As a former exercise hater who has been in the fitness industry for over 18 years and exercises regularly, I have a little secret: I STILL DON’T REALLY LIKE EXERCISE!
Yet I do it. Why?
1. I love the way I feel afterwards – physically, mentally and the fact I’ve got it done and out the way. Never underestimate in the power of endorphins and the smugness you feel when you’re workout is done and dusted!
2. It means I can enjoy really nice food – because I love, I mean really, really LOVE eating! My metabolism is high, I can indulge guilt free and despite my absolute adoration for eating, I maintain my shape effortlessly and have found a great way to literally have my cake and eat it!
3. It keeps me sane – seriously as a single working Mum of 3, without exercise I’d literally go mad. It is my anti-depressant, my frustration-buster and go-to when things get tough.
4. I stopped doing things I thought I should be doing and the things I hated exercise wise – I always thought that I needed to push myself to the max and do extreme workouts to get the body that I wanted. But that’s just rubbish. Instead I now focus on being pretty fit, not super fit. I hate cardio and avoid it most the time and I work with my body type so that results come more easily with much less effort.
5. I’ve worked out ways to get myself to get those trainers on and get started – The hardest part, right? And trust me if I can do this anyone can! Plus I’ve taught myself to embrace my workouts rather then dread them and to get through them as positively and quickly as I can 🙂
So in this blog aimed at helping women who really don’t like exercise, I’m going to share:
1. Why no one hated exercise more than me
2. The day my life changed forever regarding fitness
3. My journey from exercise hater to fitness lover (well love it after it’s done!)
4. The number one mistake most women make when trying to motivate themselves to get fit
5. Why you’ve got to pull out your PERSONAL POWER!
6. How I can turn YOU in to a fitness lover too!
So make yourself a cup of tea and sit down. Because by the end of this you’ll be wanting to get those trainers on I’m sure!
1. NO ONE HATED EXERCISE MORE THAN ME
That horrible process that makes your lungs feel on fire and where you feel awful when you do it but also where you feel SO guilty when you don’t. In high school I dreaded PE, often got my Mum to sign me off it. I hated hockey and cross country running (I mean WHY?!).
The rowing club pub crawl was far as I got with exercise at university. I did attend some fitness classes in final year with a fitness loving flat mate. About three! I just couldn’t get the fitness buzz like everyone else, I mean WHY?! It hurts, it’s horrible, it’s boring.
But I wanted to have a better body so I gave it another go in my early twenties and told myself that this time it would be different, so I joined a gym. This turned out to be the WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE.
A male fitness instructor who thought he was god’s gift to women, squeezed my fat all over my body with some calipers (WHO invented these?!) and told me I was a stone or so overweight. He made me feel like a pile of crap and then proceeded to give me the most un-inspirational gym routine. It was no surprise (especially as the gym offered FREE unlimited breakfast, yippeeee!) that I plodded through a few sessions a week, hating every second of it, not losing a pound. My new mantra quickly became ‘Exercise clearly doesn’t work, what is the point?’
THE REAL REASON I HATED THE WORKOUTS….
Gosh where do I start?!
As a mindset coach I now have a better understanding of how the mind works and with the perspective of hindsight and knowledge began to realise that the biggest thing standing in the way of me actually getting to my workouts, getting the results I wanted AND enjoying fitness, were my UNHELPFUL BELIEFS!
Well as I mentioned a couple above already, “exercise doesn’t work” and “what’s the point?”
Others included things like:
- It’s too hard
- I hate exercise
- I’ll start again next Monday and take the rest of the week off
- Everyone is better than me and will laugh at me
- I don’t have the right outfit for the gym
- People will look at me and think I’m stupid
- Everyone is judging me
- I can’t do it
- It’s going to hurt
- I can’t see myself doing this forever so what’s the point
And so on. The beliefs are endless and I’m certain you could add plenty of your own to this list too. It means your attitude towards exercise sucks. You’ll be grumpy and bitter about it. You’ll start creating all sorts of excuses and procrastinate. You’ll start self-sabotaging and then feel even worse about yourself!
But here’s where I found one of the keys though. ONE OF THE BIGGEST GAME CHANGERS OF ALL IN FACT.
You see, beliefs are ideas we tell ourselves to be true, like they are fact. When we have a belief we look for evidence to back that belief up.
Only beliefs aren’t fact. They are interpretation. They are just silly little beliefs that we picked up along the way (family, friends, environment, media, ones we make them up ourselves without realising it) but beliefs CAN be changed. I am living proof of that!
2. THE DAY MY LIFE CHANGED FOREVER REGARDING FITNESS
So there I was in the gym on the cross trainer with my CD disc-man! The days before wifi and social media where workouts were even harder to get through! I WAS BORED as usual and looking forward to my oversized free breakfast, usually cutting short my workout by at least 20 minutes earlier than planned!
