Personal, Well-being
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My journey to a fitter, healthier version of myself

My journey to a healthier, leaner, fitter version of myself Part 1. >> www.karinecandicekong.com

 

My journey to a healthier, leaner, fitter version of myself. READ ON...Since so many of you have been following my journey on Instagram, I thought it would be useful to share my journey to a fitter, leaner, healthier version of myself or “How to get fit and healthy in your forties” with more information than Instagram allows. So here are a few facts about myself:

  • Age: 45 years (46 on 30/03/2015)
  • Starting weight on 27/12/2014: 67 kg, current weight: 63 kg, weight loss: 4kg, height: 1m55
  • Fitness: @Kayla_itsines BBG, Bikram yoga, cardio classes at the gym, 45 min. walk to the office
  • Nutrition: 90% clean eating. Alcohol once a month.
  • Health: BMI overweight (calculate your BMI here), terrible IBS, occasional backaches
  • Weight goals: 10kg in total (need to lose an extra 3kg on top of what I’ve already lost to reach a healthy BMI)

How it all started?

Before having Mila ten years ago, I was a fit bird. Fitness was part of my lifestyle. I was heading to the gym 5 times/week before work and I had made such a great group of friends at the gym that we often challenged ourselves to run in Hyde Park in the morning and get together in the evening for a few drinks. Then I became pregnant and in a nutshell, ate for 3 people, spent my maternity leave launching BODIE and FOU while looking after Mila. Making the business, the success story it is now, became my no 1 priority and for the first 5 years, I worked until 3am, eating unhealthy food and then spent the next few years trying to get fit and healthy again with more or less success.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new” SOCRATES

What changes did I make?

In 2012 I gave up smoking. In 2013, after becoming really ill, I gave up gluten and took up Bikram Yoga. In 2013, I asked for a Nutribullet for the UK Mother’s Day (March) and started making green smoothies. In July, I gave up coke zero and seriously reduced my consumption of refined sugars and in November out of nowhere and despite making changes to my lifestyle, I was hit by mild depression. In hindsight, although it was the darkest period I’ve experienced, I’m almost grateful it hit me because it really forced me to address my lifestyle. 2014 was a year of consolidation and education where I spent a lot of time reading about food, where it was coming from, how it was manufactured, discovering how much hidden sugar, salt and gluten there is in everything manufactured and I started prioritising things that didn’t come out of packet: fruits, vegetables, organic chicken, fish. I’m saying of all this to you so you understand that I havent changed everything at once.

To this day, I think the change I made which had the most positive impact on my health was giving up my daily coke. Since I have a sweet tooth, Coke was only feeding my cravings for sugar, making all my efforts towards eating healthily very very hard. Once I was no longer addicted to coke, I started reducing my consumption of refined sugars by replacing them with fruits. I ate  lot of them to start with but eventually my body regulated itself and now I have about 3 portions of fruits/day and no cravings for sugar.

In 2015, I started the year asking myself various questions that led to this. One thing that was very clear to me was, that I didn’t want to be the person I was 10 years ago. I love my life. I’m still madly in love with the kiwi I met 16 years ago, I have a wonderful child and I’m a lot happier now with them in my life.

What I really wanted was to become a 40 something version of myself who is lean, fit and sexy and someone who is ageing gracefully and happily and I asked myself:  “What if?”…what if I was able to become that person? What is stopping me? Nothing really except myself” and so my journey began…

What fitness program do I use?

I’m doing Kayla’s Bikini Body Guide which is really hard (but if you’ve done Tracy Anderson before, that’s probably about the same level of intensity), Bikram yoga on Sunday and I try to walk to the office (45 min) at least 3 times/week. When I started Kayla’s circuit the first time, I cried. I felt so unfit…I couldn’t do a single burpee. After 16 years of ballet, a semi-marathon and being able to run 7Kms 3 times a week a couple of years before, it was a massive blow to my self-esteem but I kept telling myself that this was the year I would make it and I kept trying. I just felt that it didn’t matter if I couldn’t do the whole circuit, at least I was trying and by week 3, I could finally do these flipping burpees. I’m not sure how the 20s something are doing but let me reassure you, very rarely I was able to do the full circuit twice. For weeks, I could only manage each circuit just once and although the idea was to do as many reps as you could within 14 min, I could only manage the reps mentioned on a guide.

I stopped the guide at week 9 when I joined the gym and started doing cardio classes. My body took a little while to adjust waking up at 6am for a class and I was feeling a bit self-conscious to do the circuit at the gym.

I have now started the BBG again (at the gym!) including cardio classes for HIIT and walking to the office and Bikram for LIIS and I can see a massive difference in my fitness level in comparison to the first round. Physically, my body is changing. I gained definition and lost 4 kilos on the scale.

