2 years ago I weighed nearly 18 stone. Having been down to 13.5 stone a few years before I knew that I needed to do something about it – and for me that meant training more frequently. I found a small community based gym and signed up for a month of team training, within weeks I was hooked and attending classes 5 times a week. Since then I have steadily lost weight and improved my fitness massively. I have completed OCR’s, been on a fitness retreat and binned my asthma inhalers – it has changed my life. It’s been a steady improvement over the last couple of years but in the last few months I have really ramped up my focus and commitment. I’ve dropped a stone pretty quickly and I have been surprised by some of the side effects. I currently weigh 14 stone 11.
1 Success in this area has really shone a spotlight onto areas which are not as good – when you cut out the ‘food or booze’ coping mechanism for a stressful day there is only one option to reduce the stress- address and resolve it- this is scary as its definitely easier to ignore the problem and have a glass of wine.
2 It’s really made me think about why I gained weight – a difficult thing for me to contemplate and go through in my mind – time to address those issues! It has been emotional!
3 People react to you differently – but you don’t realise that you look different so it feels strange.
4 I feel stressed about maintaining what I have lost and not quickly putting it all back on again – if I hit a stone or a half stone goal then I feel like I don’t want to go back up – this motivates me to keep going but feels like pressure!
5 I don’t have a clue what size clothes to buy and actually have to try things on!
6 I am much happier to take photos of myself and actually let other people take photos without thinking ‘please don’t tag me on facebook’
7 I have lost some friends – and gained new ones that support my goals
8 I feel like I have got my body back for me and my self back. When you are overweight you can become very detached from your body – not wanting to look at in the mirror and hardly recognising yourself. I am starting to appreciate how strong and amazing my body is and I feel a lot more connected to it.
9 I have found out that the people that support you mean more than they and you initially realise – having people who are interested in your progress and who genuinely comment on how well you are doing makes all the difference when you are struggling to see it yourself.
10 I have discovered that I need to make the lifestyle changes so that there is no going back – this is something I am really contemplating at the moment
So this is the start of the new journey – doing whatever it takes to stay focussed on my health and fitness goals! I will continue to share my progress here!
Since getting back from Ibiza nearly two weeks ago I have made some small changes to my diet and lifestyle. After being stuck in a rut for a while, I have lost half a stone in just over two weeks. My weight has been fairly static for about six months so this has been a good chance which has motivated me to keep focussed!
So here are some of the things I have been doing and small tweaks that I have made…
Protein, Protein, Protein!
I know trainers say it but it really does work. I used to think I would put on weight by having more protein in my diet as in my head anything that fills you up that much must cause you to put on weight right? I didn’t really get it! I have now worked out the daily amount my body needs and this is the only food goal I focus on achieving.
I have been eating eggs, meat, yoghurt, experimenting with protein shakes and balls – basically anything to make it more exciting.
I’ve ordered different flavoured protein powders and bars, and got protein cook books. It’s made a huge difference.
Stop worrying about breakfast!
I train most mornings before work, but I would get back and have a quick breakfast – maybe a protein shake or some cereal and a coffee before work – if anything. By 11am I was ravenous and would eat anything to stop me feeling hungry. Now I might have porridge, banana and a protein shake. I try to eat well and until my body tells me that I am not hungry anymore rather than calorie count or worry about overeating. The outcome – I can survive until lunch and may have a snack to keep me going but it will be a more conscious choice.
Breakfast on the go, protein pancakes and balls
Make food taste better!
I’ve enjoyed experimenting with fresh herbs, spices, even basics like lemon and seasoning. If I make food that I look forward to eating I will be less likely to start looking around. I did a diet once where I just had a protein shake for lunch! It wasn’t appetising, I didn’t look forward to it and as a result I would be looking for any excuse to have something else. I try to make lunches and dinners that I look forward to eating and enjoy – and make from scratch as much as possible.
Pea Pasta with Homemade Pea Pesto and Chicken
Schwarma Chicken, Chickpeas and Courgettes with Dukkah Spice
Tasty cod liver oil
I know it’s good for you but I really hate the capsules. I found a product called Zooki which is mango flavoured cod liver oil. It’s AMAZING!!! You can have it neat or add it to shakes or yoghurt etc.
Never leave the house without emergency snacks…
I spend a lot of time in my car. This week I’ve done about 600 miles and been out three nights out of the five week days. In my car I have a good supply of healthy bars, nuts, rice cakes, grenade bars, porridge pots, uncle ben’s microwaveable rice and squeezy peanut butter, these snacks are in my handbag, my office drawer – everywhere. I am not giving myself the chance to get to the point where the only option is Starbucks. I know that when I am starving I make bad choices! They are not tempting enough to make me want to overeat, but they are tasty enough that I will eat them rather than find chocolate somewhere!
Trying to make sure I have exciting snacks!
Share the love!
I love baking and buying treats for friends and colleagues so will often take food to meetings. Now its protein bars and protein pancakes and they have gone down well (with some people!!) Atleast this way I am not adding to the office feeder problem and I am keeping my own temptation out of arms reach.
Make time for rest and relaxation
I’ve started going to yin yoga and meditation on Wednesday evenings. It forces me to relax and switch off, and I sleep so well that night. Its a really gently way to stretch out the muscles and focus on being in the moment. I’ve also found a fantastic massage therapist who is holistic and is incredible. It’s really important to me to make sure that I have that balance.
