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The 5-ish Year Plan

I’m back!

I’ve been saying that I’ll write this post for ages now. But I’m finally doing it! The truth is uni has been pretty hectic over the past month. I’ve had deadline after deadline, one a week. And to say I’ve been stressed would be an understatement. Sadly, as a result, my fitness and diet took a bit of a back seat.

I am definitely a comfort eater and so I ate a lot of rubbish, my go-to being a Tesco meal deal and a huge bag of frazzles, all to myself.  The gym became less of a priority too as I was up all night writing essays then sleeping for most of the day. This left me without the time or motivation to get in a workout. So it’s safe to say that my weight loss took a bit of a pause. Weirdly I didn’t actually put much weight on, which just goes to show I guess, that the myth that eating badly for a bit will set you back to square one, is a load of rubbish. If you eat well and workout the majority of the time, your body will become used to this, so having a bit of time off will not make you immediately put the pounds back on. Sure it will probably make you bloat up again for a bit because of the extra sugar you’ve been consuming, but when you go back to eating healthily again, this should quickly return to normal.

Anyway, now that I’m on Easter break and have no immediate deadlines, my days are a bit more my own. I am not as stressed, so have stopped with the comfort eating and resumed trying to be as healthy as I can. In order to try and reboot my metabolism and return my eating to normal, I decided to look into a couple of ‘fad’ type diet tips. Now, I’m completely against these fad diets as a long-term way to lose weight, because they don’t work as a sustainable lifestyle. But I was curious to see if any of them could help me in the short-term to adjust my eating habits back to how they’d been before my month-long binge. I also wanted to see if they could speed up the process of reducing the bloat I’d built up during this period.

I stumbled across an article on facebook, written by a girl who had tried Beyonce’s ‘lemonade diet’. This involves only drinking a concoction of water mixed with lemon juice, honey, and cayenne pepper.  Like me, this girl didn’t want to use this as a long-term solution for weight loss. She’d been on holiday and ‘over-indulged’ (no such thing on holiday!), causing her to bloat up around her middle. She tried the diet for three days, with the hope of getting her tummy back to how it had been before the holiday. For her, it really seemed to work! So I thought I’d give it a go, with a bit of variation anyway. I didn’t have any cayenne pepper so instead, I used turmeric (a spice claimed to have amazing health benefits by many). I also didn’t completely abstain from eating for those three days, but I didn’t eat until around 7pm, when I had my evening meal. Instead, I drank the ‘lemonade; throughout the day. I found that with drinking the lemonade I didn’t feel as hungry as I thought I would. I even managed to go to the gym and do fasted workouts, something that used to leave me feeling sick and lightheaded. I feel like whilst the lemonade diet is definitely not something you should adopt as a long-term diet plan, it really did work for me in the short-term. It reduced my tummy bloat and got my food consumption back to a more normal level after I’d completed it.

With regards to my return to the gym, I’m really trying to push myself now. I’m inspired by fitness women like Emily Skye and Kayla Itsines, who like to incorporate weights into their workouts. Emily especially, makes a point of dispelling the myth that lifting weights make women bulky. As she says, weights are actually one of the most effective ways of burning fat and slimming down. This is because in the hours after a weight session your body is continuing to burn calories as it repairs itself. Weights are great for toning up and building definition, not bulk! They aren’t going to turn you into the hulk! (haha rhyming). These days I like to start off with a short but intense burst of cardio. The cross trainer is my new favourite cardio machine. I put my headphones on and really push myself for the duration of a few songs. As long as by the end of it there is sweat running off of me, I know I’ve done all the cardio I need to. I then hit the weights.

I am going to do a post later on, dedicated to the sort of weights I do, as well as the other things I get up to in the gym. I just wanted to do this post to catch you up on what I’ve been up to since I last posted! X

The belly battle!

Sorry that this post has been a while coming, I’ve been so busy with uni work and the gym that I keep forgetting to actually sit down and update you on what’s been going on.

Basically I have rediscovered my love for hitting the gym. I actually enjoy going  because it makes me feel good. When I was suffering with depression the gym was escapism for me, it was the only time I felt like my mind got a little bit clearer. When I met James and my depression got better, I didn’t need the gym anymore. In every sense of the word I got ‘content’. Don’t get me wrong I am so happy that I did because I honestly thought I was going to feel that low for the rest of my life, I didn’t believe it would get any better. But I did start to notice the physical effects of being content. I had stopped going to the gym and being with someone new and spending so much time together I picked up on their eating habits. Now, James has a super quick metabolism- that boy can eat what he wants and not gain any weight. Sadly I cannot say the same for me. Looking back at pictures from just before we met it’s obvious that I have put on weight.

