In the last few months, I’ve seen some friends who I hadn’t seen in a while. A lot of them have been asking me what I’ve been doing to get into the shape I’m in now and how I manage to keep going with everything I have going on.
I’ve also been going through some old pictures and videos since I have been on my “fitness journey” and it hadn’t occurred to me just how much my body had changed.
I was actually shocked to see how much bigger I was at a time that I didn’t necessarily feel “big”. Of course I knew that I needed to lose the extra baby weight and get in better shape if I wanted to be successful in my career as a personal trainer. But it wasn’t as though anyone said to me that I needed to lose weight, or that I had let myself go.
But since I have been reflecting on my journey so far, I thought I would share with you guys some things that I learnt along the way, that I still need to practice day in day out now.
So, here are 5 things that I learnt about myself:
1. Find what motivates you
I knew that I eventually needed to do something about my baby weight, but didn’t feel like I had a big enough push or reason to do it until I started my personal trainer qualification. I remember going in for my assessment on Mother’s Day and asking my husband to take some “before” pictures of me. I didn’t have any recent ones so I wanted to see where I’d be starting from.
I was shocked. Even though I looked in the mirror everyday, I didn’t see what I was seeing in those pictures every day. I then went to my assessment and saw all these super fit PT students also waiting to do their assessment.
I thought that if I’m going to be up against these guys when it comes to getting clients, I know who I would go with if I was a client.
From that day, no more messing around. This qualification was my motivation to properly get in shape. And it worked!
2. Get your mind right
Without the right mindset, I wouldn’t have been able to get up at 6am to get on my bike. Or go to the gym when I could have been chilling on the sofa.
Without the right mindset, I wouldn’t have chosen to have porridge or eggs with avocado for breakfast instead of pancakes.
Once I changed my mindset about how I looked at food and exercise and my body, I noticed that it was easier to get do what I needed to do to achieve my goal.
Of course, there were times I didn’t want to exercise or eat healthily. Sometimes I would give into my cravings and other times I would find a distraction or find a way to reward myself by doing a workout first.
Starting and continuing on a fitness journey truly is about changing your mindset, assessing what your relationship is with your body and food. If you don’t get your mind right, then your journey will be a short one. It’s not a quick fix, it’s for life.
3. Nutrition is key
I went through a period of just trying to do some workouts here and there and hoped to see some results. The only thing that I found is that I got a little better at the workouts, but not much was happening with my body.
My physical transformation only really happened when I changed my diet.
I decided to stop eating meat and fish for some time. And I eliminated pretty much all snacks and sweet treats and focused on wholesome, nutritious foods. This was the turning point for me, and that is when I really noticed my body change.
Now, I don’t think you have to cut out animal products out of your diet, but for me it was a great way to kickstart my weight loss and over 18 months later, I still don’t eat any meat, but occasionally eat fish.
When I noticed the weight drop and my body change, it inspired me to keep going with my workouts. And as I became stronger and leaner and I wanted to make sure my nutrition was as good as possible.
Now, I do have treats here and there but I try to make sure 70-80% of my diet is unprocessed, wholesome food that includes plenty of fruit, veg, legumes and healthy fats.
4. Home workouts really are effective
There are times when I can’t make it to the gym to train for a few days in a row. But I love training, and I don’t like going for too many days in a row without it. We have an exercise bike at hime for the times I don’t want to do anything too heavy. I love doing a 30-45 minute bike ride watching my favourite show.
But I also love doing HIIT, which I either do on the bike, or using my own bodyweight. The great thing about working out before my daughter could crawl/walk, is that I was able to leave her in her bouncer while I did a quick session.
Home workouts are also much easier to fit around my schedule as I can wake up early to do them without interrupting the day, or do a session while my daughter naps. Her 2 hour nap is long enough to do a workout, eat and maybe even squeeze in a shower!
5. But I still love gym workouts
Like I said, home workouts are great and I tend to really push myself because I don’t tend to spend as long on them as I do on gym workouts. But, because I love lifting heavy weights or doing sprints on the treadmill, I still love going to the gym when I can.
The gym also gives me “me-time” which I have come to cherish so much since having my little girl. It’s a time when I can listen to whatever I want and concentrate on nothing other than myself. I get to zone in on my workouts and really push myself. Even if a tough workout leaves me feeling a bit drained for the rest of the day, I feel proud that I have managed to do something for myself.
If you are on your own fitness journey or about to start yours, then I hope that some of my tips have been useful for you.
It would be great to hear some of your own tips or any feedback you have!