I know what you’re thinking, another fitness related post about resolutions and how this is the year it’s all going to change. I said that for three years before things finally started to change again. Following a break-up, moving back to the UK, getting a new job, new flat – things haven’t been at the peak of comfort zones for me and in those times, I. EAT. Like the cliche that I was, the unstable lifestyle I was living led me to find solace at the bottom of an Indian takeaway container washed down with a little Ben and Jerry’s for good measure.
Finally in 2018, I shed a few pounds but more importantly I finally got my fitness back and then some. DISCLAIMER: I am not, nor do I attempt to be a fitness expert. Just wanted to share with you the habits I acquired to really make a difference in my lifestyle and routine. Yes I want to lose weight but that is a slow journey that I’m happy to pace myself on as long as my fitness is getting better.
Below are the main things changed about my lifestyle, or simply realised as fact vs trying to fight…
- Comfort in a routine was key – I found the time of day that worked best for me when it came to working out. For me it’s ensuring an early night and getting up at 6am to get a workout in before work. For my sister she likes to fit them in as late 9pm when the day is over. Whatever that time is, get it in, if only for 20 minutes.
- I love carbs and carbs love me – I’m sick to death of trying to force myself in to a low-carb diet. I’ve tried it before and yes I shed a ton of weight but the reality is I hate it, it makes me miserable and I’m perma-hungry. Instead, I’ve found keeping track of what I’m eating (because I can run away with the oreos) – Is the thing that works for me. Anything between 1250-1650 calories depending on how much exercise I’ve done that day.
- Getting a Fitbit – Stuart treated me with a Fitbit for my birthday and I quickly became obsessed with the heart rate tracker. I know they’re not entirely accurate but having a rough guide and a health dashboard really changed the way I thought about food and exercise. I LOVE data – so being able to see all the numbers of calories burned and peaks in my heart rate really helped me stay focused
- Getting sexy workout gear – I know this sounds silly but stocking up on some Lululemon “align” pants and “free-to-be” bras make me feel confident when my workout is done. When I look like a hot mess but I’m dressed will it feels so motivating!
- Working out in group settings – I know for some it can be intimidating but I’ve found it incredibly motivating and more importantly FUN to work out in group settings. I joined REP Runners Running club in London (free!) and recently got rid of my Virgin membership to join F45 Kensington Olympia. No mirrors, no egos, just fun, functional strength and cardio training! This is coming from someone who had a note for every P.E. lesson. I’m sure my teachers questioned why I was on my period every week. Also finding a friend that loves fitness helps too! I’ve had so many fun workouts with my girlfriend Aneesha at Barry’s Bootcamp!
- Getting my steps in turned out to be a thing – I thought the whole counting steps thing was a farce but after getting my Fitbit it made me realise that the calorie burn after a day of walking around London actually amounted to more than some of my workouts some day. It was still important for me to get high heart rate up but for general exercise, walking was super important for me – especially when I want to eat more 😛
- Setting ONE goal event – I signed up for a half marathon (which was my worst nightmare) to work towards something active. This meant that even when I didn’t want to – I grabbed (a very begrudging) Akira and hit the ground running. When I finished the race in October I felt like I’d achieved something so much bigger than losing a certain amount of weight. A HUGE thank you to the wonderful Kerry from Rep who ran the race with me and helped me get through it emotionally. It doesn’t have to be running – my best friend signed up to dance classes and performed in their end of year show. Pick something that’s fun for you.
So those are the things that worked for me but I’ll be honest, the last few months have been tough nutritionally speaking. I can out-eat Stuart who is a 19 stone, 6’3 giant of a man. The weekends have been boozy and bready and I’m only just trying to get a better grasp of what I’m eating again. I’m not starving myself. Just better measuring my quantities and balancing my meals.
Please do share any tips you may have below as I’m still on the journey!