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You Can Do Hard Things: What I Learned in 80 Days

From January 15th to April 14th, we’ve now completed 80 Day Obsession. It’s been a long, fun, sometimes hard, and very rewarding journey. Here’s just some of the things I’m taking away from it now I’m done:

My Nutrition is Better

Before I started 80 Day Obsession, I’d have said I ate a reasonably good diet. There was room for improvement, though, and following the timed nutrition and portion control has definitely helped me. I know what food groups to pair pre and post workout. I know what carbs are best for my body. I will never workout fasted again, having felt firsthand the massive difference in my energy levels when I eat an hour before. I also feel safe in the knowledge that I’m getting a hard hitting daily dose of dense nutrition each morning with my superfood shake. I’m a hard cynic, and I doubted Shakeology would make any difference to me or my overall health but you know what? It has. Twice during the programme I’ve been hit with a cold. Twice that cold has disappeared after just 2 days. I’ve stopped taking any other supplements, too, because all of my vitamin and mineral deficiencies are now fulfilled. My sinus trouble has cleared up, my thyroid levels are regular once again, and my sugar cravings are down. All from one daily shake. I’m sold.

I Love Clean Food

I never thought I’d be the kind of girl who’d choose fresh, wholesome produce over a burger and fries, but here we are. I can genuinely say that when I look at or think of food like that, my stomach turns. That does not mean I don’t still love things like cheesecake, or a massive bowl of pasta, but fried food is definitely a no for me. Sweet potato fries are excluded from this narrative. Still, I love the taste of fresh fruit, the crunch of fresh vegetables, and I’ve loved shopping for my family knowing that I’m making good choices for them too.

Carb Cycling is Not For Me

The last week of 80 Day Obsession introduced us to carb cycling. 2 days of eating just one carb portion first thing, and then none for the rest of the day. Not even fruit. Then one day following normal nutrition, then 2 low carb days again. I don’t crave carbs; I’m happy to eat a meal without them, but boy did I miss my fruit. My morning shake always has oats in it, but then the rest of the day consisted of veg and protein for each meal, with some healthy fats. By Thursday, I couldn’t face grilled chicken and roast veg one more time. To each their own, but it’s not for me.

I’ve Worked Muscles I Never Knew I Had

The main focus of 80 Day Obsession workouts was on building a strong core and a better butt. I was slightly scared this would leave me looking like Kim Kardashian, but I needn’t have worried. Take a look at my before and after pictures; my backside is lifted and rounded. Some of the exercises we did had me burning in places I had never felt before. Autumn is right; we don’t engage our glute muscles nearly enough. Trust me, when they work, you’ll feel it.

I Love To Lift, But I Also Love To Sweat

There are simply not enough words to say how much I love and adore my weights. Feeling those muscles engage to help you lift; your core tightens, your legs and glutes engage, your biceps pop… it’s amazing. 80 Day Obsession is the perfect mix of cardio days and weight training. Plus the brilliant loops and sliders of course. As much as I like to break a sweat from lifting heavy, there’s also something truly uplifiting about feeling your heart race from a good cardio workout.

I Can Be Dedicated

I’ve had a lot of people say to me “I couldn’t do what you do,” but the fact is, you totally could. You  just need to decide to do it, commit to doing it, and then you’ll succeed. I knew that the only way I could fit my workouts in was to do them in the early morning. I also knew I needed to eat an hour beforehand, so that meant getting up at 5. My desire to change was stronger than my desire to lie in bed. That’s all there is to it. You have to make changes in order to see results, whether that means missing Eastenders so you can do a 30 minute workout, or foregoing that nightly glass of wine and making it once a week instead. You can totally be dedicated, but you have to want the results badly enough to begin.

Life is Truly Wonderful

Watching Mark growing in happiness and confidence has been wonderful for me, and he’s worked incredibly hard. As a result, his before and after pictures reflect his dedication. For me, 80 Day Obsession has made me a happier person; I know there are people out there who are waiting for me to fail, but that simply won’t happen. I’m enjoying every aspect of living; the workouts, the nutrition and the progress I’m making. I know this makes me a better mother, wife, and friend. I also know that this is only the very start.

Round 2 begins on April 23rd, and you could join us. You don’t have to follow 80 Day Obsession; I can help you to access a workout programme that’s just right for you, wherever you are in your fitness journey. I can also help you find the right nutrition plan, which in turn, will get you the results that you want. Let me know if you want to join our online Summer Bootcamp.

