Oh, what to do! What type of exercise is going to reduce my rather overly voluptuous figure to normal curves while trying to enjoy it at the same time?
This was my thought when I came back from Zambia where surprisingly I had put on a lot of weight. Everyone assumed I would come back as ‘thin as a rake’ after being away with a rather limited choice of food, but no, not me. I came back looking very healthy! In Zambia it was deemed to be advantageous to be large and big bottomed so I fitted in very well ☺
A selection of comments I received rather too regularly
‘Madam, you are looking very lovely today, you are SO fat, very nice!’
‘Madam Lisa, I see you must be very happy as you are getting fatter everyday’
I know they were complimenting me but try to explain to a 12-year-old that it’s not 100% appropriate to say this to an English lady does not really translate to well so I developed a thick skin and big bottom at the same time!
So on my return it was my resolve to get fit and loose little bit of weight. I also was keen to meet likeminded people as I had lost contact with many of my friends over time and after all if was my time to start my new (or another) chapter of my life.
So, what to do?
Swimming – great all over exercise but it’s so much faf! Getting to the pool, getting changed, getting wet, getting pruney fingers, getting changed again, and getting freezing in the car park. I think not…
Exercise DVD’s – too easy to watch them with a cup of tea and a biscuit rather than actually do it – well you need to watch it a few times to get the technique right don’t you?
Gym? Been there before and got a little addicted to the weights and ended up as wide as I was tall ☺ Also I think mirrors should be banned in gyms and then it would cut down the amount of time people are in there doing their stuff. I have observed that many people incorporate the mirror into their work out - 10 reps, walk to the mirror, and check themselves out as if miraculously those 10 reps have increased bicep size already! A walk about the gym to show everyone the size of their biceps and another 10 reps – it must take ages!!
Gym classes – It was just aerobics and leg warmers in my day. I returned to a confusing amount of classes of which I did pick a few to have a go at. Nowadays there are dimmed studios and flashing lights, with my eyesight I can’t see what the instructor is doing! I must admit I got slightly intimidated and paranoid in these classes and a bit of the ‘odd one out’.
I feel like I am a friendly person who would chat on to anyone but this did not work in my favour at my local gym. I tried to join in the conversation with the ladies waiting for class – Awkward!! ‘How dare you try and talk to us, ‘who do you think you are joining our class? ‘Don’t you dare even think about standing in my space which is 3rd to the left and 10 inches from the front’
Well they did not actually say that but that’s what it felt like!
So all of the above was crossed off the list
Then I discovered something that I loved both for the exercise and atmosphere.
Welcome to my life of British Military Fitness!
To start off with the title can look a little imposing – and I suppose discipline and hard work and shouting instructors could come to mind
Actually that is very true but it’s fun, motivating and effective. The instructors do shout but in a very nice way, I promise!
I have now been BMF for a year and is one of my favourite parts of the week. (yes, I know I am a bit strange!)
An hour of total body workout pushing your lungs and muscles to the limit but a way that makes you not even think about the pain (well not much) and the time flies. Have you ever been on an exercise bike in the gym obsessed with looking at the minutes slowly ticking as you pedal away going nowhere?
I won’t lie, it’s tough but the support you get from your instructor and fellow members gets you going and through it. Gone are the days of not wanting to make eye contact with someone at the gym or worrying what I am wearing as it might not by the ‘in style’
Here you are greeted warmly by both instructors and members. I don’t need to be concerned about what I am wearing or what I look like as none of that matters. If it cold and muddy don’t worry, everyone is in it together and it’s the team spirit that really makes BMF work.
‘I can’t do it’ I often said at the start, ‘’of course you can’ says our instructor and members in unison. ‘OK, OK, I will give it a go’! Guess what? I can do it and it feels great! Whether it’s an extra press up, running a little further or one more of the famous burpees, achieving a new goal is so motivating and I guarantee you I leave every session with a smile on my sweaty red face!
Not only have I got back into shape, I have made new friends who are like minded and supportive, plus I have started running which is my other passion. (The fitness you gain from these sessions really support other sports as it builds strength and endurance)
After a day at work it’s easy to become de energised and no inclination to raise your pulse rate, raising a glass of wine can sound a much better alternative but as soon as I get my trainers on and get out of the car I know I am going to have a great time and achieve something that will make me proud I have got off my backside. Plus, I have burnt off a lot of calories so more dinner for me ☺
I would thoroughly recommend BMF to anyone of any age, shape size or ability. If you are passing a park and see a group of people running around in multi coloured bibs why not join them? If your Maidenhead way come and join me at Braywick Park – you will be welcome!