Every now and then we put a Fit Girl in the spotlight that has experienced a special Fit Journey. She shares her ups and downs, tips and tricks, annoyances, bad and good habits, and hopes to inspire you to become the fittest version of yourself. If she can do it, you can do it too!
After a holiday, the scale indicated a total of 209 Ibs and Anouk had enough of those superfluous pounds. She decided to drastically change her lifestyle around by going to the gym three times a week and eating less carbohydrates. After losing 77 Ibs, she developed an eating disorder, but luckily she had the right people around her who helped her through it all. Now, Anouk trains five times a week and also loves her cheat meals. “Learn to enjoy. I made it my lifestyle and enjoy a piece of cake every now and then at a birthday as well”. Curious about Anouk’s story? Read on!
What was the reason for you to change your lifestyle?
After coming back from a holiday in Chersonisos and seeing 209 Ibs on the scale, I knew I wanted to change. Of course I didn’t just gain 40 Ibs from the holiday alone, but the combination of seeing all the holiday pictures and 209 Ibs on the scale was the last straw.
What were you ashamed of in the past?
That’s the weird thing… I wasn’t really ashamed of anything. Of course, I didn’t look like all those skinny girls who walked around in their beautiful clothes and bikini’s, but when I lost 77 Ibs I was more insecure than when I weighed 209 Ibs. Strange, you might think. But, I am much more critical when it comes to my body now than I was in the past, and I think that many other girls can recognize themselves in this.
What do you do now that you didn’t do in the past?
Telling myself that I am proud of myself. For example, walking around with a bare stomach in a crop top. I never did that before!
What was your worst habit?
I am an emotional eater. If I feel bad or alone, I try to get rid of these feelings with food. This is still my pitfall from time to time. That’s why I’m also training myself mentally to overcome those kinds of moments in a different way.
Have you replaced this habit with a better one or have you been able to balance it?
I don’t want to say I’ve ever been on an eating spree, but after losing 77 Ibs and having an eating disorder, I have learned to get rid of those eating habits. I try to reset my mind. Music on, go for a walk or message my boyfriend, friends or parents if I notice that I’m having trouble with it again.
What can you absolutely not live without?
Sushi! Haha, before I got to know my boyfriend, I thought I didn’t like it. But now that he has made me addicted to it, I want to eat sushi at least once a month. However, I do have to say that I feel happier when eating healthy rather than unhealthy foods. I also immediately notice the difference in my skin and energy level when I eat unhealthy.
What has been your biggest high- and low-point of your Fit Journey?
My low-point was my eating disorder… This is not something your choose. But one way or another it just happens to you. I think many girls know what this is like. I didn’t want it, but sometimes the voice in my head was just a bit stronger than me.
What made the difference for you: exercise, diet or a combination of the two?
In 2012 I started exercising three times a week put myself on a low-carb diet. I got a crosstrainer from my parents and worked on it three times a week for 45 minutes. In addition, I already ate quite healthy. Not carbohydrate-free but I ate it much less. And of course something tasty on the weekends. I lost those 77 Ibs in a healthy way but afterwards I reached my low-point and that’s when it all went wrong. With a lot of help, I started to work on myself. You can’t do something like this alone! I have had so much support from the people around me. I’m someone who likes lists. I write everything down, plan a lot in advance and since I have stopped doing that everything started to go a lot better. Of course I still like some of my lists, but I no longer ‘freak out’ when friends suddenly call me up for dinner or if there are tasty things on the table that I usually can’t keep my hands off. I must honestly say that I am very happy with my boyfriends lifestyle. He has helped me enormously. Training together is great! He also helps me with my nutrition and diet and sees when I’m down and want to give into food. Usually I’m strong enough to ignore the feeling, but sometimes I’m not. He is the one who helps me get through it.
What are your short-term and long-term goals?
