Your Story Matters – Lisa from myfitsterlife.wordpress.com
I “found” Lisa on instagram not too long ago and absolutely LOVED her positive attitude, her awesome blog posts (running tips – hello!) and fun instagram pics. She has also recently completed her very first full marathon – finishing in an absolutely AMAZING time of 3:43! Well done Lisa, and welcome to North of Here.
Can you tell the readers of North of Here a bit about yourself and your lifestyle?
I’m 25 years old from Ireland, (almost 26..sigh!) I love being active, I love good food and a good glass of wine, and I try to live life to the full. Looking after my body and mind is a big part of that. I am a nomad at heart, and I have spent much of my adult life living out of a suitcase, moving to different places and countries as part of my studies, with work, or to indulge my love of travel. I have been living in Australia for almost two years now and I’m getting ready to move back to Europe in October.
I’m ready for a new challenge and I am planning on going back to Uni to do my masters. My life might seem a bit chaotic with all the changes and moving about, but my health and fitness routine helps keep me balanced. I started a blog in January to share my passion for leading a healthy happy balanced lifestyle. I’m still finding my feet in the blogosphere but it’s my little space to indulge in fitness, food, fashion and whatever else takes my fancy!
What does a day in your life look like?
I used to be terrible in the morning but these days I’m an early bird! I start the day with a lemon water or green tea. I am obsessed with breakfast, I make sure I have 30 mins to sit and enjoy a good breakfast before I leave the house. If I’m not working I like to get outside, go to the beach, for a walk by the river with my sister or even just to the local park. I workout 6 days a week but I don’t have a set routine. I fit it in when I can, depending on my schedule, the season and what kind of training I have planned. I like to fill my free time doing things I love and I’m always late sitting down in the evening. I used to meditate but I’m out of the habit now. These days I love to sit for ten minutes with a cup of tea when everyone else is in bed and relax, the house is so silent and peaceful! I always read before bed, but these days I barely manage a page before I’m asleep!
What keeps you motivated?
I always find it hard to pinpoint exactly where I get my motivation. I love a challenge, so setting myself goals keeps me on track, even if I often bite off more than I can chew, thankfully I tend to perform better under pressure! I’m also really inspired by other people, seeing other people work hard to achieve great things, overcoming obstacles in life, and taking risks to succeed, really motivates me to expect more from myself.
I try not to compare myself to others, I don’t think that’s healthy, but I like to learn from others.
A lot of it comes down to gratitude, when I’m feeling unmotivated whether it be training, in work, or in life, I always remind myself how lucky I am. It sounds awfully cheesy but honestly it reminds me to man up and get it done!
Can you tell us about some of the challenges you face when it comes to looking after yourself?
Because of my ever changing lifestyle, maintaining a solid health and fitness routine while traveling can be a big challenge. Over the years I have had different jobs, some more physically demanding than others, working some unsociable hours during shift work. I have lived in different climates, on different budgets, with different facilities and amenities nearby. All these things change the way I eat, sleep, exercise, what goals I can set myself and how I motivate myself. I think once you commit to prioritising yourself and your health and wellbeing, you find ways to make it work, but being flexible in my lifestyle is key.
As women, we often neglect a part of our own health/well-being – what is one thing that you’ve been neglecting, and would like to get on top of? (And are you working on this, if so, how?)
When I am busy and short on time, I definitely neglect sleep. I can survive on very little sleep, but I know how important sleep is for the body and mind. I am trying to get into a better routine. I sometimes find it hard to switch off a night with my brain buzzing with things to do, so before bed I write a to-do list for the following day.
If I’m worried or have something on my mind I will write it all down in my notebook to clear my mind.
I aim to get 8 hours a night and I turn off the wifi on my phone before I get into bed so I’m not tempted to spend half an hour scrolling through instagram.
What does your training routine look like?
I generally train 6 days a week, I have spent the past 4 months training for a marathon which I completed two weeks ago. I’m taking some downtime at the moment and mixing it up a bit, enjoying a break from running, and from the gym. I’m focusing on HIIT workouts, 3 times a week and mainly bodyweight exercises, which I can do at home, in the garden, or in the park. I take workouts from different apps, programs, or just make them up myself. I have recently pulled out my Bikini Body Guide by Kayla Itsines, and PTinMyPocket is my all-time favourite fitness app. Other than that I am getting outside for plenty of walking, hiking, and swimming when I can. I also do a Pilates class once a week.
