In Amelia’s words –
Leap: What motivates you to exercise regularly?
Amelia: Exercise has become a habit for me which means I don’t have to rely heavily on motivation any more, it did take a few years to build the habit though! It gives me peace of mind that I’m looking after my body & I want to maintain the best functionality of it as I get older so I can live a healthy, happy life.
Leap: How do you make time for exercise?
Amelia: When I first started to exercise regularly in 2015, my office was next door to a great gym and not much else, so the options at lunchtime were go to the gym or sit in the office lunchroom. I continue to go at lunchtime now I work in Chatswood with so much more around because it breaks up my day and gets me away from my desk and stops me shopping too much! I’m not a morning person and at night I like to cook a healthy meal or see family or friends so lunchtimes work best for me.
Leap: What impact has regular exercise had on you?
Amelia: When I took up regular exercise I was feeling really bad mentally and physically; I knew I had to change something. I wasn’t overweight (though I have been in the past) but I had a lot of unhealthy habits that were taking their toll on me. I had tried a few time to exercise in the past but I was after a quick fix to make me look better so ultimately failed.
It was only when I shifted my mindset to focusing on the way exercise made me feel and doing it because I appreciate my body, and stopped trying to punish it that it really stuck. At first exercise only made me feel good because I knew it was good for me and I was proud that I’d done it, but now I’ve come to enjoy it and the feeling of improving and pushing myself harder.
Also I’m more confident to try new activities because I know I’m capable which feels great.
Leap: What goals are you working on?
Amelia: I’ve never been great at setting specific goals but I want to keep the habit of exercise for life, it’s so important for balance, bone density, preventing injury and just getting the most out of life! My wedding is coming up later this year and I don’t feel the need to do any crazy ‘shredding for the wedding’ but I would like to be more mindful of eating fresh foods with a lot of fibre and protein to ensure I’m feeling my best on the day. I would also like to get back into lifting heavy weights sometime in the future.
Leap: What would you say to everyone else looking to start the same journey?
Amelia: Don’t take up exercise with the sole intention of changing the way you look, do it to show your body love and appreciation, and to feel good! That’s what will keep you coming back. Your body will change slowly over time if you’re consistent but that will just be a bonus because you’ll be getting stronger and healthier!
I don’t know what assumptions people make when they look at me, but they may not realise that I’ve been a regular exerciser for less than 5 years and as a 35 year old that’s not a long time. I came from a non-athletic family, was uncoordinated and always last pick for sports teams at school, and have had a lot of struggles over my relationship with food that I feel like I’m only just starting to overcome. I’ve come a long way and so can anyone if you believe in yourself, because whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.