See that image? That’s what I want to look like. Well, sort of.
I’ve always been a sporty sort of person. I was a tomboy as a child and played hockey, netball, football; I hardly ever kept still. I was also a club swimmer and cyclist. So exercise was fun for me and I got to eat whatever I wanted. That is until I left university and went out into the real world. I got a respectable job, started earning a decent living and moved in with my soon-to-be husband. That’s when my weight and health took a downturn. I thought to myself ‘I’ve always eaten Chinese and pizzas and I’ve never put on any weight. I’ll be fine.’
As the years passed, the weight gained and I progressed from my hour glass swimmer’s physique to a couch potato who ate like I was about to compete in the Olympics! My husband could see I wasn’t happy about my weight and bought me a fitness dvd. Beachbody’s Insanity dvd with Shaun T. I loved it! Every workout was exhausting and I could barely breathe but I knew it was getting me back on track. But I still couldn’t help pigging out on food. My portion sizes were far too big and the type of food I was eating wasn’t healthy at all. So I opted to try something different. I’d seen adverts for Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix – thirty minutes exercise a day and portion control containers to help you stick to the right amount of food. Perfect!
I started doing the workouts and eating as the instructions told me and was having loads of fun with it. I’d already lost four pounds in two weeks since starting when my right ankle began hurting. I’d always had problems with it but it had always sorted itself out. Not this time. After being sent for an x-ray and then an MRI, I was informed that I’d suffered a grade 5 osteochondral fracture of the talus bone in my ankle. Not only that, it’d been getting worse for years and I’d only noticed now. Because of the amount of damage there, the surgeon told me there was a 50-50 chance of surgery being able to fix the problem but without it, the ankle would only get worse. Surgery was booked for six months’ time while I limped around feeling very sorry for myself on my broken ankle. The surgery went well. The damaged part of the bone was sheared off and the remaining talus bone filed down and holes drilled into it so platelets could form cartilage to fill the gap left by the portion of bone removed. I had to be non weight-bearing for six weeks and then wear a compression boot for a further four weeks. Ten weeks of inactivity and stuffing my face whilst feeling gloomy and miserable meant that my weight increased to 13 stone. I was not a happy bunny.
Something had to be done. I was told by the surgeon that under no circumstances could I pound on my ankle again. That meant no running, no plyometrics, no jumping. I didn’t know how on earth I was going to get myself fit and lose all the excess weight. And then I saw a film on Netflix called ‘Fittest on Earth’. If you are anything like me and love exercise and pushing yourself to the max, you have to watch this film. It introduced something I’d never even heard of before – Crossfit.
Crossfit is all about pushing your body through gruelling workouts to be the best you can possibly be. After watching my mind was made up. I needed to do something about my body. Also, my daughter and husband had given me the nickname ‘Truffles’ because of my incessant eating. Okay, so maybe I couldn’t run like the athletes at the Crossfit Games did and couldn’t do double-unders like they could, but there was a lot of stuff that I could do. For starters I could get back to training in the pool. I was a swimmer once so I could be one again. And I could incorporate some of the crossfit sessions I’d seen into my plan. Part of my physiotherapy included lunges, squats, pistols, glute bridges – all exercises I’d seen crossfit athletes doing.
This is my first post of this blog – my personal journey of becoming stronger, fitter, leaner and healthier. I shall put up some of my swim workouts as well as healthy recipes and the crossfit-style gym sessions I complete. I hope you’ll join me in attaining a strong body and a healthy mind.