· By Jessica Windle
H A P P Y N E W Y... O U
I’ve sat here for weeks wondering how to start this blog post. Type… backspace. Type…. backspace. Type, type, ty…. backspace.
I mean, how is one supposed to put into black and white, such a life altering twelve months that has, in the simplest of terms, transformed my entire life from the inside out?
This time last year…
I was a broken woman. I had had the best intentions, trying to give 110% of my all to every sector of my life only to feel exhausted and like I’d failed. Marriage, #MumLife, my business, my friendships, my health… there wasn’t one hat that I was wearing that I could say fit just right on my deflated head.
I’ve hit rock bottom a few times in my life (because #Life) but this time I seemed to have everything going for me and working to my favour yet somehow I still managed to fall short. It hurt. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way and so many of you have reached out to me in the past year since I first explained the tumultuous year that was, in this blog post HERE.
Many of you letting me know that you were on the same path and reading up on my vulnerability in that post struck a chord with you and motivated you. I thank you so much for reaching out. It has given me so much strength to continue shedding light on my transformation in hopes it can give you guys strength to carry on.
Spreading these raw pics across the interwebs isn't my idea of a good time, but hey... if it spreads love - then I am in.
I turned 33
I gave myself time. Time to exercise. Time to think. Time to just ‘be’.
I set goals and actively worked towards them… everyday.
I detoxed. My body and my screen time.
I got organised (as organised as a creative Virgo can possibly be.)
I created habits and daily rituals that I will carry on for the rest of my days.
I danced. Because it makes me happy.
I finally found my feet in a business that I have been working towards since I was a little girl brushing out my name a thousand times over just to get that perfect flourish.
I ate great food.
I caught up on sleep.
I went on an interstate girls trip with my girlfriends (THIS NEVER HAPPENS).
I learnt how to say ‘no’. #yessss
I learnt to love myself.
I learnt about self care.
I found my confidence.
With two kids and a household to run, the above could sound a little selfish, couldn’t it?
But here’s the clincher.
The more I give myself… the more I have to give to others.
The more good energy I give… the more good energy I receive to pour back into the universe.
The more I love myself… the more I can love others.
There is no-one in your life that is more important than you. You are responsible for you health and happiness and you have to find a way to make it work.
Your kids, your pets, your partner, your friends, your family…. guess what? They want to see you healthy and happy. They are better off for it. And you want the same for them.
So this is me giving you permission to put yourself first (please, give it a go) and just you watch the other elements of your life fall into place.
So I suppose from here, I’ll just keep it simple and begin to answer, easily the most asked question in my DM inbox, despite my best efforts to distract you with my typography *lol.
“Hey LL! How did you lose the weight?”
Same mama, same bèbè.... Diff vibe!
I mean, I could straight up bullet point this for you, but I don’t really feel like that would be giving the process much justice. So I’m going to break it down like wickity whack for you.
We all say it, “it’s not about the numbers…” and I couldn’t agree more…
I mean, 15kg lost in less than 12 months is nothing to scoff at but I want you to know that if you’re chasing numbers you need to rethink your approach.
For me, personally, I had reached desperation.
After the birth of my second babe, a business that I was pouring every last ounce of energy I had into (for not much gain), a concerned husband, two kids that had lost their mama to her work and lack of self confidence, not to mention my apparent aversion to any chance of a photo being taken of me in public and just knowing full well I was SO FAR from the woman I was capable of being - I needed CHANGE. Stat.
So it was this time (between Christmas and New Years) last year that I, at the end of my tether, decided to do something about the pickle I was in, and simply start.
That is tip numero uno. Make a start. Decide in your mind that you are absolutelyfreaking ready. It doesn’t have to be ‘Monday’. It doesn’t have to be New Years Day. What if you read this blog post March 10th? Don’t wait 9 months, mate.
You know when you know that you are ready. For me, I didn’t wait until 1/1 - I started a couple of days after Chrissy because I was DONE, and I was ready and I figured whenever you start, is a head start on your mind that is feeding you excuses as to why you shouldn’t begin.
Personally, I knew I had to find the most convenient, closest, efficient, the-kids-and-husbo-wont-even-know-Ive-gone, method of exercise that worked for me. We have a gym setup at home and considering we’d had it for over 12 months, it was obvious that wasn’t going to get me the results that I needed/wanted. It works for some (my husbo included) but I just don’t have the self discipline for self training.
I needed to sweat daily and after trialling the cardio/weight circuit setup that is F45, I knew that that was going to be what worked for me.
