achieving happiness, changing my life, finding happiness, fitness, fitness motivation, getting fit, getting healthy, happiness, healthy living, lifestyle blog, lifestyle blogger, losing weight, motivation, weightloss, weightloss journey
A little while ago, I posted this very picture to my Instagram showing how much weight I have lost over the past few years. I thought I would do a more in-depth look at my journey here since many were interested in how I got to this point.
Before I get properly into this, I know I wasn’t truly overweight in the picture on the left but I was incredibly uncomfortable. My clothing wasn’t fitting properly and when I walked it felt like I was trying transporting the weight of a whale which is why I had to change for myself. At that point I only needed to pick up 4 kg to be considered overweight for my height which is quite scary to consider since it’s not that difficult to gain 4 kg.
I think what made me so uncomfortable is the fact that it is very difficult for me to pick up weight on the top half of my body; all my excess fat goes to my hips and thighs. This meant that I was incredibly bottom-heavy so while the top half of my body was still rather petite I was carrying a ton of extra weight on my hips and thighs. Think of it as having a toddler insist on hanging onto your legs even though you have somewhere to be. Walking with all that extra weight on your bottom half isn’t easy.
I have mentioned this before but I first started picking up a lot of weight at the start of my high school career. I was previously a dedicated ballerina eager to attend lessons but at that point I started having issues with my health. This dampened my will to exercise since I was on antibiotics and cortisone approximately every two weeks. I was lucky if a month went by that I wasn’t ill. When I was fifteen our family doctor diagnosed me with chronic sinusitis. Since you aren’t supposed to exercise when ill I started getting behind in ballet which made me not want to attend classes. I didn’t feel good enough to be there. I was also incredibly busy with school work in between.
I was suddenly heavier than I had ever been without the energy or will to exercise or to do my school work since I felt awful all the time.
Luckily, my doctor referred me to a specialist when he realised my sinus problems couldn’t be cured by constantly going on and off cortisone and antibiotics. After an unclear X-ray and the CAT scan which would later be what helped in figuring out what the problem was, the specialist concluded that my sinuses were chronically inflamed which he prescribed a cortisone nasal spray for. Even though the solution was as simple as a nasal spray I have to use on a daily basis it has changed my life. I have gone through stretches of just a little under an entire year where I didn’t get sinusitis at all.
Finding the solution meant that I was back at ballet more regularly again but I was still too far behind and struggling to keep up. It wasn’t only that I was struggling to keep up with though. My last three years at high school meant that I could choose the subjects I wanted to take. At that stage in my life, my naïve fifteen year old self wanted to study medicine so I chose very scientific subjects; biology, physics, maths and chemistry. Anyone who knows me well would probably laugh at me reading this because I am not at all mathematically minded. I struggled and because of that I needed to attend extra classes for maths, physics and chemistry. Some weeks I had extra classes four times a week especially when it was close to exams and then I had ballet classes twice a week too. Sometimes the times for classes would conflict and I would have to rush between them.
I threw myself into exercise during that time because I was so exhausted and that made me feel alive again. I am one of those people who gets extremely energised after exercise. I will practically be jumping off walls afterwards but the problem with that is that afterwards I would be unable to sit still and concentrate on my studies which is part of what was making me so tired. By the time my second last year of high school came I realised I couldn’t carry on like that because my marks were suffering. Since I certainly wasn’t talented enough to make a career out of ballet I had to make the difficult choice and retire my pointe shoes. To this day, I think it is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made. I still get tearful when I think of it and it has been three years since I turned my back on ballet.
When I stopped dancing, I promised myself that I would exercise regularly and I did put in some good effort but my head wasn’t in the right space so I stopped exercising too which, of course, made me gain the bit of weight I had lost from my energising post-ballet workouts.
This cycle continued for ages… Even well into last year I would exercise consistently, start seeing results and then stop again.
In September of last year, I went through quite an ordeal which I have linked to and after that I lost a significant amount of weight. While stress isn’t exactly an ideal way to lose weight, when I looked at my proportions in the mirror I was finally somewhat happy with the way I looked. I had lost most of the unwanted weight off my legs and hips. Seeing my body in the state I had craved for so many years motivated me to keep my body that way and also work on toning up and becoming fit.
With that new motivation, I am yet to fall of the exercise wagon and I am incredibly proud of myself and the way my body looks at the moment. I worked hard and I reached for my goal.
I exercise between four to six times a week at the moment and it feels wonderful. I don’t do long workouts since I lose focus too easily that way but, just like when I was exhausted in previous years and exercise was my energy source, it makes me feel alive. Having accomplished something such as getting so close to my dream body after years of struggling feels amazing.
This has been a six-year long struggle of exercising and then not exercising. Of being happy and then hating my body… All that has got me to this point of being 6 kg lighter.
My current exercise routine:
- Sworkit apps – I particularly love doing the plyometrics workouts in the Cardio version and the Abs & Core version is a staple for me. (I usually do ten minutes of each or, like today, I did ten minutes of abs and five minutes of cardio since my legs were sore from a previous day’s workout – You can choose the length of your workout on Sworkit.)
- Yoga Studio app – I love using this for stretching post workout. It relaxes me brilliantly and every time I stretch using the app I notice an improvement in my flexibility. The guided deep meditations on the app are also brilliant.
- Skipping: I was watching fitness videos on YouTube the one evening and stumbled across workout videos of the Victoria’s Secret Angels. Their personal trainer is a big believer in skipping and since then I have dusted off the skipping rope in the garage too. I love it! It’s a workout which feels fun. I tend to skip for approximately 20 minutes at a time with short breaks in between each song that comes on.
It is amazing how my fitness has improved as well. I hiked up Lion’s Head the other day, got to the top and it barely felt like I had broken a sweat whereas the previous time I hiked that same mountain I only got halfway and had to stop every few minutes to catch my breath. Regular exercise truly makes the world’s difference.
How I stay motivated at the moment:
I keep to a routine. Once I have woken up, I will brush my teeth and such things before heading downstairs to exercise. Once I have exercised I will leave my workout music on loud and enjoy my breakfast and the music before treating myself to a warm shower. I enjoy having that routine of almost “rewarding” myself for having done my workout.
I sometimes even sleep in workout clothes. That way, when I wake up I am already ready to exercise and there can be no excuses. It’s just a quick run downstairs away… I don’t even need to change.
When I am about to get into a bit of a rut, I look at the transformations on Kayla Itsines’ Instagram as well. The BBG guides and the Sweat with Kayla app are quite expensive so I don’t use them myself but the transformations always make me feel like I should go do a workout.
This was an incredibly lengthy post but I hope you will find my story helpful anyway.
What is your favourite workout app?