I'm grateful to those who have complemented me on my appearance, who have said to me that they wish they "had my body". These compliments are nice to receive, and do boost my confidence, while at the same time make me feel a little self-conscious and at a loss for words.
The truth is, I didn't always look the way I do now. No, I haven't had plastic surgery, or been on radical weight loss diets, nor have I tried boot camp or a 12 week body challenge. Why? because none of the above actually related to me as a person or who I wanted to be. Yes, boot camp or the 12 week body challenge probably would have worked to get me into shape, but boot camp is too early and didn't fit in with my schedule (often I am looking after the kids, doing the school run and the after school activities while my partner travels for work) and the 12 week body challenge left me with the question "What happens after the 12 weeks are over?". I knew that it was a common theme for people to use these challenges to get into shape, be happy with their results and then slip back into their old habits only to find themselves back where they started again. So what did I do?
I worked HARD. I mean really hard. It wasn't that I had heaps of weight to lose, it was that I was doing things by myself, and I really REALLY enjoyed the hard work. Firstly all I did was run. I ran everyday I could. Sometimes it was 5 days a week, sometimes 6 or 7. Whatever I could fit in. I was running between 5 - 8 K each time. And I was loving it, my body was loving it. I was feeling healthier, stronger and more alive than the previous few years.
Then it was suggested to me by a few people that I try Pilates, as I have scoliosis and it was meant to be good for that. So I gave it a go. I went to a studio that had all of the equipment: reformers, cadillac, ladder barrel, wonder chair etc. It was amazing, and I was hooked. I loved the challenge. While I have always been quite strong, I had never had the challenge of using all of the muscles that Pilates requires. Many exercises only require you to use the larger bulkier groups of muscles like your quadriceps, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings to name a few. Pilates however, needs you to use ALL your muscles. Not just your gluteus maximus but also your gluteus medius. This goes the same for all other muscle groups. To cut a long story short, the point is I liked Pilates so much that over the next few years I became a devotee, then took the plunge and did my teacher training course.
I'm still running, and was still running all the time. Last year I took on the challenge of completing a Marathon. I wasn't concerned about time, I just wanted to get from start to finish. I didn't and haven't got a running coach or had any formal training. But I entered and completed my first Marathon. This year I'm using the "my Asics app." to help me on my way to my second Marathon hopefully with a better time. So far so good with the training schedule.
I'm still working hard, I teach 8 Pilates classes a week and run.... a lot. When I can fit it in I also go to Pilates classes and Yoga (which is my next challenge).
While I welcome nice complements, as most people do. I think of myself as a work in progress. A never ending work in progress. Yes, I get tired, exhausted even, but that's a good thing. And while I did start my journey as a way to lose some extra kilos my focus now is anything but that. I want to challenge myself in the ways I enjoy being challenged and one of the side effects of challenging yourself physically in being able to enjoy a healthy, strong, fit body..... that now looks a lot better than it used to. So now you see why persistence pays off.