A woman came out of the fitness studio and said “Come on everyone get into my class. Get off the machines and come and join me, let’s go!”
She confessed she was hungover (still a bit drunk I think) and she was smiley, chatty and completely hilarious. She wasn’t in matching gym gear (I was afraid of gym bunnies!) and she had a normal body shape, fit but not perfect and intimidating.
It was a step class and I can still to this day remember the opening track and the routine. She chatted her way through the class, it didn’t matter if you screwed up or made your own moves up or took a quick break. She was welcoming, inclusive and this woman changed my life forever. She made exercise a laugh and I started going to her classes a few times a week because HOLY MOLY.. I actually enjoyed them!
6 months later I’d quit my job, sold my flat and signed up to become an aerobics instructor and everyone thought I’d gone mad. Literally overnight, I wanted to inspire exercise-hating women all over the world that exercise CAN BE FUN with just the right approach and the right attitude.Because I know there are millions and millions of them.
And all it takes is some inspiration, a mindset shift and some encouragement and support from someone who ISN’T PREACHING AT YOU and NOT LOOKING DOWN ON YOU!
So I made it my dream and intention to help women no matter what their size, shape or previous experience of exercise, learn to breakthrough their fitness roadblocks just like I’d done. Because, my god, when you do that and you exercise regularly for life you feel unbelievably AMAZING and exercise becomes a empowering and uplifting choice not a uphill-struggle, ball ache chore!
Another big shift in me, was that I changed my fitness mindset. I stopped focusing on the exercise that I hated and switched it up to focus on the fitness that I wanted. I began to realise that is was the fitness I could love (the mental and physical gains, the way my body looked) not the exercise itself if that makes sense?
I used hate exercise and avoided it all costs. Now I happily do it (even thought I don’t really love it) and it’s the thing I search for to do as a priority in my day and week 🙂
(yes even when it’s minus 1 outside and there’s frost on the ground and you’ve had less than 4 hours sleep with a teething baby!)
3. MY JOURNEY FROM EXERCISE HATER TO EXERCISE LOVER (WELL I LOVE IT AFTER IT’S DONE REMEMBER!)
Within a few months of qualifying I was teaching 28 classes a week across some of the greatest health clubs and gyms of London and within a year was a fully qualified Personal Trainer.
In 2003 I created one of the most successful bootcamp brands in London Fit for a Princess and went on to train thousands of women over 16 years! My ethos was very simple: “Make mundane things fun” and “Provide a fun and friendly environment for women so they can chat whilst they train and get results without being shouted at”. By the way, this is how I became described as the “Mary Poppins of the fitness industry.”
Described as the woman who can “Turn fitness rejects into fitness fanatics”, when I was named one of London’s top Well Being Guru’s in 2007, helping former exercise haters turn into exercise lovers soon became my speciality out on the grass and is one of the things I love most about my job. Seeing so many women who previously hated exercise, just like I did, find a love and passion for getting their workouts done is pure joy!
“It’s down to you and your amazing workouts that I realised I could enjoy exercise for the first time in my life, and have done ever since! Thank you for motivating so many women like myself, your an inspiration!” – Lucy Sweeney, Wandsworth Common.
I then took this ethos and workouts online and have been inspiring thousands of women in the same way via my upbeat, inspirational and positive online bootcamp since 2011!
4. THE NUMBER ONE MISTAKE MOST WOMEN MAKE
A bit further down the line of this journey, I also had another BIG EPIPHANY!
Well actually there were TWO OF THEM.
1) Exercise is actually a fairly small part of getting the body you want. Oh my god, this was such good news for someone like me who didn’t care much for exercise!
Yes that’s right! Yet women put so much focus on it. Too much focus on it.
The way to get the body you want (assuming that’s the main reason you want to exercise – more on this a bit further down!) is only about 20% exercise. The other 80% is nutrition.
And overriding all of this is MINDSET. This is in fact how I help women most.
- Getting them to think differently about themselves, their choices and their lives
- Helping them realise that unhelpful thoughts and beliefs can be changed
- Getting EXCITED and ENTHUSIASTIC about their healthy living choices / changes
And the second epiphany I had was this…
2) When you stop focusing on loosing weight, magic happens. BOOM!
If you were born after about 1970, you’re most likely going to have a set of beliefs that include some or all of the following:
- You are better when you are lighter
- If you want a better body you need to lose weight
- Success comes by numbers going down on the scales
- You need to do lots of cardio to strip fat
- Your life will be better when you’ve shifted this last few pound
- It’s all about the results
- You have to push yourself to the max to get results
- Extremes are the only way to change your body
And these are all utter nonsense. Remember what I said above about beliefs. You’ll think they are fact, but they aren’t!
