Kirsty’s fit150 journey

This week, Kirsty Stewart (North Area Administrator), shares her thoughts on finding motivation, forming new habits and appreciating her body and what it can do.

“Before I started with Penumbra, I dare say that any physical activity, that didn’t result in me rewarding myself with some form of food, and I went together like a fork does to soup. My only attempt at exercise as a fully functioning adult had been a few failed attempts at a gym membership. The gym was round the corner from the pub in my defence. I also discovered my complete inability to balance and coordinate my feet in Zumba.

These attempts were more often than not, the result of goals that I would set whilst being spurred on by the gleam of exploding fireworks across the television screen as the clock chimed midnight on the 31st December. Much like my ambition when I was thirteen to become a supermodel, which ended quite abruptly when I didn’t grow any taller than 5’4 and I discovered the wonder that is carbs, they would eventually be forgotten about.

I lacked will power and motivation; after all, it’s much easier to give up than it is to try.

A couple of years ago, I got an injury that changed my life. I ended up on sick leave at my previous job for more than two years and I required corrective surgery. During this period, I gained a significant amount of weight, I was unable to leave my bed and food had become a comfort when everyone had left for the day and I was alone.

It was miserable but I finally got the surgery I needed last year and I am now fully recovered.

By the time I had joined Penumbra back in March this year, I had lost seven stone and was already starting to increase my activity by walking to work and back daily. I went to a few sessions of Pilates and even attempted Zumba again but nothing really stuck. I enjoyed them but they were often straight after work and round the corner from my flat – the temptation to go chill on the couch instead eventually started winning.

So, I honestly have no idea what was going on when I decided to book myself in for a session with a personal trainer at 6am in the morning a couple of days a week. But if you ask me if it was a good decision when it gets to Sunday night and I’m setting my alarm for 5am on Monday, then you can probably imagine my response. Four weeks in though, I have to admit, I quite enjoy it. Although after each session, I swear the stairs to get to the office multiply.

It has helped massively with the anxiety that I have developed as a result of being off work for so long. I have even managed to go to the gym without my trainer a couple of times which is something I didn’t think I’d be able to do.

I am hoping to work my way up to going for an hour, four times a week but I’m taking it slow. I read somewhere that it takes nine weeks to form a habit, so hopefully if I’m still going by the middle of January then I’ll keep at it. After all, if I have learnt anything in the past three years, it’s to not take anything my body can do for granted.”


Thank you so much Kirsty for sharing your fit150 story with us. Taking little and realistic steps is important to achieve our goals. If you would like to set yourself a ‘SMART’ goal, you can download our Smart Goal worksheet. If you would like to share thoughts on fit150 with others, you can do so by using #fit150 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.