Category: Kez Gets Physical

Kez Gets Physical: Back to healthy habits. Again!

If you’ve followed me for a while, you’d know that I am on a constant journey of trying to improve my mental and physical health. I have some success, then I fall back, then I try again. And I blog about it and try not to bore you too much with all the ups and downs! *embarrassed face emoji*

But I keep going because I hope that at the very least, I’m relatable? Like, I’m not going to get a six pack (the not alcohol kind) or run a marathon any time soon but I do want to look after myself and do it in a way that isn’t too overwhelming or unachievable for the average parent/adult with limited time and funds!

Lately, I have fallen behind in looking after my health. It’s all the usual stuff – comfort eating, not being active enough in my down time. Not trying hard enough to prioritise my own self care, when trying to balance family/home life (ugh I hate that I do the martyr thing – hate it). I’ve also dealt with the mental blocks related to my struggles with secondary infertility. There are times in my cycle that I’m too scared to go hard with exercise for various reasons (I got scared when I had endometriosis because my ovary would hurt when I ran and that feeling has stuck with me). I also admit that I’ve comfort eaten whenever the familiar signs of PMS have returned (something that is tough enough when you’re not trying to conceive but very upsetting when you are). I’ve also had fluctuating energy levels as a result of lots of fertility related stuff. Not to mention, my immune system has suffered greatly this winter (I know it’s spring but I’m calling it winter until the weather proves otherwise)!

While I am being kind to myself as some things I deal with are unavoidable, I also want to kick myself up the arse. I feel like I get held back in a few areas of my life and I don’t want my health to be one of those things anymore.

So, I’ve decided to get back on track. I’m going to be really disciplined for the upcoming school term (starting this week coming). That’s around 10 weeks. I know I’m going to feel so good about myself if I just get my act together!

I am hoping to lose weight for both superficial and health reasons. I’ve ballooned out a bit and while it doesn’t wreck my day (I love being in my 30s and not losing entire days bawling my eyes out about how I look in my jeans anymore), I do admit to being a bit confronted by photos (and shop window reflections) these days. I also want to be fitter. I’m OK fitness wise, but I could really try harder.

I don’t have specific 10 week targets in place, but I do want to see my weight drop weekly (whether it’s 100 grams or a whole kilo I will take it) and I do want to average 70,000 steps a week.

I am going to try to eat cleaner and to watch my portion sizes. I think I would benefit greatly from cutting down on my carb consumption. I am honestly THE WORST. My protein to greens to carbohydrates ratios are severely out of whack each meal time!

Mostly I am going to just enjoy the feeling of knowing I’m doing my best and not giving into excuses! I may have fallen off the healthy living wagon time and again, but I’m proud of myself that I’ll never stop trying to do better!

I hope to check in with you at the end of the school year, with some good news about how I’m fitting in my clothes and enjoying being active and shit.

In the meantime I am going to use the hashtag #kezgetsphysical to document my efforts on social media. I want to thank you in advance for keeping me accountable!

How are you going? Do you need a kick up the bum too? Want to use the school term as a motivator as well? Got any tips for me? 

Kez Gets Physical: Smaggle’s #wholesomehabitschallenge

So, for the past two weeks or so I have been participating in a fantastic challenge run by Carly of Smaggle fame (one of my fave bloggers). It’s called the Wholesome Habits Challenge and it was definitely something I was keen on doing, because it came along at the perfect time. I had just recovered from my laparoscopy/hysteroscopy surgery, was feeling bloated and stiff around my middle from lack of exercise and I was keen to focus on experiencing that whole ‘good health’ feeling I’ve been lacking for most of the year (sometimes my fault due to lack of discipline and a lot of the time due to things out of my control).

Basically, the rules of the challenge were:

  1. It went for 14 days. Two weeks. Nothing too intimidating.
  2. You must consume 5 cups of veggies per day.
  3. 30 minutes exercise daily.
  4. Get 8 hours of sleep every night.

So…how did I go?

Technically, not as awesome as I’d hoped. The first week? I was like a machine. I was hitting those goals like you would not believe. The second week? I got my period and exercise became more difficult and I was more tired (read: lazy) and a bit mentally stressed (related – lame ‘lady worries’ story).

I was a bit bummed I didn’t properly hit all my targets for two measly weeks, but here’s a break down of how I went over the 14 days…

8 hours of sleep: 10/14 days

5 cups of veggies: 8/14 days

30 minutes of exercise: 8/14 days

I guess it’s a ‘pass’? So how do I feel after completing the challenge? I feel OK and I’ve had more energy (a big deal for me – especially in winter). I lost 1.1kg (my goal was 1kg – a reasonable and healthy one for a two week period). I am always shocked at the end of a challenge to see that I have actually lost some weight, because I never feel like I am making progress at the time. I have a way to go (I just do not feel physically great at this weight) but I’m glad to be shedding my post surgery weight. That just felt like a bit too much.

