When your ‘exercise routine’ consists of walking to the biscuit cupboard and back, the prospect of dusting off your tracksuit and hitting the gym is a pretty daunting one, to say the least. Similarly, when you’re used to (and love) a diet of ready meals, full-sugar sodas and chocolate bars, the very last thing you think you’ll be able to do is jack them in for fruit, veggies and, ugh, water. This lifestyle was one that Geordie Shore’s Charlotte Crosby and I once shared. Not only do we have the same first name, we were also united in our determination to live life to the full and eat whatever the hell we wanted. And the gym? Exercise? Get outta town! Or should we say, ‘the toon’?
But times have changed. Last year, Charlotte decided enough was enough after seeing photos of her taken on holiday, striding across the sand sporting a fair amount of belly fat. Determined to lose the love-handles, she overhauled her lifestyle and sought out the assistance of a personal trainer. She also cut out the pints of Bailey’s and regular takeaways, replacing them with healthy foods and drinks. As a result, Charlotte has done incredibly well and managed to drop a whopping FOUR dress sizes, as well as two and a half stone. She’s brought out the UK’s fastest-selling fitness DVD, ‘3 Minute Belly Blitz’, and is regularly seen flaunting her new figure in tiny dresses and playsuits. However, this is where mine and Charlotte’s stories differ significantly. When she started out, she was a good three sizes larger than me, and despite eating similar foods, she consumed much more than I ever did quantity-wise. Also, as a celebrity, she’s rich enough to employ a personal trainer, which is kind of impossible when you’re a university student. But being slim on the outside doesn’t mean you are healthy on the inside. Before I decided to change, I never bought fruit and vegetables and the only drink I’d have was Coke. I was a size 8-10, but I’d be getting heartburn every night from the fizzy drinks and I’d barely have enough energy to climb up a few flights of steps. Now, though, after less than a week of working out for an hour a night and swapping ready meals and Coke for pasta and water, I’m amazed at how much better I feel.
Like me, Charlotte recently revealed in an interview on This Morning that she found the idea of going to the gym intimidating. And how could she not? When you’ve barely worked out in your life, it’s easy to think of the gym as a place full of beefy muscle blokes downing protein shakes and skinny chicks in Missguided gym clothes. Multiple fears, from not knowing how to work the machines to passing out after five minutes on the treadmill, engulf you. Luckily, though, the reality is completely different. People of all ages, all shapes and sizes, and all abilities can be seen, and working out is actually a fun, and surprisingly addictive, activity, especially if your cross-trainer has a built-in telly!
So if you, like us, feel as though you need to radically change your lifestyle and become healthier and fitter, I assure you that it is nowhere near as difficult as you’d think. Yes, giving up those tasty choccie treats and Domino’s meal deals is no mean feat, but there’s no need to give them up completely. Allow yourself one day a week where you go back to your old ways, and spend the remaining ones eating more healthily and working out. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results!