0800 040 7526
Chrissie Wellington is, by any measure, an amazing woman said Lena Corner in The Observer recently. A few years ago Chrissie was a civil servant from Norfolk who had never excelled athletically. Now she is a champion of ironman, a hardcore endurance event that is made up of a 3.8km swim, then a 180km bike ride plus a full marathon. Remarkably, Wellington only discovered her capabilities in her early 20s when she decided to lose weight by training for the London marathon. She crossed the line in a great time of just over 3 hours. 10 years later she is now regarded as the greatest female endurance athlete in the world. Her secret is her drive and penchant for self destruction; in training she says “I go beyond what I think is possible. I punish myself and really learn to suffer. That gives me the confidence to know that when I’m racing and it hurts I can overcome it”. It also helps that she is totally OK with looking a mess. She thinks nothing of urinating in the saddle and often meets her boyfriend after a training session with white dried drool on her face. “if you’ve got the time to wipe dribble from your face than you are not working hard enough” she says. There are mental tricks too: she recites pop songs in her head during races, and also verses from Rudyard Kipling’s “If”, a copy of which she carries with her. “Because when you are 30km into the marathon, it’s not your body that’s carrying you, it’s your mind”.
Everyone ordinary can thus achieve the extraordinary, within the context of your own personal goals, whether it’s completing a 10k, swimming 10 lengths without stopping or dropping a dress size.
Go for it!
Anyone who has made a new year’s resolution only to fall off the wagon a few weeks later can appreciate that a change in behaviour can be difficult, involving a commitment of time, effort and emotion. The key thing to realise is that there is no one silver bullet, no single solution that works for everyone; it’s likely that you will have to try several techniques through a process of trial and error. If one way does not work, another way might, the key is to be prepared to go through several little failures without getting discouraged. Don’t do the same thing over and over again with the same negative result; try new ways to stay motivated.
The first step to success is to have realistic goals. If you are 20 stone, then getting qualified for the 2012 Olympics might be a bit unrealistic.Although you might have a shot in the wrestling. Instead of this one big goal divide the challenge into several smaller achievable but challenging steps that will lead towards the larger goal. So aim at first for a weight loss of 1 stone and add in a fitness goal like being able to jog non-stop for 10 minutes. When you have done that give yourself a huge pat on the back and make another small stepping stone goal towards the big endgame. Write down your goals!
The second step is to start at your own level. If you have joined a gym don’t go hammer and tongs in the first go. If it’s too hard you won’t stick with it, especially if you are walking like John Wayne for four days afterwards. Your body WILL change when stresses are placed upon it, but make it sustainable. Try to be out of breath and sweaty in cardio sessions, but not so that you can’t talk at all. In resistance training go for fifteen repetitions of an exercise at a level where the last few are hard, but don’t go all Rambo and try to do weights that are too heavy for you. Small steps.
The third step is to ask yourself if you are ready for change. Do you have the resources and knowledge to make a lasting change? It’s rare that an individual can do it all on their own (this is why celebrities have personal trainers!). So tell your friends and family what your plans are; ask them to help and encourage you. Use social networking sites to publicise your short and long term goals so that you have support from all angles. These tactics also give you accountability – the thought of your facebook friends making fun if you don’t stick with it will help you sustain the change. Get some hired help. A gym instructor or even better a personal trainer can show you exactly what you need to do and provide further support, encouragement and accountability. Even just one session a week might well be enough to keep you on the straight and narrow.
Step four is to identify barriers to change. Look at the potential barriers and make a plan to eliminate them or go around them. If you feel that time (or lack of) is a big factor, devise a fitness strategy where you exercise with reasonable intensity for shorter periods. A ten minute a day intense kettle bell routine done five days a week might work better for you than an hour or two in the gym once a week. The UK is a large highly developed country; there are tons of resources out there to help you. Explore them all and find what works for you! Classes, community centres, horse riding centres, judo clubs, village hall pilates classes, it’s all out there, investigate!
Step five-focus on the huge positive gains to be had from exercise and healthy eating. Who doesn’t want to live longer, have more energy, look better, have fewer wrinkles, feel friskier, avoid disease, have fun and be fit? Go for it!
We would like to welcome our new London Personal Trainer to the team Nikkita Hope- Brown. Nikkita is not just charming, driven and experienced but is also a REPS level 3 advanced instructor and kettlebell qualified.
Nikkita covers personal training for us in the Regents Park, Kensington, Battersea and Clapham areas of London. Call or email us for a free consultation.
For the next week, in the quest to make Britain fitter and slimmer, Diets Don’t Work will be looking at cunning but hopefully easy ways to keep and/or get in shape. Today’s tip is to stack your fridge in the following way:
Put all the good healthy foods on the middle shelf, and if you can keep all salads and vegetables out of the salad drawer and on this middle shelf too then great . Things that might not be so good can be hidden on the bottom shelf, perhaps any processed foods or ready meals, and the really bad items can go at the back on the top shelf. This is where the clotted Cornish cream can go.
Research at Cornell University found that you are 27 times more likely to eat healthy foods if they are within easy reach on the middle shelf in the fridge. Basically you know that you are lazy, so turn this to your advantage!