26/05/2015

Fitness Blogger Confessions

You know I like to keep it real. I'm always going to try to be honest with my readers. I think sometimes fitness blogging gives the writer a kind of aura of healthiness that people think must extend to everything. So to bust that wide open, I have some revelations to share... 

My kit is rarely clean. Seriously, what is the point. By the time people encounter me in it, I will once again be working out. Don't get me wrong, I do wash my kit. But every time is not worth the effort. On Friday night I washed kit after one little weights class, I walked out of spin on Saturday using that same kit, reeking. There was sweat ingrained in every thread of that shirt. What was the point in that wash?!

Most of my workouts aren't tough. If its always 'go hard or go home', I might just go home. There's no 'fitspiration' quote I hate more than that phrase. Firstly, exercise should be fun. It is perfectly okay if your workout did not feel hard and instead felt relaxing, distracting, energising, or any other adjective in the world. Fitness can be your downtime. Fitness should not always have to be the hardest thing in the world. When I look at my workout diary, I see a huge range in a week of very tough exercise, and very easy exercise.

Thats a realistic shot and stride for you- heel striking, bright red, sweaty AS.

My stride and pace improve when other people are nearby. Doubly so if that person is attractive. I was sloughing along like a man jogging to the gallows then suddenly I am the offspring of Miranda Kerr and a Thomson's Gazelle. I am grace. I am Miss United St-- wait, where was I? Anyway, humans are very bad with social embarrassment. Its shallow but we all do it. I'm not even doing it deliberately, but I am doing it.

How is office drawer chocolate still here? Oh yeah, no one likes it that much.

I prefer milk chocolate*. Yeah... I mean I like dark chocolate. But it is not the same. Does not have the same creamy smoothness. I know its so much better for you, but Green and Blacks dark chocolate just can't touch their milk chocolate. Or their milk chocolate with butterscotch. Or the one with marbled white chocolate. Its the bad bits that make it taste so good. More importantly, just because I like fitness and write about it does not mean I only eat chocolate as a once a month treat, or that I only ever eat dark chocolate. Life is too short. I'm not telling myself its a health food, but I wont avoid it either. I also eat pizza. Pizza is super good. 

Taking beautiful photos of fitness is difficult as sin. Either you get crappy photos- taken on a phone, blurred by my sweat on the lens (because I keep my phone down my bra), bright red face, harsh strip lighting- OR you get staged ones- perky and made up in a sports bra. Those are your choices. I do not understand the people getting beautiful shots of muscle and poise... whats the secret?!

I can't do more than 5 press ups. Seriously. I find them SO hard, and I always switch to modifiers. They've only become more difficult since my PhD started giving me repetitive wrist strain injuries. I always fail on the up-push, and they are difficult to hold form-wise now my wrists hurt. Again, if you have any tips I would love to hear them.

1/5 only.

Most of my food is not instagrammable. The dishes have a chip in them. It tastes amazing but it looks questionable. Its not colourful. The surrounds are a tip. I'm eating it out of a huge mug because we are out of bowls. Most of my daily life does not look pretty even with a filter. Moreover, if I'm starving I cannot take the time out to make them photogenic. Most of my instagram food shots are therefore of restaurant food...

I still let body image drama effect my mood. I wrote about Body Image some time ago, and its a very popular post. The reality is that its still a battle. I still have days where I can't stop thinking about how I look from a certain angle and I let it ruin my day. Other days I think, 'Hey, I look pretty good'. We are all a work in progress, me more than anyone.

My sleep hygiene sucks. I sleep sporadically for anything between 6 and 8 hours a night. I check my phone in bed, even if I wake up randomly in the middle of the night. We watch TV in bed. When the laptop goes off, the radio goes on. I don't remember it at all but I wake up a lot asking my significant other who he is talking to (its the radio).  I am completely aware of how bad this is for you. We even tried perfecting our sleep hygiene. It really worked- much better sleep, much more rested. Then we became honest with ourselves and admitted we prefer Netflix to good sleep. 

I never count calories. I know when I am eating badly. My meals are all healthy- its my snacking that lets me down. I'm lucky that I have the experience to know what a good days food looks like, and what is reasonable nutritionally. Therefore I am not kidding myself in any way, even if I am not counting calories, I know what I'm eating. I found calorie counting too obsessive- thinking that I could do a few more squats if I ended up 10kcals over for the day. Natural daily calorie variation will even out, and its the snacks I have to watch, not the calories.

Will not make me any faster. Highly cute though.

I really like cute fitness gear. I know that's desperately shallow. I was reading the book Running Free, which speaks a lot about the commercialisation of running. Whilst I completely agree you do not need all the gear to enjoy running, that getting back into nature is amazing, that you can run into the hills with very little money or gadgetry... I had to eventually admit it to myself. I felt guilty, because I love snazzy running gear. For no more good reason than its comfortable, and I like how it looks. I don't feel I need it, I just want it. I guess a related one is that I wear fitness gear all the time when I'm not working out (I do make sure it is washed, though). 

So there you have it, I am not the healthiest person on earth. I'm just some chick who likes exercise. 

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Okay, come on, what are your fitness confessions?

* Whilst writing this, I received an email from Graze called, "Mmmm chocolate". The universe knows it. Graze knows it.