Wednesday, 14 January 2015

'NEW YEAR, NEW ME' 2015

Can you believe that we're halfway through January already?  It seems like only yesterday it was Christmas and I was scoffing my face with loads of chocolate and watching Christmas movies being a lazy cow.  Throughout December I didn't do any form of exercise and I ate what I wanted... I was in Mexico for two weeks which included lot's of cocktails (Pina Coladas were my fave) and eating lot's of bad food everyday (Who eats salads on holiday?  I was enjoying myself!),  we did do a bit of walking but I was so out of breath all the time.  After Mexico, I continued to be lazy and eat rubbish over Christmas up until New Year... I was shocked to find that jogging up my stairs was making me so out of breath and I was constantly feeling sluggish.  But before I went to Mexico I had a personal trainer who I went to once a week and went to the gym 3-4 times a week, I was very fit and I loved seeing my body improve each week and knowing how much body fat I was losing... It's crazy how 4 weeks of no training and having a bad diet can make such a big difference to your overall health in such a short space of time.  Although I didn't put any weight on, I just noticed how unfit I'd gotten and was feeling so tired and drained... it's not always about the numbers on the scales guys!

 Fast forward to 2015 and I'm back on track (THANK GOD!) I've joined a bootcamp which is for 6 weeks, you attend two sessions per week (Tuesdays and Thursdays to be precise), you get weighed and measured before you start then again on the last session to see how far you've come, it's called The Six Week Challenge and it's bloody amazing!  I'm only on my second week but I really enjoy it, yes it's hard work but no pain no gain right?  I also go to the local gym to do Bodypump and Spinning classes which are so effective and I enjoy doing them both.  When you enjoy something you should keep doing it, I also do the odd Kettlebell class too but tend to choose Bodypump more as it gives me a better overall body workout.  I use the actual gym every now and again but tend to just stick to the classes because I find that you push yourself harder if you're doing the same with other people and if you stop you feel rubbish because everyone else is still moving... it's so motivating!  

I know that I'm no expert in fitness or nutrition but this post is just to help motivate others, give some useful tips and advice from what I've learnt myself, through personal trainers I've trained with or just from research... 

DETOX WATER
I find it important to give your body a good detox and I think the beginning of a new year is a great time to do it.  I found this detox water recipe online and also noticed a few YouTube fitness gurus rave about it, it's so easy to make and it helps cleanse your body.  All you need is a jug or something quite large to get quite a few glasses out of, fresh water, cucumber, mint and lime.  Chop the cucumber and lime into slices, add them to the water, add the mint, give it a good stir then place it the fridge overnight to let the water soak up the ingredients and get nice and cold.  The following day, drink the detox water throughout the day but I'll warn you now it does make you pee like crazy!!!  Make sure you drink normal water too as you lose a lot water from all the peeing. 
Cucumber - prevents water retention and also has many anti-inflammatory properties.
Lemon - provides the cleansing effect of citric acid to help clear out the digestive system.
Mint - helps the body digest more easily and soothes any stomach cramps you may have.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
After trying so many fad diets and going to extremes to lose weight, I've found that eating 3 clean meals per day helps me drop pounds and beat the bloat better than anything.  Clean eating isn't easy to start with but it gives you plenty of energy, boosts weight loss and stops you feeling bloated.  It's also the small simple changes that can help make a big impact on weight loss such as cutting out that weekly takeaway, avoiding the vending machine at work, cooking with coconut oil instead of olive oil, using sweeteners instead of sugar in your morning coffee and millions of other things.  I find that eating a large but healthy breakfast sets you up for the day and keeps you full until lunch time, it also stops me from snacking and raiding the fridge late at night.  I've tried shake diets, the special K diet, diet pills, you name it I've pretty much done it... it's all down to common sense so eat clean and get lean!!

SMOOTHIES FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Smoothies are so easy to make and you can literally use any ingredients (healthy of course!) to create the perfect smoothie.  I use my amazing Breville Blend Active to make mine and it cost me £20 from Argos which is a total bargain.  I mainly use water or almond milk with some ice to make my smoothies cold and tasty...

FITNESS CLOTHING
You don't have to spend a fortune on fitness gear because there's plenty of shops that sell full ranges and supermarkets have also got on the fitness bandwagon recently.  Primark have a huge range of fitness gear and their prices are unbeatable... their leggings are amazing quality, I own a couple which have lasted me 2 years and are still going strong.  I like their sports bras too as they are decent quality and very cheap and I always buy their trainer socks.  
Make sure you get a good pair of trainers, I think Nike are probably one of the best brands to buy.  I just bought these new Air Max Thea's in the sale after Christmas for £50 which isn't exactly cheap but it's better than paying full price (£85!) and I must say they're the most comfiest trainers I've worn, it feels like I'm walking on air!
Gloves are fantastic for weight training as they give you more grip helping you lift that little bit heavier.  I know Primark have started selling them but I got mine from SportsDirect really cheap and they are brilliant for using Kettlebells with.


