I would be crazy to do a post on fitness motivated by the thought: 'I'm so fit, this is what you guys can do to be like me'. LIES. However, one of the questions I get asked most is about my fitness regime so I thought it only right to respond to that by sharing my struggle with you.
A year ago, I never went to the gym and I ate whatever I liked. I didn't realise just how much weight I had put on until one faithful day when an e-mail popped up from a guy I met on holiday in Greece the previous summer telling me how much weight I had put on. Now I can look back and laugh and be grateful that I got that e-mail because it made me get off my butt (literally) and I could probably go as far as saying that it changed my life. No one had ever been that honest with me. Let me just say that it was not the kindest email but I think the punch line must have been 'It isn't only showing on your body, your whole face looks different. It's time to put down the Christmas cakes and go on a diet. You said you want to climb Kilimanjaro someday. If you continue like this, you wouldn't even be able to climb onto the Skandinavian Bar (the best club in Mykonos, Greece) dance floor!' WOW. Can you imagine waking up to an e-mail like that? Impossible to ignore.
I signed up to the gym the next day but as I was still eating badly, I wasn't really losing any weight. It wasn't until August last year that I really realised how to lose weight and be fit and healthy. This is what I try to live by and what I do when I'm being good. Basically, it's not always my reality.
Firstly, I try to eat 1200 calories per day. I used to eat full plates of white rice and pasta for lunch or dinner, I don't do that anymore. I avoid carbohydrates and now eat only brown rice, brown pasta and brown bread except I'm eating out and there is no other option. When I am on a really strict diet because I really need to see quick results, I don't eat any of these- not even brown. You would be amazed how much weight you would lose by cutting down on carbs. Some people think this is unwise, I'm not saying that it's the perfect way to live. It just works for me.
I drink lots and lots of water and green tea with honey. Those are my 2 main drinks. I don't drink any soda.
I massively cut down on bad sugars- no sweets, chocolate etc. This wasn't too difficult for me except that I was addicted to Haribo and subsequently, Millies Cookies. My addiction to Haribo was serious. It wasn't out of the ordinary for me to get through a large packet a day, everyday. Somehow, I managed to beat my Haribo addiction and now I can hardly stand Millies Cookies! Hallelujah!
When eating clean, I find that I need to snack a lot more as meals are lighter. This is no problem! I snack on fruits (in moderation, they contain a lot of sugars) and nuts.
I don't use dairy milk- I use almond milk. This was really easy for me because I don't actually like milk. I only have milk in my Oats which I have for breakfast almost every morning just to kickstart my day with a little bit of energy from the carbs (good carbs).
Plan meals ahead of time and think about what food is available near you at all times. Because I work in different locations, the easiest way for me to falter is when there are no healthy options near me.
Finally, have cheat days! These are so important. If I have a good week in which I eat really well and exercise a lot, I treat myself on the weekend! For me, this tends to be one or two meals on the weekend and is usually when I have a burger. I think one cheat meal a week is ideal but sometimes, I just can't help it.
I try to exercise 4-6 times a week. Most of my exercise is done at the gym but now that it's warmer, I'm going to be running out much more!
Find gym classes that you like- Spin changed my life. It is so much fun! I also love Body Attack, Body Pump, Legs Bums Tums and Ballet Barre.
Sometimes, I do Insanity but I haven't done the full 60 day circuit. However, I'm sure it works.
Even the little things such as taking the stairs instead of the escalators count.
There are so many resources online and on youtube which suggest exercises to do for various parts of the body. Use these! Youtube has some gems.
When I'm going off the rails and getting de-motivated, I youtube 'weight loss success stories' and it is so inspiring to see what some people have achieved! I also follow weight loss inspirational people on Instagram who share their progress photos and give meal suggestions. It can get quite difficult to come up with delicious healthy meals so following people on their fitness journey really helps.
Sometimes, all it takes to get me motivated is to google 'Victoria's Secret Angels'. I immediately get up and put on my trainers because I can't stand to be sitting in bed whilst staring at Candice Swanepoel - it gives me major self-confidence issues.
Most importantly, what I have found is that the key to being fit, losing weight and keeping it off is undergoing a lifestyle change, as opposed to a diet. I might not always eat properly and I have some really bad days/weeks. You guys know very well how I feel about my burgers. But the fact is that, I will never go back to eating as horribly as I did before the day that I received that dreaded email. I can't even begin to fathom how I was okay with eating as much as I used to eat a year ago.
Lastly, have goals and measure them. I am currently tracking my progress and I still have 5kg to lose to reach my desired weight. It really helps to set yourself a target and work towards it! Even when you slip, just get back on track. A lot of the time, I take two steps forward and one step back but all that matters is that you just keep on running forward (literally!).
What are some of your fitness secrets? Do tell! Let's all get slim and hot for the summer!
Other requests I have had include doing a post on my skincare routine and also a list of my travel aspirations. I literally want to go everywhere in the world apart from war-torn countries so I thought it would be more interesting if I occasionally do a Travel Inspiration post giving more detail about a specific place I want to visit and why so stay tuned for that. I haven't done a skincare post yet because I haven't really found products that work for my skin and don't want to pass on substandard products to you. When I find a formula that works, I will be sure to pass it on!