It’s something I do, too.
And it wasn’t actually a new year’s resolution – it all started nearly three years ago when I wrote The Brooding Doc’s Redemption, about a GP who gets some of her patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle. I’m a bit of a hands-on research person, so I thought the best thing I could do was to try out some of the things she encourages her patients to do… and that included going to the gym.
So picture me – middle-aged and flabby, having not done any real regular exercise since before I had my teenagers – plucking up the nerve to go to a gym.
The deputy manager was utterly lovely – she didn’t make me feel out of place in the slightest, was totally encouraging as she showed me round, and that gave me the confidence to sign up. Especially as the gym was right next door to school, I could fit it into my life and I had no excuses to drop out. Better still, my gym membership gave me two personal training sessions a week, so I had someone to motivate me and make sure my form was right while I did the exercises.
And I discovered that the gym wasn’t just about the physical side. It’s done wonders for my mental health, too. After I drop the teens at school/sixth form, I go straight to the gym, do my workout, and then when I get home it’s laundry, coffee, breakfast and my head is in the right place to work.
My trainer has done me an awesome programme, too. I’m still not thin (which is really annoying – even though I eat sensibly and exercise hard, I have insulin resistance so every few ounces off is a struggle, and it only takes one weekend to do about a month’s worth of damage) but I’m definitely a lot fitter. I have an intense cardio programme which I do twice a week with a trainer – it’s an ‘accumulator’ programme, with each exercise lasting 45 seconds, so it’s handy to have someone to wield a stopwatch and tell me which exercise comes next. I also have an upper-body weights session, a lower body and kettlebells session, and a cardio-and-weights session which involves 20 reps of a weights exercise followed by 2 minutes of cardio (and there are four of those within each set).
And, just to prove I’m not just all talk – this is what my little corner in the back room looks like on the cardio-and-weights day – barbells, a step, a skipping rope and kettlebells (and yes, that is indeed Kate Lardy in the mirror…).
Joining the gym has been the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s given me back my confidence, it’s improved my energy levels, I’m strong… and my shape has changed enough for my youngest teen to say that I look way thinner than I do in the video from her toddler years (and she was shocked to discover that currently I still weigh a good 14 lbs more than I did back then!). And I’ve stuck to my resolution to keep up the good work and improve my fitness week by week.
What’s the best resolution you’ve ever kept?
Kate’s latest release is A Baby to Heal their Hearts, the follow-up to It Started With No Strings (so if you liked Joni’s best friend Bailey, this is her story!). You can find out more about the book, and Kate, on her website (http://www.katehardy.com/) and her blog (http://katehardy.blogspot.com/) – or find her on Facebook