Aimee Horton

Guest Post – Why women should lift heavy and celebrity trainers should shut up.

Jan
03

I’m hugely chuffed that Helen from Whole Life Fitness let me feature this post on my blog.  She posted it back in November and when I first read it a lot of things made sense.

Helen is always good as a sanity checker for me.  She’s a personal trainer, she’s fit, but SHE EATS CAKE.  She’s honest, and knows her stuff.  I like the below blog because I am one for being a sucker.  I bought the Atkins book when it was claimed Jennifer Aniston was an avid follower, I tried Pilates because some other celeb I wanted to be when I grew up happened to be mentioned in an article a bout it.  These days, I’m a bit more lazy realistic when it comes to that sort of thing.  

So, in the spirit of New Year and everyones resolutions, please read and take heed!

***

Last week I bought a magazine called Glamour. Now I gave up buying women magazines about a year ago and both my bank balance and my attitude towards my body has thanked me. However this issue had a free nail polish and I do love nail polish. Whilst flicking thru the magazine I came across this bit of advice:

“I prefer to keep the weights low” (the “celebrity” personal trainer advocates 3lbs) which apparently will “create more of a woman’s body – sensual and sexy, but strong”

The above were quotes not journalistic interpretation.

Well I call bullshit. To get strong you need to lift weights, and you need to lift heavy weights, constantly challenging your body so it will change.

Here is what heavy weights for woman can do

  • Actually make you strong.
  • Help keep your bones healthy and decrease the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Increase confidence.
  • Make your shoulders & arms look shapely in sleeveless tops.
  • Enable you to carry either your drunk mate or your sleeping child upstairs to bed (depending on which stage you are in life!)
  • Help you lose or maintain weight. You’ll keep burning calories AFTER you have finished your weight session.

And here is what doing heavy weights as a woman won’t do.

  • Make you bulky
  • Make you a man
  • Make you unsexy, unsensual, weak
  • Frighten men (well it might but that’s their problem not yours)

This goes for whether you are 20 or 80 years of age.

For an awesome post about 6 female Strength Training Myths Busted read Nia Shanks blog, who  can deadlift 330lbs and is neither big nor bulky.

Articles like these are dangerous, women read them and believe that all they need to do is follow the advice and they will be able to replicate their favourite celebrity body.  It is very rare that in such articles nutrition, lifestyle or genes are mentioned, which results in a skewed perspective rather then the full picture.

There are no downsides to doing heavy weights (as long as your form is correct!), how can anyone argue against exercise which actually makes you strong and helps prevent ageing?

Being strong and healthy IS sexy, there are no buts about it.

Original Blog post can be found here

Chewing The Fat

Nov
27

I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones, one of the unknowing and unscathed.  I lived three quarters of my life blissfully unaware and unworried.  It was not until I reached the grand old age of twenty one that it bulldozed its way into my consciousness.  ‘It’ being the horrible realisation, the gut wrenching understanding that I, I was fat.

 

Or at least I was told I was.

 

I like clothes, I always have ergo I have frequented many a store and boutique.  One day in a local shop, the owner suggested that as I spent so much time there, how would a little Saturday job take my fancy.  I was at uni, I needed the cash and quicker than you can say staff discount, I was on board.  I was in my element; I was surrounded by beautiful pieces and likeminded ladies.  Yet not long after, I got a tap on the hips from my boss accompanied with a “you’re very wide here”.    This was followed by a few “I suppose you’re not that fat” asides and a “that’d look better on her, she’s much smaller than you” remarks.  If I asked for a dress to be put aside for me, when I went to try it it’d be two sizes bigger than I normally wore.  If I protested that I didn’t think I was that size, I would be greeted with a most sceptical “really??”  I started to worry, fret and eventually, not eat.  I calorie counted to within an inch of my life and eventually the pounds started to drop off.  I got down to 9 stone something, my clothes got looser and my friends cried because they thought I was ill.  All was good.  Oh no, wait, my friends were crying because I looked gaunt, that’s probably not that good.  In fact it was only at that point that I realised something I swore would never happen to me had got me tightly in its bony grip.

