If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that a while ago when I was “pivoting” my career from barista to producer, presenter, director, content strategist and lifestyle entrepreneur, I realised that habits are the anchor of almost everything if you want to be successful – and a few years back my habits were all over the place and were mainly bad ones. So I have sought to change that since and like many of you I’m sure, lately I felt some of the good habits I had developed start to slip which is why at the end of 2019 I wanted to make some changes.
The last time I felt this way was almost three years ago when I was at my heaviest, I was unmotivated and sluggish, both mentally and physically. It was the first time I had ever asked for help by enlisting a Personal Trainer and all round holistic therapist for help (she did acupuncture and massage). Before that, I had always thought personal trainers were pointless because I believed that people should have the motivation to do it themselves, until I realised at the time, I didn’t! At the end of twelve weeks with a Personal Trainer I lost about 4kg in fat, lost 6 inches off my waist and ate my own words. I became fit enough to do regular short duathlons and join my semi-professional cyclist friends on their recovery rides (which was long and challenging for me, but one I was still able to participate in!) The biggest reward in achieving was the underlying effect it had on my mind, my mental health. I learned to develop confidence in myself and my ability to achieve discipline in my health and body. My work became more diverse and my confidence to tackle ambitious ideas seemed less scary, more doable and that’s when I realised that I never wanted to slip back into a place where it became too daunting again.
I have come to believe in and benefit from a balanced diet and lifestyle which is why I’m not super crazy strict and indulge every now and then, but I do have an awareness of the bigger picture these days, which I never used to have. I usually try to exercise by doing circuit-like classes three times a week or if I don’t make a gym class I’ll replace it with a jog or bike ride. I believe strongly in consistency. As a barista that was always my personal goal when making coffee and managing a team too. I found that when times got tough (like if we had an unexpected rush, or a staff issue) my habits would come in to play and I’d be autonomous in those areas of good habit which enabled me to direct energy and conscious time or effort to problem solve the other unexpected things. Rather than have to worry about everything all at once. I found it helped lessen the overwhelm. So I try to apply that to my personal lifestyle too.
2019 was a year of a lot of travel with fulfilling work, love and adventures but I also found myself deviating slightly from my usually disciplined low-carb diet and regular exercise. I noticed toward the end of 2019 the habits that I had spent two years or so strengthening were starting to slide and my productivity, confidence and general attitude was sliding along with it (I’m sure I’m not the only one who has experienced this). I was making more excuses for not exercising and becoming generally unmotivated in most areas.
I didn’t beat myself up about it, because there’s no point in being annoyed at yourself otherwise you’ll just stay stuck in feeling bad. But I did take action to make some changes because I knew that everything would shift, eventually.
So I started looking for a new PT. I wanted someone close by and someone who was really passionate about what they do beyond the pay-check or possible social media adoration. I had been taking some classes at the local gym in Bethnal Green I belong to and was impressed by a metafit instructor called Miguiel Arroteia. I enjoyed his classes and he always had a great energy, attitude and seemed to truly love what he did (and you know I’m a sucker for that!). Then a new gym friend swore by his Personal Training sessions so that sealed it!.
I know we are all in a very different situation now being in a Pandemic, but bare with me, I will reveal how you can still benefit and perhaps see start to see things differently, even through isolation and limited physical social contact.
We met up for a coffee (thank goodness he loves coffee) to talk about working together and immediately I was struck by his enthusiasm for well-being and exercise and by the possibilities he could help me achieve and a programme he wanted to try with me. I had high expectations for both myself and of him. So we started immediately… January 1, 2020. Incidentally, he also believes coffee can really help with results….
Originally I had wanted to book him for 2 sessions a week for 12 weeks minimum, but had booked flights to visit my family in March, so we decided to do two sessions a week for two months and increase it to three per week towards the end of the two months. He would design me a bodyweight workout (which I’ll share with you below) that I could do while away. Ideally I’d recommend 12 weeks with a trainer, if you can, because it takes that long to go through the process of going through the initial resistance, then getting used to the routine and developing the habit of getting up and going to work out effectively, where you start to see results and then realise if you really dug in and tried, what might you achieve? Possibly something amazing!
You must ride the highs and lows and commit to the process as well as the potential outcome. Come to think of it, it’s pretty much the same process in any project or business, or even when you’re in a relationship!