Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Losing Weight and Getting into Shape

For a two years now I've really wanted to get into shape, as over college and university I have put on some extra weight.

Last year I tried and failed. This year though something has changed I feel more motivated than ever before, mostly because I've started to feel uncomfortable in my own clothes and found myself having fewer and fewer days were I felt okay about how I looked. 

I also want to eat healthier for several reasons. One because it means better health in general obviously, but I've been trying to grow my hair out for a while too and struggling a little so I researched some things to do to improve it and a better diet is often top on the list!

So since the middle of January I turned my whole routine around. I'm going to share with you what I've changed in case you were in the same boat as me and need some inspiration.

First things first I evaluated the situation.

This meant I measured myself. So my weight on an accurate set of scales. Used a tape measure to measure my thighs, hips, waist, bust, upper arms (they are all the areas I want to change). I then worked out my BMI.
NOTE: I'm not going to share any of my progress photos or weight/measurements yet I'll explain in a minute!

Next under the microscope was what I was eating. I am a snacker, sometimes I don't even realise it and my worst offence is boredom eating. 
I also went for convience over health, fast food, ready meals, crisps, sweets; Things that were quick and had little preparation involved. Often they are calorific and high in things like fats and salts, but lack in protein.

Lastly I looked at my exercise routine... this didn't take long as it was practically non-existent. I did walk the dog everyday, occasionally went on a bike ride, and work could be a little strenuous at times (but in no form a workout!).

Before setting my new routine, I set myself some GOALS.
I made myself a mood board, I don't want the exact bodies shown above but each has an aspect I like. I am also going to print a copy of this and put it on the wall where I work out, for the times when I'm slacking a little and need a reason to push on.

Next I worked out a GOAL WEIGHT.
I worked this out by using the BMI system to gaining a healthy weight for my height. 

I'm 5 foot 7 and my ideal would be to be in the middle to lower range of healthy weight so I aimed for a BMI of 19-21 so that translates to about 61.4-56.8kg (though I would rather be closer to around 58kg/9stone).

However this doesn't factor in the weight of muscle mass, as muscles weigh more than fat and if I build my muscles up I may be higher than what I expected (body-builders have some of the highest BMIs out there!). So for the most part I want a toned look throughout my body, so my body part measurements will assist in tracking weight loss as well.

Next I changed my diet.
A whole lot of people will tell you to lose weight you need to cut out carbohydrates. So that large section on the left of the image above that includes breads, potatoes, pastas... the good stuff. I do not agree with that. After all my main goal is to eat healthy not starve and I have found in the past when I restrict myself too much it ALWAYS backfires, no exceptions.

So I have cut out all junk food and sweets, I still drink zero sugar fizzy drinks, but less than before, I use them mostly to silence my sugar cravings. As for bread and pasta I only eat wholemeal/wholegrain, these are often higher in fibre and lower in sugars and calories than the alternatives.
I've decreased my consumption of fats and cheeses, and increased my consumption of vegetables, fruits, proteins like chicken and low fat milk (this is good for bones, hair and nails). 
Also I've switched to drinking water from about 20% of my overall drink intake to about 85%, the other 15% is low fat milk or zero sugar fizzy drinks now.

I do count calories, but I'm not obsessed I try to aim for around 1200 calories a day to aid in weight loss.

Lastly exercise.

Basically I now do a heck of a lot more exercise than I did before.
Every Monday night I go to an aerobics class at a local fitness center, I also plan to go to the one they hold on Thursday too but I need to organise my work life a little more.

I also researched into home workouts and have found most people think High interval workout have shown the best results. This makes sense as it raises the heart rate on multiple occasions meaning maximum calorie burning. 
I have got a copy of the Insanity workout from a friend and bought myself the Charlotte's 3 minute belly blitz (I got it for about £13, I'll put up a full review later). They both use this High interval training method.
They are both hard work and for both of them I couldn't complete the whole thing the first few times I tried them. Don't be worried that you don't complete them, if you push yourself too much you may cause yourself some damage and pain, definitely don't want that.

I have also started wearing wrist and ankle weights in some workouts in order to burn maximum calories.

I try to go on three 30 minute bike rides a week but it can be hard due to my work and university taking up a lot of time and obviously British weather can always get in the way!

I'm only doing this for myself and my health, that is the only reason you should ever do this, not for anyone else.
I want to lose weight and get healthy for my own happiness and self-confidence and that is my ultimate goal, to be happy.
If you are happy with your body shape, no matter what size, that is perfect and you shouldn't change that, no matter what anyone else says.

Believe me from experience I know you can NEVER please everyone, whether you're  slim, curvy, overweight, underweight or a perfect weight, there is always hate because people are insecure in themselves and feel the need to comment on others to make themselves feel better about themselves. Ignore it, whether it's online or in real life, whoever it is cut them out of your life or ignore them. If you feel threatened by what they are saying tell someone. If they are really threatening or harassing you to the point were you feel unsafe they may be breaking the law and you can report them to the police.

You may have noticed I haven't mentioned my own weight or measurements currently. I have all my measurements and even photos of my current shape, but I don't feel ready in myself to share these publically, if I hit my goal weight and I am happy with myself, I may put a before and after post, but this will be months away at the very least!

I hope I've been able to help in some way, or that you've at least found this interesting and not just a ramble!

Usually I ask a question, but feel free to comment on any thoughts you've had about this post or its contents!

Thanks for reading!
Birds in Blossom x

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