Time just seems to be flying by this year so I was surprised at the beginning of the week to realise that Steph from the Healthy Lifestyles Team at Telford and Wrekin Council would be joining us again for her monthly drop-in session at Madeley Community Library.
This meant it was time to make myself accountable once more for my health and wellbeing and see how I was getting on.
Step one, step on
As per my previous sessions with Steph, we got the most daunting moment over and done with first, that being the dreaded weigh-in! Though honestly, I am only joking about that part. As I always say you will never be made to get on the scales, and even if you do, there is no judgement from Steph. When you have your sessions, you won’t be in a public library, so unlike me you won’t be throwing off your heavy boots and shedding as many layers as is acceptable in a community space, you’ll be in private. On a side note, you can keep all your layers and shoes on, I just want to make sure those scales are weighing me and not clothing which I always assume must weigh a good stone at least!
Anyway, I digress, the result from me being weighed in the middle of the library was a loss, just 1lb, but a loss all the same. I must add that weight loss is not the main goal for me joining, I want to feel fitter and healthier, so any weight loss is a side effect of my changes, a good one obviously, but not the main goal.
Step two, don’t aspire, perspire
So, onto the rest of our session. One of my aims after our last session was to stop making excuses and get enrolled at the gym. I’m pleased to say that I finally managed this. I signed up online to the Telford & Wrekin Aspirations gym at Horsehay. While there’s lots of gyms to choose from in Telford, Horsehay is the closest to me and therefore will mean I can’t make the excuse not to go based on distance. I could even walk on a day when I have more time. My other reason for joining an Aspirations gym is that it includes use of Telford & Wrekin swimming pools so it will make swimming with the kids cheaper, especially during the holidays at a Kids4£1 session.
Something else worth noting about the gym, and most other gyms, is that you can get an induction to be shown the equipment, assess your current capabilities and write an activity program to follow over 12 weeks. I was lucky that a staff member just happened to be available on my first visit, so I came away with my 12 week programme straight away and it’s given me the confidence to use equipment that I wouldn’t have previously.
I am aiming to go three times a week, but not beating myself up if I can’t. Having only been half a dozen times so far, I haven’t noticed a difference in my overall fitness levels yet, but I’m guessing those endorphins people talk about are real as I feel really positive and uplifted when I finish, so it’s only a matter of time before I start noticing longer term changes.
We talked through the program I have at the gym and Steph did offer a few alternatives that can help target specific areas I’d like to make improvements, some that I can even do at home if I’m not feeling confident to do them in a busy gym environment. Though I do have to point out that I haven’t felt at all out of place at the gym, everyone is there with their own goals in mind and nobody seems remotely interested in what I’m doing, so don’t let what other people think be a barrier to getting out and doing what you want to do for a fitter and healthier you.
Step three, step four, step five….step ten thousand
Right, we’ve talked weigh-ins and the gym so I’m sure you’re all on the edge of your seats to find out whether I successfully synced my fit bit in order to track my steps for the right day and time. Calm yourselves everyone, the answer is just a few words away and I want to let you all know that…I did it!
I can now walk from midnight to midnight if I feel the urge and my Fitbit is there to support me through every step and let me know how I’m doing. What I haven’t actually done is take too much notice of it (until it irritates me when I’m watching The Blacklist on the sofa late in the evening and have to take it off), so I’m not deliberately trying to get more steps in at the moment. I do the school run twice a day and what I consider an average level of activity just going about my day, mixed in with some sedentary work at my desk. So, Steph has now tasked me with doing just that, taking more notice and setting myself a weekly goal on my Fitbit app to reach 70,000 steps. On a gym day this isn’t going to pose an issue, but it will mean I am going to have to keep checking throughout those other days to see how I’m going, and perhaps get up from my desk and go for a 10 minute walk at times, or jump up from the sofa and get up and down the stairs a few times. So far today (it’s currently 10.57am) I’ve done 2,745 steps, so it may be time for that 10 minute walk!
So there we are, another session over, goals set and Steph will be back at 9.30am on Wednesday 28th June. Come along and see if joining Healthy Lifestyles could be for you.
Check out the Healthy Lifestyles service if you want to find out more
And if you want to find out about Telford & Wrekin Council’s Aspirations gyms check out the link below