Happy 2020 lovelies! May this year be abundant in health and kindness.
Before I dive into today’s topic, please excuse the current wobbly blog layout, I am currently updating and adding new functionalities but everything will be fixed this month.
After talking about my life-changing experience with Pilates (here), I thought it could be interesting to do a follow-up after a whole year dedicating time to physical exercise (I got my first gym membership last year).
Disclaimer: I am not a professional and I am solely sharing my personal experience (always check with medical and PE professionals if you’re dealing with certain health issues or just starting your fitness journey)
My workout routine/plan
In the first 8 months, I did consistently 3x/week weightlifting machines to start building some muscles since my muscle/fat ratio turned out to be completely imbalanced. Also, when they first calculated my « biological » age based on strength, we found out that I had the level of a 70-year-old! (see my IG post). Those years of yo-yo dieting and excessive cardio exercises in my teens and early twenties did my body a large disservice because I did not get stronger over they years. I had zero endurance and could barely hold a plank for 15 seconds. After 8 months of sticking to weightlifting machines, I was starting to have the “level” to attend classes.
Mixing exercices = more fun and more chances to work different muscles.
I started doing some TRX Yoga and Body Art. These classes combine strength and flexibility. The latter has also been a priority of mine. I’d love to be able to do the splits someday but now I can finally reach my toes without bending my knees which already feels like a miracle for someone who used to have the flexibilty of a wooden board haha. I have also been attending masterclasses by Body By Fleur which are a lot of fun. Fleur’s method consist in « gracefully strengthening » the body and her exercises are suitable for all levels. I have now recently added a moderate to high intensity class with a « bootcamp » style but I only do it once a week as I can feel that my body is not able to do more. As the Italian saying goes « que va piano, va sano ». Slow and steady is the way to go. I always make sure to listen to my body, if my body is still very sore, I will give it some rest and skip a class but if I lack motivation, I suck it up and literally drag myself to the gym because I know that that low feeling is temporarily.
Diet? Food is fuel.
In terms of diet, I am a pescatarian (and I also eat eggs on occasions), I eliminated meat and dairy from my diet years ago. I do not restrict myself and I est intuitively. My favorite post-workout snacks are the Delicously Ella nut butter balls that I buy on The Good Market. I always keep one in my gym bag. Always see what suits best to your lifestyle and do not try ro replicate someone else’s food routine. There’s no such thing as a « one-diet-fits-all » as our bio-individuality plays a significant role. What is good for one, may not be for another one.
What I wear
When it comes to gym attire, I make sure to opt for eco-friendly, organic (when possible) and sustainable materials. I do not long to look cute since I always turn into a sweaty tomato lol. I favour comfort and breathability.
Depending on the type of exercises/classes I am doing, I go for different materials. Anything Pilates/Yoga/BodyArt, I’ll opt for loose and warmer clothes. Asquith is my favorite brand in that department. They use a wonderful mix of bambou and organic cotton and the clothes are featherlight and soft. I reviewed the brand already (here). I highly recommend their cami (with incorporated bra support), their hoodies and yoga pants.
Anything more cardio or strength training, I stick to sports leggings and t-shirt, preferably in materials that do not irritate or cause any discomfort. Same applies for underwear. I love organic cotton, tencel, and bamboo fibres.
For moderate to high intensity, the Silvertech Active pieces by Organic basics are excellent. Breathable and comfortable, you can easily move in them. The pieces are treated with their Polygiene® Stay Fresh technology which allows you to wash it less and maintain body odour at bay. I can confirm that it works because even after a couple of sweaty workouts, there is no smell that lingers on the fabric. I was quite amazed by that. You definitely do not need to wash it after each use, which is a relief because not only does it save some water but also stops you from buying tons of backup workout tops.
If you’re interested in eco activewear, Organic Basics kindly gave me a 10% discount code to share with all my followers: SPIRITOBC1
You can shop my favorites below (there are currently sales on Organic Basics and Asquith)
Mental and physical changes
Without any arrogance, I do am proud of my diligence and persistence this year. Physically, the transformation is nothing like what you see on certain Youtube videos or on Instagram and while I did lose some fat and won in muscle mass, my physical appearance has not drastically changed. Yet I feel physically stronger, my endurance has also improved (I particularly see it when we have to do planks lol) and my mood has changed. The endorphins kick in after every class and I feel the tension and stress go away after every physical exercise.
Nevertheless, I am still nowhere near what you’d call a fit person, but compared to where I was 3 years ago, it’s a world of difference. Progress is slow but it still progress. This is what keeps me going.
I hope this post was useful to some of you and let me know how your wellness/fitness journey is going? To me, the key has been to stop obsessing and fantasising over the end results and just keep moving. Just do it and do it for you 🙂
(Not sponsored, I was given last year a gift code to purchase some OB goodies and everything I got from Organic Basics has been tried and approved by yours truly) This post may contain affiliate links.