitness industry is ingrained deep into an operation model that is very hard to break free from.
I think I did well as a gym PT. I ended up training quite a few women over the last two years. I coached a number of people online because they weren’t able to come to the gym (for lots of reasons) and today I still do that.
But at the start of the year it was apparent I needed to have surgery. And so by the time March rolled around, I had said goodbye to my trainer for a 2 month break, and my in person clients (indefinitely) and promised everyone I would be back in 2 months.
Except I never went back. Not to train anyone in person, and not to train myself.
I had all the excuses in the world. My op hurt more than I thought it would (this is true) and recovery took longer. I got sick and so couldn’t train because of that (also true). We completed a stressful renovation on our house. We got a puppy and I found it difficult to find the time to come back to the gym for me, let alone anyone else.
I took a few fitness classes in community centres - just friends who wanted simple bodyweight work. And that was fun. But largely my healthy habits, and my personal training of myself, were non existent.
I told myself that when I was ready to come back to the gym I would.
It’s been 5 months since I was last exercising for myself in the gym, and I haven’t felt a single need or desire to come back.
It might be that I miss my friends at the gym. It might be that level 3 means I can’t go if I wanted to, has driven me to want to go more. It might be that I’m starting to feel jointy again and that is a warning sign for me that things are heading in the wrong direction.
It’s a bit mad to hear a personal trainer say they feel their health is slipping. It’s just not what you’d expect. I think it can happen to anyone though. It might be mental health slipping for some, but for me it is definitely physical health.
And so my quest is to get back to my roots of moving for a healthy and strong life as I age.
I don’t have any goals as I don’t really believe in them, but I will say this.
It is time to get back in to making my health a priority. I’ve done it before and I know I can do it again. The gym manager said to me all those years ago “I don’t care if you sign up to my gym or not, but you must make your health a priority as you get older” and I’m taking that inspo again, now, to get myself back on track.
Keen to come with?
I will share my work out plans, and my nutrition suitable for someone starting over from scratch. Everything I learned over the years, I will put into practice on me.
This isn’t about weight loss. It’s about getting back to the healthy habits I smashed about 5 years ago.
Shall we see how it goes?
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