Fitness and body image: goals for the rest of 2016 and giving up on unrealistic aims


In my mind, I was going to come back from a two week holiday, have the August bank holiday weekend and then get straight back into my exercise and running routine. My hip injury healed, I got new running trainers, I was rested- it all made sense.

 What actually happened was M&S flapjacks, carbs, big homemade meals and wine and lots of staring at a screen while I caught up with work. Me and my pyjamas have really clocked up some quality time together. I also put on a pair of skinny jeans and nearly burst, which was a nice reminder of all the halloumi I ate in Cyprus.
Now I’ve been back a week though, I’m running out of excuses. I need to get back in the fitness game before I lose everything I built up. I am really motivated to do it, so I’m hoping it won’t be too hard to actually get out there and start moving. Baby steps.

I can’t believe it’s September. I’ve spent most of this year saving to move and looking forward to New York, and now that’s even two whole months in the past. My health has been really up and down lately, but I feel better on the whole so I want to make the most of the rest of the year. 2016 has turned into the year of a health transformation for me, so now I just need to make it to the end without mince pies and gingerbread defeating me. I work better when I have solid aims, but I can’t be bothered to make them farfetched and extreme, like get ripped abs by December or sign up to a marathon and run every morning or something. Never gonna happen. I want to look a certain way, but after so long of never making it happen, it’s time to readjust. It’s not happiness to constantly be feeling like you haven’t made it. Over and over again. 

Simple is better for now. Simple and realistic.

So, goals:

1) Start running 5k twice a week again. I was doing a lot more back in July but two injuries and almost a month out mean it’s back to warming up. Here’s hoping hypermobility doesn’t rear it’s ugly head again for a while. I like hips better in their sockets.

2) Keep up with physio stretches, rather than do them once, forget them, wake up in pain, repeat. It’s amazing how even though I know it does my damaged shoulders so much good, I continue to be appalling at doing them.

3) Try flotation. A friend of mine did this in Vauxhall and said it was incredibly relaxing. Essentially, you shower, then you go into a sort of giant bath in a pod and float in salty water so you feel weightless. They play music for the first part, then it drifts away and you float in silence (I love silence, so I am so up for this). The music comes back five minutes before the end of your hour session to let you know time is nearly up. I’m excited for this.

4) Perfect a foam rolling routine. If you exercise and you’ve never foam rolled, you need to get involved. It’s a way of loosening and strengthening muscles but can also be a standalone workout. It’s particularly good to make your legs feel more human and less deadweight after a heavy workout or long run. It’s painful, there’s no getting around it, but it’s definitely worthwhile trying. It’s supposedly very good for your abs too. I got my roller on Amazon for four little pounds.

5) Sign up to another 10k. Always a bit of risk for me given my unpredictable hips, but the last one felt so good. I felt like I had really achieved something solid because I had a medal and a time, which is stupid, because even the first time I ran 2k was an achievement, but it just felt so satisfying and will undoubtedly help motivate me to exercise more.

6) Get kitted up for outdoor winter exercise. The thought of running in the cold holds zero appeal to me. None. Zilch. Nada. But I have to try. If anyone has some recommendations on good winter kit, let me know, because outside of gloves and a hat, I have no idea.

7) Start making at least three dinners a week from scratch. I’m not bad at this as I love cooking but it’s not easy to be motivated after a days work to slave away in the kitchen chopping and mixing, but it’s worth it. Sauces, curries, stir fry, anything, it always tastes better when you make food from scratch. And you know, it’s healthy. Meat free Mondays was always something I tried to do before I moved out of my flat, so I want to get back into that routine.

The progress I made before my holiday was the biggest step I’ve ever taken fitness wise, with running weekly, doing a 10k, changing my diet up and gaining actual, visible muscle. It was even bigger progress considering the setbacks from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. One last push through the last quarter of the year and I can definitely put a success tick next to my goal to transform my fitness this year.

Must. Stay. Away. From. Haribo.


3 thoughts on “Fitness and body image: goals for the rest of 2016 and giving up on unrealistic aims

  1. Great goals, keeping it nice and simple šŸ™‚

    My tip for winter running. Layers. I usually wear a long-sleeved base layer then a long sleeved top on top. My favourite is one by Karrimor in Sports Direct ( this is the most similar), I have one in a neon pinkish and a black one. Don’t do gloves coz my hands warm up and stay warm quite quickly but a neck covering and hat is a must for when it’s really cold. And lights!


  2. Loved reading this, I’ve just started uni again and have joined the gym and desperately want to achieve some of my goals, so it’s good to remind myself that I’m not the only one who has goals – or the only one who doesn’t do her shoulder exercises! But I hear you, I constantly feel like I’m not doing well at them! Hope it goes really well for you and that those hips stay in place…!


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