Lifestyle: Results with Lucy Review

I’ve come to the conclusion I needed a regime to get me to start to exercise. Or rather, to force me to slot exercise into my daily routine. The gym just doesn’t work for me, neither does exercise classes; I’m too self-conscious of my bodyshape, of my fitness level, of how red I get to fully take part. Plus London gym prices?!Just think of how much Dairy Milk I could buy for that money…

 photo Results with Lucy_zpsgau33pxj.jpgBut quite often I found myself saying “I’ll do it tomorrow”, or “too tired.” And yes, I am tired. Getting through the door late after an intense day of work and spending too long on the tube is not particularly conductive to a good workout session. So having something a bit more structured, telling me what workouts to do that day or (on the best days!) telling me I can have a rest day, is working wonders. I’m keeping up with the schedule, I’m finding myself actually looking forward to exercise. And now my ‘plan’ is coming to an end, I’ve found myself drafting out my own version, figuring out how I can keep it up.

When I was offered the chance to try out The Student Plan* through Results with Lucy I have to say I was skeptical. A lot of workouts I had previously tried needed a lot of equipment or far too much space. Plus I have always had my doubts about plans like this. I was dubious that it could actually work and was under the impression that it was just another celebrity endorsed gimmick. That said, there’s not a huge amount of emphasis on Lucy at all, it’s much more about the qualified personal trainers – they take you through your paces, show you the moves and shout at you to keep you going. It’s pretty much like being in a proper exercise class, just there’s no audience to watch me!

 photo Results with Lucy 5_zpsct1yefxg.jpg photo Results with Lucy 4_zpschg9cmvw.jpgThe Student Plan gives you 4 workout playlists a week, allowing 3 rest days, unlimited access to all workout videos, and a small recipe library for some inspiration – for £10.50 a month. Now to be honest, I’ve not really used many of the recipes yet as most of them aren’t to my taste (I prefer a high-fat low-carb diet as much as possible) but they would be great if you were stuck for ideas. Workouts range from arund 20 minutes to 1 hour including warm up/cool down, and you’re warned about any equipment needed before you start. I can confirm you only need a tiny space too!

The workouts? Well, they are hard. I hate, hate, hate leg day with a passion (jumping squats are my ultimate phobia). But having said that I do love the variety. There’s boxing workouts, dancing sessions. There’s videos targetting certain areas, even challenges. One of my favourites is the 100 Squat Challenge, but I’m also loving The Tummy Tuck.

Now, I do have ‘before’ photos and more up-to-date ones; they won’t be making an appearance on here. There is a noticeable difference in the two, but I don’t feel quite comfortable with putting it out there for the whole world to see. Instead I can reveal that I have lost two inches from my legs, and just under an inch from my jiggly tum – and I’m seeing definition which I’ve never seen before. For me, though, it’s not really been about the appearance/weight side of things. It’s been about improving my appalling fitness levels and actually feeling healthier – and for those reasons alone this plan has been a sucess. A few months ago there’s no way I could have done 20 sit-ups, let alone 50+. I can do 200 squats pretty much no problem. I feel so much better in myself!

 photo Results with Lucy 1_zps8xdutkwt.jpgWhilst I’m not 100% sure if I’ll continue with a subscription after my current one times out, the plan has done what it needed to do – made me enjoy exercise. I’m now cranky (sorry W!) if I miss a day, I look forward to coming home and working out, and I don’t think I’ll have a problem in putting together my own workouts. And if I need another kick in the right direction, I’ll be straight back on the plan!

*I received a three-month subscription in exchange for an honest review – and I genuinely loved the programme!

What exercise plan do you follow? Are you gym-phobic like me?!

