Tag Archives: personal trainer

You Can’t See The Stars When You’re Staring At The Ground

hunchbackMS is seriously turning me into a hunchback.

Over the last few years, I seem to have acquired rounded shoulders, and when I walk I automatically stare dolefully downwards, using my expert laser vision to scan for potential slips, trip-ups and mishaps.

I only really noticed this when my trainer asked me to put my shoulders back and look straight ahead. Oh, really?  Ohhhhhhh – kaaaay. Creak. Creak. Oh. Blimey. Hey! I’m six inches taller. Hey, I have a proper posture. Like in the magazines. S’mazing.

I used to strut. After years of being taller than your average British female (a not-that tall 5′ 8″), proudly sashaying along any pavement in high-heeled Italian boots, cobblestones no problem, I am now one of those people I used to cross the road to avoid. I mutter to myself, eyes fixed to the ground. ‘Meh, see! Told you, blinking stoopid pavement. Tut. Yada, yada, council, etc.’

In the three years since MS barged into my life, I have not walked tall. At all (lol). My shoulders are my shield, the pavements my enemy. I can literally (and I don’t use that term lightly), trip over dust. My shoes are all scuffed, bearing the brunt of my clownish walking.

But. Something magical happened when the trainer told me to stand up straight (in a very nice way). It was almost like a sixth-form A Level English Language metaphor – ‘after three years of looking downwards, she finally faced the world head on – indicative of how she was able to now walk tall, walk proud, defying the world she had unwittingly constructed.’ Discuss

You know what? There’s definitely something in that. I was so busy seeking out obstacles on the ground, I missed the beautiful vistas passing me by. I tuned out the white noise of my friends’ concern. I was totally focused on putting one foot in front of the other. Simple, no?

Well, no. I missed so much. I didn’t take the time to breathe, look up and be thankful I was still here, still in one (albeit shaky) piece. My head was buried in the sand. Friends peeled away. Life atrophied. The pity parties multiplied.

I hope that, along with torturing me with endless squats, the trainer has given me the space to hold my head up high once again. What’d I miss?

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Adventures in Blunderland

BlunderlandI am about to start the third week of my New Me regime, i.e. ELF (Eat Less, Fatty).

My lovely trainer has shown me some exercises to boot my metabolism out of its lengthy hibernation, and amazingly, it appears to be working.

Combined with snacking on Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds rather than Cheez-E-Puffs or Curly Wurlys, I am feeling a tad virtuous.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing though. I bought one of those resistance band thingies, with two (pink) handles. The trainer showed me some smart moves I could do at home. Easy, no? The plan was to sling the band round the pillar in my living room and use that as resistance, pulling away to tackle my burgeoning bingo-wings. 15 reps, rest, 15 reps, rest, 15 reps, rest.

Who said exercise was hard work? This would be a doddle. I could watch telly from the pillar, catching up with my favourite junk programmes, i.e. ‘I Wanna Marry Harry’. Fabulous time management and I duly gave myself a pat on the back.

First problem, pillar is actually quite large, so I ended up hugging the darned thing to wrap the band round it, just as The Teenager came downstairs, rolled his eyes and seeing me incapacitated, made a break for the fridge.

Right. handles sorted, move forward a bit and….I was off. Did my reps, felt a little bit of a ‘burn’, rested, started again. Meh. Adverts. I always fast forward, so I reached for the controller, trying to put both handles in one hand. Almost there……thwack. Couldn’t do it, the resistance band thingie flew backwards, one handle whacking me smack in the eye. The Teenager rolled his eyes and darted back upstairs.

I kicked the stupid band thingie around the floor a few times (it’s still exercise) and decided to try on my new sports bra instead. Well. Whoever invented this Medieval torture device deserves to be pelted with soggy rugby socks. I ended up with one arm stuck in the air and the other attached to my thigh. After struggling to free myself from the evil contraption for over five minutes (and bouncing over to the window to close the curtains), I flopped onto my bed, limp, weak and exhausted.

I will not be beaten by these sporting accessories, although my kettlebell is still being used as a doorstop after I dropped it into the cat’s food bowl by mistake. Fear not, she’s still with us – she wasn’t eating at the time. The ELF Challenge continues…

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Mirror, Mirror…

Mrs Blobby….on the wall, who’s the blobbiest of them all?

Well, me.

MS does the weirdest things to your mind and body. First and foremost, it had the utter cheek to launch an all-out attack on me (itself?).

Three years ago, my faithful body drew up the battle lines and hunkered down for a long-term offensive, offensive being the operative word. Bits of me started to go wonky, my mind melted into a goo-like mass and my once-trusted-with-my-life body morphed into a despised stranger. I no longer understood what it was doing, or why.

Then there was the terrifying diagnostic process, which in my case was somewhat helped along by a bountiful supply of comfort food. I didn’t care. What was an extra scoop of Mackie’s Indulgent Ice Cream between enemies? Or a special offer bag of M&M’s? Junk was a soothing balm to my battered soul.

And finally, the meds, the steroids. Mind you, one of the courses of steroids meant my Christmas tree was put up in record time a couple of years back. At 3am. And I polished all my lightbulbs and finally got round to painting anti-mould stuff on the bathroom ceiling. They might taste foul, but boy, the energy!

All this has culminated in me just not recognising myself. Who is this large, scowling person staring back at me from shop windows and inappropriately placed mirrors? (a note to all you zeitgeist-y restaurants and wine bars – mirrors may make your place look bigger, but it’s most off-putting when I’m trying to look super-elegant whilst sipping my Martini and carrying on a scintillating conversation, ta).

Anyway, I have reached Crunch(ie) point. I am out of that dark tunnel, blinking into the light of grudging acceptance of this foul illness. And I really don’t like what I see. I used to have cheekbones. I still do, with a bit of Sellotape, but I would like my real ones back please. They’re buried underneath that chubby face, somewhere. I would like to banish the bingo-wings. Tone those thighs. Walk tall again, rather than hunching over and scanning the pavements for tripping hazards.

To that end, yesterday, I met with my brand, shiny, new personal trainer. And I signed up for a year (sits down, takes a moment). He’s the only person alive who knows my true weight. He is inspiring and understanding and won’t put me through gym-bunny crazy intensive workouts. He’s got a lovely holistic approach, perfect for a systemic illness like MS which affects pretty much every single part of your life.

As I write, I have the polish ready to clean up my doorstop kettlebell. I’ve ordered a dri-fit pair of leggings and t-shirt. I am petrified.

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