RAW, honest and open confessions of a personal trainer....

As many of you know, I recently competed in this years ICN body building competition and my 3rd body transformation over 3 years. While working to achieve an unrealistic physique, I also put my mind and body through an enormous amount of stress pushing me to my limits.

With body fat at less than 10%, there are a lot of health factors that we (who compete) choose to ignore, in order to achieve ‘the perfect physique’ including hormone imbalances, mood swings, low energy levels and irregular/no periods for months at a time.

Why do I do this!?  A sense of control and purpose. 
What happens post comp? A sense of loss and defeat.

With no goals or systems in place post comp, I was left spiraling out of control. With no care or second thought to what I was putting in my body, clothes are getting tight, skin is dry, acne is present and worst of all, I feel ashamed and I feel I have let my clients down by not taking my own advice.

Soooo.... What am I going to do about it!?  Cleanse my body starting with the gut! And start practicing healthy eating habits 1,2,...30 days at a time. I needed a new, healthier goal and here it is...

Gut health is an extremely important part of our overall health, which can also affect our mental health when not cared for appropriately.

For anyone who knows me, you'll usually catch me with a coffee in hand or on my way to get coffee.

  1. First thing is the morning... coffee.

  2. Mid morning break, coffee. One dine in, one take-away.

  3. Late afternoon pick-me-up... coffee. 

It's not uncommon for me to consume 3-5 coffees black coffees a day and I could not tell you the last time I went a day without one. Well until now that is!!!

I can officially confirm I am on day 9 with no coffee!!! AND yes this is a big deal for me and the caffeine withdrawal is a thing. I had a headache for about 3 days and have replaced my daily coffees habits with herbal tea. 

I don't believe in removing something from your diet without replacing it with an alternative. What usually happens with me when I start craving that item I have removed from my diet and have nothing to replace it with.... I want it even more and then over time I’ll revert back to that item and likely consume more of it making it even harder to eliminate. Another example of this is chocolate.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't think coffee is bad (depending on how you have it that is...) however my daily consumption was getting a bit out of hand and I felt I needed to do something drastic to interrupt the habits involved in this behaviour of drinking coffee - not to mention the cost involved. 

As part of the Arbonne 30 Days of Healthy Living program, the first step to cleansing and detoxing the body was to remove a few items from the shopping list, one of which was coffee. In all honesty I had a bit of anxiety about the removal of my favourite daily activity; however once I got through the first 2 days, it go easier to say no and reach for an alternative.

Over the past 9 days I have also removed the following from my diet and the results have been incredible.... not only physically but also mentally which I will go into more detail with you. 

"Don't stop it, swap it."

Items removed and replaced with:

  • Diary - almond, coconut milk, coconut yoghurt 

  • Wheat - rice, quinoa, sweet potato, beans

  • Alcohol - herbal teas, fizz sticks, water

  • Coffee - herbal teas, fizz sticks, water

  • Meat (this was a personal choice) - eggs, beans, nuts and seeds

Each meal also included a wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables that not only provide so many important vitamins, minerals and nutrients but they also make a great morning or afternoon snack and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

As mentioned in earlier blog and Facebook posts, I do suffer from an eating disorder and I am aware this could be seen as another disordered eating pattern and setting myself up with rules and restrictions, but this 30 day challenge is assisting me in eating good foods and supplements that are proven to nourish the body in a safe and positive way.

The alternative...

Restricting food intake during the day which would lead to over eating and then cause me to binge in the afternoon/evenings. While keeping in contract with my Arbonne mentor and online support through Facebook, I have been able to keep in contact with other men and women around the world conducting the same 30 Days to Healthy Living Plan, we have been able to offer support, ideas and friendship to one another while learning and experimenting with some amazing recipes.

I am the type of person that needs to do something drastic to break habits and make changes. Other examples of this behaviour include:

  1. Signing up to 5 running races instead of one!

  2. Buying 6 pairs on gym pants instead of one!

  3. Eating a whole block of chocolate instead of one row!

I’m an all or nothing kinda gal, which is not always a good thing, but I’m slowing learning what my triggers are, and now I aim to work with, rather than against them.

Next week’s topic, why I decided to eliminate meat products from my diet. The results and the feedback to follow.....

Love Leanne Smith Personal Trainer


"Live Strong, with Purpose to Train."

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