After years of putting her health second to a demanding job, Philippa, 38, finally decided to make her wellbeing the one priority in her life. After overhauling her eating and exercise habits, the Sydneysider lost a whopping 40 kilograms and there's a few things she'd tell those wanting to follow in her footsteps.
1. Get the right people around you
It’s really important if you are making a big lifestyle change that you have the right people around you that will support and encourage you to stay on track. My trainer would say that I did all the hard work in losing the weight, but he was the compass that kept me pointing north through it all. My husband was nothing but encouraging and supportive and never complained when we had chicken, spinach and sweet potato for the 100th time for dinner. Socially I distanced myself from people who I knew would try and ‘tempt’ me to go off track and spent more time with friends who I knew would help me keep going. It’s easy to stray off track when you are around the wrong people.
2. Ask questions
When I started training, I asked A LOT of questions. I needed to understand not just what I needed to do on the nutrition and exercise front, but the why I needed to and how it all worked. I kept asking questions until I really understood. Knowing the why of what you need to do will help you stay focused - you will not feel the need to rebel or feel like you are being ‘told’.
3. Be patient
If you are looking to lose a lot of weight, be realistic and be patient. It’s likely you didn’t put it all on in the course of a few months, so you can’t expect to lose it all in a very short time - it is healthier to slowly but surely lose it and create long term life style changes rather than approach it as a short term change where you just fall back into bad habits once you have finished.
4. Stay consistent
There is no point being 100% on track for one week, and then fall back to 30% the following week. Set small realistic goals - you can make small changes every single day. They all add up, and it is more manageable to do this. Celebrate the small wins and keep things achievable. This will help you stay consistent which is ultimately what will lead to the weight loss.
5. Don’t quit
It seems obvious, but if you want to reach a goal, the key is to not quit. Things will get hard. There will be days when you don’t want to train, or days when you succumb to eating the burger. That’s a normal part of the process - look at it as an opportunity to learn what you would do differently next time, rather than as an excuse to give up or say ’it’s too hard’. Persevere through the tough times. It is worth it. You will get there.