It is week 5 of my bikini fitness training programme. By now, I thought, to be honest, that I would be able to forgo my winter knits and do the school run in a little black dress, if I so pleased, thank you very much. Not quite......
It would be fair to say that thus far, I have gained weight albeit muscle, but I don't feel quite ready to do a backless dress or vest top yet. I know, I know, Rome was not built in a day and it is difficult for women to grow lean muscle mass. I also know that I need to learn to be more patient.
The truth is, I don't look that different. So here's the thing, I was doing some searching and wanted so desperately to share my progress, like how I was accidently mistaken for a celeb or how my strength has so greatly improved, that I fireman's lifted a grown man from a burning building. None of this is true, so I did some deeper searching and came up with these insights. Insights, which I think could be applied to anyone, going for just about any goal and is definitely true if you're trying to get beach body ready:
1. You have got to keep the faith - The truth is the training is simple, but it's not easy and that's the difference. It does require a level of commitment that not everyone has and that could be said of any goal. You have to really want to achieve it, most of us feel an initial euphoria when we start our journey towards a new goal and as time goes on our enthusiasm diminishes. For me, I have to keep reminding myself of the outcome, what I will get out of the experience.
2. Get help - I couldn't do this without help. I don't have the skills or knowledge to put together my own programme and lift in the ways you need to get the results I want. I do suffer with some personality deficiencies, which could be best described as 'drama queen'. This means, I can think that I am the only person to feel like this, or to suffer to this extent. To be honest, I thought this side of me had disappeared with my teenage braces and bottle blue NHS glasses (hello 80's child!!!). However, there is nothing like getting out of your comfort zone, to remind you that you need to get help. My trainer motivates me, reminds me of what is possible and knows exactly what to say to get the best out of me. People around you can make a massive difference to how you feel and that impacts what you feel you can achieve.
3. Trust the Process - I've been given the process by a trained professional. I have to trust that it will work. It's been done before, there's nothing so unusual about me (or odd for that matter) as to why the process won't work. In fact, you could argue that it doesn't matter if I have the faith or not. As long as I do the do, it's going to work, fact.
4. Focus and Celebrate the Positives - So far, I have noticed a lot of positives about weight training. Now it's week 5, I have a lot more energy than I used to, there is no doubt that daily chores like lifting your 5 year old in and out of the supermarket trolley, assisting your husband move his latest 'up cycling' project into the house (an oak dresser no less) have become easier. I feel stronger, I can run faster (handy when kiddos make random breaks for freedom) and oh I nearly forgot my jeans size has decreased.
5. Be Kind to Yourself - The worst week, I've had so far, is when I did not take care of myself. It is common sense, but when life gets busy, going to bed early, drinking water and eating well can start to fall off the priority list. I have to do all these things, so that I basically don't become a tearful, gibbering wreck (and that was true before I even muttered 'bikini fitness'!!)
So there you have it, if you're going for a goal keep on keeping on. You have to do the behind the scenes stuff and like water put on a hob to boil, it can look (and feel) like nothing is happening. Don't listen to your inner critic or the well-meaning lady at the bus stop. You don't need anyone else's permission or to justify yourself, just keep the faith and keep going. You will have your bad days, you're human, but just keep doing it anyway.