Hannah:
Welcome to Burn Pod listeners. Now on today’s episode, I’ve got our wonderful new ambassador, Meghan, joining us to have a chat and get to know her story a little bit.

Hannah:
You might’ve already listened to a couple of the other stories, but what we like to do is mix up our educational podcasts along with some real-world women’s stories and real world women experiences with their health and their wellbeing, their trials and tribulations, and all of the good stuff in-between. So, thank you so much for joining us, and welcome Meghan.

Megan:
Thank you. Thanks so much for having me.

Hannah:
No worries. Thanks so much for jumping out of your lunch break and sitting in the meeting room [inaudible 00:01:06]. Now, so the listeners can get to know you a little bit better, do you want to give us a little bit of an overview of you and where you started with your health and wellbeing journey?

Megan:
Yeah, sure. So I’m Meghan and I’m 29, recently married and I joined BurnTheory in 2016 which, at the time, I didn’t realise it had just opened, and I’ve been going pretty fairly consistently the whole time. I was there when the boxing studio opened, which I was a bit hesitant about to start off with, but I actually love boxing now. I go try to go five times a week or thereabouts. And since Moonah’s opened, it’s been an absolute godsend. I work out in Glenorchy because it’s just a bit easier to get to, but I do miss my lunchtime classes in town.

Hannah:
Different vibe, I think, sometimes in the town studio to Moonah. Can’t believe you’ve been with us for the whole time. That’s pretty amazing. It’s almost up on six years next year.

Megan:
I know.

Hannah:
Let’s take it back a little bit to say Meghan coming out of teenage years. There mightn’t be much of a story here, but what was your first interactions or where did the movements come into your life? Where did fitness and health come into your life?

Megan:
Well, when I was younger, I wasn’t really into fitness itself. I played a bit of sport, like I did hockey all through primary school, but then I started doing ballroom dancing when I was 10.

Hannah:
Really?

Megan:
Yeah.

Hannah:
That’s a [crosstalk 00:03:05].

Megan:
I did that from 10 till about, I think, 22/23. I competed and stuff, so I didn’t really have time to any other sort of sport or fitness because the training for that takes up hours and hours and hours during your week. So, I did that and I started, I think, getting into my fitness a bit towards the end of that because our competitions ramped up and we needed that extra fitness as well. So we started doing at-home workouts and that sort of thing, but it wasn’t until I moved to…

Megan:
I moved to the UK for a year after I finished competing and I did lots of walking over there and I joined this… It was like Zumba, but not. It was a exercise dance class thing and I had so much fun at it that when I got home from the UK in 2016, I wanted to keep doing some sort of fitness class. That’s when I discovered BurnTheory. Oh, and I think because I’ve gone to Barre Code back before I moved to the UK a little bit.

Hannah:
Yeah, that’s right. We knew you way back.

Megan:
Yeah, yeah. So yeah, when I came back and found BurnTheory I jumped in and absolutely loved it and became addicted, so then it was after that, after I started. And then, I think the first challenge I ever did with you guys was what really got me into my health and well-being and looking after myself, and that really set me off on a whole different path. And now I have a whole new habits and mindset and all of that thanks to that challenge.

Hannah:
Oh, that’s so good. Well, if you don’t mind, let’s dig into those new habits that you formed. So, it doesn’t sound like you necessarily had any particularly bad habits before because you’re always moving and active, especially with the ballroom dancing, and that’s so cool. You have to show me some moves one day.

Megan:
Yeah.

Hannah:
What were they the new habits that you formed during the challenge and how have they stuck around?

Megan:
The biggest one for me was I never used to eat breakfast, which I know now it’s terrible. But with the challenge I had to make myself eat breakfast. The change in energy levels I had was amazing, and that was a few years ago now and I’ve been eating breakfast ever since. Meal planning as well; that’s definitely something that’s been a game changer for me. In relation to my eating habits and relationship with food, it’s been a very big change because I used to self-sabotage a lot and still do, but I’m a lot better with it these days. It was because of those challenges that things have improved drastically.

Hannah:
It’s interesting when you… I don’t think we have spend much time thinking about why we do what we do, particularly when it comes to eating. So, for those of you that don’t come to BurnTheory, what we did with our challenges was had a mindset component.

