The Final Hurdle…

When Jamie Fisher, Health Coach from Motivate Health asked me if I would like to participate in his 3 month programme – I jumped at the chance! Not literally you understand as Lycra, sweating and me, have been estranged for the longest time – and I intended for that to continue; till death us do part!  However, given I am now on the other side of 50, still more overweight than I should be despite a disgustingly healthy diet, I figured it is now or never.  The last bastion of health, my final hurdle, the last frontier and all those other cliches involving mountains etc…basically it was time I pulled my finger out and cracked on with an exercise regime that I can carry through for the rest of my natural born life…exercise blog by The Editor

Well I’m into my 5th week and still alive!

I was never sporty – much more ‘arty’ – at school and this pretty much has stayed with me into adulthood.  Walking, gardening and swimming have always seemed enough to keep me healthy but as one gets older there are other considerations; osteoporosis, muscle wastage, balance and a whole host of other health related issues that can be slowed down, if not halted completely with a little more exercise in one’s life. And then of course there are the cognitive benefits attached to exercise; better mental health, increased circulation to the brain, less brain fog, more clarity etc.

So it was one Thursday morning I met up with Jamie to go through my gruelling (well I expected it to be) schedule.  As it turned out Jamie was adamant that as a veritable exercise newbie, slowly but surely was my way forward.

On day 1 my task was to complete 10 push ups and 10 glute bridges.  Seemed simple enough but laying out my yoga / exercise mat was the first hurdle – my Greyhounds thought is was for them!  And then the first push up attempt resulted in me falling flat on my face.  Took me a while to stop laughing and when I did, I noticed there was an option on the Motivate Health app to do what is often referred to as ‘girly’ (kneeling) push-ups.  This was much more achievable and now 5 weeks on – I am up to 50 a day.

Really quite early on I noticed my muscles were getting stronger – quite quickly. This is my main goal – to be stronger and fitter.  During our initial consultation Jamie asked me what my aim was so he could tailor my programme specifically to my needs.  Weight-loss may well turn out to be an added bonus, but it’s mainly strength of muscles and core that I want to improve and general fitness.

Along with the exercise programme there is a nutritional and hydrating plan.  I was pretty good with drinking plenty of water already, but Jamie has doubled my daily intake to 3 litres a day.  I thought I would struggle with this but am enjoying how good my body feels and people / friends are stopping me to say things like ‘you are looking great by the way – really healthy’.  As weight loss hasn’t really occurred much yet I am sure the hydration is making a big difference in general.

The nutrition plan is simple to follow and although I’ve eaten really nutritionally viable foods for many years, Jamie’s programme has highlighted my portion sizes were off whack, but his programme method is so simple to follow – there is no weighing or calorie counting just a very simple measuring technique…it’s really easy and there are recipes you can follow too.  Being mostly plant based in our eating habits as a family – I was pleased to see there are plenty of recipes on the Motivate Health website that can be adapted to vegetarian and even vegan options (see page     ).

Week 10 and hanging on in there!

So I started off really great but then hit a bump in the road with half term during May – well with two sons expecting daily ice-creams – it would have been rude not to participate!  But Jamie was great and told me to put that behind me and just carry on.  “We all have times that are difficult to stay on track – but just keep going.” He told me when I owned my faux pas!  

Since then I’ve been pretty much OK.  Now and then I need to adjust things slightly – recently I realised I’d put a couple of pounds back on – I am so body aware I can feel it straight away – Jamie asked me to check my portion sizes again as this is important. I realised I’d been eating too many pulses / beans / lentils (as most of our meals are vegan) and that I needed to pull back on these and include other proteins and different sources of protein.  He also reminded me I needed to keep going with the 6 meals a day (3 main and 3 snacks) – I had tailed off on the snacks as I felt like I was cheating, eating too much food – but Jamie patiently re-iterated that this regime keeps your metabolism working optimally and the food intake works in conjunction with the exercise and are designed to complement one another.

Am now up to 60 or so of each exercise a day (started on 10 as above) and as this physically takes longer and of course we are all so busy…school runs, cooking, shopping, dog walks, working and a whole host of other daily chores – I find breaking the exercises down in to smaller tranches and doing them at intervals throughout the day makes it easier.  My first lot is after school drop off when the house is quite and the last lot I do in the evening – my sons both join in with this section and find it hilarious that mummy is donning herself in Lycra and pounding the pavements (yes there is a small running section which I never imagined I would ever do let alone enjoy).

So there you have it – 10 weeks into a 3 month exercise and nutrition programme with the option to continue for another 3 months beyond that.  I surely will as I am fitter and stronger (my goal) and have lost some weight…my hands feel tiny, I’ve lost weight on my feet – who even knew that was a thing, and I notice my clothes are looser! And my body shape is changing – I’ve always been a good healthy British pear shape, a full size larger on my bottom half than my top – but things are definitely becoming more even! I still have a way to go but this is me for life now, I am certain of it – I have built up a muscle memory that enjoys the feeling which means I actually want to exercise – I never thought that would ever happen to me… 

I am really enjoying it.  My body feels great, I am sleeping well at night and more vibrant during the day and having someone I’m accountable to makes it all the more doable.  It’s so easy to start well and then get complacent but having someone in the background who I can contact if I have any questions or just to chivvy me on, is a definite plus and much more likely to keep me going with this regime for longer.

Thank you Jamie and Motivate Health.

There are different programmes for different goals; Toning, weight gain, muscle building and weight loss. 

Jamie also does one to one PT Sessions as well as Group Classes.

To sign up for Jamie’s Motivate Health programme e-mail: Facebook and Instagram: Motivate Health or go to his website