Some new year inspiration

Typically for this time of year, my Facebook timeline is full of people trying to lose weight/get fit/change in some other way, and I’ve been sort of taking note of what things people have been doing. Some are on Weight Watchers, some are at Slimming World, some are just eating more healthily.

Someone mentioned the 5:2 diet and I’ve done some research into it and it does indeed seem intriguing. From what I can tell, the basic principle is to eat whatever you like five days a week, and have two days (not consecutively) where you ‘fast’, eating up to 500 calories during the whole day. I’ve been wanting to do this but I struggle because I work nights, and I get quite bored or stressed which leads to me eating. And I’m not really sure how to distribute the calories so that I don’t feel too terrible/start eating my own arm.

Another person mentioned Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred, which again led to some research (read: Googling) and it looked pretty good. There are results pics and videos all over the damn shop. Lots of these women noted a massive improvement after doing the 30DS – it really is remarkable and you can see the change for yourself (just google and you’ll find loads of stuff about it).

I tried it this morning, and I have to say that the first ten minutes was terrible and I struggled, but I did get into it a bit and by the end I was feeling that rush of exhilaration that you get from exercise. Like I said, I’d done some research into it and everyone’s response was similar – “this is hardcore”, “an intense workout”. It makes me wonder if perhaps I didn’t push myself enough. I tried to avoid stopping for longer than 5 seconds each time but seriously, those push-ups really get me and I just cannot do them properly. But I love the abs workouts. Swings and roundabouts, eh?

What’s nice about the DVD is that just as I am about to give up, JM says “Don’t give up, keep going, only 5 more” and all that. Which makes me go “oh alright then” – her timing is really good; she knows just how difficult it’ll be for people who are new to exercise, and exactly when they’ll start flagging. It gives me confidence in her ability and knowledge about exercise, so that’s good! I just feel a bit like I might regret this tomorrow!

For me, the reason I want to do exercise is not only to lose weight, but to get physically fitter and more healthy. To explain a little of what’s motivated me – I get the tube to work, and I have to climb up two sets of stairs (to get to the lift-ha!) and the first few times I did this…Man, I felt terrible. I reached the top and I’d be sweating and huffing and puffing all over the place. But as I got more regular shifts, as I did it twice, three times a week, after a while I noticed that I could reach the top and not be out of breath. I want to feel like that when it comes to things like running for the bus or, you know, just general life things. I don’t want to be the fat, ugly friend anymore. I’m not looking for perfection – and I am not expecting to do very well – but feeling ok in my own skin is quite important to me and I’d like to have that again.

Not sure if I’ll update this with weight/exercise stuff as I don’t want to a) pressure myself too much; b) become another one of those bloggers. But I thought I’d share it as a way to motivate myself to carry on, and maybe inspire some other people too?

Incidentally, the first level of 30DS is here:

About A Girl
Mostly writes on Half The World Is Watching. She is interested in and writes about feminist issues, politics and activism. An 80s child at heart, she loves old things, computer games, and keeping up with the development of social media.

One Response to Some new year inspiration

  1. trabasack says:

    I’m doing the 5/2 diet. I ‘ve been on it since October with a 2 week break at Xmas. Lost a stone so far and I can see myself sticking to it long term as it is only 2 days a week. I just say to myself “eat the cake tomorrow instead”.

    I fast Monday and Wednesday, although it doesn’t seem like a fast. I eat tons of veg in a spicy soup. a whole cauliflower, carrots, courgette, leeks, onions. I either skip breakfast or have plain porridge or a couple of apples.

    Good luck with exercise plan.

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