A month ago, I was in the worst shape of my life, I was spending most of my time either in front of my computer or on my couch, binging on junk food in between every meeting, and hardly getting any exercise.
When I looked in the mirror, I did not look my best, and I would’ve liked my clothes to fit better. My bad habits were also affecting my mental and emotional health. It felt impossible to get out of bed. I was always in a cranky mood, and I was suffering from headaches and brain fog. Clearly, something needed to change, but I didn’t know where to start.
I talked to a few of my health buff friends and asked for some tips. They advised me to take it one day at a time but to make changes to my exercise, diet, and sleep routine. Immediately, I made my way to Royal, where I was able to shop for ingredients to prepare healthy meals, and even nab some neat exercise equipment!
Everyone has their own unique health and fitness goals, so everyone’s journey will look different. No matter how you approach it, I know that you have it in you and can do it!
Here is what I did to reach my goal of becoming a better version of myself.
I am not the most athletic person, so I was nervous about getting into a fitness plan at first. A friend told me that I didn’t need to force myself to do a ton of cardio or lift the heaviest weights, at least in the beginning! All I had to do was start walking more. Once he said this, the whole idea of exercising became less intimidating. I just needed to make time in my schedule to do it every day.
I started waking up earlier, so I could go on a 30-minute walk before work. There were days that I still would have preferred to stay in bed, but I motivated myself by downloading interesting podcasts and audiobooks. I got so addicted to listening to them that it became a cinch to work out longer! As I became fitter, I started to incorporate more cardio into my routine. I purchased a jump rope as a fun and effortless way to end my every day routine.
After making a consistent habit of walking around for two weeks, the same friend suggested I join a fitness program.
I wanted something low impact, so I chose to take a swimming class. Armed with my new Intex Silicone Swim Cap and one-piece bathing suit, I enrolled in swimming classes. Swimming is not as hard on your knees as running, but it is still an excellent exercise that works out every part of your body! The next day I couldn’t move a muscle! I started going once a week, then by the end of the month, I was going two to three times a week. Combined with my every day, one- hour walk, I lost some inches around my waist and became more toned overall.
Other awesome workout product and sporting goods I recommend are the Elite Pro Vinyl Kettlebells 5lbs and the Elite Deluxe Vinyl Dumbbells 10lbs.
All that exercise wouldn’t have had an impact without making changes to my diet. I downloaded a food-tracking app where I could log what I ate daily (you can use Lose It or My Fitness Pal). At first, I wasn’t too strict about following the prescribed number of calories. I thought it was more important to faithfully log whatever I ate, and not forget or omit anything. That way, I would be able to see the real impact my eating habits have on my body composition. Some people like to do intermittent fasting and skip breakfast. That didn’t suit me (I love breakfast!), so I reallocated my calorie allowance by avoiding dessert and eating smaller portions of what I usually ate.
What I learned is that to lose weight, you don’t have to follow a specific diet. It is great to try keto diet or go sugar-free for health reasons, but any diet will work if you are in a calorie deficit. Of course, it’s not only the quantity of your calorie intake that matters, but also the quality.
I started incorporating healthier choices into my every day meals such as avocados, and salmon. I would still treat myself to a bite of dark chocolate such as Guylian Belgian Choco Premium Dark now and then, and I started eating more fruit. Red meat and pork were switched out for chicken, fish, and seafood.
Though I loved my white rice, I learned how to appreciate brown rice and quinoa. And of course, I had to start learning to love vegetables! I especially like eating edamame and bean sprouts. When dieting, I try not to think about needing to change the body that I have. It was more about wanting to eat well and get into better shape so I could be my healthiest self, possible. I also felt stronger, well-rested, less bloated, and happier. Weight Loss was just an added benefit on top of many other health benefits.
Lastly, the third and most important part of the equation was to get enough sleep! I made sure to wake up and fall asleep at the same time every day and night, and to get at least 8 hours of sleep. I found that the best thing to put me to sleep was a hot bath using a soothing, bubble bath soap. My ultimate favorite was Dr. Wood Castile Lavender Soap!