OK so I’m super nervous about putting these up but here are my before and ‘after’ pics. The pic on the left was taken a year ago and the one on the right this weekend. I’ve been wanting to put them up since starting the blog but couldn’t pluck up the courage but one of the things that’s changed most about me over the past year is my self-confidence. It’s not purely because I think I look better but it’s because I feel better physically and mentally, from eating healthier and exercising but also from being surrounded by infectiously positive people and learning so much about mindset and goal setting.
|On the left is me in September 2013 and on the right is November 2014|
This time last year I had just finished college, had quit rowing (which until then had been a huge part of my life) and was feeling lost. I had put on weight but hadn’t really noticed until someone said it to me (obviously I was NOT happy at the time but I’m glad they said it to me now as it was definitely the kickstart I needed!). I had gone from being known to my friends and family as the fit healthy rower to doing no exercise and piling on the pounds unknowingly. I realize now how much of a buzz I get from exercise and being part of a team and I think that quitting a sport, particularly a team sport can be difficult and motivating yourself to train and go to the gym when you don’t have a specific goal or competition to train for is hard, at least it was for me anyway. I used to train 8 or 9 times a week, 14 in the summer and going from that to doing nothing was strange.
I had seen bootcamp classes advertised online and one day decided to bite the bullet and sign up to a four week womens semi personal strength training course – one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! We were doing classes three times a week and I added in two extra sessions myself. We were also given food guidelines and I stuck to it religiously for the first two months (I was fairly determined!) and within four months I was down 26 pounds. Since then it’s all about maintaining that. I eat “clean” about 85% of time and have “cheat” meals once or twice a week (I just don’t post them here so don’t think I’m eating perfectly healthy all the time, that’s not possible for everyone!). I think you get to a stage where you really start to enjoy eating healthy (or maybe I’m just gone mad) but you do feel so much better. You’ve got so much more energy and don’t get sick as often and when you have a particularly bad cheat meal you really do feel the effects bad food has on your body but I just never realised it when I was eating bad all the time!
As for the exercise side of things, after the initial 4 week course I started bootcamp classes and was doing them three nights a week. A few months ago I switched to a strength based class which I love. This is the reason I’ve put in those really posey photos of me getting ready for a night out! Although weights and strength training is becoming very popular among women now (which is great) there are still a lot of people who think it will make them really bulky and manly looking. I’ve been doing weight training since I was around 15 and this is how I look now, hopefully somewhat ladylike! When I was 15 it certainly wasn’t cool and when me and my friends would talk about how much we benched pressed that morning in school later on we got some strange looks but all I thought about was being strong and winning races and lifting weights was what was going to help me do that! I don’t think women should be afraid to lift heavy as “if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you”.
Anyway this is getting very long but just thought I’d share this as when I started out I took a lot of motivation from other blogs and transformation pictures but a lot of the pictures were of professional models or fitness competitors who although look amazing are training to compete or because it’s their job which is fair enough and although it’s attainable if you are determined enough I still find I get a lot of motivation from regular people transformations too!
Wow that’s long!
Thanks for reading!!x
Thanks for reading!!x