Hannah:
So, the participants, our clients, went through a series of workbooks and they were all about self-sabotage or mean girl stories and the belief system that you have around your food, and around your fitness, and around you being a healthy and fit person. For some of the people it was just like, “Oh yeah, I know that.” But for a significant number of our clients, it was the first time that actually sat down and went, “Oh, crap! I didn’t realise that I actually felt that way about myself, and that’s the reason why I do these things. There’s the reason why being jabbed in the evenings because I’m challenging myself or I’m self-sabotaging due to this reason.” So it was, it was really cool to see the results that came out of that. Are you comfortable maybe sharing your self-sabotage patterns before?

Megan:
Yeah, definitely. Let me think about it.

Hannah:
I think you were… From memory, it was the sugar, I think got you at one point?

Megan:
Yeah, definitely. I tend to have… A trigger for me would be like, “Oh, it’s Friday night; that means pizza,” or something bad. I’d associate certain days with certain foods and being like, “Oh, that’s when I can eat crap essentially,” even though it doesn’t need to be like that – like you can eat healthfully whenever you want. I know that I do that all the time. Or with work morning teas and things like that, I would just… I’d always think that I would have to participate even though I don’t. You don’t have to go and eat the cake if you don’t want to. Those sorts of things.

Hannah:
And we did another challenge just before your recent marriage as well and you just absolutely flew through that challenge. I know it’s much easier if you’ve got a massive, big goal like, “Oh crap, I’ve got to get into a wedding dress, look my best, and walk down the aisle.” But if you could take us through the day in the life of Meghan when you were leading up to the wedding? What did that look like? Or a week in the life in terms of how many times you exercised and what you did to look after yourself.

Megan:
So I was very into planning, which I always have been, but I just got really quite intense with it. So I plan out my classes a week or so in advance, and then I’d add in walks with my dog and that sort of thing. So I’d try to go to, again, the five classes at least.

Megan:
And then, with food and stuff, over a weekend I would plan out my meals and I actually used a lot of the recipes from the challenges in the past as well just to give myself some variety, So I wouldn’t get bored of eating the same thing all the time. But I was constantly eating healthy meals. I think where… because I work in Glenorchy and I’m not really near shops and things, if there was no temptation really to go out and buy my lunch and buy stuff, firstly, because of location but, secondly, because I was already prepped. I had lunch. There was no, “Oh, I didn’t bring anything today. I’m going to have to buy something.” So that was really good; really easy to help me stay on track.

Megan:
I found I just pushed myself harder in classes because I’d have that goal in mind. But in these classes in particular, I told her at the start that I was wed shredding and she pushed me very, very hard and still does, which at the time I hated her for it. But after the class I’d be like, “Yeah, okay, it’s fine. I need this; I definitely need this.”

Hannah:
[inaudible 00:11:05].

Megan:
Yeah. I’m definitely the type of person that I need that, and that’s what I love about BurnTheory that when I come to class, I’ve got instructors there that push me and that they know what I can do. So they’re like, “Oh, I know you can handle the seven kilos, why don’t you try 10?” You know?

Hannah:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Megan:
But there’s not that pressure like you have to, which is what I love about it because it helps me progress, and get stronger, and fitter, and healthier. But without that, I guess…

Hannah:
The guilt?

Megan:
Yeah. Yes, that’s a good word.

Hannah:
So, now that we’re post-wed, what stuck around for your health and fitness and your eating habits as well?

Megan:
My fitness routine really hasn’t changed. It was hard to get back into after coming back from the honeymoon, but once I got back into my routine, I was all right and with food and things like that. I definitely had a dip where mentally I was like, “The wedding’s over now, it’s like I can chill out a bit,” which I did, but I’ve slowly started to get myself back on track with planning my meals again, and prepping more, and just trying to be conscious of what I’m eating all the time because I’m definitely prone to weight gain very easily with food. So, it’s something that I either have to be conscious of it all the time or if I’m not I thought I can fall off the waggon really quickly, so [crosstalk 00:12:54] have to stay on top of.

Hannah:
It’s a good point that you make that we’re not always going to be at 100%. For example, I’ve just got engaged, so I’m joking with my sisters about [inaudible 00:13:07] that there is that extra emphasis on like, “Let’s do this.” You’re going to have those ebbs and flows across the year and across your life where you’re really into it and you’re moving really well and feels easy, and then other times where you are going to drop in terms of your energy, or your effort, or your motivation. That’s to be expected.

