It’s been nearly 5 years since I was at my peak. I felt amazing, I looked great and I was enjoying having a routine. I held that level of fitness for about a year and a half. After that, I kind of just stopped and then kept saying to myself, “I’ll be back to my 2012, 25-year old body.”
It has been difficult to establish a routine in life, let alone a fitness routine, in the past year for various reasons. Since January I’ve made an attempt to balance and manage all the facets of my life so that I can enjoy everything and take the hurdles that present themselves without majorly impacting my routines and plans.
A part of my A Simple Year challenge was to establish a fitness routine so that I can feel more energetic and live a healthy lifestyle that will benefit me throughout the rest of my life. I’m now reporting in to advise that I have successfully found my routine!
My Fitness Journey
In my high school years I was fairly active with riding, running and doing pilates. In my undergrad I was pretty healthy and liked how I looked. I started grad school and then I gained weight my first year, mainly due to a crappy living situation and adjusting to a new place. However, I managed to shed the pounds with healthier eating in my second year of grad school before moving to Alberta.
In 2011 I was living in Alberta and I wasn’t being very healthy with my eating and I never really exercised. I had gained a bit of weight since my loss in grad school. In September 2011, I moved to Ontario. At that time I started to eat better and I began going to the gym and trained with a personal trainer.
Reaching my Peak
That lasted until March of 2012 when I changed my diet to be paleo, since I was already gluten free, and I started doing Crossfit 2x a week. I went down by about 20 lbs by the end of August from when I first moved to Ontario and I felt amazing. This was my peak!
I kept going to Crossfit until January 2013 when I quit the gym and found a cheaper alternative by doing workouts myself at a gym with lots of equipment. At this time, I was a little more relaxed with my diet, still gluten free, but I’d have some cheese, wine, and non-paleo things every so often. This was still a really good stage!
Two Steps Back
Then, in Fall 2013, I moved to a new city and kind of kept working out, randomly attending Crossfit gym classes, but never really building a routine. I have to say that I was a bit depressed, it was a very dark winter and I am terrible impacted by SAD. I lived there for about a year and then moved in the Fall of 2014. I tried to establish a routine in 2015, but house renovations just added to the stress of not being able to make a healthy routine.
Here I am, the renovation is almost complete and I feel like I have a life again! What I notice is that my weight seems to depend on where I am mentally so I’ve been working hard on being positive and doing things for myself. In February of this year, I kind of got my act together for when I went to Panama (I’ve also gained a little weight since then). However, I’m still fairly far off from July 2012 where I had an AMAZING butt and I was so strong and happy. I’m only 10 lbs heavier right now, but I am much less strong, ideally I’d like to be back to my 144 lbs strong self! I’m actually pretty close to my April 2012 weight and size right now, maybe a bit heavier.
The New Plan
BBG at Home
Yes, I’ve drank the Kayla Itsine’s BBG kool-aid and I am on week 4 of her program. While there is criticism towards her program – by the way, there are inaccuracies in this article – I am generally happy with the workouts 3 times a week in addition to my other activities which count towards Kayla’s exercise programming like LISS, HIIT and stretching.
I like the guide because I like having 3 (sometimes more in BBG 2) workouts a week made up for me and ready to go with minimal gym equipment and some standard home furnishings like chairs and ottomans. I’m lucky that from previous fitness experience I am able to adapt and make changes to the exercises when needed and also keep myself safe from injury.
Free Fitness Classes
Right now I’m doing Adidas Canada #HereToCreate classes once a week. These are intense 60-minute classes that really rev-up your heart rate. I LOVE IT! If you’re in Toronto, check it out at heretocreate.ca, registration for the following week starts promptly at 9 am on Thursday.
However, when that ends in October, I’ll be turning to YouTube and Mike Donavanik (as well as some other HIIT fitness instructors) to keep up the once a week intensity. I’ve also been keeping track of my workouts from this series over on my fitness Instagram @HIITster1 (get it?).
Sunday Zen…I love yoga, which is what I did for a month before going to Panama, but I got tired of paying the studio fees. I turned to Groupon for a cheap year-long membership to an online yoga studio. This is the one I got, but it was a little cheaper a few months ago, The Yoga Collective – Groupon. I also feel that with the BBG program that yoga counts for both stretching and LISS most days!
Riding is my all time favourite LISS so I’m excited to have this opportunity again to ride once a week! You burn tones of calories when riding English and doing a bit of jumping. I’m always a puddle of sweat, even in the winter.
All-in-all I do some form of workout 6 times a week, plus I walk to work which is 50 minutes round trip.
I’m still working on the eating part, which will be another post, once I find a good routine. In the meantime, you can follow me over on my fitness Instagram @HIITster1!