About me: My journey in fitness and nutrition
12 February 2020 • 2 Minute Read
My Fitness Journey
Throughout most of secondary school, I was not sporty at all. Due to my lack of hand-eye coordination, I was the last to be picked for teams and I avoided PE however I could. In an effort to keep fit, I joined the gym in year 8. My main focus was cardio and I would spend over an hour simply running on the treadmill. This boosted my fitness hugely and, within the year, I had joined a long-distance running club. I ran at the club for 3 years and pushed myself to levels I had never dreamed of, succeeding competitively and also non-competitively in half-marathons. It showed me that the effort and consistency you put into something is reflected in your performance, a philosophy I still believe in today.
As A-levels hit me pretty hard, I ended up stopping running and turning to the gym instead. I started following fitness influencers on Instagram and turned my focus to lifting and resistance training. By introducing weights into my workouts, I instantly saw changes in my body composition. I saw muscles develop that I never knew I had (as long-distance runner I was very petite) and my strength and power increased.
Over time, I began incorporating cardio into resistance training and doing more plyometric workouts. This is an ideal combination for me as it maintains my fitness level, gives me strength and includes variety in my workouts. Regularly, I change up my programme, from Olympic weightlifting to powerlifting, swimming or circuits, variety is what maintains my interest in fitness.
My Nutrition Journey
Throughout my life, I’ve had an interest in healthy eating. When I first started fitness, I began reading up on areas of nutrition such as protein, calories, the benefits of carbohydrates, counting macros and eating for fat loss.
It has been a relatively bumpy journey. I’ve tried calorie counting which, after a while, resulted in obsessive calorie restriction at an unhealthy level. This was followed by tracking my macros which, again, didn’t work for me. Both of these became obsessive and caused extreme weight loss, an iron deficiency and the loss of my period. After some time, I realised that this was affecting my health and my fitness.
I began to increase my calorie intake, with a focus on healthy eating and getting the nutrients my body needed. This is what sparked my interest in a plant-based diet. Over 6-months of travelling, I slowly transitioned to a completely vegan diet. I became healthier and happier and saw my performance in the gym improve dramatically.
Recently, my nutritional knowledge has developed, through my university course, Diploma in Personal Training and other research. This has given me a wealth of knowledge in different types of diets for a range of different goals, both vegan and non-vegan. I focus on eating healthy, whole foods where I can. Instead of tracking every calorie, I eat intuitively, when I’m hungry. Although this has worked for me, I strongly believe that everyone is different and there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to nutrition.
If there's one thing that I have learnt so far throughout my fitness and nutritional journey, it’s that you never stop learning. No-one knows everything and not all programmes or mindsets fit everyone. The challenge is finding a routine that works for you, fits into your life, is enjoyable and, as a result, easy to maintain. Changing things up and constantly setting goals prevents the plateau that many people experience (me included!!) and allows for constant progression.