But in the new year James signed up to the gym with me and not long after so did his housemate Ewan did too. Since then we’ve kind of become the gym team. We go every day except on our scheduled rest days (which sometimes I skip if I feel like it). The boys have a schedule of what areas to work on each day (e.g chest and tri’s, back and bi’s, etc) but I usually just do whatever I feel, occasionally joining in with them if I’m stuck for ideas. And I have started to notice the difference, my arms are more toned and my fitness has improved. The only thing that hasn’t seemed to have improved- which is my biggest insecurity and dislike about myself- is my stomach. My waist is actually pretty small but my belly always looks like it’s bloated, no matter what I eat or do in the gym. I thought that going to the gym and burning fat would reduce it but it still doesn’t seem to be going.

I even tried following this diet that Ewan was on. It involved completely reducing down carbs- cutting bread, pasta, even vegetables that contain too much sugar (yeah even the healthier kind had to go)- and increasing fat intake. The idea behind it being that if you cut the sugar, your body will lose water weight and instead of burning sugar in the gym, you will be burning your stored fat. And it did seem to be working… I even lost 4lbs (see pictures below)

Before going sugar-free:

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and after:

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I was amazed- this took under a week! But there were so many things that I couldn’t eat. Even the healthier options I used to eat when I first started, like salads with tomato and onion (apparently both of these actually contain quite a bit of sugar). And it was frustrating. Did I also mention that after you cut sugar you go through something called the ketogenic flu? This is basically sugar withdrawal and you literally feel awful, I felt constantly tired and sick.

It got to the point where I was literally craving sugar so much, and I got annoyed with having to be so strict with the vegetables I could eat, so I gave up trying to cut out the carbs completely. And yes I did put some weight back on, but only 2lb >>

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I’ve decided that as long as I keep an eye on my sugar intake and try and eat healthily, as much as I can, whilst sticking to my gym routine, I should see results. These results may be slower than if I was sugar-free but that’s a price I’m willing to pay (especially if it means I can have the occasional chocolate bar!).

I will do a post soon about the sort of things I do at the gym, but for now, I will leave you with a picture highlighting my problem area (my darn belly) and hopefully next time you see a picture you will be able to see some difference! (I’m the one in the red dress)

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Engaged

Hi I’m Lauren, I’m the girl in the pictures at the top of this blog 🙂 This is the first post and the start of my journey. Which I know sounds really cliché and I’m really sorry about that…but it’s kind of true. Some of you may know that this is not my first attempt at keeping a blog… I’ve failed twice before! They always start off okay, but then I just end up forgetting about them and don’t update them. Which I’m aware isn’t exactly enticing you to subscribe… but here’s why this one will be different…

A couple of days ago I got engaged! wooo! Now this wasn’t your standard engagement, it was more of a mutual decision :L I told my boyfriend James (the beautiful guy in the pictures at the top of this blog) a couple of months back that I really wanted to get engaged, because I thought we’d sort of reached and broken the parameters of the label boyfriend and girlfriend. We talk about our future all the time, we live together right now and we basically share money. Calling him my boyfriend just didn’t feel like it was enough… because I knew that he was undoubtedly the man I wanted to spend my life with.

So I asked him what he would say if I asked him to marry me and he told me he would say yes. So he basically knew that sometime soon I was going to ask. I know people will wonder why I didn’t wait for him to ask me (and stick to tradition)…and the answer is that whilst I am a romantic at heart I am also a modern-day woman and I don’t believe that it has to be the man that asks, just whoever wants to do it first. There is nothing unfeminine about asking the man you love to marry you.

I planned to ask him on valentine’s day and he knew this. I was trying to think of the perfect way to do it… leaning towards asking him on the hoe by the lighthouse, where we had our first date. But I never even got that far :L We went out the night before and he basically just said, we might as well do it now…and he asked me :L I had the ring ready at home so when I got in I gave it to him 🙂

Now what has this got to do with creating a new blog?

Well we’re not thinking of getting married for a least 5 years (get the title of the blog now?;) ), waiting until we’ve both finished uni, got jobs, got somewhere to live etc…

I’m going to use this blog for the next 5 years (maybe more depending how things pan out) to write about all the milestones and things going on, leading up to when we actually tie the knot 🙂 This will include my progress in losing weight and achieving my ideal body for the big day!

Really excited to write this blog to share ‘the journey’ with people and to have something to look back on to see how far I’ve come at the end of it all 🙂

More updates soon!

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