Confessions of a foodaholic 

Food. It’s a wonderful thing isn’t it?! I myself am quite fond of it and I’m not ashamed to admit my day revolves around what I’m going to eat and when. If I’m not eating food then I’m more then likely thinking about it. But here’s the problem…my love of food has basically meant that after I hit 25 and my metabolism came to a grinding halt I started to pack on the lbs!!

The last 10 years have seen my weight go up and down as if it was in some kind of Japanese yo-yo competition. I’ve tried everything…weight watchers, feeble attempts at the gym, running, PT sessions, Les Mills classes, and I’ve even tried jumping up and down on a trampoline every night. Some of these things worked, others not so much. Either way I couldn’t sustain the weight loss even when it did drop a little. And I now I know why…..god damn FOOD! 

I love to cook…and I had basically convinced myself that by cooking dishes from scratch using fresh ingredients most of the time, the food I was eating wasn’t bad for me. I had an ok balance of protein, lentils and vegetable….not amazing but it wasn’t terrible. I rarely do take-always and my love of eating out comes in phases. So I didn’t think that my diet was all that bad. 

At the end of 2014 I got myself a PT and I worked really hard in the gym and doing various classes in addition to my sessions. I lost quite a bit of weight and started to love the way I felt and looked. I gained back some of my confidence and I thought I’d reached a turning point. However I soon realized what I was doing wasn’t enough to get the results I really wanted….and any time I took more then a week or two off from exercising I noticed the weight creep on every so quickly. 

So this time I knew I had to do more. Exercise alone just wasn’t enough. You can train as hard as you like in the gym but if you put the wrong kind of things into your body, well it’s just not going to thank you for it. Cue clean eating Shaena! 

As you know I started Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide (BBG) workout plan at the start of the month. I’ve just finished week 2 and I’m doing pretty well. I’ve also been going to the gym in between and trying to remain as active as possible. In addition to my exercise regime I’ve quite literally cleaned up my eating habits. I started simple…no more skipping breakfast. Starting the day with things like eggs, spinach, smoked salmon. I reduced my carb intake massively at lunch time and tried to stick to bigger quantities of protein and vegetables. And in the evening as mum is home and usually does most of the cooking in the week we reduced our portions, cut down rice to once or twice a week and stuck to lentils, vegetable dishes, fish and lean protein. 

I honestly thought the massive change in my diet would leave me craving things like pasta, rice, crisps and chips….but its done the opposite. Instead I’ve been excited about trying new things, looking for new recipes and just experimenting in general. I even bought some new cook books to add to my collection but this time the theme was slightly different…..

Here are a few things I’ve made or eaten  recently…some of which I wouldn’t have even considered eating before now!

My new favourite lunch….ham, eggs and beetroot. Odd combination I know but I love ham and beetroot and well…eggs are a good protein boost. I don’t however eat the yolks which I’ve gotten a lot of stick for from folks at work 🙈

A few breakfast and brunch options mostly involving scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and spinach amongst other things! 

Two things ive never been a fan of are oats and avocado. However this last week I had them both. The avo I just mashed up on toast with some scrambled egg and surprisingly enjoyed it. Forgot to take a photo but I’m sure it’ll feature in my food more from now on. And then there’s this bad boy breakfast….one I will save for a post workout morning feed. Over night protein oats….aka proats! A mish mash of oats, almond milk, Greek yogurt, cacao and protein powder…..doesn’t it look amazing?? Tasted it too!!! 😝

On Friday I made my first authentic chili con carne made with beef brisket. I used two different types of beans and loads of peppers which I used to hate….turned out pretty amazing! Made my own tortilla nachos to go with it too….yum! 

And then this afternoon I cooked up this beautiful chicken and sweet potato curry from a recipe my friend Sehar gave me. I can’t wait to have this for lunch later this week as it smells so good….got 3 batches for the freezer as well. 

So there you have it. Me and my new relationship with food. The old relationship was fun but it didn’t last and it made me unhappy. This time I feel energetic, vibrant and full of life. My tummy is happier, so I’m happier 😊

nb. Feel free to contact me for recipes or follow me on Instagram @shaenas_stuff to see my food and fitness journey xx 


One perfect week 

I know there’s still one more day of the week left and I don’t want to jinx anything, but….. I think I might have actually done everything I intended to do this week!!