 

 

My Fitness: The Challenge Isn’t Over, it’s Only Just Beginning

At the time of writing, I am on day 75 of 80 Day Obsession. Since starting the programme on January 15th, I have not skipped one workout, I have pushed harder, dug deeper, and seen my strength and fitness improve in ways I never thought possible. Other aspects of my life have changed dramatically too. I’m now teaching group classes and loving it; only possible thanks to the confidence that being fit and healthy has given me. I’m living my best life, focusing on the happiness and well being of my loved ones rather than the negativity that many people like to wallow in. In the words of Elphaba “I’m through accepting limits, cause someone says they’re so.

With the end of 80 Day Obsession looming, I keep getting the same question: “What next?”

Well, first of all I’m going to eat my chocolate that I’ve been saving since Christmas, but on Monday, I’m back in the game.

Fitness Journey

You see, 80 Day Obsession is a complete programme, and I’m happy I’ve found the determination to stick to it. I’ve loved it. But my health and fitness doesn’t begin and end with that one programme. Life is a journey, not a destination. We’ve all heard that many times before, right? But it’s totally true.

There are always improvements to be made; whether that’s lifting heavier weights, achieving that PB in a half marathon, learning to control emotional eating, striving to be a happier, more positive person… Just because you conquer a giant step doesn’t mean it’s over.

I follow at-home workout programmes as well as taking part in many other forms of physical activity, including group classes and running (when I’m not sulking about the rain). I love working out at home because I know that whatever happens, I can still be consistent in my fitness. I wasn’t joking about the rain; I don’t like to set foot out the house if it’s wet, so at least I know I’m still doing something good for my body on those days.

I also love the sense of purpose, direction, and achievement a home workout gives me; taking measurements at the beginning and end of a programme is the best measure of progress, and I love seeing those results. I also love being online with my fellow challengers; I love to see and hear us all swapping stories, sharing hints and tips and motivating and encouraging one another.

So my journey isn’t ending, it’s just continuing.

From April 16th to April 21st, I’ll be following Shaun T.’s workouts and then… yep, from April 23rd I’m starting 80 Day Obsession all over again. Heavier weights, better form, more focus. This time, I’ll also be following a BRAND NEW nutrition plan; one that doesn’t count calories, restrict foods, or have you fearing weigh-in days.

2B Mindset focuses on forming healthy habits that you can use daily, as well as hints and tips to help you overcome issues such as emotional eating, snacking, and sugar cravings. Uniquely for Beachbody this time; 2B Mindset doesn’t need to involve exercise. If you’re not ready, or you have a medical condition or injury that prevents you from working out, you can still join me with the 2B Mindset.

However, if you want to join me in daily workouts, you’re more than welcome to do that, too! You don’t need to follow 80 Day Obesssion. You don’t even need to follow a specific programme from beginning to end. You can access the Netflix of home workouts and pick what suits you.

What you DO need, is a willingness to decide, commit, and succeed in your health and fitness journey. You’ll also need a sense of humour because life is too short to be miserable!

If you’d like to join me from April 23rd in whatever capacity you’d like, just ask me for details. If you’d like more info on 2B Mindset, let me know… this is going to change the way all of us think about food forever. And we can still have cake. Praise.

Here’s Why Reaching Your Goal Weight Won’t Make You Happy

When I was pregnant, if you’d asked me what post-baby weight would make me happy, I’d have said 9 stone 3 or lower. When I got there, I looked and felt awful. My head looked too big for my body, and I wasn’t toned. So although my weight was ‘ideal’, I was far from being fit and healthy, and frankly, I was miserable.

A lot of people have a ‘goal weight.’ It might be ten stone, or 140lbs; the weight you were when you got married eight years ago. It might be 130lbs; the weight you were before having kids. Maybe it’s a size rather than a weight that you want to achieve; you were a size ten when you graduated and you want to get back there, or you’ve always longed to be a size fourteen.

The hard truth is this: reaching your goal weight, or your perfect size, won’t make you happy.

Why?

Because if you’re not happy now, you’re not going to be happy then, either.

The key to true happiness lies within. Yes, that sounds cheesy, but stop and think about it a moment. You might be unhappy or perfectly pleased with your physical appearance, but happiness depends on so much more than that. Sometimes, we can become so preoccupied with what we want to become, that we don’t take pride in what we are right now.

You want to know something? Right now, I am in the best shape of my life. I also weigh more than I ever used to (apart from being preggers, of course!). My body is tight, toned, and I feel fantastic. But you know why I FEEL fantastic? Because I continue to surround myself with supportive, happy friends and family. I have a good sense of humour, I enjoy my free time, and I love the work that I do. I love working out, eating well, and making daily decisions to continue on that path. Nothing at all to do with a number on a scale.

So what if you’re 20lbs overweight? If you’re taking steps to change that, you should be happy. You won’t lose that weight overnight, but you can and should change your mindset. Don’t think “When I get to ____ I’ll be happy.” Instead, think “I worked out today, I ate well; I made positive choices and that makes me happy.”

