This post is in collaboration with Nike Women.
About 6 months ago I embarked on a fitness rollercoaster, I went from being a complete non-runner to signing up to run 26.2 miles and training for the London Marathon; all in under 4 months! Madness you say? Well, maybe slightly. However, I always believed that everything we accomplish begins as a curiosity in our mind. After that initial thought its then our mindset that gets us through to the end (or maybe not in most of previous fitness experiences). Yet, I know our bodies are incredibly resilient as long as the voice in our minds stays positive. You've got to truly believe you can do it.
So, myself and Bryony Gordon began training. Bleak morning runs in -1 degrees were the hardest, especially since I'd just returning from a sunny 4 months in Australia! How will I ever get through this, I thought. The onlu solution was to find things that distracted me and made training fun. I'd listen to an hour of the hilarious Guilty Feminist or Oprahs' SuperSoul podcast, pump Sia's album singing off key 'the greatest' mid run and eat a little snack at the end of every mile, Positive reinforcement people! These little tricks made the miles quickly fly by. I termed it 'highjacking the brain', before your body realises it's about to embark on a 20 mile run get dressed into your kit, get out the door and get running.
Besides this motivating brain hacking and snack rewards I noticed different running wear can really make you feel more or less confident. I was fed up of constantly hauling up my leggings every minute, I had to find the right kit and then I was introduced to Nike Womens plus size collection. At first I was dubious, was this another collection of shapeless, wider, lacklustre versions of their main line that would be perfect for an athletic, lean figure but no good on a curvy body like mine.
I was pleasantly surprised, the pieces were indeed an extension of the main range but slipped on my body like a glove, with support and comfort. I admit, I've been tempted to sleep in some of the range and to my utmost relief their running leggings did indeed stay up! When training for the marathon these leggings were the only style I wore.
Besides running, yoga is another sports that will change your life.
I never really loved working out until I found yoga; one evening I stepped out of a hot bikram class looking like a sweaty dog and to my surprise I felt more calm, confident and centred then I'd ever felt, EVER! That moment of inner peace was euphoric, a refreshing feeling especially when living in a crazy city like London. I'm no hippy but I noticed the benefits and challenge to stop and sit for 10 minutes. When else do we give ourselves that space?
THE BIGGEST FITNESS THING I LEARNT WAS...
I never want to fall into the trap of working out for the wrong reasons; of being motivated to hit the treadmill because I hate my body. Having the 'perfect body' doesn't exist and having a 'perfect body' doesn't get rid of your problems. Its also a very scaring motivation which feeds off your low esteem and puts you constantly on edge and running literally on a treadmill from guilt and fear.
You've got to do the internal work in your mind, love your body and work-out intentionally with the right motivation. For health, for wellbeing, for the endorphins, for a fun sociable activity, for the challenge, for a laugh, to sweat out stress, for a chemical balance and for self love.
It took 29 years and a sweaty yoga session at Fierce Grace to have this epiphany and after that first session I was hooked.
If you're taking up a new sport, going for that first run, I definitely suggest find the right kit but most importantly know why you are there. Whats your intention and motivation? You're much more then a dress size or a measurement.
I hope you find this helpful and if you'd like to see how these pieces fit on my body shape then you can watch my youtube look book by clicking HERE.
WHAT ARE YOUR BRAIN HACKS TO MAKE WORKING OUT FUN? DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE SPORTSWEAR ITEM? ID LOVE TO KNOW IN THE COMMENT BOX BELOW.