I am on quite *the* health and fitness journey – the last 2 years have taken its toll and in early 2019, I was at my heaviest ever. There are plenty of reasons why – but in a way, it is time to look forward rather than backwards.
My health and fitness journey has been interesting – it started with a Mayr detox in Austria, which finally changed something in my metabolism and now things are on the mend. I have over 10 kgs to lose, which ironically would be what I would gain, plus a few more (if and) when I get pregnant, so my focus until that happens is to do whatever I can to get back to my ‘normal weight’.
And in order to do so, I have a ‘fair bit of help’ from incredible professionals and gadgets and I wanted to share these with you. If this is useful to one person, I have done my job.
Health and Fitness Gadgets
Waterproof Fitbit Inspire HR
Costs from £80 from Amazon (globally)
I have been fitbitting on and off for a few years, but more seriously for the last 9 months and have been quite happy with the Fitbit Alta HR (with a different strap). I have been resisting buying an Apple Watch or the new Fitbits because they are bulky and I do not want any more ways to be in touch with the world. This is personal, of course, but I am actually morning my Baume et Mercier watches (which I barely wear).
I had an ‘episode’ recently where I sprinkled some water on the Fitbit and I had to order a new one – but with a difference: it is waterproof and it is the new Inspire HR, which again, is super thin and “reasonably” elegant.
I have showered 4 times with it – and it works! The new straps are still ‘being made’ – available to buy, but you will see that delivery won’t happen until mid to end of April.
One of the things that I also started doing (and highly recommend): using my Fitbit as my alarm clock. I stopped using the phone and find the vibrations a perfect way to wake up.
Fitbit Aria 2 scales
Costs from £110 from Amazon (global)
We have had the Aria 2 wireless scales for about a year now and are very happy with them. They automatically sync with your Fitbit app and you can keep track of your health and fitness progress. You can set up various users and it knows who you are (and keeps your privacy too, i.e. doesn’t tell your weight to the other person). It also measures body fat.
Health and Fitness Apps
Something I never thought I would even download, but I have been using the Calorie Counter + from Nutracheck app for a year and whilst it is very UK-focused in terms of the foods it has on the database, it works very well (and now lets you share your food diary with others, which my Reshma, my Louise Parker dietitian particularly likes). This also syncs with Fitbit and other fitness apps. I have the app paid version which is £20/year (or something like that).
I am however looking for an alternative in the hope that it has simpler options such as ‘grilled seabass’ something that Nutracheck does not, or sushi quantities. If you have another app to recommend, please please let me know.
Nutritional and lifestyle coaching
I have been trying to do it on my own for a while (read: a few years) and it hasn’t worked. So I went back to basics and something I did before in Portugal – have weekly appointments.
But I felt I needed a bit more than just weigh-in appointments, so I signed up to the Louise Parker Method 360 programme (for a whole year). I have 2 appointments a week (one face to face and another by phone, which remains wherever I am in the world). In the first month, I have lost 3 kgs, and that is after doing all the IVF injections (which also meant no exercise for 2-3 weeks).
It hasn’t been a walk in the park – but it has been enjoyable in all honesty. They have been very good at understanding me, and finding the right ‘recipes’ that I will enjoy. I love the support I get from my dietitian (Reshma, in case you want to book with her) – from simple texts to helping me make the right decisions when at a restaurant.
I am really proud of myself in the way that I went to Marrakesh for 5 days, and came back a kilo lighter. That has never happened and of course I made choices that led to that – but I did them on my own. I did have a cheeky glass of wine each day, but I hired a personal trainer every morning too and ate the best that I could. Plus some ice cream, which is not ideal, but I am only human.
Louise Parker’s latest book – the Six Week Programme is a great source of inspiration in terms of exercise and seriously amazing recipes (a best seller and now £6.99 on Amazon). The 360 programme in the 5-figures, and there are shorter programmes (6 and 12 weeks). But it was either three long-haul flights and some shoes or me, and I chose me.
I am eating really really well and even if you are 100% healthy, the books give you great recipe ideas.
The obvious thing – but one I wasn’t so keen. As part of Louise’s programme, one needs to pay rent daily, so 5 times a week is the magical number. I am working out with a personal trainer twice a week at home – we are doing circuit training and weights and I am doing 3 reformer pilates classes a week.
I am really happy with the balance – and variety. And one thing I will say: do give reformer pilates a go, wherever you are in the world. My husband Simon is also doing the exercise routine and pilates has also been incredibly positive for him. If I told you the things we couldn’t do 3 months ago… and the things we can do now… it is incredible.
And when I am away, it is something I can still do. I use the Mindbody app to search for local reformer classes – and they work a treat.
Healthy food box delivery service
Mindful Chef has been a wonderful discovery for us – it provides fantastic ingredients and inspiring recipes each week. We have 2 to 3 meal ingredients delivered to us and meals are around 500 calories. I am currently paused as I am on a lower calorie count (temporarily), but I really want to recommend them.
There are many other ‘similar’ services out there, but no one with the ‘healthy’ angle and I will say this again: very well sourced ingredients and zero zero waste. Also, not having to think about recipes and knowing you have the right ingredients is a godsend.
If you want to sign up, use code 3XZ9E5. You get £20 off your first two orders (£10 each time) and I will get a £20 credit in my account.
With all this, I think I have all the support that I need and I am on the right track. We are eating way better – and feeling better too.
I hope some of you find this list useful and let me know your tips as well.