Fitness Transformation Tuesday with Elle and Macro Fit
I continue to be wowed and totally inspired by the differences that Fitness, Food and Style readers have made to their lives. Sometimes even the smallest adjustments have massive results!
As you'd all know, I'm a huge advocate of fuelling your body with tasty and nutritious food. Food still needs to be fun though, and one of the biggest challenges in taking on a health overhaul is balancing a change towards healthy options with easy-to-do meals necessary for coping with a busy lifestyle.
There are many approaches to finding what works best for YOU - it's your body and your lifestyle! This week, I'm delighted to introduce you to Elle, who shares how she has now come to be at her healthiest, fittest and happiest. Fuelling her body with the right kinds of food for her and her activity, and actually increasing her calorie intake in the process, has helped Elle overcome the terrible relationship she had with food.
Discovering Macros and now fuelling her body with the right types of food has given Elle the freedom to break free from her previously terrible relationship with food and dieting. Read her story to find out how she eats and trains more efficiently, all the while increasing calories without gaining weight!
Here's the story of her transformation:
How old are you and share your health and fitness journey to date.
At 21 years old I can proudly say this is the healthiest me I have ever been. This transformation is not only physical but also a complete mental transformation.
Before I discovered IIFYM, If It Fits Your Macros, I had a terrible relationship with my body and food. As a college student I aimed to find balance between my busy social life and my interest in taking care of my health. This was a struggle for me. I had fitness goals but had a difficult time when it came to food and friends. I became caught up with the trend of "clean eating" and was doing mostly cardio for training. I suffered with restrictive eating and then going too far off plan for my "cheat" days.
I knew there had to be a better way. I began to beat myself up over a night out when I wasn't "on plan" with my eating. This all was leading to guilt, calorie restriction, and over compensation of exercise. In March of 2013, I was becoming more serious about lifting weights. At that point I was eating around 1300 calories max, lifting 5 days a week, plus 60 min of cardio as many as 7 days a week. That style of living and eating continued up until the end of June 2013 when I was fed up with being so restricted on the types of food I was eating, not to mention the hours of cardio I was putting in each week.
I had been in contact with Matt at Macro Fit and when I told him about my current situation a red flag went up. Matt pointed out to me after calculating my macros that with the amount of calories I was burning through exercise, paired with the little calories I was consuming, I should be losing weight.
This was a sure sign that my metabolism wasn't running the way it should be. He offered his guidance and although I was extremely hesitant I agreed to trust him.
This was the best possible thing I could have done for myself both mentally and physically. Going from 100g or less of carbs a day to 230g of carbs made the difference and this was all done through the process of reverse dieting and Matt had created a template for me that would gradually increase my carbs, fat, and calories to help fire up my metabolism. I was starting at 1200 calories and have in about 11 weeks worked my way to 1900 calories. Right now I am eating 1900 calories and have not gained any weight from increasing my food intake and dropping my cardio!
I am the healthiest, strongest, and happiest I've ever been! I no longer have "cheat" days because I can fit a little treat into my diet everyday by using the flexible dieting/IIFYM approach. I use this dieting approach to suit the needs of a social person. I like to go out be around friends and attend events.
Before June of this year if you had asked me to go anywhere I could have easily been found with a bag of grilled chicken and asparagus in my bag. Not any longer. I have the flexibility to eat something that wasn’t “clean” because I plan for days I won’t be able to have my own food. It isn’t a stressful situation around food anymore. I can enjoy foods because I have learned moderation and flexibility.
As for my exercise, I am doing 2-3 25-minute HIIT cardio sessions per week compared to the 60 minutes 6x a week. My training is focused on weight lifting 5x a week with a 6th day being a full body 30-minute tabata workout, identical to those on my blog www.bestfitbody.com. I get to enjoy training again without being stuck on the cardio machines! And the best part is… my weight has remained the same. To summarise what this lifestyle change has done for me, I have no bingeing, no excessive cardio, no restriction on foods I can or can’t eat. I fit them into my macros, even a piece of chocolate cake, and I am still reaching my goals!
What are your interests, passions, and what makes you smile?
My main advice is this: if you are stuck in a restrictive eating and binge cycle, seek the help of Macro Fit. Educate yourself on flexible dieting and the IIFYM approach. It is a much more sustainable lifestyle to be able to enjoy your life full of food, friends, family, and all the fun social aspects without feeling like you cannot reach your goals!
If you'd like to connect with Elle, you can find her here