Accept that you can’t actually change the outcome unless you are willing to change the process
Sounds obvious but I think that for a long time I wanted to get results while not really changing much about my diet. Unfortunately to change you have to be ready and put the work in. No one can do it for you but you can do it in small steps so it isn’t too scary! I’m on a mission so bring it on!!! 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻
Is a question I have been asked recently on more than one occasion! You’ve lost weight before and then gained it plus more, you’ve started a fitness drive before and then given up. What’s different this time? Is it going to be any different this time?
And the answer is….
It is different this time – or atleast it feels different this time!
I can list the times I’ve gone on a fitness mission. I’ve never tried to lose weight without exercising. Diets alone don’t do it for me. I get bored, I can’t bear conversations about calorific contents and which item on the menu has the least points. It all sounds so self righteous- especially when people tell you they’ve “been good today” and they are actually talking about what they’ve put in their mouth (or not!)
So there’s the time I lost loads of weight for a holiday by going to the gym four times a week and going on the cross trainer for a solid hour at a time. That was effective but boring. And as soon as I got to Ibiza I moved on.
I went on a drastic mission for my best friends wedding shortly followed by my sisters wedding, as I didn’t want to be the only bridesmaid in a different dress. I did various forms of cardio at the gym – and bored myself to death but I was determined!
Again, wedding over and routine forgotten.
The next time was for my own wedding. I went all out this time, got a PT, did two sessions a week plus ran three kilometres twice a week and went on a strict paleo diet and lost three stone in three months. I even managed to maintain this for about six months and lose another stone. Then my PT moved to South Africa and I gave up.
By the time my PT had moved back to the UK 18 months later I had regained all of the pre-wedding weight- and more. With no idea how to motivate myself, and no reason to keep going I just gave up completely.
Since then training has been on and off, as we have both struggled to find consistency and a routine that works for both of us.
The thing that I missed most- much more than the number on the weighing scales- was the social aspect of training, and the feeling of achieving and progressing and getting somewhere. I missed how I felt after training, completely exhausted but also exhilarated. When I don’t train I feel more lethargic, my skin feels dry and spotty, I feel like I’m not taking care of myself emotionally or physically. I also feel like all I do is work, sleep and socialise- and I miss the balance and grounding that I get from working out.
So what’s different this time?
- There’s no end goal, no wedding, no target weight, it’s just one day at time!
- There’s no cross trainer for an hour- it’s fun, it’s weights and conditioning, it’s lively and I can see my progress!
- I’m not reliant on one person- I’m doing team training and supported by lots of people
- It’s social, and chatty and interesting
- I’ve got a routine that works for me. I can fit training into a busy working week.
- I’m not doing anything radical foodwise. I’m making adjustments rather than overhaul. If I am going out and fancy the chocolate brownie then I’m having it and I’m not going to feel guilty, I’m just back on it the next day. I’m also trying to have fun trying out new healthy recipes and keeping food interesting – steak and peanut butter for breakfast gets boring pretty quick!
- I’m trying to understand myself more- when things go wrong what happened. How can I avoid getting to the point where I’m so hungry I’ll eat anything! How can I not get overtired and want to spend the whole weekend on the sofa!
- I’ve got some fitness related goals to focus on and work towards, tough mudder is now in the diary, a fitness retreat in Ibiza and a weekend in Bournemouth. They all give me something to look forward to and keep working towards.
- I’m focussed on doing the right things to drive the right results, not the result itself. Eating healthily and moving more will result in a hotter bod!!! It really is that simple.
- I know that what makes me happy isn’t how much I weigh. I’m not getting depressed if I gain a pound in a week. And being thin isn’t all that life is about. I think that I expected that losing weight would mean that I joined a magic club where I was part of a group of people who were happy because they weren’t overweight. That doesn’t exist and happiness comes from the inside and I can be happy whatever I look like!
And I’m really enjoying the journey! So as long as that continues I know I will stay motivated and get the results I know I am capable of achieving!
Thought I would blog today to share my morning training at OnPoint.
Sunday mornings used to be about hangovers, lie ins, even home DIY, shopping, cleaning, washing and cooking, but these days they are predominantly about how hard I can train!
I started the morning with Protein Pancakes which are so easy to make- just mix 30g of protein pow cooking whey with a banana and two eggs in a nutribullet and fry in coconut oil. AMAZING!
This mornings class involved a warm up with Michelle, and then working in pairs and doing sets of 18, 15 and then 12 of two exercises off the board below while your partner held the third position. There were three exercise stations and it was a killer – especially the box overs and burpees which we did last!
After an hour of that it was time for a kickboxing class! This class combines cardio and boxing routines to both improve fitness and ability. It’s really hard- especially if you’ve never done anything like it before, but it really pushes you to the limit and challenges you like nothing else! It is hard doing it after team training but it goes to show that when you think you’ve got nothing left you can find it somewhere if you dig deep.
Being asthmatic, this kind of exercise is really hard and getting out of breath is scary and stressful but I am learning to control my breathing now rather than panic, and as my fitness improves so does my asthma. This week I survived two hours of intense training without having to use my inhaler, which really goes to show what progress I am making.
It’s a massive sense of achievement to get through a Sunday morning like that, and I am now recovering by sitting in the hairdressers for the afternoon being pampered- it’s all about balance after all!