I would like to share one thing which is always on my mind and I spend a lot of time thinking about and working on. Healthy living and losing weight.
I am very good in giving advise and helping people to lose weight or change their diet and healthy lifestyle But when it comes to myself, I am hopeless Don't get me wrong, I do eat healthy and am active, but there are so many things that keep me from my "dream" body.
|This is the body I thought I wanted to have|
Looking at this picture now makes me think, do I really wanted to look like this? I mean it looks really nice and lean/toned but also like a lot of hard work and I don't want to give up my whole life to look like this. Maybe I am wrong and I would not have to give up my whole life for this, but probably most of it. Also, my body frame is not made for a body like this. Plus, I really like having boobs and I think that training to be like this, I will also not have them any more. Is all this dieting and pushing yourself to the limit really worth it?
I wish I would be a professional sports person, like volleyball player or runner, sprinter,... but I am not. I work in an office 40 hours a week and in my spare time I am teaching group exercise classes, taking part in classes myself, working on boosting my fitness business and trying to see my friends. If I really wanted to work on a body like that, I am not sure when I would find the time to sleep.
When I was at my heaviest, I was really really unhappy and embarrassed to show my body. All the weight I have gained went straight to my belly and arms, and these are the areas I am most sensible about now. But I guess everyone has this one part of their body, they feel like everyone looks at. I felt really unfit at that point and didn't have the motivation and knowledge to change anything, but I knew I had to in order to lift my mood.
So I joined Weight Watchers®. Through them I realised how important it actually is to eat a smaller portion and how many calories certain types of food have. It did help me a lot and made me a lot more confident. I also started running during that time. And to be honest I didn't even realise how quickly I lost all that weight. And after I stopped training for a marathon I gained a bit of weight again and my body shape changed. But I know how to keep it under control now. It seems to be a constant battle. But also it's a big learning curve. I learnt a lot through those years, and really want to share all that with you and maybe I can change a bit of your life!?
I envy people who do have a super hot skinny body. They can eat what they want and don't have to worry about putting on any weight. But that doesn't mean they are necessary healthy. Being able to binge eat and drink and not having to worry about fruit and veg, doesn't make you healthy. They area just lucky to have a great metabolism and amazing genes :-)
I prefer being healthy, and curvy but toned, then unfit and unhealthy. I must say, I hardly ever got ill when I did all my training for the marathon.
|Hiding my belly well.|
I am not a size 6 or 8 and most probably never will be, but I have a great stamina, strong core and a strong mind which got me through the marathon.
But enough about me, here are a few tips which I believe in and which can make your life healthier and maybe even lose a few pounds. These are a few things which helped and still help me.
First thing you should do is think about what you want to do, set yourself a realistic goal. Think about what you want to change about your body.
1) In order to improve your health it is advised that you do any sort of rhythmic movements of your major muscle groups 5-7 days a week for 30 mins accumulated during the day - meaning, taking the stairs instead of the lift or walking instead of taking the bus or car. Anything really which gets you a bit out of breath and a maybe a little bit sweaty, like when you have to run for the bus. Doing this doesn't cost a lot or takes up a lot of your time and can already make a huge difference.
2) Drink water instead of fruit juices or fizzy drink. If you want flavour as water is boring, add some fresh lemon or orange juice (home-made).
3) Keep a food diary for a week, writing down everything you eat, even if it's a mint or chewing gum. Also water, juices and coffee and tea. This helps you to figure out what you might be doing wrong or what you're eating too much off and maybe also how many calories you're eating. Be honest with it, you're only lying to yourself if you leave things out.
4) Reduce your salt intake. You only need about 6 gramms per day. I admit, this is one of the hardest things to change. And I am sure I still have too much salt in my diet. But a good tip is, stop snacking on crisps, try not to eat ready meals and don't add too much salt when you cook. Use other spices which can also add flavour to your food but are healthier for you. I love black pepper and a bit of curry powder or even chilli powder.
Read more on salt here.
5) Try to not eat any carbs for dinner. Also no potatoes. I try to eat eggs (doesn't matter how), baked beans, salad with chicken bits, tomatoes, olives and whatever I have at home at that time. This is really the biggest change I made and it made a great difference to my well-being even. If you think you'll then be too hungry in the morning, well at the beginning I was but you get used to it. I really must say I feel happier and healthier since I do that. But I don't manage to do it every night. Sometimes I do fancy a bit of past, well so I'll just cook some for myself and then the next day I might eat rice or even past again for lunch but then for dinner it's back to my salad. It's not boring at all once you know what you're can eat and cook. There is so much you can do without adding carbs. I will get some of my most favourite foods recipes and put them up soon.
|Scrambled eggs with baked beans, baby beet root, gherkins and a side salad.|
( I did not manage to eat all that unfortunately)
6) Reduce your intake of cheese and butter. This is also not very easy for me as I LOVE cheese and I used to put butter on everything, I just hate dry food. It does help lose weight though. I tried this when I did weight watchers. I really think that this was the biggest change I made at that time.
7) It's important to eat vitamins and minerals every day, they are important in so many ways and are essential for metabolic process. I am not very good at that myself. But I do try to eat some sort of fruit whenever I can or think about it. I prefer vegetable to fruits though to be honest, but sometimes you need to cook them first in order for them to taste better. But I also eat my veggies raw. If I have too many carrots I make myself a juice. I know it has a lot of natural sugar, but it's still better then a bought juice. I also love celery and actually do grave it when I haven't had it for a while. It's really about what you like to eat and how.
8) Eat breakfast!!! It is really important and it can help you loose weight. I keep reading about it and I am and was always a fan of breakfast. I can't eat it first thing in the morning either but as soon as I get to work I make myself some yoghurt with muesli, a fresh fruit and some honey and that keeps me going and gets my metabolism started. Ideally I might should eat it earlier before I leave the house but I just don't have enough time. Try it, please!
9) Cut down on alcohol. I had a time when I drank a glass (or more) of wine almost every night in the evening with my dinner (together with my friend). I did put on weight during that time and as always it went straight to my belly and arms. And even though I worked out a lot it didn't help. The drinking made my belly very wobbly and I felt embarrassed during teaching my classes,wanting to set a good example but having a drink a day. Now I don't drink during the week at all and sometimes not even on the weekend. I feel much much better and my belly even shrank a bit. Of course I will still sometimes enjoy a glass of wine when I have dinner with my friends or drink when I go out, but I won't be doing it on a regular basis any more.
10) Enjoy your life and don't worry so much about your weight all the time. Don't step on the scales every day. I haven't been on one since my weight watchers days. It makes me depressed. I go with the cloth theory. If the jeans get tight, I know what's happening. Scales depress me and since I am more active I do have more muscle mass and as we all know this weighs more than fat.
The most important thing is DON'T EVER STARVE YOURSELF.
I am not obsessed with healthy food or really strict with my diet but I am trying to be as good as possible as I know I feel happier when I am slimmer.
I could talk about this all day, but I guess I better stop now and keep more stories for another time.
Losing weight should really come from changing your lifestyle for good. It does not help if you just do it for the 2 month before your holiday and then forget about it again. It is hard to get into it again after a holiday, but it's really very worth it and you'll benefit from a healthier lifestyle in the long run.
What do you do to keep fit, keep your weight or lose weight. Have you got any other tips for us?