As you might’ve seen on Instagram I recently lost 10kg after leaving the Bachelor mansion. I gained 8kg over there due to stress, emotional eating, lack of movement (we were locked down in a house with no phones, TVs, news, basically any connections world outside world and couldn’t leave the house) and just being in the unusual environment under a lot of physiological pressure (not complaining at all, that was totally my choice whether to do that or not)
After coming back home I just felt unmotivated and believe it or not didn’t know where to begin with.
Despite being in a fitness industry for such a long time as well as being a qualified PT with years of experience I just felt lost.
It took me some time to accept and process the fact that I wasn’t as fit as before (it’s actually unbelievable how quickly you lose your fitness level) after a couple of failed attempts to get through my usual training routines. I took a step back and just cause I’ve always fixed myself in life and have been my own therapist, personal trainer and life coach in one be it a unborn child loss, divorce, tackling life as a single mother and staying strong through Leon`s surgeries and health issues... After moments like this you, whether you want it or not, come to realisation that that’s health and family is the only thing that matters BUT you gotta be happy first in order to be able to cater to your loved ones/your family needs. You can’t pour from an empty cup!
So I’ve developed a plan of attack (I’m all about planning even though I’ve only became like that a few years ago). It was a structured workout plan I knew will be easy for me to stick to and also an eating approach I wanted to make my lifestyle and not a temporary diet. I’ll touch on both in more depth below:
Just cause I was too self conscious to go to the gym (my personal insecurities plus also after a couple of comments people knew me before made) I decided that I’ll be fine at home just like I did when Leon was little and I was sometimes exercising at home when I couldn’t take him to the gym with me.
The first two weeks I did some old good basic full body workouts just in order to re-calibrate my body’s movement patterns. Then after in the next 8 weeks I kept doing bodyweight plus added a few of my favourite and most efficient pieces of equipment (TRX, kettlebell, dumbbells)
If your situation sounds familiar to mine you might want to check these programs out - the first is 2 weeks long and completely bodyweight and the second one is 8 weeks and requires minimum equipment (kettlebells, dumbbells, TRX or any other suspension trainer - like this cheap one from Kmart)
You get access to both programs at the same time and can try them for 7 days for free!
I started feeling better after the first two weeks already but as I never believed in the scales I just was going off the way I felt.
After completing those 10 weeks I was not back to normal – I was way better. Why? Because I felt CONFIDENT as ever. Mainly because of the combination of the following factors:
When you put your mindset towards something and stick with it and you know that whatever results you got you deserved them all cause it`s all on YOU.
Your discipline, your actions and your strong desire of a change. I hate when people say – you are all about the looks, you are too thin now you looked way healthier before, you lost your muscle tone, you are this you are that and blah blah blah the list goes on and on.
Listen! It’s all about YOURSELF. If YOU are not happy with yourself just start with the action plan and see what happens if you FOLLOW THROUGH. There is nothing more amazing than being happy with what you see in the mirror, when you know yourself inside out. I keep saying – being confident is not only about the appearance but can you please explain me why there are so many people in the world spending a fortune on trying to fix the way they look? The iconic Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov once said (all the way back in the 18thcentury!) ‘People should be beautiful in every way -- in their faces, in the way they dress, in their thoughts, and in their innermost selves’
So one trait doesn’t make you a wholesome personality. If one is purely fixated on their muscle mass and nothing else that’s one extreme. If another thinks that it’s only the ‘soul’ that matters are not being completely honest with themselves in the first place. But it’s when you are being COMPLETELY honest with yourself and just striving to be a good, kind, happy person that means you are bloody killing it in life.
Okay I can keep going and going on that as my #phylosophicalmode sometimes knows no limits.
After several tough moments in my life I’ve built up a tremendous resilience and the previous reality show experience added the whole new layer on top of that. I didn’t think this life chapter will take such a huge impact and I’m actually super grateful now that it happened as it taught me so many valuable lessons and even made me a different person. Everyone who’s known me for a long time keep saying that I’ve changed dramatically after the Bachelor
I found a balance between life and fitness. Even though I thought I figured that out before I was – again – not completely honest with myself. I used to train like a maniac every single morning and won’t even consider it a workout if I wasn’t lying half conscious in the pond of my own sweat and could barely move after. So now I was actually surprised to discover that you DON’T HAVE TO kill yourself at the gym in order to maintain a body you want. You can exercises more gently, less often and get even BETTER results! Like I`m actually happier with the way my body looks now – and even all the clothes fit better. However I’ve changed my style completely too but that’s another story.
Okay NOW let’s talk about food. I’ve been talking about Intermittent Fasting like a broken record for a long time now and though that for your convenience here I’ll just touch on some frequently asked questions:
What is Intermittent fasting? And isn’t it bad for you to ‘fast’?
Intermittent Fasting (IF) has many protocols I personally follow a 16:8 pattern and it`s basically a 16 hour fast followed by an 8 hour eating period. I do it EVERY DAY. Because as I said earlier I wanted to find something I will be able to make my lifestyle I can benefit from and not suffer as I did with all the temporary diets before. Before you start freaking out I want to clarify: no it’s not bad for your metabolism and survival. In fact, fasting puts your body in a fat burning state (fasting leads to glycogen depletion which results in using our fat as fuel) The other unreal benefits include:
Except for the obvious benefit of fat loss and inflammation reduction there are so many other amazing things that you experience when you follow this eating approach
You think clearer and your mind is sharper
There is no brain fog (that actually was a part of my life for many many years before I started following IF)
It helps with digestion, bloating, makes your skin clearer
Controls your blood sugar
Improves your mood and lowers stress
Slows the aging process
Actually promotes better HGH secretion (if you were going to ask if fasting will break down your muscles)
What can you eat in your eating window?
Essentially you are not changing WHAT you eat but WHEN you eat. Of course if your goal is fat loss you need to stay in caloric deficit and with IF it`s way easier to do so cause you simply don`t have that much time to eat!
It`s less hectic than 'eating 6 times a day ' and juggling all these containers all day and thinking about food the entire time.
The most popular schedule is 11am-7pm and I personally follow 12-8pm as it aligns better with my lifestyle at the moment. When I started I was doing 7am-3pm cause I was going to bed early and life was a bit different. So just figure out what works the best for you!
IF makes your day simpler, you spring out of bed in the morning so much easier plus you can enjoy bigger meals (my favourite ).
What can you drink/eat in a fasting window?
Outside of your eating window you can have water (I love sparkling mineral water during my fast), tea, black coffee. Another thing I do - I add apple cider vinegar or lemon squeeze and some sea salt in my 1L water glass in the morning as the benefits of it are also huge and there are some researches showing that it doesn`t break the fast.
But is it dangerous?
Please see the list of proven benefits above. Plus fasting has been practised by various religious groups for centuries, medical practitioners have also noted the health benefits of fasting for thousands years. It’s not a fad, it’s been around for a long timeand it works! Also look up Yoshinori Ohsumi who won the Nobel prise in 2016 on fasting and it’s tremendous effects on cellular self cleansing process called autophagy – say hello to anti-aging. That’s sensational.
Does it work for everyone?
You don’t have to blindly follow everything other people do. Please think before trying something out! You might not even need it, you might be happy with the current eating style etc. I’d say if you are curious about all the benefits and want to give it a shot – start slow – with 14 hour fast and a 10 hour eating window. Let yourself settle and ease into the new routine. You might feel a bit under the weather for the first 5-7 days but it’s normal cause any change causes the response! But if you are not feeling great after 7-10 days in it’s not the best method for you. So please always keep in mind that we are all different and what works for your friend might now work that well for you!