I’m writing this while I’m actually just getting out of a slump. For the past 3 weeks I’ve had family visit, work, stress and generally no mood to workout. My eating habits have also been sub-par.
But today I wanted to talk about where and how I started this journey.
Around 6 years ago, I went to a personal training center with my sister and her back then boyfriend. I was tired of being ‘skinny fat’ (yes that’s an actual thing) and I had always been self-conscious about my tummy – which seemed to store anything I ate. Since high-school I had never exercised and ate whatever I felt like. Souvlaki (Greek Kebab)? I would eat 3 of them!
I put myself on a program. Went to the trainer’s 2 to 3 times a week, doing power plate which was the new trend back then. But for some reason I didn’t clean up my diet. Compared my sister’s boyfriend’s progress, which was apparent after just a few months, I started to get disappointed. I still wanted to get fit but the excitement was fading and I started getting less consistent and finally, stopped personal training.
Around 2010, I started dating my current boyfriend and though my body was quite good, I started getting too comfortable in our relationship and by 2012 I had completely let myself go. I had just moved in with my boyfriend and that was when we both took a good look at ourselves and said enough is enough.
This is the time I properly started my fitness journey. I found Zuzana from Bodyrock and started working out at home. I would travel back to Brunei for work for 2-3 months at a time,and would train with Alim Roslan as my personal coach. This was the beginning of my weight training and really looked after what I was eating - thus starting my Fitness craze 🙂
I started drinking protein shakes, eating less refined carbs which meant more fruits and vegetables. In 2013 I started receiving comments from family and friends, telling me I was starting to look too thin (I still had my muffin top though!). It’s hard trying to please everyone – but I constantly remind myself the reasons why I started leading this lifestyle. I’m doing this for me and nobody else.
Consistent workouts + balanced good food : Considered too thin for some
End of 2014, Alim had left to the U.S. and I was all alone in Brunei with no one to motivate me. I pushed forward and started to motivate myself. I started Kayla’s bikini guide and although I never finished it, I was consistent with my other workouts.
Along the way I also found yoga *cue super relaxing music*. Having never liked yoga previously, I thought I would give it another shot. I joined a class by Tina Gavasiades and fell in love!! Unfortunately, her classes moved to another town and I’m still searching for a good nearby place to join.
Coming back to Greece in December I decided I would make my work base here and stop travelling so much, and with that decision I told myself no more breaks. It was time to make this a lifestyle! I continued with Kayla’s guide and slowly started working out with a personal trainer Kostas Tsianakas 2 times a week while also adding Aerial Silks to my program and walks on the treadmill (LISS – Low Intensity Steady State cardio). Since then I found it was hard to incorporate Kayla’s workouts since I was getting smashed with my personal trainings and Aerial. I decided to drop it and continued with the rest. My Diet has been a constant problem for me but I’m slowly finding a balance – I have found that for me an 80/20 diet works best. I just can’t give up my little treats and foods that I love.
Basically the 80/20 rule (originally called The Pareto Principle) means that you spend the majority of your time (80%) making the right decisions. This means clean, healthy, balanced meals. The other 20% of the time you can treat yourself. The rule is about moderation. So yes, I’m allowed to have a cake at a birthday party, but no, I’m not allowed to have cake every single day. Balance is key! I save my indulgences mostly for a cocktail night-out with the girls, a pasta dish on date night, or an ice cream on a hot summer day.
My goal has always been to get abs. Lose the tummy fat once and for all. I see now that with my body type it’s very hard to achieve. I’m trying as hard as I can, don’t get me wrong, but I need to first find a way to be comfortable with myself no matter what.
Self confidence, getting stronger, and trying to find a balance – to be happy, healthy and fit.
Writing from my experience (I am not a professional) are some tips to get you started with your fitness journey:
Surround yourself with like minded people
I found this hard in the beginning but then realized it made a huge difference with my motivation to work out and eat right. It’s so important to surround yourself with people, whose values and habits support your healthy lifestyle. Luckily my boyfriend has always been active and we love doing activities together – walking the dog, rock climbing, and signing up for races, are just a few.
Set realistic but specific goals. I love setting goals for example today I can do 1 chin up, in the next month I’ll set a goal of doing 3. It’s challenging but something very do-able.
A lot of people start off this journey thinking there is something wrong with themselves and wanting to change. This part is the hardest…accepting and loving yourself. I am still learning every day. Self-love is: 
Knowing how we’re spending our emotional, mental, financial, and physical energy, and whether these activities bring back joy, connection, nurturing, rest, and creativity to our lives.
Owning our inner and outer beauty and complimenting ourselves without feeling guilty, arrogant, or entitled.
Giving our body the nurturing, rest, exercise, and comfort it needs to the best of our ability.
Sleep / Rest
Rest and exercise go hand in hand. You can’t build muscle if you don’t give your body time to recover. Also, sleep plays a huge role in your general well-being. Try and get in at least 8 hours of sleep a day. It’s amazing to feel ready for the world and energized when you wake up in the morning.
Here in Greece people also have siestas, though for me I find that napping in the afternoon makes me more drowsy and tired later on. So don’t overdo it!
Hydrate yourself. Water should be with you wherever you go. I love to buy a 1ltr BPA free water bottle and refill it once or twice a day. That’s already 2 to 3 liters. Aim for 2 liters a day if you are just starting out.