My fitness journey is something that took me by surprise.
January 2015 I stumbled across Kayla Itsines an Australian fitness guru building her empire via Instagram and gaining momentum fast. I’ve always been thin, but never fit or toned. As a shift worker with unusual hours, sleeping patterns and no real meal time structure I decided to give it a go, and ever since that first leg day, I haven’t looked back.
Watching my body transform has been fascinating. It surprised me how achievable it was, with the right exercise and food, to get the body of my dreams. I never imagined I could have a body comparable to Kayla and her so called “army” but getting tone and definition isn’t an un-reachable goal like many presume. It isn’t something you have to give up everything that’s yummy and fun in the world for either, you just have to have the motivation to stick to a routine.
Delving into the world of healthy eating and fitness has been a huge light bulb moment for me. It is now one of my greatest passions. I remember the “ah-ha!” moment when I started looking at food as fuel, I now don’t understand how diet restriction combined with rigorous workouts ever became a thing. It’s so widely thought to be the “healthy way” but when you start to understand how the human body REALLY works, it just doesn’t make sense! The faster my metabolism got with regular exercise, the more fuel I needed. I now eat double what I used to and even though my weight isn’t all that different I look different because it’s all muscle definition and tone, not fat. I started to really understand the food I was putting into my mouth and learnt what ingredients and meals I needed, and when. Even more interesting was the foods, usually of the processed and sugary variety, that my body started to reject once it was on a healthy and more natural path. It was honestly bizarre, like my body was communicating with me in a much more black and white way. I understand what it needs now, I think the crappy food we get so used to consuming only blurs that line and confuses your stomach, heart and head. There was a moment there when I was still learning, when I could have tipped over the edge into obsession, I have a tendency to do that. But I don’t regret it, because sticking religiously to my new eating plan helped build a structure for the first 24 weeks. From there I was more in tune with my body and could start re-introducing treats and so called “naughty foods” in a more controlled way, because my body no longer craved it. It makes those occasional indulgencies exactly that, a lovely indulgence that I can enjoy and not feel guilty about.
But I think the most surprising thing my fitness journey has done isn’t physical, it’s mental. I have never felt more confident, happy and driven in my life. I have bundles of energy, and I feel alert and ready for anything. Working out is no longer something I need to motivate myself to do, it’s a passion and a happy place. It’s just part of my daily routine. Cooking and eating yummy nutritious meals has become a new love, I love to experiment with new recipes and ingredients. It is 100-per-cent true when they say “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.
For those who don’t think you can, enough. Anyone can! You just have to use a bit of will power, drive and hard work to get through the first few months. From there it comes naturally, you start to see results, you feel healthier and brighter and you’ll never go back. You won’t remember how to, I promise.