Let’s talk about fitness. I know, *insert collective groan*. But you know it all links up – beauty, fitness, food – all work together like a well oiled machine when you’re top of your game but when going to town on a pack of Pringles while your trainers gather dust is a daily occurrence – not so much. I’m obviously speaking from experience with the latter, but over the past few months I’ve been trying to ramp up my activity to more than just bending over to pick up a tub of Ben and Jerry’s out of the freezer, and actually doing something that makes me sweat. And boy do I sweat. I mentioned a while back that I was easing myself into running. Well after coming close to vomiting on my doorstep on a few too many occassions I decided to regroup, and I think I’ve found a routine that works for me. I’m only a month in, but hear me out on this one…
So one day while perusing the ‘Recommended for You’ page on YouTube that is usually littered with umpteen ‘Subtle Makeup Tutorials’ and ‘Cute Cat Sneezes’ videos, I stumbled across a channel cause Fitness Blender. A husband and wife run channel brimming with workout videos, 430 to be exact, that cover everything. They work you hard, guide you through the easy-to-follow routines and I like the fact there’s no background music so I blast out some tunes on my iPad while I sweat it out (how many times can I say sweat in this post? Sweat count: three). Now if you’re feeling like a maverick you can jump right in and get doing those high knees, but I went down the more structured path and downloaded their ’8 Week Fat Burn’ programme, that sounds a little extreme but is basically a calendar laying out when is best to do what workout. £5 well spent in my opinion. It suggests exercising five days a week, Monday to Friday (Saturday too in the second month), and the videos it points to usually average out at about 50 mins. It’s intense, and a pretty big commitment but if I miss a day or two I just restart from where I left off. No biggie. The first week hurts, like real bad, even lifting my arms to shampoo my hair was hard, but it’s got better and now I feel pretty good after prancing about my living room, obstructing my Boyfriend’s view of BBC Breakfast on the TV behind me at 6am each morning.
One of the (many) stumbling blocks when it comes to exercise is the gear. Though for the Fitness Blender routines there isn’t much bumf you need. Here’s what they suggest, with some notes of what I’ve actually been using.
- Gym Gear – The first few sessions I did in my pants and bra (due to mid-heat wave conditions – what a sight, eh?) but after a week or so I relented and made a trip to an unexpected favourite shop of mine, Nike. I did not leave empty handed. But less is more when it comes to clothing – you’re going to get hawt and make the most of letting it all hang out in the comfort of your own home.
- Mat – This I had some years ago when I had a yoga moment and actually it comes in so handy. It means you can do the floor work without getting bits of fluff (or Cheerios that have fallen on to the carpet) in your belly button.
- Dumbbells – I completed some arm-focused videos with wine bottles swapped-in but damn that was painful. In the end I relented and picked up some weights, but you can pick them up for under a tenner.
- Bench or Fitness Ball - There’s no room in my flat for a gigantic bouncy ball, I’ve got lipsticks to house people. I’ve made do with clearing my coffee table and laying on that whenever either of these two are suggested in the routines.
Fitness aside, I’ve also been working on the upping the ante when it comes to food. I love food. Love, love, luuuurve it. I look at the dessert menu, before the main course one – I’m that kinda gal. So something super restrictive is never going to fly with me. I’m a proponent of the Clean and Lean approach (the books by James Duigan are a must read if you want to overhaul your diet) – stick to real, unprocessed foods in their natural states. I could never stick to those restrictions 100%, but I go for a 80:20 split keeping an eye on what goes on my plate 80% of the time and letting whatever the hell I like go in the rest – moderation and all that. I’ve been sticking to my word in unison with the Fitness Blender routines and you know what?. I’m feeling gooood.
I’m only a month in, but who knows? Maybe I’ve got into a groove I’ll stick with. I’m never going to get to the stage where I’ll turn down a GU Melt in the Middle Chocolate Fondant, but my jeans button up without feeling corset-like and I’m getting less and less like the wheezy penguin toy from Toy Story when I run for the bus by the day. It’s a win, win.