You’ve recently completed your first marathon, can you tell us a bit about what made you sign up to complete one?
I’ve completed a few distance events and have run half marathons before, but I had never considered a full marathon. I was finished a stint of travelling and was settled in Perth for a few months of working. I was feeling a bit un-inspired with my fitness routine, and my sister mentioned the City to Surf in Perth. She suggested the 12k or the half marathon but when I started looking it up, the glutton for punishment in me was eager for the challenge of the full marathon. I thought running my very first marathon would be a great memory of time in Australia, and it would mean a lot running it in Perth, which I consider home here in Australia. I ended up signing up for the WA Series, entering all five City to Surf Races in WA, the first four were 12K with a the final race being the full Marathon in Perth. I missed one of the 12k’s so I didn’t get a WA series finisher medal but the series was a great experience, and an opportunity to see other parts of Western Australia.
Editor Notes: I absolutely loved Lisa’s posts “10 things nobody tells you about training for a marathon” and “FIRST Run Less Run Faster Training Program” (all about her journey of training for a marathon and what to expect)!
How did you get into running, and what tips would you give to someone who wants to start?
I wasn’t a runner growing up. I started running when I lived in Japan as I wanted a way to get some exercise that didn’t cost money, and also gave me a way to discover the area I was living in. I was 20 and after living the student life for my first year at Uni my fitness levels were at an all-time low. I went to a tiny park near my house and the first time I barely made it around once, after about 500m I was dying! But I kept at it, running as far as I could, and then walking when I needed to. When I left Japan 3 months later I was able to run around it 6 or 7 times without stopping. I loved how running challenged me and cleared my head at the same time, I have been a runner ever since. It keeps me sane! It’s the perfect sport for somebody who travels a lot like me, all you need is your running shoes!
My top tips for starting running are to invest in a good pair of running shoes, most good sports shops offer fitting and foot analysis, it will save you a world of pain if you get the right shoes. Build up slowly, don’t expect to run 10k after one month, slowly building up your speed or distance will avoid injury and avoid you getting disheartened if you are somebody who strives for results.
My final tip is not to run too much, maximum 3 runs a week is plenty, use any other free time for strength training, flexibility or cross training, it will help your body deal with the high impact stress running has on the body, and will improve your running long term.
Grocery shopping is generally a pain, what are some of your favourite foods that you buy that make you feel great?
I am a massive foodie, and I love cooking so I actually quite enjoy grocery shopping! 80% of my shopping is fresh fruit and veggies but there are a few things that I always put in my trolley, Greek Yoghurt, Natural Peanut Butter or Tahini, whole rolled oats, eggs and milk. There is always a bar of Lindt dark chocolate in the fridge too!
What are your three top health tips for living a healthy lifestyle?
Drink 2L of water every day, walk more- leave the car at home, take a stroll on your lunch break, just move as often as you can, Eat good quality real food – whether it’s a salad or a slice of cake your body deserves the best.
What does ‘wellness’ mean to you’?
Wellness for me is feeling confident, happy and at peace in my own skin, with my own thoughts. Trusting that my body and mind are strong and healthy enough to cope with whatever stress or strains life throws at them, and are ready for any challenge I send their way. It’s about living life with a positive attitude but also knowing that it’s ok to have a bad day too.
What are five things in your workout bag?
Water bottle is a must, my MP3 player for a good motivating workout playlist, make up remover because I never workout with make-up on, SPF because I like to get outside when I can, and a resistance band for my physio exercises.
What is one thing you do for yourself, for your sanity/health/wellbeing that you do every day without fail?
I always take time to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea. I love coffee but a cup of tea is like a comforting hug. I think it’s an Irish thing but a cup of tea solves all problems, it cheers me up on a bad day, relaxes me if I’m stressed or upset and I find it a great way to unwind. I love all types of tea and whether I enjoy a cuppa and a chat with a friend, or I sit for five minutes of peace alone before bed, it’s one of the best parts of the day.
Your story matters: Is a regular series where I sit down at chat with women like you about your health and fitness story. Everyone has a story to tell and we can all learn from each other. If you would to be featured please email me: hello <at> northofhere.com.au