Gym Virgin Diaries: Simone is Back and Ready to Join the Fitness Front Line

Last time we met our guest writer Simone, she had just crossed the finish line of her vegan and detox challenge. She was feeling motivated and healthy, lessons learned and waistline whittled.

But then came holiday time. And like so many of us when the sun goes to our heads, the wheels came off the healthy wagon. A few cocktails here, some meals out there, exercise plans abandoned in the far mists of time - sound familiar? Her good work was slowly undone (like the top button of our jeans after a huge plate of holiday paella).

So she has returned to us, bright eyed, bushy tailed and ready to take on The Gym. This is relatively unchartered territory for our Simone but she is ready for battle. She'll be keeping a diary for us over the coming weeks, giving tips, recipes and advice from the fitness front line.

Today she is going to tell us in her own words what she wants to achieve, and what has happened since she last spoke with us.

Welcome back Simone!

Time for Fitness

Hello again!

Some of you may remember me from a recent vegan challenge I did back in May.  Your support and encouragement then has inspired me to continue on this journey of health.  So first off, a quick recap of the last month.  Did I stay on the straight and narrow?  Ehhhh, nope!  I went off on holidays, had a great time, ate and drank rings around myself and then continued the party on for another couple of weeks.

And how do I feel? Awful. Not awful in the guilt sense, although there’s some of that of course. Awful in the physical sense - I’m lethargic, I feel bloated, and my skin isn’t great. But that month-long course wasn’t totally wasted on me though. I am still enjoying a lot of the food that I was introduced to then, and now I understand why I feel like this. I know the food that I should and shouldn’t be putting into my body, and that the bad food choices I’ve made are the reason that I feel this way.

But I also accept that, for me, four weeks isn’t going to cut it in terms of making meaningful and life altering changes to myself. A vital thing that The Happy Heart Course taught me was that exercise (in conjunction with a healthy diet) is key to mental and physical well-being. But exercise is something that I haven’t done in five years.

Yes, you read that right. Five whole years.



See, back in 2009  I got sick, and that led me to being immobile for quite a while. But long after I regained my mobility, the sedentary lifestyle still remained. Oh, I’ve have a million excuses about why I couldn’t exercise, and most of them are related to lack of time and ill health.

Underneath it all, however, I knew the reality was that I could exercise, I just wouldn't. But thats all about to change.

Now, some credit goes to The Happy Pear team for opening my eyes on how important our lifestyle is, and some credit goes to Lisa Fitzpatrick and her new book ‘Diet SOS’ that told me a few home truths (i.e. it’s my own fault that I’m fat. That might not be the truth for everyone but in my case, it is). Other than that, it’s simply the fact that now it is time - I’m fed up of being like this and I’m ready to change.

This series of Gym Virgin Diaries will follow me on my journey over the next four months. It's not a quick fix 'get a beach body in a week' type series or an unrealistic gimmicky plan. And it’s not about dieting or fad food crazes. No siree, I'm going back to basics and reminding myself of what we all know to be true - our bodies need to exercise and they need healthy food that is also enjoyable.

This will be a true account of what it’s like for a regular Jane-Soap to try and attain her health and fitness goals.Throughout this series I’ll share my measurement changes with you and at the end we’ll have the big reveal of the before and after photos. Dear God, what have I signed up for...

Go Gym logo

To help me on this journey I’ve got personal trainer, Owen Mulrane , and Go Gym in my corner.  They’re going to give me some helpful tips that I'll share with you along the way in case you’d like to try and join me over the coming months.  In addition to the recipes that Owen will be giving me, I also intend to use the book, ‘The Art of Eating Well’ by Hemsley & Hemsley as a source of cooking inspiration.  I love their ethos and would highly recommend you nabbing a copy if healthy, but more importantly, delicious food, is your thing.

This morning I finally faced my fears.  I got up at 6.30am and met Owen at the gym.  And you know what?  It was actually an enjoyable way to start the day. Now don’t get me wrong, it was tough; just not impossible. And apart from feeling a little jelly-legged, I’m in good form and feeling motivated.

It remains to be seen how I am a week on from today!  But I’m feeling hopeful and looking forward to updating you on my progress.


Do you have any advice for Simone? Are you a fan go the gym or do you prefer to work out at home or outdoors? And how starting a fitness plan to accompany Simone on her journey? Tell us your thoughts in the comments. 

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