If you’ve read my Getting Fit (And Staying Fit) blog post, you’ll know that one of my main resolutions this year was to lead a healthier lifestyle. I cannot lie to you, attending university was not the best thing that has ever happened to my physical health. I was non-catered during my first year (which meant I had to cook for myself) which I was absolutely fine with. I’ve been brought up in a family who eat relatively healthily and because I was cooking meals for myself that I’d cooked before at home, I wasn’t eating badly. However, due to socialising and fitting into the ‘university lifestyle’, I was drinking alcohol more regularly than I had been whilst living at home. Alongside this, I started eating out more. Not because I was too lazy or couldn’t be bothered to cook, but honestly because it was the more social thing to do.
All of this considered, I gained a few unwanted pounds. I ended up going from a dress-size 8 on my bottom half to a 10. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am in no way saying there is anything wrong with being a size 10. What I’m saying is I wasn’t HAPPY with the way I looked or felt. I was starting to feel unhealthy. So, when I finally had some free time over what has been an insanely crazy summer, I decided to join my local gym. I was pretty nervous about joining as, quite honestly, I had no clue what I was doing. The closest I’d ever come to working out was watching fitness videos on YouTube and trying to recreate them from the confines of my bedroom (which was never successful lol). I had no idea how to use any of the machines and I felt a little bit self-conscious that I would stick out like a sore thumb.
Once I got there though, I realised everyone was in the same boat. There were such a variety of people trying to get on with their own thing that they, quite frankly, couldn’t care less what I was doing. Once one of my friends showed me how to use all of the machines (although they are pretty self-explanatory if you’re planning on venturing to the gym alone) I was ready to start shifting the pounds.
I got into a pretty good routine of going to the gym around four times a week over a four week span. I varied between focusing on cardio, upper and lower body but if I’m being honest, started to favour my cardio workouts as those were the times I felt as if the exercise was actually doing something. I altered my diet, but only slightly, by substituting a lot of the carbs I would normally eat for salad. For example, I’d come back from the gym and eat a chicken salad rather than chicken and chips. If I was really hungry, I’d have some rice too to rebuild some of the energy I had lost. Over these four weeks, I started to feel a lot healthier and happier in my daily life. I’m a pretty positive person most of the time anyway, but I definitely felt a change in my mindset once I started exercising regularly and eating properly.
Alongside the gym, I was also interested in researching healthy living, wanting to discover which foods are best for burning fats in different areas, for example. A useful website that I came across and have been using ever since is Diet Spotlight. This website is full of factual information but also has reviews of products and meal replacements, so you can see if something is worth buying. I was particularly interested in toning my stomach, so their page on Belly Fat was really useful to me. It includes a lot of information regarding what stomach fat actually is, which helps in understanding how you can start trying to lose it. I would definitely recommend having a little look at this website if you’re interested in leading a healthy lifestyle – I’ve been loving it!!
Due to the small alterations I’ve been making in my life recently, not only have I been feeling good, I’ve had some positive physical results. I’ve managed to drop a whole dress size!!! Which is great because I wasn’t planning on dropping sizes at all but is also kind of annoying as now a lot of my clothes don’t fit me (and I don’t need any more excuses to keep shopping!!!). In the four weeks I was gymming, I toned up my stomach more than I thought possible in such a short space of time and now I can’t wait to get back to uni so I can get back into a routine with the gym. It’s been difficult as I’ve been super busy this summer but once I get back to uni, I know I’ll be going a lot more again.
I’ll update you guys in another couple of months hopefully to say that I’m looking and feeling FAB (we can hope).