Hey boys and girls, welcome back to my blog! I started 2020 with a post about positivity and haven’t posted anything since, but I’ve been a little busy transforming myself.
If you follow me on instagram, it’s no secret that I’ve lost quite a bit of weight since last year, have been really into my fitness the last 5 months and lots of you have asked what I’ve done to shift the weight – so I thought a blog post would cover all questions and topics in one place. I do want to say that in no way am I an expert in fitness/weight loss. What I did worked for me but it might not work for other people. Our bodies are all different and it’s finding what your body likes, can handle and how quickly it can adapt.
I’m going to write this post with a timeline of my journey (including little bits of detail about exercise and food) followed by a section of food & drink and finally finishing this post with my favourite exercises and what I found worked for me.
With that little disclaimer out the way; grab a cup of tea, rum, bubbles or whatever you fancy and let’s get cracking.
START POINT – JUNE 2019
Going back to June 2019 where the summer of blogging events was in full swing and I was in London maybe once a week/once every 10 days. At the time, I didn’t really notice I’d put on weight, I knew I was bigger than I’d ever been but I’ve always been bottom heavy and so I didn’t really do much about it. At this point I was spending my summer with friends, going out drinking and binge eating. It wasn’t until maybe September time that I knew I wanted to do something about it. I was unhappy with how I looked, with how I felt and wanted to change to make myself feel confident again.
By November I really got into the swing of going to the gym and doing regular exercise. I was attending a weekly Zumba class with my mum and best friend (which I still do) and was doing 1 or 2 spin classes a week. I found classes at the gym enjoyable instead of struggling to use the machines and I looked forward to my classes after work. I was managing what I was eating and cut back on carbs quite a lot during the day. I still ate the same meals as my family in the evenings as my dad is diabetic so a lot of our home cooked meals are low in salts, saturates and fats anyway.
At the end of February I had lost 2.5 stone but most importantly I’d been on a stricter diet and fitness regime since December. In December I’d branched out further and now attended a box and tone class as well as my spin classes. I met my friend Alex in the box and tone and now I’d like to think we come as a pair lol. I’d also got a friend who was a regular at my gym to show me round the machines so I felt confident enough to go the gym itself on my own.
By this point I was really conscious of my diet and what I was eating. My Monday to Friday was typically the same food wise as I’d stocked my work kitchen with yoghurt and granola for breakfast, eggs and avocado for lunch and again I was eating the same as my family in the evenings. I’d cut my alcohol intake down quite a lot unless I was going out with friends or out for a meal. I’d stopped snacking during the day at work and tried drinking more water because water really fills you up. The biggest change was removing sugar from my teas and coffee – I went cold turkey from 1st January and haven’t looked back since!
NOW – MAY 2020
And this is me now! I’m not saying I have a perfect body because everyone has their own idea of what perfect is, but I’m so close to having the body I’ve always wanted. Just before the lockdown I had upped my days of exercising from 3 to 5 times a week. I was doing one box class, 1 spin class, 1 zumba class, 1 run and 1 gym session working either my legs or arms. My diet was pretty much the same as I explained in February so that hadn’t changed much and I found myself buying crop tops again for the first time in nearly a year!
Personally, I think your diet is more important than the exercise itself. If you’re eating clean or healthy, chances are your body will naturally change. I’m going to list some of my favourite foods that I like to eat and I stuck to during my weight loss journey.
– fat free / 0% sugar yoghurt with granola or fruit with a coffee.
– two scrambled eggs on a slice of wholemeal or seeded toast with avocado or baked beans.
– two scrambled eggs on a slice of wholemeal or seeded toast with avocado or baked beans.
– tomato soup with basil or grounded black pepper.
– crackers with 30% less fat humus.
I try and have a squash to get my water intake in but if I fancy a fizzy drink I try to have a coke zero.
After exercising I aways have a protein shake to refuel and up my protein count. My favourite is the cookies and cream by Women’s Best.
FITNESS & EXERCISING
I think the scariest thought about losing weight is doing the wrong exercises or not knowing what to do. As I explained earlier, I was terrified of setting foot in the gym for months. I found fitness apps a great way to exercise at home or to follow whilst at the gym so I didn’t feel anxious about looking silly. I won’t list a full set of exercises I like to do because I could be here forever and as I’m not an expert I wouldn’t want to recommend anything wrong but I will say my top 3 exercises for each part of the body you can work on whilst at home during lockdown.
