Trigger warning – this post mentions exercise and fat loss that could be triggering for anyone who is recovering from disordered eating:
Today marks one year since I began working out 6-7 days a week with Chris Hemsworth’s fitness and lifestyle app Centr. I’m so proud of myself for giving myself the space and the time to focus on myself each day.
I lost myself entirely to motherhood in those first few years with each child. The chronic brutal sleep deprivation and relentless breastfeeding and demands on my time and sanity didn’t leave me much time for myself at all, let alone exercise every day. Some days I didn’t even manage to brush my teeth or have a shower.
I have no regrets, the kids have always come first and I gave them everything when they needed everything but as breastfeeding and bed-sharing came to an end for me, I felt the cloud lift and I felt able to carve that time out for my own body and mental health again. Exercising and eating nutritiously is the ultimate in self-care for me. And a good bath or massage from time to time wouldn’t be bad either.
I feel so lucky that I found Centr and was able to join it as a Founding Member (this was an offer available to people who joined before the app went live or within the first couple of days that means as long as we don’t let our subscription lapse, we get 20% off). The app is just perfect for me.
I’m a busy mam of 2 kids, I have a part-time job in local government and I run this here blogging business. Centr means I don’t have to research my own workouts or recipes. It’s all just there for me to follow as much or as little as I want to. It’s diverse, fun and I’m yet to bore of it.
Centr 6 review – 1 week in
Just last week, a new 6 week challenge was launched called Centr 6. This was designed by Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor) and his trainer Luke Zocchi (who is one of the trainers on the app) for when Chris goes on tour to promote his films and doesn’t have access to fancy gyms.
All the exercises can be done anywhere with just bodyweight or dumbbells. I didn’t think the change in routine would have much of an impact, but I have felt the dreaded DOMS return which I hadn’t been feeling as much these days as when I first started a year ago.
So far I’ve done the full first week of Centr 6 and am enjoying the mix up to my routine so far though I already know I’ll be eager to get back to my usual trainers and workouts at the end of it. I’m already missing my weekly yoga and pilates, oh and Tiff’s mixed martial arts.
Week 2 of Centr 6 seems to be the same workouts as week 1 and already I can see I’m better than I was a week ago and have increased my weight in the sets which is promising progress.
The only thing that’s frustrating me about Centr 6 so far is that it’s not syncing with my apple watch like the regular workouts on Centr do. I have to set it away myself but often forget which is annoying. Hopefully, they will iron that glitch out soon. The Centr Team is usually pretty responsive to feedback.
Achievements after 1 year of Centr
- I can now do sit thrus with relative ease (as much as sit thrus are ever easy). I couldn’t even do one when I started.
- I’ve been on the advanced level of the app for a few months now (a year ago I started at beginner).
- I’m much stronger and fitter than when I started. I actually feel fit and strong, like I could take on anything and everything.
- I look more toned and have more muscle definition.
- My core strength is greatly improved, something I badly needed after carrying and birthing 2 children.
- The app has helped my mental as well as physical health. I go straight to a workout and the meditations during a bad day.
- I get sick less and when I do it doesn’t seem as severe. I hope I’ve not just jinxed myself.
- My periods are more regular.
My goals for year 2 of Centr
- Be able to do 10 regular press-ups on toes
- Be able to do 3 pull-ups
- Have perfect form for downward dog
- Be smooth with my chaturangas
- To be able to do an advanced Da Rulk work out and not die with DOMS the next day!
- Be able to skip continuous crossovers for 30 seconds without tripping
- Be able to skip double under for 30 seconds without tripping
Stats after 1 year of Centr
Across the space of a year of working out and eating healthily 6 days a week I’ve lost 7 lbs, 2% body fat and gained 0.6% muscle mass. This is according to my jazzy scales but like I said in my 8 month review I know people criticise the accuracy of such scales and certainly I feel like I’ve lost more fat and gained more muscle than that. I feel a lot more toned and have probably dropped a dress size on my upper half. My thighs gain muscle easier so I feel my legs are bigger and I’ve not gone down a jeans size.
How my body looks is not my main goal of why I’m doing this. Yes, I like a more muscular look but that for me is what it represents – being fit, strong and healthy. Those are my main goals for doing this. I want to stay fit and strong for as long as possible. I want to be working out in my 80s still. I want to be able to chase my grandchildren around and pick them up etc. We are going to be retiring OLD due to this scummy Tory government and capitalism obsessed country and I want to be able to travel when I’m retired and have a body that enables me to do so with ease.
What I’ve discovered from working out nearly every day for a year
- What you eat, is much more important than the exercise you do when it comes down to how your body looks. I can very clearly see the impact my nutrition has on the way my body looks. I’m very consistent with my exercise and I can count on one hand the workouts I’ve missed over the past year which means it’s really easy for me to see the impact of the odd takeaway or extra treats in a week. I could have made more ‘progress’ with fat loss if I stuck to healthier eating 7 days a week. But for me, that’s too restrictive and not as sustainable for me personally and I’m not in this to have less fat. I’m in this to get fit and strong and for that, I need fuel to sustain my workouts. That’s what’s important to me. But, I constantly hear people talk about how they have eaten ‘junk food’ all day but tell me ‘it’s ok because I’m going to the gym later’. You can’t exercise out a poor diet though. It’s much easier to eat calories than it is to burn them back off and empty calories aren’t going to provide you with the right mix of macronutrients to perform your best and thrive because of the exercise you are doing. I’d say maybe 80% of how you look is diet and then 20% is the gym. I think most people tend to overestimate the impact that exercise alone can make.
- Good nutrition and exercise has so many health benefits – I get sick less frequently. My periods have changed so much – they are a lot more regular and now I have two light spotting days at the start before the heavier bleeding, something I didn’t use to have. I sleep better.
- When you eat nutritious and healthy food, your body really feels it when you don’t. If I eat some ‘junk’ or have some booze my body feels awful and I get stomach cramps/diarrhoea now. I do have IBS though so that’s likely part of it.
- I now know that this is what my body needs to function optimally. My body needed this and I wasn’t giving my body it previously.
- The key to me sticking to working out is to create the perfect mix of it being tough but not so tough that I get disheartened and run down. The other part is to keep it fun, diverse and change it up frequently so I don’t get bored. This is one of the reasons Centr works so well for me.
One of the best things about my new routine is I always feel ready for anything now. We decided to get married in 4 weeks and I’ve felt no need to do anything different to what I’m already doing to get ‘into wedding shape’ physically or mentally. Lots of people have spoken to me and are surprised I’ve not done a crash wedding diet or extreme exercise plan – I guess that’s diet culture for you. But I’m already doing something that’s reasonable, sustainable and ultimately healthy for me long term. I’ve no need to make any changes. I believe the most important thing with any exercise or eating programme is whether it is sustainable long term. I think that this year of Centr commitment has proven that for me at least, it Centr certainly is. I look forward to renewing my annual Centr membership for year 2.