Updated: May 4
Listen to your body.
Long story short:
Today, I am 31 years old. My story is typical to the ones you think can only happen to other. I never enjoyed sports, and actually never practiced in any. Until one day, I decided that it was time to kick myself in the butt. I now lost about 30 lbs (maybe less maybe more?) and my life changed from A to Z. Now, as if there was some kind of magic trick, a lot of people are asking me how I did it. What is my miracle recipe?
When the beautiful brunette from your yoga DVD poses with a big smile, there's no question about it: she HAS to be born with those perfect abs. But when your 5"5 - 145 lbs high school friend showes up at the last Christmas party with her new cut-out abs, you are silently thinking: "Woo! If she can do it... maybe I can too?!"
First step is to find what sport motivates you. It may take some time to find the right one. For me, it was running. So here they are; my tricks, my miracle recipe related to running.
1- GEAR UP!
You will get no motivation from running with an old t-shirt, which stays completely wet after your workout, or with bad shoes that hurt your feet. My advice is to invest 120$/150$ in a good, comfy pair of shoes (personally, I always likes Nike and Salomon), a good sport's bra, seamless panties (Sport Expert, Hyba) and cotton-free socks (cotton creates blisters, you'll thank me later). Gearing up doesn't mean you have to break the bank. Forever 21 has a super fun sports department, at very affordable prices (fits well for small sizes ), and Hyba (Reitmans' sportswear line) offers good quality clothing at reasonable prices (fits larger sizes well).
There are two types of shoes: absorption shoes, and minimalist shoes, everyone in the running world has mixed feelings on the subject. Long story short, absorption shoes offer great support, and reduce impacts for people who have a tendency to run on the heels. However, this type of shoes is generally heavier, and "supports your foot so well" that it can weaken several muscles in your leg. Basically, it absorbs shocks, but does the work for you.
Minimalist shoes don't offer much support, its very flexible and very light. The impact of running is absorbed by your lower body, and this avoids stress on your upper body (back, hips, knees).
Remember: it's important to be aware of these characteristics of running shoes in order to avoid injuries. I've been wearing very cushioned Nike shoes all my life, and overnight, when I read about this, I changed very quickly to a minimalist shoe. Result: I hurt my tendon. If you change shoes, remember to start back gradually. This will give your muscles time to develop.
Born to run, Christopher Mcdougall
Unknown territories, Patrice Godin
Gun Runners, from Anjali Nayar
The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young
Finding Traction (2014)
2- FIND THE RIGHT MUSIC.
Music helps me a lot when I run, even if it took me a long time to find the "right kind" of music for me. Dance or electro, even if I listen to it in daily, made me too aggressive. It made me lose patience, and the boom boom made me feel like a hostile coach was screaming in my ears: "Okay, go, go, go, go, go".
After some trials, I finally understood that I am... a RnB kind of runner! Wanting to dance makes me want to run! I succeeded my first 5 kilometers thanks to Eminem's "Until I collapse". The soundtrack of Creed II reminds me not to complain if I'm tired, "Home" by Vince Staples, and in the song in Spiderman's soundtrack "Into the Spiderverse" turns me into a machine, I can't help it!
3- START SLOWLY.
I never liked interval running (walking 2 minutes, running 2 minutes, walking 2 minutes, walking 2 minutes, etc.). It makes me feel like I'm pretending to run (even if I'm not). What kept me from getting into running for a long time was that I was running TOO FAST. After three minutes, with a taste of blood in my mouth and the breathing of a dying asthmatic, I truly thought that I could never run again.
One day, my boyfriend at the time and I went out cycling. On a hillside, while I was cursing at all the saints, my boyfriend shouted at me: "Chloe, lower your gear!" I lowered the speed... and I climbed the hill. Such a sweet eureka moment! So ALLOW YOURESELF to run like an old grandma. Jog very slowly, but for a good fifteen minutes. It's not about speed, it's about consistency; it's about getting your body used to doing this kind of movement, building your muscle mass and increasing your cardio. One day, your breath will be more constant, your body will be less stiff and you will be able to increase the speed. For now, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Then one day, you'll wake up, look in the mirror and surprise yourself by sending a selfie to your little sister saying: "Hey sister, what's going on, I can see my abs?!"
Here are some websites that offer programs according of different levels:
4- WAKE YOUR BODY UP AND GET INFORMED.
