My Journey to Fitness Part 1: The photo I do not want to show you and getting my head around starting


So here it is the post I have been really looking forward to/dreading posting!  Looking forward to because it means that after 3 long months I can go back to training.  Dreading because it means that as a way for me to benchmark and motivate myself, I will be posting a picture of how I look now and I feel really uncomfortable about this. In fact I can’t believe I am posting this picture but I have always promised this blog will be honest and you will see me warts and all! (I don’t actually have any warts).

For those of you who don’t know me I haven’t trained for nearly  3 months.  And for the last 6 weeks I’ve not even been walking or allowed to lift anything heavier than a kettle.  To find out why read Dealing with Injury: A bit About Me and My Journey So Far

And today is the day I get to start “light exercise”…Whatever that is! I’ve been given no guidance other than to not over do it.

I am both excited and nervous.  It’s really hard to decide where to start. Well it’s not hard to know where to start, it’s hard to know how to progress.  Actually that’s not even rocket science.  So what is it that is causing me concern? I think the biggest thing that is playing on my mind is, well, my mind!  There is a huge unknown quantity. I just don’t know how I am going to feel from the injury point of view, what my limitations are going to be and how quickly I  will be able to progress.  And I feel like I have lost my identity as a sportsperson.

I used to be an athlete (albeit an amateur one) and I looked a certain way, I knew how to push myself, how I could expect to feel in a given training session, who I could keep up with and I had a certain level of ability.

Abs March 16

My Abs Pre-Injury

Then I got injured so I became an injured athlete and had a very valid reason to not train.  But now I don’t have that reason and I don’t have that level of knowledge about my body and my ability.  I am not an athlete, I am not an injured athlete I’m just very unfit and out of shape.

Abs July 16

My Abs Now

I have put on half a stone and added 6% of body fat.  What I am noticing most is the inches. My clothes are not fitting well!

I can’t really enter a race because I don’t know how I am going to progress so I feel like I don’t have a goal. I also have this perception that people will see me out training and think that I look rubbish.

All this has made me realise how difficult it must be, for someone who has not trained before or not for a long time, to actually make a start.  How difficult it must be to set a goal when you don’t know your own body, how they may also think that people will be judging them and how they may be comparing themselves to other people. It all becomes a bit overwhelming and its a wonder anyone starts training. So for anyone reading this that doesn’t know where to start I invite you to join me on my fitness journey.  Not to achieve the same things I want to achieve. To achieve what you want.  The principles are the same.

Setting your goal

In terms of goal setting Anything Is Possible.  All you need is the idea you could possibly do it and the desire to have a go. And to not be afraid of “failure”.  The very fact that you tried is a victory in itself

What other people think of you

I am not going to say who cares, because clearly we all do. But I can safely say that having been a fit person I never looked at a less fit person out training and thought negative things about them. I have the utmost respect for anyone who gets off their backside and gets out and does something.  Whether that something is a full-blown marathon or a 2 mile walk/run really makes no difference at all.  You did something.

How I look

I am going to look freaking amazing. Because I am going to be so happy and grateful for being able to get out there and do something, that joy will be radiating brightly from my body, dazzling your eyes so much that you wont be able to see my saggy bum and stomach fat wobbling.  Don’t think about how you look. Be happy and confident (or at least act that way) and people will see a completely different person.

Set Milestones

These are going to be personal victories for me, not designed to impress anyone else.

Milestone 1:

Do something everyday, 6 days per week.  It doesn’t matter how easy it is, as long as I hit the session.  For me each session will be 30  minutes because I have a strong base to work from.  For other people it may be 10 or 20 minutes, just hit the session

Milestone 2:

Do something twice a day every day 6 days per week.  Twice a day isn’t necessary for general fitness but I am a triathlete and have 3 sports to train for!

Milestone 3:

Increase the intensity of some sessions and the duration of others. In other words I am going to start building on speed and endurance

Milestone 4:

To train confidently without thinking about my injury and have the confidence to start thinking about race entry


Short term:

  • Run for an hour non stop
  • Cycle 50 mile
  • Swim 2000m front crawl

Mid term:

  • Race a 10K
  • Keep up on the club intro ride
  • Re-join my lane in the tri club swim sessions
  • Go back to yoga

Long term:

  • Ride Chain Gang
  • Keep up on the Sunday club run
  • Race a half marathon
  • Swim open water
  • Enter a triathlon

How will I get there?

I am going to start with a basic walk run strategy.  To learn more about this read Running Tips for Beginners, Couch to 5K Training Plan + Confessions of a Health Blogger

I will put my bike on a turbo trainer so that I can be in complete control of the hills and speed

Swimming and yoga wont happen for about 3 weeks as I think they are the ones I will find the most problematic and my first sessions will be suck it and see

While some of this might sound a bit vague I will have a detailed plan of when each session will be and exactly what that session should look like. However if it hurts (injury wise) then the plan changes and I wont feel bad about it.  The plan always needs to be a work in progress, flexible and adaptable.  The plan is not a test, you don’t pass or fail, you make the plan fit you and your needs, and needs change.

So who is going to join me on my fitness journey?  Who is prepared to make a start today? It’s that simple.  You don’t need weeks of planning and preparation, you just need to stick a pair of shoes on and go out for a walk  or run.  Today, now, after work, this evening, regardless of the weather or whats on TV. There are no excuses. Stick the kids in a pushchair, rucksack, on a scooter and go. Because I can guarantee you will feel better for it!

To follow my fitness journey and to get some delicious, healthy recipes along the way click the follow button on this blog.

For extra tips and updates follow me on Facebook as cleanleanbeanblog

For pictures of my journey and food follow me on Instagram as cleanleanbeanblog

To keep recipes and blog posts organised you can pin them to your Pinterest boards and follow me as @cleanleanbeanie

And for those of you that can only deal with 140 characters or less follow me on Twitter @cleanleanbeanie

Lanz aqua

Back in the day! Running my way to a second place in an aquathon


One thought on “My Journey to Fitness Part 1: The photo I do not want to show you and getting my head around starting

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s