I was healthy and happy but decided that as a nutritionist, and a health coach, I should take my fitness to the next level. I decided to start exercising regularly and ate a 100% raw vegan diet.
This is me in a bikini on the first day of the challenge, 21st January 2013.
The nutrition part of the challenge was pretty easy. I was used to eating tons of fresh fruit and veggies. I was also lucky and blessed to be able to get good quality produce.
I did start with very low fat, almost no overt fat, but then after a while started craving fats and heavier foods. I think my body needed more nutrients as I started lifting heavier weights. I started eating more avocados, nuts and seeds. There was a point where I was eating even more nuts than I should have, and I think it made my weight fluctuate a little bit.
I also had some issues with my appetite. When I changed my training program in the end of March, it was so intense and exhausting that my appetite went through the roof! I wanted to eat so much and was constantly hungry! It did normalize after I slowed down and adjusted my training program again.
That was way too intense for my body.Towards the end of my challenge I didn’t want any fats. All I wanted just fruit, fruit, fruit. I tend to follow my intuition and listen to my body.When it asked me for fats, I gave it fats (the highest quality ripe avocadoes, raw nuts and seeds,) I don’t use any oils as I believe they’re too refined. When it asked me for carbs, I gave it the best quality fruit.
Training was the hardest and the most challenging part! I’ve never been into sports and have never exercised consistently for longer than 2 months. I would start going to the gym or running, and then quit after a month or two. I also never worked with high intensity. My workouts would be light jogs in the park, lifting pink dumbbells in the gym, or some dancing and aerobics classes.
What I did during this challenge was a completely different story – I started lifting heavy weights and pushing myself doing cardio. I was enjoying going to the gym and seeing results.I changed the program in the end of March and increased intensity even more.
During the breaks between sets I was doing active ‘resting,(rope jumping, ‘mountain climbers’, crunches, burpees, push-ups, etc.)
It was so hard that at times I thought ‘I could not do this anymore’.
But being strong willed, I pushed myself and thought, ‘I will not listen to this weak body, I can do it!’
However, I was wrong. It was good that my mind was strong and I was able to push myself.
Here I learned a big lesson – you should always listen to your body. If it’s too hard, sometimes we have to take a step back and slow down. I didn’t, and my body found a way to slow me down.
My knees started hurting badly.I didn’t want to accept it and was still exercising. It just got worse and worse, to the point it was even very painful to walk. I had to slow down. So I did. I stopped doing cardio for a while, focused on upper body weights and after some rest time, started doing several knee-friendly leg exercises.
My weight loss stopped at that time and due to increased appetite, I was still eating more than usual. I gained some weight back.
For the last three weeks of my challenge, I was took it easy with exercise. My only cardio was incline walking.
Maybe I didn’t lose as much weight as I could have, but my fitness journey didn’t end there. I will continue exercising as I am, and you might see me even fitter in the future.
As most of you already know, I’m a big believer that mindset is the most important aspect in achieving any goal. Your body won’t go where your mind doesn’t push it. My mindset was strong and I had to push my body a lot when I was exercising.
Sometimes it was really tough and intense, and at times my body just wanted to stop and quit. But I kept going, exercising at least 6 days a week, most days twice a day. I was doing meditation every single day, first thing in a morning. I also have a habit of reminding myself what I’m grateful for and thanking the Universe for the amazing life that I have.I also visualized my goal, and I believe that it has helped me achieve what I have achieved.
I will continue eating the same way, maybe not 100% raw all the time but perhaps 100% raw most days. I might include some steamed veggies or boiled beans into my diet. It depends on how I feel.
At the moment I still haven’t eaten any cooked food, although it’s been more than a week since my challenge has officially ended. In terms of exercising, I’m taking it easy this week, but next week I’ll start a new program which will involve exercising only once a day, 5 days a week: 3 weight training sessions and 2 cardio sessions.
It’s been exciting to share this journey with you. Hope I could inspire you to always remember – it’s never too late to become the best version of you!
Feel free to have a look at all these photos taken after the challenge.
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