You’re interested in hearing about my first week, and I want to assure you that I won’t sugarcoat it by pretending everything was amazing and that I miraculously lost 1kg. The truth is, I don’t even own a set of scales, and there’s a valid reason behind this decision. Rather than focusing on unhealthy habits, I believe it’s essential to establish healthy ones that don’t revolve around a number on the scale. I tend to fixate on things, and I don’t want my goals to be hindered by the arbitrary measurement of weight. It’s important to remember that muscle weighs more than fat, so while I may be losing fat and gaining muscle, I may not observe significant changes when stepping on the scales.
My ultimate goal is to lose weight, as advised by my doctor, to achieve a healthy BMI. Currently, I weigh 98kg and stand 188cm tall. Regarding dress size, I typically range between 14-16, which aligns with the average size of women in Australia. Personally, I feel my best when my clothes fit well and I have confidence in my body, so losing that excess weight through exercise which I haven’t been doing and healthy eating will just happen naturally through these two changes.
Since the birth of my second daughter, I haven’t actively made an effort to eat healthier or shed the weight I gained during pregnancy. However, my recent checkup with the doctor has motivated me to implement some changes. So, how did the first week go? It was decent. I managed to successfully plan my meals, which was a positive starting point. Although I struggled to stick to the exercise plan due to a severe cold I was recovering from, I did manage to fit in a few walks. Most of my week was focused on staying hydrated and nourished enough to fight off the virus.
Now, in the second week, I’m ready to take things up a notch. While I’m still not 100% health-wise, I won’t make any excuses. I’m a huge advocate for interval training, pilates, and walking. I firmly believe that when you genuinely enjoy your chosen exercise routine, it ceases to be a chore and becomes a fun way to stay active and keep the blood pumping.
Setbacks are a part of life, and it’s crucial to accept them without succumbing to a negative mindset regarding change. Moving forward, here’s my exercise and meal plan for week 2 to ensure I stay on track.
7-Day Exercise Plan
Day 1: Brisk walk for 30-45 minutes.
Day 2: Strength training using bodyweight exercises (push-ups, squats, lunges) for 20 minutes.
For day 2, focus on strength training exercises that utilise your own body weight. Here’s a breakdown of the workout:
Push-ups: Start with modified push-ups (on your knees) if needed. Aim for 2 sets of 10 reps.
Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back as if sitting in a chair. Keep your chest lifted and heels on the ground. Aim for 2 sets of 12 reps.
Lunges: Take a step forward with your right foot and lower your body down until your right knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Keep your back straight and your weight centred on your front foot. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Aim for 2 sets of 10 reps on each leg.
Day 3: Yoga or Pilates session for flexibility and core strength. (You can do beginner pilates or yoga sessions through YouTube. You don’t have to own a membership)
On day 3, focus on improving flexibility and core strength through a yoga or Pilates session. These exercises help to improve posture, enhance flexibility, and strengthen your core muscles. You can either join a local class or follow along with online tutorials and videos.
Day 4: 20-30 minutes of jogging or running at intervals
For day 4, engage in cardio exercises that get your heart rate up and increase your breathing. Some options include:
Dancing: Put on your favourite music and dance for 20 minutes. It’s a fun and enjoyable way to get your heart pumping.
Cycling: Go for a bike ride outdoors or use a stationary bike at home or the gym.
Swimming: If you have access to a pool, swimming is a low-impact exercise that works your entire body.
Day 5: Rest day to allow your body to recover.
On day 5, take a break from intense workouts and allow your body to rest and recover. Rest days are crucial for muscle repair and overall recovery. Engage in light stretching or relaxation techniques to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
Day 6: Interval training (alternating between high-intensity and moderate-intensity exercises) for 40 minutes.
Interval training involves alternating between periods of high-intensity exercise and moderate-intensity recovery. This type of workout can be adapted to various activities, like running, cycling, or bodyweight exercises. Here’s an example:
Warm up for 5 minutes with light cardio (brisk walking or jogging).
Perform 1 minute of high-intensity exercise (e.g., sprinting, jumping jacks, or burpees).
Follow it with 1-2 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (e.g., walking, slow jogging, or marching in place).
Repeat the high-intensity and moderate-intensity intervals for a total of 20-25 minutes.
Cool down with 5 minutes of stretching.
Day 7: Hiking up a local track in the national park.
On the last day of the week, engage in an activity that brings you joy. It could be hiking in nature, joining a sports team, taking a dance class, or any other physical activity that you genuinely enjoy. The key is to find something that motivates you to move and have fun while doing it.
Remember, listen to your body throughout the week, and if you experience any pain or discomfort during exercise, modify or seek professional guidance. Enjoy the process of discovering new ways to move and challenge yourself, and celebrate the progress you make.
7-Day Meal Plan
Breakfast: Acai bowl, frozen banana, acai, berries, milk and toppings of fresh fruit, nuts, granola, chia seeds, hemp seed and coconut
Lunch: Grilled chicken breast with roasted vegetables (such as bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots) and a side of quinoa.
Dinner: Mediterranean lamb and cous cous filled roasted capsicums with feta and pine nuts.
Snacks: carrot and celery with hummus.
Breakfast: Overnight oats made with rolled oats, almond or your preferred milk, chia seeds, and mixed berries.
Lunch: Cesar salad with grilled chicken, bacon pieces, 1 egg, croutons and dressing.
Dinner: Slow-cooked lamb shanks with sweet potato mash.
Snacks: brown rice crackers with either your favourite dip or cheese slices.
Breakfast: Acai, banana, mixed berry smoothie with 2 tbsp of almond butter.
Lunch: Pumpkin soup with toasted sourdough bread.
Dinner: Spaghetti Marinara with parmesan cheese.
Snacks: Cobs of slightly sweet and salty popcorn and a piece of fruit of your choice
Breakfast: Sourdough with avocado and poached eggs. Serve with a side of mixed fruit.
Lunch: 2x Sushi rolls
Dinner: Steak with a side salad of your choice.
Snacks: Mixed nuts and dried fruit.
Breakfast: Savoury bacon, cheese and spinach breakfast muffin with a fruit salad.
Lunch: Greek Salad with a can of tuna.
Dinner: Cheat dinner you can have your favourite takeaway (mine is Thai)
Snacks: Sliced pear with almond butter.
Breakfast: Acai smoothie with a slice of sourdough and almond butter.
Lunch: Tomato soup with a slice of sourdough.
Dinner: San choy bow bowls with mince and vegetables.
Snacks: Greek yogurt with sliced almonds.
Breakfast: 1x Rasher of bacon, poached egg and homemade potato hash brown
Lunch: 2x toasted slices of sourdough topped with bruschetta mix and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Dinner: Roast meat of your choice with roasted vegetables, carrot, potato and pumpkin, steamed broccoli and cauliflower.
Snacks: Celery sticks with hummus.
Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day and adjust portion sizes according to your individual needs. Additionally, modify the meal plan to accommodate any dietary restrictions or preferences you may have. Please note that this meal plan is a general guide, and it’s always a good idea to consult with a registered dietitian or healthcare professional for personalised advice and guidance.