I’ve never had any major hang ups about my appearance or body size, which is lucky because I am in a long-term and loving relationship with food. I have always had a ‘healthy’ appetite and apart from not being able to eat dairy, I usually just eat whatever I want.
However, a couple of months ago I saw some photos of myself that made me think about my health. I was in the background of the pictures; no clever posing, no body-sculpting jeans, no flattering light, just me and my body. I saw a soft frame. I by no means saw myself as overweight (let me be clear about that), but I didn’t see myself as super fit either.
It played on my mind a lot the following week. Was it time for a change?
I thought about my short-term goals and my long-term health. I want to be healthy (most importantly), and if I could get even a little bit leaner that would be an added bonus.
So, I decided to take it one step at a time.
Week one, I began to clean up my eating. I started to listen to podcasts by different nutritionist, considered lots of different types of lifestyles, started to follow more fitness people online and unfollowed a lot of ‘food porn’ accounts – no more delicious baking inspo for me.
Week two, I did a week with a personal trainer to get the ball rolling (MSD Fitness). It was great to just get myself moving again. To see what my body could do and to realise just how weak I am. Improving my strength quickly got added to the goal list.
I also got a lot of food advice from my trainer, one of the biggest changes was to cut out sugar and anything with added sugar in it. I accepted that moving towards a lifestyle of whole food and away from processed edible products was the way to go.
Making any sort of change is hard, and when it comes to cutting out processed food the withdrawals are real! I’m still battling mine. I know they will pass though and I’ll come out the other side feeling so much better – that’s the plan anyway.
Week three, I started doing classes at a gym around the corner from my office – F45 (click HERE to check them out). That really challenged me. I felt like I was thrown in at the deep end and forgot how to swim. It was extremely tough, it hurt and it made me feel so unfit. Going from doing almost zero exercise to high intensity circuit training was a shock to the system. But, I love it. I still feel all those things, but the buzz after a class has become somewhat of a new addiction.
I’m in the middle of week four now, and feel good. I’m a long way off being the uber-fit and healthy version of myself that I want to be, but the changes I’ve seen in my body already are astounding. My waist is starting to take shape again, my legs are starting to feel stronger and one of the best results has been no longer feeling sick after every meal.
Over the last few years I’ve suffered with nausea, bloating and pain after almost anything I ate. It got to the point recently where I almost (ALMOST!) dreaded eating because I knew how I was going to feel afterwards. Lunch time at the office was the worst because that meant having to sit at my desk for another three hours with this horrible feeling weighing me down. So, you can imagine that being free from all that stress for almost a month now, has been heaven.
Disclaimer alert: I did have some (ok, a lot) of processed sugar for the first time since I started all this over the weekend (come on I’m only human!) and I was right back to being in pain again and looking like I was about four months pregnant. It just wasn’t worth it. I need to come up with some healthy snacks to have when those extreme cravings hit, all tips welcome!
As I learn more I will share it here because I know I’m not the only one who looks at health and fitness like attempting to learn a new language! I’ll start with saying that cutting out/down processed food AND sugar has made a huge difference to me – less water retention, I’ve lost a little bit of weight around my tummy and my stomach issue have drastically improved.
Starting from scratch isn’t easy but I know that when I look back this time next year I’ll be so glad I took that first step..
Written with love,