When should you diet?
How should you diet?
What’s the best method for weight loss?
Is there a difference between fat loss and weight loss?
What’s a keto diet?
What’s the difference between slimming world and weight watchers?
(This is a whole new level blog / rant that will come soon, those who know me know my feelings on these money-making, non-educational, ‘diet’ schemes).
When will you feel good about yourself when you’re losing weight?
These are questions which I get asked all of the time but I wanted to clear some things up about the last question more than anything; when will I feel good about myself when I’m losing weight?
I’ll be really honest, about the middle of March I weighed myself and was shocked that I’d gained about 9kg and was sitting at 84kg. With Christmas, health, lack of training through injury and opening Pride Performance Gym and specifically Reese’s peanut butter cups, I’d sent my nutrition and training went out of the window. I’d noticed my clothes feeling tighter, feeling a bit less tight and most importantly, I was feeling absolutely awful about myself when I looked in the mirror. All I could see was my hips, my mum tum, my bum which was gaining great shape was feeling really saggy. Sound familiar?
So, did I diet?
I gave my head a wobble and put my concentration back into my nutrition, I wrote myself a plan, I worked out my macro’s and I started to stick to it. Great!
Was I feeling better? No.
I was losing weight, but I wasn’t feeling any better about myself and I realized something; I have never been confidence in my own body! I have been every size and shape from a size 16 to a heavily pregnant size 6-8 but I’ve never felt good about it. Surely, the skinnier we are, the better we feel? That’s what society says isn’t it?
Every time I looked in the mirror, I still saw my hips, mum tum etc., you get the picture? Why wasn’t I feeling any better?
Because I wasn’t looking for the change and the positive, I was still focusing on the negative and the things I didn’t like! I took this as a life lesson and began working on finding my own confidence recently (see blog post; bikini-not-ready to bikini-ready in a change of attitude) and I put more importance on feeling good in my own skin rather than dropping down and still being self-conscious! Learning to love ourselves is so important, there is so much pressure on looking or feeling a certain way!
I have three questions to ask yourself when you’re feeling the pressure;
- Am I healthy? This is important! I promote body confidence on all levels, but I want you to be honest, and this goes for all shapes and sizes, are you being good to your body? There is a lot of fat shaming in today’s society and I want to make it clear, I am not saying that; anyone of any size can be unhealthy. If you’re not, change one thing at a time, drink more water, go to the gym, for a run, concentrate on your eating. Don’t do everything at once!
- Am I happy? I don’t just mean in your body. Are you happy in general? I personally have an incredibly lucky life, don’t get me wrong, I also have some incredibly difficult times but day to day I have two beautiful children, an amazingly supportive boyfriend who’s taken my two munchkins on as his own from day 1, I own my own gym, I absolutely love my job. Does having a mum tum or my hips not being quite as small as I want them to be really affect this that much? No way.
- What do I like about myself? I’m not going to say find a reason to love yourself and then you don’t need to lose weight etc. don’t worry! I’m saying, have a look at yourself and find some positives, find a reason to smile when you look in the mirror instead of feel bad, find a reason to be confident in yourself. No matter how small this thing is, if you go from only seeing the negatives, even one tiny positive is a big step! The more you see that you like, the more you focus on the positives and the less you concentrate on the negatives, thus in turn increasing your confidence.
Unfortunately, I haven’t got any photos of when I first started to show you but I’ll use a more recent photo and show you what I mean.
Which of these thoughts are going to make me feel better about myself?
Hopefully, these answers will help you to see something in yourself and your life that you’ve not seen before and also give you an idea of one thing to change to begin with.
So, referring back to the question of the day; when will I feel good about myself when I’m losing weight? My answer, you should be beginning to feel good about yourself before you start!
If you don’t feel good about yourself before you start, who says you’ll feel good after?
If you are so busy looking for the next thing to fix, how can you appreciate where you are now or how far you’ve come? You don’t work as hard as you do just so you can pick at yourself somewhere else, you work hard so you can feel better and reach your goals and maybe set new ones once you get there but it is important to remember, it isn’t just about the destination, it’s the journey! Appreciate it all; the changes, your progression, your effort. Don’t let your hard work go to waste. Appreciate the little things and you’ll learn to love yourself at all stages, the beginning, the journey and when you see your results!
From bikini-not-ready to bikini-ready in a change of attitude!
Bikini shopping yesterday, my worst nightmare!
I’ve never been confident about my own body, I’ve never liked wearing a bikini and I’ve definitely never liked shopping for them! These trips usually consist of tears and tantrums!
“I find that you are always constantly worried about how you look and how other people see you. In a bikini, all your flaws are exposed” **
Finding a bikini…
I’m a size 10-12 everywhere really so you’d think shopping would be okay? Nope, I wear a 32FF! Ever tried getting a bikini that doesn’t cost a mortgage for 32FF bust? Nope, me neither! If you have and you succeeded, please let me know! I used to buy triangle bikinis that tie around the neck and the back and they were great, size 20 top size 12 bottoms, perfect! Then bikini designers decided clips were a great invention on bikinis and now I can’t even do that! Fortunately, Boux Avenue fit me perfect, but we will get onto that soon.