Last Sunday my weeks goal was to get through all my BBG workouts, hit the gym where ever possible, eat as healthy as possible, no treats and no alcohol. Actually I’ve not had a drink since New Year’s Day so I’m doing pretty well there anyway and intend to keep it that way until my holiday at the end of Feb!

Anyway…where was I?! Ok, so on Sunday evening I made myself a stash of egg muffins filled with lots of yummy goodness such as smoked salmon and spinach. These were going to be my breakfast for the coming week! 

I’m so naughty and never really eat breakfast. Then I find myself raiding the vending machine mid morning because I can’t hang on until lunch….normally scoffing down a bag of crisps and then wondering why I can’t lose weight!!! But not this week, this week I was a good girl. I had my egg muffin every morning and if I was hungry after I followed it up with a banana or some almonds and raisins! 

Lunches were yummy this week too. There were lots of eggs involved 🙊 I aimed to cut down my carb intake and eat more protein and veggies. Tried to do the same with breakfast on the days I was at home too. And me and mum did our best to eat clean in the evenings too. Lots of veggies, fish, and lentils. I have to admit this is the first time I’ve enjoyed eating so healthy. Not once have I craved anything naughty or wanted to cheat. It’s been easier then I thought and it’s made me feel so much better. 

So I did good on my eating!! Next up was exercise. I started off on Monday night…came home from work and threw on my workout gear straight away. First up was BBG week 1 – legs!!! Arghhhh!!! Half an hour of lunges, squats and step ups. Sounds easy….but believe me it’s not! Still I got it done and felt great for it. 

As I mentioned in my last post I had my fitness assessment in the gym on Tuesday night. Despite my poor results I came away with a fairly decent exercise plan which I did again on Thursday and this morning. Wednesday was BBG – arms and abs….killer!!! And Friday was BBG – full body, which is basically taking bits from both Monday and Wednesday’s circuits. I also got in a couple of LISS (low intensity stead state) sessions and plan on finishing off with a nice long walk tomorrow afternoon. 

So there you have it, healthy eating and all my workouts complete for the week. And you know what? I feel bloody amazing!!! Makes me wonder why it took me so long to get my ass into gear and just do it. But I think until you’re ready to really try hard and until your head is completely in the game it’s unlikely it’ll happen as easy as it has done for me this week. I guess it’s just all about timing and how much you really want to change things. 

Today I treated myself to a blissful Indian head massage as well. Thought it would be a nice way to end the week and help me chill out after a very busy few days. It’s definitely something I’m going to get done more regularly. It’s really helped me relax this afternoon. My mind feels more at peace at the moment. There seems to be almost no noise, no darkness and no fear. I can’t tell you what’s changed because I don’t know myself. But things are feeling good at the moment. I’m feeling good. I looked in the mirror today and I can already see a change in my face. Not weight loss as such but just healthier, brighter…..and I guess happier. 

So this is me almost at the end of my one perfect week. Feeling great 😊 xx 


Baby elephant 

That’s what I felt like today. I picked elephant because I like elephants and I’m trying this whole new love yourself thing. So why not associate myself with an animal I like 🙂

Anyway….so it was fitness assessment day at my new gym. Oh dear god, what a wake up call. I knew it wasn’t going to be good but crikey the numbers were bad. In fact they were horrendous and I felt utterly ashamed that I’d let myself get that far. I’m so ashamed that I can’t even confess to what they were. 

Yes….scales make you cry!! I didn’t though. I wanted to but what’s the point. I’ve only myself to blame. So enough self pity and time to get on with it and do something about it!! 

Yesterday was day one of the Kayla Movement 2016. Day one was a leg work out. One I’ve done a few times already now. But I have to admit, this time was definitely the hardest. It hurt. It hurt a lot. But I got through it and it felt good. 

So, like I said. Today I had my assessment in the gym and then the trainer talked about my goals and what I want to achieve. Simple answer. Burn fat. All of it!! Well ok, not all but before I even think about strength and toning I need to burn some serious fat off these bones!!! 

Now I obviously have my BBG schedule which will take up most of my week and I’ve got my regular badminton session and I’ll phase the odd class in here and there. But on the odd days I actually set foot in the actual gym I don’t want to be wandering around aimlessly or working out using equipment that’s no use to me. So here’s what the trainer set out for me…nothing crazy but something I can slot in here and there after badminton, before a class or after one of my LISS (low intensity steady state cardio) sessions. 

