As mentioned in my goals for 2020, I have recently reduced the frequency of personal training at the gym from weekly to six weekly. You might be wondering why I did this, when one of my goals is to continue with my health and fitness journey and lose weight. Surely, the accountability that comes from seeing a trainer and weighing once a week would help keep me on track? You might think, but this didn’t really work for me in 2019. I had a great year in 2018, managing to lose 26 kg while seeing Alice every week, but after I recovered from a relapse and returned to the gym (having put some of that weight back on), it didn’t really help me. For one, I found personal training every week stressful on top of my commitments regarding the garden and hosting the wwoofers who have been staying with us to help us out. I was always cancelling, which didn’t make me feel good. I also didn’t want to annoy my trainer and felt that I was letting her down. Another thing was that I found weekly weigh-ins too much. I became so upset if the scales hadn’t budged and started to eat things I shouldn’t because I felt so depressed. Over the past few months, I did some reflecting on this year with regard to my health and fitness journey, as I didn’t want to make the same mistakes again next year. That’s why I decided to adopt a different strategy.
Although I made excellent progress seeing a trainer every week back in 2018, before that I have also gotten great results without seeing a trainer (and even gym) at all. You might recall me mentioning that I lost quite a bit of weight on my own. Yes, it is possible to train yourself! Sure, it takes some discipline and self-motivation, but it can be done in my experience. I used to train myself when I lived in Europe during my 20s. I’m not sure there is such thing as having a personal trainer in France! The thing is, I really like seeing my personal trainer Alice and she has helped me tremendously in the past, so somehow I wanted to marry the two together and strike a balance between seeing a trainer and training myself. This means that I will continue to have fresh exercise programmes in the weights area of the gym, which I can do myself. It also means accountability but rather than being obsessed with the scales, I can instead focus on the food scales every day, weighing, measuring and recording my intake so I get things right on a micro level. I hope that by weighing every six weeks, I am actually able to make better progress with weight loss, but time will tell.
In the past week, I have also started doing 10k runs again, even though they are on the slow side. In 2019, I mainly only ran 5ks because I thought I would do the Swim and Run series put on by the North Harbour Triathlon Club and that is the maximum distance. However, I attended an ocean swimming clinic put on by Banana Boat back in November and quickly learnt that ocean swimming isn’t for me. Just because you can swim in a pool, it doesn’t mean that you’ll find it easy to swim in the sea! The water was as thick as soup and I couldn’t see a thing! This left me devastated, because training for the entire year had revolved around this goal and I felt crushed by the fact that I wouldn’t be able to compete in the series, not to mention the fact I had missed the opportunity to compete in the first half of the YMCA 10k Summer Series, which I had done in 2018. It took awhile for me to pick myself up but I managed to develop a better long term outlook and set new goals for 2020, including health and fitness ones.
Now that the outdoor swimming pool in my community has opened, I have started going for a 45 minute swim every evening when they close the pool to all but lane swimmers. I have really been enjoying this time to relax and unwind after a busy day in the garden, usually with wwoofers.
Speaking of wwoofers, we have been taking them more regularly to try and help me prevent the injuries which I have been getting regularly, which all stem from gardening and not from the gym or running. My personal trainer has also incorporated some rehab work into my training programme so we can get to the root of some of the problems I have been having.
Finally, I have cancelled my Netflix subscription and instead subscribed to Les Mills On Demand so I can exercise in my own time at home if I can’t make it to the gym.
Lately, I have been finding it a real struggle to get to the gym. Although I have a membership at New Zealand’s best gym, Les Mills, it doesn’t make it any easier to actually use my membership. The main problem is that spring is typically the busiest time for gardeners and we have been hosting a constant stream of wwoofers to help me get on top of things. Although I always say that I’m going to reduce the scale of the garden each summer, that never ends up happening and I always end up being way in over my head! Unfortunately, this also means that I don’t have time to see my trainer, so I have had to resort to training myself, which can always be challenging.
I have already written about the benefits of having a home gym, but in this blog post I thought I would go a step further and provide some ideas for exercises that you can do outside the gym. For those of you that travel for work or pleasure, you may find these exercises useful as you can do them on the road. Some of these exercises use some basic gym equipment which I have invested in over the years.
Please note that I am not a qualified personal trainer but have been an avid gym goer and exercise fanatic over the past 20 years, so I merely hope to pass on some thoughts I have had about exercising remotely to others.
Cardio that doesn’t require a gym