“She’s finally written a new blog post” I hear you say, yup but unfortunately, no new drawings though (I know, shame on me) but I promise I’ll get one done…sometime within the year (okay, within the next 3 months). Anyway, If you follow my Instagram or Twitter, you’ll notice that I have taken up weight lifting or strength training or weight training (whichever term you prefer). I have always been into fitness, or should I say, I’ve always had an obsession with being slim, to the point of nearly developing an eating disorder (more on that another time). I did a lot of cardio, and by a lot, I mean killing yourself cardio. Yes I was that person on the treadmill, face like a tomato, sweat dripping from me (practically showering the poor people on the treadmill next to me), running like a headless chicken, thinking “Yes Jess, you can become the next Jessica Ennis” (I mean, have you seen her bum?). At the end of the session, I would have to peel my skin tight clothing off my body and collapse from exhaustion.
Like many who are into their fitness, I was also obsessed with my weight. I used to weigh myself every day and punish myself if I’d put on a pound here or there (no, I don’t mean the money kind), restrict calories and do (you guessed it) even more cardio. Then one day as I was trawling through #fitness on Instagram I started seeing more and more women looking incredible. I thought “they must spend hours in the gym to look that good” turns out they didn’t, turns out they spend an hour 3-5 time a week lifted heavy things and only did cardio on occasions. I was sceptical at first, the only weights I’d lifted was some dumbells for the HIIT workouts I used to do (because nothing says strong like a neon pink 2kg dumbells right?). I thought “I don’t want to get all bulky” (Looking back, that was such a rookie thought). The more I’d researched, the more I realised how wrong I’d been. These women weren’t bulky, they weren’t killing themselves on the treadmill, they were fit and strong, and that was exactly what I wanted to be.
At first, I didn’t want to be the newbie “girl” at the gym trying to lift weights for the first time (I know, where was my backbone!), so I bought a small barbell that could be made into dumbells along with some plates off Amazon. I quickly discovered that I’d found a fitness regime that I loved. Within 3 months I’d bought a 5ft Barbell, heavier plates along with a bench, squat rack and other accessories. I went from skinny (to the point that my family were warning me that I was too thin), to strong and curvacious!
Not only has my strength increased (I can deadlift my own weight which I’m totally excited about!) but my mentality towards weight and food has changed. For once I’m concentrating on the weight I was putting on the barbell, and not paying much attention to the weight on the scales. When I do go on the scales, I no longer punish myself if my weight fluctuates, because weight can naturally change from day to day; honestly, some days I’m 4lb heavier thanks to water retention (the joys of being a woman!). I no longer treated food as punishment; instead, I treat it as nourishment (you need to feed those muscles for them to grow!) I went from “have I had too much food” to “I haven’t had enough food!”.
Below is a picture of me in December 2016 next to a picture of me in January 2018. It took me quite some courage and deliberation as to whether to post these pics (please be nice!), but I think it clearly shows how I’ve transformed (okay, slight exaggeration!) and that it’s okay to put on weight. On the left I was a mere 7st 5lb, now I’m 8st 5lb, that’s right, I’ve put on a stone! Of course, not all of it is muscle, some of it is fat too, and that’s okay because I feel so much more confident, I’m much happier and enjoying life so much more!
So my message to all who are going crazy on the cardio trying to be as slim as possible, pick up a barbell, you might be surprised by the results!
Over and out,
P.S. you might be wondering how much cardio I now do well the simple answer is…none! Unless you count walking the pooch that is.