Four weeks ago marked the day I began to change my life.
After years of yo-yo dieting, followed by a period of just giving up on fitness and weight loss altogether, I decided enough was enough. It was time to get into the best shape of my life.
But this time? I was doing things differently.
No restrictive diets
No cutting out food groups
No doing workouts I didn’t like (that means you, burpees and circuit training)
No negative self talk
I was taking a stand for my health. I wanted to live a long and healthy lifestyle that was fuller and richer than the one I was currently living, one where I had energy all day long, glowing skin, a strong immune system, inner confidence, and a healthy body.
And here we are, four weeks in already, so I thought today I’d share how it’s progressing, what’s worked and what hasn’t, what I’m keeping and what I’m ditching, and the plan moving forward.
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At the start of my 12 week journey I resolved not to weigh myself until the 6 week mark.
The scale can be a little triggering for me, so I’m careful with how I approach it, because I don’t want it to throw me off. Weekly or even monthly weigh ins would be too much for me.
Objectively, I know that as I start working out and building lean muscle, the scales likely won’t shift much – in fact, they may even increase, and not to freak out about the number.
(Because the scale is a total liar.)
But the human mind can be a sneaky thing, so I’ve decided that my physical weight won’t be the star attraction of this journey.
Instead I’m measuring progress on my cardio endurance, my strength gains, my energy levels, my measurements, progress photos and how my clothes fit.
So let’s look at how much of a shift I’ve made in four weeks – that’s just under a month; these measurements and progress pics were taken on Day 29.
Day 1 (Starting) Stats
Weight: 68 kg (150 lb)
BMI: 27 (Overweight)
Chest: 98 cm
Waist: 83 cm
Hips: 106 cm
Thighs: 60 cm
Body fat %: 35.7%
Week 4 Stats (One Month In)
Weight: ??? (not hitting that scale until Week 6)
Chest: 95 cm (- 3 cm)
Waist: 77 cm (- 6 cm)
Hips: 103 cm (- 3 cm)
Thighs: 60 cm (=)
Body fat %: ???
You guys, I can’t believe it. I’ve lost 6 cm off my waist already!
I’ve also lost 3 cm off my butt (hips) and boobs.
I can’t believe the difference just four short weeks have made. 12 cm lost from my whole body in 29 days!
I haven’t lost any off my thighs, but I’m not bothered about those.
Let’s see how this looks visually.
You can really see where the weight has come off my weight and hips, and my measurements don’t reflect this, but I’ve already lost a lot of weight from my face and neck too.
But one thing I will say is that the photos won’t show you how much happier, freer, more confident, fit and energetic I feel – a complete 360 from how I was feeling four weeks ago.
I honestly feel like a completely different person from the inside out.
I have energy and confidence to socialise, I’m not in crippling pain all the time, my mood is balancing out, and I’m more focused at work.
Of every metric available to measure my progress, that inner shift has honestly made all the difference, inside and out.
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What’s worked well?
Okay, NOT dieting has made all the difference.
This means no calorie counting, no cutting out food groups, and no restricting cravings.
I’ve been loosely following the Australian Dietary Guidelines as best I can within my means, honouring cravings and not beating myself up for enjoying life.
It might mean that I’ve not been in enough of a calorie deficit to lose weight overnight, and I’m TOTALLY okay with that, but as you can see, I’ve still lost 12 cm this month with an active lifestyle.
Exercising every day
Almost every day this past month I’ve gotten active: anywhere from 15 minutes of stretching to an hour and a half of aerobics and weight lifting a day – whatever I have time for.
The goal is to build the habit of either sweating, strengthening or stretching every day. Apparently it takes 21 days to build a long term habit and let me tell you: if I don’t work out for some reason, it feels like something’s missing from my day.
It’s this feeling that means I will still work out, even if I don’t really feel like it, and even just for 15 minutes. I just prioritise daily movement, instead of making it an afterthought, or something I only do if I have time.
Logging my meals and workouts
Keeping this blog and logging my meals and workouts is also really helpful because it builds accountability and keeps me in check. I honestly believe the built in accountability from daily blogging has been one of the most, if not the most, powerful things I’ve done this time around.
As a bonus, it’s also helped me build the habit of staying consistent in producing content on my blog, which is honestly something I’ve always really struggled with.
What hasn’t worked
I think I need to talk about the things I’ve tried, or planned to do, that haven’t worked out, so I can reassess and move forward with transparency and self awareness.
Everyone’s different, and what works or what doesn’t work for me may be different for you, but let me know in the comments whether any of this resonates.
Meal Kit Delivery
Because I have a full time job at the moment, and blog after hours, I often don’t finish work until about 8 pm and just want something simple and healthy ready to go.
I ordered a meal kit delivery service thinking it would save me a bunch of time planning and shopping for dinner, and would streamline the process of cooking.
Well, apparently not.
Even the “fast and simple” recipes took well over half an hour to prepare (not 15 minutes as advertised), and that was with two of us in the kitchen trying to speed through the job.
And the dishes afterwards? My Lord.
I mean, maybe if you had a dishwasher it would be okay??? But the cleanup afterwards is insane with those kits.
From now on we’ll stick to meal prepping on Sundays, or quick and easy sheet pan dinners where I can literally just chuck a bunch of veggies and protein on a pan, put it in the oven, and keep working until dinner time, no muss, no fuss.
Waking up late
The worst thing that can happen is waking up just in time to start my workday.
I find it’s easiest to do my workouts first thing in the morning before work. That way, if work gets out of control, or other things happen, at least I’ve got my workout in.