Hannah:
The one thing that I heard the other day that really stuck with me was it’s harder, it’s so much harder, to get back on the bandwagon if you’ve fallen off than it is best to stay on it. And when I say stay on, it doesn’t mean it has to be at that intensive level of five classes a week or 10 hours of exercise a week, or whatever you’re doing. Just even if it just drops back to two, if you’re normally at five, it drops back to two, you’re still on the bandwagon and it’s so much easier to ramp back up or just to remain healthy and fit than it is to try and get back on.

Megan:
Yeah, definitely.

Hannah:
Do you have any tips and tricks that you use just for time-saving because you work full time and as we know, as women, it’s really hard; we’re very busy. Do you have any tips and tricks for our listeners?

Megan:
I think, for me, I try to just because going to my classes is probably the highlight of most of my days because I’ve come to realise that over the years I’ve come to rely on the release I get from especially boxing. So, if I have a few days where I can’t go to class on the fourth day or whatever, I’ll go and I’ll finish the class and I’ll feel so much better and I didn’t realise I was holding so much… I don’t know. [crosstalk 00:15:01].

Hannah:
Frustration?

Megan:
Yeah. I think just… And after class I feel a lot better, so I try to prioritise my time around my classes because I definitely need them for like physically and mentally. So, I just tried to squeeze the mean wherever I can. I do one morning class a week because I can squeeze it in before work and then finish the working day and just go straight home and do whatever I need to do.

Megan:
And then, when I used to work in town, I loved the lunchtime classes because it was everything would fit into the day like at work, do a quick class and get my workout in for the day and then my nights were free. But now, even that’s changed. I can do run errands at lunchtime and then do my classes at the end of the day, so that’s just how I try to fit it in. On the weekends if I might have plans with a friend, I’ll make my plan for 10 o’clock so I can get to an eight o’clock class, or nine o’clock class, or whatever it is or a double one.

Hannah:
Yeah, so it’s just being flexible, isn’t it? So it sounds like you don’t have-

Megan:
Yes.

Hannah:
… specific classes that you’re like, “I have to go to the 5:00 PM every day.” It’s, “Well, if these week’s a little different because I’ve got X, Y, and Z, so I can shift it here and I can move that there.”

Megan:
Yeah. It’s just managing it week to week, but I try to stick to a routine, so I have the same classes pretty much every week, but life happens and appointments pop up until I can’t go to that class. So I just try to switch it out for another one just to try and keep my five classes in the week, but it doesn’t really matter where they go.

Hannah:
Having a plan B.

Megan:
Yes.

Hannah:
Exactly. I love it. Before we wrap up, Meghan, is there any other thoughts or anything that you’d like to mention that that works for you that might work for someone else in terms of just keeping motivation up?

Megan:
Yeah. I think in motivation I’ve found either a goal works, but also just reminding yourself how good you can feel after a class. Some days, especially like my morning classes, I’m not a morning person, so I get up and I think, “Oh, I really can’t be bothered with this today,” but then our mind myself, “No, you’re going to feel really good at the end of that and it’s going to set your day up, so get up and go.”

Megan:
And yeah, I think just especially like since I’ve noticed recently with the impact it has on my mentality, it’s just I think to remind myself about that as well. So if I know I’m going to have a particularly tough day at work and then I think, “Oh well, but start your day off with your class. That’ll make you feel better. You’ll feel happier and then you can tackle work after that,” or vice versa. “You have a really bad day at work, that’s fine. Go punch the bags for a bit and you’ll feel better.”

Hannah:
So, you’re using exercise to actually support your day rather than just being a hindrance and having to feel like you have to do it is probably the way of looking at it. And once again, it comes back to that mindset shift. Shifting your way, you think about your movement. Instead of it being a chore, maybe it’s something that actually makes you more efficient and a better worker, a better employee, a better mother, whatever it is that’s important to you.

Megan:
Yeah, I think so. The benefits mentally and physically are just amazing. And I think that’s what’s kept me coming back for six years, as you said now. And yeah, I love BurnTheory and I, literally, just couldn’t imagine not having my classes.

Hannah:
Oh. We couldn’t imagine not having you. Well, thank you so much for your time, Meghan. I really, really do appreciate it. And now you can actually go and have some lunch on your lunch break. Thanks so much for joining us.

Megan:
Thank you so much for having me.

Hannah:
And until next time Burn listeners, catch you on the next one.

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