 

I had never ever been concerned about my weight.  Weight never crossed my mind when I was younger, I had no concept of fat or thin growing up and when I started working at said boutique I was unconcerned and really, pretty darn happy with my size 10/12 frame (yep, 10/12!).  When it all began I was slim, my clothes were size 10 (12 on my hips) and I was made to feel disgusting by someone who had 3 sizes and 40 years on me.  Ironically, after strictly dieting, I was still a 10 (12 on my hips – who knew I have bones!?) the only difference was that I was hugely embarrassed.  I had let someone’s own insecurities and jealousy implant such a hatred for my own body that I starved it.  I didn’t need to lose weight and my 5 foot 9 inch frame couldn’t really afford to.  But it became an obsession and every waking moment was taken up by counting calories.  I lost pounds and personality.  I thought I was strong and bloody minded enough than to let anyone undo 21 years of being happy in my skin but I was wrong.

 

Seven years on I’m no longer in contact with my ex-boss, I have put all of the weight back on but the insecurities sadly remain.  I am still a size 10 (12 on my hips) and every day I worry about the size of my arse, the wobble of my thighs and the calories in a chocolate bar.  I know it’s crazy, I want to shake myself for being so self-obsessed yet I have been indoctrinated by someone’s ridiculous opinion.  However, I’m not angry at her, I’m angry at myself and that I’ve let some body doubt my own.  Despite 99% of me realising what she spouted was utter bollocks there is 1% of all powerful worry that continues to niggle.  I know I’m not overweight, I am healthy and when I fancy a Big Mac, I’ll have one.  I’m not going to starve myself or swallow pills in the hope my ribs will jut out, as thankfully that temporary insanity has passed.  I’ve proved to myself that I have the willpower; the determination I afforded on cutting out all sugar, fat, carbohydrates, protein and joy out of my life was unwavering.  Therefore I am determinedly channelling all that energy on finally embracing what I’ve got.  I’m coming to realise that worrying about sugar, spite and all things size isn’t nice; I have bigger fish to fry.

(Twice please with mushy peas).

 

 

A Project Feel Good update

Jun
01

It’s been more then a week since I started cutting back and trying to respect myself a bit more, and do you know what?  I actually do feel good.

I feel light, I feel calm, I feel relaxed.  The things that normally bother me, that get me down, well, they’re not.  I still have the initial impact of negativity, the slump of the shoulders, the sulking, the reflex to go shopping, but somehow I’m shaking my shoulders and holding my head high.  I don’t feel so beaten down.

I look in the mirror, and my skin seems to be improving, and considering the insomnia is still here,  I don’t look as exhausted as usual.  I’ve lost 2lbs and 1.5inches from my wobbly belly, my make up is staying on longer and I have a bounce in my step.  Plus, there are areas of improvement which are not fit to blog about.

I know, it sounds like an over chirpy promotion to quit drinking doesn’t it?  It’s not all plain sailing.  It’s breaking a habit, one which has been instilled in me for years.   Like I say, I can’t sleep, my mind is buzzing, my body aching in a way that shows it still needs to wind down.  If I’m asleep before 2am right now I’m lucky.  But I still feel better then when I woke up after an alcohol induced sleep.

I’m still short tempered, and after a full day with the children I still could murder a few gins and a bottle of wine stiff drink, and perhaps I’m supplementing booze with Malteasers.

Now it’s Friday night, the children were wild, I’ve had a hectic week, and I’m so tempted to more than a couple of glasses of wine to celebrate the long weekend and go along side my curry (Rogan if anybody is interested) but feel surprisingly guilty.

One day at a time.

P.S. I went for that run – 2.25m in 21mins not amazing, but a start.

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