Since childhood, I’ve always had issues with my weight. You can say I was on a yoyo situation where I’d gain weight, lose it, gain it again and so on. Arguably, when I was young it was more of “Baby fat”, but that gave me a hard time at school. For goodness sake I tried my first “diet” when I was 11. It was pretty deep!
NB: Please, DO NOT mock me or use the following picture to poke fun of me. Not nice lol
Anyway, around November 2016, I started gaining weight. As a matter of act, the whole of 2016 was a bit rough for me. I made excuses for terrible eating habits, constantly ate (comfort eating mostly) as too much was going wrong. When I was in Portugal for my birthday in December , I remember my sister, cousins and friends all stared at me as I gobbled down a large bowl of stir fry noodles 😂 I was soooo hungry! Constantly! And my food choices over the Christmas break were so terrible, from frequent visits to The Works (a waffle place), take aways and dining out, I knew it wouldn’t end well. I just didn’t expect it to be THAT bad 🙆🏾
Come January, I was on 73kg (weight alone doesn’t mean much unless you’re comparing it to other things like fat mass, muscle mass, dress size and appearance, for me anyway). I looked at a picture of mine where my arm was hella chunky, and one day I noticed all these rolls making me feel so sticky and uncomfortable. I took a picture (the before one) and was shocked! I knew I had to make changes.
Timeline of the weight loss journey
The only thing I did was to “jog” while watching Netflix so I feel productive 😂 That didn’t do much, not enough anyway.
Mid Feb, my sister gave me a “Herbalife” protein shake kit” which consisted of protein powder, a meal replacement powder and some multi-vitamin tablets. I was meant to replace two meals per day with the protein shake mixed with semi skimmed milk. In between each shake, I’d have some fruit or cucumber, and then one proper cooked meal. I was so keen those days and surprisingly, it was easy and I didn’t feel hungry nor deprived! By the next weigh-in and pic (less than a week after I started this diet), I could see some changes in my body as seen in the picture below.
I asked my mum to buy me Herbalife for another month since the results were so amazing (it’s quite expensive, like £119 or so per month). She agreed as she could see that it worked. So I carried on with Herbalife for another 4 weeks and I was so excited to see the results as seen below! By the end of March, I made the decision to start going to the gym consistently and also doing home workouts like skipping, crunches and weights. I knew that a meal replacement diet would be unsustainable in the long term because once I’d get back to normal eating (i.e. Having 3 meals a day instead of one), there was a danger of piling the weight back on. So I didn’t get Herbalife again
The hard work began in April when I had to be serious with my workouts as I was no longer on the meal replacement diet. I was so excited to see the changes in my body, particularly my thighs as they became more toned and my butt lifted a little bit from all the exercise I did.
This month was particularly challenging as I was sitting my final exams and I was constantly stressed. Healthy eating was hard but surprisingly I managed to keep at it 80% of the time. I carried on being consistent with home workouts each time I didn’t get the chance to go to the gym, and I drank plenty of water so I’d never mistake thirst for hunger. Now THAT was something!
I haven’t taken a picture yet for this month, perhaps because I’m scared as I skipped gym for a whole 3 weeks and barely did any workouts. However, I’m back at it again and I’m motivated!
- Every morning I did at least 100 skips, 100 crunches in different positions, and weights in my room
- Before working out, I did some warm up stretches from P90X Including some yoga poses. This helped me avoid feeling too much pain the next day. Warming up is a major key!
- At the gym, I made sure I ran at least 3KM each time at the gym, going from sprinting for a minute then slowing down for 2 minutes and alternating (on the treadmill) inclined on level 3. So I’d do 13km/h then reduce to 9km/h and repeat. Once I got out of breath, I’d slow down to 3km/h or pause my workout altogether.
- I made sure I did weights too. Too much cardio gets rid of fat AND some muscle too, so weights and strength training is supposed to help re-build muscle.
- I avoided too much fruit and it’s too sugary. So I’d have bananas and apples mainly, then nuts and rice snacks and plenty of water!
- Aim to drink at least 2 litres of water, not too much at once though.
Mistakes to avoid:
- CARBS are not your enemy. Replacing carbs completely is bad for you because your body needs a balanced diet, and that includes carbs. It’s all about knowing which carbs are good. So avoid things like pastry and stuff. Portion control should be your best friend.
- Fruits are good, but don’t have too much of hem as they contain a lot of sugars!
- Don’t deprive yourself of sleep. Make sure you get adequate sleep!
- Don’t deprive yourself. When you deprive yourself, your mind just keeps thinking about those things you “can’t have” and sooner or later, you’re going to indulge and maybe overdo it. I had a bit of chocolate once in a while to treat myself. I didn’t allow my mind to think that I couldn’t have anything, that way I’d focus more on what I could have instead. Obviously, don’t be cheeky because all the junk you eat to “treat” yourself will override all the work you do in the gym! Be smart about it
- Don’t be afraid to be mean to yourself. Sometimes I had to give myself some tough love. I’d wake up feeling lazy or tired but I’d tell myself that my goals were much more significant than my laziness!
- Sometimes, after skipping gym for like a week, I’d go really HARD on myself the next time I got there. But that hurt me because I was overdoing it and overcompensating. I learnt the hard way to just pick up where I left off steadily.
- Avoid comparing yourself to others. That can be so disheartening!
- Avoid weighing yourself every single day. That can also be disheartening.
I’m still going with fitness and I’m hoping to make it a lifestyle instead of a short-term thing. I’m definitely not where I want to be yet, but I’m really happy to celebrate this milestone 🎉
I shall be sharing nutritional tips on my food blog in future, so be sure to check out http://www.chef-shanners.blogspot.co.uk! If you have any specific questions, do comment below or message me privately on Facebook or elsewhere 😁