Our fitness journey...
*Disclaimer: We are beginners. We are definitely not the experts when it comes to fitness but are sharing our attempts to become fitter and most importantly more positive people.
We decided that we needed a lifestyle change around two months ago. We always do these things together as we find it much easier to stick at something when we have each other to keep us motivated and accountable. We are both very busy during the academic year. Kate is full-time studying Law at university in Dublin whilst SarahJane is a full-time teacher of English and Drama, tutor and currently musical producer (time is scarce). However, we knew that something had to give and we needed to prioritise our health and mental health by starting at the gym with Joe's Body Works. In addition to this the fact that both of our body fat ratios fell in the red zone was motivating!!
We have tried lots of exercise classes before which are fantastic, they are particularly good value for money and a great way to meet people. However, we are not trying to lose weight and needed as much help in the health and nutrition department as fitness. That is why we started with Joe's Body Works. Our main aim was to feel better about ourselves, we weren't looking for dramatic changes or abs overnight (even though Kate checked after every single sit up). Ideally we wanted to tone up and make minor changes to our diet.
Anyone who knows us knows that we are not healthy eaters. The shock that comes across people's faces when they see our hefty portions. We eat little to zero meat or protein and fill our plates with carbs. We love pasta, pizza, chips and bread - that was basically our diet. To be honest not much has changed with regard to our diet since we have started but we are definitely more conscious of ensuring we have enough protein. We have made changes to our breakfasts choosing to have eggs but allowing ourselves toast which is a much more filling breakfast than coco pops. We still have bread for lunch and carbs for dinner but ensure there is enough protein to accompany it. We try not snack as much on chocolate and sweets but have a treat when we want one. A strict diet would never ever work for us because we love and enjoy food too much. It's all about balance. Perhaps people reading this would say our scales are still on the unhealthy side but we are happier with more energy than ever before.
In the gym we mainly train using weights. Girls are always afraid they will look too muscular or fear going into the weights area because it is male dominated. This is one of the reasons we went to Joe. Joe puts you completely at ease when in the gym. He teaches you how to correctly perform each exercise and explains where exactly it is working and the benefit. It is very easy to feel overwhelmed when you're not sure what you are doing and we are now a lot more confident using the machines and weights and could now walk into any gym and get started ourselves. That is the beauty of it.
Whilst we love weights and know that it is the way to tone your body we missed the feeling of coming out of a class sweating feeling like you've worked so hard. That is why we also go to Emmet Stewart's Sweat Class at Ignite Dance Academy once every week. We don't like the treadmill or cross trainer and find it hard to stay motivated while doing cardio at the gym. This is a fun and alternative way to burn body fat whilst having fun - dancing! It is difficult but definitely rewarding as it works every part of your body.
This is a lifestyle change which may seem minor but has really helped both of us mentally relieving us of stress and giving us more energy when we come out. We never ever come out of either session feeling more tired than when we went in - we come out full of life! I was always sceptical of this when I heard other people talk about the benefits of exercising for your mental health but I can safely say we are sold!
We are heading off on holidays for a month and want to continue with these lifestyle changes while away. It will be a very active holiday with a lot of walking so we're safe on that side. Food wise we won't be denying ourselves pasta or pizza in Italy but maybe we will be more careful snack wise (which will also be good for our budget).
Making these small changes has been great for our confidence and overall health. We want to make this something we do all the time instead of in a race ahead of summer. Hopefully this time we can really stick at it for good.
Kate & SarahJane x
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