New Year is a time many people reflect on themselves and how they can be fitter, slimmer, tighter, faster, healthier, better! We compare ourselves to those around us and online – eagerly pouring over the lives of smug fitness professionals and celebrities who paint their perfect lifestyle alongside their perfect abs.
Of course we are aware that camera angles, filters, private chefs and nannies all help but we still feel inadequate and a million miles away from celebrating our reflection or achievement in the gym and declare “It’s time to take action!” . The holiday / wedding / big birthday goal is in place and the months until that day are there for the taking…
Next begins a new ‘regime’ of diet and or exercise that “so and so followed and look at them now”. Bring on the strict food intake, the gruelling exercise sessions, the alcohol ban.
We start off well – a big supermarket shop, new gym kit, even daily scheduled workouts in our diary. Ten days in we are grumpy, exhausted and starving – and the results are nowhere near worth those efforts! This is because the lifestyle choices we tried to adopt were too much too soon and not SUSTAINABLE.
I take the opposite approach myself and with my clients. I lead by example and many people are curious as to what and how I do it.
The reason I stay happy, healthy and in shape is that I am consistent in my actions and my lifestyle choices all the year round. I lead this balanced life:
- I exercise 5 days a week and have 2 rest days
- My exercise schedule is varied in order to work my body in lots of different ways. Each week I include:
- Resistance and Strength training : body weight, fixed weights and machines
- Cardio training: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and LISS (Low intensity steady state eg. Power walking)
- Flexibility work: yoga and stretching
- I enjoy moving in many different ways and that’s why I keep doing it. Occasionally I really can’t be bothered and so I don’t bother!
- I like to exercise on a morning and eat after – this is when my energy levels are at their highest but if my diary doesn’t allow I squeeze it in where I can.
- I drink 2-3 litres of water and 2 cups of tea each day. I have 2 strong coffees and 5 alcoholic drinks per week.
- I eat 3 – 4 small meals per day and all of these are balanced with protein / carbohydrates and good fats. I love breakfast and typically this is 2 poached eggs, oats and fresh fruit. An example of another meal may be a chicken breast 3 tbsp basmati rice and 3 tbsp green vegetables. I also grab 2 pieces of fruit each day and often a bite of chocolate with my night time cup of tea!
- When I eat out I try to choose healthy options but will definitely have whatever I feel like at the time – no restrictions.
- When I go on holiday I may have more treats but I am still active each day – a morning run in the sun.
- I go to bed early as I rise early – 7 hours sleep is wonderful.
- I spend most of my day with people and so every couple of days I like to take time out on my own to be quiet – without music or TV – and usually outdoors in nature.
- I have a real passion for learning and I am constantly moving forwards. I take inspiration from the books I read, the people I talk to, the places I visit and the things I experience. I spend next to no time looking at the lives of other people in the fitness world – I work on my own instinct and knowledge of myself and those I train.
- I continue with these principles all the year round and it works for me!
My clients are also testimony to this. We are real people with real lives, families and pressures. We have times our bodies need to perform, times to dress up, times to dress down and throughout all of these times we feel increasingly, and consistently confident in our own skin.
I can help you to find your way.