I’ve always enjoyed working my legs and glutes the best because that is what I’m strong at. Abs, arms and back are not my strong suit and I’m still trying to work on today.
Arms & Shoulders
– bicep curls
– shoulder press
– lateral raises
– stomach crunches
– toe touches
– calf raises
– squat with calf raises
– squats with pulses or holds
– donkey kicks
– fire hydrant lifts
I asked my instagram followers (instagram is where I’m most active so if you want to see what I’m up to day to day then follow me over there @itsdaniejade) whether there were any specific questions you wanted answering during this blog post. I have tried to answer a couple throughout this post, explaining my journey, so it was nice and natural but there are some I just couldn’t incorporate without it feeling forced. So I thought I would answer those remaining questions now in a question and answer format.
How did you find the motivation everyday? How did you keep the motivation up? Did you have cheat days?
The simple answer is sometimes I didn’t have motivation! There were (and are still days) where I didn’t do anything and sat eating whatever I wanted all day. Majority of the time I found it easy to stick to my fitness classes because it became a routine. I got home from work, got changed and went over to the gym for a class; so it was really easy in that sense. My biggest motivation was looking back at my old photos and comparing them to my current photos. As I started to noticed a difference, I loved that feeling of accomplishment and that feeling soon motivated me to keep going. I will take at least a couple of photos a week to keep track of my progress but don’t get me wrong, if I want chocolate buttons one evening with a glass of wine I will, I’ll just do an extra 10 minutes of abs or cardio the next day. But I do have cheat snacks every week – got to keep my sanity somehow!
Do you think your weight loss is sustainable?
Absolutely. My weight loss and fitness has now become my new normal – last year I’d have toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and carbs for dinner without even thinking about it, whereas now I’ll have one slice of bread for breakfast OR lunch (never both). I’m also dying to get back to the gym once lockdown is over. The gym was such a good place for my mental health after my break up and so I found it became a happy place for me. I’m keeping up with the home workouts during this period but I can’t wait to get back to my classes and be in that positive atmosphere again.
How long did it take for you to notice a difference?
I would say it took until beginning of February for me to really notice a difference. It was obvious way before then but I think you see yourself differently in the mirror to how other people see you. I was actually trying on outfits for a weekend in Manchester at the end of that month and it suddenly hit me how different I looked and it was nice to receive compliments from my friends that weekend of how great I looked (a confidence boost is always appreciated.)
Are you conscious of what you eat on a day to day basis?
Absolutely! Fun fact: I take all of my instagram photos on an empty stomach (excluding my morning coffee otherwise I won’t function). I bloat very easily so after I’ve eaten anything I will look bloated half an hour later. If I know I’m going out in the evening and want to show off my stomach I will carefully plan what I eat beforehand to ensure I don’t bloat as much. It’s impossible to control bloating of any form because it’s natural for the body but I am conscious of what makes it worse. I did plan to add a couple of extra photos into this blog post but have chickened out last minute. I’m still very conscious of my back rolls and whilst I’m loving my new flatter tummy, I still have areas I want to work on and am not quite ready to show those before and after photos just yet.
How do you stop sugar cravings?
I think I’m possibly the worst person to ask this question because I have such a sweet tooth. If I’m being honest, it’s difficult! If I’m doing nothing during the day but I’m craving a sugar fix I might have a weight management or protein shake because my cookies and cream flavour one tastes just like a milkshake s(o I don’t have to reach for a chocolate bar.) But in my opinion, we’re meant to enjoy food and enjoy life so if you want ice cream hun have some ice cream and if you’re concerned it’s ruined your calorie intake for the day then do a little bit of extra exercise the next day.
Positivity and a good mindset?
I love sharing positive quotes, phrases and self love encouragement posts on my instagram stories and so I’d recommend finding some accounts that share these regularly, if not daily! They’re such good little boosts of confidence if you’re having a down day and just remind yourself why you’re on this journey!
And I think that’s all I can think of right now! If you do have any further questions for me or what me to expand on a couple of points then do let me know via instagram and I’ll be sure to make a part two of this blog post. Whether that’s showing you my gym routines, taking you to some classes with me or expanding on my food diet.
Whilst I know my transformation pictures aren’t that drastic but it’s a huge deal for me and I want to thank everybody who has been on this journey with me, kept me motivated and picked me up when I needed a boost. I appreciate you all and can’t thank you enough.
Stay safe and stay healthy, Danie x
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