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My Body Transformation Journey - Isobel D

By Anthony Mayatt, Nov 9 2017 06:47PM

This time last year I was stuck in an unhappy place mentally and leading an unhealthy lifestyle which was a cycle of the occasional sporadic health kick followed by weeks of binge eating. My main form of exercise was dancing on nights out (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) along with the occasional run. I had no energy, my moods were often erratic and I had no confidence. I have always been a yoyo dieter and someone who dips in and out of exercise regimes but never realised how much it was affecting my quality of life.

In October 2016 a lot of changes happened for me – I went through an unexpected relationship break up, I was moving into a new flat with new people on the opposite side of London and I’d just started a new job at a fund. I felt overwhelmed and had days where I really struggled getting out of bed. I am an anxious person and have had periods of my life where I have struggled mentally and shut myself away from the world. I knew that this could be one of my options again. However, I decided to revaluate my lifestyle and how it was making me feel and focus on making positive changes. I threw myself into my new job forcing myself to go and socialise with my new colleagues whenever the opportunity arose even though I really wanted to go home and shut myself in my bedroom. Most importantly I threw myself into exercise and eating foods that made me feel good and fuelled my body.

My first step was going to KOBox. I really really advise finding an exercise class/type you love if you’re struggling for motivation. I loved it from my first class (even though I felt like I may die throughout…) and have been every week since. I started going 3 times a week as well as running a couple of times a week in my lunch break as I didn’t have the confidence to join a gym. The classes left me feeling great mentally and my confidence had started to improve.

I started to follow a few fitness accounts on Instagram and was really interested in starting weights at the gym but also petrified. I saw a plan from one of my favourite influencers and decided I was going to buy it and force myself to join my local gym. At first it was hard and I would only go at 6am as the gym is quietest at this time. I felt paranoid about people watching me/judging me but told myself to stop being stupid and get on with it. Following this plan and also getting workout ideas from Instagram was great for me. My confidence improved hugely every time I was scared to do something new but did it anyway, for example my first venture into the weights room which I’d built up as scary and full of men (in my head).

Now, almost a year on I workout 5-6 times a week with 4 of these being upper/lower body weights sessions, 1 KOBox and 1 Power Yoga class. I also make sure to get in some cardio so do a 5/10k run once a week during my lunch hour or sprints session and HIIT circuits at the end of at least one of my weight sessions. I still mostly go in the mornings just because I prefer working out before work, but if I’m tired and want to sleep in one morning I do and am no longer scared of the boys club that the weight area at my gym seems to become in the evenings! I see food as helping my body to recover and fuelling my workouts and this makes it so much easier to eat healthily. I don’t diet and I don’t care too much about calories but do pay attention to the nutritional content. I still go on nights out and dinners with friends where I happily devour 3 courses but I make sure the rest of the time to prepare my lunches and eat wholesome home cooked meals, even if that means food prepping when I get in at 11pm sometimes.

Exercise has really helped me overcome some mental challenges and I feel so much stronger both physically and mentally because of this. I have also finally managed to break my bingeing habit where I would frequently buy family packs of chocolate and eat them in one sitting (I mean 5 times a week kind of frequently!). I have always really loved cooking and baking which helps as I make healthy snacks and like to experiment with my food.

For me, this was never about weight loss although I knew it was something I wanted, my focus has always been on the mental aspect that exercise brings and also making my body stronger, however I have lost over 10kg and dropped a large % of body fat. I have tried not to focus on this because when you’re lifting weights the scale isn’t the most accurate way to judge your progress. All I can say is that it is possible for anyone to turn around their lifestyle if you make your health a priority. I can find fitting in my exercise routine as well as working in finance, studying for exams and seeing my friends/family challenging at times but even if I can only squeeze in half an hour at home I make sure that it’s as productive as possible and I always plan my workouts to avoid wasting time. I hope that my ramblings have been an interesting read for at least someone and if anyone has any questions or just wants to chat I’m @isobellucyfit

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