2016: Gym, gin and general life goals


Forget gold digger, this year I plan to be a goal digger! Setting goals is a great way to motivate yourself, to give you focus and direction, as well as an aim to train. Whatever your goals may be, make sure they’re realistic, achievable and timely to keep on track. Here’s my 2016 gym, gin and general life goals…

Gym goals…

Shape up. I want to lose fat, build muscle and tone up. I want to be stronger, fitter and sculpted (the buzz word in fitness for defined). I don’t have a goal weight and don’t really get hung up on what the scales say. It’s more about how I look and feel, for me strong is sexy/healthy, skinny isn’t attractive or appealing in the slightest. I’ve noted my weight and measurements at the start of the year, I’ll show and share my progress over the coming weeks and months. Check out The Naked Truth.

Start Yoga. Something I’ve said I’ll do for the last few years. I’ve been to a few classes, but never stuck at it on a regular basis. I’m well aware of the many health benefits, and need to improve my core strength, flexibility and balance – I am going to start and I am going to stick at it!

Enter some challenge events. This is still tbc at the minute, but I’m thinking a distance/open water swim challenge or a triathlon…

Complete Kettlebell and Studio Cycle Instructor qualifications. I’ve already signed myself up for these one day courses in February and March, two of my favourite fitness classes, I’ll let you know how I get on.

Start Gym Instructing. Putting my recent qualification in to practice. I’m going to look to do this on a casual basis initially, around my full-time job and see where it leads.

Gin goals…

Every year I do dry January – borderline necessity after the booze fest that is Deathcember! So the gin jaunts will be from February onwards…

No endorsements intended! All escapades are my own sourcing, links just for info.

Get involved at Manchester Gin Festival. A date that’s already in my diary, I’m going to the Gin Festival in March with a good friend, Dawn, my gin twin and fellow shoeaholic. Taking place at the beautiful Victoria Baths, we’ll be treated to masterclasses, live music, great grub and 100 different gins – sure we can do 50 each Dawn!

Pay the Old Bell Inn a visit. Situated in Saddleworth, this hotel, restaurant and bar holds a Guinness World Record title for the most amount of gins commercially stocked – a whopping 600 different gins! I heard about this place just before Christmas. I’ll be booking in for a week… and detoxing for the rest of the year!

Join the gin journey. A chauffeur driven gin jaunt around Manchester, that takes you to 5 bars, to try 5 gin cocktails, have fun and meet fellow gin lovers along the way. Led by the gin commandos at

I’m sure more gin jaunts will be added to the list as the year goes on.

General life goals…

Manage my money better. I have no idea where it goes and what I spend it on most months, but I’m always counting down the hours till payday, AND class my overdraft as part of my salary and credit card as free money. Not good, not good at all!

Read more. I really enjoy reading, but go through phases of reading loads and then not at all. I annoy myself, I’m really impatient and inquisitive by nature, when I start reading something I want to know what happens (yesterday), so I’ll devour a book in a matter of days, reading so much I give myself eye strain. Patience is a virtue, to be learnt!

Meat free Monday. Something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. There’s not much I won’t eat and I’m an alright cook, but I want to increase my veggie culinary repertoire, improve my health and do a bit to reduce my carbon footprint.

Writing my goals down and sharing them with the world is like writing them in blood – time to stop talking about them, pull my finger out and start doing! Like starting this blog, something I talked about doing for months, telling friends and family all about my ideas, plans and goals, but not doing the doing.

I’ll update on my progress over the coming months and if I’m slacking feel free to give me a telling. All good read, veggie recipe and gin jaunt suggestions welcome too…

Time for less talk, more action! 

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Hi! I’m Kate, a 31 year old Lancashire lass on a mission to shape up; improve my physique and fitness, and develop my knowledge and understanding of the fitness industry. I’ve followed hundreds of exercise programmes, tried countless diets and fluctuated in weight, dress size and shape over the years. However, 2016 is my year! I’m adamant that this is the year I get in the best shape of my life and make big changes to my lifestyle and career.

The blog

Gym & Toneic is an online space to show and share my exercise and social escapades. As the name suggests, I’m a big fan of the gym and of gin, in equal measures. Thus why I don’t look like a buff beauty (yet…). I’m using this blog to document my fitness journey, as a means to motivate myself and hopefully others too, and share my gin drinking jaunts with fellow gin lovers – it’ll be more about lifting weights than cocktails this year though!

Gym love

I’ve been a frequent gym goer since college, and generally workout at least 3 days per week – endorphins make me happy! I’ve worked in various roles in sport and leisure most of my working career, and have a number of instructing qualifications under my belt. I decided to take my passion for the gym to the next level at the back end of 2015, and qualified as a Level 2 Fitness Instructor, and I’ve signed myself up for a few more courses over the coming year. By no means do I know it all… I’m newly qualified and finding my feet, studying to develop my knowledge and broaden my horizons – every day is a learning day!

Gin love

I developed a taste for gin in my late twenties; cider supping on the swings is but a distant (hazy) memory. It’s my drink of choice, refreshing, easy on the palate and waistline! I’ve been to a few gin tasting events in Manchester and have subsequently turned into a bit of a gin snob. Before I order a G&T at a bar, I check out the gin selection and ask what they’ve got to accompany it, and if the reply is simply ‘lemon and lime’, I’m less than impressed…

Bloom gin is my personal favourite, light and fruity, best served in a glass the size of your head with fresh strawberries, and supped in the sun! Over the winter months I took a liking to Opihr, a spiced gin, served with ginger ale and an orange slice. I’m very much looking forward to finding new favourites in 2016… watch this space!

Other loves in life

  • Animal print; leopard, snake, zebra you name it. If it’s tacky and looks like something Kat Slater would wear, I’ll probably love it! Big fan of purple too.
  • Chips, cheese and gravy; a hometown delicacy #Btown. Don’t get me started on gravy, cannot beat good gravy.
  • The beach; sun, sea and a stunning sunset – my idea of heaven!
  • Friends; cheesy I know but I’m a social soul, I love spending time with friends old and new, making memories – good friends are your forever.
  • Laughing; you know when you laugh so hard and loud you can’t breathe, I love that. Life shouldn’t be taken so seriously.
  • Quotes; fitspo, friends, fun times – I do love a good quote. My all-time favourite #fitspo quote has to be, ‘sweat like a pig, to look like a fox’. I plan to sweat a lot this year!
  • Tom Hardy; that guy is too hot for his own good!
  • Shoes; my name is Kate Brooks and I’m a shoeaholic.
  • Tattoos; I’ve got 3 so far, I’m always thinking about my next. The hypnotic buzz of the needle, unknown pain factor, and adrenaline rush that leaves you craving more.
  • Sleep; I’m a 10 hour girl and not much of a morning person – I’ll never be in the early birds exercise club. Approach with caution before 10am!

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