One of the benefits of keep an online diary for, ooo, 17 years is that you can search and find trends. One trend is “going back to the gym in January and giving up a month or so later.” I decided to fight this by going back to the gym in FEBRUARY this year meaning that when I give up at least the light nights will be back.

I haven’t had much luck with exercise lately. Back in 2008 I was regularly exercising and doing quite well, not in any way thin, but I hadn’t put all the weight I’d lost the year before when ill* back on and I’d built muscle up again.

Then I got ill, again, and ended 2009 in hospital having had major abdominal surgery and adjusting to surgical menopause. I spent the next two years getting over this operation physically (both the operation and adjusting medication) and mentally. I put on weight again:

That little dip in the middle is a January diet

I was referred to a dietician and went back to the gym. I lost a little weight again. I started to cycle, and to run, but then I experienced pain and numbness in my leg in 2013 and visited the doctor…

You’ve guessed it. I was ill again, this time with a slipped disc that I’d probably had for years but had just not realised. I was told to do nothing more strenuous than walk or swim.

Another couple of back episodes later, some general symptoms of tiredness, medication changes and dietary solutions to other problems, I found myself feeling like I wanted to get back into fitness. The crunch (haha!) point was swimming in January and my arms being tired after 2 lengths. I started by doing some weight training at home but I knew I wasn’t really motivating myself so I took advantage of a personal training offer and at the start of February began a jog (hahaha!) back into working out.

Lisa, my PT, has been lovely and really motivational. She’s taken notice when I’ve told her of my (many) health issues and everything is adapted for my incredible lack of fitness. My first session was interesting as I wasn’t feeling 100% but I never know if it’s genuine illness or me having anxiety so I went and struggled through a simple programme where even cross training caused me problems.

In just over a month I’ve gone from 4 individual strength training exercises (box squats, rows, chest press, lat pulls) to 3 super sets with shoulder press and ball slams added, to adding a mini circuit. Yesterday I got my “for weeks” programme with 2 sections, strength then circuits for extra CV. I can’t believe how much I’ve improved but I have been going to the gym at least twice a week.

So far no sign of injury apart from DOMS.

*I had gallbladder disease and lost 2 1/2 stone in, ooo, 6 months? Not a healthy weight loss either.