If I wake up just in time for work, then I often have to choose between rolling out a blog post and working on my side hustle or doing a workout, so it’s a catch-22.
I mean, I still get my workout done in the afternoon, but then it eats into what precious little time I have to work on my business and spend time with Greg.
OR I can wake up at 7 am, buy myself a whole hour in a day, and dedicate it to working out.
Here’s the problem.
I have been having a REALLY hard time waking up before 8 am just recently.
Like, what is going on? I feel like it all started around the time of the pandemic, but it’s really been a thing the last six months.
It’s never been an issue for me and now for some reason I cannot get up before 8 am.
I’ve tried alarms (I somehow manage to switch them off in my sleep), I’ve tried getting my husband to wake me up, but nothing works.
It’s honestly my biggest frustration right now.
And weirdly, if I go to bed earlier, it just makes it worse? Like I find if I go to bed late, around 11:30 pm, I’m more likely to get up earlier than if I go to bed at 10. What is with that?
Anyway, it’s not working out, so that’s going to be a key focus of mine in the month going forward. And if you have any tips for becoming an early bird, please do let me know.
I’ve really been keen to get started with an afternoon family walk – but unfortunately that’s rarely happened since I’ve started. I think mostly this can be linked to waking up late (above).
Next month, with a bit of luck and an aggressive morning alarm, I’ll be able to get out and enjoy a walk with my family in the afternoon.
One thing I really wanted to do this month was lean into growing my YouTube channel.
I wanted to publish a weekly vlog of how things are progressing and ....... yeah, I’m still editing the weekly vlog from week one.
Okay, I am LOVING my 80s style aerobics workouts, and they will definitely continue to happen over the next month and beyond.
In the meantime, I’m devising something pretty special of my own which I hope to roll out by the end of July this year (and I can’t wait to share it with you).
For the last four weeks, I’ve been doing aerobics between 5 – 6 times per week, for at least 20 minutes, within my aerobic zone of between 60-80% of my MHR.
I’m not puffed when I go up and down the stairs. I’m lighter on my feet.
I can go for a walk to the corner shop without feeling tired.
Getting up from a chair and walking around doesn’t feel like hard work.
Let me tell you, if you’re on the fence about doing cardio, please start. Start with going for a gentle walk 3 times a week and build from there.
I promise in a month’s time you’ll look back and won’t recognise yourself. It’s so good for your body and for your life in just more ways than you can imagine.
When I have time, I’ve been sneaking in express Body Pump style classes at lunch time.
Honestly, this hasn’t been happening as often as I would like. This coming month I’d love to commit 30 minutes, three times a week, of resistance training.
Core, Posture and Flexibility
So these three areas have always been a problem for me, especially core, which has been prone to being a little bit weak.
I’d love to tighten and firm this area, improve my core strength, and really work on my posture.
Honestly, I haven’t done much in this area over the last four weeks, other than the abs track for my aerobics workouts.
Buuuuuuuuuut I’ve been working on something pretty special behind the scenes.
It’s a flexibility, posture and core enhancing workout designed ESPECIALLY for women, and if it works on me, I hope to roll it out and share it with you guys this year.
I wrote the program and have been playing around with elements of it for a few weeks, but on Thursday I tested it out in sequence and OMG two days later, my abs are still sore.
This month I’m going to keep road testing it, maybe aiming for 2-3 sessions a week, and I can’t wait to share an update with you next month.
My mindset, in and of itself, has done a complete 360.
I’m more confident, more focused, energetic, productive, happier and more settled.
I have less anxiety, feel more social, and I’ve noticed I’m even a little bit more naturally assertive and take initiative a lot more.
The benefits of regular exercise on mental health are well documented and honestly, I know how better managed my anxiety and ... err ... distractibility are when I’m exercising every day.
I haven’t been “documenting it” as I thought I would, per se, and at this stage I don’t know if I will.
I think the proof is really in the pudding in terms of how much I’m able to get done, how confident I feel, and the progress I’m making in general since I started working out and eating well.
At the start of this month, I committed to making self care a priority:
Socialising more frequently
Spending more time with Greg
Getting out and enjoying the outdoors
Taking more bubble baths
Overall, I’m pleased with how far I’ve come. Greg and I have been swimming at the beach, I’ve gone to a few social events, and most weeks I manage at least two bubble baths.
Some nights I’m still frustrated that I don’t finish until late, and just quickly run through the shower before collapsing into bed, but hey – we do what we can until we can do what we want, right?
The plan for next month
So part of setting goals is reassessing them regularly and readjusting your actions slightly as you learn what works and what doesn’t.
Here’s the plan for the next four weeks:
Keep blogging every day – this has honestly been the game changer
Keep doing aerobics 5-6 days per week
Aim for 3 resistance workouts per week
Aim for 3 core/flexibility sessions per week
Start building in family walks – aiming for twice per week
Meal prep dinners in advance so I have something healthy and ready to go
Get up at 7 am (seriously, if you have any tips for getting up early, comment them below)
Weigh in at week six – stay tuned for that one
Anyway, my loves, thanks for tuning in for the update. If you’re on a fitness journey too, boy I’d love to hear from you!
Comment below with your biggest struggles, where you’re at, what has and hasn’t worked for you so far, and if there’s anything else you’d like to know!
Oh – and if you’d like to learn step by step the habits I’ve been building to create a healthy, fit lifestyle and get these results in four short weeks, click the image below for a free resource bundle delivered to your Inbox. Let’s do this together!
Until tomorrow, my glam babies, keep shining bright.
- Xo, Rhi