There’s a tendency for us bloggers to write only about our successes. Those Before/After shots. How we did it, step-by-step. But as in relationships, there is no happily ever after with fitness or health journeys. Our bodies and our minds are constantly in a state of flux and we have to work at them. We go through stages of having more time. And then less time. Happy periods, and then more stressful periods. And this obviously affects our exercise schedules, our health and how we eat. Plus how we feel about ourselves.
Recently a friend (and someone who’s been following my fitness journey through Instagram) asked me to redirect her to a blog post I wrote over two years ago now – on some changes I had made to my life, which had helped me tone up and lose 8kg. Because she had similar goals and was looking for some advice. And I love that we can share our successes, and support each other from across the world. However I think it would be disingenuous to not give you an update too – so you know that it hasn’t all been plain sailing, because life is not straight forward!
Do I still love exercise? Yes! And has it become an important part of my life? Completely! That has not changed. But life happens, and I haven’t been able to commit quite the same amount of time to exercise as I did 2 years ago (or maybe other priorities arose). Plus you start to get complacent – it’s human nature. It’s just so easy to eat the kids’ leftover cheese. Or oven chips (and at the price of food, I struggle to throw things in the bin!). Plus I’ve definitely found that as I head closer to 40, your metabolism it just not what it was (sigh).
So I’ve fluctuated a few kg up and down over time, but that doesn’t bother me that much, as I still (mostly) feel healthy and strong. But it’s when my clothes started to feel a bit too tight around the post Christmas period that I knew I needed to put in some hard(er) work!
So that’s what I’ve been doing the last 3 weeks. I’ve been trying to increase my exercise, and watch more carefully what I eat and drink. It’s not rocket science, or any kind of quick fix, but it works – even though there is still some way to go until I hit my sweet spot, you know that level where you feel most comfortable in your own skin.
I’ve been not drinking alcohol during the week (compared to the holidays where you seem to enjoy a glass of wine or two every day!), and I’ve tried to eat dinner at 6pm, when the kids eat. This stops me nibbling on their leftovers, and it makes me feel healthier in general. But the big caveat is that you need to be home early enough to have cooked dinner by then, which not all people can do. Plus you have to go to bed early, otherwise if you’re still awake at 10pm, you will most likely be tempted to eat some peanut butter on toast. Or buttery popcorn. Or whatever your food indulgence is!
I’ve been trying to find the time to exercise every single day, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. This takes a massive amount of organisation on a Sunday but if I don’t do that, it’s so easy at 4pm on a Monday to say that I don’t have time.
I recently discovered HEAT at Virgin Active which I really love. It gets your heart pumping and gets you sweating properly, plus it’s all over in 30 minutes. I’m still doing my personal training with Lauren from Fitmom, going to Sweat1000, plus doing yoga and the short run now and then.
Other than that, it’s the usual stuff really. Drink more water. Eat more vegetables. Pack healthy snacks for work and prepare your lunch beforehand, so you don’t have to rely on store bought meals. I wish there were some revelations in here but this post is more about how sometimes we take 2 steps backward and then we self correct, and take one step forward again.
The only thing different in these pictures featured here compared to previous before/after shots is that I’ve just had a spray tan! I’ve always been terrified of going orange but if you have someone who knows what they’re doing, and can make it look natural, then it’s a huge bonus. Caryn is a beauty therapist and friend of mine who is offering spray tans in the ‘burbs and she offered me one for free to check it out (they cost R420 and the one I had made me feel like a million bucks!). You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 072 9696 505.
Anyway, I’m realising that it’s a constant journey and I’ve given up on striving for rigorous perfection. It’s about kindness to myself, about trying to feel my best, but most of all enjoying my life and exercising for mental health, as well as physical.
Hope you are getting into the swing of 2019.
This was not a sponsored post – I wanted to write about my fitness state of mind lately and also show you my tan (and they seemed to fit!).