If you ask me what occupies my thoughts most of the day – I pretty much can tell you in a heart beat – MY ‘NEXT MEAL’, what to eat and how to prepare it:)
Of late though, Ritual keeps popping up in my thoughts – It’s the gym I’ve been going to for over a year and I can finally admit that I now am one of those people who think about exercise through-out-the-week, ( in fact I plan my time around it!) And I feel energised and excited about heading to the gym! (I’m not quite sure how that happened, but the routine at Ritual had become the game changer I had been looking for).
I’ve always been a sporadic exerciser, I would count zumba, pilates and the occasional workout video as a good workout. In a week, I would do two, one hour sessions of any of them and consider that good enough. I didn’t see any visible changes or results as the months went by and I attributed it to a slow metabolism and just plain inactivity – people who were fit I thought, must be so motivated, I wasn’t prepared to invest any more time into working out – it just felt like too much work!
For me, lying on the couch, eating, and watching brain numbing entertainment, was much more fun than working my body (even though I knew that it was causing all the pins and needles, and aches and pains in my neck, shoulders and arms). And so, when I signed up at Ritual and committed to going consistently for the first year it was hard. It was 20 minutes – 3 sessions a week – of pushing my mind to work my unfit body to its limit hard. Some sessions were worse than others – especially the ones with a ton of burpees (I had problems doing even a single burpee correctly when I started!) Squats, mountain climbers, deadlifts, rows etc, soon I got familiar with the movements – my muscles hurt really badly after, other times my heart felt like it would burst from the sheer pace of the sets.
And then one fine day, after around 8 months of just hanging in there something miraculous happened – my body earned the reward of the work put in, it had gotten more used to the pain, and I started to enjoy the ‘good aches’; it actually felt like euphoria sometimes – for me it was real joy – a kind of pleasure I’d only experienced before when I ate a bowl of anything deliciously good.
The people and environment at Ritual were key to this change. The workouts are what they are – tough, uncompromising and sure to work up a sweat. There are four different levels to suit varied fitness levels. And if you aren’t quite getting the techniques right, don’t worry the coaches will be there to point it out and tell you how to improve (they believe proper form makes for a much more effective burn – 5 perfect reps vs 15 poorly executed ones).
Want tips on eating well? Go refer to the Ritual Grub Guide – the grub guide gives you a picture of the different types of foods, it teaches how to choose what to eat, and the possible reactions or outcomes to expect when you aren’t sticking to the plan or in their words have ‘a cheat day’; so you can optimise your daily function in combination with the training. It isn’t a manual on counting calories (they don’t believe in that), there also aren’t any extreme diets or restrictions, they preach eating real, wholesome great for you food. Being 80 % good most of the week is their mantra, what you do with the other 20% is totally up to you – go tailor it according to your own lifestyle goals.
Hungry after your workout and need to rush back to work? A meal replacement shake at the Ritual Fuel bar will give you the energy to get through the next couple of hours. And these shakes are nutrient dense, good for you – gluten, dairy and soy free – liquid vitamins and minerals!
They have thought of everything you may need to make your workout as efficient and effective as possible in just 20 minutes (clothes and shower facilities are also provided, training is done with bare feet) – you just need to show up and take it at your own pace one session at a time!
Finally, here’s the part that probably matters most – asides from the drop in dress size (which was thrilling enough for me!), what other transformational changes did I experience? The big one for me was my mindset, it got a complete over haul – my hubby had been at Ritual a whole year before me, and he asked me to join as it worked so well for him. But at that point, my mental programming was so unhealthy I’d talk myself out of it with these sort of thoughts, “ I’m so weak, I don’t know if I can last the duration of the 20 minutes, the workout looks too intimidating, I’ve got old injuries (HIIT is too intense), I’ve never even been a low intensity exercise type of person, now you want me to do high intensity? I’ve had two kids, can I really get my pre baby abs back”? – my mind was just full of self imposed limits. Once Ritual became my ritual and as I saw my body transform, all my self doubt, self pity, self indulgent excuses vanished, with the stronger my body got; the harder I pushed for progress. Now when faced with challenges, I have more grit – I get that the struggle is important and it has made me more determined, and positive, in my every day.
With the new found energy I now have, I’m also able to do more with my time – I have more stamina and am less tired after a day of caring for my children. I have also become aware of my own body’s reactions to certain foods and it’s clear what triggers my allergies or makes me feel unwell. All the spare time I have, I use to develop recipes for others like me and my children with food intolerances, in fact this whole site has all the tools you will need to transform your daily meals – whether your goals are like mine to maximise my health and minimise my allergies or just clean up your diet, the food is real, gut friendly, wholesome and delicious! Eating this way, and sticking with the Ritual workouts consistently made me so much healthier.
I’m in a much happier place – I love the tone and shape my body has been able to achieve just by doing the 20 mins of workouts – 3 times a week at Ritual. It is a plan that I know I will be able to commit to in the long run. I see myself wanting more progress and therefore foresee much more good aches and pains in the future. I know to get to the next level of intensity won’t be easy!
But when the workouts begin, I leave my insecurities at the door and just give it my all.
My fitness and health is a constant work in progress. There aren’t any short cuts. Give it time, keep it focused for real permanent change to happen – Ritual taught me that.
And now Ritual has given all Tayste readers an added incentive, if you go to their website here
1) Choose your date and time slot
2) Key in the info about you
3) Use our site’s name TAYSTE as the promo code click verify and you get 25% off the price of a one week trial. (updated June 22, 2017)
I hope you’re as excited as I am! Invest in your health now, gift yourself a Ritual trial today!
(This promo is available for redemption to readers who reside in Sunny Singapore. Sorry, overseas readers!)
Here I interview SHREK who is the MASTER COACH at RITUAL to ask the burning questions you would want to ask as a newbie to HIIT training.