The idea of the challenge was to develop healthier habits, so these are the things I am going to take from it moving forward:

  1. Planning is everything. I was amazed at how easy it was to have a great vegetable intake when I’d planned ahead at the beginning of the first week. I also found that we did not indulge in takeaway food even once (while we did have a couple of takeaway style meals we were able to make them a tiny bit healthier than if we’d ordered fast food). We saved money on groceries by mostly buying fresh produce too!
  2. Minimise starchy vegetables. While I have long been a fan of the potato (especially when it’s cut into chip shapes and deep fried), I found it surprisingly easy to cut down while doing the challenge. Same went for pumpkin, sweet potato and all their friends. I will never not love those things, but having smaller portions of them and/or substituting them with other things (i.e. potato can be changed out for cauliflower if you love your mash) wasn’t that painful! I found that eating leafier stuff with some good protein really helped fill me up and stopped me from eating carb loaded crap (mostly). I want to keep this up and try not to fall off the wagon too much. I don’t know if forcing all 5 cups into myself is that beneficial (I was a bit eager in that first week haha), but it is good to have that figure in my head. If I eat 3 and feel satisfied and don’t eat much junk then that’s fine. If I’m starving still, I can have the other 2 instead of looking for gross stuff to pig out on. I probably was too ‘challenge’ focused and not listening to my body, resulting in an initial blow out weight gain (on top of my usual monthly fluid retention and regaining of muscle due to exercise) and becoming challenge fatigued. Next time I’d pace myself better and try not to psych myself out.
  3. Eating out is still fun if you order the healthier stuff. I learned that if I ate in a cafe or restaurant that it’s actually not less fun just because you choose a salad or a green juice/smoothie. I never felt like I was missing out while on the challenge and I surprised myself at how motivated I was to eat well. My experience was no less enjoyable. I had good company, great conversations and laughs, and I loved that feeling you get when you know you’re doing the best thing for your body. I am going to make a big effort to eat as healthily (and veggie focused) as I can when out, as often as I can. A little indulgence here and there won’t hurt, but I’d like to think I can manage healthier options most of the time from now on.
  4. Exercise is a priority and should be treated as such. Sometimes I do the guilty mum/wife thing and put off exercising because I feel time poor or I feel like I’m sacrificing time I could be with my family (as much as it’s a lovely bit of me time). My focused exercise seems to go further down the priority list and really, it needs to be at the top so I am fit, healthy, able to keep up with my life’s demands and be physically and mentally better. Everyone benefits. I’m sorry to put my hubby in it (sorry not sorry haha), but he exercises each weekend for HOURS on bike rides, so I should never feel bad for taking half an hour a week day (on average). At most it still adds up to the same hours he often rides in one Saturday! If he can exercise without feeling any guilt at all (none – not even a little bit haha), then so can I, damn it! I learned during the challenge that it is indeed possible and that everyone can/should live with half an hour without me quite nicely. It’s a manageable chunk of time per day and is not enough that it eats away our precious family or couple time.
  5. Better habits rub off on the people you love. I can find it hard to do these sorts of healthy challenges alone, because you don’t want to force anyone into it at family meal times etc. But I was so impressed and pleasantly surprised when Mr Unprepared volunteered to take part without me even asking him! He’s had salads daily for lunch and started a new habit of having green smoothies for breakfast instead of deceptively sugar laden cereal! I’m so happy for him and he’s making some progress with weight loss already (bloody men – he blinked and lost 3kg)! He’s even tried harder to get his 8 hours of sleep instead of the sleep deprived lifestyle he was trying to maintain before (which hurt my sleep too). This makes me so happy and really helps me to stay motivated. In fact, I’d say he aced this challenge better than I did!

Overall, I loved that this challenge wasn’t about fad dieting or deprivation, because that’s just not how I roll. I am always looking for ways to improve my healthy habits. It can be a struggle so any motivation/inspiration I can get is great. While I could have definitely kicked more arse at this in the past fortnight, this does not have to be the end just because the challenge is formally over.

In saying that, I am about to go to Melbourne and I might want all the food, but I am hoping I can put my slightly improved habits into practice (I think balance is key) and not come home the size of a house!

Did you do the challenge? Would you do something similar to this? How are you feeling, health wise, these days? 

 

Kez Gets Physical: An update.

So last month (on the 11th of March), I set myself a challenge. The challenge was to control my dinner portions (I have a habit of overeating at dinner time) and to exercise properly at least every second day. The point of the challenge was to take a month or so to reset myself and get into a routine with better habits. Habits I can take forward with me for as long as possible (no ‘quick fix’ fads here).

While right now is probably not the best time to check in with you guys (I’ve just got back from living large in Sydney and now it’s my ‘birthday week’ where I’ve been indulging), I am going to do it anyway! Keeping it real!

To keep track of my progress, I used my Fitbit app and a really cool app called HabitBull (thank you to my lovely reader Nicole who put me onto it).

So…here are some of my stats (from 11 March to 15 April)…

  • I started off at 65kg (a physically uncomfortable weight for me – I’m only 5 ft tall and have a naturally small frame) and I lost 2.2kg during my initial month long challenge period. Sure, I’ve put about another 0.5-1kg on since then (told you – living large at the moment), but it gives me confidence that fairly simple lifestyle changes/habits can really help get the weight off. This living large period will end very soon with the start of the Little Mister’s second school term of the year so I feel confident.
  • My fitbit (and HabitBull) registered 11 work outs during that time. Not as many as I would have hoped, but more than I’d been doing before that.
  • I managed to control my dinner portions (with a good clear conscience about the whole day’s eating) 16 times, according to HabitBull. My longest successful streak was 4 days, but I tended to average 3 day streaks, with a couple of days off. Again, I could do better!

