Ryland helped me find my happy place.
I've been racking my brains trying to work out how on earth I start this because I want to make sure that you understand that the Ryland Centre IS not just a gym, it's so much more than that.
So how do I start? ...okay I'm going to go back to when I had babies, when everything with my body (and my mind, and me) REALLY changed.
So , before babies ,I worked (I was self employed ), I trained, I did stuff for me ,all lovely .....then after babies, well I came last, that's just the way it is, no resentment, it's just what happens to some people, I put my children first naturally and my body suffered, it changed beyond recognition, and immediately I lost my identity, I just didn't know what I looked like anymore because when I looked in the mirror I really didn't look like ME. And this went on for quite a long time , I don't think I was unhappy but I also don't think I was 100% happy because I was just chugging along, buying clothes that pre-children I would NEVER have bought, because they covered everything, they weren't me at all, but they covered everything.
As the kids got older, I started working again, I was /am a self-employed illustrator so I began to get a little bit of me back again and sensing that I could maybe get the confidence to train again, I joined various gyms in the area, and they were fine, you know a few classes, a nice gym, a nice way to spend a couple of hours to myself a week, and then I got very ill with Pleurisy, cracking two ribs as a result of strenuous constant coughing and damaging my intercostal muscles in the process, which put a complete stop to my gym visits and my body suffered as a result and I just carried on working through this. Then in January 2013, I saw an ad for a new gym, The Ryland centre was re-opening, I walked up there in the snow (it snowed so heavily that year!) and joined .
I knew straight away it was very different, one of the first instructors I met was Lindsey Allen, who came out of her class before it started to say hello and made me feel very at ease. I attended a few classes throughout that first year but was working so hard and finding it very difficult to get the work/life balance right that at the start of 2014 I made a promise to myself, after three solid months working with NO days off, that 2014 would be the year took care of myself properly and DIDN'T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT !
And that's what I did. Since that moment I have made sure that I make time to train properly and eat properly, I always kind of knew about the good fat/minimal sugar thing to lose weight but the stuff I have learned, how to fuel your body efficiently in order to feel better, train better, look better from clean eating is invaluable.
The Ryland centre has been instrumental in changing how I think about myself, and not feel like I am being selfish, because you see everything about the Ryland centre promotes positivity. In a recent photo on the ryland page when I was asked why I love the ryland centre ,I said "because it keeps me sane", really it keeps me BALANCED , I ALWAYS feel better when I am there ....and I very recently realised, a bit like a bolt of the blue, that I was now more interested in feeling healthy, constantly upping my fitness levels, and challenging myself, than I was about being this magically unattainable 'slim' (and let's be honest here , tall , as well ;) ) person, I don't know quite when this happened, but I have not just trained my body, I think I have trained my mind to think differently about what I want out of exercise and nutrition . I don't want to be skinny, I want to be STRONG.
I'm happily surprised (and relieved) that I can still be a good enough mum, run my business, and still find the time to do the THING THAT MAKES ME HAPPY. And that is absolutely all down to the people at the Ryland, not just the brilliant staff and instructors, who are always , ALWAYS, there if you need them (and who I am pleased to call my friends and who are totally inspirational) but also the amazing people who attend the centre who are all on their own little emotional adventure and who inspire me every day, and who I am honoured to have made friends with.
Thanks for helping me find my "Happy".