Tag Archives: Getting thinner

‘No Gain Without Pain’

Pain shot through my legs every step I took. I could hardly move one leg in front of the other!

I hadn’t expected to feel quite like this after my first proper session with my personal trainer. My lower limbs ached. I wasn’t surprised that they ached, but I was surprised by just how much they ached. I could barely walk!

I had arrived at the gym late because I had forgotten the traffic is worse on a Saturday and was delayed. When I arrived, James got me to warm up on the treadmill by jogging for about five minutes. He then asked me do a series of lunges, followed by squats. A couple of these would have been fine, but I probably did 10 of each three times, interspersed by bouts of jogging.

Any regular fitness enthusiast knows that you have to break yourself into exercising gently, but I had not done any lunges or squats for at least 10 years, apart from those that occur naturally in my usual lifestyle. I suppose I had to get started somewhere and they say ‘there is no gain without pain’, don’t they?

pool

After the jogging, squats and lunges, I did 10 minutes on a cycling machine and then of my own choosing, I swam for half an hour.

Swimming has always been a love of mine, despite nearly drowning in my younger days. When you are drowning, your life flashes before you and I had thought at the time, ‘I’m too young to die.’ I was 12 or 13 and could actually swim when it happened. My family had gone to Ennerdale Water in Cumbria, where it gently laps into the River Ehen. There is a small, deep pool at a bend in the river with a slab of stone that acts as a diving board. My family used to love going there.

On the day that I nearly drown, I was wearing a facemask and looked down through the crystal, clear water and saw an eel. I screamed underwater and tried to back away. In my panic, I took in water and flailed hopelessly. Gulping, I shouted for help. My Aunt was swimming close by and tried to aid me, but I just dragged her under, in my panic.

Realising things were getting serious; my Dad dived in without undressing and successfully dragged me to the bank. He had to drive home in wet trousers. It was a day I will never forget. He taught me to tread water soon after that.

Despite this traumatic experience, I still love swimming and find it relaxing and therapeutic. At the Virgin Active gym, there is a large image of a beach, which makes swimming particularly enjoyable as you can imagine you are swimming in an exotic location!

Can’t wait for next time!

Virgin Active Pool

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The Weigh-In

First Day At The Gym

19.11.14

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!

A gym pic 3 A gym pic 2

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.

A gym pic 4 James and Chrissy

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.