Starting a fitness program… three hard truths!

Rachael Attard Lean Legs Program – Day 1

Hello lovelies and welcome to my fitness journey blog, starting with the very first day on my own health and fitness journey, following the Rachael Attard Lean Legs Program. I’ll be posting along the way to share with you (hopefully) my weight loss and toning results with progress pictures every two weeks. I’ll also be sharing my health and fitness tips as I discover what helps and what doesn’t (check out my what to have instead of junk printable table!), all the things I learn about health and fitness, and ideas for how to start a fitness program AND stick with a diet and workout plan once you get started!

Note: A lot of my posts have also been updated as I’ve created more tools and resources for you 🙂   

Now, let’s get into starting a diet/fitness program/healthy lifestyle – whatever your journey of change looks like, and I’ll share with you the challenges I faced to begin with!

Day 1 of the fitness program

So today was day 1 of Rachael Attard’s Lean Legs eight week fitness program. Of course, it’s Monday – everyone knows that’s the best day to start a diet. I’d done all the usual things to prepare for my new healthy habits, eaten up all the junk food in the house, read through the full body workouts and the exercises I would need to do (lot’s of walking for lean legs without bulking, and some running for a weight loss boost), stocked the fridge and pantry with delicious, nutritious foods and got a good night’s sleep to wake up feeling refreshed and motivated to be healthy!

So most of us know these standard items to tick off for how to start a fitness program or diet, so I’m also going to share with you the three cold, hard truths I had to face – which you might too when starting a fitness program – and how to keep a positive mindset, smile, and enjoy the fitness journey.

Starting a fitness program – Cold hard truth number 1: Exercise.

I’m out of shape? How did that happen?

I started the morning with the 40ish minute full body workout video, focusing on toning up. This was manageable… I did less reps than the lovelies in the videos and didn’t use any weights but I enjoyed the feeling of my muscles moving again.

Then I started my 60 minute powerwalk and oh dear. Fitness levels are loowwwww. Ten minutes in and my legs were so sore and aching, I had to stop and rest! I’m so out of shape that I can’t even WALK?! How did this happen? I did manage to complete 60 minutes but needed rest and stretch pitstops every ten minutes or so. Yikes.

My tip here when starting an exercise plan? Don’t beat yourself up – give yourself a pat on the back (or if you’re as sweaty as I was, a virtual high five instead!)

Do not compare yourself to others, or even to your former, fitter, younger self! Start slowly. You worked hard and exercised today – that means you took actions for health and fitness today. It’s what you do that counts.

I’ve always enjoyed fitness and exercise, but I’ve also been super busy with other projects lately and spent a lot of time where my only exercise has been tapping the keyboard. And that’s okay! 

Beginning the fitness journey – Cold hard truth number 2: The before picture

I look like that? How did this happen?

Sooo we talk about loving ourselves no matter what we look like, embracing lumps and bumps… but I must admit that my photo came as quite a shock that I was so out of shape…

I’m not sure WHY this was a shock, as I do enjoy making healthy choices but I also really enjoy slothing around eating chocolate and cake. And carby, cheesy dinners. Sooo… you know… what do you expect.

I’m not taking measurements or weighing myself… so the photos will be my record of progress!

I can’t say I particularly LOVED my photo or that it didn’t bother me at ALL (I’m working on this too comrades), but I did make an effort to smile, be kind to myself and avoid negative thoughts. It was a real lesson in practising kindness.

My tip here when starting a fitness program?

Be nice to yourself. YOU are not your reflection in the mirror. YOU are your thoughts, actions, heart and soul. Your body is the vessel. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make it fitter, feed it proper nutrition and tone it to make it function how YOU want… but it is not who you are. Cliché I know.

If you’re struggling with this, try smiling at yourself. Then force out some big, loud laughs. If you’re not smiling for real (even vaguely, in a ‘this is ridiculous’ kind of way) then put on your favourite song and have a good boogie. If you don’t have time, try saying some kind words to yourself – I tried ‘well done for taking the first steps to health today’ and ‘today you brought health into your life – enjoy it’.

Kicking off the diet – Cold hard truth number 3: The sugar detox

I feel like rubbish? Why is this happening?

By around mid-afternoon I started to feel super lethargic. I had a dull headache, my body felt all creaky and my throat was a bit sore. This isn’t right! I’ve eaten delicious, nutritious, healthy foods, done my exercise, drank lots of water… all. the. right. things. I should feel amazing.

Now I’m no scientist or even nutritionist but I am vaguely aware of the sugar detox effects. And.. our bodies don’t like it when we immediately cut the high level sugar supply we’ve been feeding them. They need some time to adjust.

My tip here if you feel like some sort of sugar detox is happening?

Go to bed. I’m serious! If practical. Rest up. At least have a nice, early night and sleep it off. Drink plenty of water. It won’t last and you just gotta ride it out. Try to eat the food on your meal plan if you’re following one on your fitness program.

Rachael’s afternoon meal was two boiled eggs which I’m not overly keen on, but I did feel better after eating them. If not, maybe a nice cup of tea. And again, be kind to yourself! If you feel rubbish and don’t feel like doing much, that’s okay!


Starting a fitness program

So it’s definitely not easy starting a diet or fitness program – whether you are focusing on losing weight, toning up or simply starting some healthy habits.

There may be some unexpected shocks on the first day of starting your diet, but remember to be kind to yourself and that it’s all part of your health journey. Join me at the end of week 1 on my next blog post, about following meal plans and if they are the best way to lose weight and tone up.

How do you feel when you look in the mirror? Are you kind to yourself? What challenges do you face when starting a diet and fitness program? Please share!

If you’re starting a fitness journey, check out the mini motivation posters in my itty-bitty shop! Available as digital download, or printed on card and mailed from me to you with love 😘

Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get motivated to exercise?

Here are seven great tips for how to to get motivated to exercise, including an exercise motivation tips free pdf printable

How do I start a fitness program and find the right one for me?

There are so many workout and nutrition planning resources online it can be hard to find the best online fitness program for you. Start with my Let’s Get Healthy guided deep dive template to find the right nutrition and fitness program for YOUR goals.


3 thoughts on “Starting a fitness program… three hard truths!”

  1. All the best on your workout journey! Dont forget to warm up even if you will just walk and also cool down after. Its ok o take a break and rest, you‘ll get there to your goal. 🙂

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