Gymshark66 – My Mental and Physical Journey

“They say it takes 66 days to form a habit. We believe it takes 66 days to change your life.”

My Gymshark66 journey started on 1st January (also my 21st birthday). I took my starting pictures and set my goals; to increase my protein intake and get back into weight training after taking 6 weeks off.

It’s safe to say there have been plenty of highs and lows. I started the year with a lot of Uni-related stress (figuring out whether to change course/the whole quarter-life-crisis that came with that). This decision, as well as coming back to finish my current (and sometimes anxiety-inducing) course really affected my mental health. You can read more about this whole process here.

Although I have stuck with my original physical Gymshark66 goals, the challenge became something a lot more for me.

With the first few months of 2019 being a bit difficult, it’s actually been so nice to be part of a community on Instagram where everyone is motivating and encouraging each other. What I’ve loved about this challenge is that it’s not just about ‘who can get the most #gainz’. It’s truly about bettering yourself in whatever way you can and implementing small but meaningful changes.

As far as my original goals are concerned, I’ve definitely been more considerate of my protein intake, and have been aiming to get 100g every day (which can sometimes be a bit difficult being vegetarian 90% of the time). I’ve been reaching this goal by incorporating more protein-rich foods into my meals such as hemp seeds, beans, cheese, Quorn etc, as well as drinking a few more shakes.

Once I got back to Uni where my gym membership is I also got straight back into weight training 3-5 times a week. I’ve been fiddling around with my workouts a bit which I’m always doing anyway, but at the moment am aiming for 4 sessions every week: back/arms, glutes/hamstrings, chest/shoulders and glutes/quads.

The biggest shock of this journey from a physical perspective has been my back progress! It was never even really on my radar or something I was thinking about, so it’s a really nice surprise. I’ve also hit a few new personal bests – the ones I’m most proud of being 70kg deadlifts, 50kg squat/hip thrusts and 162kg on the incline leg press.

You probably can’t tell from the pictures but I think my bum is a bit more perky and has evened out slightly (I have a massive glute imbalance which I believe is down to 9 years of pelvic pain and walking unevenly).

As I mentioned on my Instagram post, *aesthetically* the difference might not be huge, but I’m not even bothered about that. I only started working out again in February when I got back to Uni and have had a load of things to work on mentally as well, so I’m actually damn proud of what I’ve achieved. I’ve learnt during this challenge to only compare myself to myself, which is something I haven’t always been the best at.

Mentally, I’ve managed to work through a really tough month or so of uncertainty, picked up the pieces when I’ve let myself get into a rut, and kept pushing on. This is probably the thing I’m most proud of, because a few years ago I was not capable of picking myself up and making the right decisions for my mental health. I would have always gone for the more tempting option of avoiding/escaping difficult situations rather than facing things head on.

So yeah, the past 66 days have been a bit of a roller-coaster, but I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved both mentally and physically. It’s been amazing to be part of such a supportive and encouraging community whilst working on myself.

Gymshark66, you’ve been amazing. Now let’s see what the next 66 days and beyond have to offer!

Video by Gymshark

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