Have I got a little treat for you today!
I asked my beautiful best pal to pen a post for me to tell you a little bit about how fitness & sport has changed her life. It’s no secret that exercise is good for you, but I know I speak for a fair few of us when I say I’m not the best at keeping fit – & yet it can be so beneficial, not just for our physical, but our mental wellbeing too! With that in mind I’ve roped in Tiff to share her story, and hopefully inspire you & I to get more active.
Tiff – thank you for being an inspiration & for doing this for me! I love you.
You can find & follow Tiff at https://thelifeoftiffy.wordpress.com/
Enjoy folks, & see you Thursday!
So I was asked by my beautiful best friend and all-round badass Katie to give you an insight into sport/diet and fitness and how this has helped me become a healthier person – physically, emotionally and mentally.
For those who have no idea who I am, here’s a quick intro…
I’m a born and raised South Londoner (pronounced ‘Saaf Landaaaan’ FYI), I have five siblings (three brothers, two sisters), a niece, nephew, and boyfriend called Jay (whom I will mention in this); and I have only really been involved in sport and healthy living for the last 3 and a half years!
Growing up I never really had it instilled in me the importance of eating healthy and regular exercise, which caused me to gain a lot of weight from the age of 9, and it has been an uphill struggle to get my body back on track. I was teased, jibed and essentially isolated because of my weight, and the time came when I knew enough was enough.
In my late teens, I had no idea what I was doing – I was doing crash diets, exercising like a crazy woman, not seeing results and injuring myself; safe to say, mentally and emotionally, I was heading down a deep dark spiral. I only really got into fitness and looking after myself when I split from my ex. I broke off the relationship because he was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and he wasn’t helping himself – he wasn’t going to counseling, he wasn’t taking his medication and he wasn’t looking for a way to get better. It was affecting me, my family life, my work life… I had to get out of there to make myself better.
Jay was there as a friend throughout all of this, and he was the one who suggested that I get into some form of regular exercise to help me clear my head. As I had nothing but a pair of trainers and tracksuit bottoms, he suggested that I go for long walks when I had some spare time. It didn’t have to be a certain time limit, just go out, get some air, and get moving. I used to go for walks around my local area – just my music and I, and I would walk with Jay in Central London. One weekend, we walked for so long talking and taking out any frustration on the pavements, we ended up walking 27 miles in one day! I felt soooo good that I had managed to cover that amount of distance in one day… my feet on the other hand, had six blisters and I walked like I had Lego blocks attached to my feet for about a week.
This introduction into long walks led to me taking up running (which unfortunately I no longer do, but I will get onto that later), where every other day I would go for a 5k run. I competed with myself to better my time week by week, and found that was happening. The numbers said that I was becoming faster, and stronger – I didn’t hurt as much as I did when I first started taking up running, and it wasn’t long before I ran Race for Life for Cancer Research.
I dabbled in and out of running – I completed a few obstacle courses, a few 5k runs, and a 10k run (which I will not be doing again!) but now my fitness and exercise are revolved around three things that I love to do: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), heavy weights and rugby.
So, how has fitness helped me become a better person in all aspects of my life?
- I get fitter and stronger – This may seem like a no-brainer, but once I got the fitness bug, I found that I naturally became fitter and stronger – I recovered better, I ran faster, I began to lift heavier weights (and people) easier. Knowing that I was getting better physically proved to me that I was becoming better in myself.
- Exercise helps me clear my head – It really does. I know a lot of people talk about how exercise is great for your mental health…well, it is. For me, exercise helps me to clear my head, get my priorities sorted for the day, and quite frankly, exhaust myself to the point where my mind either doesn’t have the energy to worry about anything, or lets go of any underlying issues. I know that after a particularly exhausting boxing/wrestling session, I literally collapsed in an emotional heap on the floor and just cried for the best part of 20 minutes because I had so many underlying frustrations that I was harbouring; Jay asked me why I was crying, and I poured my heart out to him about everything that was making me upset (half of it I didn’t even know I was holding onto!). Although I felt fragile for a while after, I felt like a weight had been lifted: I could think clearer, had more of an open mind, and felt that I could handle things better.
- You’ll gain a new circle of friends – When I started playing rugby, I didn’t just gain teammates, I gained an amazing group of friends and a second family, and what is the thing that binds us all together? A love for rugby. That bond has deepened to inviting people out to socials, events, even round to the rugby club for some company. It’s an amazing feeling, especially if you find that you may be an outcast or a social misfit – I know I was!
Now, becoming a better you is not just down to exercising, it’s also down to your diet. I know of all people that junk food is the best as it makes you happy, but the green stuff does too! You will feel better knowing that you have given yourself good, nutritious food, and your body will thank you for it!
So, there it is! My secret to being healthy, mentally and physically, and the secret is diet and exercise! It has been a learning curve for me, but knowing that I have had Jay to teach me, support me, and educate me on the greatest sport ever, it’s safe to say that I am in a good place. Like everyone, I have my ups and downs, I had a real down period in my life not so long ago, but you never know how far a little sport or exercise can take you!
I hope you have enjoyed this little insight. Thank you to Katie for letting me guest post on her blog, it has been an absolute pleasure and I cannot wait to do it again soon!