Hannah:
Welcome back, Burn Pod listeners. And I’m really excited to get stuck into today’s episode. And what I want to do is, I’m peeling back the curtain a little bit on my personal life. People that I admire or follow or have some sort of relationship with, I kind of like to know what they get up to with their personal life. I know, kind of creepy and prime. But I thought you guys might like me to peel back the curtain and have a bit of a chat about my health and wellbeing and how that’s looked, in particular, coming into a major event in my life, which was getting married in February this year.

Hannah:
So basically here goes nothing. So any questions, obviously, chuck them up in the Facebook group or hit us up in the reviews and anything like that. Always love to hear your thoughts and feedback. But for those of you that maybe you’re engaged or have been married or are married, you know how hectic and how big a marriage can feel, and in that lead up to it. And one of the major things is, you want to look your best, you want to feel your best. And that’s just almost an inevitable thing. Doesn’t matter where you are. I think any female would want to feel their best and look their best. But sometimes it’s hard to work out how to do that, particularly with all the other stresses that come with trying to organise a wedding, plus obviously living your everyday life as well. So I’m going to just share with you my journey and what I did. And I’m going to get probably a bit detailed here for those that really like to get into the nitty gritty.

Hannah:
So we got engaged in beginning of February. Sorry. Beginning of September in 2021, and got back from the week. Sunday’s where we got engaged. And we were hitting the ground pretty quickly with getting married in February 2022. The reason being that we wanted to get married on our anniversary. And our anniversary of 17 years was on the 17th of February. So it was pretty important for us that we hit that mark, otherwise we would’ve had to have waited another year on top of that. And to be fair, after 17 years, possibly wasn’t going to wait that much longer. Very, very lovely of me, hey? But anyway, what I did was we jumped straight into the planning, basically. Went hell for leather, organising all the important things like a photographer, your venue, your chef, all those bits and bobs, celebrants, that sort of thing.

Hannah:
But the big thing for me was that I wanted to feel my best. I wanted to look my best. I wanted just to feel healthy and fit and strong. And you know that confidence that you feel when you’re regularly exercising and you feel good about yourself. To be fair, you probably don’t look much different than you did the month before, or only maybe slightly different, but you just feel so much better in your body. And I knew that I wanted to stand up there. I wanted to walk up there to my husband to be and feel my absolute best.

Hannah:
So the major thing that I fell down on, a major component that I struggled with up to that point has been consistency. And I know that we talk about it all the time in BurnTheory. But ladies, I struggle with it too. And I run a fitness business. Consistency, for me, is tough. I think, for anyone, when you get busy, when you get tired or stressed and just life. When life gets a lot, the first thing that I notice goes is my exercise, my fitness, which is probably the worst thing to allow to go. And we know that’s the worst thing, because we know that if you’re moving your body and you’re doing it consistently, you feel so much better, you’re more efficient, you’ve got a better outlook on life, you’re more positive so you get things done, you get shit done faster.

Hannah:
So I knew all of this, but it’s always the first thing that goes. I have this constant sabotage, which is, I’m too busy. I’m too busy, keeps coming up. Or I’m too tired and I’m too busy. And so, this happens a lot for me. And this is something that I’m probably, to be honest, forever going to struggle with. I’m going to have my peaks where I’m feeling great, and then I’m going to fall in ruts. It’s just, everyone goes through the same feelings and experiences when it comes to their health and their wellbeing, I’m sure. So a big component for me was, I needed to get that accountability in place. If I didn’t have the accountability in place, I knew that I could easily use the excuse of having to organise a wedding as being too busy on top of running two studios, setting up franchising, moving house, a new puppy. Not only a few things, guys. I could have used all of that as an excuse not to do anything.

Hannah:
So what I did is I found someone that was going to be, basically my accountability partner or my accountability person. Someone that I could check in with once a week. And it wasn’t necessarily that she set what I had to do. She didn’t tell me, necessarily, that I have to go and go to the gym and lift two kilo weights, 15 rep curls or whatever. She didn’t go down to specifics. It was just having that person there that I know I needed to check in with each week. Initially it was hard, but it got me going, it got me moving. And I knew that running was something that always made me feel so fantastic. It sucked at the start. Let’s be fair. Anyone that is a runner, when you haven’t run for a bit, it’s like the hardest thing ever to get going again. But when you’re out in that sort of fresh air outside, just moving my body and getting that sweat on was just the most important thing to me.

