Fitness to me isn't about washboard could-grate-cheese abs, body fat percentage or looking great in a bikini (although I wouldn't say no to the abs, but alas I like cake too much) I feel that fitness is about challenging yourself, being healthy and strong, and feeling comfortable with yourself. I love being active, it's become such an important part of my life. I exercise around five days per week, I love starting my morning with a sweaty workout to get my blood pumping, and those feel-good endorphin's flowing.
Two years ago my relationship with fitness was non-existent, the closest I got to exercise was a short walk to the shops or maybe a very rare trip to the swimming baths. I used to always take the lift over the stairs, and pretty much avoided exercising like the plague. The reason for my aversion to fitness was that I myself was unfit. I couldn't walk up the stairs at work without getting out of puff, and my legs would ache (and I would whinge) if my boyfriend wanted to drag me out for an evening stroll. I felt uncomfortable and unhappy in myself and my body, so I didn't want to try. I thought people might laugh at me or stare at the overweight girl attempting to exercise. But after a ski trip in 2014 the realisation of how unfit I actually was hit me. Skiing is tiring, it's tough on your legs and bum, and falling over is so much more embarrassing when you aren't able to pick yourself up without assistance. After getting home and seeing the photographs I was shocked at my size, I thought that the oversized ski pants and baggy t-shirts were masking my larger frame, but the camera doesn't lie. It was then that my relationship with fitness began.
I started going out for long walks, taking the stairs and tried to be generally more active. I work in a hotel on the reception desk, so much of my time is spent sitting down. I tried to stand more and move around as much as I could. Little by little the weight started to drop off (combined with a healthy, balanced diet) and I could feel myself getting stronger. I lost five stone in eight months and went from a UK size 18 - 20 to a 10. I looked healthier and I sure felt happier, but I wasn't strong. I was slim but not 'fit'. I did a lot of cardio so I didn't really have much muscle strength. I wanted to get stronger and feel fitter so I started combining cardio with strength training. (all in the comfort of my own home) I love trying different workouts and incorporating new exercises into my routine. I've found that a mix of dance, high intensity interval training (HIIT) plyometrics, strength training, yoga and pilates works for me. I enjoy variety and learning new things, I like to keep my routine fun and varied as it stops me from getting bored or stuck in a fitness rut.
My body is in no way 'perfect' and I still have hang ups, but I'm strong, I'm healthy, I'm active and most importantly I'm happy. I might not have a super toned figure or long, lean legs up to my armpits but I am me, and I have come a long way from that unhappy overweight Lauren that I used to be. My body is the way it should be, the way I want it to be and is a body that I can be proud of.
I am a big cheerleader for being body positive and confident. Whatever your shape or size, be proud of your body - it is amazing and allows you to do wonderful things! Run, jump, skip, dance, swim, and be kind to yourself - you are strong, you are capable, you are beautiful and most importantly you are you.
I hope you enjoyed this 'Relationship with fitness' collab post, What do you think of my BooHoo fit picks? I love the Aztec style sports bra - too cute! What is your relationship with fitness? Are you a cardio queen or more of a yoga lover?
I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.
Let's be friends!
*This post is in collaboration with BooHoo Fit (BooHoo X Couch To 5k), and their fitness clothing range. I was challenged to style some pieces of my choosing from their collection, combining fitness with fashion. and share my own relationship with fitness. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own, for more information see the contact/pr section of my blog.