SETTING GOALS
Setting realistic goals that is... everyone is different, not everyone is fit, not everyone has a fast metabolism and not everyone looks like a Victoria's Secret supermodel.  It's important to know your own body, what body shape are you?  How often do you workout?  Can you do 20 push ups without struggling? ... you need to be realistic and that's how you will achieve your goal quicker and easier.  For example:  If your goal is to lose 4 stone, take mini steps and create smaller goals which are easier to reach.  Start with 1 stone, once you reach that goal create your second goal which will be 2 stone, once you reach that, create your final goal which is the last stone... in total you've lost your 4 stone.  Easier said than done right?  not if you're motivated and stay positive, anything is possible.

OTHER TIPS
Walking - get your cardio done with some fresh air.  Instead of driving to your friends house, walk!  Get off the bus 1 or 2 stops earlier.  Use the stairs instead of lifts.  Simple things like walking will soon bring up your fitness levels.

Take pictures and measurements etc. - take before pictures, take pictures every 8-12 weeks to notice any difference, take measurements, write down your weight loss goals, keep a food diary to track what you're eating and make sure you're drinking plenty of water.  Pictures are a huge help when it comes to losing weight because a picture never lies... it's best to do it every 8-12 weeks so you can see how far you've come and check to see what you need to work on more.  It's not about the numbers on the scales it's about your measurements which is why it's important to measure yourself.

Subscribe to YouTube workout channels - there's plenty of YouTube videos online and I've subscribed to quite a few, I highly recommend subscribing to the following:  Xhit DailyTone it UpBlogilatesCarly RowenaThe Lean Machines and Body Rock just to name a few.

Get a decent gym buddy - don't pick someone who slacks easily or has a busy schedule.  It's great having a gym buddy to help motivate you and keep you going because there will be days when you feel too tired to go to the gym, simple things like a text from your gym buddy asking if you fancy the gym just boosts your motivation because you don't want to let them down.  Go for it, trust me you'll feel better once you've finished the workout

Invest in your health - yes it's expensive but it's worth it in the long run.  Healthy food shopping is quite expensive but so is buying takeaways and going for meals which are loaded with extra calories.  Plan your meals ahead of time and write a shopping list, that way you won't be putting extras into your trolley and spending more than you intend.  Gym memberships can be expensive too but you can also find some good deals if you look around, try to pick to a gym close to your home or work place then you'll be more likely to go as it will be more accessible.

Buy some home fitness equipment - you can purchase fitness equipment from plenty of places nowadays and I suggest you start by getting the basics... some dumbells - preferably 3kg to start off with.  Get some decent skipping ropes and also a matt if you have hard flooring in your home.  You can buy these from anywhere (Argos, Tesco, Asda, Sports shops etc) and they are very effective and easy to store away.

Don't be afraid to use a towel - I've noticed quite a lot of people are afraid to break a sweat in the gym which I find strange.  I also see the odd female wearing full face makeup which is pointless... if you're going to the gym then you may as well train hard and make the most of it!  I always take a towel with me to wipe away any sweat and clean down the machines, I hardly ever see anyone else with a towel or breaking a sweat.  If you're too bothered about what people think of you or how you look then why bother paying for a gym membership?  I find breaking a sweat helps me feel like I've worked hard and I look forward to having a nice hot bath afterwards to relax my muscles.  Primark sell these handy little gym towels for around £3, I must own about 4 and I love the cute colours they have.

Create a playlist - creating a playlist of your fave songs for your iPod or phone can really get you in the mood to workout better especially if you're running or going for a power walk... you can also buy workout CD's now full of upbeat music which is a good idea.

Download apps - there's so many apps out there which will help you with fitness, nutrition or both.  I love the '30 Day Ab Challenge' app and I know a lot of people who use 'My Fitness Pal' to track their progress, there's something for everyone.

Workout DVD's - if you're not ready to join a gym or just prefer having privacy then workout DVD's are a great idea.  I love the Jillian Michaels DVD's the most, she's such an inspirational woman and she really pushes you in her workouts.  Plenty of people rave about the Davina DVD's too but I've never tried them so can't comment... anything that gets your heart rate pumping and makes you get up off the couch is a brilliant start to your fitness journey, you'll soon build up the confidence to join a gym!


So that was my New Year, New Me fitness and nutrition post... I hope you all enjoyed it and got some tips :)  Let me know if you have any tips of your own and share them in the comments!
Becky x


5 comments:

  1. Love the Nikes, got myself some coconut oil too! xx

    Suki and the City

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    1. thanks they are sooo comfy! ... I don't use anything else but coconut oil now xx

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  2. Love this blog post!!! :) Great job xx

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    Replies
    1. glad you like it, thanks for reading :) xx

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  3. I definitely want to get into flavouring my water! I drink it because I know I have to but I'd love a citrus zinger or something to spice things up :) xx

    Magpie Jasmine || Palette Giveaway: Urban Decay, Nars, Charlotte Tilbury, Too Faced

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I appreciate all comments :)

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