Why I’m ‘bothering’ to eat clean and train hard

Thursday, October 16, 2014

This post was conceived in my head about four weeks ago when I was caught off balance by a conversation with someone about my lunch. I usually eat a big salad for lunch with a good portion of protein in the form of chicken, mackerel, bacon, mixed beans, corned beef or something else a bit random. This is followed by a half a cup of low fat yogurt with honey and a piece of fruit. No cake, no biscuits, although that doesn't stop people offering them which is really annoying.

healthy strong Sophie

picture from July

The question was put to me: “you're never going to be an [Olympic] athlete, so why are you bothering?” which knocked me for six that a) someone would be so blunt in asking, plus b) that I didn't have a concise answer ready.

After a bit of consideration I have an answer.

I'm scared. I'm scared that I turn the big 3-0 next year and I'm neither ready for a milestone, nor ready to start acting my age. In my head I'm pretty much just 18; young and silly. There is no way in hell I'm going to sit back and wait for my waistline to fill out and take up soap operas as a pastime. If I can con my way into staying looking younger for longer (without surgery and drugs OBVS) then you can bet your ass I'm going for it. Eating clean and exercise to get my body the way I damn well want it – that's strong not skinny FYI – is absolutely worth it. That loathsome quote about 'nothing tastes as good as skinny feels' is something I've never referenced before and I don't want to directly mention ever. My take on my body is this: there is precious little satisfaction tucking into something that tastes good yet leaves me feeling grumpy afterwards that I ate. I'd much rather fuel myself with good nutritious fuel and be able to look in the mirror in the morning without grimacing. It's a personal preference.

A (fairly) healthy diet along with a few workouts and runs a week keeps me ticking over but I'm currently trying to make a teensy bit of headway in just getting to the summit of where I want to be. I was nearly there; so close but then as per usual I fell off the wagon and to date can't get back on with both feet. It's not the end of the world and I'm not tearing my hair out about it, but I would like to get my head and my schedule sorted out so that I can at least make sure I know how things are going as opposed to being in the dark (which I do feel like things are at present).

healthy strong Sophie

I wrote a while ago about women who's bodies inspire me (post long gone now) and they were all strong and healthy women, Jess Ennis-Hill, Jillian Michaels, Jodie Marsh and Victoria Pendleton; they all inspire me with the dedication they have put into creating their physiques. Here's the revelation I've noticed: I don't want to workout to get their bodies, I want to create my own! I'm just going to work hard at what I enjoy and see where it takes me. Naturally, my legs are far more toned than any other part of me, my matchstick arms have been a supremely slow process to strengthen, my core although getting stronger is where any excess weight will sit (why wont it go to my boobs?!!!). The washboard rippling abs are not all that likely, but you know what? I don't mind. I'm enjoying being myself and where my hard work is taking me.

As for why people ask such blunt questions; they're either trying to show they care and are worried about you OR they're just arses. You decide. All I want to say is that a little support wouldn't go amiss.


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  1. I really like that you've talked about the women who have inspired you and that you want to get your own body, not theirs. I hadn't thought about fitness in that way before. And I really like Jodie Marsh and admire her for her body building stuff, so it's nice to see another fan of hers!
    I started the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred a couple of weeks ago and I really like it. I started it thinking that I should look like her at the end of it (ha, not likely!) but I guess I don't really need to have that aim in mind? I just need to get fitter and stronger.

  2. Great post. I’m stumped at whey this person said this too you. I have a fear that I will get bigger as I get older, because people say that's what happens. I'm determined not to get big just because I am older. I'm 28 and run at least once a week. I eat a balanced diet of healthy food but also cakes…just not too many. There is no point me trying super hard for a month to get really fit because I won’t keep it up. It isn’t realistic for me. I don’t have the motivation or dedication to get super-fit. Therefore my aim is to carry on running once or more a week and regular hiking while not eating too many cakes- this is realistic and something I can keep up with throughout my life.
    Miss Tulip x
    The Thrifty Magpies Nest

  3. What an odd and offensive question to ask! I hate personal questions from people and often find they are started through jealousy of your will power and determination to do well. I recently had a work colleague look down on me and question why I was eating a snack sized bag of popcorn for lunch (whilst munching through her much less healthy share bag of crisps) and someone else buy chips for everyone in the office but me (because I was training for a marathon). I didn't want them anyway, and was perfectly happy with the salad I'd brought in but I don't like to be judged for living in a way that makes me feel good.

  4. Oh my gosh Sophie... just where have I been?
    This post is SO vital. And wow, so well written. I can feel and appreciate every word, because I've lived it and yep I've had the critics, the smirks, the everything.
    Why run? Why refuse to enjoy yourself? Why do you want to be fit?
    For me, it's always been about me, I wanted to be fit and healthy for so long, it took actual friggin years to get there, but I got there and why on earth would I want to revert back to how I was before?

    Me and you are far too alike. You do realise that don't you! This year has been tough, the pressures and wedding all got insane. But the one thing that kept me going was my routine... my running, my healthy eating.
    Yep I slip up, and yep I do sometimes indulge, but I always remember that being fit and healthy in body, ultimately makes you healthier in mind! And I wouldn't change that for the world.
    You are incredible. x x x

  5. people like that deserve a poke in the eye. Everyone should be bothered about looking after themselves. Great post Sophie, keep up the good work, you're my inspiration!


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