Since we posted about our experience with quitting alcohol for a year we’ve been inundated with emails and messages from lots of people interested in how we did it. One common theme seems to be the health side of things. Specifically, how we lost weight and got fit.
I’d also like to pre cursor this post with saying that I’m not a health professional, nor do I pretend to be. I just know what’s worked for us and that’s what I’m going to share with you.
I’m here to give it to you straight. No bullsh*t or glossing over the facts.
We worked our butts off last year to get to the point we’re at now. It took for us to draw a line in the sand and make the decision to change our habits. Hard work and commitment. That’s how we did it.
Before we made that commitment, we were at a point where we both were feeling like crap. I was uncomfortable in my clothes, you know that ‘too tight but not tight enough to justify buying new ones’ feeling. I felt like a bloated puffer fish. My skin was dull and I was breaking out all the time. I was cranky and tired.
Can you relate?
Scary thing was, I’d been here before. A few times in fact. That’s the life of a yo-yo dieter for you. But this time, I knew I had to get rid of the excuses and really give myself a kick up the ass. Elaina too.
Results or Excuses?
It boils down to whether you want results, or excuses? You choose. At the end of the day, just like anything in life, being healthy comes down to making a choice that you are going to be healthy. No excuses necessary.
- Victoria’s Transformation
The Silver Bullet!
It seems everyone is looking for a ‘quick fix’ or ‘silver bullet’ when it comes to health. I know because I spent years looking for it. I tried a ridiculous amount of money detoxes, celebrity diets, shakes, Weight Watchers, Slimming World and that disgusting cabbage soup diet that made both your breath and your farts smell like rotten eggs! All these ridiculous measures to lose weight…quickly. Only to put it back on just as quickly and then some. You know, you lose a few kilos and then they find you and bring their mates!
During my years of dieting, my confidence took a battering. Going up and down on the scale meant my emotions were constantly up and down too. My happiness was dependent on my dress size. Did I mention that I was also totally obsessive about the scale? Weighing myself every week on the same day at the same time (first thing in the morning, naked with an empty bladder because that makes ALL the difference), to make sure I was getting a ‘true measure’ of the results from whatever crazy ass diet I was doing at the time.
This behaviour was not healthy. At all. The goal I was trying to achieve was totally unrealistic. I was using a band-aid approach to my health and as a result I was damaging my metabolism in the process. I thought I could get to where I wanted to be by believing the hype in the magazines. You know the one’s I’m talking about, those cover lines that promise you a ‘Beach Body in 7 Days!’ I mean COME ON?! 7 days???! I must have been on drugs to buy into this crap.
When I wasn’t on some restrictive eating regime, I was living a ‘normal’ life which for me meant eating pizza and drinking beer. I didn’t think there was anything was wrong with that. I hadn’t quite found the perfect balance, which is really what I was yearning for.
So when people ask HOW we got these results, the answer is simple. Balance. And balance all starts with education. You don’t know what you don’t know right?
What does ‘Balance’ mean exactly?
Good question…and some of you may not like the answer. From direct experience, we’ve found the answer to living a balanced lifestyle comes down to two things.
Nutrition and exercise. Oh and drinking water (not soft drinks)! So I guess that’s three things…
Yep, it really is as simple as that. Not always easy, but simple nonetheless.
Notice how I said nutrition and not diet? Yeah, that’s where I’d been going wrong all those years. I was focused on what ‘diet’ would be the answer to my problems while all the time it was my nutrition I should have been paying attention to.
So, I got educated on what good nutrition really looks like. It was so far away from what I’d been led to believe. At first I was totally sceptical about this new information.
“What do you mean I need to eat carbs to be healthy?”
“So starving yourself isn’t a good way to lose weight?”
“Hang on, I thought diet soft drinks were ok?”
“How can this salad I’m eating is be nutritionally bankrupt…?!?”
[insert expletive here]
And the big one… “I DON’T BELIEVE IN SUPPLEMENTS!”