I am 42, I’m not super fit, I hate cardio, I mean really hate it! I haven’t weighed myself in over 12 years. But I’m 5ft 10, a UK size 12, I’m fairly fit and strong, and I train much less than I used to. I feel good about my body and myself and whilst I take pride in my appearance, I’m not obsessed about being the smallest version of myself, WHAT A WASTE OF MY TIME AND ENERGY!
And so if you’re someone who’s fed up, just as I was, of feeling disheartened and overwhelmed of constantly thinking about your weight and size, thinking it has to be all or nothing, trust me. Come with me on this journey and you will free yourself from your self-made shackles and NEVER LOOK BACK.
5. WHY YOU’VE GOT TO PULL OUT YOUR PERSONAL POWER!
So in order to get to your workout and keep working out (the hardest part in many ways!), it’s essential that you know your personal power. We all have it, but it looks different for everyone. And you need to unleash that dragon to get some fitness fire in your belly!
Until I worked this out I kept SELF-SABOTAGING my efforts and got even more frustrated.
Personal Power is a combination of knowing:
- Your fitness WHY
- Creating a BRAND NEW mindset that helps you
- LETTING GO of old beliefs that don’t serve you anymore
- EMBRACING mistakes you make along the way
- Not being afraid to get ACCOUNTABILITY and SUPPORT!
Having a group or another person helping you with this, can be surprisingly powerful. Athletes have coaches. Not because they are weak and demotivated. But because it helps bring out the best of them. Most people don’t need a personal trainer, they need someone to help them workout how to get to their workouts themselves AND to be so inspired and pumped to get their trainers on.
Here’s one of my awesome clients from London who wanted to improve her body after having her second child. A former weight watchers addict, who previously thought that calorie restriction and hardcore cardio all the time would be her winning formula. She came with me on a journey that helped her unleash her personal power and she used one of my FB support groups to help her get the results she wanted but also she is now SO self-motivated it’s ridiculous. 100% a former exercise hater turned fitness lover!
6. WHY I CAN TURN YOU INTO A FITNESS FANATIC
Inspiration. The definition of inspire is ‘to breathe life into’ and that’s what’s missing with so many women. I can breathe life into you that will have a rippled effect in all areas of your life.
Motivation. End of. We all have to have a reason to do what we need to do, when we want to see change. The only person that can motivate you is you. And I help women become more self-motivated than ever before!
Attitude. “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm” Change your attitude to exercise (remember I’m going to help you do this!) and the game changes 🙂
Swap willpower for empower. I hate the word willpower. Instead I prefer empower, SO much more positive don’t you think? Yes you need to find some discipline along the way, but let it come from a place of positive intention and upbeat obsession rather than a negative and forced one.
Enjoyment. The enjoyment doesn’t necessarily come from the actual workout per se. Remember I never go “yaaaaaay I’m doing a challenging weights workout today, yipppeeee I love exercise” NO. Not at all. The enjoyment comes from the feeling you have afterwards. The high from endorphins is so magical and actually very addictive. You will feel less stressed and anxious, have better self-esteem and a boosted mood. This is the love and high you can get from fitness.
Not to mention the sense of pride and accomplishment you get from getting it done and the mental and physical power you take with you after each workout that positively impacts ALL areas of your life 🙂
If what you’ve read in the last few minutes resonates with you and you’d like a bit more, I’ve got AMAZING freebies and inspirational support for anyone who doesn’t like exercise. Yes, even for those of you who absolutely hate it.
Get yourself started by joining my complimentary EXERCISE HATER TO FITNESS LOVER Facebook group! I’m there to help anyone who struggles with a negative fitness mindset and finds it hard getting themselves to their workout and being consistent with exercise. I’m going to help you turn all of this around!
In this group, which is a closed group:
- I will be posting what I do day in day out fitness and activity wise, 7 days a week (including when I don’t want to exercise and how I get myself to and through my workouts!)
- You’ll get regular gorgeous fitness inspiration quotes or articles to help you move with a smile on your face I’ll be sharing lots of free fun workouts, food tips and mindset switches
- I’ll be helping you by answering the groups questions via inspirational audios, Facebook lives and videos I’ll be providing you with support, inspiration and accountability so that you are not alone but feel that we’re all in this together!
- Plus if you sign up to this group you can also get 50% off any one of my online bootcamps (there are 6 to choose from)!
(Please note I am GDPR compliant and you will not be bombarded with horrid set up email journeys which so many coaches do nowadays – I HATE THOSE! You’ll simply be sent an email with how to access to the Exercise Hater to Fitness Lover group and an invite to join my “INSPIRE” mailing list.)
LET ME SHOW YOU THAT WITH THE RIGHT APPROACH ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
I know that if I can turn my fitness mindset around, anyone can! Let’s do this ladies. I’m here to help you 🙂