Last week I achieved one of my life goals, to run 5km in under 20 minutes. I couldn’t help but beam with pride as I ran my fourth sub 20 minute 5km this week, because life hasn’t always been this fit.
I started exercising around the age of 17, when I noticed that I was gaining weight due to eating all of the rubbish that was being served at my college. I joined the gym because I wanted to look good, but I didn’t really know what I was doing so my training sessions were usually based around the cross trainer and other cardio machines. I didn’t know much about nutrition either, but I thought that eating things like Special K bars and Snack-a-Jacks would make me become healthy because that’s what the TV adverts said!
The transition from working out to look good, to working out to feel good was a gradual one, but over the past two years I have fallen madly in love with the world of health and fitness. I enjoy researching into food and I have learned that just because the media says it’s healthy, it doesn’t actually mean that it’s healthy.
I like to eat food that makes me feel good which includes lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, nuts and complex carbs. I don’t count calories or macronutrients because “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” I think counting calories and macros could easily lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, so it’s not something that I do.
Life is for living, not restricting. If I fancy an evening of eating warm cookies and popcorn with my boyfriend, I eat my cookies without hesitation and I don’t feel guilty about it either. And, if the girls are having an evening of drinking Prosecco, I am usually among the first to arrive! I believe that life is about creating memories with the people you love the most. I want to be remembered for my smile, not for how I looked.
My training is quite varied but exercise I around 5-6 times a week, and this includes 4 runs and 3-4 resistance/weight training sessions. I also like to throw a few exercise classes in here and there to spice things up a bit!
My love for health and fitness has opened up so many doors and it has become the backbone of my blog. I have had the chance to model for global sports brands, attended lots of exciting events and I have also crossed paths with people who I consider to be friends for life.
But, despite all of the glitz and the glamour, I think that the thing that I have enjoyed the most throughout my fitness journey, is inspiring others to start their own journey. I love receiving messages from friends and strangers, asking for advice. Knowing that I have inspired someone to change his or her life for the better is such a wonderful feeling and it makes me feel purposeful.
If you stop working out to look good and to start working because you want to feel good and live a long healthy life, healthy living becomes second nature. Exercise will no longer feel like a chore, you will start to enjoy it and the more you understand about nutrition the easier it will become to say no to junk food.
Establish your goals and make incremental changes to achieve them. Be patient but more importantly, have fun with it.
Life is for living.