It all started on January 1st 2014, when I didn’t fit into my favorite jeans anymore. It was the day after New Year’s Eve, and I looked around the flat, disgusted by the fast food boxes from the nights before. I wasn’t happy with my body, excess fat and cellulite anymore. It always annoyed me to hear people talking about doing sports, getting fit and working out. Even worse were the people talking about eating healthy food, salads, less carbs, blah blah blah. I thought, “How pathetic, what kind of life is that?” I only had pizza and burgers on my mind. I liked to show off that I could eat whatever and whenever I want to. One day, my best friend showed me a bikini photo of us from the previous summer in Ibiza. I was shocked. My stomach was hanging over the bikini bottoms and the cellulite was all over my thighs. My upper arms were flabby and my bum was much more than what I bargained for. I know that happiness comes from the inside, and we should love ourselves no matter what we look like, but I wasn’t happy with what I saw in the mirror. I wanted to be fit and toned!
The very first thing I changed was not to eat after 6pm. I don’t mean no carbs after 6pm, but rather nothing at all! Of course I drink water and tea, but no food at all after this hour. I go to sleep around midnight, so that leaves me with 6 hours to digest the food I ate in the early evening. What I noticed right away was how amazingly flat my stomach was when waking up in he morning! I feel light, and sleep better – since the body is not working on digesting the food that I would usually eat at 9pm or later. I do have to warn you though: it was a living hell at the beginning. The first two weeks were horrendous torture. I would walk around my flat hungry and angry like a monster. What worked was to go to sleep earlier in order to avoid this feeling. After a few weeks, my stomach and body got used to not eating after 6pm, and it was completely normal for me. The nice thing is that I don’t have the energy ups and downs anymore, but rather a constant energy flow throughout the day. I make the rare exception and eat later if I’m out for dinner with friends, but try not to break this rule very often.
I start my day at 8am with a cup of coffee and a big glass of water. I have breakfast around 10am, and eat something light, like cereal, eggs or a small sandwich. I’m not a believer in the Atkins or low-carb diet. I’ve done them and the Ketogenic diet as well, but it’s not for me. Carbs make me super happy, and I can’t deny myself of eating them. Life is short and we have to enjoy! I eat my lunch around 2pm. For me, lunch is the most important meal, and not breakfast. For lunch I usually eat a large salad with chicken or turkey inside. I like Caesar salad, and I’m not afraid to eat the dressing that goes with it, and some bread too. Fish is also good, stuffed peppers, or roasted chicken with vegetable – even with baked, boiled or mashed potatoes. I also like steaks, and once in a while eat it with French fries. I don’t deprive myself of anything! I eat what I love, but all in healthy doses. I still eat burgers, but only 1 or 2 times a month. I eat Thai food, with rice, chicken and vegetables. What I really love is sushi. Soups, vegetable sticks and fruit are great snacks for in between. I don’t eat pizza or pasta – personally for me, it’s too heavy. I usually make a nice sandwich around 5 – 6 pm with fresh vegetables on the side. I don’t eat big things for dinner, mostly a soup, wrap, salad or sandwich. I don’t usually eat desserts, cakes or pastries, because I never liked the heavy sweet taste. However, I’m not afraid to eat a few small pieces of dark chocolate during the day, because it makes me happy.
Around February, I decided to add some fun physical activity again. I tried yoga years before and thought it to be horribly boring and hippie-infested. This year I decided to try it again, and chose a dynamic course. I loved it! It melts the daily stress away, leaving me relaxed and happy. I noticed my muscles slowly developing. It looked sexy, so I started doing yoga twice a week. In April I watched a movie from the 80’s and saw a woman doing some funny Jane Fonda moves at home. A silly thought came into my head, “Why don’t I do this at home?” So I started with sit-ups, push-ups, bum busters, squats and the side plank hip lifts. I started with a small amount of 20 times on each side, and 3 sets. Now I progressed to 50 times and 3 sets. Take your own time and start slowly. Getting in shape takes time and patience! I now also use 2kg weights, and do 30 curls on each side for my biceps and triceps, and also in 3 sets. Depending on my muscle pain the next day, I either skip a day or do these exercises everyday at home. It takes a total of 1 hour for me. I wake up earlier to do them, or in the evening after work. This with yoga 2-3 times a week does the trick for me! I’m not a jogger, and never liked it. It’s boring for me and tough on the knees. But if you like it, then it’s a great cardio workout. I walk around the entire city from appointment to appointment, which is my cardio each day. Sports really help to get rid of cellulite. I see a huge difference, and am so happy with the results!
Last but not least, my most important achievement this year was to quit smoking. Gone are the stinky, horrible, expensive and nasty cancer sticks! It’s been 136 days now, and I don’t plan to touch them ever again. I can’t believe how much more energy I have without smoking. Walking fast and climbing stairs is so much easier now. I gained 3kg as soon as I quit, but I compensated with more sports, and thankfully lost those bloody kilos again. Stopping to smoke slowed my metabolism down, but I noticed that my body is getting back to normal, and is digesting quicker without the nicotine again. It takes time. For those that say I look better now, it’s definitely the non-smoking. The skin heals and renews itself. Also the healthier food and sports help to regenerate the body. What also helps me is 8 hours of sleep, and not drinking much alcohol. I drink wine about 3 times a month, but only a few glasses, and no alcohol at home. Of course don’t forget the usual: drink lots and lots of water, blah blah. No seriously, it really helps. I also take multi vitamins everyday. I won’t lie to you, getting into shape is hard at the beginning. However once you start and see results, you won’t be able to stop. You will feel so happy and proud of yourself! You will be healthier and your clothes will fit you better, and of course this increases the self-confidence a lot. Now I’m one of those annoying people bothering my friends about health and sports, and guess what? I will never go back to the way I was before. New life, new Gali. Come and join my “New-Me-Revolution!”