Disqus for Where Are My Knees

Guest Post - Lotus and Pie

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Hi readers of Where are my Knees!

My name is Jenn and I “re-started” my healthy lifestyle back in March 2011.  I say, “re-started” as previous to 2007; my life had been fairly healthy.  I was an overly active teen at school, playing every sport there was and then progressed to elite fitness and kickboxing in my 20’s.

A few major changes occurred in my life and I slipped into the habit of not caring about myself, smoking, drinking and basically not providing my body with the right fuel or energy to have one day without feeling tired or lethargic.
I packed my bags and moved from Sydney to London in May 2010.  I worked in a pub as well as my 9-5pm job.  This caused me to gain a lot of weight as I was drinking cider after every shift while socialising and trying to make friends in a new country.

I soon realised that this was not the life I wanted to be living.  I never had before, so why should I start doing this to myself now?  I quit smoking in October 2010 and haven’t looked back.  It took a few more months to get myself settled into a healthier routine but once I was in a happier place, I knew it was time to work on changing my body to being better than what it was before.

March 5th 2010 is when I took my first progress picture.  I was disgusted with what I had let myself become and in all honesty, that was enough motivation for me to sort myself out. 

I bought a runners backpack and gave myself a challenge of being able to jog the route home from Camden to Shoreditch, which was about 3.5miles.  I also signed up to My Fitness Pal so I could see what nutrients I was putting into my body and educate myself as to what was good and what was bad.

Okay I won’t lie; the first day jogging I felt like someone had a harness attached to me, holding me back.  I couldn’t hop gracefully from the road to the footpath when needed and I had to stop frequently to walk and catch my breath.  However, before this first attempt was even half over, I was determined to kick my goals a**!

After 3 attempts I was able to jog the entire length of the hill up Pentonville Road from Kings Cross to Angel.  Believe me, the smile on my face when I ran to the top was huge!  Of course, since I had run the whole hill without stopping, I couldn’t let it beat me again.  Each time I ran; the hill was mine.  Before I knew it I had shaved 6mins off my trip home.

I had to make some pretty severe changes to my diet since I have a very active sweet tooth.  I stopped buying anything sugary. I saw it as a bad habit (like smoking) that needed to be kicked cold turkey.  I limited drinking alcohol for a while, knowing that my weakness for bourbon and coke was doing nothing for my sugar intake.  I do enjoy a vodka, fresh lime and soda though!

Each week I continued to take progress pictures. I felt the difference in my body; I couldn’t see it for some time.  I still felt as big as what I was the week before.  But you know what, after time, my clothes started to get baggy on me.  I tried on some old skinny jeans that I had only ever fit into once in Australia, and they fit me perfectly.  I was finally back to the size I was, when at my skinniest!

I hopped on the scales on June 9th and saw that I had lost close to 20lbs.  I had done it!

Now it is nearing October and I have maintained my current weight of 127.8lbs for the last 3months.  I exercise 5-6 times per week.  I eat 5 times per day.  I have kept up with running and ran my first Race for Life 10K in 47mins and 20seconds.  I am stronger than I have ever been before and I feel fantastic.  My life has started again and I feel I have been given a second chance.

I would like to give some advice to those of you who are just starting out on your healthy lifestyle journeys.
  1.  Don’t give up.  Just because the scales don’t show a change it doesn’t mean your body isn’t changing.

  2. Set yourself some mini goals just as I did. Being able to jog/cycle a certain distance in a certain time is a good one.  Or even sign up to a fun run and give yourself something to train and aim for.

  3.  If you have a sweet tooth, allow yourself a treat once in a while.  If you don’t you may end up going overboard one day and then feeling really down on yourself afterwards.  Then you will think, well I have ruined it, why should I keep going?  You have NOT ruined it.  A slice of cake, a jar of Nutella, a spoonful of icing sugar, a whole tub of Ben & Jerry’s never killed anyone.  I speak from experience.

  4.  Learn about and listen to your body.  Put the right fuel in to get the right result out.  Being healthy doesn’t mean eating raw veggies, fruit or boring bland meals.  If it was, I wouldn’t be telling this story now – I love my food way too much.

  5.  Finally, don’t be upset if you still have so far to go.  Be happy that you grabbed your life by the scruff of the neck and started this journey in the first place.  You’re trying and you will get there.

I am sorry this has turned into a long and involved essay for you to read. I think posting a “before and after” picture like mine deserves a bit of an explanation.  It can be done.  It is possible.  You will get there!  It doesn’t happen overnight, but with the right knowledge and determination, you can change your lifestyle in as little as 3 months.


  1. This is amazing, thank you so much for telling this story. It genuinely inspires me. I have just had to give up my gym membership although have been road running twice a week for a while. I have been dreading the reliance on running for my exercise, but you have reminded me. ALso, I LOVE your glasses! xxx

  2. Such an inspiring post. I remember feeling the same way when I first started running but it's amazing how quickly your fitness improves with perseverance. x

  3. Thank you so much for your kind words ladies :) It's amazing what we can do when we put our mind and body into it! xx

  4. wow you look amazing! really inspiring x

  5. Thank you for such an inspiring post!
    Your body looks amazing in the 'after' photo :)

  6. Thanks Emma and Leah - I appreciate your kind words! x

  7. Very inspirational, definately given me something to think about, thanks for sharing! =) xo

  8. very impressive, thanks for sharing x

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