Take time to think about how you speak to yourself. Would you say that stuff to a friend, or to your daughter? When you’re pulling yourself apart in the mirror, stop and regroup. Think about how wonderful you are. You have so many talents, strengths, and capabilities.

Look at your life as a big picture; that glass isn’t just half full, it’s full to overflowing! Think of all the people and things on your life that being you joy; pets, kids, family, friends, new shoes, your car, your job. If something or someone in your life is not doing that for you, CUT THEM OUT. Don’t be afraid to get rid of negativity. Surround and immerse yourself in positivity, starting with yourself.

 

 

 

 

The World Doesn’t Need Another Diet; It Needs to Get Healthy

The other day, I read an interesting article about Weight Watchers, and how the company is re-branding itself as a ‘health and wellness company’ after a significant drop in members. Apparently they’ve discovered that the word ‘diet’ now carries negative connotations, and it’s something that people don’t want anymore. According to Mindy Grossman, Chief Executive of WW, “healthy is the new skinny.”

I have issues with that comment; I appreciate the context in which it was said (you can read the full article here), but I don’t think healthy is the ‘new skinny,’ at all. Being healthy is something to be applauded; eating well, exercising, making sensible choices and looking after yourself are all habits that we should be practicing on a regular basis, and ones that we should be passing onto our children, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren.

Being skinny is not something that ever should have been desirable, because being skinny often means depriving your body of vital nutrients, denying yourself the mental well-being that comes with eating a varied and enjoyable diet. To be clear; we come in all shapes and sizes. Some people are naturally small in their frame, or have a high metabolism, but there’s a stark difference between being skinny, and being small but healthy.

 

I’m not surprised, though, to hear of Weight Watchers’ decline in members. As a weight loss programme, it works. There’s no denying that. But as a long-term, sustainable nutrition plan? That, sadly, is its downfall. A third of its members end up re-gaining the weight they lost, within 2 years. Why? Because no one has the time and commitment needed to stick with a plan that requires endless calculations, and one which denies you so much. On top of that, WW and many other ‘slimming’ type groups, don’t place nearly enough emphasis on EXERCISE. You turn up to group for 6 months, and lose 3 stone. Amazing! That’s a triumph and should be applauded. But is your body toned? Are you able to keep your metabolism firing so that you continue to burn calories and don’t plateau? Or are you cutting out more and more calories in a desperate attempt to get rid of those last 5lbs?

The only real, long-term solution to a healthy, happy, and fulfilling lifestyle, is to exercise regularly (5 times a week for a minimum of 30 mins each time), give time to your own mental health, and to practice portion control. There shouldn’t be restrictions or negative connotations surrounding any food or drink. If you go out for pizza, enjoy it! Just don’t go out for pizza on Friday, Brunch on Saturday, Lunch on Sunday and round it all off with a late-night McDonalds!

Fuel your body well; take pleasure in making and eating food made with fresh, wholesome ingredients. Not only does it taste so much better, but you’ll feel much better, too. Plug any gaps in your nutrition with a protein packed daily shake that gives all the vitamins, minerals, probiotics and prebiotics that your body needs. Eat sensible sized portions, and bear in mind that women need to eat less than men; kids need to eat less than adults. You’ll soon be sleeping better; have more energy; your skin will be brighter; you’ll feel happier and more confident, and that will have a knock on effect in all areas of your life.

When those treats roll around; a glass of wine with your friends, or a slice of your kid’s birthday cake; you’ll have it, and enjoy it, and then you’ll stop. Why? Because you’ll be feeling so good, that you won’t want to sabotage that wonderful feeling.

Disregard any food that says ‘low fat,’ or ‘low sugar,’ including sodas. All of those things are full of added ingredients to make up for the taste that sugar or fat usually delivers. Sweeten your food, or baking, by using maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar; natural sugars that your body can easily absorb. If you need to drink fizzy drinks, then drink the damn Coke; your body will process the sugar far easier than it will the chemicals that recreate the Coke taste in diet versions.

Get active! The world is a beautiful and amazing place; get out there and see it. Take a walk, run, or skip with your children! Go for a swim, take a fitness class (rumour has it that INSANITY LIVE is amazeballs), grab an at-home workout programme and do it when your kids are asleep, or in the morning before work…. Just. Do. Something.

As a nation, we sit far more than we ever used to. We drive our kids to school, drive to work, and sit at a desk. We drive home, sit down to watch TV, have dinner, watch more TV, and go to bed. And we wonder why the NHS spends so much on treating diabetes, obesity-related illnesses, and back, knee, and hip problems. You don’t need to be another statistic.

You don’t need to diet.

You need to make a lifestyle change.