I try to set both small and big goals. I’m going to Mexico in five weeks. I’ve gotten rid of my weighing scale because all it does is bring me stress. I want to feel comfortable in my bikini, dress or any piece of clothing. Many will think, “Oh, stop worrying about how you look. You look great and many girls would love to be you.” No… There’s a lot more going on in someone’s head than you may think. It’s a mental thing. I want to be happy with myself, enjoy everything and find a good balance in my life. Meanwhile, I also have daily, weekly or monthly goals. Those are the ones I write down. Cynthia Houben gave that tip to me. It works so great! Many people are also asking if I’m going to compete in competitions, but for the time being it’s a no. Actually, I don’t think I’ll be participating in any competitions at all. I’ve had a close look of what it is like. You must be very strong mentally to be able to do compete! And honestly, I don’t think I’m that strong yet. Maintaining a strong mental state is often the most difficult.
How do you make sure you stay fit?
Learn to enjoy. I made this my lifestyle and with the right people around me I’m keeping it up. I work out around five times a week, but I also enjoy it. I also eat out or take a piece of cake at a birthday every now and then. During the week I keep my food clean and on weekends I let go and enjoy myself a bit more. This is how I keep up with everything!
If you could say something to the person you were “before” your transformation, what would you say?
Be proud of who you are. I understand that many people think appearance and looks are important, but your mental state is the most important thing!
What does your workout regime look like?
I train five times a week. I make a fixed schedule every month where I train every day and know exactly when to do something. I usually only do strength training, but right before a vacation I tend to add a little bit of cardio to the routine. Running is sometimes also nice, especially when you want to clear your mind.
What do you think is the biggest bullshit hype in the fitness field?
A hype not really, but all those comment on other people’s pictures that someone has a huge butt through a particular pose or that someone only has abs due to particular lighting. Let everyone just be themselves because we all work hard for our own goals. Respect each other, because you never know what the story is behind one’s body.
What is your biggest annoyance when it comes to health and fitness?
That when you eat something “unhealthy” people immediately say “should you have that?”. Or if you don’t take certain foods (like cake at a birthday) it’s also not any good and people start to say “no, I wouldn’t take that either, you’ll get fat again.”
How do you make sure there is balance in your diet?
By sticking to my schedule and eating clean throughout the week, and cheating on weekends. I don’t track anything. If I start to do that, I’ll go crazy. My eating disorder starts to come back that way and I become obsessive. My boyfriend makes my diet schedules and I stick to them. I play around with the schedules sometimes because you;re the one who knows best what you can and cannot have.
What’s your opinion on counting calories and macros?
Everyone has to do what works best for them. For me, it doesn’t work and I don’t count them.
What does a healthy menu look like for you?
In short: I have an oatmeal pancake for breakfast. As a snack I have eggs, nuts or fruit. In the afternoon chicken, fish or tartar with rice and vegetables. As another snack I have an omelette or rice cakes with chicken fillet slices and a cucumber. In the evening I have again chicken, fish or tartar with rice and vegetables. And before sleeping, eggs or cottage cheese. My afternoon and evening meals sometimes change to a salad, because I really like that too.
What is your favorite “food prep” meal?
Tartar, macaroni, wok veggies and almonds ;).
Do you also have the so-called cheat meals or cheat days?
Of course! I notice that if I do my cheatday (usually on a Sunday), I keep my body triggering. I usually plan a workout on Monday for my legs and that’s so nice after such a cheat day!
What is a healthy alternative to your guilty pleasure?
A Granny Smith apple with peanut butter or wrap with chicken, vegetable and honey-mustard sauce.
Curious about Anouk’s progress? Check out her Instagram page! Do you want to lose a few pounds yourself and build a healthy and happy lifestyle? The Fitgirlcode Guide helps you get your nutrition, workouts, and mind in order! For 8 weeks, you’ll be provided with diet and work out schedules, the necessary mindfulness exercises and motivation to keep the healthy lifestyle going. Let’s do this!