Over the past couple of years, fitness has become much less of a routine necessity and much more of a lifestyle that extends way beyond the gym. Attending group workouts with friends has become the new drinks and dinner, avocado on toast and matcha lattes are on the menu at most local cafes and wearing activewear outside of the gym has become socially acceptable. Athleisure brands have spotted this trend, and gym clothes for women have come a long way from jogging bottoms and baggy t-shirts (and let’s not mention the leotard….) with more and more fashion brands launching an activewear range. The latest is British fashion brand Jack Wills (a company close to my heart seeing as they were founded in the West Country…. just like me!) who have designed an athleisurewear collection that is as stylish as it is functional – combining fitness and fashion. Check out the full collection here.
All photographs in this post taken by Anna Rachel Photography.
Whilst it may be easy to write off brands as “jumping on the bandwagon” of the fitness lifestyle trend, I see it a hugely positive thing that large companies not only acknowledge but also support the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, as opposed to a short-term solution.
I am a huge believer in consistency when it comes to fitness and health and my biggest and lasting results came when I saw changing my body as a journey rather than a quick-fix. The reality is when it comes to fitness and weight loss there really is no short cut – no magic pill, no detox tea, no meal replacement shake that will give you the body of your dreams. Of course you can lose weight quickly, and it is physically possible to drop a dress size in 6 weeks, but not in a way that is safe, healthy or sustainable. In the past when I embarked on drastic diets or obsessive exercise regimes I may have seen rapid weight loss or shape change in my body, but generally I was starving and miserable in the process, and once I reached my goal and stopped obsessively counting calories or restricting food groups then I would always put the weight I lost back on – and usually gain even more.
Clients often come to me asking if they can get abs in 6 weeks, or lose a stone before their beach holiday or bench press double their body weight within a month, but the reality is none of these things will happen overnight, nor will they happen with a couple of workouts a week. I am always very upfront when anyone approaches me about how quickly something can be done – that I’m not that type of trainer and I don’t believe in any kind of short term solution. I may have lost over 3 stone myself but to lose the weight, keep it off, and live a sustainable healthy life took a couple of years. A building that will last a lifetime needs strong foundations to start with and your body is no exception. There are also so many other factors to take on board – your diet, your hydration levels, how much you sleep, how stressed you are, how active you are outside of your workouts – these all have a huge effect on fitness and weight loss and often people don’t take these things into consideration, just feel frustrated when they’re giving it their all in the gym 3-4 times a week but not seeing results. My advice is always the same – results will come – but only if you are consistent, and consistent in your lifestyle, not just your workouts. In a day and age where convenience and speed rule almost every aspect of our lives, and with tea-toxes and weight loss pills available in high street health food shops it is easy to get frustrated and disheartened when you feel like your hard work isn’t paying off. If you are consistent though, it will. And not only will it pay off, but it will pay off for life. Why force yourself to drop a certain amount of weight in a limited amount of time when you could commit to becoming the healthiest version of you – for life?
Wearing lycra to brunch and having to catch up with your mates at a spin class rather than over cocktails might seem like a cliche – but they’re all part of a healthy lifestyle – the exact reason Jack Wills created their new activewear collection. Don’t fight it – go with the (yoga) flow – it may just lead you to your happiest, healthiest self.