Rhythm + Regime | The Girl Who Hates Working Out

“I don’t care if I die ‘skinny’, I want to die happy.”

I know, I know, I know. It’s been too long. I am deeply sorry for having been so absent. Things have been crazy at work, and I haven’t been able to give the blog the TLC it deserves.

BUT – I’ve been pretty good. It’s kind of crazy actually.

I’ve been back for CrossFit at ConCor CrossFit 3 or 4 times, which I guess isn’t that much of a surprise based on the last post I wrote about how awesome it is. I’ve also gone on a Lunch Run at work (no, I didn’t run – I walked the intervals and then joined in for Tabata).

But here’s the surprising part – I’ve started working out at home. 3 times a week. I wanted to go for 5, but my schedule is kind of insane after work and I prefer not to work out on weekends. It’s still awesome though right? I workout mostly in the evening, before dinner, and I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed my home workouts as much as CrossFit, but I realise I can’t get to CrossFit 3 times a week with my current schedule and I still want to get exercise in.

So what have I been doing at home?

I downloaded a bunch of apps. Fitness Blender, SworkitPopSugar Active and Freeletics. I deleted all of them except for Sworkit and PopSugar Active after a while. I don’t remember my elimination process in detail but I know I wanted an app that:

  1. Required minimum equipment – i.e. bodyweight exercise
  2. Had videos with an instructor – the videos with a countdown timer aren’t really my thing
  3. Allowed me to create some kind of plan – it’s nice to have a challenge or some kind of countdown

So I went with PopSugar Active and I’ve been doing their 21 day challenge (using my upcoming vacation as motivation), and have been using a few Fitness Blender workouts from YouTube when I haven’t liked the workouts they provided.

I’ve also been curbing my eating. ISH. I say ‘ish’ because let’s be real, no matter how good I want to look in a bikini, and no matter how flat I want my stomach to be, I don’t want to hate myself. To quote the great wordsmith Drake, ‘YOLO’. I don’t care if I die ‘skinny’, I want to die happy.

So I’ve been going for protein-heavy breakfasts, cutting it light on the carbs: two eggs; poached, boiled or fried, and greens; a plate filled with spinach or broccoli and peas. I might not order it off a menu at a restaurant, but it keeps me full until lunch.

My lunches, all of my colleagues will tell you, are incredibly repetitive. Like annoyingly repetitive. A big ol’ bowl of spinach, topped with cottage cheese and beets and drizzled with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. The salad actually looks pretty luxurious considering how basic it is – but I know it’s pretty tight on calories and I’m hungry at exactly 5pm each day, because I’m a non-snacker.

Dinner is the only meal I haven’t really paid much attention to. I’ve got a roommate and we eat dinner together, so controlling what I eat then can be complicated. But here’s the cool thing, staying lean on fat and carbs for breakfast and lunch means I don’t need to think too much about what I eat for dinner. This is particularly important because dinner is such a social activity for me, and it means I don’t have to have awkward dinner moments or only stick to salads. This doesn’t mean I go nuts and eat an entire pizza every night, but it does mean that a balanced meal with rice, greens and protein won’t ruin my day.

I’ve cut back on candy, but I’m not super strict. When I first moved to Stockholm I was an au pair for a while and candy was my best friend. Fortunately, I was walking a lot and was pretty active, which I think counteracted my candy habit, but after I stopped au pairing and was less active, I started piling on the pounds. Since then I’ve gone for the Swedish way of eating candy, (at least for kids) ‘Lördags godis’ – which means ‘Saturday candy’. I’ve tried to limit junk food (chips, candy, cake, ice-cream) to weekends. The only problem with that is that my weekend starts on Friday at around 9am (Friday-survival instincts anyone?) and ends at around 11pm on Sunday night, so I’ve been trying to cut down on the amount I eat over that period – swapping a share size bar, for an individual serving size bar, for example.

I don’t really have any way of measuring my results. My stomach is definitely smaller and a little tighter (despite me giving up about two-thirds of the way through all core exercises) but that’s pretty much the only thing I’ve noticed, despite one or two people commenting that they think I’ve lost weight.

But I’m less interested in the results. Of course I want to look better, and as I’m mentioned I’m noticing a little differences, but I’m just happy that I’ve found a sustainable rhythm. I’ve found a time of day that suits me, exercises that I enjoy (mainly HIIT bodyweight workouts), and a way of eating that works for my lifestyle. I’m actually considering working out on vacation (actually it’s beyond considering, I’ve planned workouts with a few friends and *gasp* researched gyms).


So if I’m willing to take my workout on vacation, could I work out for life?

I wonder if finding something you can stick to is the right way to find out if it’s a good fit. You find a regime that suits you, a rhythm that works, and then you just keep doing it.

I think it could work.

– Femi

Femi A-Williams is a health and fitness convert trying to reconcile a healthy lifestyle and a happy food life. She is 80% whole grain and 20% donut.

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