Real life fitness inspiration (#fitspo), Catarina AKA That Fitster, voted Best Fitness Blogger in our Health & Fitness Influencer Awards, hits us with her 6 top tips to get in the Best Shape of Your Life.
I’m 10 minutes into my workout, sweating like a pig and swearing silently while I wonder why I didn’t stay in bed instead. In my living room, I can sense my 3 month old is getting fed up with the bouncy chair. I’m wearing a pair of old, cheap black leggings that I saved for fat days (I’ve been having plenty of those lately). My PT is talking me through today’s routine, on what’s the third session of my life.
-Now hold a forearm plank. Says my lovely PT.
Exactly. I didn’t know what a plank was. This is not a metaphor. But it could be. Because that’s where it all started.
My Health and Fitness Journey
From proud couch potato to health and fitness advocate, my life took a major turn when I struggled to get out of bed to feed my baby. Not because of my severely mushy brain or serious sleep deprivation (both of which I had plenty). But because one side of my body was in so much pain I couldn’t move. Sounds dramatic? That’s how it felt.
I knew I had to get my sh*t together. A decade of the city rat race closely followed by 3 pregnancies had taken its toll on my body. It said it was time to snap out of it and smell the kale. I started to work out. From ground zero (ie. feeling too fat embarrassed to join a gym) I gradually built my strength. I ditched the fad diets and understood the power of eating the right foods. Fast forward 3 years. I can lift, jab and sprint. I love my delicious, goodness packed meals. My idea of a good time involves, leggings, sweat, avo toast and the girl squad (this hasn’t changed). At 38, I’m in the best shape of my life and loving every minute of it. This is what AWESOME is made of peeps!
Oh yes fitness Gods, I stand before you a converted woman. And I’m not shy to blog about it too.
I am not the fittest woman in the planet. I’m not the 20 year old fitness princess holding a handstand while the sun sets in Bondi beach (I wish I was there though). But I’m in my best shape ever. I can carry my 3 kids in my arms if we need to make a quick escape. I have been my own guinea pig and kissed a few frogs. In this amazing, endorphin induced fitness journey I have learned a thing or three about getting in shape. Interested? Read on.
These are my 6 Top Tips to Get in the Best Shape of your Life – and stay there!
1. Set Clever Goals.
Helps you stay on track. Visualise the finish line. Be realistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting the bar too high. Once you tick the box, move on to another challenge. For me it started with strengthening my lower back so I could step out of bed normally again. After that, it was about losing weight to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans. Then it became completing my first 10k in under 1 hour. And so on. My next challenge? To lift some seriously heavy weights. Badass and all that.
2. Be Consistent.
There’s no point in killing yourself at the gym if you’re only going to do it once a week. The best workout routine is the one you stick to. If all you have are 15 minutes, then use them. Make them count. Go for a run. Too cold outside? Read this: Going Out for a Run? Read my Top 7 Tips to Brave the Chill. Or stay indoors, and get that Spotify playlist on. Do your sit ups and squat jumps until you’re sweaty. Walk to the school runs. No excuses. Take time to plan your week of workouts – this may help: How To Plan 1 Week of Workouts – 8 Rules I Live By.
3. Eat Right.
You can’t out train a bad diet. To build a strong, energy-packed body, you need the right fuel. Skipping the boring detail, I’ll just outline the key principles I stick to. Eat real food. Cook from scratch. Say no way to processed foods, avoid gluten and refined sugar. Don’t count calories. Challenge your assumptions. Did you know that if you want to burn fat you need to eat fat (yep)? Read my exclusive interview with Dr Mark Hyman 5 Questions with Eat Fat Get Thin Author to find out more. Equation to a balanced meal: complex carbohydrates, quality protein and healthy fats. Including shedloads of veg, always. Check out this Deliciously Simple Warm Winter salad for some food inspo.
4. Try New Things.
Boredom kills any good intentions. Step outside your comfort zone. It keeps your body guessing and your brain active. This includes new foods and new workouts. Research your area for new fitness classes – Ever tried Reformer Pilates? Here’s why you should: 5 Reasons Why I Love Reformer Pilates. Buy a new healthy recipe book – I’m loving Life in Balance by Donna Hay. The pictures alone will get you into the kitchen pronto.
5. Find your Fit Squad.
Friends that sweat together, stay together. Great for body and soul. Drives up accountability, motivation and the FUN factor! Next Saturday get together with a friend for a class and brunch. When your workouts seamlessly fit around your life, it’s so much easier. And when it burns like hell remember: there’s food and gossip at the other side!!!
6. Be kind to yourself.
Give yourself the gift of a long, healthy life, one workout at a time. Do not punish yourself because of two too many glasses of that beautifully rounded red. Feel like having that freshly made doughnut? Go for it (check out how I learned to do the best ones here: Amazing Doughnut Workshop at Bread Ahead – 7 Things I will Remember Forever). Life is about balance and frankly, sometimes only chocolate will do!
In the end, it doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned athlete, training for your first marathon or simply figuring out how the hell you’re supposed to nail those burpees without falling flat on your face. Just Keep Moving. IT’S SO WORTH IT.
Hope you’ve found something that inspires you on your own journey to being in the best shape of your life. If you fancy some extra light health and fitness reading, there’s more where this came from! Beware: there are pictures of me in leggings.
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