Larna’s journey started like most - feeling down and wanting to make a positive change in her life. In her own words, ‘I wanted to lose weight…, and yes, I felt all those feelings of being insecure’’. In this short story, Larna talks about how she overcame feeling insecure in the gym, what keeps her motivated and what she does training-wise when she is in the gym.
Larna participated in highland dancing as a kid and continued well into her teenage years. “I think it helped me with discipline and commitment in life”. As an adult however, she found committing to her health and fitness more challenging. This changed about 11 years ago when she decided to try out the gym. She said that the first personal training session she attended was hard, but she loved it. ‘I kept going to the gym about 3 times per week, but then I would have bouts of not going for a few weeks’. 9 years later (January 2020) she realised that her diet was still the same and she was still ‘overweight’. This is when she made a commitment to herself. ‘I’ve made a commitment to myself therefore I’m accountable to me. So unfortunately there are no excuses. No one else cares, you just have to work harder’.
What separated the old- and new-self?
Larna mentioned that getting educated with regards to training is the key. ‘Learning the ‘why’ and ‘how’ gave me the understanding to continue and to trust the process. WARNING: it’s not a short term thing, be prepared for the long term lifestyle change, accept that this is how it is’.
She truly started training in January 2020, where she learnt about macros, calories, strength training, cardio and consistency. Since making the commitment in January 2020, she has only missed two weeks over Christmas 2020. ‘I’ve been consistent’. ‘Make a commitment to yourself, your body deserves it, it has served you well so far, look after it.’
‘For me, keeping an eye on my nutritional habits has been the most important. I thought I was eating healthy which I kinda was, but consuming way too much. It’s taken me a while to learn to eat less, ensuring I have enough protein rather than eating too many carbs and eating good fats. The body needs all these things in the right proportions for optimal muscle gains/weight loss. It’s getting easier to maintain weight, but yum I love chocolate. I don’t drink often so not a huge loss there.’
Larna used to think that if she used weights, she'd bulk up and be like ‘those big muscled dudes’. She felt very uneasy and insecure. ‘I still have those feelings sometimes, especially if there are lots of people in the gym. I put my headphones on, no eye contact and pretend there’s no one there, 😆’.
I love that Larna has a plan to stay comfortable in the weights area, after all, weightlifting/strength training has been a male dominated sport for so long and it’s awesome to see more women take up lifting.
I asked Larna to share some advice for others that may feel insecure, this is what she said;
‘I understand why some women feel intimidated, I was one of them, I didn’t want to look like I didn’t know what I was doing, especially around using the weight machines and free weights. Also the mirrors…..eeeekk. All it takes is some curiosity and willingness to ask for help if you are unsure’.
I couldn't agree more with Larna. Here at Central Fitness we strive to provide a different and better ‘gym experience’ for everyone, and we want everyone to be educated, comfortable and safe in the gym environment.
Training Q & A
Can you believe Larna has lost more than 20kg and has kept it off in a healthy and sustainable way? So what is it that Larna does in the gym?
“Weight training to challenge my muscles is a good thing and doing LISS (low intensity steady state cardio), also known as ‘Zone 2 training’.
I had to ask Larna, “Your guns are always locked and loaded (haha), what do you do to keep your arms and shoulders in check?”
‘I have a love/hate relationship with my biceps and shoulders. I work on them once a week and only have a couple of exercises for biceps and probably 4 exercises for shoulders and triceps. I believe the weight loss has revealed ‘these arms’ and although I very much prefer how they look now compared to before, I am still learning to accept them. I am a lot more comfortable wearing a singlet nowadays, as I used to have bat wings, huge ones too, and never wore singlets’.
Why weight training?
I love the mindset strength training has given me and my new found love of muscles. At the beginning it was the motivation to lose weight, and then learning consistency is the key which has turned into discipline with intention. I follow the same program every week, with slight variations. I look at videos on YouTube a lot for ideas and to better my form. What I found helpful was to set a specific goal, set aside a time that you’re more likely to train. Having a strength training program that is the same every week and targets specific muscle groups on a particular day was easier for me, not complicated and now I know it without thinking about it too hard.
What time of the day do you prefer training? ‘It’s best for me to train early in the morning, strength then cardio, I'm pretty busy during the day and will come up with excuses to not train at night, so better to do first thing’. Larna comes into the gym almost every morning at 4 am. After that she heads off to work just like everyone else. ‘I have learned how to love coming in so early, also, there are not too many people around then, which suits me’.
We all train for different reasons. The most important and best place to start is to find out why you want to exercise. Your ‘why’ is what will keep you motivated and consistent. Some train to aid in weight loss, others so that they can play around with their grand-kids. Everyone has their own reason.
Then, create a schedule that is easy to stick to. Perhaps gym-time is your time, or perhaps you and your partner can join together, regardless, everyone in the family needs to know that ‘those’ two to four times a week are dedicated to training. If you know you struggle with commitment, then practice the art of showing up by just going to the gym for a maximum of 10 minutes at a time. How much can you do in ten minutes you ask? You’ll be surprised...
When these two things are in place and going to the gym has become a ‘non-negotiable’, then it’s super easy to progress from there. Your body deserves it! Make yourself proud!
If you are feeling inspired to start training in the gym and learning about how you can look after yourself as well, please get in touch.