Can Editor-In-Chief Lorraine Candy Box Her Way To A Fitter, Stress-Free Life?

It's week four of her boxing challenge, Lorraine Candy has some questions


It's been four weeks since I embarked on my new fitness journey and I am half way through.

Has it worked? Well if you read the first instalments of this blog the answer is yes!

But how do I keep up the motivation? My favourite fitness mantra is "if in doubt get Sasha out" this comes from Beyonce of course as every mantra for life should but some times I just can't find my equivalent of her kick ass on stage persona Sasha Fierce.


So I've asked trainer and former British and European Boxing champion Cathy Brown for her ultimate guide to fitness and exercise motivation.

When I first started this challenge, I could only do two full press-ups. Now I can do 17.

But sometimes I feel exhausted before I even set foot in the gym, and would really rather be lying down in a dark room.

So how do I stay motivated, even when these feelings arise? (Which they will, whatever your fitness routine. It’s inevitable.)


One of the hardest things is actually getting to the gym, but I know that the feeling of power and pride I have in myself when I finish outweighs everything else. So it is key to remind yourself <why> you’re doing it, and <how> it makes you feel. You need to ask yourself the following:

How good do you feel after training? GREAT.  

Are you sleeping better? YES.

Are you feeling less stressed? YES.

Do you have more energy? YES.

I thought so. You just have hold on to these feelings and remind yourself of why you are going in the first place. But enough about me – this week is all about Cathy Brown, the woman who is shaping me, mind and body, into a better one…


Lorraine Candy: You're a unique personal trainer because you use cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) at the same time as teaching me to box. How does that work?

Cathy Brown: The mind plays an extremely large part in your wellbeing and what you can achieve not just in the gym, but in life. A positive mental attitude plays in the success of everything I do. So integrating both training and CBT made absolute sense to me as a combination to obtain the most powerful results. You visibly relax throughout your session, which allows you to firstly, be better at boxing, and secondly, enjoy your training, which is so important for longevity. You’re also realising the little changes you need to make to achieve a balanced way of living and actioning them, thus making you less stressed. I see a happier Lorraine.


LC: Sometimes when I am in the gym I get an irresistible urge to give up and go home. Is this normal and how do I motivate myself?

CB: This is totally normal, but you have to remind yourself that its only 30 to 45 minutes of your day, twice a week, and why you are doing it. Think of how far you have come strength-wise in such a short space of time (keeping a weight-lifting diary is a good way to do this). Also, you need to be kind to yourself, as you have never done weights before and it takes time master the technique. Feeling strong makes you feel good, and that has a powerful knock-on effect to the way you feel at work. That said, it’s also important to mix up your workout every six weeks so you don’t get bored – it’s key to staying motivated.



LC: What's the best breakfast to eat before gym?

CB: I either eat porridge made with coconut milk and nuts or scrambled eggs with salmon and avocado.  There is no miracle breakfast, just stay away from sugary cereals and cereal bars.


LC: Why should I stick with boxing – who is best suited to this kind of activity?

CB: Boxing is suitable for anyone but it all depends on if the individual enjoys it. Stick to what makes you tick. Lorraine, <you> should stick with boxing as it is the best stress release and it sets you up brilliantly for the day, making you more relaxed and productive. It also increases your mental clarity, allowing you to make smart decisions.


LC: When I talk to women today, they talk about training, not exercising. They want to be strong not thin; they chase wellness and health. Is this something you have noticed?

CB: Yes. Women are now realising the importance of being physically strong, and that strong does not mean big. Strong muscles, bones and joints have so many great health benefits, including reduced chance of osteoporosis, better resting metabolic rate (so you burn more calories throughout the day) and postural improvements. It’s about having a healthy body for life, not just for aesthetics.


LC: I am halfway through my mental and physical journey with you now – am I on track to a more stress-free life? What have I done well and not so well?

CB: I think you’ve answered some of this yourself. Look at the fact that you can now do 17 press-ups – it was only one in the beginning #justsaying. Your boxing technique has improved vastly and you are much more relaxed. You have embraced change extremely well; change is such a hard thing to do, especially thought patterns that are years old. My only criticism is that you are far too hard on yourself – take some time to celebrate the small achievements. When you are so successful with what you do in life, it’s hard to not be great at something straight away (which is what we have done with the boxing), so I feel you need to be kinder to yourself. Case in point: instead of celebrating that you did 17 FULL press-ups, you were angry because it wasn’t 20!


LC: Finally, if you can't get to a gym, what are the five things you can do to feel stronger and less stressed?

CB: There is always something for you to do! Cycle or go for a walk at the weekend, go to a dance class, swim, try a home exercise video. You should never be too busy to invest in your health – you only get one body.

1. Find an activity you enjoy, as you’re more like to stick at it.
2. Take time out for yourself every day, even if it’s just a 10-minute walk around the block.
3. Be positively selfish and run your life for happiness.
4. Ask yourself why? If there is a reason, there is motivation.
5. Write down goals. Not just big picture, but small, achievable goals that will help you get to your bigger goal. They could be about health, career, relationships. When you write it down, it gives you something to refer to and remind yourself where you want to be.
6. Get control of your life.



Cathy Brown trains at Third Space Soho. Read more of Lorraine's columns here. You can follow Cathy on Twtter or Facebook

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