I did face some challenges during that time. I’ve been struggling with endometriosis (it can put me out of action for days at a time) and I also learned that running or doing vigorous/twisty/whatever exercise gives me ovary pain. A rupture or other damage to my cyst/ovary is not worth the risk while I wait for surgery (next month) so I have had to limit myself to walking more gently, for longer, or having silly kitchen dance parties after dinner with the Little Mister (during which it is really hard to not overdo it when my favourite songs are playing haha).

Also, changes to Mr Unprepared’s work schedule (and soon mine too), have thrown things out a little. He works longer hours and my time to work out during the week has been limited. I am hoping that the start of a new school term will allow me to find a better routine.

Yep. That’s real life. Shit happens and you just have to work around it! It’s frustrating, but I’ve just gotta make it work. My mental and physical health depend on it!

I’ve got a lot of room for improvement, but I’m being kind to myself and I’ll just keep on trying to better my habits. I really do feel better for it. The past month and a bit have shown me that it’s actually easy to create better habits if you have the right tools to keep you motivated, and accountable, and you keep your goals realistic.

I was nervous about the dinner portion control thing, because I have eyes bigger than my belly, but I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. I just forced my hands to pick the smaller dinner plate and I never regretted it. If I was actually hungry for real (and not emotionally) after finishing the smaller portion, I’d grab a little more food, but this rarely happened!

I feel like these two habits (portion control at dinner time and regular exercise) have become my ‘normal’ rather than the exception, and even though I’ve kind of slacked off over the school holiday period, I feel myself getting really excited to get back to it!

I’ll try to check in with you in another month or so! Hope you’re feeling fighting fit! x

Kez Gets Physical: Time to challenge myself.

So I’m going to make a pretty big (for me) declaration. I am challenging myself to kick my own arse. For a month or so (minimum), I am going to make a strong commitment. Something that I hope will help me to get back on track, mentally and physically. I feel like I’m at a crossroads where I need to do something or I’ll feel utterly disappointed when I wake up at the end of 2016 wondering where the time went!

Isn’t this year going by scarily fast????

I want to put good habits back into place and I feel like I need to be really pro-active. Kind of force the issue with myself. I say this all the time, because I’m really against the whole ‘fad’ thing so excuse the broken record, but I want to make it clear that I’m not talking 30 days and then stop and binge eat/laze around. I’m talking a month or so of being really disciplined and getting used to healthier behaviour again, so that it starts to feel like more of a normal daily/weekly routine and not that rare thing where I occasionally have a healthy meal and maaaaybe get outside for a run. I need to flip everything to the opposite of how it is now, basically!!!

Y’know what I mean?

I always feel like I’m shit at explaining this stuff. Which is probably not great seeing as I’m a blogger haha.

I guess I should just get to it, even though putting it down in writing is a little bit scary because it means I’ll have to be somewhat accountable…

I am going to:

  • Stop pigging out at dinner time and eat a normal, healthy sized portion. This will be really hard but it has to happen. I will use a smaller plate and everything. Pray for me!
  • Exercise properly at least every second day. This means an intense work out or at least meeting my 30 active minutes target, tracking it with my fitbit.

I think that just those two things will make a massive difference in only a few weeks. I am hoping that seeing progress during that time will spur me on further.

Here are the benefits I think I’ll enjoy (based on previous experience):

  • Weight loss. Which means fitting into my clothes a lot easier. Feeling less bloated around my middle (which is a really uncomfortable feeling).
  • Being more toned. I love how strong I feel when everything tightens up a little!
  • Better skin. I really love sweating out all the toxins.
  • A better mental state – less anxiety. More overall self confidence.
  • Better metabolism. I’ve been feeling it slowing down and I am not happy with that.
  • An all around feeling of smugness ?

So. Fingers crossed, hey? I hope I’ll be able to share some of my progress with you down the track.

Do you have any challenges you want to set for yourself? Let me know and we can keep ourselves accountable and cheer each other on! x

Kez Gets Physical: Coming back from an unplanned hiatus…oops.

Look, I’ll level with you. I swear I write about how to come back from a slump in fitness/exercise/good health efforts more than I write about the actual ‘doing’ of it all. I’d feel embarrassed about it, but in all honesty, I’m happy to keep it real. Because I reckon most people I know can relate. I also think that half the battle with looking after ourselves is how we get back on the wagon, when we slack off or let other life shit get in the way.

I am not going to lie. I have been exhausted. Lazy. Distracted. Unmotivated. Making excuses. And it’s starting to show.

I’ve had some valid reasons not to exercise – constant blood tests and medications (secondary infertility SUCKS) have been a big disruption to my routine. But at other times? Not so much.

