Finding my glow again

Last year I spoke at an event that was to inspire others to take ‘the plunge’ and go into business for themselves. The speech itself went extremely well and I was very excited to be able to inspire so many driven go-getters to start in the business world. Unfortunately, my high was quickly dampened when I saw footage and photos from the day, I saw them and I shrunk. I knew the voice, I knew the words, but I did not know the face; for the first time in years I didn’t recognise the person talking.

My face was bloated and I had lost my usual glow, and although I was smiling, I looked sad.

I’m sure many people met me on the day and thought ‘she’s a happy bubbly girl’ who were not privy to my lack of glow or my cheeks looking a bit on the chubby side. I was indulging in too much red wine and chocolate, and had completely thrown out my usually strict exercise regime. I have developed a fabulous habit (insert sarcasm here) of self-sabotaging myself as soon as I hit higher than normal stress levels. Then comes the anxiety and instead of breathing deeply through it (which doesn’t work for me) I self-sabotage. My smile still shines bright but I slowly start eliminating all the things that make me “glow”. I stop eating well, I stop going to bed at a normal hour, I stop all forms of exercise and hibernate, and I stop replying to messages and avoid all forms of contact from friends. So in the words of Dr Phil, I go out of my way to completely deplete myself of all things good, and in effect the stress and anxiety snowball… quickly. So while many people would assume I’m a happy go lucky chicken, in reality I’m a mixed bag of emotions ready to spill over. Now while all of this may sound doom and gloom, the one very positive attribute I have is that when I see the warning signs I act. After seeing this photo I knew it was time to get my butt into gear and make a change, the pity party was getting old.

For me, the best way to get back on track is getting active, which is quite literally the last thing anyone wants to do when they feel rubbish about themselves. Once I’m active the healthy eating and drinking part follows.  So like a smack in the face from the universe, the opportunity to join EzyFit gym quite literally fell into my lap. Before I knew it I was standing in reception in my very stretched active wear struggling to breathe as it cut in to me and signing up to start at the gym.  The last time I joined the gym I was a teenager, now as a thirty-something I felt not quite as cool or fit, and it quickly dawned on me ‘what on earth do I know about the gym?’

Feeling my vibe, Kate the gym manager suggested some classes I may enjoy and find easy, I mentally took note of Kate’s lovely face knowing I would need to sneak through the gym and away from Kate while these said classes were on and head for the treadmills. Realising I was going to need some additional support and help, Joey Mogg the owner also highly sought after PT put her hand up to take me on as her client (YAY!) and show me the ropes in the gym, promising I would be feeling amazing again in no time. (DOUBLE YAY!)

I drove home already feeling like I was moving in the right direction, I had a towel, a keyring for EzyFit, and a membership; I was halfway there.

The next morning at 4.50am my clock went off like a fire alarm screaming at me that it was time to get moving to the gym for my first PT with Joey.

When I entered EzyFit I was met by Joey who is one of the most beautiful people you will ever meet. She’s kind, she’s funny and her personality is infectious. Within seconds I knew I was in the right place, Joey took me though my paces so she could see where my fitness level was at (non-existent). She then started explaining to me the power of your heart rate and how working on this would not only give me a great result but would also accelerate the pace on getting a result… Music to my ears!

After a sweaty hour I was completely and totally exhausted, but I felt great and was already eager to come back the next day. Sweat – it’s an amazing thing, it makes you feel alive and reminds you you’re working.

The next morning I arrived early and saw a rush of people running into one of the studios, like a little lamb I gingerly followed and found myself smack bang in the middle of a Sprint class. Given that they did it with the lights off I thought, why not? I jumped on the bike and decided to break my RPM cherry, within seconds there was screaming, shouting and very fast music. People were jumping up and down on bikes like they were on a merry-go-round. I felt out of my element and yet also excited. 30 minutes later we were a pile of sweat and I was in awe of what I had just taken part in. How on earth had I never done an RPM class before? And more importantly when was the next one?

I instantly felt the need to find Kate, the gym manager, and tell her she was right, the classes rocked! Ten feet tall and bullet proof, I then took it upon myself to educate all that would listen to me on RPM and how it works. I mean now that I had attended one class I was clearly a professional.

On day two of PTs, Joey took my measurements and I was reminded why this change had to happen. My body was screaming out for some loving, and upon seeing the results I jolted my new diet plan into place. From that day on I was moving to meal prepping, green smoothies and lots of protein. I was going to become a meal prepping champion.

Fast forward three weeks into my fitness regime and I had started to feel brighter and perkier, plus my anxiety levels were slowly coming down. Green smoothies every day with at least 30 minutes of exercise and I was slowly finding my happy again.

In week four I decided to tackle Body Pump and also Tower, two classes I normally would have cringed at trying, however the other members were all so lovely I felt up for anything and ready to dance in the unknown.

By week six my game was strong people, I was attending 4-5 classes a week and two PTs with my trainer Joey – I felt alive! Joey has an incredible way about her with the way she trains; she pushes you to reach limits you never thought possible and has a way of making you feel like you can. With each session I could feel my body changing and my mind beginning to lighten, to think I was feeling this positive just six weeks later was truly mind blowing.

Making one single change to my world by joining the gym had started a domino effect of changes, each one positive and each one lowering my anxiety and stress levels. This change was never about loosing weight or getting skinny it was about feeling like me again. Eight weeks on and I am hooked, I’m still very much a work in progress but I’ve learnt so much about myself and my patterns. It’s okay to fall down the rabbit hole but it’s how you get back out that counts.