Megan French turns to health

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Sometimes it’s not about weight but  simply about your health

I started my journey about 2 years ago, I knew I was more on the chunky side of life, and even though I was self-conscious about it, I was adamant I was never going to a gym.

The few months building up to the start of my journey I was extremely sick, I was popping painkillers, antidepressants and muscle relaxants.

One evening I was in so much pain, I  almost overdosed, not to try and kill myself in any way, but purely because I was trying that hard to get the pain and agony to go away. That is the point.  My partner said enough was enough, it was never about my size, it was about my health, and I realised I needed to do something.

I started training, just doing cardio, as we do when we first join the gym. I was so self-conscious, I was scared to move to another machine in case I used it wrong, but I still made sure I finished my 45 min of training every morning.

About 10 weeks into my journey, I started hearing the compliments and feeling the change, but most importantly I realized I hadn’t been sick, overnight I stopped taking any prescription meds and even though I did get an odd headache here and there I was able to live a normal life.

And then suddenly it all came crashing down and I gave up for about 3 months, I went back to eating deep fried foods and carbs with every meal and not stepping foot into the gym, undoing everything I’d done in the 10 weeks.

Somehow I made it back and I stuck to it, but this time I added weight training and looking back now, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing, but all I knew is that it was a hell of a lot more fun than doing endless cardio. After about 3 months I lost the biggest chunk of my weight, on the scale I was only down 10kg, but my pants were down from a size 38 to a 32, and I was feeling fantastic.

That’s when I became hooked and I started training twice a day. I’ve never been able to stick to cardio one session and weight training in another, so I mixed it up. What I have learned with weight loss is that you need to do what works for you, not what you see others doing, because if you aren’t feeling it, you aren’t going to be sticking to it

Eating for everyone is definitely the toughest part of the weight loss journey and so many people don’t understand how to eat right to lose weight so they end up starving themselves. I have been through it all, slimming pills, bulimia, the popcorn diet, the ice cube diet, water cuts, anything you can think of, I’ve probably tried it, and one thing I can tell you for sure it’s all rubbish. There is no such thing as a quick fix for weight loss.

Creating an eating plan is actually very simple, it’s calories in versus calories out, all you need to do is create a calorie deficit and you’ll get results. I make sure I stick to a 15% to 20% deficit to see a change. With that being said, it’s not X calories of whatever you like. You need to manage your macronutrients, so for me, I eat a high protein, low carb, low-fat diet.

My meal plan is simple. I have a small apple or pear first thing in the morning, 2 plain boiled eggs (no salt or sauce) and a small bowl of all bran flakes with chia seeds and honey with Fat free milk to get in my fiber, a whey protein shake and 1/4 cup of raw nuts to get in some fat, for energy. Lunch is a 100g chicken breast /tuna in water with a large garden salad. I have another protein shake at about 5 after training and then another 100g chicken breast and a big salad for dinner.

The most important part of my eating plan is water intake, I drink a minimum of 4L of water per day. 1 litre of this is my water mixed with my BCAAs. (Branch chain amino acids)

My ultimate training tip is CHANGE IT UP. I believe you can’t keep making your body do the same thing months on end, because you’ll get lazy, it’s like giving a child 1 toy to play with its entire life, and some point he’s going to lose interest, just like your body, if you’re moving the same body parts day in and day out, your muscles are going to lose interest and you’re going to plateau.

I’ve done basic cardio, fasted cardio, High-intensity interval training, weight training, Calisthenics, CrossFit, boxing, Maui Thai, straight running and I switch between all of these all the time. I try to change things up every 3-4 weeks.

The most important thing through your journey is your mindset, your mind can literally achieve anything you set it to, your body may be sore, your motivation levels non-existent, your energy at a low, and your sweet tooth screaming in your ear, but if your mind knows the route you’re going there is nowhere else it will go but forward.

Positivity plays a big role in creating the right mindset, people are so quick to say “I can’t do that” because they are scared of failure, and yet 90% of them actually can, and they could probably do it pretty well too. When you stop beating yourself up for the things you can’t do and start celebrating yourself for what you can, that’s where things change,  that’s when you push yourself to do more, to do that extra rep, or to add that extra weight.

Support doesn’t always come from those that we hope it will, many people want to see you succeed but they don’t want to see you doing better than them.

My biggest supporter has been my partner, he has pushed me to the point where I’ve been in tears during my training sessions because I’ve been so tired, he’s been tough on me but he’s motivated me and encouraged me through it all.

I strongly feel that being part of a support group like Sleekgeek keeps you on track, everyone wants the same thing, we are all working on ourselves for the better, and everyone encourages each other, it’s not a competition, it’s a platform to celebrate ourselves and I love that.

I have changed my life in ways I will never be able to explain, I have such a positive outlook on life, I have no fear for what hardships gets thrown at me, I look the challenge dead in the eye and give it a wink. I know I can achieve anything I set my mind too, and I will never stop pushing past my limits.

My top 5 tips for a healthy lifestyle are:

  1. STOP making the number on the scale the be all and end all to weight loss. There are so many more accurate ways of measuring weight loss, for example; photos, how your clothes feel, body fat %, measuring tapes, actually taking to compliments, personal fitness levels etc. 
  2. Set goals. I write down monthly, weekly and daily goals and cross them off as I achieve them. Setting yourself goals pushes you that little bit further and gives you a sense of pride as you cross them off the list. 
  3. Mind over matter. You are going to be sore, tired and hungry, but the mind is an incredible thing, and if you stop thinking of what you have to lose and what you have to gain, you will stop giving up and fight for yourself, because you are worth it. 
  4. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid of trying new things, don’t be scared of being judged or criticised. One thing I’ve learned is that people are so self-absorbed that they really aren’t bothered about you. But saying that there are also people who want to try to help you, so if someone gives you advise whether it be in the gym or a class etc. take it, don’t take it as someone trying to belittle you.
     
  5. Read, study and research. Stop following the crowd, just because everyone is doing something it doesn’t mean it’s for you. Reading up on different diets, training plans, body types, blood types etc. makes you so much more conscious of what you are doing to your body and helps keep you interested in what you are trying to achieve.

"Falling off the wagon"

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