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My monthly exercise diary #3: When life gets in the way | March – April

I was doing fairly well at the start of March: I revelled in the number on the screen every time I signed into the gym, saying that I’d been 3 times in a 7 day period. I was getting on well with my new programme, which is a lot harder (plus some additions from me). I re-started the Couch to 5K programme again to try to ease back into running after some kind of shin splints.


And then life got in the way.


I got some bad news at work in the middle of the month – not the end-of-the-world kind, but the gut-wrenchingly disappointing kind. Things were already busy, and I knew this would drive me into the ground over the coming weeks (I was right!)

I was in a bit of a sad fog and I just couldn’t face the gym, and then the real work started and I just had so much on I told myself I’ll go if I feel like it, and if won’t wear me out for the next day – I was just so busy I couldn’t afford to be tired. But I was working such long hours (12 hour days in some cases) and the little time I had at home I was already so tired I couldn’t even imagine putting on gym clothes. So I decided not to put more pressure on myself and feel guilty; that I’d just ride out the next few weeks and then get straight back into it.


If there’s ever an incentive, it’s a holiday, and we’ve just booked ours! In September we’re going on a road trip from L.A. to Las Vegas, then on to Yosemite and San Francisco. So if I’m going to be in a bikini on Venice Beach and at pool parties in Vegas I’m going to need to pull my socks up!!


Now that the main slog of the project is out of the way, and I’m back from Venice, it’s time to get back on track.

  • I’ve decided I’d like to try to do a very brief yoga session every morning so I’m starting that tomorrow.
  • I also want to continue to try to rebuild my running, so yet again I’m restarting interval training using Couch to 5K.
  • Finally, I’m going to focus my exercise a bit more, and work on specific areas in a workout like I used to when doing BBG.

I keep some of my fitness inspiration and workout guides on my Keeping Fit Pinterest board. Take a look and feel free to follow 🙂

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My monthly exercise diary #2: Settling in

While I’ve not settled into a full on exercise routine, I’ve done much better in February. I got off to a bad start with Kayla Itsines’ programme at the start of the month as I forgot to download the PDF offline (oops) and so got to the gym and realised I couldn’t do it! So I started on their circuit instead, which over the month I’ve been doing more regularly and adapted as time has gone on.

Generally I’ve added in more abs exercises and more repetitions of the arms exercises using the pull down / push up machine. I’ve started to see some results, with my back already looking visibly more toned and my belly slightly less pronounced. I know I need to up my cardio to really get this down, but more on that in a sec.

I’ve also added in some extra squats and replaced their tricep machine with tricep kickbacks, which I find more satisfying and definitely harder… I’m not sure what it is about the machine I don’t like, but these are more comfortable (and challenging) for me. My only problem is making sure my form is right without a mirror (as a ladies’ only gym, there are no mirrors except in the changing room).

I’m probably going about twice a week now I would say, which is better than it was. I have struggled though with my ongoing shin issue, which may be shin splints, preventing me from running. I’ve had some good advice from one of the gym instructors via my friend, so I’m going to give that a go along with building up from scratch. One of the main causes appears to be a lack of regular running, and then trying to do too much too soon.

So, I’m going to work the NHS ‘Couch to 5K’ into my routine. It’s going to be hellishly boring to begin with, but I’m going to stick it out and see how it goes. Fingers crossed it helps! Otherwise, I’ll need to find other ways of bringing cardio back in, which would be a shame as I had started to enjoy running, particularly outside.

I finally had a reassessment at the gym where they weigh and measure you again and then provide you with a new regime (if you need one). To be honest the results were a mixed bag – weight up 2lb, some body measurements up and some down, body fat % down. I’m not disheartened at all seeing as I’ve not really done the 8 weeks of exercise that you’re meant to have done, and I’m happy that my body fat % was down in particular.

The new regime seems much harder than the previous so I don’t think I’ll find myself adding in much more to it. Ironically I was going to start it tonight but I’m not feeling great (man flu) so assuming I’m better tomorrow, I’ll see how it goes!

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My monthly exercise diary #1: the beginning

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the gym. I loathe it. It bores me. Even in the run up to my wedding – probably one of the best incentives ever – I really struggled to keep to a routine.

That’s not changed, a few years later. I’ve dabbled in a few different things: working out on my own, running with friends, going to classes, using exercise guides, etc. Nothing has really stuck. Recently I joined a new women-only gym, Shapers, which is based in Bromley High Street. It’s an interesting concept, based around a circuit system and regular check ups on your measurements. I’m going to put my hands up and say I’ve not been to one yet. I’ve not put the time in, so I kind of thought what’s the point? 

I need to turn that attitude around.

The exercise guide I got furthest with was Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide, or BBG, which is a 12 week programme. It is tough though – not just the exercise but also to fit in everything it asks of you in a week. I also worry that because I’m so rubbish people in the gym will judge me, even in a women’s only gym! I’d like to try again, though I missed the start of the new ‘Kayla Movement’ at the start of January, but that doesn’t matter.

So I’ve decided to keep a track of how I’m doing on here in the hopes it might make me feel slightly more accountable, and hopefully I will be able to turn this into an actual routine. 

So I’m starting tomorrow. Good luck to me! I’ll check back in in 4 weeks.

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