“I found it hard wearing bikini’s because I was so conscious of having small busts. I saw myself as not having a woman’s body so I felt like I had to have my boobs done to gain confidence and look good in a bikini in the way I was expected to look. This has given me some confidence but I still see my flaws. I’ve found now that I see other flaws instead but I’m really trying to be happy and content in my own body” **
Finding the right fit swimming costume…
Swimming costumes aren’t much better are they? I’m that awkward, curvy, muscle shape that means the size that fits my waist and tummy is up my big squat bottom (which I worked damn hard for!) or it fits my bum and it skims past my boobs and is loose on my tummy which makes me feel bigger or it fits my boobs and then it’s just huge everywhere?!
“I personally hate bikini shopping because nothing ever fits my massive bum! Tops are always too big and bottoms are always too tight” **
What is a beach body and how to get one?
We’re coming into summer now; holidays, ‘how to get a beach body’ article in every magazine, “look at … showing off her curves in her bikini” on the front page. Curves? She’s a size 6! Don’t get me wrong, she looks great but where are her curves and how’s that supposed to make anyone else feel good?! And then the dreaded bikini shopping. I think I’ve made it clear that’s definitely not my favourite type of shopping and I don’t feel like I’ve got a bikini body or finding a swimsuit to fit wouldn’t be so difficult would it?!
So many magazines, adverts and internet articles cover the topic of becoming bikini ready in the months before summer offering a range of different advice from the best exercises to the best diets to become bikini ready. Do we really have to lose weight to look good in a bikini?! No wonder the idea of buying a bikini is such a stress!
Is it just me or do all of these articles make it feel like real women; whether skinny or curvy, aren’t bikini ready?
“Personally I have to work out in the morning before putting on a bikini because working out makes me feel healthier and sexier” **
So what is a bikini body?
So what is a bikini body? Apparently, it’s a body that’s dropped a few lb’s, has a peachy bum and abs. Gorgeous? Yes. Realistic? No. Deepening insecurities? Definitely!
“Getting beach body ready always feels like so much pressure with social media full of unattainable bodies.” **
My opinion on a bikini body? A confident one! It doesn’t matter what size or shape you are, if you are HEALTHY, you DRESS FOR YOUR OWN BODY and you’re CONFIDENT!
“I’ve found the best way to get confident is by accepting my body rather than thinking negatively about it.” **
And everyone’s body but mine. I can’t be the only person who thinks I look fat and horrible in a bikini and then sees somebody bigger than me and thinks they look great but obviously I don’t look anywhere near that good, even when I’m 3 dress sizes smaller? Doesn’t this just show us that other people aren’t looking at us in the same way we are?
For someone who’s always lacked confidence, it’s funny because I’ve never had a problem with my stretch marks, my mum tum definitely, but not my stretch marks. I wear them proudly and so we should! They show a journey whether it’s weight loss, weight gain, muscle growth, pregnancy, and so many more. Wear them with confidence, be proud of your journey no matter what it may be and embrace your beach body!
Shopping for swimwear
So yesterday, I went the dreaded bikini shopping with my man for bikinis and I’m pretty sure he was dreading it as much as I was. BUT incredibly, not one tear was shed and I even managed a few smiles as I tried them on, walking out the shop with 2, yes 2, brand new bikinis! Thanks Boux Avenue!
Back to the first quote of this blog, when you look in the mirror you see things you don’t like about yourself, but does everybody else really see it too? When I look at these pictures, I see big hips, a mum tum, stretch marks, legs which aren’t the shape I want them to be, a lack of a waist.
Take a look at these pictures and tell me what you see?
And then I look at these pictures again and I see hard work, hours of training, abs trying to poke through and it feels like maybe, just maybe, I might be bikini ready after all!
“I’ve started trying to embrace all of the things I like about my body and working hard to make myself feel happy in my body. By not comparing myself to others, my confidence has grown so much”
So instead of looking in the mirror and seeing what you don’t like, look in the mirror an see what you do! Bikini shopping might not be so bad after all?
**Quotes are from my friends, family & our Pride Performance Gym members.
WOMEN & STRENGTH TRAINING!
6 myths debunked about Women & Strength Training (and even some benefits thrown in too!)
Lifting weights make you bulky;
I could reel off all of the biological and scientific evidence as to why this isn’t true but let’s have a bit of fun instead… Have you seen Mattie Rogers? She’s one of USA top 69kg (soon to be 71kg with the new IWF weight classes) Olympic weightlifters – go find her on Instagram @Mattiecakesssss and then decide if lifting weights makes you bulky! I bet you £15 credit at Pride that the thought doesn’t even cross your mind! But in all seriousness, the truth is that women don’t have enough natural testosterone to build enough muscle to become ‘bulky’. If you want to ‘tone up’ which seems to be a regular request from women in the gym, you need to build muscle and strip fat in order to make the muscle more visible and in turn creating the ‘toned’ look.
