What prompted you to start your fitness journey was there a particular moment, realisation or goal you had in mind?
I wanted to gain strength and tone up so that I could feel confident, strong and increase my energy levels. I didn’t feel comfortable or confident about my body. I classified myself as ‘skinny-fat’ and I was always tired and injuring my back completing the most simple of household tasks.
What other changes did you initially make to your eating habits?
I saw a nutritionist who assisted me to pin-point what changes I needed to make. I started by increasing my daily water and fibre intake. I then began to include a source of natural protein within each snack and meal. This helped to sustain my energy levels and extinguish my sugar cravings between each meal. Overall, I was eating more regularly and making healthier choices.
What other changes did you initially make to your exercise habits?
I was introduced to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and started training using weights through Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide Program (BBG). This helped me tone up and build muscle. Prior to using this program my exercise regime consisted of pilates reformer classes and cardio, such as running, walking etc.
How did your fitness progress?
I essentially lost weight, before slowly building muscles. My shape has changed quite drastically, but it has been quite steady and sustained progress. My waist is much more toned, my posture has improved and my arms and legs are more defined.
What changes made the most difference?
It was a mixture of eating a healthy and balanced diet and incorporating regular exercise into my regime. However, it was the HIIT and weights that really helped me to tone and build muscle.
How did you feel during the process?
It was difficult at first because I was tired and my muscles were constantly sore, but once I created a routine and started stretching regularly, the muscle soreness became manageable and I started to appreciate the endorphin rush and muscle gains, especially because my overall shape was slowly changing.
What helped to keep you motivated?
A combination of a few things; but setting goals has always played a huge part in keeping me focused and motivated. At one point, I was ‘shredding for my wedding’. Another goal I had was to sign up for a full-Tough Mudder, which I completed over the weekend and now I am working towards re-defining my abs before Christmas. I also think it is important to make exercise fun. Finding exercises that I have been able to enjoy has helped the longevity of my lifestyles changes. But, above everything, making physical activity part of my daily routine has been paramount in staying focused because I believe it’s impossible to always be motivated, so it’s important to learn to be disciplined. I have a realistic weekly training schedule and that I can stick to a very high majority of the time.
What would a day on a plate look like for you now?
I meal-prep my breakfast, snacks and lunches during the week, which I share on my Instagram page.
An average day for me, would look something like this:
Breakfast – an overnight oats combination, which always includes, oats, fruit and a source of protein.
Morning snack – usually a tub of high protein, low sugar yoghurt and a piece of fruit.
Lunch – I try to ensure my lunches are full of colourful vegetables, protein and source of low GI carbohydrates. This week I have meal prepped marinated BBQ chicken, tabouli and hummus. Last week I made low-carb eggplant lasagna with a tomato and rocket salad.
Afternoon snack – protein bar or shake.
Dinner – Grilled salmon and wild rice with steamed greens
I consciously choose not to count calories because I know it would be terrible for my mental health and I don’t want to be fixated or obsessed with numbers of any sort. It’s possible to learn how to make balanced and healthy food choices without counting calories and still achieve your goals.
What is your current exercise routine?
A combination of Kayla’s new BBG stronger program, found on the Sweat App and F45 HIIT training.
How has your attitude towards the scales changed?
I’ve stopped defining my worth by my weight. I weigh more now than I ever have in my entire life and I also look and feel much better about myself. I judge my progress by the way that I fit into my clothing and the way that I feel.
What advice would you give to others wanting to do the same?
Stop weighing yourself immediately. Set small realistic goals. Create a routine and don’t stop trying until you’re proud of yourself. Perseverance and balance are key.