I’ve maintained the weight loss I achieved in 2015 (as in I haven’t put anymore on), but I’ve watched my body fat percentage slowly increase. I’ve felt my legs getting heavier. I know I’m losing the tone I was so proud of a few months ago. I know I’m going to huff and puff and feel lousy before I feel better, when I get back on my treadmill.

And I’m not really cool with that.

It’s probably been at least a couple of months since I had a good exercise routine (or at least some semblance of an effort I was excited to make). I’ve been eating crap. I’ve been feeling crappy. I KNOW this is the first sign that I need to take better care of myself, but I often ignore it.

It’s taken me all this time to find that thing that makes me want to actually get out of this slump (instead of just thinking/talking about it). And that something is getting back to my Fitbit obsession. I was OK without a Fitbit for a while – when my last one was found to have a fatal hardware fault (RIP) I realised that I no longer needed to rely on it for motivation (that was obviously nice while it lasted). Now, I’m realising I need a visual reminder of what I can achieve. I need to see how many steps I’m doing (or more to the point not doing). I need to take part in challenges with my friends. Keep myself accountable. Enjoy the competitive side of my personality (in a healthy way haha).

I also need to remind myself of a few things if you don’t mind:

Using fatigue and anxiety as an excuse not to exercise/eat better is a silly argument. Thing is, it’s a cycle. I know that if I eat healthy food and exercise regularly I have more energy, better moods and my anxiety lessens. I have to suck it up and get over that initial hump. Of course I’ll be more tired at first. But when am I ever not tired? I can’t use that excuse, because I’m an adult with responsibilities. We’re all tired!!

Remember how good you feel in your active wear, Kez? Good active wear sucks everything in and has an air of aspiration about it! It’s comfy and stretchy and makes me feel more bouncy in my sneakers and ready to go. I need to get back into it. Literally.

Hello – exercise is justified me time! You know? That thing you have SO LITTLE of at the moment?? Just do it. It’s better than no me time at all, that’s for sure! Mr Unprepared gets his cycling time. I need mine too! Sure, it’s less than both of us would prefer, but geez – beggars can’t be choosers!

When I exercise well, I fuel myself better too. For some people, working on their food/nutrition first works. For me, it’s the fitness thing. When I’m exercising well, I am less likely to eat badly. I start to crave healthier things because I love the feeling of being fit and well. I eat less junk because I want to have the energy to exercise and junk food doesn’t give that feeling to me. I start to see progress in my body and it motivates me to make better choices.

Exercise is good for my self esteem. And no, I’m not just talking about looks. I feel more confident when I’m getting regular endorphin hits. My brain works better (which means I have marginally less awkward bumbling moments haha). I look in the mirror and I love what I see, even before the changes are noticeable. Because I feel empowered and I know I’m doing good things.

So. That’s it. I am coming back. I am kicking my arse back into a healthier lifestyle. It will be gradual progress but it will be progress. I don’t want to go backwards anymore! I want 2016 to be an awesome year for ‘Kez Gets Physical’.

I don’t believe in fads or quick fixes or temporary measures to reach goals. That’s what keeps me getting back on track when I falter. It’s never too late and health should be about every day choices I make for the rest of my life. I will never be perfect (emotional eater – hello), but I can live better.

Who is joining me? Have you had any stumbling blocks lately? How do you get around/through/over them?

Kez Gets Physical: Swimsuit Edition.

I have a confession to make. While I’ve been working really hard on loving and accepting my body (especially after having the Little Mister in late 2011), the one area I have struggled with immensely has been how my body looks on the beach.

In bathers (otherwise known as togs or swimmers or whatever you like to call them).

While I would love to say with confidence that all I need to do to have a beach body for summer is to have a body and take it to the beach in summer, I know that I haven’t been able to get myself to truly believe it for myself or put it into practice.

The Little Mister was pretty much born a summer baby, so I felt a bit intimidated by the idea of wearing my bathers right away. In our climate, the need to cool down and wear light clothes and get in a pool or swim at the beach is quite a common thing to deal with! While I was far more concerned with getting the hang of having a tiny person to care for and love (priorities of course), the issue did kind of hang around in the background. I remember back to when we had friends over for Australia Day 2012 (the Little Mister was 3 months old). We had big paddle pools set up for everyone – it was a stinker. I eventually got in with my friends. I had a big, floaty t-shirt on and daggy board shorts, while my friends all sat around in their bikinis looking pretty happy and comfy (even the new mums and pregnant ones too). I saw photos later and felt embarrassed. I felt like everyone knew I was hiding. It kind of just doubles the embarrassment factor.

I had stretch marks, some lingering scars from my PUPPP rash (that from a short distance looked like angry chest acne). A paunchy belly. In hindsight, I looked pretty damn good for what I’d been through and the breastfeeding had done wonders for me losing ‘baby’ weight (until I put it back on and then some later on). I really should have thrown caution to the wind and felt comfortable in my bathers, in my own home, around friends who were the last people who would judge me.

But that insecurity is not always rational and we judge ourselves so harshly sometimes, no?

