The Fitness Diaries May 2019 – The Garden Gym

Month three on my fitness journey has been all about balance. Trying to keep all to my commitments while sticking to exercise has been hard.

There’s not enough time in the day to fit everything in. But, rather than give up altogether, I’ve stuck to the Couch to 5k training program, adding in gym sessions with weights when I can.

Like I’ve said before, it’s not preachy, it’s just one girl on a mission to feel happier in herself.

Join me as I share my journey, work outs and motivations as I run my way through May and discover the garden gym!

FYI this is a bit longer than my normal posts but a lot happened this month, so grab a brew, get comfy and let’s talk fitness…

If you’ve never run or are returning to running after a big break then I would recommend trying the Couch to 5k app. It breaks down the training, meaning you don’t have to think about it, you just plug in and go.

It’s tough and I’m sure it’s going to get harder but it’s an easy way to start running and have someone else do the planning part.

I really wanted to get back to yoga this month but the best I could manage was a beach yoga event that I was invited to review down in Bournemouth. But, this is better than nothing and it’s a really motivational start. I love yoga and know I want to get back to doing a few sessions a week, it’s a good goal to have and I am slowly going to work on achieving that.

My little face really enjoying the setting for beach yoga!

The first two weeks of May I was managing to do both the Couch to 5k training sessions, the cross trainer and an arms weight circuit from the YouTube video I shared with you in my last fitness journey post.

I really love this workout I found in May. I only did it for a couple of weeks but it made a difference, so I need to keep this in my workout routine.

I went every day and felt really good and really started to see the difference but, I was also getting very tired just from the pure amount I was doing. You have to ease yourself back into things and I was really going for it. (Strike while the iron’s hot and the motivation is there I say!)

This isn’t so bad when you can have solid rest days on the weekends but during the three weekends from the 11-26 May I’d was also preparing the garden to lay a patio. As a result I wasn’t really getting any rest days.

The Garden Gym

Those weekends, among other efforts, involved shifting 80 real stone slabs, over a ton and a half of sand and moving and building three big planters so we can have allotment beds at the bottom of our garden.

Those slabs were heavy!

FYI each slab weighs between 25-30kgs and I had to move them three times – once from my Aunt’s house, into our car port and then into the garden. Why yes, you may have two tickets to the gun show!

Turns out the garden is a pretty good gym replacement and I treated the days in the garden as replacement sessions.

Each day required a lot of endurance too as I was working from 7am until the sun set to make sure I could complete the patio before June when all of our weekends are booked up.

From the 13-26 May, I mostly focused on keeping up the Couch to 5k. Moving from from week three to four of the training was really hard. The time and distance increased a lot and I realised I still have a long way to go to be able to run consistently.

My worst week by far was the last one between 27-31 May. The bank holiday was spent actually laying the patio and it was truly exhausting. I decided to rest on Tuesday and then on Wednesday and Thursday I had to pack to leave at the crack of dawn on Friday morning as we were going on holiday to Jersey.

I needed the rest too if I am honest. I’ll have to re-start week four of Couch to 5k in June I think. It’s not a bad thing I’m just going to be a week behind. But, who’s deadline is it anyway? It’s mine and it really doesn’t matter!

Starting to see results

While it’s be a tricky month to squeeze everything in with a big garden project I did have a major break through this month.

On the Thursday before Jersey I took myself off to the shops to find a pair of shorts. Over the years I’ve come to fear this kind of shopping trip. My ass is big, my thighs are thick, shopping for shorts is painful. I mean really, truly painful and for the last three years I haven’t even bothered to tried – dying in jeans in the very hot humid and muggy summers we’ve had.

I’ve also not felt that I’ve really lost any weight so far which has been a bit demoralising too.

I know it’s not really about that, it’s more about being fit enough to do the activities I want to do. But, I can’t help but feel crap about my weight especially when I go into shops and nothing fits. It’s a mood killer that’s for sure.

I’d put this trip off until the last minute, which didn’t bode well for finding something that fitted. And, I’d also built it up so much in my head that I was having a massive meltdown about not being able to fit into anything and then not having any clothes to take on holiday.

It really is a horrible feeling, and the thought of wearing big jumpers and jeans in a climate that’s famed for being the sunniest place in the UK was starting to eat away at my confidence.

I felt like it was going to ruin my enjoyment of our long weekend and I had the overwhelming feeling of being ashamed of my weight and trying to hide it. I know there will be others out there that feel the same way. If you’re here reading this, know that you aren’t alone.

Hitting the shops

As you can imagine, by the end of my working day I was feeling pretty crap about the task in hand but 5pm rolled around and I still went to the shops as I knew I had to try.

First off I hit Marks and Spencers, and they had some denim shorts in for summer, so I grabbed a pair that looked my size, but I’m realistic so I also picked up a further 20 different pairs (knowing how much trouble I have finding shorts and trousers) to try on.

Even the fitting room lady seemed a bit perplexed at the sheer amount I took into the fitting room. Don’t judge me lady, I know the hoops I have to go through when I shop, this is not my first rodeo.

