Everyone loses their glow from time to time, whether that’s through day to day stress, winter blues, bad diet choices, lack of exercise, a break-up – I could go on… Well back in the summer I hit rock bottom for the first time and completely lost my glow, my sparkle and what makes Polly, Polly. I won’t go into my why but it took a lot of work mentally to get back to the place where I could see my glow on the horizon again. It really hit home when one day I looked in the mirror and didn’t even recognise my own face. Everyone has that sparkle which makes their eyes glisten and their smile stretch from ear to ear, and more importantly everyone deserves to have this. Even writing this makes me beam because I GOT MY GLOW BACK.
Setting aside the solid mental foundations that everyone needs as a starting point, there really is nothing like HEALTH to make you glow from inside out. So when we welcomed in the autumn, I decided it was time to focus on my physical health seen as my mental health was back on point. Let’s look at it like topping up your glass so it’s full to the brim!
Earlier in the year, my sister Milly (aka @crunch_life) broke into the fitness scene of Bath with a bang; she takes no prisoners when it comes to achieving her goals (the fellow ambitious goat). Having never been trained by her but hearing how she was really making a difference to peoples relationship with exercise, I employed her as my personal trainer for a one month period. The idea was I had a window of 4 weeks between my return from Italy and trip to Indonesia (I’ve always got a trip booked – I’m not sorry), so we decided to call it the 4 week ‘Bali Blitz’. Unlike the name probably suggests, this was less about doing a crash FAD diet and over-working my body, but more about having a time-sensitive goal and focus on getting myself back to optimum physical health.
DISCLAIMER: I paid Milly for her personal training/nutrition plan and being her sister gave me even more of a reason to support her in her career!
When we first discussed my goals I actually looked at her a little puzzled and lost for words; it was never about weight because we all know that doesn’t mean anything or even about a particular area of my body, I wanted to feel HEALTHY, STRONG and even more confident in my own skin. I feel incredibly lucky to say that I’ve never had an unhealthy relationship with my body even when society would have described me as ‘fat’, but there is nothing quite like feeling fit and being the best version of yourself!
Milly is the perfect example of this; she has had her own journey but didn’t just get “skinny”. She identified her existing love of fitness, intuitive eating, mental attitude and capabilities of the human body, to completely change her lifestyle and physicality. A role model for all women.
SO WHAT DID WE DO?
My four week programme consisted of my usual Toniq HIT classes 4-5 times a week (at 45 mins each), alongside 2 additional personal training sessions with Milly which focused on the areas we may not cover in my classes, i.e. specific weight lifting, core specific exercises and working on personal technique. This was accompanied by a blow-by-blow nutrition plan to feed my body inside out and most significantly the introduction to INTERMITTENT FASTING.
AND THE RESULT?
I am the fittest and most importantly strongest I have ever been; my body/physicality has changed so much in only 4 weeks. My mojo is at its height and I feel the glow more than ever! That’s from fuelling my body inside out, exercising regularly and building strength which in turn has made my Toniq sessions even better. I have most definitely become a lot leaner and visually my body is smaller but in turn I’m also stronger, now picking up weights I have never have before. Naturally I wanted there to be some type of metrics to measure my progress (like photo’s and measurements) however I didn’t think it was relevant sharing the results, despite them being pretty god damn amazing! I have never been in better shape.
The thing that was the game changer however, was my introduction to INTERMITTENT FASTING which I admittedly was so skeptical of before. Intermittent fasting, much to my initial ignorance, is much more than a calorie deficit exercise. The health benefits are fascinating; fasting for 16 hours of the day means your insulin levels aren’t spiked so your body will burn existing fat stores, it is a fantastic way of letting your digestive system recover and overall it is actually one of the most natural eating patterns for a human to adopt (think of the cavemen). My energy levels have been through the roof and during my 8 hour window of eating we haven’t counted a single calorie. Although Milly isn’t a qualified nutritionist, she ensured I was getting the right food to fuel my body, unlike previous ‘healthy’ eating habits I have adopted in the past which have left me lacking energy and ultimately any motivation.
All in all I am blown away by the impact Milly has actually had on me this month; I don’t want this to come across as being biased in any way but I would not be writing a blog about it if I wasn’t. I am impressed by her healthy approach to fitness and overall empathy to me as an individual, but I can’t give ALL of the credit to her I suppose. Despite her accountability levels and expertise, some of it has to go to myself. At the end of the day, no trainer can permanently change your mentality and attitude to fitness/nutrition; they plant the seeds and you need to water them.
If you’re interested in being trained by Milly, get in touch on her Instagram page @crunch_life