Hannah:
So I found this person and I told her that, “We need to check in once a week. I’ve got 12 weeks to my wedding and I need you to help me stay on task.” That was a major component. So, for those of you that have sort of maybe fallen in a rut, the first thing I would do is seek out some sort of accountability. That might be an accountability coach. It might just be your best friend that you can start checking in with each week. It might be your local gym that might be running some sort of four week or six week or something programme that you can connect in with. It has some sort of check in, accountability. It doesn’t actually need to be speaking physically to someone once a week. It’s just that focus of, I have to tell someone, or I have to note what I’ve done this week. And if I don’t do it, then I can’t note it down and then they’ll know. So it’s almost kind of like a sneaky guilt, but it’s the start of getting the ball rolling and getting that consistency in place.

Hannah:
And the thing that I started out with was I didn’t, and I think we’ve talked about this in a few podcasts before, guys. But I didn’t start out expecting that I was going to do five runs a week and three gym classes on top of that, and a boxing class and a bar class. Even though I have the tendency. And I know that some of us, when we are like, right health kick. And we are like, wow, we’re going to start going from nothing to five days a week. We have this tendency to push ourselves. It’s not feasible. It’s not reasonable. And obviously, you’ve going to go on from doing nothing to having to spend five hours in your week, to then fit all of this time in. Not to mention that you have to then battle your mental issues, your brain going, “No, don’t go. You’re too tired,” five times a week. As well as, you’re probably going to be sore and tired because you’re doing it five times a week from nothing.

Hannah:
So the really key thing for me was to start with something that I knew was manageable, that would just get me moving. And so, we decided that I was going to run twice a week. So I get myself out, get my head in. And when I’m saying run, I mean, it’s more like a slow jog, slow jog because I take Wally who is now one, but he was about nine months old at that time. And so, it’s very much a stop sniff, stop, look up the driveway, stop, oh, there’s another dog that’s barking at me so I need to wag my tail and look at that dog. So it was a very slow jog, walk, run thing. And we only did between 3k and 5k most of the time, and on average nine kilometres per hour. So a slow jog.

Hannah:
But what it did, it just got me moving. So it was a run twice a week. And because obviously I’m in the studio, it was getting a bar class and/or a boxing class in. So it was only starting with three times a week. Very manageable for me. That might be something that’s like insanely unmanageable for you. But just the second component is, find just what you know that you can achieve to start with. So if we take a step back, the first one was, get that accountability piece in place. And secondly, guys, it’s starting with something that you know you actually can achieve. It’s not pushing you too far outside your comfort zone. It’s not forcing you to completely rearrange your lifestyle. It’s just slotting in a couple of extra times or an extra time a week that you can start moving that body.

Hannah:
So that’s where I started. And we worked on that and we, and we didn’t bump it very fast at all. It was probably like three or four weeks before she and I were like, “Right. Well, let’s shift up to maybe getting outside and running/jogging/walking Wally three times a week and doing that bar or that boxing class, or maybe a bar and a boxing. So we went from three to between three and five, or four and five sessions a week. So that’s where we progressed to. And then just before the wedding, the two or three weeks before, I did ramp up, and I was outside probably running most days and then taking a couple of extra classes on top of that. But it was also more for my mental sanity, I think, at that point than anything. Because really, there’s not much you can do when you’re two weeks out from your wedding physically to change anything. But that’s what we worked on in terms of my movement.

Hannah:
I’m an excellent sleeper. So apologies for those of you that are listening to this that struggle with their sleep. I’m definitely a go to bed, go to sleep, wake up eight hours later kind of person. If I don’t get eight hours, I’m a bit of a grump. But anyway, sleeping wasn’t a problem for me. But it was really critical that I just took a little bit of time to breathe, to give myself that mental space. And I found that actually happened for me at the end of the bar classes. So those that do come to BurnTheory, at the end of our bar yoga and core classes, we actually do a little bit of relaxation/mindfulness. So we finish the class, quick little stretch, and then we get to just lie. And we talk you through letting the brain relax, and just focusing on breath and releasing any thoughts that creep into your mind.

