Saturday, 26 January 2019

Getting Started On My Fitness Journey With Nina Elise Workouts [AD | Gifted].*

*I was sent this workout guide in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.

I'm kind of nervous to even broach this topic. I already know that posting about fitness and health online, especially as a fat woman, is controversial. There will be people telling me that it's not 'body positive' to want to change yourself, that I am falling victim to diet culture, and that I am not only letting myself down but I am in fact actively part of the problem of fat shaming.

Here's the thing though: I've spoken before about how I don't hate my body. In fact, I'm very grateful for it, fat as it is! And this is not about dieting - I'll still be helping myself to pizza and chips whenever I fancy it. But even if I don't lose a pound of weight or an inch from my measurements, I still want to exercise more. I truly do not believe that your health can be measured on a scale, and BMI can frankly do one - but I am also aware that I, personally, am not healthy! I get out of breath going up stairs, get back pain if I walk for more than like 15 minutes, and am clearly not in the best shape. After I dislocated my kneecap last month I was confronted with how inflexible I am, how tired I am of hearing myself puff and pant while my friends genuinely still have to slow down so I can keep up, and generally how embarrassing I find it. I am beginning to really like myself and I am not in any way saying I want to change the way I look - but I do want to change the way I treat my body.

Even before I was approached by Nina Elise, I had been seriously considering how to get started on a fitness 'journey'. I, unfortunately, don't live within walking distance of a gym, and having been sent a mat in the past I was attempting to get started with at-home workouts. So when Nina, a yoga teacher and personal trainer, emailed me it felt like the perfect way to dive into the world of exercise.

Clearly, I am a complete novice when it comes to getting fit, but Nina Elise has me covered. She's created N.E.W., a 12-week programme that is split into three ebooks, one focusing on 'Body', one on 'Nutrition' and one on 'Mind'. This is a totally rounded approach to health and wellness, helping to find the 'N.E.W.' you, which I appreciate so much more than the fad diets I've tried in the past. It's  flexible, easy to understand guide that helps to build a healthy lifestyle, rather than a quick and unsustainable weight loss plan, so I thought I'd share my first impressions a couple of weeks into the plan!

Body Guide

The body guide is very exciting to me, as I never really have a clue what I'm doing! The 12-week programme is split into three months: month one focuses on HIIT training to get your body used to making some serious moves, month two has more weight-based circuit training to help build strength, and the third month is a more intensive combination of the two to help you refine your progress. There are weekly upper, lower and full body workout plans, alongside a wide range of video options for a stretching or yoga based day. These four routines, plus cardio of your choice on a fifth day, combine to give a really well-rounded exercise plan. 

I was hoping to start the workouts right at the beginning of the month (new year new me right?) but my dislocated kneecap made that quite challenging so I'm only a couple of weeks in the first month. However, I'm really impressed so far. This is definitely challenging and I've had to modify a few things due to my knee pain, but the workouts are quick (25-45 minutes) and all the exercises have videos included so you can make sure your posture and form is correct. As I said, I'm not long started with these workouts but I will definitely be updating you in the future about how I get on!

Nutrition Guide

As I said, I am not going to be partaking in a diet. I have no desire to get into the weird guilt spiral I had when I was on Slimming World. While I'm aware of the kinds of food I shouldn't be constantly munching on, I am kind of clueless when it comes to macros and how much protein, fat or carbohydrates I'm supposed to be aiming for.

Nina's guide isn't a meal plan or a diet - it's just a way to get you thinking intuitively about what you eat. It not only covers macros and why your body needs them, but it also includes meal ideas and recipes to get you started. There are no set rules and no restricting yourself, and it's a really simple and straightforward approach to nutrition. I'm hoping that it will encourage me to balance the love of my life (carbs) out with a few more veggies! I'll let you know how I get on.

Mind Guide

Lastly, but most importantly for me, is the fact that Nina has included this mind guide. Too many people focus solely on the physical aspects of health, but the fact that Nina actively encourages you to consider your thoughts and hopefully change your feelings about yourself is amazing. Health journeys fueled by self-hatred are poisonous; this isn't about punishing myself. I want to treat every part of me better, and that includes my mind.

This guide includes some super positive motivational chats that will have you viewing fitness in a whole new light. Alongside this, there are daily exercises to complete to keep you in the right frame of mind. Combined, this forms a really crucial part of the whole of Nina's approach to health and fitness. You really need to be in the right frame of mind to change any aspect of your life, and for me this guide is so important in my efforts to get fit. It's a daily reminder to myself of what I want from life and why I'm doing this. I think without the mind guide I'd find it hard to feel motivated to complete the body guide.

As I've said already, I have a long way to go with this! But so far I am absolutely loving Nina Elise's 12-week guide. It's a sensible, uncomplicated approach to health and fitness that isn't at all intimidating or restrictive. For the first time pretty much ever, I feel like I'm doing something good for my body instead of trying to punish it for my own mistakes. This plan makes me feel so much better about myself while encouraging me to get even better!

I'm also really pleasantly surprised by the cost - you can currently purchase the plan, consisting of all three ebooks, for $50 (around £38) which is an absolute bargain if, like me, you can't really afford/are not close to a gym or personal trainer. Broken down, this comes for just over £3 a week, which is not only a bargain but is cheaper than those diet clubs that I've tried (and failed) to follow in the past.

Find Nina Elise on her website, Instagram or Youtube!

I'm looking forward to updating you guys in a couple of months with how I've got on with my fitness journey!

What's your favourite form of exercise? Have you ever tried at-home workouts?
*I was sent this workout guide in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.

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