Grunting and puffing on the treadmill is not my idea of fun, but a 12-minute jog was my first bout of exercise with my personal trainer James Davis at Virgin Active, Chelmsford. I couldn’t drop out at this point because I would’ve been letting Sadie down, the Mail on Sunday journalist who had recruited me and two others to try to drop a dress size, within six weeks. If I stopped now, I would also be letting myself down and my downwardly drooping body!
I hadn’t run since I was a skinny teenager, but there was no way I would fail this task. After all, I had my Personal Trainer, James Davies, and Chrissie, his Manager, to cheer me on. As I started to jog, at every step, I had the strange sensation of my face dropping downwards along with my belly and boobs. The first three minutes were bearable and I gave it a 6 out of 10 on a scale of how bad I felt. Half way through James and Chrissie gave me some encouragement, but it was definitely feeling harder, 7 out of 10 this time.
Trying to focus on something ahead to distract me from the pain was difficult. Lifting each foot was getting harder and harder. At 8 minutes, James and Chrissie were increasing their encouragement. I didn’t want to stop to walk, I wanted to make it to 12 minutes, but this was killing me.
I tried to develop a breathing pattern and focus on that. ‘Come on guys, give me some more encouragement, please,’ I thought at 10 minutes. The trainers started to encourage me again. James suggested a sprint to the finish, but I didn’t have it in me. I could just about manage to lift one front in front of the other. At last, Chrissie and James started to count down and their cries dulled any feelings of physical agony. Finally, we got to the finishing line of 12 minutes. I had covered about 1.5km and used 135 calories. I felt like collapsing, but was told to walk and cool down for a few minutes.
James showed me how to stretch and helped me stretch out my hamstring to prevent and problems the following day. I was almost disappointed to be told that that was it for the day, but we had spent some time taking my measurements and doing a three minute step test to check out my heart rate before, after and a couple of minutes after exercising.
I had brought my swimsuit and after a shower, jumped into the refreshing pool. It was so lovely to do a few lengths for half an hour. It seemed easy after the challenge I had just faced. At the end of a pool was the image of a beach and I imagined I was on holiday swimming by an exotic shore. ‘Thank you Lord,’ I whispered. The dip in the Jacuzzi just finished this glorious moment off.
Driving home, I was still busy after my exercise and felt so good. The endorphins were buzzing make the long drive home seem a stroll. I had forgotten just how good you could feel after exercising. It flooded out any memories I had of pain and strain earlier. I couldn’t wait until my next session.
That night I tucked into a pork chop, jacket potato and veg. Knowing the effort involved to burn calories helped me to avoid having a chocolate cake as a pudding.
I had started my journey to getting fit and fabulous for business in 2015.