Hannah:
So that was something that I started incorporating in once I got my fitness to a level where I was exercising or moving my body at least four times a week. So I didn’t start with going exercise, mindset, food all in once. I just got the exercise bit in place first. And as you heard, I built up over four to eight weeks, to the point where I wanted to be at. And I think I was probably around the fourth or fifth week that we started sort of incorporating in like, let’s just be a little bit more mindful and let’s just take five minutes every three days, or five minutes, three times a week to do your mindfulness or to just take some time and take some space. So that was another really big, important component.

Hannah:
The third one though was the food. And the food, for me, is always going to be my downfall because I love it. And I love wine. And one of the key focuses for me with opening BurnTheory, as some of you know, was that I didn’t want to open a fitness space where it was all about green smoothies and boiled chicken. Let’s be real about life. Most of this love our wine. Most of us love cheese or cake, and we should be able to enjoy that, but still feel fit and healthy as well. So I wasn’t necessarily about to cut all of that out, even though I wanted to be the best I wanted to feel by my wedding. There was sort of a point where there was no way I was going to be able to cut out the wine, particularly over Christmas and new year. Let’s be fair.

Hannah:
But what I could do, and this is what we focused on, was just cleaning up the bits that I was happy to look at cleaning up, which was manageable. Once again, manageable for me. So once I got the exercise in place, we incorporated a little bit of mindfulness. We started looking at, well, how can we maybe just tidy up the diet a little bit? And so, the first thing we focused on was, where’s my downfall? What is it that I’m not great at. And once again, it comes back to me being really busy. So quite often, I will go for a take away option or I forget to eat, because I’m being too busy during the day. And then I just gorge when I get home, like snack from about 05:00 PM through to 09:00 PM. Things like that, that weren’t great. And I probably wasn’t fueling myself in the way that I needed to, in the way that my body needed in order to manage the increase in the exercise that we were doing.

Hannah:
So we looked at my breakfast first. And for breakfast, I love eggs and avocado. So pretty well my staple breakfast every morning where I can, if I’m not taking early morning classes, I have to get up going early, is piece of sour dough toast, two poached eggs, and they have to be medium because I can’t have any of the white runny, and some avocado. So it’s usually a quarter or half an avocado. I do sneak in a little bit of the Meredith goat cheese, because it’s delicious on top of that, and a squeeze of lemon. That’s me. That’s done. And so that was great. Because we looked at that and went right, you’re getting your good fats, good protein in there. You’re getting a hit of carbohydrate in there as well for the start of the day. And that usually would keep me comfortable pretty well right up until one, two o’clock.

Hannah:
Lunches are where I do tend to snack or go out and get takeaway or something, because I’m in town or I’m teaching classes or I’m around. So we looked at ways that we could just make super quick and easy lunches. And it wasn’t trying to get the perfect lunch every single day. It was three days a week. Let’s just get maybe a homemade lunch that’s more focused on protein veg. And that was doable for me, because it wasn’t something I had to think about Monday through Friday or seven days a week. It was just like, right, three days. And I looked at my calendar and I made sure that worked in with what I had on at the time, and being able to bring something from home.

Hannah:
So usually, what they consisted of was those packets of brown rice, guys, the sachets that are already cooked. You just heat it up in the microwave. I’d take half a cup to two thirds of a cup. I’d put it in a container, I’d cut up a bunch of vegetables or I’d just get one of those packets of precut veggies. Usually it was a little bit of cabbage, maybe some carrot, broccoli or broccolini and zapini. They were my go-tos. Chop that, chuck it in, and just chuck it in the microwave for two minutes. It was cooked through enough. And then I’d chuck in some cherry tomatoes and a little bit of feta cheese. And I’d bring along a tin of tuna. I didn’t need to heat it up at any other point because I’d already cooked it through. So it wasn’t hard or crunchy. And then I’d just add the tuna on for my lunch. And that got me going.

Hannah:
So, once again, coming back to your staples, I had good carbohydrate in the brown rice. Sometimes I’d get the brown rice and quinoa. I had your protein in there, which was the tuna. Or if I had the quinoa, it was also from there. I had quality veg in there as well. And I had a little bit of the fat too, which was from the goats cheese. So that got me through. And then dinner times were also, as I mentioned, something that I fell down on a bit too. Once again, coming back to being too busy. And so we just started with two dinners. Two dinners a week. They’re the ones that I really want you to focus on being super, super healthy. And for me, that was where I am in my life, cutting back on the carbohydrates. So for two dinners a week, I’d wanted to get my carbohydrates from vegetables, not from grains or flowers or pastas or anything like that. So I wanted to get it just from veggies. So that usually consisted of something like a maxi bowl or some version of bowl. I can’t get enough of those. You can do anything with them.