Fast forward to 4 years later, and my scars have faded. My stretch marks are still there, but they have faded a lot too (you’d probably only see them if you were perving reeeeeally hard or you’re in my family/close friends circle). I still have a paunch that wobbles (the Little Mister likes to ever so tactfully jiggle it and laugh). I am a size 12 short arse. I’m not skinny, slim or perfectly toned. If I eat anything at all (which I do because starvation or crash dieting is not an option), I can look like I’m housing a 4-5 month food baby.

But it has been at least 4 long years since I wore nothing but my bathers on the beach or in the pool.

At the start of summer 2015/16, I realised I want to change that. I’ve been working so hard on my Kez Gets Physical self improvement project, that this has felt like a really important hurdle to conquer. I’ve become more comfortable in my skin. More comfortable in my active wear. More comfortable in my every day clothes. But I haven’t yet beaten my fear of being seen on the beach without a thousand cover up items on my body!

Obviously, I believe so much in being sun safe, but I have also been a bit ridiculous because of my worry about my body’s appearance. I want to feel comfortable and I don’t want to freak out about what it will mean if I choose to get in the water (like what do I do with all my clothes and my cover ups and what do I look like and am I being totally awkward right now?). It’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but I’m keeping it as real as I can!

I don’t want to swan around like I think I’m Kate Upton or anything. I don’t want to punish myself with ridiculous fad diets and extreme work outs, so I can achieve some kind of ‘ideal’ bikini body. I just want to feel comfortable in myself and be able to do the things I enjoy (especially with the Little Mister) without hinderance from too much extra fabric or crippling self consciousness, thank you!

For Christmas, Mr Unprepared gave me (among other nice things) a voucher for a beautiful local swimwear store. I was so happy that I would have an excuse to remember how to feel good in my bathers again. I hadn’t shopped – joyfully – for swimwear in SO long. It had always been a rushed purchase – “This will do – it will all be covered up by my extra tops and shorts anyway”.

I did a little online browsing for ideas and decided that I should look for a tankini that is quite fitted around the torso (the looser ones look like they’ll be flattering but tend to float up around your chest when you enter the water – learnt that the hard way a while back). I wanted padding in the cups, not so much because I want to look like I have big breastesses (ha!), but because I am weird about flaunting my nips (what a prude – don’t get me started on my fear of camel toe haha). I wanted it to have some built in flattering features, like a little ruching (gathering) in the right spots and wide straps (probably a halter) and a pattern that didn’t make me look like a house. Because I’m not picky or anything!!!

I headed into town (on a really rainy morning strangely enough) and did my best to find that perfect tankini. I told the lady I had forgotten what looks good on me, so I was trying lots of things. I really had forgotten. I feel like swimwear design has come a long way since I last made an effort. Either that or I wasn’t paying attention. Could totally be the latter reason.

I picked out four contenders (pictured above) and got to work in the change room. I took photos of each top as I tried it on. I do this a lot as it helps me to quickly reference something and compare items. It also doesn’t hurt to know how this stuff photographs (let’s be honest).

I found a winner right away. The first top I tried on. It had the perfect small print (in gorgeous colours) to distract from too many lumps or bumps, a halter neck, padded cups and ruching. I didn’t hate myself in it. I actually felt a rush of excitement. Like if I wore this on the beach, I’d feel like a NORMAL PERSON wearing NORMAL bathers. I’d also feel good about the fact that I was wearing something I bought with actual intention and pride in myself. Not just something to hide in or to hide underneath other stuff.

In the name of ‘keeping it real’, here is what it looks like on (with the skirt I wore into the store).

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The side view impressed me too! Everything looked smoother and was tucked in nice and tight. Yay! I mean, I may be mistaken for a pregnant person if I’ve eaten too much on any given day, but I am quickly entering a new level of not-giving-a-fuckness about what nosy people might think/say. Yes. Kez is making progress!

I’ve got a way to go in toning and weight loss, of course, but I think that I should love my body for what it is (and what it can do) now too. Life’s too short to hide or sit on the sidelines!

Do you have any body/fitness fears to conquer in 2016? 

 

If you like my bathers, you can visit the Sunseeker website where they have some similar stuff (mine is the Verona singlet) and you can find a list of their stockists.
Note: this isn’t a sponsored post (unless you count it as being sponsored by Mr Unprepared who got me a voucher)!

Kez Gets Physical: How did 2015 shape up?

This year I started a series called ‘Kez Gets Physical’. Basically, the mission was/is to improve my physical and mental health, to document it to keep myself accountable, find inspiration (hopefully inspiring others who feel they can relate) and to find more of my tribe. There was no specific diet or weight loss plan or anything in particular that I was trying to sell or preach about. I just wanted to share my story and my own personal approach to improving my health. No judgement, no fear.

I feel like 2015 has been a fantastically big year when it comes to working on my physical and mental health. In fact, I’m pretty proud of the way in which I have tried to make it a priority in my life. I have learned so much about myself, from both the ups and downs of this – sorry but the cliché is coming – JOURNEY.

Here is my review of the year…

Things I achieved/learned

A stronger focus on self care

This year I gave myself permission to take the time I needed to look after my health. I had to fight the guilt at first. A lot. But eventually, it became an expectation I held for both myself and my family that I would be taking time out to exercise when I needed it. And guess what? Everybody was just fine (even if there were a few grumbles at times).

