Cardio over Couch: Making a definitive lifestyle change

The 2013/14 part of my life was the year that really challenged me. It was the year I moved away from home to – attempt to – study a degree. Unfortunately – or fortunately as I now see it – things didn’t exactly go to plan…

(Left) June 2013 - Finishing College. (Right) January 2015 - Midway through a never-ending Fitness Journey.
(Left) June 2013 – Finishing College. (Right) January 2015 – Midway through a never-ending Fitness Journey.

In short; a three-four year degree turned into – what I like to call –  ‘a nine month experiment.’ Admittedly moving away and studying a degree was something that was basically thrown at me without the certainty that I actually wanted it. It was something I knew I was academically capable of – (cough) A* A* A Student – but I was never mentally prepared for. I did really enjoy (at the best of times) my course, the independence and social aspect of University.


But there was always a part of me that felt just being in Coventry wasn’t quite right. Therefore I never settled.

“It just wasn’t working anymore.”

Throughout those nine months I was progressively pressured into staying; it put so much strain on me that I never really got to enjoy the good parts. I completely isolated myself from the rest of the world and was in a routine of constraining myself away from the reality of what was going on. I was leading an unhealthy life, both physically by over and under eating and mentally I had lost my sense of self and that was something I needed to change; paying £9,000 a year to be unhappy was not ideal. Although my social skills improved and I had begun to establish friendships; I went through scattered phases of Depression, of feeling so vulnerable and having severe anxiety to the point that I never left my room or ate for a week. That was enough to finally answer the tough question “to stay or to go?”

I was completely heartbroken and cut up about my experiences with being alone in my decision. I was unsupported by both the university and misunderstood by those around me; I just knew I needed to get myself back where I felt safest, to recover.

Coming home to nothing wasn’t an ideal situation either.

With First Year completed I came back home and threw myself into numerous jobs until I got myself a permanent job. I started getting out walking and there was a moment where I went for a jog/run, I thought it could be a positive way of distracting myself from what was going on in my head, although I always doubted the success of how long it would last.

On Friday 15th August 2014 I went to the gym and saw how exercise helped ease the emotional pain I was still going through. It helped me deal with those feelings of failure, of confusion and in a way loss of what could have been. It never started of as a weightloss journey but a mental one. Seeing a change in my emotions and outlook on life is enough for me to be consistent.

University scarred me but it also changed and shaped me for the better. If it wasn’t for my bad experiences I wouldn’t have found what I’ve always needed. Fitness.

I took out a month’s membership ‘as a trial’. It’s now been over eight months.

And counting…

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 01.19.24
NB: Updated Image Left: September 2014 (Color Run Volunteer T/Shirt). Right: August 2015 (Color Run Runner’s T/Shirt).

 Throughout this journey I’ve learnt a few things:

  • When losing weight, it comes of at the boobs first. Which is really sad. (Its like, my stomach is right here?!)
  • Being pissed off makes for a good workout – so go workout when you are really pissed off!
  • “You can’t over exercise a bad diet.” Yes I still eat Pizza and Crisps but Abs are made in the kitchen people (there’s a reason I don’t have them yet!)
  • “Fit, good looking, hot” guys / girls (whichever your into) at the gym are a distraction. Don’t look at them. They ruin your workouts!
  • It really is all in the mind. Our bodies really are capable of anything. Convincing your mind that you are strong enough and that you can do this is the biggest struggle of all. But its manageable!

One thought on “Cardio over Couch: Making a definitive lifestyle change

  1. Pingback: A Journey to BFIT  – Found Astray

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