I’m no Tammy Hembrow… and I never will be. Don’t get me wrong, she is awesome, she’s gorgeous, got a killer bod, a lovely little fam. I just will never be as fit, as dedicated, I will never be in a bikini on Instagram, you can thank me later for that one. That ship has sailed, I’m not sure it ever even came in to the harbour, it just kind of steamed past on the horizon tooting and giving me the finger. I’m in my late 30’s, and a mum to the most wonderful 3 year old on the planet. In the last few years I have come to love exercise but I have had a lot of trouble getting past a certain weight. I’ve always been a bit of a chunky monkey, barring a couple of completely unintentional slim periods in my life I’ve always been a size 14-16. I kinda cared but kind of didn’t too, never enough for me to put down the cheese and chocolate anyway.
I put on 30 kgs when I was pregnant with my son, mainly through gorging on burritos and milkshakes, but that’s irrelephant. So, I had a bit of a problem on my hands (and my hips and my tummy lol). I could pretty much tell you every excuse I had in the book why I couldn’t diet and exercise, and some of them were even valid like stress and a baby that refused to sleep, but the point is, I just didn’t do it. I guess I wasn’t ready for one reason or another and that’s ok, I didn’t want it badly enough then. If you really want something you’ll do something about it, you’ll find a way to make even the smallest of steps, even if its minute. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I wasn’t going to get that athletic body I wanted overnight, it takes time and effort (damn it).
Something I have learned over the last couple of years is that exercise alone won’t get you the bod you want, not if you are overweight anyway, that is a fact. Realistically, you can’t exercise enough to outweigh your food intake if you are eating fatty, processed or just too much food. The latter was my problem, too much food, too much of a good thing, the wrong thing. I am vegetarian and always looked to the wrong things to fill me up in place of meat, like cheeses, potatoes, cheesy potatoes, potatoes with cheese hahaha. I still eat these, they are just not the biggest part/requirement of EVERY MEAL.
The key is a balanced diet, don’t cut out any food groups either, like carbs, I did that once and yeah I lost weight, it was just off my boobs and my bum, pretty much the only place a woman wants a bit of sumthin sumthin. Aaaand I put the weight straight back on once I stopped the diet, on my tummy and my arms. If you exercise regularly you NEED carbs, about 50% of your intake. I am not a nutritionist so do your homework on that one peeps.
In the last month or so I have started intermittent fasting. I’m doing the 16:8 pattern, where you fast for 16 hours and then eat your 2 remaining normal size meals in the 8 hour window. Essentially I’m skipping breakfast. I gotta say I am a big fan. It is working quite well for me, I really notice the feeling of wanting food has lessened. The biggest realisation for me being that I am not actually hungry most of the time, I just love the food I love. This realisation has made a huge difference for me. When I start to want the foods I like, I assess whether I am actually hungry. Nine times out of ten I’m not!
I feel I know now when my body is hungry and when I just want yummy food. I’ve also started to think about why I want the yummy food so much, what am I trying to make up for? When I want yummy things it’s a way of rewarding myself or compensating for bad feelings of stress. I feel stress…I know something yummy will put a smile on that dial!…so I’d eat. But it was only a short term gain for long term pain.
The last thing I want to do is cut out good balanced nutritional food. The most disciplined people I know look at food as a fuel, they don’t eat for taste. I can’t do that, I won’t do that. My husband is a chef, that would be like marrying a hair dresser and shaving your head! Intermittent fasting allows me to eat the healthy things I want, with a few naughty things in moderation and feel good. It has also given me more energy, when I’m at the gym working out I have the ability to push myself a bit harder. It’s not just that I know I’m working out in optimal fat burning times but I actually feel lighter on my feet, springier. My overall mood has improved and my jeans aren’t as tight!