It’s been two weeks since my last #121toFitMum blog post. I am sorry. It’s been a couple of weeks of tight work deadlines, nights out for friends’ birthdays and what seems like a zillion Ks1 SATs practice papers to help my eldest daughter with.
I say sorry. And I am. Because I think it’s not the done thing to not post your blog regularly, and on the same day and at the same time each week? I’m not entirely certain of the rules, though. Perhaps it doesn’t matter? Last year I’m sure I read a piece by a fabulous mummy blogger (perhaps it was Hurrah for Gin or Selfish Mother?) who said she’d managed to build a lovely blog community despite not following blogging etiquette. I wish I could remember who it was because then I could read the post again right now and instantly feel better about my tardiness.
Writing this, it’s struck me how – without realising it – I’ve embarked on two, not one, journeys in taking on this GPFIT London fitness challenge. Fitness is of course a totally new beast for me. But so is this blogging lark. I mean, I’ve blog reviewed products and events for Mumsnet Barnet and Mumsnet Enfield on and off for a year or so. But this #121toFitMum series is my first attempt at writing a themed series of blogs.
My PT, George, tells me I shouldn’t be too hard on myself if I eat something a little unhealthy, or miss a home workout. So perhaps I should apply the same logic to my blogging journey? So what, then, if a blog post is delayed? As long as I keep going and keep learning – and continue to receive lovely feedback both on- and offline – then I guess that’s progress, right?
So here I am. And I have three things to say:
1.I’VE BEEN OVERWHELMED BY THE SUPPORT
I didn’t think anyone other than me would ‘get’ how big a deal it was taking on the fitness challenge. But they did, and they do. I’ve had so many wonderfully supportive comments; but also, numerous friends have got in touch to say they’ve been inspired to get fit themselves after reading my posts. One friend has already hired her own personal trainer and has a 6am session booked for Friday (good luck Susanne!)
What’s more, I’m now considered to be a bit knowledgeable on all things fitness! Social media manager peers are keen to pick my brains on developing user personas (or customer pen portraits) for their health and wellness clients. So in addition to achieving fitness I am potentially opening up another work avenue as well.
2. I LOVE BOXING
Yep, you read right! I’m love boxing. With proper boxing gloves. And little, Michael Jackson-style white glove inserts underneath, and everything! It’s been a bit of a revelation, I can tell you.
When George first suggested boxing I was surprised and, if I’m honest, a bit scared. My younger sister always teased me about my weak arms and tiny fists – I was worried I’d look like a fool. And yet as a pre-teen I always loved watching the boxing with my granny (as you do) and so part of me was rather excited, too.
So these last two weeks I’ve had two boxing sessions. (There should have been a non-boxing workout in-between but we had to cancel that session due to poorly children on both sides) and I can honestly say I can’t wait until the next one!
Granted, my footwork needs a bit of work. As does my jab. Plus I bruised my knuckle when I went for a un-gloved cross at George at the same time as he! (I was meant to be watching him, not joining in yet.)
But compared to the lunges, squats and press ups, this boxing business doesn’t really feel like doing exercise. I’m so busy concentrating on the sequences, on where my feet need to be and also enjoying getting out all my frustration, that the hour session is up before I know it.
Although I ache a little later that day, it’s a great ache. And when I’m washing in the shower that evening I’m sure my arms feel just that little bit more toned. And my abs – well, I can feel some muscle developing on the flanks! People say you really start to notice positive changes in your body after about four weeks’ of exercise, and this has certainly proved to be right in my case. I’ve had to throw away a pair of size 16 jeans that fell down as I ran for the bus (the shame!) and already my new size 16 running leggings are a bit baggy on the waist, hips and upper thigh (shame, I really like them!) I’ve also heard it said that it’s after eight weeks that other people start to notice your increased fitness and weight loss – we soon shall see.
3. I CAN PLANK!
Oh yes I can! Despite assuming my core muscles were shot to pieces I actually planked – twice! George is my witness! And during the second boxing workout I actually managed to hold it for a whopping 45 seconds. Not bad for a fat girl!
I googled planking (as you do) and ‘John Sifferman’s Totally Unofficial Plank Time Standards’ have given me something to aim for. Though I don’t think I’ll ever get beyond Advanced:
- Newbie: 30+ seconds
- Beginner: 1+ minute
- Intermediate: 3+ minutes
- Advanced: 5+ minutes
- Expert: 10+ minutes
- Master: 20+ minutes
- Wicked Sick: 30+ minutes
- Superhuman: 40+ minutes
- Olympian: 50+ minutes
- Plank Immortal: 1 hour or longer.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m on GPFIT London‘s Platinum customised training plan, which works out at only £40 per session and includes an free fitness consultation, Bodymetrix analysis, nutrition advice and 20 hour-long workouts. My personal trainer has incorporated the Hatton Academy Boxing into this plan. But you can opt for the Hatton 10 or Hatton 5 plan, comprising either ten or five Hatton Boxing fitness sessions each lasting 45 minutes, plus warm up and down time. This works out at only £30-35 per session and, if you mention Mumsnet Barnet or Mumsnet Enfield then you get a 10% discount, too.
If you decide to give Boxing or any other fitness programme a try, keep me posted and I’d love to follow your progress just as you’re following mine.
And thank you for bearing with me and my tardy blogging. I do appreciate it.
Until next week.
Jenny & George
PPS. To read the previous #121toFitMum blog post click here.