Hannah:
So I’d just cook up some mince, for example, with some seasoning. Chuck that in a bowl with your avocado and your cherry tomatoes, some lettuce, some cucumber, some natural yoghourt, much better for you than sour cream, guys, to use natural yoghourt. That’s full fat as well. Sometimes I chuck in a little bit of cheese. But most of the time, I just stay clear from that. That did me. That was great.

Hannah:
And so, I guess, my third piece of the puzzle here was that when it came to food which, for everyone, it’s your downfall. And we know that 80% of maybe the excess weight or fat we’re holding onto are usually from your food, not from your exercise. So when it came to my food, it was starting, it was starting at a point that I knew I could manage. So we looked at, look at what you’re doing right now and look at where you’re doing well. And it might be that, like me, you’re doing a really good job with your breakfast. Great. Don’t change that. Because if you think about having to change your breakfast and lunch and dinner, it can get overwhelming.

Hannah:
So if you know you’re doing well in one area, it might be your lunches. You’re doing really well at packing your lunch and taking that to work. Great. Don’t change that. Do exactly what you’re doing because you’re not thinking about that anymore. That’s just become your habit. So we don’t want to start stuffing around with habits that are doing us good. And then looking at the areas that aren’t so great, and what we can do as a minimum to start shifting. And so that might be, all right, you’re like me and you just get whatever’s easiest for you at dinner, and it usually ends up being take away. Cool. Well, are there two nights in the week? Not five, not seven. Are there two nights in the week you can start with where you can start focusing on getting some better options in place just for those two nights?

Hannah:
Once you’ve got that down, bump it up to three nights. Or look at it over the course of, say, a two week period. All right. Well, I want to eat really well for five nights in the next two weeks. Great. That can be any five nights in the next two weeks. But if you give yourself these small little tangible, manageable goals, it’s much easier to start getting into the habit of putting in place some better healthy options, but not feeling overwhelmed that you’re having to try and do this five nights a week or seven nights a week. Does that make sense? I hope so.

Hannah:
So just to recap, guys, coming back to what I started with was accountability. Really important that I had that thing in place to start with, otherwise I knew that all of these hopes and thoughts and plans that I was putting in place weren’t going to work. Accountability. Really, really critical for me. Second was starting out with something that I knew I could fit into my lifestyle, and wasn’t scaring me or being too much of a push with the exercise. So that started with a couple of runs or two runs or two Wally walks and a bar or boxing. So it was three times a week, just move my body. Great. I could do that. From there. We started shifting up to four, and then five times. Obviously you can also shift through running a little further or lifting a little heavier, those sort of things. I put in place mindfulness when I had my exercise routine pretty solid.

Hannah:
And then we started looking at food. So we found the things that I was doing well and we didn’t touch those, because I was doing the pretty well with those. There might be some tweaks around the edges you could make that don’t impact on that much. But that was great. And then we just looked at the lunches and the dinners that we could maybe shift to improve. And that wasn’t improving them every night of the week. It was improving them two times a week or five times over a fortnight, that sort of thing. So it was much more manageable for me. It didn’t feel overwhelming, especially with all the other things going on. And I found that because I was focused consistently on my movement anyway, I was generally more inclined to choose better and healthier options. But also, that I was easily able to incorporate these couple of nights a week where I was eating healthier. And it’s something that, thankfully, it’s stuck.

Hannah:
So I got married five weeks ago now. And these exercise routines and these little things that I put in place seem to still be sticking around, which is really good. So I hope that helps you in some way. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a big event that you’re looking forward to or you are focusing on, but it could just be, you want to start shifting or you want to go on a health kick, or whatever you want to call it. I hope that those sort of key points from my experience, personal experience, help you just to start somewhere.

Hannah:
So that’s it for me today, guys. Looking forward to chatting to you in the next couple of podcast episodes. And once again, if there’s any podcast episodes that you’d really love us to dig into, let us know. Hit us up on Instagram or Facebook. Send us an email or even just pop it in the reviews, because we’d love to put together podcast episodes that we know are giving you value, that you’re getting a lot out of, that are practical. So that’s it for me. Have a wonderful rest of your day. And I’ll catch you on the next one.

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