You will probably have seen us chat to our next guest, she's up and coming and doing amazing things for loads of women on social media, meet Laura Jones.
My fitness journey
In 2015 I was almost 20 stone. I couldn't walk my little girl to school without stopping to catch my breath. My back and knees hurt almost constantly. I'd been stuck in a cycle of binge eating and crash dieting my whole adult life.
A family game of badminton made me realise something had to change; my 85-year-old Grandma was fitter and more able than me. This time when I started my diet I wasn't doing it for aesthetic reasons, I was genuinely worried for my health.
I lost a couple of stone and then a friend asked me to go for a run… I hadn't run since school and I had hated it back then! But I tried and I managed about 200 metres before I needed to walk. The next day I tried again and tried to go a little bit further… and I kept trying, day in, day out till I could manage 5k, then 10k, then I entered my first half marathon, Liverpool May 2017 and I was hooked!
Keys to success
1/ I'd say if I can, anyone can. I was the least sporty child, the one picked last for every team, I've spent my entire adult life actively avoiding exercise! But those people going on about how good exercise makes you feel? They're not exaggerating - but the only way to experience it is to try.
2/ Set small goals. You might have Everest to climb, it still starts with walking the 10 metres in front of you. Don't focus on the summit too much, just concentrate on the little section you're climbing right now.
3/ Just start. Stop waiting from Monday, stop waiting until you can afford to do a big healthy shop or join the gym. Start now. Start with one healthy breakfast, start with one walk in your lunch break, drink your water, hit your daily steps… just start.
I want the girls to see that exercise is just part of life - they see the joy running brings me and they see how hard I work when I am training for a goal. I want them to believe that they can do whatever they want to do, as long as they're prepared to work hard. They all love junior parkrun and coming out with me on their bikes!
My running group
I can't bottle the way running makes me feel - but I wish I could. Starting my running group and my social media account was the next best thing - if I can get just one person to get out for a run, that makes me so happy.
It's so hard to choose!! My first Marathon was so special but so was the first time I ran a sub-30 parkrun, they're both things I never ever thought I'd do. Running has made me feel part of something - I absolutely love the community and some of my best friends I have made through running, so Endure 24 and Liverpool Rock & Roll last year were amongst my favourites, because they were shared with friends. My wanted list includes New York, I'd love to run the marathon but also I'd just love to run in Central Park.
Often yes I do, particularly if I'm doing a session. For easy runs I like to listen to podcasts - I find music makes me speed up! I ran a marathon on a track in February as part of my ultra-training and I wanted to stick to a certain pace… so I got through 5 hours worth of My Dad Wrote a Porno - it's very funny, highly recommend it!
Advice for non runners
We were all made to run, but some of us just need our bodies to remember how. All you need is some trainers and then just take the first step; run to the next lamp post, then to the end of the road, then try running a minute… be brave!
At the Running Show at the NEC in 2019 I spotted a gorgeous bra on a mannequin and went over to have a look. I met Deb and she was so helpful, setting me up with a little makeshift changing room and telling me a bit about ZAAZEE.
I bought my first bra and couldn't wait to test it out! It quickly became my favourite and I went on to buy several more! I love Deb's ethos - she wants to inspire women to be active and to do it in kit which looks and feels amazing. The quality is second to none and I'm happy to be supporting a small business.
Ambition for LJ Fitness
To help as many people as possible realise just how brave and how capable they are.
To try and stand up to the massive juggernaut that is the diet industry and educate people about nutrition and lifestyle changes. So that nobody ever again pays money to go and have the success of their week measured by the number on a scale.
I'm a very small fish swimming in a massive pond, but you know that even the biggest wildfires start with a single spark…
Thank you, Laura xx