Exercise doesn't scare me anymore

3 Sept 2020

Over the years I have written about my body in regards to my weight, size and how I feel about that. It's not always been positive, in fact I've made a point in the past of saying that I was not body positive (something we'll discuss another time), and it's no secret I have been an on-off member of WW, formerly Weight Watchers, for years. But over the first half of 2020, I really started to get a fire in my belly about something I haven't done for 8 years, something that made me feel excited every time I cautiously did a little bit of research into what would work best for me. That something, was exercise.

A picture of Sophia, founder and editor of Tattooed Tealady. Sophia is wearing a stone grey dress and has purple hair, smiling at the camera with autumnal makeup.
Apart from mandatory exercise in school, exercise has never really been 'a thing' that I do. There is only one other time in my life when I have actively and purposely exercised, and that was eight and a half years ago when I was 23. I used to get up ridiculously early and go to a local University gym with my friend, working out and feeling great for it. I enjoyed it, genuinely. But life got in the way and it was no longer convenient for me to fit the gym in around as life got busier and I stopped going, ceasing any and all exercise in the process. 

My body was a world apart to what it is now at 32, the mother of two children birthed via caesareans and someone who has been on and off WW for over a decade (diet culture is a big topic to cover, so expect me to go over this in a future post too)

Over the years I've toyed with the idea of becoming active again, but it's always been on the the back burner because I felt I didn't have the time to properly do it, not now I'm a parent. Well, I guess lockdown gave me the time that I needed (and also made me realise that actually, yes, I can fit this in around our family, work and home life), because I decided to bite the bullet and invested in some activewear before signing up to an online bootcamp.

I know my body, I know my habits and I know I am also very privileged to have a body that I can move in. I am a firm believer in size, weight, and BMI, not being valid indicators of a person's health and wellbeing; but I also know for my own personal body and health, I am not currently healthy and happy living in this body and I needed to make changes so that I could keep up with the girls, better control my asthma, and a personal aim - to get stronger, physically. I'm not saying I want to enter weightlifting competitions, but I would definitely like to be able to lift a decent weight and make my body as strong as I comfortably can.

As part of the bootcamp I do four workout sessions a week; there's a 30 minutes HIIT class, two 1 hour Full Body workout and a 30 minutes Abs & Core class. It is intense, but more manageable than I thought it would be for my body, and after just five weeks on bootcamp, I'm already seeing some really positive changes in the right direction. I have been taking photos, I have been taking measurements, and I am weighing myself; but none of that is information I will be sharing, because it's just not necessary for anyone other than myself, to see what I have achieved. 

Alongside the bootcamp I am also making sure to walk a lot more. I've used FitBit for years and probably only a couple of handfuls of times over that period, have I hit the recommended 10,000 steps a day. So I've been making myself go out for brisk walks more often, making sure I hit my targets, which I first set at 3,500 daily steps, then a 4,200 target and now, 5,500 steps to reach each day. I plan to introduce yoga into my workout regime, and I'm also braving Couch to 5K. I've just finished week 1, but I plan to do it again until I'm comfortable moving onto week 2.

I was worried about sharing 'my journey' (it always sounds so corny, doesn't it, but it really is a journey), but I have had countless messages of support and encouragement and have managed to share my progress in a way that, I hope, gives people who don't want to see it, a chance to tap out for the time I talk about it. I want to make it clear, though, that my decision to make these changes is purely based on my own body and health and nothing else. I do not hate my body; it nurtured and birthed two babies and is the body that helps me move and live every single day, but for my personal health, my body is not healthy. 

If you would like to keep up with my journey to becoming stronger, I am sharing the most on a daily basis over on Instagram @TattooedTealady, where I share all of my workout updates, activewear I can't seem to stop buying, tasty meal and snack ideas and all the rest that comes with working out. You can also find me on Twitter @TattooedTealady and over on my Tattooed Tealady Facebook page.