My overall mental health has improved

I still suffer from anxiety at times, but the severity and frequency seem to have decreased somewhat. I put this down to regular exercise and creating life habits that help me to cope better. I am not afraid to talk about it anymore. I recognise the warning signs. I know that sleeping well, unplugging from things that trigger me or make it worse, literally walking/running it off, and telling horrible thoughts to basically fuck off (i.e. giving myself a positive reality check when I have lost perspective and the negative self talk starts) is always a good strategy. I also know that when I am overwhelmed I can say ‘no’, I can turn to organising my life better, and I can ask for help. I have also discovered that some ‘off’ feelings just don’t need to be overanalysed. I just let them be and get on with things. A big deal for an over thinker like me.

It is not very often that I just sit alone, stewing in my anxiety and eating foods that make me feel like crap anymore (because that was so helpful in the past – not). That is definitely a big improvement. I do positive things now. I make action plans when I know I can feel it coming on. It can be as simple as telling someone (not carrying it all alone), having a rest day full of self care or it can be a hard fought battle where I work hard to attack it from all angles. Either way, I have learned that I can always do something positive about it. I hate the need to ‘fight’ but I know I’m stronger than I’ve ever been and knowing that I’ve managed to decrease the amount of time I have to spend fighting it is very reassuring.

My confidence grew and I got #InThePicture more

As I got fitter and stronger, I started to try harder to get in family photos. In fact, I demanded it! I wanted proof that I was having fun with my family and feeling good about myself. I stopped freaking out that I looked pregnant (when sadly that hasn’t been the case), with a bloated belly. I stopped fussing over my appearance as much. Knowing that I was exercising and doing fun things took the focus off the superficial and made me feel a confidence I hadn’t felt in a long time. I stopped being as embarrassed about taking selfies – there might be (a very first world) stigma but who else is gonna take it? I don’t have a very willing Instagram Husband haha.

I want memories recorded. I don’t want to hide anymore.

My body has changed

I have probably only lost about 2kg since the beginning of the year (with some fluctuations in between), but my body feels so different. I feel like I have a shape. I feel strong. I lost some fat from my lower back that I had begun to think would be there for the rest of my life (since having the Little Mister). I feel so much better in my clothes. I managed to fit back into some clothes I hadn’t fit in for a long time. The last time I weighed this much, I definitely did not look as toned or feel as strong. I feel really excited when I see the difference in photos or when someone in my life notices the difference. I have started to look for the good things when I face my mirror, instead of zooming in on the flaws. I never thought I’d feel like that, without being a stick figure first. I guess my mind has changed too!

I’ve made exercise a routine part of my life

I admit that prior to this year, exercise was just the thing I did to lose weight by a certain time or it was just a ‘phase’ I went through. This year, it has become a necessary and regular part of my life. It is the rule, not the exception. Of course I have rest days and setbacks, but that’s all they are. I miss exercise when I can’t do it. I know when I’m not feeling as good, that it’s something I need to do to maintain a healthy balance. I fit it in when I can. It is no longer a ‘luxury’ or a ‘quick fix’ phase. I am proud that I have been able to create this habit and maintain it.

Things I loved

Finding community

I have enjoyed each and every comment on my blog or Facebook page since I started ‘Kez Gets Physical’. I love knowing that some of you are reading and sharing your own experiences. I also joined the awesome Facebook group (founded by Chantelle of Fat Mum Slim) The Good Life Gang. I also have a couple of great friends on Twitter  and Snapchat – we chat back and forth about our exercise plans and habits. We keep ourselves accountable and we encourage each other. I also had fun making Fitbit friends and taking part in challenges. Sadly, my Fitbit has bitten the dust for now, but it still played a big part in my year. It’s so great to find people who are like minded. I love that no-one I have surrounded myself with is militant, trying to sell a product or obsessed about it. We just do what we can, when we can and it’s really inspiring and a safe place to be ourselves. Thanks to everyone who I’ve mentioned above 🙂

Learning to run/challenging myself 

I never thought I’d enjoy running. I mostly end up on my treadmill (time/weather/other factors), but it’s great. It’s like my form of mindfulness. I go into some kind of zen state on good days. It seems to have such a positive impact on my body. I use the C25K app and it’s perfect for me. I like that sense of knowing I’m improving bit by bit. I can measure my progress really easily.

Stuff to keep working on in 2016 and beyond

Nutrition/portion sizes

I have improved things overall (not pigging out at lunch time has been a big change), but I know that I am not always fuelling my body with what is best. I still have eyes that are bigger than my belly. I don’t always stop when I’m full. It’s a constant struggle for a food lover, but something I will have to keep working on.

Continued weight loss

I want to be at a healthier weight for me and I know I have about 6kg to go before I’m at least in the ball park. Obviously, the above point about nutrition/portion sizes is a big factor. I am so pleased with how my body has changed so far, but there is still a way to go. I want to feel lighter.

My progress with these issues has been verrrrry slow and steady. A part of me is glad about that because I feel like the long term habits I’m creating are going to stick – it’s not been a quick fix – but I think I’m now in a better position to step it up for an even better 2016.

