Erin

Hi!  My name is Erin and here is a little about my investment in fitness:

I have played competitive soccer most of my life.  In season fitness training for that was done mostly within practice sessions, with some extra runs/stairs thrown into the mix.  Off season training consisted of workouts in the gym and runs…..I was never very good at this, but muddled my way through the long winters, just “getting by”.  I always had my work cut out for me in the spring, when soccer season would start again.

In 2005, I moved overseas and playing/training soccer 4-5 times a week was not an option.  I ended up playing soccer and Gaelic football (it’s an Irish sport and not well known in Canada) on the weekends and ran a few times a week to try to keep fit for that.  Upon returning to Canada, I picked up yet another equally obscure sport in North America, Australian Rules Football, and supplemented that training with soccer and other runs.  But again, when winter came, I would run whenever it suited me and work out at the gym about the same.  I hated every second of the gym.  Strapping on an ipod and working out solo was never inviting.  I felt I had to do an hour of cardio and 45min-1 hour of weights.  That’s a big investment in time, and to be honest, who really has that much time and furthermore, how daunting is it to know that you have to mentally be ready to push yourself for 2 hours?!  Anyway, I filled the rest of my time sitting on the couch and eating…..not ideal.

A few years back my friend told me about a boot camp that she was doing.  The term “boot camp” was completely foreign to me and I asked her why she would spend money on something that she could do herself for free, or at a lower cost at the gym.  She said she needed someone to hold her accountable.  If she paid the money, she would go and if she was there working out with others, she would work harder. I was skeptical, but I tried it out and really liked it.  I have now been doing boot camp type workouts for about 3 years now.  I feel the term ‘boot camp’ implies some crazy drill sergeant  barking orders at you, when all it essentially boils down to, is a group workout with a personal trainer.  Don’t be deterred by the name.

Anyway, I am a very slow learner, but I have extrapolated a lot from my fitness history:

  • Like my friend, I need to be held accountable.  I will not push myself as hard if I am working out alone.  
  • I don’t like having to think about what I’m going to do for my workout, group workouts (noot camp/fit camp), allow for me to show up, workout hard and go home, all within an hour, and I don’t have to think about it.  It’s like having a personal trainer, but without the exorbitant cost.
  • If I pay for it, and book sessions, I have to attend.  I think we all have our vices and can rationalize spending our money on them.  I feel that there are far worse things to spend money on than fitness.  I look at it as an investment in health.  The paradigm has shifted when it comes to health and wellness, from treating to prevention.  Ideally, the fitter and healthier I am, the fewer health problems I’ll experience….less time off work due to sickness, etc.
  • I am a social person and having played team sports, I like my fitness in groups.  It’s way more fun!
  • I have also realized that I would prefer to work out in the early morning.  I never thought I would ever get to that point as 9:30 am used to be an early workout for me.  It was difficult wake up so early at first, and sometimes still is, but no matter what time I get up, it’s always difficult and regardless of the time I wake up, I always have an afternoon lull.  The only difference now, is that when I get off work, I can go home and relax, because my workout is done!!

One other mistake I’ve corrected in the past year is thinking that I can eat whatever I want because I’m working out.  Like so many others, I am an emotional eater and addicted to food.  Unfortunately, our bodies don’t come with manuals and most of us are unaware of what we need to do in order to fuel our bodies properly.  My mom consulted with a nutritionist just over a year ago, liked what she heard, and signed up.  She did it to be healthy and didn’t make it about the weight, but has now lost over 100 pounds.  In the process, I have learned a lot about nutrition.  I went to see this nutritionist, as well, for a shorter period than my mom, but also learned a lot.  As much as I had always tried to maintain a certain level of fitness, it wasn’t until last spring when I learned more about nutrition, that I started to see a different result.  I had always been relatively fit, but my body started to change.  Better food choices combined with my training (which I amped up for a big competition I had overseas last summer), allowed me to lose about 20 pounds and drop a few sizes!  It felt pretty good, but every day is still a struggle, especially when I walk past the fridge.  I have no ‘off’ button, so I measure, weigh and prepare all my food or else I won’t stop.  I will most likely do this for the rest of my life, but I definitely feel more in control.   However, in saying that, December did get me this year, but what’s life without a few hiccups; and I’ve already started getting back on track.

 

In summary, it’s taken me quite some time, and I’m still tweaking some behaviours, but I have learned what works best for me, and it will most likely change as I evolve.  And when I lack knowledge in something, I go to the experts.  I don’t know how to fix my car, so I go to a mechanic; I don’t know what to do for workouts, so I go to a trainer; etc.