100 fit days: Welcome to the start of your new life
With nothing but fat to lose and lots of good stuff to gain, join Yvonne Hogan and Fit Magazine for this exciting 100-day challenge
Welcome to 100 FIT days. Over the next 14 weeks, we will be giving you the blueprint to get into the best shape of your life. Siobhan Byrne will have seven-day exercise and food plans for you to follow and each issue will feature inspirational people who are living FIT lives. We will preview outdoor events and have tips and experts for every FIT passion - cycling, triathlons and of course, running. 100 FIT days will continue on fitmagazine.ie, on our Facebook page and on Twitter. You can also check-in with us in Thursday's Irish Independent feature pages.
100 FIT days was borne out of a conversation Siobhan and I had about how training needs a focus. No matter how fit you are, or how accomplished in your chosen field, without a goal, you are operating in a vacuum and you won't progress to your potential. We also spoke about the importance of a support network when you are training, and of proper guidance so that you are getting the most out of every workout.
100 FIT days is also borne out of my wish to spread the word about how empowering and life-changing strength training can be, particularly for women. It completely changed my life for the better - I will fill you in on that next week.
This programme is for everyone, no matter what your fitness level. You can be 20, 30, 40, 50 or over 60. You can be super-fit or a couch potato - just make sure you get the OK from your doctor if you have any concerns or health issues.
If you are already a dedicated, regular strength trainer, start keeping a food diary and add the exercises to the end of your weights session and you will get even better results.
I am hoping that all you runners and cyclists will try our workouts and nutrition plan each week - you have nothing to lose but fat, and only muscle to gain.
But I particularly want to encourage those of you who have never trained before to take on this challenge. To this end we are starting easy and will build on the exercises each week as you get stronger.
We want to extend the FIT community and spread the word about how empowering and life changing living a fit lifestyle can be. Being fit and strong makes everything easier to handle.
It makes you a more effective person, more patient, better able to handle stress and hardship, better able to care for your family and friends. It makes you happy. It frees your mind. It gives you control of yourself.
So if you are reading this and you feel like your life isn't as you would like it to be, if you are fat and out of shape, if you are stressed and overwhelmed and sick of feeling this way, follow our programme and I promise you your life will be better.
I know this because five years ago I was overweight, working too much and eating and drinking the wrong things.
I was stuck in a rut and I was lucky enough to train with a great trainer who helped me transform myself. Everything got better: my career, my relationship, my friendships and relationships with family.
My social life suffered a bit for a while as I also gave up drinking, but soon that got better too. I will tell you more about that next week - I will even throw in a few before pictures, but for this week suffice it to say that if I can do this, anyone can.
Fitness is without a doubt the best gift that you can give yourself. And you deserve it.
But achieving fitness is hard, hard work. It is earned by consistent healthy eating and exercise. Through discipline. It takes dedication and single-mindedness and sacrifice. But once you have reached fitness, it is easy to maintain.
And even if you get waylaid like I did - coming back to work after maternity leave completely threw me for a while and I fell off the wagon - it is easy to get back on.
But if you are completely overhauling your lifestyle, this will not be an easy journey. We will guide you through it and be on hand to answer any questions you might have.
We will give you all the support you need but you will have to do the hard work yourself.
You will have to make the decision to be honest with yourself about what you eat - keep a food diary and hold yourself accountable for what you put in your mouth.
Diet accounts for at least 80pc of fat loss - you can do all the exercises in the world, but if you aren't eating well you are wasting your time. If you aren't giving your body proper fuel, it won't work for you.
The good news is that after about two weeks, the food bit gets a lot easier. Once the sugar and gunk has left your system, you will really start to enjoy the food in this plan. You will be eating fresh salads and veg and lovely lean fish and meat.
You will start to see food as fuel as opposed to a reward or a salve for stress. And once a week, for three whole hours, you can eat whatever you want.
Yes, there is a cheat window built into this plan.
I generally have my cheat day on a Sunday as it is easier to get back on the wagon on a Monday than on a Sunday.
When it comes to the exercises, I want you to really push yourself. Push yourself. The style of training that Siobhan has chosen for us involves high intensity intervals.
It is very efficient - this week's body weight workouts take less than five minutes, but you need to really work to your limit. Push yourself as if I am standing over you with a whistle!
As the weeks go on and your fitness improves, Siobhan will increase the exercise load.
Like anything worth having, it is difficult. But I promise you, if you stick to this, if you set your mind to it and live fit for each of the 100 days, your life will be transformed.
My 100 FIT days goal is to get back as close as I can to my pre-pregnancy fitness levels. That means I have to reduce from 76kg to 65kg, and go from 30pc body fat to around 20.
I have taken my measurements and am ready to go.
To achieve my goal I will eat clean and follow Siobhan's nutrition advice and train in the gym three times a week, and do the 100 FIT days exercises twice weekly. I will do one day of cardio.
This programme is for every fitness level but I particularly want to encourage those of you who have never trained before to take on this challenge...
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