16. October 2013 20:14
With Bikini Season and the Bottoms Up! 2013 Overhaul around the corner (literally)…I wanted to share with you a photo I found of myself recently from when I was 21. Part of me didn’t want to share it, as sometimes there is pressure to have always been as fit as I am now, and my current body shape. But, I realized this picture could help you know you can change your body shape too. Now, I am in NO way saying I was overweight, but my shape and posture are remarkably different now.
So what did I personally do? Hopefully these points give you some insight to how I got to where I am now… standing tall, happy and proud!
1. I managed my stressors!
I had stress in my life then, and I still have stress in my life now (probably more), but I have learnt the difference between stress and pressure. Stress cracks the rock, but pressure creates diamonds. I now know I will never get to the end of my ‘to do’ list, but that is OK! Stress used to consume a lot of my day, stress about what to eat, what not to eat, exercising, work, family, relationships, money… the list is endless, like my to do list. But these are all elements of life, and once I learnt techniques to view them in a way that was more supportive to my overall happiness and well-being things just got better (including my body shape). I make sure I get ‘alone time’, do regular yoga, walks, lots of green juice and chamomile tea.
2. I got to bed at a reasonable hour! No…not midnight!
Our body is actually designed to rise and fall with the sun. So when I was out in Kings Cross till 1AM every Saturday night in my early 20′s, or staying up late watching Friends (more embarrassing secrets revealed), I was never going to get the body I wanted no matter how much I trained! Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep and quality sleep. Go to bed before 10:30PM, don’t watch TV (or play on your iPhone) or eat dinner too late. I can safely say, if you stay up later than 10:30PM most nights, you are going to have imbalances between your stress hormones (they will be high) and your growth and repair hormones (they will be low), and this will work against you if you’re working to achieve your ideal body shape.
3. I changed how I viewed exercise
This was a BIG one! I learnt that exercise wasn’t about punishing my body, but loving it. Especially once I became a Personal Trainer. Exercise used to be a means to an ends, an activity entirely about trying to ‘get skinny’ and fit in. If I do this many workouts I’ll get ‘skinny’ I’d say to myself as I pumped out 50 minutes on the elliptical trainer day in and day out. Being a trainer, learning to love exercise and realizing it’s about the journey not the destination changed things dramatically for me. Have a good think about what it is you really enjoy doing when it comes to being active. If you aren’t sure, get out there and try different things, Zumba, dancing, kick-boxing, join a run group, a cycling club, something that gets you ENJOYING it!
>4. I set goals…no, ‘get skinny’ was not one of them…
Be specific and get real. If you set healthy, realistic and achievable short and long-term goals, you will always have something to focus on, and more likely to achieve your best shape. Share your goals with people that can support and encourage you, or on the flip side, that will hold you accountable if you aren’t on track. Make sure you have loads of little wins that you can achieve so that you can build momentum, rather than aiming for one big goal.
5. I changed my mind
News flash…what you think will impact on your body shape. Spending time to develop your emotional and mental state and strength will bring you closer to your best body shape. I learnt that no amount of berating myself when I looked in the mirror was going to get me a better body, and no amount of “I should” go to the gym, “I should’’ eat this. Be mindful of your internal dialogue, is it positive and supportive? Or discouraging and detrimental to your goals? Positive affirmations, meditation, journaling are all helpful ways to get your thoughts on the right track.
6. Food staples became treats
Small changes to my diet, that didn’t involve starving myself have had a dramatic impact! Pasta, white potato, white bread, cereal were all weekly staples in my diet. They are a treat now, which I do still indulge in, but they do not feature in my weekly meal plan. I’m never going to be that person who never eats pizza, or who never drinks, but I have learnt you don’t need to do them all together and not on a weekly basis.
7. Meal size changed
My dinners were usually the biggest meal of my day, but now it has reversed. My mid-morning meal is the biggest and they get smaller as the day goes on. Dinner is the lightest of the three, and I avoid starchy carbohydrates and I don’t eat too close to bedtime. Dinner is a small piece of meat/fish/chicken with lots of green veggies.
8. I stopped writing off the whole day if I slipped up
I would eat a Freddo…and it would be a fast downward spiral (translation: binging after the Freddo, thinking I was going to be good again tomorrow). You can work off that Freddo at training, but not the binging that follows. You have a slip up, leave it in the past, and move forward with a green juice, not a piece of cake.
9. I changed my habits
Probably the most important thing I did that you might see in all of the above paragraphs is I changed my habits. Habits are critical because most of the time we’re running on autopilot and it’s tough to change your behaviour when you’re not even conscious of what you’re doing. The way the brain works is if you repeatedly feed it the same trigger, routine and reward your brain will quickly learn it as a habit so you don’t have to spend loads of brain power thinking about everything you do.
The good news is you can change your habits by recognising your triggers and then replacing the routine with something else that gives you the same reward. For example, if you recognise that sitting down in front of the TV is a trigger to want to snack, replace the snack with a tea. Chances are the reward is the nice comforting feeling of chilling on the couch with something to eat or drink and tea is a great substitute.
You can also create new habits by putting in place the right triggers and rewards. For example, getting your exercise gear and shoes out the night before and putting it all next to your bed is a great trigger to get up and exercise. After you exercise, chances are you’ll have plenty of reward with all the endorphins and mental clarity but if you want to amp it up some more you can give yourself a little reward, such as a manicure if you do all your planned sessions in a week. Pretty soon the reward becomes less important because you’ll have formed a new habit.
10. I trained with my friends
One great things about being a personal trainer is you’re constantly surrounded by people who love being fit and healthy. It’s nearly impossible to hang out with people like that and not become fit and healthy yourself. I’m now constantly active not because I’m a PT but because I’ve got plenty of training buddies who convince me to train even when I’m not feeling like it (and I’m always grateful afterwards!).
New Bikini Overhaul Starts Soon!
If you’d like to surround yourself with girls who love being fit and healthy and create some new healthy habits, make sure you sign-up to the BUF Bikini Overhaul which starts Mon 28 Oct! You don’t even need to be in Sydney, so if you can’t or don’t train with BUF you can still participate and receive all the course content including your very own BUF Bikini Bible.
Ok, here are a few more photos… you can really notice the difference in my face!
5. June 2013 08:48
There’s an endless list of nutrition and sports performance supplements on the market and most of them claim pretty miraculous results. If you believe the marketing, you could build muscle, lose fat, improve energy, train harder and run faster, just by popping a few pills.
The problem is, a lot of supplements have never been scientifically proven to actually work, and some can actually harm your body by creating hormonal imbalances and loading you up with artificial sweeteners, colours, preservatives, chemicals and other nasties. [More]
23. May 2013 13:47
A new study from the Netherlands has found that replacing saturated fats in your diet, like those from healthy grass-fed beef, raw organic butter, and other high-quality animal foods, with carbohydrates like bread, bagels, pasta, rice and doughnuts will increase your risk of heart disease. [More]
7. May 2013 17:32
A bloated belly really sucks. It makes you feel crappy and can be pretty painful, even embarrassing for those who really suffer badly from it. Today, we take a look at some of the major bloating culprits in the hope you can reduce discomfort and rock a flat belly more often. Read on, do a little self diagnosis, implement change and reap the benefits! [More]
24. April 2013 10:52
Food, glorious food! Processed meats, yellow cheese, chocolate, chips, cakes, cookies, chocolate, bread, cereals, tinned foods, frozen meals, chocolate, fat free dairy, protein bars, energy drinks, alcohol, chocolate… this list could go forever! Walking into any grocery store these days you could be forgiven for thinking that food grew in plastic packets and came out brighter than your Saturday night underpants. [More]