Last year I wrote a post about my "lifestyle change". I wrote about how unhappy I was with my body and how I decided to do something about it via calorie counting. I wrote about how it was working for me and how proud I was of myself.
That was 8 months ago and present me is in a very different place to past me. I was going to straight up delete the other post because it's not something I agree with anymore but it makes more sense to address it and talk about what changed and how I am approaching health and fitness now.
Firstly, yes I was unhappy with my body. And I still am. But with the changes I have made now, I'm not getting upset all the time about it because I know what I am doing now is good and right for me in this moment.
Calorie counting was not good. For me anyway. I'm reading and learning about health and fitness and (probably an entire post on its own) but calorie counting and the apps like My Fitness Pal (that I was using), aren't good. There's a reason we have a recommended daily allowance. And MFP was telling me to have 800 calories less than that. And I got obsessed.
I was so obsessed with that 1200 calories figure. And whilst I did it and I did see weight start coming off, I hit the plateau and then got disheartened that it wasn't working anymore.
I was taking ingredients out of my salad so that it "saved" calories. I was walking round the block an extra time to "earn" calories. It was just taking over my life and having had problems with food and eating in the past, I got scared of going back there. So I deleted the app. And I ate what I wanted.
And I was still unhappy.
The media is so obsessed with calories and making us feel like we have to earn the right to eat food we actually want. And then make us feel guilty for doing so. So I was back to feeling stuck in a rut.
At the back end of 2017 I started going to therapy. I told her one week about wanting to be fitter but being scared because of how obsessive I get over things. And I ended up realising I do obsess and meticulously plan everything I do. And then she made me realise that isn't necessarily a bad thing. And then it sort of hit me that she was right.
So I planned...
I planned that I wanted to try and see if I could go to a gym and enjoy it. I knew I wanted to go to a relatively small and quiet gym as I would feel more comfortable. There is one just a few minutes away from where I work so I did some online research and then on a lunch break I went in and asked if I could have a look in the gym. The duty manager came to show me around and I told him how I'd never been to a gym but I wanted to but the thought of them scares me. And he was just so lovely. He was saying how he understands how they can be intimidating at first but he showed me the gym and it is very small and not crowded at all. He then told me I can get a 7 day free pass to see if it's for me so that's what I did!
And since then I have been going 3 times a week and I actually enjoy it and look forward to going!
I knew I had to take it easy and go slow to begin with having never done it before and not wanting to be in pain the next day - that would have made me not want to go back!
I got an induction on the first day. One of the ladies showed me how to use the cardio machines. I said I do want to do weight and strength training eventually but right now I need to work on my fitness levels. And then she left me to it. And I went on the cross trainer. And after about a minute I wanted to be sick. I felt like all my internal organs were going to drop out of my body. I pushed through to 5 minutes and then did some on the bike and treadmill and that was enough for a first session.
I know my fitness levels have improved as from that initial wanting to be sick after a minute, I can do 30 minutes on the cross trainer. I am so proud of myself.
I am planning in the next few weeks to enquire about Personal Training my gym offers so I can learn how to use the weights and do it properly. I'm pretty excited for it! I can't believe I am even this person!
So then the next hurdle to tackle was food. I don't want to be scared of food. I don't want to feel like I have to earn food. And I don't want to feel like I have to punish myself for enjoying food. I hate the word 'diet' and phrases like 'clean eating' and the whole idea of good and bad foods.
I set up a new Instagram to keep me motivated throughout this journey and I follow a whole mix of people who do weights, yoga, runners, foodie posts and I have learnt so much just from that. (My Instagram is HERE too.) Seeing that these people don't calorie count and don't punish themselves and do some great myth busting is just so refreshing and it has definitely given me a more positive mindset on the matter. So yes, I am trying to eat better. I am making good food (hey I even realised I like avocado!) but if I want half a garlic bread with dinner, then I'm going to have it. And if I want to eat a whole Easter egg in one sitting, I'm going to do that too.
This Easter weekend I had a Chinese and a Dominoes and I didn't once feel bad I had done it. I didn't feel like I had to work harder on my next gym session.
And that in itself is doing my brain a world of good.
The other thing I have started doing is yoga. I have wanted to give yoga a go for years. I have done a few yoga videos on YouTube but not religiously and not for ages. A new studio opened the same week I started going to the gym and it opened about a 2 minute walk from my house. So every Wednesday evening I go down and spend an hour with no phone, in the quiet having a good old stretch. And I bloody love it!
The first session was great. And then I woke up the next day and my arms were killing! I didn't even get achey from the gym but yoga was another story!
I went back and I've been going every week and the aches have stopped and I just really love it. My favourite bit is the relaxation at the end because I nearly fall asleep every week. Then I basically float back home, feeling so chill, and then I get into bed and read for a bit.
I follow a lot of yoga people on Instagram and the way they bend blows my brain and I just live in hope that one day that will be me!
Whilst I wish I could have made these changes a long time ago, those times were clearly never the right time for me. I'm in a good head space right now, I feel more motivated than ever and most importantly I actually enjoy what I am doing.
With the last Lifestyle Change post, whilst I thought I was doing good things and in a good place to do it, I obviously wasn't.
I will try post more frequent updates but you can follow my Instagram where I do try post regularly.
Some Instagrams I love that are positive and motivating: