Lovingly, Kate is a blog that I discovered this year and I’ve been really enjoying. I read about Kate’s journey to be healthier on her blog and I really wanted to interview her as she has such an amazing approach to weight loss, food and wellbeing. While many women are totally focused on looking a certain way and trying to achieve the “perfect body”, Kate’s journey has been one of moving towards health, with weight loss being a natural “side effect” so to speak. She’s got a great approach to food, well being and body image that lots of us can learn from.
Here’s our interview:
Kate, you’ve lost around 20kg in the past year and a half. Can you tell us what prompted you to start your journey to a healthier lifestyle?
I always knew that I was overweight, but I’d been like that my whole life so never really thought anything of it. In 2012, I could feel myself struggle with simple tasks like walking up the stairs and running after my boyfriend’s nieces and nephews but wasn’t too sure why. I ended up on the scales and couldn’t believe the number I saw. I knew that I wasn’t as healthy as I could be, but seeing that number definitely got me thinking about what I could do to improve my lifestyle.
What approach did you take to changing your habits and to losing weight?
My main worry was actually how unfit and unhealthy I was. I took a look at the food I was eating and cut out as much processed food as I could, starting with takeaways. I can’t believe how often I was eating out without thinking how that food was affecting my body. I also stopped grabbing that second plate at BBQs and got back into running.
Nutrition and exercise are important of course when it comes to weight loss, but so is changing behaviour/mindset. Can you tell us some of the key “mind shifts” you made when it came to losing weight?
To be honest, I think I was in denial. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see someone who was overweight (even obese according to my BMI.) I never realised the impact my diet and lack of exercise was actually having on my body. After I saw the number on the scales, my whole attitude changed. I knew that I wanted to be healthy and so I started a running challenge where the aim was to run a mile every day. Because I had that goal, it made it a lot easier to stay focused and not give up.
Also, when it came to food, I definitely adopted more of a “food is fuel” type attitude. I think I’m lucky in that it all seemed to come naturally once I started the process of becoming healthier. I never sat down and thought to myself, okay, I’m going to lose all this weight and fix my eating. I just started making small changes, and the rest followed.
What were the benefits you noticed from adopting a healthier lifestyle?
Well, for one, I lost all of this weight! Losing weight was never a goal for me. That probably sounds crazy but I didn’t really think about it from a “losing weight” perspective. Sure, I wouldn’t have minded losing a couple of kgs and having my clothes fit a bit better, but I just wanted to be fit and healthy. I wanted to be able to walk with my friends and make it up the stairs without getting out of breath.
Since eating properly and exercising a couple of times a week I’ve had so much more energy and I’ve just been happier. Confidence has never been a big issue for me, but it’s nice to look in the mirror and see someone I’m proud of. Someone who can run for half an hour and shop at normal clothes stores. Someone who is really looking after themselves.
Can you tell us a little bit about your fitness/exercise patterns?
After my “Mile A Day” challenge last year, I started another one which was 365 Miles/Days. They are pretty much the same, there is just more freedom and you don’t have to run/walk everyday. Because of that challenge, I try and run three times a week and go for one big walk in the weekend. Sometimes if I want to change it up, I’ll do a quick mile run to warm up, followed by a weight work out.
Can you tell us a bit about your eating patterns at the moment?
My eating is pretty “normal.” I’m not on any diets, I just try and eat as much real food as possible and keep an eye on my portion sizes. Right now though, I’m attempting to go gluten free. I’m not sure if I’m insensitive, but I do find that my stomach isn’t too happy after I eat it.
Other than that, I usually just eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast I’ve been alternating between a smoothie and eggs + bacon (who knew eating healthy could taste so good!). Lunch is usually a salad with protein and dinner is generally a balance of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables. I try and not worry too much about what I eat. If I know I’m going to be eating something unhealthy I try and eat well for the rest of the day, but it doesn’t bother me too much. I know one meal isn’t going to mean the end of the world.
Favourite healthy food? Favourite treat food?
Ooh that’s a hard one! Healthy food.. I love fruit! And I love how versatile it is. I’ve never really been a smoothie drink but I’ve really been loving having one for breakfast most mornings. Treat food – where do I start?! I try and not have “treat foods” and just go for a balance of healthy and maybe not so healthy. I do try and avoid chocolate and potato chips though, so I guess they are my go to “treat” foods for when I want something a bit naughty!
Many females struggle to maintain good self esteem and a healthy body image. What tips do you have for others in this area?
I actually think there is nothing more beautiful than confidence. And I think it’s so important to love your body. I know it’s not easy, and we all have parts that we aren’t so happy with (I’m definitely guilty of this) but life is too short to worry about imperfections. And imperfections make us who we are anyway. Our bodies are amazing things. Treat them well. Respect and nurture them.
Another thing is to stop comparing. Everyone is built differently, so comparing your journey to someone else’s is just going to hinder your progress. Yes, use others as inspiration but don’t look at them and wish that you looked like that. Only compare yourself to who you were six months ago.
What would your advice be for others wanting to adopt a healthy lifestyle and lose weight?
Don’t be scared, and just do it. The hardest part is finding what works for you, but once you get there, your journey will be so much easier. If you don’t like running, maybe cycle. If you are more of a dancer than a weight lifter, do Zumba rather than Cross Fit. It’s all about finding out what works for you and adopting it as part of your lifestyle. I think a lot of people think it’s a lot harder than it is, but with a few adjustments you can be on your way to a healthier you.