Progress from August 2014 at my heaviest (the last time I had a photo taken of most of my body) to November 2015. I know there are several factors that make it not the best before and after/during example (type of clothing, lighting etc etc) but I know that the person on the right is so much happier. Note: Photo has been retouched really badly to protect the identities of others x
Progress from August 2014 at my heaviest (a photo that made me do that whole “OH MY GOODNESS – I NEED TO DO SOMETHING” freak out) to November 2015. I know there are several factors that make it not the best before and after during example (type of clothing, lighting, how close I am to the camera etc etc) but I am not really trying to convince anyone of my physical progress so I don’t mind. I just wanted to show you that the person on the right is so much happier and dresses herself to show who she is, instead of hiding in whatever fits like the girl on the left did. Note: Photo has been retouched really badly to protect the identities of others x

How did your 2015 shape up? 

Kez Gets Physical: #NoExcusesVember

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I need a kick up the bum, so I am taking action. I have been eating my feelings for a few weeks now. I have been unable to exercise properly for a little while too. I am still doing fairly well in terms of my weight (well – considering) and how I feel in my clothes but I know that if I don’t get back on top of things, these things will happen:

  • My weight will creep back up and my clothes won’t fit which will be really really annoying and will make me feel disheartened.
  • The lower back fat I worked so hard on losing will return. I won’t feel so toned anymore.
  • I will start to feel sluggish from eating badly.
  • My mental health will suffer.
  • The urge to give up will become stronger.

So, I’ve declared this month #NoExcusesVember – clever huh? Bit bummed to discover I am not the only one who thought of that hashtag but the other two guys on Twitter seem to be using it for fitness purposes so I guess we can share haha.

Nothing’s going to be 100% perfect, but my aim for the month is to be really disciplined and to force myself to walk away from bad choices (literally – GET OUT OF THE POTATO CHIP AISLE KEZ) and run towards really good ones. While I don’t believe in temporary or drastic diets/exercise plans – I believe our health should be an every day lifestyle thing full of balance – I do believe in a kick up the bum when needed. I have no intention of giving up after a month, but I think I need to work a lot harder at remembering the habits that are better for me.

I feel like by telling myself that it’s just 30 or so days of the mentally hard stuff, it will seem easier by the time December rolls around. I have had fairly good habits through the year (compared to the past Kez) but I just need to slot myself back into that groove. I don’t think making excuses to eat my feelings or letting myself have lots of time off is working. I’m not getting the results I want so I need to get back to putting in the work. It’s not really only a month long challenge I’ve set myself, but more of a rehab of sorts.

There will be exceptions. Times when I don’t have many healthy food options or when I want the Little Mister to see me sharing a little birthday cake with him. But I will be making those moments as few and far between as possible. I want to do everything I can to avoid my old excuses (trust me – they’re getting old).

This is not about being mean to myself. It’s about being kind. I won’t be shaming myself. I won’t be doing this so I can suffer. I won’t be doing this because I don’t like myself. I will be doing this because I love myself enough to.

So here are the specific things I will be doing (and it’s scary to write it down and make myself accountable but I think we all know I need to):

  • I will plan my lunches (they are my weakness sometimes) so that they are healthy and of a good portion size. I will exercise much more discipline than I have been.
  • I will eat less dinner – using a smaller plate. I truly do not need to eat as much at night as I do at the moment.
  • I will not impulsively buy snacks that are not conducive to my efforts. I will walk RIGHT PAST that stuff at the shops.
  • I will work out wherever/whenever possible. If I cannot get on the treadmill, I can do a quick weights work out or a hip hop cardio work out while in the same room as the Little Mister. Daily would be good, but definitely 3-5 days a week minimum.
  • If I feel really hungry emotionally and/or physically I will have some lean protein to get me through until the next meal time (that is what seems to work for me).
  • If I am in a take away food/eating out situation, I will order the healthiest choice available and/or have the smallest portion available.
  • If I should slip up at any point, I will NOT GIVE UP or slack off. I will do better at the very next opportunity I have.

Basically, I am going to force myself to do the right things. It sounds funny, but I’m going to treat this as a physical thing. My mind might try to make bad decisions, but I can tell my legs to walk on by!! Once I’ve walked away or shut my mouth (haha), I’m going to do a lot better! I can journal out my emotions, use my support networks and give myself non food related rewards after that haha.

Those are just my own goals and what I think will work for me. What works for somebody else might look a bit different.

I know that once I see the good results – my mental health, my weight, how I feel in my clothes, how energised I am – I won’t want to stop after November. I can’t wait.

Are you going to join me in my #NoExcusesVember efforts – what will your NoExcusesVember look like? What are your goals? Are you an emotional eater too? 

Kez Gets Physical: Outdoor run #2 recap.

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I woke up when the Little Mister ran into our room exclaiming, “IT’S THE MORNING! WAKE UP! IT’S THE MORNING!”

Sigh. Sure was.

