So over the last few years I've taken on exercise challenges, mostly in an attempt to control the lbs! Having 4 beautiful best friends, I always felt I was the chubby one in the group, and being insecure about that made me eat and drink my insecurities away! A viscous cycle for many, you eat because you feel low, you feel low because you eat, I know I'm not the only one to deal with this problem! I got to the point that I was bored of feeling terrible and upset all the time and my best friend was getting married in Cyprus and I didn't want the memory of her day to be shadowed in my mind with negative thought of how I'd looked in a bridesmaid dress. So I thought I'd try and do something about it.
So the first goal was Bristol 10k, and starting without being able to run to the end of the road, this felt like a massive challenge for me! But I did it, and having raised money for charity in the process felt great!
That's where it started, and the next goal for me was a half marathon. I enjoyed running, an hour of Zona time, just me and headphones allowed me to forget the world and be in control. And that's what it was about for me, focusing and controlling my input into each challenge. The half was great, I'd trained and had a time in mind, and my friends and family came to support me in Bath and I ran it, without any problems, and I raised money for the hospice that had looked after my Grandma in her last few years. There were tears at this point, I'd never done anything for myself before, I mean really setting a goal and sticking to it. And I was hooked! I felt so proud and the bug grew bigger!
Then I set my September challenge (100 mile bike ride with my friend Dawn in memory of her nephew, followed by half marathon, followed by another 100 mile bike - each Sunday throughout September). I was super proud, working out 4-5times a week, sometimes for 4 hours at a time, I had this bug that only exercise could feed! The control and focus on something other than work allowed me to enjoy something other than my job and I'd never had that. Being creative is my whole life and I'd never felt passionate about any other kind of hobby. The challenges fed the adrenaline and gave me more to work for. The September challenges were hard, the first ride, the one with Dawn, hadn't gone exactly to plan when Dawn had got injured, but I wasn't going to let her down and ended up riding the last 25miles alone. It was hard, we had set the plan together and the rug was whipped out from under our feet. But there was no way I wasn't going to finish. Then the next week, I ran the half marathon, it was hard, I hadn't really been running as I'd been focusing on my cycling but I managed it, a little slower than I'd have like (2:38) but it was fine, I'd finished and that's what mattered. Then the next week I had the blaise cycle, and thankfully I had Kev, my friend and trainer, there with the whole way! I'd hit a wall at 60 miles, I hadn't wanted to carry on but he wouldn't let me quit. He wasn't allowing it after I'd come so far so he cycled and motivated me for the next 40 miles and at the end, I'd accomplished the biggest thing I'd set my mind too!
But then I HIT THE WALL! I fell out of love with working out, I didn't want to anymore, it felt like a chore that had taken over my life. I didn't know how to just curb it back and just work out for a hour at a time, that felt like I wasn't working out. But I didn't want to set hours aside for it anymore! Friends tried to keep me motivated, but the more people pushed, the more I pushed away. I stopped training with my trainer and stopped self motivating, I started evenings of tv watching and working all the hours under the sun, to distract myself from the issue!
And here we are. I've flittered for about a year and a half, doing home workouts and little gym sessions to curb the guilt, but in honesty my heart hasn't been in it. I've struggled to feel committed to it and hoped that over time I'd just be able to be one of those lucky girls who doesn't have to work out... but that's not me! I've seen my body change, and take a step backwards and it doesn't make me happy! People don't notice as I've not nessecerely put on size (I have a little bit not a huge amount) but I've changed shape, I'm less toned and a lot less fit!
But here it is, my new start begins tomorrow, I've set a beginner training plan, a food log, and have friends on board to help motivate me. And I'm doing it again, I've set a goal! Next summer I'm cycling Lands End to John O'Groats. I know it seems like a mega challenge (I know it is and I'm scared about it!) but if I learned anything over the last few years; it's that! That's how it works for me! Go all in, or don't bother at all! So I've set the challenge and the charity; I'm raising for Cancer Research Uk in memory of my grandfather, and knowing that people are relying on me - they've paid their donations - is what will keep me focused!
I'm going to track my journey, the whole way - all the training and the challenege itself! So watch this space, see my ups and downs and if you'd like, help to keep me going by joining me for a work out or even donating in the memory of someone you love! Every penny goes to the charity, I'm funding the ride myself so every single penny donated is going to them! I'm just along for the ride, and I hope you are too! www.justgiving.com/Zona-lewin6