Under Construction

Little by little, you’ll notice this blog’s appearance and navigation will change. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ll begin a series of fitness trainer courses this summer, with as ultimate goal setting my own business as fitness/personal trainer.

I’ll continue blogging my trainings, race reports, and my journey in the world of fitness, which I hope will in turn inspire others to make a positive change in their lives.

I hope you’ll stick around during my own transformation, and my blog’s!

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Dusting away the cobwebs

It’s safe to say I further lost focus and further ran out of steam since my last post in 2014. Otherwise I would have been writing regularly.

What happened? Where to even start?

I’ve been through hell and back. An unlucky succession of jobs where I wasn’t happy, several cycles of depression. Training has often been the last thing on my mind, as fighting to stay alive required all my strength.

But hey, look: I’m still here. I’ve gained weight, but I’ve been able to limit the damages. I’ve gradually picked up running again, and next month I should finish my first 10K in years. I’ve also been a more regular at the gym, as I found fitness classes I actually like (kickboxing and BodyPump especially). I went cycling yesterday, for the first time in at least three years. I’ve also been at the pool a few times. No, I’m not training to finish a triathlon. I’m just training to be happy again.

And in this crazy head of mine, the desire to ‘do something with fitness and exercise’ has been nagging me again. Yes, ‘again’ as I did look into getting some sort of fitness trainer certification in 2014. But by fear or lack of motivation (or a combination of both), I abandoned the idea, stored it safely under lock and key, and forgot all about it. Until last week, when I had a bit of an existential crisis. Do I continue in the same field of work, and end up miserable like I’ve been the past couple of jobs, or do I explore other possibilities? Am I strong enough to start my career over at 42? Is it even the smart thing to do? What do I really want to do with the rest of my life?

So I explored other possibilities, namely options where I could work either as a freelancer or have my own practice. Becoming a fitness trainer and possibly a personal trainer was one of the options. But what do I have to offer my clients as a middle-aged woman who is certainly not the fittest, and who used to be morbidly obese? Experience, I suppose. The “I’ve been there” factor. I’d like to focus on fitness for older people, people like me. And I’d love to offer support and motivation to WLS patients as they become more active. I don’t want to make triathletes out of them — I simply want to share with them the joy that physical activity can bring. Not to mention the health benefits…!

And I did it. I signed up for an intensive course in June, where I’ll (hopefully) obtain my level 1 certification. I’m being carefully optimistic, it will be hard work, for sure. And that’s just level 1. There are so many other courses I need to complete in order to call myself a fitness master!

I’ll use this blog as a journal as I continue on the path of change. And some training and race reports, too. Did I mention I’ve also signed up for an 8K race in and around the gardens of the palace of Versailles in France? Versailles! Imagine that!

Watch this space.

 

Living an active lifestyle

I’ve led a very sporadic ‘active lifestyle’ from my youth to my adult life. I’d be out and about cross-country skiing during the winter, but spend the summer sitting on my behind. I’d play organised sports for a couple of years, but then I’d sit on the couch for the next five. Lack of motivation, teenage rebellion, caught in the whirlwind of studying or working. There was always an excuse.

In 2007 and 2008, when I was actively trying to lose weight by dieting and exercising, I discovered sports I loved and started to actually enjoy exercising. But then weight stall frustration, stress, work and health problems became yet other excuses for not burning calories. And we all know what happened next: I put the weight back on, AND THEN SOME. Which led me to taking the difficult decision to go under the knife for gastric bypass in October 2012.

The weight is definitely coming off now, but I know I’m in this honeymoon period where weight loss almost magically happens without too much efforts. When this honeymoon period is over, I know I’ll have to be more vigilant at managing my caloric intake and the amount of calories I burn through exercise, otherwise I will re-gain. And I really don’t want to go there!

What do I need to do then? I need to live an active lifestyle, I need to make exercising part of my daily life — not for a summer, not for a year, but until the end of my days. But it’s not easy. There’s work, and commuting to and from work, there’s my other hobbies, there’s my wonderful husband, there’s household chores, etc. Making it all fit is really a challenge. I’m sacrificing my other hobbies (I haven’t done any significant sewing for at least a year now), I’m setting clear boundaries in regards to work, and I’m trying to get the hubby to exercise with me, so at least it would count as quality time 😉

Lucky for me, I’m still in love with running, biking and swimming. I’m still enjoying my training sessions with my personal trainer. I’m still enjoying going to the gym. It hasn’t been easy lately because I’m suffering from anemia (happens often after gastric bypass) and my energy level is sub-zero, but I have to push through it. Otherwise, I’m going to find excuses again and I’ll end up on the couch.

The longest distance in any race is the six inches between your ears

I stumbled upon this quote yesterday, and there’s so much truth in it. And not only for marathoners or triathletes! We have to constantly fight this little voice in our heads that is telling us to give up, to stay on the couch, to be lazy, to push that training back to tomorrow, next week, next month, next year… And it’s hard. But it’s worth it.

With my first super-sprint triathlon only 3 months away now (gasp!), there’s no time for pushing back a training. I am going to the pool, I am going for a bike ride, and I am running. I’m not fast, I’m not ‘performing’, but I’m out there having fun doing it, and that’s the most important thing.

In my enthusiasm, I’ve even signed up for a 10K race in now less than 2 weeks! And I have a 5K race in June! And an 8K run in July! And my super-sprint triathlon in August! And today I signed up for a 10K in September! Having goals is what keeps me going. I don’t care if I finish last – I just want to finish 🙂

I’ll finish by inviting you to visit and like my Facebook page to get the latest updates on my workouts and my gear – because one thing I had to sacrifice lately is time for blogging 😉 I hope to see you there!