I’ve been putting off posting anything to do with my health and fitness journey because I’ve felt myself to be somehow ‘underqualified’. I am not a nutritionist, personal trainer or athlete and definitely don’t consider myself to be any sort of ‘goals’. But I do have a body, a brain and years of unhealthy relationships with food and exercise (much like many of my peers today) and so I figured it was time to speak up about it incase anyone felt in the same boat.
I want to start this off with a disclaimer. There is no ideal body. My body isn’t your body, my goals shouldn’t be your goals. There is a lot of apprehension surrounding the subject of weight loss. On the one hand losing weight and being healthier is fantastic and praised but it very quickly comes under fire for encouraging self-loathing and a singular ideal aesthetic. Can we not be encouraging self-love and incorporate a healthy diet and exercise?
Now let’s recap my journey thus far. Waking up one morning in July 2016 I looked in the mirror and hardly recognised my own body. The weight had seemed to creep up on me, one day I was slim and athletic and the next swollen and uncomfortable. You may be asking ‘how is it possible to not notice the weight gain?’ and the truth is, I probably did. I chose to hide my insecurities with baggier clothing and an extra large glass of wine. That morning something seemed to click in my head, I couldn’t let this go on. I stood in front of the camera and took probably the two most unflattering pictures of my life and vowed that times were changing.
Next, I began researching quick workouts and discovered HIIT. High-Intensity Interval Training. The king of HIIT is Joe Wicks, and I became his loyal follower throughout the following five months. I did a 15 minute HIIT 3-5 times a week for five months. An important note here is that my diet didn’t change. I still drank a lot, ate a lot and sure as hell didn’t track any macros but in those five months my body did change and quite significantly. Just incorporating movement into my routine was helping me lean down and fit back into some of my clothes.
Whilst sat on the sofa in a post-Christmas food coma I noticed an advert for the Emily Skye F.I.T. programmes. I was getting a bit bored of HIIT and had definitely hit a plateau in my transformation. I’m going to do a full review of the Emily Skye programmes so I won’t go into too much depth here. The most appealing thing for me about the Emily Skye programme was the incorporation of weights. I’m tall and quite broad, I can lift a few pounds but I wanted to be able to lift more, I wanted a lean muscular physique and I wanted to feel strong. I purchased the first programme whilst it was on offer and committed to start on New Years Day along with probably half the country. I joined a small community of women on facebook who were also starting the programme one on new years day and we worked through it together. My results at the end of P1 were staggering, I was so shocked to see the photos. It wasn’t a huge weight loss, in fact, I haven’t weighed myself in over six months. But the tone of my body was changing before my eyes, I had definition where previously there was squish. I was hooked. This wasn’t the product of exercise alone I also cleaned up my diet. I stopped drinking alcohol a regularly, paid more attention to portion size and for the most part tried to eat ‘clean’ cutting out as much processed food as possible.
I purchased programme two and kicked off February with a sweaty lower body session. I loved that the days of the programme were corresponding to the days of the month, it’s a little OCD but it really helped keep me motivated. By the end of P2 I was completing exercises that I’d failed in P1 and I could see my body beginning to tighten a bit.
Finally, I purchased programme 3. The final chapter. This past month has been turbulent, I had a solid week in the middle when the stress of finals got the better of me and I ate virtually nothing but take out (I’m sure that set me back some way) Overall though I’m so proud of how far I’ve come, the habits I’ve made and the genuine enjoyment I now get from working out. I have learnt so much along the way and honestly feel that I have changed my life. I have been documenting my journey over on my Instagram, sophiawhitham and will continue to do so as it continues so if you like motivational quotes and gym-wear selfies then head over there! (shameless self-promotion). I can’t wait to share more health and fitness related content with you guys and I’m so excited to see what the rest of this year has in store. Watch this space!