Over the past few weeks I have been talking about September goals and what you can achieve between now and Christmas. I’ve covered goal setting, action planning, motivation and mindset. So this week I want to share with you an inspirational story that will hopefully help with all of the above.
Emma joined us in February this year aged 43 and (in her own words) has been overweight her whole life.
“I have tried to lose weight with varying degrees of success only to put it all back on again and more besides! As someone who is terrified of the ‘gym’ this was a big step. I found a gym whose members are mainly women, of varying ages, sizes and levels of fitness, which has a very supportive staff and community. Despite my misgivings I found I actually enjoyed going!”
Shortly after joining, Emma set herself the challenge of climbing Snowdon for charity. I devised a weekly plan for Emma which she followed religiously until unfortunately Emma got injured – pulling her gastrocnemius muscle which meant she would not be able to complete the challenge.
“I was devastated!… I laid awake trying to convince myself I am not a failure, that this was just a minor setback. It took some doing but I am now more determined than ever to fight my way fit.”
Emma had to stop walking until her leg was better, but she still persevered with her PT sessions – getting a lift to the studio and participating in an adapted session on crutches. That’s what we call commitment!
Once Emma was fully recovered, she was more determined than ever to get fit and that was when she asked me about running…
“I am overweight and have not run in over 20 years. Although I want to run I am not naïve enough to believe that I can do and that is okay. I am finally beginning to understand that the only failure is not trying. I am learning that the value is in giving something a go, giving my all, even if I don’t succeed.
So what is stopping me? I was thinking about this last night and came to the conclusion that it is the fear of being laughed at, humiliated! I mean, if I joined a running group, even if it is for beginners, how would I fare? Not very well I would imagine!! I don’t know what sort of distances these groups run but as it is I would probably not manage longer than a minute or two before I collapsed … Not very fair on everyone else in the group. But more than that, I suspect these groups run in public and while I have no doubt the group would be supportive what about the general public? Even walking can sometimes elicit comment because of my size. Who knows what would happen if I was to run!”
In May, Emma was brave enough to start running short intervals of 30 seconds at a time – two sessions a week, plus two PT sessions and 1 long walk – and within 6 weeks was running a fantastic 22 minutes nonstop and had signed up to do a virtual 5K race for motivation.
Emma completed the 5K – running non-stop, under her goal time of 45 minutes and at her goal pace – and soon started to think about the next goal. I suggested that she could either concentrate on getting quicker or running for longer and Emma decided she wanted to run 10K by Sept 17th… approximately 4 months since starting running after having not run for 20 years!
Emma’s training plan progressed each week – building up gradually by half a kilometre. And on 1st September (2 weeks ahead of schedule) Emma completed her first ever 10K run!
“I can’t believe that in 16 weeks I have gone from zero to 10k. Guess it really is amazing what you can achieve if you want it bad enough and work hard enough.”
Now that is one inspiring person & story, right?!
I haven’t even talked about the psychological impact the exercise has had on Emma or the weight or inch loss! She has had so many successes and still has so many to come too and I’m so proud to be helping her along the way.
The key things Emma has done:
- Asked for help
- Accepted my help and advice
- Done exactly what I’ve asked her to do…
- EVERY SINGLE WEEK
- Challenged herself with new goals
- Created accountability with me and her Facebook blog – read it here
- Put in lots of effort even when it was hard
- Remained positive even when things weren’t going her way
- Put in even more effort
- EVERY SINGLE WEEK
And you can do it too! You just have to take the first step. Contact me if you need help/motivation/support with the first step or you can do it alone – I don’t mind… the main thing is you do START.
Note: This advice is suitable for beginner level upwards, but please consult your GP or physiotherapist if you are unsure about any potential contraindications.
onesixeight: fitness provides Personal Training in Loughborough and online for men & women who want to get fit, tone up & feel more confident. Use the contact page to get in touch 🙂