Family Fitness

I have always been a little on the chubby side, I love food, there is no escaping that fact. I have always eaten what I like and never really worried about my weight.

I have tried going to the gym, I signed up once for a year and only went twice. I found it such a horrible experience.  Beautiful bodies in spandex, some working out but most were just posing. It did make me feel a little inadequate and I never went back.

My entire family pretty much have the same attitude as me. Enjoy life, enjoy food and don’t enjoy exercise.

Sadly, a few years ago, my dad died at the age of 62.  My dad had had a few issues over the years with his heart, the issues were mostly diet related. He was given a diet and exercise plan by the hospital, but he didn’t follow it, as he said the food was tasteless and he hated exercise.

Talking to the doctor afterwards, he said his arteries were clogged and if he had followed the diet and exercise plan, it would most likely have prolonged his life, substantially.

This was not an easy thing to hear, both for me and my entire family.  However, what happened a few days afterward would make my dad proud.

We were all sitting in my mom’s living room, reminiscing and chatting, discussing what an amazing man my dad was and decided a fitting tribute to him would be for us all to eat healthier and start exercising.

My family is so lucky; we all live really close to each other. My mom decided to turn her very large garage into a family gym for us all to use, whenever we wanted.  This would mean we could exercise as a family and motivate each other.

My task was to research healthy eating and come up with some low fat recipes that would fill us up and be delicious at the same time. We would all take it in turns to cook the main meals.
All of us agreed, we would hold each other to account.  We had to work out at least 3 times per week. We would plan our meals and help each other to prepare them. We would have a weigh in once per week.

Apart from anything else, we would spend more time together as a family. Every one of us was totally on board.

My sisters and I helped my mum choose the fitness equipment. We chose a rowing machine, running machine and the best stationary bike on the market.  We also bought kettle bells, hands weights, yoga mats and tension bands. My mum put a TV in the garage also, so we could work out to dvd’s or just watch television.

I found the best time for my workouts was first thing in the morning. I started at 0445 am. I always started work super early, so this time was a total challenge but I was determined to do this.

My mom always made me clock in and out of the gym to prove I had completed my workout. Got to love my mom.

I never did less than an hour in the gym. I did a ten minute warm up on the running machine, on a high gradient. I then did 15 minutes on the highest level of the rowing machine.  My favourite machine was the bike. I usually did this for around forty minutes, I enjoyed the time on the bike.  I would plan my day and really go for the burn.

The great thing about an exercise bike is, it is a way to do low impact exercise, there is no stress on your joints and it burns fat so well.

I lost a stone in weight, in a month. 3 inches from my hips, 1.5 from my thighs and I didn’t feel it was hard work and I certainly didn’t feel like I was going without food wise. We all had a ‘cheat’ day, we all had the same day, a Saturday.  We all got together had a family meal in a restaurant and talked about how it was going, whether we could improve anything and what we were going to do next.

To tell you the absolute truth, I felt incredible, so did the rest of my family, not only that, they looked incredible.

My eldest sister suffered with eczema and it was almost gone, her skin was literally glowing.  My youngest sister lost 17lbs in a month and she looked so beautiful and my mum, her cholesterol was within the normal range (before she started it was a little on the high side) she looked so healthy and said she was full of energy.

I lost 2 stones in total, which was my goal. I wanted to be realistic.  I wanted to be healthy, look and feel good but not feel restricted too.

All of our goals were different but once these were reached, we just set new ones. My mom put together a maintenance plan for each of us and we all promised to follow it.  If any of us ever lost our way, we would support each other.

As a present to my mom, I arranged a day at a photographers and we had some beautiful family photos taken and hung the best one in the gym at my mom’s house.
What a beautiful and fitting tribute for my dad. I know he would be so proud of us.