Welcome to our next story in our Workout Wednesday series! Donna is this week’s feature after being inspired by Eirryn’s story last week, which made her reflect on her own personal journey which I encouraged her to share with us all. It’s so amazing to sift through our feelings, path & accomplishments & realise just how far we travel in life. I hope you love Donna’s story ~ I sure did! Please feel free to contact me & share yours too ~ I’m looking for next week’s feature right now!!
^ Donna on her honeymoon in Thailand
“After reading Eirryn’s story last week I was inspired to tell my own story of how I changed my eating and exercise habits and in turn, changed my outlook on life.
A few years ago I was a size 10-12 and just plodded along in life not really thinking too much about what I ate or my exercise routine. I had always stayed a similar size whilst eating whatever I wanted so I never really thought to change anything. It wasn’t till I looked back at photo’s that I realized the weight had been slowly creeping up on me. It made me think about where I was at and I realised that I really wasn’t feeling all that energetic and “living life” as much as I could.
I had not long met my now husband and he wanted to go on a health kick so I decided to do it with him, together. Having an exercise partner is definitely the way to go, they help motivate you on the days where you just can’t be bothered, and when the workout is finished you’re soooo glad that they kicked your butt into gear! And I strongly believe that doing the health kick together strengthened our relationship, we shared the lows of “I can’t be bothered” and brought each other up, and shared the highs of seeing the kilo’s drop and energy levels increase as well as a new found passion, we started to jump out of bed in the morning!”
^ Donna ~ before her health kick // on her wedding day
“So how did we do it? We had a huge overhaul – completely changed our eating habits and worked out every day, and in no time I had lost over 10kg, Brad had also lost around 10kg and we felt amazing! I am now a size 8-10 (pre pregnancy) and feel great!”
// FOOD //
Here’s a bit of a rundown of what I used to eat and how I changed/replaced each meal.
Our main food rules were;
- No eating after 7.30pm
- Eat as soon as possible after getting up in the morning to get the metabolism going
- Limit carbs to none if possible – or eat for lunch only, strictly no carbs for dinner (or after 3pm)
- Cut back on sugar (specifically chocolate & other naughty treats)
- Cut back on wine
// BREAKFAST //
I used to have whatever cereals were in the cupboard at home, usually something sugar filled like Nutrigrain, Special K etc. Eating these types of cereals for breakfast never really filled me up and I was always pretty hungry again by mid-morning.
Health kick breakfasts;
- Porridge with honey & nutmeg, or sliced up banana (I make my porridge with all water, no milk, sounds weird but I am that used to it now if I make it with milk it makes me feel sick!)
- Weetbix with skim milk
- Muesli with sliced up banana and skim milk
// LUNCH //
I used to have left overs from the night before (meat dish with pasta/rice), or if dining out at the pub I would get a schnitzel/curry (something carb filled!)
Health kick lunches;
- Subway – usually ham wrap with salad and sweet onion sauce (one of the sauces with the lowest fat content). I have since learnt that the wholemeal rolls have a similar amount of fat content as the wraps and I find them more filling too.
- Sandwiches made by Mum – usually meat and salad (oh how I miss having lunches made for me!)
- Pub lunches would consist of salads or seafood (try to avoid carbs like chips, pasta, rice etc)
// DINNER //
I was still living at home at this stage and the regular dinner meals in the household contained rice and pasta, my Mum makes an awesome Thai Green Curry!
Health kick dinners (remember to try and eat before 7.30pm)
- Chicken/steak and veggies – usually varied between broccoli, pumpkin, carrot, peas
- Chicken and salad – sometimes make a caeser with bacon & egg
// SNACKS //
Now both Mum and myself used to do a lot of baking and we loved making things like muffins, cakes, tarts etc. So I would normally have something like that as my 10.30am snack at work. I replaced this with cup-a-soup or nuts. I also found drinking green tea was a good diversion to snacking during the day.
I still drank wine and had a small amount of chocolate as I didn’t want to deprive myself of everything. Before the health kick I was a major chocoholic, having chocolate every day, usually in the afternoon around 3pm when I hit a wall. I just cut down the amount, having it every few days rather than every day, and only drinking on the weekends or on a special occasion.
// EXERCISE //
Main exercise rules;
- Workout for 30 mins a day, EVERY DAY, no excuses!! (I do recall a day where I had that much on that I considered not working out, but I ended up setting my alarm for some crazy hour in the morning, pulled myself out of bed and got on the treadmill for half an hr and did it with my eyes closed!)
Prior to the health kick I didn’t do regular exercise, I walked the dog every now and then but nothing too strenuous, I had also done classes of yoga here and there too but it wasn’t on a regular basis. Oh – does shopping count as exercise?!
Brad’s exercise solution was simple, a treadmill. I was skeptical but then I met this treadmill of his and this wasn’t your ordinary treadmill! It was a fully manual magnetic treadmill, nothing like the ones you see in the gyms. It is virtually impossible to run on it, so it’s walking pace only, but it takes so much effort just to get the damn thing moving and then it is a mega workout just to keep it going! We were both living at home at this stage so when I stayed at his place we would take it in turns of showing this treadmill a lesson. We would do 30 minute workouts and then swap. We came up with the idea of watching a movie or TV series on DVD whilst we did treadmill, and we would only watch it while working out, that way if we wanted to know what happened next it meant one thing, getting back on the damn thing.
One day I was at work and I got a call from Brad, he was in Kmart and found a treadmill almost identical to his, and at a price of $50!! So I bought that and set it up at my parents house. When we weren’t staying at each others house we would call each other just before we were about to start our 30min workout and we would do it at the same time, sometimes we were still on the phone but most of the time I was too out of breath to hold a conversation!
I found that doing my workout as soon as I got home from work seemed to be the best time of the day for me. If I sat down and watched TV I really struggled to get the motivation to workout. So I would get home, workout, shower, have dinner and relax.”
^ Donna ~ 18 weeks pregnant
“I am currently pregnant and have slowed down my exercise routine quite a bit during this time due to tiredness, I still do yoga and take the dogs for a walk but I don’t do treadmill/cross trainer as much. And at 28 weeks pregnant I am currently the same weight as I was before we started our health kick!! It feels so weird to think that I used to carry around this excess weight and not even give it a second thought.
I would definitely say that how you look and feel is mainly to do with your mindset, not what clothes size you are. If you exercise and eat well you will feel amazing, it really is that simple! It does take hard work and effort (especially in preparing meals & taking that first step onto the treadmill), but once you get a couple of weeks under your belt it becomes routine and you don’t consciously think about it, it just becomes your new lifestyle!”
^ Donna ~ at her bridal shower // on the beach in Thailand on her honeymoon
“I hope my story can motivate you to make some changes in your life, the best advice I can give is to do it today! Don’t put it off, start now, and trust me you won’t regret it!”
Thank you Donna for your honest & beautifully detailed account ~ I think that it is really inspiring & helpful as the changes you made are written out wonderfully to share with us all! I wish you the best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy & I hope you enjoy the yoga DVDs!!