I had no idea that I was putting my body under a serious amount of stress from the choices I’d been making. Cutting calories will mean you lose weight, sure, but it also means that you’ll be depleting your body of what it NEEDS to function at 100%. I was skipping meals and thinking that was ok. I never ate breakfast…EVER! There’s a reason they tell you it’s the more important meal of the day…because it is! Stress like that messes with your body big time…and I had no idea I was doing anything wrong.
Wow. Looking back, I had a lot of learning to do.
“But HOW did you get the results?”
This question has come up a lot since we shared the photographs of ourselves above on social media on January 1. They were taken exactly a year apart. A year.
That’s 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days.
Not 30 days! Not a week! Not overnight!
How did we do it? We ate well, exercised multiple times per week at our beloved F45 training in Surry Hills, slept for 7-8 hours a night and drank plenty of water. We also cut out alcohol. You can read about our year off the booze here.
We also indulged in the occasional pizza or scoop of gelato here and there too. And we didn’t feel bad about ourselves for doing so. I’ve come to realise that if you’re going to indulge, you may as well enjoy it! Don’t eat the cake and then berate yourself about it for the next week. What is the actual point in that?
All these things are common sense. But why do so many of us think that it can’t be done this way? It’s clearly not that it can’t be done; we’re living proof of that. Perhaps it’s more that we think it’s too hard. Too much of a sacrifice. We don’t like the thought of having to change. We want to have our cake and eat it too. I actually hate that saying. Who wouldn’t want to eat the cake if they have it in front of them?!
Seriously though, get rid of the excuses and you’ll start to realize that you already have the ability to change. For good.
The turning point…and the answer I’d been looking for!
When I was first introduced to a Nutritional Cleansing system called Isagenix it took me all of a Nano second to decide I was going to give it a go. Being open to trying it was no problem for me; after all, I’d tried everything else. Why not try this too!
What took a lot longer though, was understanding HOW and WHY this was going to be the answer I’d been looking for when it came to my health. To be honest, I didn’t really care much about why it worked to start with; I was still firmly in quick fix mode.
The part I couldn’t get my head around was that this was nutrition, pure and simple. No magic pill, no secret ingredient. Just the best nutrition in the most absorbable form. In this case, shakes, snacks and supplements plus a whole heap of healthy whole foods.
I can hear the groans from here as I type the words ‘shakes’ and ‘supplements’.
And I get it, I really do.
I’d tried shakes before and they were always pretty grim. There’s no way I could have committed to drinking Slim Fast every day for the rest of my life…why would this be any different? And supplements…really? You mean to say taking vitamins makes a difference. I wasn’t sure but I was willing to put it to the test.
For any of you out there who have tried Isagenix shakes you will know, they taste frickin’ AMAZING! For me, that was a game changer. I’d never been a breakfast person either as I mentioned before (gasp!) so having a shake for brekkie was a total novelty…and so much better than cereal or toast from a nutritional value perspective.
After only a short time using Isagenix products, I knew that something was different. I had energy. I could actually get my head off the pillow in the morning without hitting snooze ten times. The weight started to come off with ease, like nothing I’d ever experienced before. And just so you know, I wasn’t just having shakes morning, noon and night. I was eating REAL FOOD too…I LOVE food. So for any of you who think that this is a liquid only kinda thing, forget that right now. It’s the total opposite.
Cleansing? Sounds scary.
The cleansing side of Isagenix is based on the concept of resting your digestive system for a short period of time. Not starving yourself. That is something entirely different.
Cleansing is much like fasting which has been done for thousands of years and has a list of health benefits as long as your arm. Google it if you don’t believe me. Difference is, during your fasting days (or Cleanse Days) you’re drinking a delicious tonic designed to help your body cleanse itself of the impurities that build up over time.
Think of it as natural ingredients assisting YOUR BODY (which is the most amazing miracle!) to do the cleansing bit…your liver and your kidneys are designed to do this. The problem is, in this modern world of excess, we never give our bodies the time they need to function as they should. The other problem is the lack of the nutrients in our food sources combined with the addition of chemicals and toxins in our water our air and said food. The amount stress we are putting on our bodies is CRAZY!
Cleansing in this way floods your bod with some seriously cool trace minerals, herbs and botanicals that you won’t find in the same combination anywhere else. Topping up your body in this way while resting your digestive system is an amazing way to restore balance in your body. Balance. Harmony. A happy digestive system that works, as it should. Everyone needs this in their life!
