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With gyms and leisure centres closed for a couple more weeks (in England and Wales at least), lots of us are still looking for ways to keep active at home – and we’ve got an inspiring member story packed with ideas. When Kat’s fitness classes were put on hold during lockdown, she had to find new ways to enjoy Body Magic, opening up a whole new world of activity. Check out her Body Magic diary to find out more…

Hi, I’m Kat. I’ve been a member of Gillian Stewart’s Slimming World group in Rutherglen, Glasgow, since June 2019, and just this week I got my 6st award!

Whether it’s playing sports, running or going to the gym, I’ve always enjoyed being active. When I was at my biggest, though, my weight stopped me from enjoying it as much as I’d have liked. If I went walking in the countryside with my friends, I’d soon be puffing and sweating, eventually needing to stop to catch my breath. Not that I’d let anyone know that – I just pretended I was taking in the view!

When a friend invited me to her Slimming World group to talk about a walking club I was part of, I was amazed to hear just how much you could eat when following Food Optimising. I’d tried dieting in the past, but that always involved cutting out foods that I enjoyed, and left me feeling hungry. This healthy eating plan sounded different. So, on the last Monday before term finished, I went along to Gillian’s group and started my Slimming World journey.

With the support of Gillian and the other members, I quickly got my head around Food Optimising, and the weight began to come off steadily. After losing 2st, I noticed I could get through a walk or a Bodypump class at the gym without needing a breather. In fact, I had so much extra energy, I added a Bodyattack class to my routine, and later a step cardio class. The more I exercised, the more motivated I was to fill up on the hearty meals I’d been discovering in group, which boosted my weight loss even more.

It felt like everything was falling into place; then lockdown happened… Like everyone else, I had to get used to spending more time at home, especially when the gym closed and my Slimming World group was temporarily suspended. I was determined not to fall back into unhealthy habits, and when Gillian launched her Slimming World virtual group a couple of weeks later I was excited to get involved. Although nothing could replace that feeling of a real-life group, it was great to see how the other members were getting on and to get Gillian’s expert support again – I hadn’t realised just how much I’d missed it.

As well as continuing to be part of my virtual group, I knew that staying active would help me get through lockdown feeling as fit, healthy and happy as I possibly could. Luckily for me, I found there were a lot of ways to get my Body Magic fix without going to the gym…

Kat’s lockdown Body Magic diary

April: Walking it out

As I reached the top of the hill at Cathkin Braes Country Park, I stopped to take in the view: I could see the whole of Glasgow. It’s hard to believe that only a few months ago I had no idea there were so many picturesque spots near my home. I’d always found walking to be a great way of clearing my head, and that became even more important when lockdown started. Working at home was new to me, and I struggled to cope with being stuck inside all day.

I needed something to get me moving outside of the house, so every day after work I’d pull on my trainers and head out to explore the area around my flat. Before I’d lost weight, I would’ve felt exhausted after a long walk. Now, though, I was walking over four miles a day and still had energy to spare.

May: Finding my home-workout groove

Standing in my living room, I bent my knees and lowered myself into a squat position as the instructor guided me through the exercise. When I’d first thought about trying a virtual exercise class, I was sceptical: the reason I was drawn to classes in the first place was because I enjoyed the camaraderie of exercising with other people. Doing it alone in my living room just didn’t have the same appeal.

I missed going to the classes, though, and as my gym instructor was offering virtual sessions to members, I thought I had nothing to lose. And it turned out that I loved it! Not only was it a great workout, but the instructor was still cheering me on with shoutouts, and anyone taking part could post comments on the video to say how they were doing. I didn’t need to buy any expensive equipment, either. If one of the exercises required weights, I’d just grab a couple of tins of baked beans from the kitchen (a brilliant way to use store-cupboard staples – SW Matt) and use those instead.

Because I was exercising on my own, I had the confidence to try classes that I’d never have dared attempt in normal circumstances. I recently had a go at a Dance Fit class, which was great fun. I still don’t think I’m a very good dancer – but that doesn’t matter so much when you’re in your living room with the blinds drawn!

June: Slimming World activity videos and getting new ideas

Lying on my side, I lifted my right leg up as high as I could, and then lowered it back down. I’ve been following one of Slimming World’s activity videos (you can find these on the member website – SW Matt). I’d heard members talking about them during my last virtual group session, and I thought I’d see what it was all about. There were lots of different exercises to try out, and the fitness coach made each one really easy to do. It felt good to freshen up my workout routine with something new.

Now that things are slowly getting back to normal, I’ve been meeting up with a few members again for hikes around Glasgow, and I can’t wait to get back to my real-life Slimming World group to get some more inspiring Body Magic ideas.

Incredible stuff! It’s great to hear how Kat has been staying active during lockdown and how much she’s enjoying attending group. If you’re looking for more inspiring Body Magic ideas or you’d like to get support with your weight loss journey, you can find out more about joining Slimming World here.

We’d love to hear how you’ve been staying active during lockdown. Share your brilliant Body Magic ideas with us on the blog, or on social using #theSlimmingWorldblog

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