Last year, I did a post about how I got back into an active lifestyle, which I will link for you here. I spoke about my challenges and my baby steps getting back into fitness after chemotherapy. How I couldn’t get far up the beach, how I had no strength and how short of breath I would get. I have enjoyed every bit of this process, and I’ve done so well to not get down about where I am at. Why would I!? Fitness is something that has to be slowly built on and is certainly not something you gain over night. But I know we all wish we could 😉 But like anything, it takes time.
Ummm wow! Who even is that??? 😉 ^^^
Last year I set my goals which were to maintain an active lifestyle to the best of my ability, to just being able to move my body and only push myself when I feel like I can. I have kept my goals realistic, and I think this is the first thing to look at when you’re setting your own goals! I always knew for me, it was going to be a slow process and I was completely okay with that. Trust me, my patience levels are pretty damn good, I’ve been on a cancer battle for 3 years haha! But sometimes when we feel like we can get too far ahead of ourselves, and by wanting this or that ASAP we fall off track because we either feel like that goal is just too far away, leading us to give up. Or it just turns out too hard. Or you push yourself way too hard, leaving yourself burnt out. That’s why I say set realistic goals. Remember that life is a journey and along the way you can expand on those goals!
Rushing into it, doing super long strenuous walks/runs, or trying to lift the heaviest weights straight away isn’t going to get you very far either! I started off with very short walks, slowly going further and further. I started boot camps and still only use light weights, although I have built up the strength to lift a bit heavier than I was. I never used to be able to get through the sessions. Now I can with little breathers in between. I started incorporating stairs and mountains and I can feel that my cardio levels are so much better. This has all been a long process! And lemme tell you, they have been the babiest of baby steps and I’m happy with that! Like I said, I’m not looking for any specific goals targeting certain areas of my body. I simply just want to maintain a healthy lifestyle at this stage, only pushing myself further when I feel the time is right.
Keep in mind that you will have days where you physically cannot be bothered to move at all. LISTEN TO THAT and don’t feel guilty. The worst thing we do is beat ourselves up. I’ve learnt to just roll with those days as sometimes I’ll wake up and feel tired. Or even to do something else that’s productive and rewarding. Something that is really gentle and soothing on the body. Use them as your rest days and allow your body to recover. It is 100% necessary.
I also found that having people around me and with me helped a lot. Doing walks with your friends and having a professional in the gym with you makes it less boring plus it’s great for accountability. I also think by having a professional with you is important, making sure you’re doing the exercise correct and avoiding any injuries. And the encouragement and motivation from friends or a trainer is the best!
For me, exercising has been just as much about mindset than it is physically. I find so much joy and happiness when I’m out for a long walk or I’m doing a class with friends. It always leaves me with a clear head. I’ve found what works for me at the moment, and I definitely want to try another form of exercise soon like pilates! When you find a form of exercise that creates a positive space in your life then it won’t feel so much like a chore, rather than something you do and enjoy! So experiment and find that! Track your progress as well. I didn’t take any before and after pictures, although I wish I did! But I can feel in my body how far I have come since last year as I felt as though I had to start from scratch again as chemotherapy strips everything in your body. It has made me feel so much more happy being able to get outdoors and do activities, and I will neverrrrrr take my body for granted ever again!
I’m no fitness guru and I’m definitely not a professional, but I have learnt a heck of a lot the past few years and it’s also just common knowledge. I found that these little tips have helped me get through my own health and fitness journey and hopefully will help or resonate in someone else by reading this. That it is okay to go slow. That it’s okay if you can’t quite do something you use to be able to do. I could barely walk up a flight of stairs without getting dizzy, do you know how discouraging that was for me at the time? Haha, but you get past that feeling! We all have your own life journey, just like someone else has theirs. We are all at different stages in our life and that’s something I’ve had to keep telling myself and to understand.
And remember… It’s not a race, it’s a journey. Enjoy the moment