You may remember, a month ago, I said this:
It’s easy to change a bit, adapt, and then stay put. That’s why we plateau, both in terms of weight loss and in a wider sense. You’ve got to stay focused on improving yourself and your life in a number of ways, both physically and – more importantly – mentally and emotionally.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot, because despite having had a lot of pretty intense upheavals over the last couple of months, I’ve started to spend a little too much time in my comfort zone. I mean, I’m settled. I’m developing a routine. I’m happy, I’m healthy, and I’m managing to feel as though everything’s under control… And I’ll be honest. I’m beginning to find myself just a little bit bored.
In particular, I’m craving this feeling:
I think that’s because I’ve reached the point, now I’ve got a healthy bod, where I want to see what else it can do. I mean, two and a half years ago I couldn’t walk – and I never, ever thought that would change.
It’s taken a long time to get used to the difference, and for that reason I think my recent moving-related plateau has done me the world of good – because now, I’m not shocked when I see myself in the mirror. My mental image of myself and how I actually look are near enough the same.
But the fact that I’ve come this far means I’m pretty certain I’ve got it in me to win gold at the Olympics, given the time and the ambition – so I’ve been kind of in the mood to up my game a little bit for a while now. Matt put it best: it’s like getting myself a race car and then leaving it parked in the garage instead of taking it out on the track.
I never thought I’d say it, but I’m hankering for that track.
There are a lot of things I’d like to do, but I don’t. Deadlifts, for instance. Squats. Lunges. Running. I’ve still got it in my head that I’ll do myself some damage doing these things, because I’ve got slightly dodgy knees and a bit of a tricky lower back… So I don’t.
Unfortunately, this means I’m getting lazy. I’m going through the motions with my workouts, but the human body’s a pretty clever thing – so it adapts. The fact that I’ve been to the gym say, twelve times, in eight weeks, whilst living on a diet of cake and cold and flu tablets, and yet I’ve only gained a couple of pounds, is an example of this adaptation thing working for good – but it also means that after two and a half years, I’m starting to reach not just a plateau, but a full stop.
And this might be a good thing. It might mean that I’m now the weight I’m supposed to be. I’m comfortable, I can take a very laissez-faire approach to diet and exercise, without much risk of ruining all my hard work. This is why the programme is awesome.
But at the same time… That craving just ain’t going away. Damn it, I just want to get out there and do more stuff I never thought I’d be able to do. I’m becoming an adrenaline junkie. I couldn’t give a damn about what the scales say, but the idea of being able to run, or do squats, or hold my own in the mega-testosterone-fuelled weights area in my new gym… That’s something I could really get behind.
Now, one of the best things about my move to London has been the fact that I’ve been introduced to some pretty awesome people – including a certain Mr. Tom Dyer, of Ultimate City Fitness.
You know I’m all “you shouldn’t be judged by your appearance” yadda yadda yadda, right?
Well, I’m just sayin’:
Anyway, he of fabulous cheekbones (and even more fabulous timing) came to me with a rather interesting proposition. In the name of pushing boundaries and trying new things, he’s very kindly offered to train me up – just to see what I can really do, now I’ve escaped the dreaded knee surgery, and, frankly, the fear.
Actually, no, scratch that. The second I said yes, I had the fear again. But it’s the good kind, I promise.
Now, I’ve done my research on this guy. He’s a regular contributor to Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness, and he’s been doing this whole fitness thing for a good twenty years – plus, we’ve been introduced through the glowing personal recommendations of a whole bunch of people I’ve met thus far.
But what I’m really sold on is the fact that – unlike a couple of people who’ve approached me since I’ve achieved my tiny bit of internet fame looking to cash in on Matt’s hard work – he’s behind the programme, and he gets the fact that hardcore fitness stuff isn’t for everyone.
Hell, I’m not even sure it’s for me.
But that openness to the fact that different people have different needs – be they a girl weighing 290lbs and on crutches, or a former England football player looking to shape up after a few years out – makes me think he’s one of the good guys. And in all honesty, if – back when I was miserable, morbidly obese and disabled, you’d said to me that one day, I’d have one of the best personal trainers out there offering their time and energy to help me become the very model of fitness, so that I could share my experiences with the readers of my health and happiness blog…
Well, most likely I’d have choked on my burger and laughed you out of the room.
Turns out the impossible’s already happened.
And so, in the name of new experiences – not in the name of weight loss, but of fitness – here’s to something new. Here’s to crazy-ass challenges. And here’s to doing even more impossible things.
Here’s to bootcamp. Wish me luck.