I believe that at some point in most people’s lives they will reach a stage where they turn to fitness and healthy living. It’s that moment where you realise something needs to change, whether this is manifested by unhappiness with your physical appearance or the suggestion from your doctor that ‘things need to change’ for health reasons.

For me it was both. A blood test had shown up my cholesterol was creeping up, and I had seen a photo from a 5-a-side football game where I thought ‘that’s not me!’. Both in my mid 20’s. I wasn’t exactly overweight, but I didn’t look like my interpretation of a male in his ‘prime’!

I wish I had known the importance of food and fitness earlier in life. Anyway, something needed to change, so I went about it.

I’ll go off on a slight tangent here – Ideally, the huge benefits of a healthy lifestyle and regularly partaking in some kind of physical exercise (preferably something the individual actually likes) should be high on the list of things children are taught in school. Particularly the fact that you need to be in it for the long haul. Parents need to be informed as well, I regularly observe some really terrible choices parents make for their children. It’s a tricky subject, everyone wants their child to be happy, what I mean here is bad choices over long periods of time which lead to obesity.

But to get back on track…

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Little Timmy needed to be told apples=minimal gains. But seriously, it’s on us adults to make sure children make proper choices.

When that moment comes, the ‘I need to change my lifestyle’ moment, commit to it. It will the BEST thing you ever do both physically and mentally. Just be prepared to be in it for the long haul. Don’t fall into the bullshit – that being quick fixes and easy sells.

The amount of misinformation out there about health and fitness is overwhelming. Apply this and you’ll be okay – anything that seems too good to be true…yeah, it’s too good to be true.

Trust me on these;

Nothing works in isolation, there is no one workout, one meal, not even one good day that can make a huge impact. It is the accumulation of workouts, meals, good days which make the difference. This takes time, and that’s not sexy. It’s not an easy sell as a trainer…’we can make huge changes in 6 months to a year’.

Everyone – ‘But I want it now!’

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Ok so that’s one burpee, I’ve finished fitness right?

This applies across the board – fitness level, body composition, mobility. Consistent small moments over time turn into big changes. If you want that big promotion in work it won’t be achieved by working hard for an hour.

Fitness and well-being is a continuum. Things will change in slight stages without many clear dividing points, and visible dividing points are probably spread pretty far apart. But, massive changes WILL be made eventually if you stick to your guns.

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It doesn’t matter which way you look – you ain’t finding them..

The lost realisation is that it’s just as much psychological as it is physical. Getting someone to commit long term to anything can be tricky, and I’m sure you all know continuously being in a good place mentally is not straightforward. You’ll need some kind of support structure, make sure your ‘every day’ people are on board with what you’re doing.

Some days the idea of training is a huge pain in the ass, but you just have to make time and do the work. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t feel great AFTER the session in this situation.

There are all types of highs, lows and in between. But if you think about it, you go to work every day and get things done for someone else…you need to start working on yourself daily.

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Jane: I love my job. Kinda…maybe. Get that camera out of my face.

Not everything has to be ‘all out’. You don’t need to be lying on the gym floor in a pool of your own sweat to make progress. If everything your trainer does is mayhem and at a super high intensity – they don’t know what they’re doing. Many people starting out can be put off completely by this, they’ll join a class and get wiped out by a trainer. While muscle soreness is inevitable for newcomers, the person in charge should be looking to introduce you gradually to exercise.

Some of my most successful weight loss clients go for 15-20 minute walks on the days they aren’t in the gym. This seemingly small act goes a long way over time.

We work hard in our sessions, but there’s a balance, exercise should blur the lines between enjoyable and uncomfortable, there’s plenty of times we delve into that uncomfortable zone…but it shouldn’t constantly be ‘why the f**k am I here?!’.

Remember that. And remember – you’re in it all for the long haul.

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Handsome George pondered what the hell could he put on Instagram if he didn’t ‘go hard or go home’

These are some points which would have been a huge help to me starting out, I hope they help you. If you’re looking to make a change get in touch, I cater for one to one sessions, nutritional planning and there are a host of classes available at http://tpfa.ie