My Fitness Journey: Instagrammer Lynsey Rigney Tells Us How She Lost Two Stone At Slimming World
From changing her diet to finding a fitness programme that works, Lynsey tells us the secret behind her success.
How did you get started on your fit journey?
Years ago, (I’d say 2007) I bought a pair of Kangoo Jumps. I’d seen them on TV & loved them – they are rebound boots (that look like space boots) used for aerobic exercise. The novelty wore off pretty quickly, but last August, I came across a Facebook picture of someone wearing them, and immediately googled it and found Kangoo had come to Ireland! So, I brought my Kangoo Jumps along and joined the class.
I burn about 500 calories in a one hour class, which is an added bonus. This is where my fitness journey started and I still go to KJ classes twice if not three times weekly. Once I noticed my fitness levels improving and my body changing shape, I started more classes – Kettlebells & Pilates with my sister Sue, and 6am boot camp classes which I am addicted to.
Why did you decide to make a change?
Honestly, I was just really unhappy with my body. In 2013, I went on a J1 visa to NYC, where I managed to gain about a stone and a half, if not more over three months. I came home and none of my work clothes fit, I was wearing flowy clothes to hide myself and just felt really sluggish and unhappy.
I decided to join Slimming World, and it wasn’t long before I lost two stone.
What was the hardest change you had to make?
There were two difficult changes I had to make. In fact, I still struggle with both on occasion!
The first – Learning to say no, when there’s chocolate at work, a box of biscuits on the kitchen table or a greasy platter of food at a party. Most of the time I’m very good, because I know this food makes me feel terrible. But, if I give in and have even just one biscuit, that’s the end of it. I’ll eat and eat to my heart’s content, regretting it the next day when I feel rubbish. But we all have slip ups; we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. It’s all about balance and I’m generally really good, or at least I’ve trained myself to be and I feel the better for it every day.
The second – not relying on what the scales say! It can become an obsession; at one stage I was getting on the scales every morning, which is ridiculous. I now limit myself to once a week, just to keep within a certain range that my body is comfortable in – not to focus on having to be an exact figure. I really believe it’s all about how YOU feel in your own skin – and you shouldn’t let the scales dictate how you feel.
What were the major changes that you noticed? Did you notice your body changing straight away?
I didn’t notice physical changes straight away when I started my fitness regime. I was just enjoying my Kangoo Jumps classes and following a healthy lifestyle because it was making me feel good. However, as I noticed my fitness improving I started walking and trying to jog – it’s really difficult in the beginning. Then I did notice changes quickly – it was my thighs and stomach, they started to get real shape, I was toning up, and I was delighted. It motivated me to take up more classes to see even more changes.
The biggest changes for me though, aren’t physical – it is my mood, energy levels, my outlook on life really – because I am exercising more – I’ve actually become a happier, more positive person.
Did you have to cut out any foods?
I find some dairy products give me pains in my stomach, so I avoid them as much as possible, I drink soya milk in my coffee or my favourite – a glass of Alpro dark chocolate almond milk. It’s all about what makes you feel good – it might be the newest trending “super food” but if it doesn’t agree with you or it doesn’t taste good, don’t eat it!
What does your daily diet look like?
Breakfast is usually two scrambled eggs with spinach and some beans. If I have an early morning class, I usually mix it up and have porridge, almonds, yoghurt & fruit.
I snack throughout the day on fruit usually – little oranges or strawberries and sometimes some Alpro almond yoghurt, which is yum!
Lunch is usually something I’ve batch-made on a Sunday. My favourites are swede & carrot topped cottage pie, homemade turkey burgers with quinoa salad or roast chicken with ratatouille.
Dinner; I like to mix this up a lot. Me and Mam try new recipes at least once a week if not more.
Quick go-to recipes, that I eat a lot are spicy chicken fajitas with lettuce wrap, stir fries or easy to make healthy curries – all made from scratch of course. My sister, Jen recently bought me a spiralizer which I’m obsessed with – I usually team these dishes with courgetti or just plenty of veg.
After dinner is when I start to get peckish and want chocolate or biscuits. I usually have some sort of tea – green, berry or salted caramel. If I really want something bold, I’d have a little Freddo bar, or a Flump (those fat-free marshmallows). I’m loving Propercorn at the minute too – it’s gorgeous and so low in calories.
I find if I’m too strict on myself I just end up going on a total binge and eat absolutely everything in sight – so I like to have a very small treat in the evening, only if I fancy it.
What’s been your biggest achievement on your journey?
Fitting into a Size 8 pair of Topshop Jeans! Not ‘jeggings’ but a real pair of jeans! I still look at them and wonder how I fit in them.
How do you stay so motivated?
I read a quote a while back, “Motivation is knowing what you want, and realising what it takes to achieve it”. It stuck in my mind because I know exactly what I want and I know what I have to do (or sometimes not do) to achieve my fitness goals.
I find it easy to stay motivated because I know that keeping fit, constantly improving my fitness and eating healthy makes me feel great! It gives me energy, it improves my mood, it makes me feel really positive and over all just makes me happy! This feeling is what keeps me going and is the reason I am so motivated.
I also started an Instagram page about a year ago too, where I post a lot throughout the day. Usually my meals, my snacks, the new recipes I’m trying, transformation pictures, my calorie burn, quotes, my goals – that kind of thing. It really helps to keep me on track and stay motivated.
What’s your next goal?
Last week I signed up for a 5K. Running is something I’ve always wanted to master; I find it quite difficult but I’m improving all the time – it really is in a fitness league of its own!
The Dublin Run In The Dark 5K is in November; my goal is to be fit enough to run the entire distance – at the minute I’m still stopping and starting.
For me, running is hard work – give me a kettle bell or a pair of Kangoo Jumps any day! I am determined to achieve this goal at the minute and loving it.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to change their diet and follow a healthy lifestyle?
My top three things for anyone looking to start a healthy lifestyle or fitness journey:
1. Take progress pictures
This is definitely where my biggest motivation comes from. It’s not from looking at pictures of models or girls with six packs, but looking back and seeing how far I’ve come.
2. Don’t listen to the scales!
Yes, check them once a week or once a fortnight – stay within a target range – but the scales can’t tell you how good you look, how much your fitness has improved , how much energy you have, how happy you are or how great you feel in your own skin. Don’t let them dictate any of this, I know it’s hard not to, I sometimes get mad at the scales too but it’s not worth it – just take progress pictures. Judge from there, not what the scales say.
3. Try new recipes
I see a lot of people who look absolutely amazing but eat chicken and broccoli or just plain meats and veg all day long. You’ll get bored and you won’t stick to a healthy diet if you’re not enjoying your food. There are so many healthy recipes online these days, mostly from bloggers who spend a lot of time perfecting them. I have a couple of Irish favourites – The Naked Blondie, The Little Green Spoon and Nutty Nutrition to name a few. I also cook a whole lot from the Slimming World Magazines.
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