Take a look at this before and after photo. This is me at the beginning of 2014 and one at the end of 2014. Here’s my story and how it can help you reach your goals for a happier, healthier and fitter 2015:
Throughout my mid to late twenties I started putting on weight, I hasten to add that I was never obese or what I would consider as fat, I was a very average size 12, I’d always had a slender waist but my butt and thighs were a problem area and had made a few attempts at spot reduction on those problem areas – turns out spot reduction is a myth but there will be more on that in another post! I then started making ill advised excuses and made the assumption that my body shape was just down to genetics and that I was just going to have to accept that, and that I would never be able to wear skinny jeans with confidence. I was starting to feel self-conscious that I couldn’t wear what I felt was fashionable and I could never really make my mark on current trends because my body shape was holding me back. I think it’s really important to point out here that at no point did anyone tell me or make me feel like my body shape or weight was bad, I just did not feel comfortable in my own skin anymore and I wanted a change. You should only make changes based on how you feel and what you want, never based on someone else’s opinion of you.
So at the end of 2013 I wrote my New Year’s Resolutions and like most people one of my resolutions was not just to lose weight, I wanted to eat better and I wanted to get fit and lean. On top of that as a result of the recession money was tight so I was also on a strict budget (and had quite honestly used this as again as an ill advised excuse for not eating well) so had to bear this in mind at every stage, yes I would have to part with money to make this achievable but I was not going to waste money either. You only get 1 body so it is well worth the investment! I quickly realised that what I really needed to do to achieve my goal was to eat healthy; none of this faddy diet stuff, and exercise and the weight loss would in turn take care of itself. As part of my process I decided to start this blog which is a blog about food, fitness and fashion, my blog wasn’t so much about documenting my progress but more about sharing my knowledge, tips and facts to help other people to achieve the same results, to motivate and encourage people and to show them that anything is achievable. My blog includes handy recipes, exercises and a few fashion tips for helping you to show off that fantastic figure you’ve been working hard for!
I had turned myself into a new person; someone I was proud of, and someone with something worth saying.
With the New Year fast approaching and with people out there making the same resolution as I did at the end of 2013 I would like to extend a helping hand to those who are tackling their weight and fitness issues and to help them do so with confidence and to make their resolution a reality. All you need is a bit of knowledge, some support and guidance (and a tiny bit of tough love!) and most importantly you need to be focussed and determined. Before going any further (and this is the tough love part!) you need to decide what your motivation is, if the only thing you can come up with is “because I should” then don’t bother, you need something specific and something that will keep you driven when it gets hard and the last thing you want to do is exercise, it’s that one statement that will make you get up and get it done. My initial goal was that I wanted to get in shape for a snowboarding holiday and not be embarrassed, I had a serious wakeup call buying knee pads for snowboarding and I had to buy a XXL because my legs were too big. My goals have definitely changed along the way, but that’s what keeps me going forwards, once I hit one goal I keep striving for the next one. As long as you can find something to motivate you, you can achieve it.
This article is going to focus on 4 main points to help you become a new you!
1. How to measure the results effectively to help people stay driven towards their goal beyond that first month
2. Eat healthy
3. How to support the local economy by eating local produce
4. How to exercise at home for free and get better results than going to the gym
Measuring your results
This is the most important thing and comes back to what I was saying about deciding on what your motivation is. If it’s that you want to lose weight for your wedding for example, you need to be more specific; what size / weight do you want to be? And make it realistic. If you’re getting married in 1 month’s time you’re not going to lose 2 stone in that time and when you’re not reaching that target you will start to feel less motivated because you’re not getting the results you want.
You can check out more information about this under the “Getting Started” section at the top of the page or you can read up on how to be your own coach.
Once you’ve set your target, take physical measures; weigh yourself, and take a measurement of your hips, waist, bust and thighs, and do this once a week (no more and no less!). And finally take 3 photos of yourself in your underwear; one front on, one side view and one back view (this should be done on day 1 and then on a monthly basis thereafter). The photo taking is really tough because if you’re anything like me it will not make you feel good about yourself, it’s unflattering and is a real shock. However, I fully recommend it because when you take another set of photos in a one or 2 months’ time you will start seeing the physical results and changes in your body and when you put them side by side you can start to see how your hard work is paying off!
To eat healthy takes a bit of initial effort but when you notice the difference in how you feel both inside and out it soon becomes second nature. I eat along the lines of a Paleo diet, however I have tweaked it a little bit to suit my tastes, and what I consider to be Paleo. The Paleo diet is very much focussed on eating food in its rawest form i.e. if a caveman could eat it so can you. So really you can buy and eat meat and veg with lots of herbs and spices. You basically have to cut out refined, processed foods like bread, rice, chocolate and ready meals, if it’s got more than 2 or 3 ingredients and you can’t pronounce them then you can’t eat it. This is hardly a strict diet it just means you have to make meals rather than rely on pre-made meals, the restrictions really come down to quantity. I can eat steak with homemade sweet potato fries I just can’t eat 2 steaks with a huge bowlful of fries! One thing I did was use the My Fitness Pal App, this was a big educator in being able to calculate what I was putting in to my body and how I was fuelling it, you may think you know but I would fully recommend using this for 2 weeks at least to gain understanding of what you are putting in and getting out of your body. Check out the Paleo Pyramid and Food Swap Outs pages under the “Getting Started” Section.
Supporting the local economy
You may not think this sounds very important but this will really help. By using a local butcher for example rather than buying pre-packed meat in the supermarket you will most likely get a better cut of meat for a better price. You can buy in bulk and freeze and they will often give you a best price because they aren’t part of a chain and can be a bit more flexible on their special offers, and you can also ask them specific questions about the meat you’re purchasing and they can trace it back to the source and tell you which farm it’s come from, what food it’s been fed etc. But most importantly this food hasn’t be sealed and filled with saline to keep it fresh on the shelf for longer. It is a fresher / less tampered with product. And as a result of using your local independent chain you get the feel good factor of supporting your local community and know that what you’re taking out is being put back in to your area 🙂
Exercising at home
To achieve my fitness goal I have not put a single foot in the gym. I resent paying ££’s per month to get in my car and drive somewhere to wait to get on a machine because the gym is packed and what’s more I have to bend my schedule around their opening hours! No chance! I live in a very small 2 bed flat and I have managed to workout for next to nothing in my lounge. It is possible!
Cardio is for weight loss and fitness and use your own body weight for resistance training to tone up. That’s the basics of what you need to know.
Start a running club with you and a few friends, find a route that is safe and choose times that suit you all to go for a run. If you run with someone else you will be a bit more competitive and also not want to be the person to stop first and will end up putting in more effort and endurance than if you were doing it solo, and you’ll be less likely to cancel your workout plans if it will effect someone else. There are free workout stations in so many parks, find your nearest one and get outside and get practicing! And finally if you’re too embarrassed to leave the house workout in the lounge like I did, tabata training is a great way to lose weight, tone up and will be an all over body workout, and the great thing is that you only need to do 20 – 25 minutes a day! Make sure you check out some of my tabata workouts, or start my 12 days of fitmas program to get you off to a good start! Or you can also check out my post on my top rated health and fitness apps.I will gradually be adding a few basics to the Fitness section under the Getting Started tab which will teach you a few simple moves to help ease you in 🙂
Wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2015! Love Roo xx
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