The Heathrow injection, it ain't no joke. Since arriving here a mere 9 months ago I have certainly noticed my weight gain! At first it wasn’t such a huge concern and I figured things would settle down after I got into a routine and found a flat.
But the thing about moving to a new city is, you want to go out as much as possible and meet new people. In the first 3 months I was busy all through the week and it also meant a lot of drinking.
Not only that, but my first job was located conveniently down the road from Borough markets. Oh dear. My colleagues and I had a bit of a Friday lunch time tradition and needless to say a lot of £s were spent on the delicious market meals.
A couple of months ago my flatmate introduced me to My Fitness Pal, a great app which encourages you to keep track of all your meals. To begin with, you enter a bit of information about yourself like your weight, height and what kind of lifestyle you lead. Based on this information, the app will give you a suggested daily calorie intake. If you exercise you can log this as well and it gives you an extra allotment of calories for the day.
It sounds a bit cheesy but really changed the way I eat! I always sort of scoffed at girls who would talk obsessively about calorie counting and spurt off phrases like “Empty calories” and “Don’t drink your calories” But really I just wasn’t educated. Since beginning I’ve done a lot of reading on healthy eating. Things that seemed so obvious before make much more sense now. I think a lot of us are at a point where we hear things like ‘trans fats’, ‘cortisol’ and ‘sodium’ and it all just sounds so foreign and irrelevant that we don’t make an effort to avoid these things. But really learning about the results that these can have on your health opens your eyes.
The app makes you more aware of just how fattening something small like a cookie is. At my office I’m in a constant temptation zone as we have so many treats on offer every day. It’s usually someone’s birthday so there is cake, or a client will send us a whole lot of samples. I could easily just snack all day if I wanted to. But since logging these snacks and meals into the app I realise just how much they all add up to and how much of it I don’t need to be eating.
It's actually fun logging all the meals I have and looking at how many calories I have left for the day and planning ahead to what I should eat so that I don't go over. As I've come to realise through this process, awareness is one of the most important parts of any diet. It doesn't even have to be a diet, it just depends on the way you approach it.
Other than My Fitness Pal, I’ve also upped the exercise in my life. I’m lucky and also unlucky enough to live a little far away from my nearest tube station. I used to take the bus to and from every time until about a month ago when I gave myself a new rule that unless I had loads of heavy groceries with me, it was raining or I had a physical ailment preventing me from exercise, then I had to walk to and from the station each time. This amounts to about 1.7 Ks each way. That coupled with getting off a couple of stops early and walking through Hyde park to my office each morning has seen me walking more than 10,000 steps on a good day. Another cool app I've got is Pacer which syncs with My Fitness Pal, so the calories you burn from walking are automatically logged.
And my final and favourite part of my new regime has been rising at 5.55am each day and doing the 30 day shred! This has been a challenging 10 days but today I completed the tenth day of Level 1 which means tomorrow I’ll be moving up to level 2! Jillian Michaels from the Biggest Loser put this programme together and the internet is full of people praising it and posting their results.
It consists of circuits of cardio, strength and abdominal training. In the beginning it was really challenging and I found that I couldn’t do the full workout without slacking off even with Jillian yelling through my computer screen “Don’t phone it in!” But as the days progress you really do find your endurance levels improving and I even got to the point where I could manage real press ups for the full time instead of the modified, on your knees press ups.
I thought it would be really difficult to wake up and get motivated every morning but I wake up excited to do the work out. God I know, I always used to cringe when people said things like that but it really is true that you just have to fall in love with exercise, find something that you enjoy and it won’t be a chore.
I’m looking forward to the challenge that I know awaits me in level two and I really hope to see some results by the end of it!