So that brings me to tip number two… Find a method of training that you enjoy - I’m talking walking, running, HIIT, CrossFIt, BootCamp, cycling, swimming, pilates/yoga/barre, my gosh even sign up to line-dancing if it makes you happy and move daily, WHATEVER it is make sure it’s convenient and addictive enough to help keep your ‘it’s too far’ or ‘I’m too busy’ or ‘the sky is blue and sometimes it rains’ excuses at bay. I signed up to my local F45 (in Robina, 4 minutes travel… #yassss) and booked myself in for every 4:45am session I could for the following two weeks. There. Beginning. Started. Locked in. Now I just had to show up.
I treated that 4:45am session as compulsory. Not optional. Just as if it were a job or school. My mindset was set - no choice - you have to go Jesselou. Yes, I was allowed the random sick day but otherwise Mon-Sat I was there.
I got to admit that at first, the early wake ups were tough… but you know what else is tough… living at less than 50% of your potential. Knowing that you have more to give life, but you are stuck in a rut and can’t break the cycle. Yep. That shite will cripple you.
I didn’t think about it too much or too far in advance so that it would overwhelm me… I figured if I just take it day by day soon enough if it would become my constant and it would be harder to break the cycle. And that is exactly what happened. The music they play as I train gives me life, the trainers and the people I train with have become my friends and I genuinely look forward to going to bed every night knowing that in the morning that that is how I will be starting my day. Heaven! So I urge you, find what works for you and makes you EXCITED. Becoming fitter should be fun and make you happy.
Along with this, I cleaned up my diet. I’ve followed some pretty extreme diets in the past, all too extreme to maintain (especially with kids in tow!) so rather than follow a strict diet telling me what and when to eat, I decided to set some boundaries and distinguished what foods to keep to a minimum (if at all).
So tip 3 is Clean up your diet. And here are some of the food guidelines I decided to abide by for the first six months:
DISCLAIMER: I am not a health and nutrition expert.This is merely listing what worked for me
- Eat a nutritious breakfast. My new fave meal of the day. #AvocadoAndLemonOnSpeltToast #Heaven
- Up the veggie intake.
- I cut red meat (because it suited my body and digestion make up - I suggest you find out a little bit more about what works and doesn’t work for your body).
- I don’t skip meals (I used to be so guilty of this as I thought skipping a meal here and there due to being ‘busy’ would help me get ‘skinny’ but it actually has the reverse effect).
- I switch cows milk for unsweetened Almond Milk. Was a bit weird to start but now I lurrrve and crave it and I really find that I am less bloated.
- I cut out lollies and chocolate EXCEPT for good quality dark chocolate *Hallelujah* (I have one square a night and it’s the perfect little fix #LifeIsTooShortToNotHaveChocolate)
- I only have one coffee a day.
- Apart from that, I only drink water - no soft drink and no packaged juices (fresh juices and smoothies were a-ok).
- I try to eat a balanced diet of carbs, proteins and good fats in every meal (YEAH, I EAT RICE!)
- I opt for spelt products when choosing breads and pastas as they are easier for your body to digest.
- I cut alcohol for 6 months. As a super social drinker this was tough. But please refer to my above comment re ‘tough’ and ‘being stuck in a rut’ and that should shed some light as to how it became easier to kick this habit to the curb.
- I watch my portions. No, I don’t weigh and measure, only because I know my body pretty well (plus my kids would be like #WhoDis?) and I definitely know when I go overboard on the ol’ portion size so I just paired it back.
- I make sure that I drink at least 2 litres of water each day. Which is not something I am used to, I really had to work for this but now I can’t get enough of it.
- I have a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar as soon as I wake up every morning. My tummy loves me for it.
- I cut the crap. Plenty of whole foods to dig into and keep you excited. For the first couple of months I went as far as not even popping one of the kid’s tiny teddies in my mouth… I figured I was doing all of this training, why ruin it for the sake of what really was just a bad habit. Plus, one tiny teddy can turn into a handful, which turns into a pack, which turns into ‘I may as well just eat crap for the rest of the week because I’ve stuffed up anyway’. Sound familiar? Cut it. Simple.
Now, I know that sounds like a whole lot of deprivation when I list it all like that but those of you who follow my Insta stories and cooking adventures know that my fam and I eat a pretty awesomely fun range of meals and treats. It made me become more creative in the kitchen and I actually loved the challenge of creating sneaky meals that tasted naughty but were really great for your overall health and I will continue to share those adventures in my stories and also on this blog :)
Trust me when I say I never go hungry.
I know being creative in the kitchen isn’t for everyone so if cooking a lean piece of meat and alternating steamed veg and a salad each night works for you, then do that! I just know that my food intake was detrimental to my transformation and suggest if you are looking to do the same, to look into what you are and aren’t putting into your body - because without this side of the equation, your training won’t really matter. I also want to point out that this transformation phase is temporary. Yes, it was a hard slog for six months in order to manage to get where I wanted to be… but now it’s just about maintaining so all of the above boundaries are still kept up (apart from the alcohol bit…. because #MumLife and #ILikeFun ) but I’m definitely nowhere near as strict as I had to be when I begun this wild ride.