I don’t want to lose weight. Can I do this Cleansing thing too?
Hell yes! In fact, the exact same system we used to help us shift those unwanted kilos can be used to help you put on weight…or simply maintain overall health.
Check out the results of our good buddies Zac and Macca, these legends are a true testament to what hard work and dedication really look like. This is what 16 weeks of solid effort in a home gym, eating clean and adding in nutritional cleansing to the mix looks like. Epic effort guys!
I’ll be honest, I started this #bodychallenge to; 1. #Inspire friends who were struggling to put on lean muscle, increase energy levels and drop body fat. 2. Put a nutritional #fasting system to the test because lots of my friends gave me shit. 3. Create a powerful foundation for my mind, body and spirit going into #2016. I would like to thank everyone who thought I was nuts because you gave me motivation to work harder, and I would like to thank everyone who supported me when times got tough. Physically over the 16 weeks I gained an unimaginable amount of lean muscle, energy, mental clarity and dropped my fat %. I’m not going to say it was easy, but it was simple and fun – especially with my accountability buddies James and Kael! I only worked out at my limited home garage/gym, but I ensured my nutrition and rest/repair was the highest priority. I merely followed my usual training, added in a simple nutritional fasting system and stayed consistent. What excites me the most is that I have achieved all 3 of my intentions going into this. I have started a bunch of friends on their own health journey, setting them up for their healthiest year yet. I have come to the realisation that no matter what level you’re at, there are always people who will think you’re nuts… ha ha ha! And lastly, created a rock solid foundation going into 2016! I’m pumped for 2016!! Thanks for reading! 😉
Before this challenge, I had been out of the weight room and as you can tell I’m quite the lean type! So after some thinking… I decided to put my body to the test. The intention for the body challenge was to see how much lean muscle I could put on whilst implementing a simple nutritional cleansing system. The thing is… I’ve never attempted anything like this ever before… this is the first time I’ve committed to something like this… I didn’t even count my macros…. Also the workout routine I used was found off the internet with a few personal modifications along the way…. I simply listened to some advice from some mates who were getting epic results and rolled with it. I’m an amateur at this and this is what happened. So what I’m really trying to say is… I’M FREAKIN STOKED!! I Couldn’t be more happy. To CLARIFY, I did work my butt off and I was consistent with my eating and workouts. So, if you want to know how I did it in more detail, feel free to chat to me. Happy to share
A photo posted by James McDonald aka Macca (@makegoodwithmac) on
The moral of the story
Results take effort and commitment and excuses are easy to make.
I’m not sharing this information with you to make you think that this is easy. It’s not. Temptation is everywhere. People will try and railroad you and make you fall off track because they aren’t ready to change themselves.
The silver lining is that deciding to put your health first is the best thing you will ever do for yourself. You will be happier and healthier for it, even though it may not feel like that when you first start.
If you want to take some time to educate yourself on nutrition, do it. If you want to take a break from the booze, do it. Just don’t talk about doing it and do nothing. Get rid of the excuses and commit.
As Hippocrates said, ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.’ Treat your body with the respect it deserves and it will look after you.
If you’d like to talk to us about this in more detail, get in touch! It’s a topic I’m super passionate about! In fact, we are coaching people on the same system we used to get our results so if you want IN are ready to choose results over excuses, head over to our site FitHealthyHappy.com.au.
Have you found balance in your life? Did you draw the line and choose results over excuses too? What was your experience? Comment below! We reply to every comment so don’t be a stranger. 🙂
Thanks for reading our blog! If you like what we do, connect with us on Instagram and follow our traveling adventures!
Has to be one of our most memorable moments from our recent China trip! It’s not everyday you get taught some serious kick ass tai chi moves from a master tai chi expert! To top the experience off, we learnt it at Mount Qingcheng the birthplace of Taoism where Tai Chi originates from. How do you like our get up? Pretty fancy eh?! I definitely think we’re rocking the white robes and sneaker look! ✌️?? #mountqingcheng #China #chengdu