Shaping Up: Put fears aside and start getting fit

Barry before and after.
Barry before and after.

T-shirt weather is just around the corner and in preparation for showing more flesh, a lot of people are starting to think about stepping up their fitness game.

After a winter of hibernation and storing body fat, it can be a daunting task getting back into shape.

Working at boot camp.

Working at boot camp.

The good thing is, it doesn’t take long. Just some discipline towards regular exercise and a willingness to make healthy changes to your diet.

The hardest part is just GETTING STARTED again.

As a little bit of motivation, I thought I’d share Barry’s story with you to prove what can be done if you just take the first step.

Barry is one of my boot camp members who has been working with me for over six months now. The change in him has been incredible. But, before he came along to boot camp he was nervous about starting something new.

He actually felt sick at the thought of joining. He was worried that he would turn up on the first day and – “everyone would be really fit and in peak condition and he would look like a fat pudding!”

Those were his words. But he was so determined to change that he didn’t let those feelings stop him.

He was so fed up of feeling bloated, fed up of his belly hanging over his jeans, uncomfortable in t-shirts, so tired and lethargic all of the time, that he decided to put his fears aside and do something about it.

Most people have the wrong perception of fitness groups. Before joining a new fitness group (or anything new for that matter), you create negative thoughts in your mind. You play out all of the worst possible scenarios in your head. Those thoughts create fear and it often prevents you from taking action.


“My perception of boot camp was totally wrong. There was a mix of people at different stages of fitness. Everyone was really welcoming and that put me at ease and I was able to enjoy it”

In just over two months, he was 2.5 stones lighter and four inches smaller on his waist.

He has turned his life around by TAKING ACTION.

He didn’t let his fears stand in the way. He joined a new group and totally transformed his lifestyle.

Not only has he had to buy a whole new wardrobe, he is no longer out of breath when he runs up the stairs. He isn’t lethargic anymore, he’s full of energy.

So much so, that he now does two boot camp sessions a week and goes jogging on his own at least twice a week (something that he thought would be impossible six months ago).


l First up, put your fears aside.

Don’t let the thoughts in your head put you off starting something new.

Those negative thoughts very rarely turn into reality. Instead of running all of the worst possible outcomes through your head, try thinking about the best possible outcomes.

‘I will lose weight, tone my flabby areas and feel more confident in my summer clothes’.

l Start slowly and build it up.

You don’t have to jump right in at the deep end with seven workouts per week. If you do, you will end up burning out or getting bored. Just start with two short workouts a week and then build it up as the weeks go on.

l Progression is key.

Your fitness plan must have some sort of progression in it. If your routine does not show progress you will end up hitting a plateau. To increase the intensity of your fitness plan, try one or all of the following:

Increase the duration of your workouts.

Increase the number of workouts you do.

Increase the amount of weight you lift.

Run further, or run faster.

l Reduce the amount of simple sugars in your diet.

By simple sugars I mean white bread, white potatoes, white rice, pasta, cakes, biscuits, pastries, sweetened yoghurts, fruit juice concentrates, chocolate and crisps. Having those in your diet is where most people go wrong. Excess simple sugars gets stored as fat – simple as that!

So, if you cut back on simple sugars and replace them with the better type of carbohydrates you will see a big difference. Eat wholemeal pasta, sweet potatoes, quinoa, lentils, peas, and kidney beans instead (in moderation of course).

Don’t let your negative fears get in your way any longer. Just be brave and get started!