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Commit to Get Fit Challenge - Jo's Story



2012 was always going to be a monumental year for me as I had decided that this was going to be the year that I gave up smoking.  Up to the age of 16 I had always been active and enjoyed dancing, roller skating, ice skating, swimming and playing hockey for the School team.  I was always a good weight for my height but of course being a teenager I had body issues which made me convinced that I was fat.  After all, I was a size 14 which is enormous, isn't it? (I am 5ft 9 and have been since I was 12).

At the age of 16, I started at sixth form college in Brighton and knew nobody as my family had moved from Portsmouth.  It was a fresh start for me and as I made new friends and started socialising, I turned my back on healthy living and decided that smoking and drinking were far cooler.  I was still quite slim at this point as I spent my lunch money on cigarettes.  I thought I was fat but looking back at photos of myself I looked quite slim.

To cut a very long story short, twenty or so years later I found that my hedonistic lifestyle had left me overweight, addicted to cigarettes and unable to walk far without stopping for a rest.  On top of this, the medication that I have to take has the negative side effects of making me gain weight.  I was in the position that many people find themselves in where they feel that they cannot change their lifestyle as it would take too much effort and they will probably fail anyway.  Now when I looked in the mirror I knew I was overweight and higher than the 'average dress size'.

Poor me eh?  I thought so too.  For the last twenty two years. 


So in January I quit smoking.  It was as vile as you can imagine but this time I knew I would succeed.  It took 7 weeks of 'agony', hundreds of bags of toffees, mood swings, lots of hot baths and avoidance of other people, especially friends who smoked.  I was encouraged by friend's and colleagues' 'well done's' and determined to succeed.  Now I am a non-smoker.  No doubt about it.

So after 100 days of not smoking I decided to start eating healthily.  I didn't want to 'go on a diet' as I had tried that before and it hadn't worked for me.  So I decided to have a fruit and veg box delivered so that I would be forced to eat healthily.  I spent the whole of April learning how to cook healthily and as a result my skin was brighter, I had more energy and I felt great.  I didn't lose any weight though.

In May, we were issued the challenge 'Commit to Get Fit'.  I took up the challenge as part of Team HR.*    This was the motivation  I needed to start getting fit. 


This was last year's blog that I was too embarrased to share with anyone except for myself.  One year on I have managed to lose two stone and continue to exercise on a regular basis (mainly yoga and Pilates).  This year I will post a regular blog even though I find this part harder than actually exercising...