It was also the morning I had planned to go for a run. I’ll be honest, I really wasn’t feeling it. Even though it wasn’t the most efficient idea (seeing as I was going to be all sweaty soon and would need a shower after too), I decided to have a shower to wake myself up. While I was in there, procrastishowering, I tried to think of a strategy to get the full 5km. I decided that I wouldn’t just run to the beach. I would run past it until I reached the 2.5km mark and then turn around.

I put on my shoes and socks. I prayed they were the socks that wouldn’t slip down my heels while I ran (my sock collection is a MESS). I cut off my circulation with my new arm band (so I can carry my phone).

I loosened my new arm band. You know, because I didn’t want my arm to fall off while I was running. That would be soooooo annoying.

I got my Fitbit app started so it could track my run, then I collected my overly excited dog, and we set off. The first kilometre was SO AWESOME, you guys. I felt heaps fitter than I did the first time I went running (off the treadmill). In fact, the second kilometre was shaping up OK too. I was feeling pretty good. When I was tired (which was most of the time), I played a little game with myself. I decided I would run harder (or at all) whenever a car went past me. You know, so I could maintain some dignity…but also to motivate me to be a little more accountable haha.

The dog and I got closer to the beach and I felt pretty good about myself. Not far to go until my halfway mark. She dragged me up the hill (dogs are good for that)…and then she saw the ocean.

I was literally forced to go to the beach. I was not the PACK LEADER IN THIS SITUATION.

“NO! We need to go PAST the beach, Blitz!” I protested.

She was having none of that. So my run took a bit of a turn. Let’s just call it some extra ‘resistance training’ I threw in there. Totally on purpose of course. I mean, I’m just that good.

Yeah, ‘resistance’ being me trying like crazy to pull her away from the lure of the sand and waves…and failing.

OK, I thought. I can roll with the punches. I’ll just keep her on the lead and run along the beach for a bit. It will be good for my leg muscles.

Nope.

She wanted off that lead and into the ocean. There were no other dogs around at that moment so I let her off for a minute. I contemplated my future options. Train my dog better (oops) or change my route next time so it didn’t involve ocean views. Neither sounded easy. BLOODY BLITZ.

I got her back on the lead and we headed for home.

I’d stupidly taken my phone out of my arm band while on the beach, so I tried to keep the dog in once place while trying to replace it. Then more dogs were coming. Then two really fit looking sexy people ran up behind me. Like, we’re talking ‘from a fitness magazine’ sexy.

So what did I do?

I quite literally ran away from them, with my iPhone in my hand and the dog trying to trip me. NO SEXY PEOPLE. DON’T CHASE ME!

I stopped when I realised that instead of following me on the footpath, the sexy people were running in the opposite direction up a GIANT HILL LIKE IT WAS EASY. BUT OF COURSE. I dismantled my arm band awkwardly and shoved the phone back up in there, before replacing it.

Hot tip. Life hack if you will. Huffing and puffing like you’re gonna die because you’ve never run this far before will keep the tiny flies from going in your mouth as you run home. It was really a lucky coincidence that I discovered this. Do it. It will change your life.

SO MANY TINY FLIES.

I didn’t quite make the whole 5km but I was pleased to get home and see that (apart from the detour to the beach – DAMN YOU BLITZ!) I had kept a similar pace to what I’d been achieving when training on the treadmill (I use the CT5K app). Yay!

I then did a crapload of gardening right after (in my activewear LOL), while Blitz tried to hump me. Again. Not the pack leader. Sigh.

Kez Gets Physical: Active Wear. When should we wear it?

So there’s this video going super viral at the moment. You might have seen it already. It’s funny. It’s clever…

I mean, I laughed! But the thing is, I have a confession. I wear active wear. I exercise in it – promise! But sometimes I wear it all day before I can get a work out in and I don’t give a damn who has a problem with that! I don’t mind having a laugh at myself about it either. What normal person sees that in their future? Haha.

Why do I wear it all day sometimes? Because hell, that’s what works for me. I am not going to compromise my motivation levels for anyone who can’t stand to see activewear on a human being for longer than the time it takes for them to work out. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

I tell myself that if I’m wearing it then I have to work out before the day is out. You know, so I’m not THAT person.

Also, I know that if I’m already wearing the stuff, I’m not going to tell myself that I can’t be bothered taking the time to get dressed for exercise when that time of day rolls around. Excuses be gone!!

So next time you see that chick who looks like she’s been wearing her gym gear all day, with no sign of a work out (YET), go easy on her. She might be me! She might be biding her time until her husband comes home from work or her kid is in school or whatever the reason may be. It’s called efficiency, y’all and if I’m feeling pretty frickin’ comfy at the same time – why not?

So to answer the question I posed in this post’s title? When should we wear activewear? WHENEVER THE HELL WE NEED TO.

Feel free to laugh at/with me, because I am unapologetically wearing that stuff all day long if that’s what it takes to get me fit, mother f*cker!

😉

Do you wear activewear? Do you love it or loathe it? Can you actually really tell if another human being is wearing it for the right reasons just by looking at them? Isn’t that video hilarious? 

 

This is just a silly post, but I do send the message that you shouldn’t let other people’s stereotypes or judgements stop you from doing what is best for you x