Now for the fun tips.
Whatever you want to call it. It really helps. Seeing that end goal in your mind makes it feel all the more obtainable. Visualise not only how you are going to look, but how you are going to feel. Whenever I felt tempted to slack off (and trust me, if I had a poor nights sleep due to the biz or Raff waking, there were these days) I would go to the paradise in my mind where I was where I wanted to be and the pull of this vision got me through some pretty hard times. You have to want it. It’s totally achievable and there for the taking, I promise you.
Reset at the the start of each day.
Every day when you wake up, it is a brand new opportunity to do amazingly well that day. Not just with your training, but your nutrition AND your mindset. The past is the past and dwelling on it will get you no where. Keep moving forward. Keep up the positivity and love yourself for what you are setting out to achieve. What you are doing is not only going to change your life for the better but change the energy of everyone around you also. How good is that?
Take a visual diary.
Create a photo album on your phone. Take photos of your body (in your work out gear so you can see the changes in your body composition) to compare week to week. Take pics of food/meals that you enjoyed eating and know that fuelled your body well. As the weeks go on, refer to the album and in a matter of weeks you’ll be able to actually see the progress and see a really cool collation of your ‘journey’. Be your own #inspo #fitspo No one has to see it if you don’t want them to - or maybe you want to share your progress. You will never be short of people trying to lift you up and encourage you when you are embarking on a journey of self love and improvement. For me, I found seeing the results in visual form as if I were on the outside looking in, really helped motivate me and I became (healthily) addicted to the changes I was seeing.
Dominate your morning ritual.
Make your bed, drink your warm lemon water, have a shot of apple cider vinegar, take your supps. If not for the nutritional health benefits, do it for the kickstart you need everyday to set the right tone for that day. If you start the day off with the best intentions you are more likely going to make smarter health choices throughout the day. It all adds up! Before you know it, the weeks will pass, if you have been consistent with your training, food and mindset, you will get results and you WILL get addicted to those results. It does get easier.
Bring back the fun.
Was there something (a sport/activity/skill/hobby) that you used to do in the past that you don’t get to do anymore because life got in the way? It doesn’t have to be fitness related! If it made you happy back then, then it is more thank likely going to make you happy now if you give it the chance. I suggest you go find out how you can go and pick up that thing again and sign up to a local class monthly/fortnightly/weekly so you get a good fix of fun that you’d lost somewhere along the way. For me it was latin dancing. Boy oh boy, did signing up to my local samba class remind me that the fun loving, hip swinging girl was just a scratch under the surface. Reconnecting with that girl really helped me realise that she wasn’t gone, she’d just been a little lost and this WHOLE journey was about finding her again and I was closer than I had ever been
I highly recommend you take part in your local 4/6/8 week challenge/boot camp. I was lucky enough to win my first 8 week challenge through F45 Robina and having that end goal really was the perfect push to get me through the first few months of hard work. Being held accountable to finish something that I had started was a great motivator (plus if you are like me, you are highly competitive and like to WIN all the things haha). Their 8 week challenge app gave me the clear cut tools to follow and many of their tips and tricks have stuck with me as part of my daily ritual! These challenges (through F45 or not) are created to help you if you are willing to help yourself. Stick it out for the allocated time (and then some) and reap the rewards of being fitter than when you started.
If not a challenge, maybe work towards an event? A wedding (it doesn’t even have to be yours lol), a reunion, Christmas Party… set it as your end goal and work your butt off leading up to that date. Your prize will be feeling amazing at said event. Maybe buy yourself a smashing new outfit to celebrate?
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
If you have an off day - get through it. Start fresh the next day. If you think you have hit a plateau after a couple weeks/months after training. Keep turning up. Consistency is key. I felt like I had hit a plateau recently until I caught myself in the mirror and didn’t even recognise the girl staring back at me (in the best way possible - I just looked fit!). It made me realise that the plateau I was supposedly in was far better than the plateau (of unhealthiness) I had been in prior to starting. It was enough to make me snap out of it and realise I just got to keep doing the best I can day by day and to not go back to where I was before I started all of this. Stay positive :D
Don’t be lazy.
Be the opposite of lazy. Do stuff. Get outside. Be proactive. Have a spring in your step. Don’t waste your days away in this one precious life. Set an amazing example for your kids (or nieces, nephews, Godkids, if your own aren’t in the piccy yet). Sure, you can rest. But don’t be lazy. You know what I mean.
