So I first started being interested in fitness when I saw a picture of myself at a family outing in summer 2009. I hated the shape of my face and decided something had to change. I had never eaten badly; my Mum is a fantastic cook who made plenty of healthy, balanced meals throughout my childhood (and still does now!) But when I moved to university, I replaced her homecooking with convenience meals… and alcohol. I also wasn’t overly active – I was a university student, who loved nothing more than going out drinking and eating cheesy chips at 3am. Over the summer, I started attending classes at the health club/gym that my Mum was a member of and lost about 8lb as well as growing, yes, growing, an inch taller! My posture had improved so much from exercsising that I became taller than my Mum. Check mark on the bucket list!
In 2009, I signed up for Cardiff half marathon (more was coerced into it when I had had a few vodkas!) and I loved the feeling of seeing my body change, as well as becoming visibly fitter. I loved doing the half marathon and completed 2 more in Cardiff subsequently. In 2011, my boyfriend of the time persuaded me to join this new low cost gym. I gave him my debit card details and told him to sign me up, as I am guilty of ‘bookmarking’ such things and then never following through! We signed up for a Friday evening class, with a very enthusiastic but friendly trainer and we loved it! I became a bit of a class attending-aholic, and loved the atmosphere and the friendliness of the personal trainers and the post workout endorphines. I became interested in nutrition and used meal replacement shakes for about 6 months, which was my first introduction to protein shakes. Something I was always fearful of (I lived up to the female stereotype of thinking this would make me bulky!)
After using meal replacement shakes, my weight loss plateaued and when I stopped using them, I gained back weight as I was left with big sugar cravings. I wasn’t sure what to do, so went back to the personal trainer who I had first met on the first day at the gym! He took me into the weights room (I refused to go in there unless personally escorted) and gave me a diet plan to follow. I can’t pretend I enjoyed my first few experiences of using real weights as opposed to lurid colored dumbbells that look like cat toys. But I perservered. And, oh, how things have changed!