Five Steps To a Fitter and Healthier You

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I've wanted to write this post for a while now but wanted to make sure I was where I wanted to be in my journey before I shared. This isn't supposed to be preachy or anything just a few little things I've picked up on my way. I'm also not trying to say people that don't subscribe to the diet and exercise thing should. It was my choice and it's a lifestyle that suits me personally. You can take it or leave it but as I'd seen positive changes in myself I wanted to share so without further ado. 


Change your attitude to food. 


Get an app like MyFitnessPal and journal what you eat for a few weeks and see what you think. For me I was shocked at how much I consumed and how many calories and how little nutritional value the foods I ate had. I ate very little fruit and veg and water played almost no part of my diet. Fast forward almost a year and both of those make up around 75% of my diet. 

The one thing I noticed the most was my tendency to eat when I was bored or having a tough day. Food was a comfort for me and recognising and changing that habit has had such a positive effect on me. I now only eat when I'm hungry and my waistline and overall health is thankful for it. 

There is no one line of advice in this department just make healthy swaps where you can, cut down your sugar intake and try to stay away from processed foods. It's simple advice but the best I've followed. It's easy to dish out this advice but my actual transition took time. I'd say don't go cold turkey but gradually wean yourself off these things. 

A golden rule of mine and perhaps the most useful actually relates to shopping. If you don't buy it, you can't have it. So next time you're doing your weekly shop try and avoid buying the naughty foods and fill up on wholesome foods. That way when you want that chocolate bar you're more likely to reach for fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

I think deep down we all know what we should avoid so ignore the little devil on your shoulder and eat yourself healthy.



Move

If weight loss or toning up is your goal you need to get moving. With weight loss this is especially important as this will move your progress along much quicker than diet alone. 

In terms of what I do, I try to attend the gym five times a week. Three days of the week I'll do Kayla Itsines BBG circuits and some cardio and for the rest I will focus on weights and HIIT on the treadmill. 

Kayla's guides are brilliant but I would say that the progress pictures are quite dramatic. I have seen results which is great but I've yet to get rock hard abs from them yet. 

While these kinds of workouts work for me the best advice is to find something that works for you and what you want to achieve. I'm a firm believer that there's something for everyone. Whether you walk in the park or run a marathon it all counts and as long as you're keeping active you're one step closer to your goals. 

One thing I've learnt is not to compete with other people. Your only competition should be yourself. We've all seen those Instagram pictures of the ridiculously toned, gorgeous women. I used to scroll through them every morning and wish I looked like them. I felt inadequate and like a lump quite frankly. I'm far from that but I still critiqued myself pretty brutally because I didn't have a six pack or toned legs. 

I stopped scrolling and started looking at myself and my progress. I've come a long way from where I was and I'm so proud of that. I now can't wait to rock my bikini this summer and it feels good. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is everyone is different and you should only try to be the best version of yourself. Never someone else.


Goals and Rewards

Once your in the gym and eating right it's time to set some goals and get working towards them. Progress is the biggest motivator for me and seeing the changes in the mirror pushes me to work even harder. Whether it's losing weight or squatting 50k set that goal and get working. Take photos or write a journal so you can keep track of your accomplishments. Over time you'll look back at these and see how far you've come and feel so proud you did it. The sky's the limit once you've got the fire in your belly. 

At the beginning my arms were a big concern of mine. They had no tone and I'd look at old pictures and wish I'd done something sooner. Now I can confidently wear a tank top without having to worry about covering my arms or positioning myself so you can't see them. I'm not where I'd like to be ideally but I'm closer than ever before and that feels amazing. 

One of the best things I've done recently is purchase a bikini a size smaller. It's my first Victoria's Secret bikini and I told myself when I bought it I would have the body to pull it off. I try it on every week pretty much and I'll be honest I now look great in it. I can comfortably say I feel sexy wearing it. That's a big thing for me. 

So get those goals set and get going. Summer's just around the corner after all. 

As for rewards I think it's important to gift yourself little things to keep yourself going. Whether it's a new sports bra or a beautiful lipstick everyone deserves a little treat when they're working hard. Well all know the end result will be the biggest reward but that could be a week off or a year off yet so remember to love yourself in the meantime. 

For me there's nothing better than a fresh sports bra to ignite my desire to hit the gym ASAP.

Be Sensible

As much as we might like it, there is no quick fix. Good things come to those who work hard is my motto. You might achieve your goals in a month or a year either way it will be worth it in the end and you'll feel amazing knowing that you did it by yourself the healthy way.

One thing I do not advocate in any way shape or form is extreme calorie cutting. While you might lose weight, you are damaging your body by depriving it of the things it needs to function properly. So while you might be your goal weight you might also find yourself ill at the same time. When your at your goal weight you should feel fantastic not moping in bed because you're lethargic. To avoid this eat well and eat enough. 

For those of you reaching for the weights in the gym also be careful. Don't try for the heaviest weights, instead focus on your form. If you're performing the exercises properly you will see results and you'll minimise the risks of injury. Reaching for that heavy weight with poor form can lead to a whole host of problems so stay safe. If you attend a gym the best way to do this is to engage with a trainer or have an induction. Share with them what you want to achieve and they'll give you a program to work with and show you how to use to equipment you'll need. Better safe than sorry. 

Have Fun

If you don't enjoy what you're doing you'll struggle to do what you have to do. If you're hitting up the gym create an amazing playlist to keep you going. Grab a friend and workout together, you can chase those goals and catch up all in one. Whatever puts a smile on your face and keeps you going is what you should do. It will be something different for everyone. 

If you're struggling in the kitchen there are some amazing recipe books out there chocka with healthy eats and treats. If books aren't your thing then get on Google and get on the blogs. Food wise I've found it's all about trial and error. Some things you might like, others not so much but never give up as there will be something.


And those are my tips I guess take from them what you will. Just a small note though, everyone's beautiful in their own way and I don't encourage everyone to aspire to the same ideal. You do what makes you feel beautiful and powerful when you look in the mirror because no one can take that feeling away from you.


I hope this has been helpful to someone and I can't wait to finally start sharing some fitness bits on my blog now. In the meantime feel free to share your stories, tips and tricks down below.

Kirstie x


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