The accountability that groups like Weight Watchers offer, is an amazing thing. The support, the camaraderie, the friendships… and you can get all of that with my BFit group as well. We focus on portion control, mental well-being, and fun fitness. We celebrate our triumphs, talk about our struggles, and lift each other up. Many of our group are surprised at just how much amazing food they can eat when following portion control, and how quickly and effortlessly it becomes a way of life.

It’s not always easy, but it is always, ALWAYS, worth it. If you’d like more info, just contact me via this site or via Facebook, and we can talk.

Change is Coming…..

Those who know me, will know that 2016 was one of the worst years of my life. Many, many things happened, one after another, and I ended up wondering if this really was it. Was I one of those people who would always come off badly in life? Was I destined to just have everything go wrong?

I knew that this existence (as it was then) wasn’t what I wanted for my children. I didn’t want them to grow up unhappy, watching parents at war with one another simply because they were so unhappy with all that their life had become; unable to dig themselves out of the hole they were in. We didn’t create any of the messes we found ourselves in; circumstances were thrust upon us, but neither of us could see a way out.

I knew the Beachbody coaching opportunity was coming to the UK, and I knew there was also a chance to qualify as an INSANITY LIVE instructor. I stepped so far out of my comfort zone that I couldn’t remember having one, and went for it. I signed up as a coach, and qualified as an instructor…. then I spent the next few months wondering how the hell I was meant to juggle these two job roles with my job as a press officer, and my freelancing work. I could feel that both these roles were the answer to my happiness; something that in turn, would help create a happier home life.

In January 2018, I started teaching INSANITY LIVE once a week. I also started a new at-home workout program, called 80 Day Obsession, and Mr Becky decided to join me. Suddenly, it all fell into place. We were working out together, for an hour each morning, before the kids woke up. We laughed, we swore, we encouraged and inspired each other, and we became happier together, almost instantly. The sense of achievement that we both felt, and the added sense of accomplishment I got from teaching, had a knock on positive effect on the whole family.

It hasn’t solved all our problems; we still have a hole in our roof, inadequate heating, an ongoing court case, and absolutely no money to get any repairs done. But you know what? Our happiness and positivity has grown, and now we KNOW it’ll all come good in the end. We’ve stopped focusing on our worries and started focusing on each other and ourselves.

I think, in life, that I’m one of those who always needs to see what will happen if… “What will happen if I drink a whole bottle of gin?” “What will happen if I sign up to run 10K after not running for 20 years?” and now….

“What will happen if I take the safety net away, quit my job and focus on coaching, teaching, and freelancing?”

It’s a scary prospect, and there’s a very real chance I will fail. But I don’t think I will. I think this is EXACTLY what I was meant to do; write about stuff that I love (theatre, film, tv), teach fitness classes which I love, and help others reach their own fitness and health-related goals.

So, March 28th, that safety net goes. This is me; Becky Fuller, INSANITY LIVE instructor, health and wellness coach, freelance entertainment writer.

It’s Worth It

Becky FullerI’ve been coaching for almost a month and even in that short time I have been privileged enough to get to know a very special group of people.

We’re ALL working towards our goals and let me tell you this – there is NOTHING GREATER than getting a message from one of your challengers saying “I’m down 8 inches in 2 weeks, thank you!!”

That’s why I’m doing what I’m doing; to help people find happiness, gain confidence, and pride in themselves once more. I’ve been there, at my lowest ebb. I know how it feels. I also know how wonderful it feels to make progress, to feel like things are getting better, like the world is brighter, to rediscover a joy of living.

It won’t always be easy, but it WILL be worth it.

Two years

First Two YearsThe picture on the left is from September 2015. Picture on the right is from October 2017

I don’t have a massive weight loss story. I lost weight, of course, but my real transformation took place on the inside.

The person on the left was unhappy whenever she looked in the mirror. She thought she was stuck with a ‘baby belly’ for life. She avoided getting dressed up for anything because she didn’t feel good no matter what she wore. She looked to others for validation, felt anxious, insecure, like her life was over and it was all downhill now she was in her 30s.

The person on the right loves life. She looks in the mirror and feels thankful for every laughter line, grateful for every scar on her body that reminds her of childbearing or life-saving surgery. She loves her abs with a passion normally reserved for random celebrities, and she’ll work her ass off every day to keep them. She’s proud of her muscles, proud of her inner and outer strength, and she wants others to feel the same.

The person on the right doesn’t care what others think, because she’s happy with herself. The person on the right doesn’t need or seek validation from others; she gives it to herself each and every day. The person on the right can’t wait to see where life is going to take her next.

Join me. It may not be easy, but I PROMISE it will be worth it.

Decide :: Commit :: Succeed