This month I've joined Julia Buckley's Fitness Rockstars! What's that, you ask?"The Fitness Rockstars are a collective of people with a mission to make the world a healthier, happier place.
We’re not professional athletes, or even what many would consider typical “fitness people”, but we all appreciate the privilege of having the ability to move our bodies and we’ve all experienced having our worlds rocked by the astounding difference fitness and health has made to our lives.
Neither are we celebrities, or in a position to spread our message to millions of people, but if something we post can help light the fuse that helps anyone to discover myriad of amazing benefits of doing what takes to be fit and strong which ripple out into all areas of life, then we’ll feel like stars for sure.
Together, we think we can shine enough light to make a difference." - Julia Buckley.
To launch our mission and introduce ourselves, we're all answering the Fitness Rockstars Spotlight Interview. You'll be able to find the interviews from all other members by searching social media for the hashtags #JuliaBFit and #FitnessRockstars.
So here goes:
1. For me, fitness is all about:
Staying in the best health I can, for as long as possible.
From a young age, I've watched my father suffer with diabetes type 2 and hypertension. He has high cholesterol and has also had two strokes and a pacemaker fitted. He's on so much medication, including twice daily insulin injections and will be for the rest of his life. I spend a lot of my time these days taking him to and from the doctors for numerous medical appointments.
My mother suffers with anorexia and has battled with it for many years. As a child I grew up surrounded by negative talk about food, body weight and calories. It was seen as something to fear. As a result I developed a very real phobia of trying new foods and eating in front of people, and as a young child I became very underweight.
When I hit puberty, my mother viewed my rapidly changing shape as 'gaining too much weight' and my father criticised me harshly for it. I wish I could go back to 13 year old me and tell myself that my weight at that point was perfectly fine. But the damage to my self esteem and issues with food were firmly in place by this point.
Once I got a part time job at 16, I sought the freedom to eat what I wanted without criticism. So I took to scoffing chocolate on the way home from school and college, eating fish and chips at lunch, and ordering take away pizza to eat in my bedroom in the evenings. As you can imagine, I quickly piled on the pounds and became obese. It was in 2011 that I was diagnosed as having pre-diabetes and hypertension (I was having trouble with the pill). This was my wake up call and what led me to teach myself to cook and love food instead of fear it, and work on improving my fitness. By 2012 I was no longer obese, had reversed pre-diabetes and had a very healthy blood pressure.
These days, its so important for me to set a healthy example for my son. I want him to enjoy healthy home cooked meals, flavour, spices and variety. I want him to enjoy exercise as a regular hobby, instead of seeing it as punishment . I certainly don't want him to grow up hating himself, his body and worrying about his weight like I did.
2. I get most excited to do my workout when:
It involves loud music and heavy weights! I know it will set me up for the day by clearing my mind, reducing my stress and energising me.
3. When a workout really pushes me to my limit, I think to myself:
I've survived the pain of childbirth, and 37 weeks of hyperemesis. I can do this!
4. I’m most likely to skip my workout if:
I'm feeling unwell. I take colds and flu (and just lately a spate of migraines) to be a sign that I need to rest and relax.
5. In a group fitness session I’ll be the one who:
Stands at the back of the room. I guess there's still a part of me that feels self conscious about my body and weight.
6. The item of exercise equipment I’d most hate to go without is:
My barbell! I love free weights sessions, I always feel great right afterwards. The day after leg day, not so much ;)
7. The last thing I usually do before starting my workout is:
Press the button on my Fitbit to track my workout. I use it to track my exercise so I can make sure I'm eating enough that day.
8. My top 5 workout music tracks are:
Bad Company - Five Finger Death Punch
Own You - Shinedown
One Finger and a Fist - Drowning Pool
Undefeated - Rev Theory
Blood - In This Moment
9. If I start feeling meh about fitness I give myself a boost by:
Putting on my Spotify workout playlist. In fact, just listing the songs above has made me want to grab my barl!
10. The most important thing I’ve learned about fitness in the last year is:
It cannot be taken for granted. When I became pregnant, I was very ill. I suffered with hyperemesis the whole time and couldn't workout at all. My strength vanished overnight.
You can join Julia Buckley's online gym by signing up here.