Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Fat...Fine...and getting Fit: a fat girl's guide to the gym

This may be a bit long and rambling, but stay with me!

When I had to go back to New Zealand  in January I ended up spending a ridiculously long time on planes and watched lots of movies. Including the Bourne Legacy. Repeatedly. Sometimes really just fast forwarding to the bits with Jeremy Renner looking hard, hot and very very very fit.

And after I had spent lots of time rejoicing in his fine acting and, er, physical prowess, I had another thought. He's 42. Rachel Weiz who is also apparently also in the movie (didn't really notice to be fair) is also older than me. They spent lots of time running around and it occurred to me that while I was quite an accomplished dog walker, any evil agents that wanted to hunt me down could probably do it at a brisk stroll.

I didn't feel fit.  I didn't feel crappy or like I couldn't move or anything, just not fit. Which seemed a little ironic given the name of my blog.

So in February I started getting organised and found a gym and even bought a car so that I would have the time and means to get to the gym. Worked out when was best for me to go (work days - Monday, Wednesday, Friday) and defined what my goals were. Years ago I had exercised because I liked it of course, but also to aid weight loss.

This time around weight loss was never been my goal. Feeling fitter and feeling younger was. This has meant that I'm not training 5-6 times a week and not tracking my progress through kgs lost.

I started out spending 40 mins doing cardio, mostly cross trainer and cycling. Over the last few weeks I've been doing the Couch to 5k programme (which is brilliant to get back into running) as really my keen aim is to get back into trail (forest, footpath) running.

So, how do you do this at a size 26 you might ask? The same way anyone else would. My  advice for anyone wanting to get into gym workouts are these:

  • Clothes aren't the easiest to source and many plus size retailers sell the sort of sports clothes that just don't suit what I wanted. I want fitted leggings and vest tops. Nothing loose or baggy. I sweat and I want clothes that deal with this and not lots of baggy damp cotton waving about. Try Sainsburys. It's a shame that they don't have an online store but their sports gear is good, cheap (leggings for £8-12) and while it only goes up to size 22, it fits me. Even Primark has stuff that is labelled a 20 but fits me.
  • Find a gym where you feel comfortable. I have gone to all sorts in my day but the one I'm working out in now is attached to a local college and apart from some hunky young weight lifters is filled by people who are least 2-3 decades older.
  • don't worry anyone is looking at you. Serious gym goers are too busy surviving their workouts to care who else is in the gym with them. Anyone who does look at you is probably just in awe.
  • buy decent shoes. I'd get fitted at a good shoe store and find out what styles and brands you should be wearing. Then hit ebay or Amazon and look for bargains. I got my gym shoes for £13.50. They are Asics, brand new and great but were the last size in last year's colours.
  • Don't expect instant fitness and don't be afraid to give something a go and then decide it's not for you. I tried Zuma and my knees hated it.
  • You don't have to be thin to exercise or to be fit. 
  • The more you do it, the more you will enjoy it. You start seeing your thighs of things of strength and power not as something to hide in leggings. Revel in your strength.

Ok, so finally, me in all my glory. Fat, getting fitter once again and really, completely feeling Fine.


  1. I've only just discovered your blog but reading this post has given me the kick I needed to want to start exercising again - thank you! I'm going to get straight on to finding a gym now!

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  5. This made me smile. I have just written about how bad plus size gym clothes are myself.
    Completely on your wavelength though

  6. This made me smile. I have just written about how bad plus size gym clothes are myself.
    Completely on your wavelength though

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