Anyway, you can imagine my shock when that first pair fit, and they didn’t just fit, there was room to spare. I couldn’t believe it.

I’ve lost a dress size and some. I don’t feel I have or feel I look like I have but I rushed out of that changing room and purchased them thanking my lucky stars I found something with relative ease.

It’s been a long time since I’ve tried on the first thing I’ve looked at and bought it, and it also didn’t break the bank. The shorts were £19.50. You could have knocked me down with a feather!

For the first time, in a long time, I didn’t feel like a whale.

I then went to Fat Face, and I was obviously riding a high as I decided to try their shorts on too. I would never normally do that as I knew they wouldn’t fit due to my current size.

Back when I was a lot smaller they were my go to for shorts as they are really good quality, a great shape and fit, especially for those of us with a lot of junk in our trunks.

But, 5 minutes later, I’m stood looking in amazement at the shorts that fit me with room to spare round my waist. Shut the front door!

I could not believe it. I went and tried three more on in the same size – they all fit, and it took trying on three pairs for me to believe it. Blame the inner science nerd for that!

I bought a pair in denim and khaki and left the store over the moon.

May feels and monthly mantra

I’m still not fit but I’m making progress and even if I don’t think the weight is coming off, the clothes are clearly telling me otherwise.

And, this little success story has really motivated me for working out in June. Imagine where I’ll be in another month, and another month after that?

I’m really excited to have something to wear in the summer and not struggle in the hot weather. I’m really excited to be getting fitter. I’m really excited to see progress. Yes, I AM REALLY EXCITED! 😂

While I’ve still got a little way to go, this boost was just what I needed to keep me on the straight and narrow.

If you’ve read any of the previous Fitness Diaries posts (shameless plug, go read them!) you’ll know that I take some positivity from the Fabulous Five and use some of their kind and wise words to remind myself to be kinder to myself.

This month, I’m going with the mantra that I need to feel more pride. I’m proud that I’m in my third month of regular exercise. This is a huge step forward and something to be celebrated. I’m still a long way off where I need to be but I’ve made cracking progress.

“You have no idea how proud I am of you.”
— Karamo Brown

What’s in store for June

Three months have made a world of difference and my goals at the end of May are pretty similar to that of April.

In June I need to…

  1. Keep exercising regularly
  2. Re-introduce the weights and circuit sessions now the biggest part of the garden has been done 
  3. Start yoga again
  4. Do Week 4 of Couch to 5k and continue the training program
  5. Attend some gym classes to start increasing my fitness

I’ll try and find some fun and weird workouts to do too and share them with you this month.

A friend also invited me to go to a circuits class with her and I must arrange this because working out with friends is so much better.

I’ll see you next month with another update, let me know if you what you want to hear more of. Do you like know the exact work outs I am doing or are you more a fan of the stories about the ups and downs in my journey? Recommendations and feedback welcome!

As always I’ll leave you with this little gem I picked up from the third series of Queer Eye. I use it as a reminder to not neglect myself, that it’s ok to take care of yourself. Over to JVN…

“How you take care of yourself is how the world sees you. It’s OK to have a relationship with yourself.”

— Jonathan Van Ness

Click here to read my first post to find out why I started this series on my blog.

See you at the end of June!

10 thoughts on “The Fitness Diaries May 2019 – The Garden Gym

  1. ‘Don’t judge me lady’ made me laugh!
    I’m the same,I take in goodness knows how many sizes, and it’s always a miracle when the first item fits perfectly! Well done on going down a size! Amazing achievement, and good luck with the garden x

    1. Ha ha a miracle! You’re not wrong! Honestly, you should have seen the look on her face, the judgement was REAL! 😂

      It’s a good feeling and three weeks later the shorts still fit – wahoo!

      Garden project is also go go go and we’re hoping next month to paint some fence… this adult malarkey sounds so dull ha ha but it’s a nice feeling to work on your home. Perhaps I’ve become my mother already! 😂😂😂 Have you any projects underway or fitness goals? X

      1. I never understand when people are judgy in the changing rooms… I’m spending my hard earned money on something, it may as well fit right!
        Best of luck with the garden, at least you’ll be able to see the progression and know that all of your hard work was worth it! 🙂
        I’m currently doing my race at your pace 25miles, I’m so low on energy at the moment but pushing myself 🙂 x

      2. Oh that sounds so interesting I’ve not heard of the race at your pace 25 miles before! I’ll give it a google!

        Absolutely agree on the changing room situation. It’s hard enough without the person that’s meant to be helping you throwing you shade!

        Very happy with garden progress, it definitely helps to keep you fit.

        I must go an follow your blog too, the tag line sounds reeeeeet up my street! X

  2. This was awesome and I hope the garden comes out nice! I have always thought about making a small outdoor yard gym, but never got around to it. Cool to see you keeping up with your goals! I just finished a blog about some ways to stay committed to exercise. Check it out, I think you might find it helpful!

    1. Hi Bobby – thanks what’s the link? I fell off the exercise wagon last month but I’m now firmly back on it! Yes, the garden was a work out in itself – I’ve kept a small grassy space for yoga too!

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