Sometimes it is nice to stop, step back from the 100 mile an hour modern life we lead and take a breather. I use this time to reflect on the previous year’s achievements, focussing on the positives and learning from any mistakes.

Maybe you’ve made some new year resolutions. I think it is good to have a focus, maybe revisiting one or starting afresh. The thing is to be realistic – will your goals be achievable? Is it something you really want to do or are you following a trend? And, will this change make you truly happy?

Making changes in your life is a big step so when it comes to physical changes, you need to ensure you have the correct mindset. Trying to give up everything all at once usually lasts about a week then the ‘bad stuff’ starts creeping back in. Giving up alcohol, sugary treats, smoking, and fatty foods sounds great but are you psychologically ready to do that? Most of these are habits or addictions and it can make you feel or go a bit crazy when giving up all at once. The same goes for starting an exercise routine. There will be a lot of people thinking about or wanting to join a gym and they will start with great intentions, go nearly every day of the week, initially feel great but will it last? Boredom can set in, over-training causes injuries and other commitments can get in the way.

Changing habits is not a quick fix so to ensure you can reach your goals, take smaller steps to be sure you can maintain the changes made:

  • Write down your goals and when you would like to achieve them
  • Make smaller, more achievable goals. This will keep you motivated
  • Speak to a professional about your goals and let them help you to plan when and how these can be achieved
  • Find a place that you feel comfortable in. If a commercial gym makes you feel uneasy, find a smaller private studio. Smaller places can feel less intimidating with a fantastic community spirit
  • Don’t stress about making the changes quickly. It can be a slow process so if it’s getting fitter choose activities that you find fun and rewarding
  • Surround yourself with people that are supportive or want to join you on your journey
  • Acknowledge that these changes are for life
  • Make a food plan that you and your whole family can enjoy and remember bad foods will happen as long as it’s the odd day and not every day
  • Keep moving every day, even if it’s some mobility exercise first thing in the morning. Check out the video at the end of this article.

How does someone who really wants to change their lifestyle do it?

One of my clients is on an epic journey of weight loss. She had been overweight for many years. She knew it was time to do something about it not just for herself but for her family.

Knowing it was going to be a long journey and a difficult one, as she had tried many times before, Lou made the decision to join Amazon24 Fitness for personal training and group fitness. Lou also set up a group with her friends that wanted to support her and lose weight themselves and they would meet once a week for measurements and meal ideas. This is a fantastic idea as I have found that women who work and support each other, encourage and motivate can have a huge positive impact that leads to sustainable achievements.

A busy working mum of 4, we planned a month’s training in advance so it was included in her daily routine. Again this helped with consistent training patterns and we could track progress each week, helping with motivation throughout.

Meeting new people in the classes also helped as the community at the centre really came together and she found even more support and positive feedback, which encouraged Lou to keep coming back as it became a safe, fun environment. This in turn changed her mindset and the journey was beginning to become a little easier.

Lou posted every meal and snack on social media, as a way of accountability but also inspiring others that it can be done.

After a few months, Lou had lost another 2 stone but still continued to enjoy her time training. It was HER time, a way of de-stressing and regrouping her thoughts. Lou will continue because she has the amazing support of all the coaches and members and she will succeed. Her mindset has changed and we will not let that slip away. Making changes is not easy but it can happen. One thing you have to remember is nothing comes easy; there are no quick fixes. If you want to make physical changes then you have to work for it and it’s for the long haul, but it can be achieved.

I caught up with Lou after one of our sessions to see what she has to say:

Q What is your fitness and personal health goals
My fitness goals: Ideally lose 10 more stone and tone up or I’d be more than happy being a size 14/16. I’ve never been able to shop in many stores and to be able to go in and pick something would be great. I want to feel more confident, feminine and like myself. Not have to worry about what seats I can sit in, fitting around a booth and being able to run around with my little boy Freddie and still have all the energy I need.

Q. What has stopped you in the past getting to your target?
It was mainly lack of motivation and doing exercise on my own; I would constantly be insulted on the streets and that made me feel deflated when I really was trying my best. People just see a sweaty fat person and think “yuk!” They don’t think “she’s doing something! That’s awesome”. It made me feel insecure and not want to reach out to anyone for help in case I was turned away or judged.

Q. What has now changed – mindset… focus?
What has changed! Finding Mel and the Amazon24 Fitness family as Mel understands my physical struggle with my weight and sometimes my physical limits but she will push me and encourage me showing me the smallest change that grows each week. From being able to do a crunch to a push up or more weights and reps! These all help with seeing results as I’ve seen more inches lost and my body changing for the better. I feel fitter, more knowledgeable about my own fitness and health which has empowered me. Everyone that goes to classes has been a great motivator, they always praise you, encourage you and you feel although different shapes and sizes you’re in the same camp with the same struggles. They make me smile and laugh and I feel very grateful to have found such a great bunch of people.

Q. How have you changed the negatives in to positives?
Realising that just because the scales might not move much doesn’t mean I’m not making progress and once I understood that, it gave me a different way to measure my success. I Instagram my training and progress to help keep track on what I’m doing and it keeps me accountable for my actions.

Q. What do you do to stay on track?
Mel is great at keeping me engaged and focused along with group chats which gives you a good sense of community that have the same interests as I do. When you do lack motivation they pull you back as sometimes people in life that don’t understand the passion I have and the drive to better myself, it can be negative. So it’s surrounding myself with positive and active people that keeps me wanting more. I also track my progress with fortnightly measurements and each session is monitored so my work rate stays consistent. Some of my friends and my family encourage and support me which helps when I’m away from the gym.

Mobility moves

Before you start your work–out its important to get your body ready for exercise with some mobility routines. By clicking here you can watch some simple mobility moves that can be done not only before your work–out but every day, just as you get up in the morning and/or before you go to bed. Really effective and will help with loosening joints and flexibility.

Melissa Young

youngfitwell@live.co.uk
amazon24fitness
amazon24fitness.com

Read other articles written by Mel Young
Lessons in life Lifting
Keeping it real