How do I keep motivated?

First I des-activated my Facebook account to free up some time and invested that free time into my well-being. Then I started using Instagram as a mini coach following people who inspire me because they have a healthy lifestyle and positive attitude. Some accounts are about clean eating, others about fitness but given that I’m glued to my phone, at least each time I scroll down my IG, I see visual reminders of my goals.

I post a lot of motivational quotes on Instagram which are as much for your benefit than mine but really, you need to have a tough talk with yourself on a regular basis. You really need to tell the little negative voice in your head to f…off. My negative voice is gone now. I’ve built such strong, healthy habits over the past few years that it’s no longer a struggle or a fight with myself. There are days, I will feel like not going to the gym but I will still take my ass there and workout because I know that I would feel worse physically and mentally if I didn’t go.My journey to a healthier, leaner, fitter version of myself. READ ON...Choose your words carefully and focus on your well-being

We are what we eat but we are what we think too. Personally I find that focusing on the words weight loss is detrimental to my goals. It has a negative connotation linked to years of failure and it feels like it’s a short time thing. However, I feel focusing on my well-being is a lot more positive and I’m there for the long run, not the quick fix. I’m really there to make a transformation to be the healthiest and fittest version I can be and the bottom line is that with clean eating, regular exercise and less stress, the weight loss will happen anyway. Focusing on your well-being will enable you I think to make smart decisions.

I could go on forever on the subject telling you how great my skin, hair look or how great I feel since Ive started this journey but I don’t want to bore you so if you have any question, feel free to leave a comment. Did you find this useful?
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22 Comments

  1. Go Karine! This is so inspiring :)

    I started Kayla’s BBG last week and find it SO hard! After the first work out I ached for about 5 days.

  2. LJ Clarke says

    Hi Karine
    I have never commented before but wanted to say thank you for sharing this – yes it was useful and also motivational. Agree – thinking long term about being healthy and happy is much better than focusing on weight loss (or lack of it)
    I follow your instagram and enjoy following your progress. I am on a similar mission myself. Keep on keeping on!

  3. sophia says

    Hi Carine! Thank you for such an inspiring post! I’m glad you are there verbalizing our struggles, hopes and fears!

  4. Hi Karine, like you I have made gradual changes to my diet and lifestyle over the last few months and instead of eating what I want and struggling to run it off (which made my knees bad) but getting nowhere, I incorporated smoothies and started yoga and regular walking. I am dairy intolerant and chocolate is my achilles heel, and if I fall off the wagon I don’t beat myself up, I just think about how I feel from eating it and that’s enough of a reminder to stay off it for a longer period. I then stepped it up another gear and started Kaylas BBG 5 weeks ago and like you, those burpees were a killer. I can finally do 15 and not collapse in a heap on the floor. Yay! My instagram feed has more nutrition, fitness and wellbeing related posts than interior design these days which I agree are the biggest motivation to carry on and keep the determination going. In the past a meal was quickly rushing some packaged food together, and I actually now enjoy taking decent time out of the day to cook nutritious food from scratch for myself and the family, and although they can turn their noses up, their negativity will not get in the way of a good meal!
    Keep up the fantastic work, I’m following with admiration :) Sam

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  7. Laura says

    Hi Karine – I’ve never left a comment before either, but am on the same journey as you. Early 40s, transatlantic move and two kids took rather a toll on my fitness level and body from 10 years ago. What spurred me back into fitness was my youngest being diagnosed with multiple life threatening food allergies. I had to really look at every single thing that was brought into our home – I now cook from scratch for almost every meal, something that I really now enjoy, and four years on, know so much about nutrition and the impact of food on our bodies and guts. That led to literally cleaning up our act, and the move to fitness followed. It’s not about weight for me (although I”m practically back to my 30s pre-kids weight) but being healthy, toned and strong, like you! My instagram account has shifted too and I’m also doing the Kayla BBG. We’re all on this journey together and I for one love you for documenting your journey. Keep on keeping on :)

  8. Oh, I am so with you on this. My fattest weight is now my goal!! Argghh. I used to want to look like La Moss but now I am into great wholesome food and a clear complexion. Once you have that one precious child you just need to concentrate on being there, being strong and being happy. Good luck with it all – you look great BTW x

  9. Thnk you for sharing your journey! I am on the same journey and it it really is so hard to get onto it and STAY when you have too many pounds and cravings and 3 kids to raise. And I totally agree that Instagram is such a good source. I will start printing out all these motivational quotes I gathered on Instagram and will put it everywhere around the house to keep me motivated. And having a flock of people around you to keep you motivated is the best!
    Have a safe trip and enjoy the journey!
    Yvonne

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