Lifestyle: Little Changes

I’m on a bit of a major health kick right now. Some of it’s down the vainness; I feel awful about my bodyshape, unattractive and unfit. But mainly it’s down to my health. I’ve had pretty regular bouts of illness since I was 14, and whilst an operation has helped a little, I’m determined to do as much as I can to really sort myself out.

 photo 163700a6-4190-4b40-9d33-5ef4cf2e9273_zps06a95ee7.jpgA bit of a confession here now, I’ve never had the healthiest relationship with ‘diets’. I can take them a little bit too far, or I can go completely the opposite way. I’ll do both on consecutive days to “cancel the other out.” This time I’m determined to get healthy properly. There will be no diet, no restrictions, and hopefully no beating myself up if I treat myself (though that will take some self control!). Instead it’s all about little, gradual changes. Changes to get a healthier lifestyle, to find my natural weight, to balance the good and the “bad” foods.

 photo d98707c8-3d45-444c-99e9-148a9fcf5c1a_zps507c87d1.jpgSome of my (numerous) milky, sugary teas are being swapped for herbal varieties. I’ve got to admit I’m not loving this green tea, though I quite like Cranberry & Raspberry. There’s a Dragonfruit variety that occasionally appears at work which I love, but I’ve not found it in store yet. That mid-afternoon snack on crisps? I’ve turned it into a cuppa-soup if it’s chilly, or a handful of nuts if it’s the crunch I’m craving. I’m working on a spicy-roasted nut recipe to share, but it’s not quite there yet.

 photo 8b717978-729a-49f9-9457-b4b8130ffcfa_zps8f87cdd1.jpgLunches have been switched up. My normal lunch has for the past 6(+!) years been a ham roll on wholemeal bread, ready salted crisps and some squash. I’ve been leaving out the crisps, adding fruit, and occasionally some carrot sticks with a dip. If I have some interested leftovers, I’d throw them in the microwave at work. And at least 2 weeks out of 4 I’ll make a big batch of soup for the week, alongside homemade bread. I’d make it more often, but I have limited freezer space! I’ve also been working on a more budget friendly version of The Londoner’s noodle recipe, and I think it’s also ready to share!

 photo bf292794-af45-4412-9952-eb3ca471cf38_zps1543252b.jpgThe biggest change I’ve made has been ditching the sugary squash. It was tough at first (I actually got the shakes!), but I think I’m also there. I still can’t stand the taste of water, but filtering it through a Water-to-Go Bottle* and adding flavour really helps. When I’m around the house I’ll infuse (get me!) my water with lemon and ginger, or lime if I’m feeling even fancier. That’s not particularly practical when I’m out and about, but I’ve fallen in love with these Enhance* drinks. One squeeze flavours my water enough to make me stomach it, but not so much that it tastes sweet. They taste like actual fruit, and I definitely have stock-piled since they’ve been on offer in ADSA. The orange-y flavour is my favourite. Pretty sure the pics on the website make them extra strong, as mine barely add any colour. But they sure taste good!

 photo 3623b71d-278e-459e-b287-c66f9660aa91_zpseac16505.jpgExercise is something I’m slowly getting there with. I’ve been timing my walk to work, and challenging myself to beat my best times. My trainers still don’t quiteee fit comfortably (I dropped a cupboard door on my foot the weekend after buying them) so running still isn’t happening. But I picked up a set of weights in Aldi, and I’ve been following a few Youtube videos (I love the dance-with-weights type ones!). A few squats before bed, and some pretty lame sit-ups, my fitness is slowly getting somewhere near acceptable.

 photo f51be350-d5b8-4398-b9d8-1a21d2ec87f6_zps0191ae2c.jpgI’ve got a long way to go, mainly due to my emotional hurdles attached with my bodyshape, and a few of eating certain things in case it sets of my stomach issues. It’s all about baby steps for me, and I reckon that’s how it should be. No point in jumping right into a complete change of lifestyle, but switch up little things, make it sustainable. I’m certainly hoping I keep it up!

Are you on a New Year health kick? Any tips for getting fit on a budget without damaging my foot anymore? Got ideas of healthy meals?