Running is great, but when you go from no exercise at all to running every day, it's a little aggressive. Run 2 to 3 times a week, and do some muscle building exercises on the other days of the week. It seems like a lot, but 15 minutes of muscles training or stretching when you're having a busy day can make a difference. Personally, I admit that I signed up to a gym, with a private trainer for one year. It honestly changed my life. It gave me that basic knowledge I needed. I had been paying gym subscriptions for years, "on and off", but I didn't see any results. Sitting at a machine and pushing cast iron is not enough to keep your body healthy. You need to know why you are doing it. Above all, you have train in different ways. After a year with a "coach" to help me, I was able to take control of my physical abilities, and actually be interested in it. Occasionally, I buy magazines on running, such as Runner's World, and I follow several public figures on social networks.
Kayla Itsines, Kelsey Wells, Massy Arias, ivfitness (Idalis Velazquez), etc. All these girls offer paid fitness programs, but no need to pay for any of these plans; they post regularly about their training, nutrition, etc. It's a good source of inspiration, and it's free.
Food; you can't escape it. When I started running, my brother-in-law and I started a vegetarian challenge, that my pride forced me to keep going for a few months. I still eat meat occasionally in restaurants, but I understood the importance of calories. From a weight loss perspective, the magic formula is quite simple; spend more calories than you consume. I also realized that dairy products gave me stomach aches. I made several changes, I got informed, and my life changed. Addiction to sugar, or to food, is a vice that is difficult to identify, and a little taboo (as Caro mentioned in her text "Where to begin?"). Be aware of your eating habits, and make small, and gradual changes.
You will quickly realize that any habit is easily replaceable, and that the benefits of eating more vegetables, cutting bad fats and reducing portions are just extraordinary. Listen to your appetite, to your stomach. Don't listen to your head. Your head tells you that this bag of chips, that cheesy dish, or this dessert will be a good reward, you deserve it so much. Ask yourself, does your body really need it? Will your body be happy to absorb this food?
I didn't go crazy on any particular diet, but I asked around. And even if I still have a good poutine a few times a year, my daily food intake is healthy, and requires a lot more energy and time than before, because I make it a priority.
Oh She glows, by Angela Liddons
5- FIND YOUR RUNNING PATH.
I hate running downtown, between the terraces, the tourists walking in the middle of the sidewalks and the cigarette smoke. Mount Royal, the quiet streets of my neighbourhood, and Parc Maisonneuve give me the privacy and calm I need. Find your own spot.
6- BE PATIENT.
That's the key. Accept that it takes time and that for a while, you will find it difficult. Go with the idea that it hurts to wake your body up, and unfortunately, you'll never actually be enticed to run. It will ALWAYS be an effort, it will hurt, and you'll be sore. This will last a long time, months, maybe years, but be patient. Then one day, you will find out that you like it. You'll wake up one day and your legs won't hurt so much anymore. It will all becomes a part of the fun. During 6 months of hard training, I lost 5 lbs. One day, for no reason, my body realized I wouldn't give up, so it adjusted; I lost 15 pounds in 2 months. I wasn't looking to lose weight; I loved my new lifestyle, it gave me energy, and above all, I saw my training as time for myself.
Patience may be the key, but discipline follows in importance. Never really ask yourself if you want to train, if you're motivated enough, or if you have time. The answer will always be no. Get dressed, go to the gym, go run outside, and once in the action, there you have the right to ask yourself those questions. 99% of the time, the answer is : "Wow, I'm happy I'm doing this, it's worths it, I feel good". 1% of the time, I ran for 10 minutes and went home because I had too much of a cold, or my cramps were too disturbin. But this was only 1% of the time.
In short... life is all about action. I realized that it takes more energy thinking about losing weight than to actually doing it. More energy to choose clothes that don't stick easily to my skin. More energy choosing activities that don't minimize me because of my sporting disability. It's much easier to jump into the action. Put on your running shoes, sign up for a new challenge, jump in the mud. Every day is day one. THAT'S the magical thing about the beautiful brunette from the yoga DVD.
TO YOU, READER OF OUR BLOG!
Through its blog posts, MUDGIRL wants to inspire and motivate every women to be physically active and to adopt healthy lifestyles! MUDGIRL wants to, through the testimonies of the #PINKARMY, share TRUE stories of triumph. This means that our articles aren't necessarily written by health professionals or experts (you will be notified when it is the case 😉). Everyone can achieves their goals in their own way, at their own pace, and MUDGIRL simply wants to give you as many tools to help you achieve YOUR goals.
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