As you know I am a fan of timehop (I have no shame) and recently, it told me it’s been a year since I started training with Andy. So, what have I learned over the past 12 months?
(FYI, this blog post was gonna go a different way, but I’ve settled on this route)
OK, so you all know by now the reason behind me training. If not, it’s in my about section. Anyway, let’s get on with it;
Progress is not A to B
If the main thing I have learned over the last year is that getting to where you wish to be isn’t as simple as drawing a straight line & walking it. It’s more like a spirograph pattern; or it has been for me. I knew it wasn’t going to be the easiest thing I’ve done but I probably wasn’t ready for how many zigs, zags and loop-de-loops I was gonna have. Some were my own doing, others were pit stops that were not by choice.
- I got a pretty large tattoo on my thigh that was two sittings – total time away from the gym: 2 weeks
- Fell off my bike, broke my nose – Total time away: erffh, a week then my training dipped when my confidence was shot
- Fell of my bike (again) smashed my cheek & eye – Total time away: Honestly, cannot remember.
- Tired/Lacking dedication/Pissed off – More times than I’d like to count
- PT off – Not often, but I tended to be quite lackadaisical if I knew Andy wasn’t in in the earlier stages
- Hospital appointments – Because of my spine, I go to Spinal Clinic every few months & it always tends to be on a training day, then I wasn’t allowed to train after my most recent spinal.
So, if you took out all the time off, I’ve not been training for a year but lets not be pedantic; it is how it is. I’ve stopped beating myself up for the times I’ve not been to the gym.
Food is extremely important
I’ve not really been one for diets, I did keto/Dukan a few years back but the weight I lost whilst doing it came back once I stopped. I’d also not really thought about what I was eating, then started cycling and Andy told me to be more aware on my food intake (I’m not gonna repeat too much, there’s plenty of posts on my blog about food) it’s still a delicate balancing act, but now I know what I need to eat if I’m feeling a certain way. Lack of veggies as an example seems to make me incredibly tired.
The media tells us that weight loss can only be achieved with eating “weight watchers” garbage & exercising; what they don’t explain is the more energy you’re expending, the more calories you need – eating too little can be as bad as eating too much & you’ll stagnate. It really, really is a delicate balance – it took me 9 months & trying a few different things before I found a way of eating that works for me.
I’ve also stopped feeling awful if I’ve had “bad” food, one cookie or yoghurt or whatever isn’t going to make me gain back all the weight loss & I’m human, some days I just want a chunk of rocky road & goddamnit, I’m gonna eat it & it’s gonna taste FUCKING AMAZING! (on a side note; it’s a mission of mine to somehow make something higher in protein/lower in sugar RR variation)
However, remember: There is no way to outrun a bad diet
My way is not your way
(this was the original point of this post)
There is no hard & fast correct way to train. The person training for a marathon isn’t going to need to do the same thing as the person training for a physique contest. A lot of cardio is good for some & terrible for others & you are a dick for belittling someone else’s way of training (I will admit, I was a “cardio is for chumps” kind of person a few months ago, but I actually do an hour’s cardio a day, 5 days a week) the most important thing though, is to make sure you do whatever it is you’re doing correctly.
Learn. Learn. Learn!
It’s more than just going to the gym & using the machines, lifting weights, or whatever it is you’re doing. I like to know why this method is better, or why I shouldn’t do certain things, and the names of the muscles I’m working, not just that feels weird on my shoulders, or whatever. In the last year I’ve gained a massive amount of experience; I can look after a bike fairly well (ish, no comment! 😛 ) I know what types of food to eat, I can cook! sometimes, really fucking well. I’ve read up about muscle growth, bone formation, learned about correct footwear, posture and so on. I’m only on the tip of the iceberg too!
If anything, this year has taught me that I am more capable of doing things than I thought. I’ve often thought of myself as broken. The pain I endured most days was tiring, upsetting and most of all, frustrating. Yes, I have had epidural injections to help stem the pain but I no longer want surgery (I actually met someone recently who had metal rods in her spine & was wheelchair bound due to the pain she was in, it was extremely humbling to know that I had once begged for similar surgery and the surgeons had decided an epidural was a more viable option for me)
I am. I can. I will.