[Editor's Note: Gina has agreed to let us peer into her experience trying to get fit. Expect regular updates on her successes, struggles and the real life stuff that can get in the way of progress. We hope it will inspire people to take action; people who think they're too busy to get healthier, or who've failed before and don't believe they have what it takes to achieve their goals]
My name is Gina, I’m 39 years old and I’ve been a Quantum Crossfit member for just under a year now. I started training with a very specific goal in mind – I wanted to lose weight and be at a size I felt really good at by my 40th birthday. To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about training, building strength and muscle. I just wanted to be thin.
Fast forward to present day and I’m surprised how the number on the scale isn’t as important to me. It displays a number that fluctuates way too often and that can leave me feeling as if I’m doing so well that I don’t have to watch my nutrition or get into the gym. Alternatively, the number can be so disappointing that I don’t feel like anything is working or making a difference.
A year seemed like more than enough time to get to where I wanted to be. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t a bit disappointed with my progress. I’ve wanted to completely give up on training a few times; life challenges along the way could serve as perfect excuses to brake or a make a full stop. I had a month where I experienced severe chest tightness and difficulties breathing. That obviously required a break until I was feeling better and my coaches helped ease me back into training. I worried I’d be starting from the bottom again but it’s surprising how you can build back up your endurance and strength with some consistent training.
I had my groove back and some good momentum but more set-backs soon followed. I started a new job and was feeling really overwhelmed. A new work location, a change in my daily routine and not having the flexibility I had at my old job made it difficult to fit in workouts. I went from working out at least three times a week, to once a week, and finally not even once in a month’s time. I was also experiencing challenges with childcare and this too made working out at the gym even more impossible.
But as we all know, these various situations and challenges in our lives are not always permanent; they can be short-term and ever-changing. Sometimes you have to accept the change in direction on your path or manoeuvre the barrier that gets in your way. It shouldn’t trigger complete frustration and admission of defeat. It’s really easy to do that though isn’t it? Luckily, I’ve had support from coaches who haven’t let me throw in the towel. It’s not about achieving a goal by my 40th birthday anymore; it’s a lifelong commitment. It’s thinking about what I want for the 50, 60 or 70 year-old me.
I’m back to the gym twice a week, checking in with my coach often and it feels really good. I feel a special kind of pride and satisfaction from getting through the workout of the day. And yeah, fitting into smaller sized clothing and having friends and family tell you how great you look feels pretty damn good too! So, as some successful motivational speaker by the name of Zig Ziglar once said “When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal, you do not change your decision to get there.”