Lifting weights will make you gain weight;
Weight on the scales and the inches your body is measured in are not necessarily comparable. Have you ever heard of the saying, muscle weighs more than fat? That’s not true, 1lb of muscle is the same as 1lb of fat, but muscle tissue is a lot denser than fat tissue, therefore it fills a smaller space. That said, you may hold 5lb of muscle and still be ‘tighter’ than when that 5lb was fat.
“Strength training has made me feel strong & confident in myself as not only part of a supportive group of people, they have helped me to achieve my goals which I couldn’t have imagined reaching a year ago. I have also noticed my body becoming more toned and shapely which I had no idea could be achieved doing this type of training. I love what it has done to my confidence and would recommend it to anyone who wants to get into shape” – Becky
Weights areas in gyms are intimidating;
Not at Pride, we promise! We strive to be a community, welcoming and supportive of everybody no matter the variable (age, ability etc). I’ve been there (Heather) myself, scared of entering a weights section or a strength gym, so it’s hugely important to us that nobody feels like this coming to Pride! Strength training gyms as a whole are the most welcoming gyms you’ll ever encounter; the strength community is like one big family! To read more about coach Heather’s story and how she overcame the fear of the gym to owning her own, click here
“The owners are friendly and enthusiastic, nothing is too much trouble. If you want an approachable gym and atmosphere give this place a go!!” – Karrina
“From the minute we arrived we felt like part of the Pride.” – Kristin
“I hadn’t properly trained powerlifting before joining pride and I can definitely say that it was one of the best decisions I have made, and I’m never going to look back now. Pride is somewhere to get great training and not feel self-conscious or nervous. Would highly recommend joining the Pride” – Grace
Cardio burns more calories than weightlifting;
Not only does strength training add more definition to your body, tightening you in those areas you want to create a ‘toned look’ but it increases your metabolic rate (the amount of calories burned) and in turn your fat loss resulting in a leaner muscle mass and less body fat, a result which cardio alone cannot give you.
“I’ve been back doing strength training for 4 weeks and am really impressed with my results. Within that time, I have done no CV (cardio vascular), I have simply done weight training including powerlifting and strongman training & plyometric box jumps. I am really pleased already with my definition and all over body toning which has occurred in that time. I feel so much happier, calmer and confidence and starting to feel summer ready. My sessions with Heather have really helped with this transformation, the sessions are challenging yet fun, they push me far further than I would push myself and you can feel your exerts the next day. Strength training is definitely far more proactive for me than CV ever was.” – Rebecca
If you stop lifting, your muscle will turn to fat;
Fat and muscle are two completely different types of tissue and one cannot be exchanged directly for the other. We may find from long periods of rest that muscle cells atrophy (shrink) which in turn may decrease metabolism so continuing to eat the same without the same training may cause you to gain fat however that is a result of lack of training as opposed to your muscle turning into fat.
Weightlifting for women is dangerous;
Well, it could be but so can crossing the road if you don’t look both ways. As with anything, weightlifting can be dangerous if it is done incorrectly, without proper technique or equipment and a too heavy load but this is for both sexes, there is no further dangers for women than men. But with proper guidance, equipment and form, weightlifting has a number of physical and health benefits.
Allows you to eat a higher number of calories.
Increased muscle increases metabolism and in turn fat loss.
Builds muscle to sculpt curves creating the toned look you’re looking for.
Weightlifting boosts your confidence, in yourself and in the gym.
“Strength training makes me feel independent. I am strong, from my own hard work & dedication. No-one has given it to me & no-one can take it away” – Jenni
What can Pride offer women wanting to strength train?
At Pride, we’ve created our Boot Camp which will not only achieve the weight-loss and body sculpted results that you want but it’ll teach you to understand your own training, technique, and nutrition, as well as giving you your own personalised macro’s to follow to better your results! This plan doesn’t mean you have to eat perfect all day every day, don’t worry, that glass of red can still be yours at the end of a hard day!
On a Wednesday 9:30 am-10:30 am, we have beginner’s weights – want to take up a strength or weightlifting program but don’t know where to start? We’ve all been there, us included! Whether you’re new to the gym or just the weights section, help is here! Beginners weights incorporates strength training into circuits, teaching technique whilst building strength, burning fat and most importantly, having fun!
We offer a 7-week Barbell Basics Course on a Wednesday 7:30 pm-9 pm or Monday 1-230pm. Barbell basics is an introductory course into how to lift weight safely and effectively. This class is ideal for beginners who are interested in getting stronger or learning how to use weights. The gym is closed for these sessions and they’re limited to 6 people in order to provide the best coaching to all. Each week will focus on a different barbell movement; squat, deadlift, overhead press, bench press, snatch, clean and jerk; finishing with a technique competition on the 7th week to see what we’ve learnt!