Week 2 is complete – thankfully. I’m also happy to say that the muscle pain from week 1’s Monday leg and cardio workout finally subsided the following Saturday. I’m even happier to say that there was almost no muscle pain after Week 2’s workouts. The muscle pain after starting a new fitness programme can be enough to put some people off continuing, especially if you’re not sure whether the pain is normal and if it’s going to happen after every workout. The good news is yes, it’s totally normal and while it may be very painful to carry out simple functions such as walking for the first few days I’m happy to say that once your muscles adapt you won’t be that sore again so don’t let it put you off! If you are very bad then I find that going for a light walk can help and some people swear by Epsom salt baths (which you can get in a pharmacy for a few euro).
Anyways, I’ve just finished Week 2. I’m actually on mid-term from college and am back in Galway which means I’ve been doing the workouts from home. I did Week 1 in the gym in college with some friends which was a great motivator as there was always someone in the gym waiting for you to turn up and work out with them! At home it’s so easy to make up an excuse but we formed a WhatsApp group so we can still keep each other accountable for the two weeks. This is a great idea for anyone who doesn’t have someone to physically train with. Pick a friend and send each other a beautiful sweaty selfie after you’ve done your workout. If one of you doesn’t send it then get on to the other to check in as to why. Sometimes you might be on the fence about going to the gym or going for a walk but a gentle bit of encouragement (how gentle depends on your friend!) can be the push you need!
This week I did all three circuit workouts – even though some days I literally procrastinated all day about doing it. I don’t feel like the BBG workouts ever actually get easier but I think that’s because you’re always working against the clock to get as many reps in as possible so while you get fitter you also can push yourself harder. So nobody should really be finding these easy – if you follow my snapchat you’ll know that my face is usually purple afterwards! This used to bother me when I was younger but someone told me it’s a sign of good circulation so I don’t really care anymore! Although I think I’m going extra red this week because I’ve been doing the workouts from home in the boxroom where I have just enough room to do a burpee without hitting my head. I also can’t decide whether or not to leave the window and blind open to allow the air in but let everyone passing by see me and think that I’ve lost the plot skipping using an imaginary skipping rope or keep the blinds closed to save some dignity but work out in a self made sauna…
While I’ve been really good with the workouts the last two weeks I definitely haven’t been as good with my diet as I could be. It doesn’t help that I’m studying Dietetics and know exactly what I should be eating so don’t have that excuse. Since moving to Dublin and starting the course I’ve learned so much but I still haven’t got used to the change in routine and lifestyle and my diet is the thing that is suffering the most. My goal for the next weeks is to really get that under control. It’s not the worst at the moment but it’s definitely not the best it’s ever been! While eating well and healthy in order to be physically well and healthy is what should motivate people, in reality it isn’t. Why else would we be eating diets high in sugar, fat, salt and processed foods and avoiding fruits and vegetables? Behaviour change and goal setting is a huge component of my course and something that I find fascinating. Finding out what motivates someone to be healthy is really important if you want to help them to change. Realistically for a lot of people it’s looking good for an event such as a wedding or holiday. Currently I’m using a summer holiday as motivation to get back into doing these workouts and cleaning up my diet. For anyone else with the same motivation then March is the perfect time to start making simple changes. Don’t wait until two weeks before and then going on a crash diet that will make you feel miserable while you’re doing it and which will be completely reversed on day 1 of your holiday.
If you’re looking to eat healthier the best tip I have is to keep a food diary of everything you eat for one week or even one day. Seeing everything written down can be a big shock as most people don’t really realise how bad or how lacking their diets are. Most people (at least most people who would find themselves reading a blog post on healthy eating) have a good idea of what they should be eating (plenty of wholegrains, fibre, fruit and veg, oily fish, lots of water, less takeaways, less salt, less sugar etc.). It’s very simple but difficult to follow in a world full of temptations. This booklet from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland is a fantastic easy to interpret guide for anyone who wants to know more.
So that’s my goal for week 3! It doesn’t help that the Galway Food Festival and Easter are both coming up this week but that’s life – it tends to get in the way of things! However, once you’re good 80% of the time you can afford to treat yourself the other 20% 🙂