Communicate all of those thoughts, my friend. The burdening frustration of holding on to your thoughts and concerns will show in your face and your body language and will ultimately hold you back. Talk to your family, friends, partner or even a professional if something is bothering you. Or talk to them about the changes you are aiming to make so they can support you and be on the same page as you. Maybe you’d like to keep a journal, write a blog, paint, dance or if you like me ‘all of the above’. Looking in and sharing my thoughts has really cleared up my mind to allow me to keep the healthy thoughts, positivity and creativity flowing. I highly recommend.
Make self care your best friend.
Last year I did not have one facial. I did not have one mani/pedi. I didn’t put effort into my daily outfits. I just didn’t think it deserved the time. ‘Too many other things to be doing,’ I thought! ‘I’m soo busy. Busy. Busy. Busy’. *eyerolls herself
Meanwhile, my skin was in the worst shape it had ever been...I was ashamed of so much of my body and overall appearance, I became closed off, I had zero self confidence and it all just weighed me down. It seems whatever I was ‘busy’ doing wasn’t the right or smart kinda busy.
This year I made my self care a priority.
I get my nails tended to once a month. I choose to have acrylics because I like the look of them but if that’s not for you at least have a mani so your hands feel nice and lush. #HandsAreImportant #AndVeryHandy #LookAfterThem And while you are at it…. get the pedi too.
I’m on a thorough and effective skin regime (Hi Jac @ Refresh Mermaid Beach #ILoveYou )
If you can’t afford it right now (I’ve been there) do what you can with what you have.
I do at home masks (hubs even joins me) as we wind down once the kids are in bed and watch our fave Netflix shows #NetflixAndChill #WhenChillMeansWearingFaceMasks
I put weekly treatments in my hair (nothing fancy - just stuff I get from the chemist) so my hair stays shiny and glossy
I bought a $50 treatment from Oh Hello for my eyelashes so they look longer and fluffier #EyelashObsessed Just even the ritual of popping that on my lashes before I go to bed each night makes me feel like I’m doing something that is proactively benefiting my everyday. Sounds silly I know but all these little things add up and really make you feel like you have your shit together.
I bought an affordable at home teeth whitening kit. It made my teeth whiter. Yay!
I take the time every morning before the kids are up to ‘get ready for the day’ - it takes less than half hour - I pick a nice outfit out - pop on my tinted moisturiser, mascara and lip gloss (at the very least) and FEEL LIKE F$%KING BEYONCE. Working from home or being at home shouldn’t mean dressing down because no one will see you. YOU will see you. Dress to impress yourself and you will feels so much better for it and ultimately have more spring in your step and get more done #TriedAndTested #FunEarringsMakeMeHappyToo
My skin in January Vs My skin last month
Ok. I think that it is it.
I hope this has helped shed some light on the year that was and has answered some of your messages on how I was able to completely flip my health around in a very quick year. It is achievable. You just have to find what works for you and go and get it.
I look forward to continuing on my own personal health and fitness journey for years to come and whilst I mostly am all about #DatTypographerLyfe on here, I will touch on my food and training journey ever so lightly on this blog and on my socials so please stick around if you are keen to see more of the above.
I want to thank you so much for those of you have shown love and support so far. Without your encouragement, this all no doubt would have been a much harder slog. And I thought I would say thank you the best way I know how… through brush and ink!
I have created a free downloadable PDF workbook to kickstart your new year.
Download your FREE 2018 WORKBOOK PDF here.
I created this workbook for myself to help set my goals and intentions for the new year, but sharing is caring right?
I truly hope you find some use for it! Maybe it will change your life? Maybe you’ll only use one page of it, but that page will change your life for the better? I dunno… there is some goodness there for the taking if you are keen.
You will find:
Goals + Gratitude
I’ve done this freebie before in earlier years - but here it is again. So many people hone in on their #goals this time of year but I truly think that it is just as important to remember what you are #grateful for going into the new year.
All of the above tips - written prettily. Maybe you could print it off and put it on your vision board, your fridge, your mirror? A little friendly positive nudge from me to remind you that you have totally got this.
Printable cutouts for your Visionboard for you to use like I have:
(She's super pretty as per the pic above).
A Daily checklist for your wellbeing
You don't have to tick them all off everyday, but I find if I have this checklist nearby, it keeps me in check and I do a good chunk of them everyday and they have become daily habits that I promise have contributed to my transformation.
Thank you so much for getting this far if you are still here! I hope to hear from you guys if this post has helped you in any way and given you some hope going into this next phase of your life (whenever you read this and are ready). Please feel free to tag me on Instagram @louieluxe if you get some use out of the printable. I’m up for the feels.
Happy New Year + Take Care
(I really mean that! That’s not just some throwaway sign off to this blog post. I really wish you a happy and healthy new year and I want you to actually take care of yourself)…
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Thank you so much for sharing, I really needed this!