#whatcomesnext – Emma McLeish
Coached by Leanne Hurst
In all honesty, while I wanted to look like a lot of the ‘female fitness models’ on Instagram, it was actually my mindset and attitude towards food and my body image that I really wanted to change once and for all. I had spent far too many years being ‘obsessed’ with food and the constant critiquing of my body image was relentless. I didn’t want to spend another 10 years + consumed with these negative thoughts/actions.
I couldn’t seem to shake off my weekend ‘binges’, which was hugely frustrating as I would follow my ‘normal eating patterns’ the whole week quite easily then ‘fail’ at the weekend. What I eventually realised (after many, many weeks of this cycle) was that I didn’t have to adopt the ‘all or nothing’ attitude I was so used to – if I had cake after lunch I didn’t have to go ‘f**k it, I may as well eat everything in sight as I’ve ruined it!’ This is a huge turning point/lesson for anyone who has/is suffering from ‘binge eating’. Once you realise this, then you can begin to enjoy food without constantly feeling fear or guilt. Since finishing my 12 week plan with Leanne I can honestly say I haven’t ‘binged’ once. I may have had days where I’ve went over my calories but I didn’t let it lead to a binge nor did I feel that usual huge sense of guilt. Consistently is key, not perfection.
The training programmes really do work, but as with my nutrition, consistency is key. I have always been motivated and committed to exercising (I actually really love it!) but getting into the weights room was slightly intimidating at first (particularly being a very small female with not a great deal of muscle!). However, what I’d say to anyone who has that ‘fear/intimidation’ of venturing into the weight room – focus on you. Forgot about what everyone else is doing/lifting. Who cares if you’re using 5kg dumbbells and everyone else has 25kg! Truth is, no one else actually cares what you’re doing, they’re too focused on their own workout!
Since beginning my weight training with Leanne, I’ve set myself little goals along the way. One of my goals was to be able to do unassisted pull ups. I will never forgot that feeling of pride when I completed my first pull up unassisted – I had spent nearly 3 months trying and then suddenly I could do them!
Thanks to the guidance and support from Leanne at TJPhysique, I have a new level of confidence within myself. I no longer ‘hate’ my body and punish it through restricting food (or binging!); I no longer think ‘I can’t do that’ when faced with heavy weights or complex moves in Crossfit, instead I think ‘I can’t do that yet’. Setting small goals along the way and venturing out of my comfort zone is what keeps me motivated and keeps me progressing. I’m completing Tough Mudder again this year and Spartan Beast, both of which are completely out of my comfort zone!
Finally, I guess I’ve learned that although I am small in stature and I’ll maybe never deadlift or squat as heavy as some people, I’m strong in my own right. The only competition should be with yourself.