Failing My Fitness Challenge?

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The time in between years is a time we use to reflect on the year gone by. As part of our Solstice & New Year rituals we light a candle each night and towards the turning of the year our discussions centre around the past 12 months and the coming year.

Last year I crossed a mental barrier and had joined the local gym. I had spent a long time thinking about my increasing lack of activity and I wanted to be strong and fit for Blogtacular in the Spring.

When I went for my induction I snapped the photo above and uploaded it to Instagram. The response and support was so incredible that I added a hashtag, #katfit52, on a whim. Standing there at the foot of the mountain in January I figured it couldn’t get harder to go to the gym each week.

So it turns out that doing something every single week is tough. There are several reasons for this: my childcare hours got cut, I tore my calf muscle and I was really really tired. I think the overriding issue was that after Blogtacular my singular focus had gone and, compounded by squeezed time and injury, I let it slip. When the first week I didn’t set foot in the gym passed it became easier to let it slide down the priority list and I don’t think I’ve been in there on a Monday morning in the last six months.

Of course I am almost deliberately looking at this from the negative point of view. If you flip it around I went from pretty much zero active weeks to 37/52. That’s 70% and I’m taking it as a win.

KatFit52

I learned a lot from not completing my 52 in 52 weeks; sometimes setting a challenge isn’t as straight forward as it first seems.

One: I was so out of tune with my body. I knew that I wasn’t feeling right but until I started to actually focus on what my body could do that I realised just how much it couldn’t. The first time I did the cross trainer I couldn’t manage more then three or four minutes.

Two: finding plus size workout gear and shoes is in and of itself a nearly impossible task. This time of year is your best bet as big businesses cash in on our resolutions. My solutions – sports bra from Simply Be, running leggings from Sainsbury’s, (men’s wide) shoes by New Balance and t-shirts from ASOS although these are cotton rather than technical tees.

Three: July and December are a write off. It’s taken me a long while to realise that school events and the flurry of trying to get work done before the end of term leaves little time for anything else. I need to factor this in next year, lots of frustration came from trying to carry on as normal.

Four: people assume I’m trying to lose weight. I’m not, I’ve said so from the start. I know I would feel better if I did but I also know enough about the complexities of my body and weight to know that it’s not that simple. I’ve ended the year on the same weight as I began; no more, no less. I’m good with this and I hope everyone else is too.

Five: and this is the big one. It’s ok. It’s ok not to do it all. It’s ok to cut yourself some slack. The world doesn’t end, you can fail and start over.

So that’s my year of fitness. 37/52 weeks and proud of it. I’m undecided on whether I will finish the hashtag or begin a new one. One thing I know for sure is that this is important to me and I’ll be making time for it in 2015.

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3 Comments

  • Reply Lianne January 2, 2015 at 11:00 am

    happy New Year Kat, with love from Bristol xxx

  • Reply Antonia January 2, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Hi Kat, I think it’s brave of anyone to publicly share their challenges and it’s certainly not easy to keep up momentum when life and motivation conspires against you so I think you’ve done brilliantly. I’ve wavered off and on with various different ways to improve my fitness (got to keep up with the kids somehow) and the ones that have lasted the longest were undoubtedly either fun or relaxing or both.

    So I guess it depends on whether the gym really inspires you to leave your warm comfy home, if it does then great but maybe there are other activities you might enjoy more this year? I also found that going with someone else is also a huge help, especially if you don’t know them that well as it makes it harder to drop out! Good luck, Antonia x
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  • Reply Muddling Along January 6, 2015 at 11:20 am

    I like that idea of focusing on what you’ve achieved – flipping it around is a great idea
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