It's amazing how much a person can grow in a year. I have completely shocked myself in many different senses of the word. When I started my fitness journey a year ago in June, did I think I would ever get this far? Far enough to actually celebrate an entire year of my new lifestyle?
I honestly can't say yes or no, all I know is that my goals were burning a path right before me, and as this fire spurred me on form the very pit of my stomach, I was adapting. I was making changes, evolving. I was growing.
Goals start off as dreams and that is what makes them so powerful, and when you completely set your mind to something, you best believe that you are un-stoppable. One of the biggest things that I have learnt about myself is that if I say I am going to do something, I will do it. One way or another, on the very tips of my toes, I will do it.
How else have I changed in a year?
Well aside from the obvious weight loss my tastes have changed. My food, my drink, my likes and my dislikes have all been shaken up. My diet is the best it has ever been in my entire life. I love egg, fruit, vegetables, meat, nuts, tea and coffee! Those last two for anybody who knew me before all of this knows that I never touched the stuff. EVER! When everyone else fancied a brew, I would be the one reaching into my bag and pulling out my bottle of Coca Cola. I took one everywhere, I drank it morning, noon and evening, often multiple times a day. I was ploughing hundreds of empty calories into my body, without knowing and without really caring.
Now I enjoy water, lots and lots of water. I drink Green Tea, Mango and Lychee to be precise. I LOVE a morning Costa... That may be my new downfall, but I honestly can't explain how alive I feel after that morning caffeine rush.
Everything I prepare, everything I enjoy is now much better for me, it fuels my body and gets me through the day, It's become a second nature, I don't consider myself 'on a diet', because this really isn't a diet. It's sustainable, it's realistic. It's who I am and it's my life.
I am a huge, huge, huge fan of Deliciously Ella. Her food, her recipes and her concepts blow me away. I was so very excited to meet her very recently at Brit Mums Live, and even managed to get my hands on a signed copy of her AMAZING cook book. I use this book regularly, and add my own spin on things. A firm favorite in my house has to be the Pesto Pasta, but I have to admit I cheekily add Chicken and a drizzle of honey. Honey is a staple sweetener in my day to day life and although it's obviously additional calories, I don't feel guilty because it's something I enjoy. I add it to my Green Tea, meals and sauces. Absolutely everything I can possibly think of, and you know what this real life Pooh Bear thinks? Everything tastes better with a little bit of honey!
I am asked all the time 'How do you eat so well all the time!?' - The honest answer is that I don't. We all fall off occasionally, but for the most part I eat well because I have further goals that I want to achieve. I still can't quite believe how far I have come, the 2 stone weight loss I have achieved, and absolutely everything since I hit my target weight. I am now 21 weeks into Kayla Itsines Bikini Body guide, and in a few weeks time I will have completed the second guide. I am the strongest and fittest I have ever been in my life, but as I say, this is a lifestyle, I am only going to continue along this path because it empowers me, and it excites me.
You may have read in my last post that I actually got to go along to London and take part in Kayla's World Tour, it really was a week for meeting heroes that week, as in a matter of days I had met the very lovely Ella! Kayla's work out left hundreds of girls sweating, and so excited for the pain that they were now feeling. it really was the most amazing ache, because you just knew that you had worked hard, and that the Queen Bee herself had shown you first hand, how it's done.
So what exercise do I do these days?
My exercise routine is determined by Kayla's Bikini Body Guide 2.0, and I make sure to complete each work out, It's a series of resistance and cardio training (LISS) over the course of the week with Sunday's designated as your day off. I complete all of Kayla's resistance exercises at home, I can often be found thumping around my room with my trusty bar bell, squatting and performing ab bikes. Exercising has been a complete eye opener for me, when I started and for the first 8 months for that matter (pre BBG) I was a cardio fiend. I didn't know how to tone up. I didn't know where to start, and that was one of the things holding me back. because how can you achieve something if you don't have the fundamentals on how to do it? I had considered a personal trainer but that didn't seem like a sustainable solution to me in the long run, and of course money was a factor.
Somehow I had started following Kayla on Facebook, I think I clicked through on one of the adds one day. I don't remember exactly how I ended up there, but I remember looking at these fantastic transformations, and you know what? I was skeptical. So very skeptical. In 12 weeks some of these girls had completely re-modeled their entire bodies. How could that be real? How!?
I stuck around though, even liking Kayla's page. I watched in awe as these girls kept on coming, and one evening I decided that I had seen enough. I was GOING to buy the very first guide. That was 21 weeks ago now, and I haven't looked back or regretted my decision once. Kayla's guide WILL work if YOU WORK. I cannot stress this enough, it isn't some magic guide that suddenly slaps abs on you and does the squats for you, but with these tools you can achieve great things.
Do I do any exercises along side the guides?
This is another question that I get asked a lot and the answer is that yes I do. On resistance days I attend the gym following the resistance training that I complete at home.I spend an hour working with weights on the limb of choice for that session. I do think that this combined with everything that Kayla has instilled in me, and of course my culinary lifestyle aids the results that I have seen.
My LISS sessions consist of 40-50 minutes on the cross trainer, and I have finally worked my way up to the top of the effort level on the machine. I guess it just demonstrated that I had been taking it way to easy on myself, so I am looking forward to seeing how this helps me going forward.
I go for the occasional run, and I have a rather beautiful selection of trainers these days. My favorite to run in, and the most comfortable for that matter are my shiny Blue Downshifter 6 Nikes. I am a size 6 and I have found with other brands that my feet can feel a little cramped, but these running shoes have proved ideal for everything I need out of them. I actually took these away with me on holiday with the best intentions of going for a run...However this was one of those occasions that I fell off the healthy eating cart into a mountain of cake...
A year into my fitness guide I do feel like I have achieved a lot, but...And yes there is a but! I have so much more that I want to achieve. This next year is going to be amazing. I can't help but think... 'Where will I be this time next year?' and the truth is, that's exactly what I thought when starting out. Did I expect to be here? Nope, never in a million years, but here I am.
What are my goals?
I want to tone up the bits of me that are being reluctant. I have lose skin on my stomach that seems to want to stick around.
I want my inner thighs to be leaner and stronger.
I want my arms to become more defined and my underarms to get some shape.
I want to keep working on my chest and feel confident in strapless clothing.
It's always good to set goals, give yourself realistic timelines and if you don't hit it right away, just keep at it. These things don't happen over night, they are a reflection of your entire lifestyle. If you really want something, go and get it. Make it happen. It is quite honestly the best feeling in the world, and I cannot explain how happy I am with everything that has come to light in this year.
Set your goals on fire and just do it.
You so totally CAN!