He said to stick with this for 3-4 weeks and then see how I’m progressing before changing it up. Combined with my other workouts I think this will work well. He also recommended a high protein/low carb diet for me for a few weeks get that fat melting. As I’ve mentioned before the inner carb whore in me will find this hard but I’m determined to do what ever it takes this time. I’ve already made some big changes to my diet and I’m looking forward to trying out new recipes and new foods. In fact I already have two clean eating cook books on their way….so watch this space for recipes and reviews!!

So the gym visit wasn’t great but it hasn’t left me deflated or angry. It’s just given me the motivation and ammunition to change my habits, train hard and start eating right! I don’t ever want to be back here in this position again. I’ve already wasted all the effort and hard work I put in last year with my training. I refuse to waste anymore of my time. This time it sticks. This time I’m in it for good!! 💪🏽

The Kayla Movement 

So I survived week one of 2016!! Go me!🙌🏽  

To be honest it wasn’t so bad. I went back to work on Monday and it was really nice to be back in the office without feelings of paranoia, nausea and tiredness. I got stuck into my work again and it was good to back into the office banter with my colleagues. 

I also went back to the gym on Wednesday. I was dreading it to be honest. Almost a month of being sat at home doing next to nothing topped with 3 weeks of festive indulgence has certainly helped me pile on the lbs!! Needless to say I feel gross. But I have no one to blame for that except myself and the only way to change it is to get back in that gym, start working my ass off (quite literally) and get on the clean eating train!! 

So I decided to take things easy last week whilst I decided what I need to do long term. I eased myself back in with a couple of gentle cardio sessions and an hour of badminton with work. I felt a little lost if I’m honest. I’ve joined a completely new gym and with me being back at the start with my fitness I felt out of my depth. Like a complete newbie. My confidence is all but gone and I think I might even be at my heaviest weight ever. I guess I will find that out on Tuesday when I go for my fitness assessment…not excited!!! 😖

So what am I going to do about this? I’m going to stop the excuses, stop skipping workouts, stop eating crap and I’m going to sort my shit out!! 

 Tomorrow The Kayla Movement 2016 begins. BBG girls all over the world are starting their 12 weeks together…some like me are starting from the beginning while others might be on round 2 of BBG2. Either way we are all in it together and that’s why I love the BBG community. I have made some amazing friends because of Kayla Itsines and her fitness guides. Knowing these girls have my back and are there supporting me every step of the way makes me even more determined not to quit this time. I want to make them proud as much as I want to make myself proud. I know I’ve tried this guide a few times already and barely made it past week 3 but this time it’s different. This time I’m more focused and I want it way more then any of the other times I’ve started. To make it easier I’ve purchased the Sweat with Kayla app to following the guides properly, keep track of my progress and incorporate the healthy eating guides as well. 

I’m excited to get going with BBG tomorrow and I want to get back to doing my favourite gym classes like spin, body pump and body combat eventually too. But I know that the answer to keeping the demons away doesn’t just lie with exercising and being healthy. I need to find other ways too. Do other things that I find enjoyable. This is where my happiness planner comes in. My sister bought me this for Christmas. It’s brilliant. Rather then planning out my whole year this scales it down to 100 days. This is perfect for anyone who needs a fresh start at any point during the year. You set weekly goals, record your daily moments, what you’ve eaten, what you’ve been grateful for, any daily activities and what your hopes for the next day are. It lets you take things step by step, day by day and helps you focus on the little things which are sometimes the most important. So later this evening I will be filling out the rest of my planner ready for day 1 of happiness 😊

So one last big thing that happened this week. Me and my BBG girls have a group whatsapp chat to talk about all things Kayla. It’s where we discuss our monthly meet ups, our over spending on gym clothes, food stories and such like. So on Thursday our queen organiser, Lisa posted the schedule of dates for the New York BBG meet ups. The girls over there have been meeting up for a while now and have their full 2016 schedule all sorted. I’m pretty sure Lisa only posted it is a sort of joke but somehow all of a sudden we started discussing if we could actually go. Fast forward 5 hours and six of us are suddenly booking flights and accommodation to NYC for the BBG meet up in November!!!! 😆

Call us crazy, call us mad – we don’t care because we are going to New York City baby!!!!! Me, Lisa, Laura, Ceri, Harriett and Lauren….we wish we could take all the other girls with us too!!!! I literally cannot wait. And this is another reason that I intend work through the next 12 weeks, no matter how hard they are. And then after that I’ll do another 12…and maybe another! I am officially on the Kayla train and this time I’m not getting off!!! 💪🏽

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