Dieting – otherwise known as self-restricting until you’re hungry and miserable, only to binge on Digestives at the end of it – is no way to lose weight.
Instead, it’s all about balance, maintaining a healthy attitude and persistence.
And few know this better than Nikki Rees, a blogger that’s proved that a lifestyle free of guilt and self-starvation will do your body far more good than one that relies on those things.
Rees doesn’t follow a plan. She doesn’t count calories.
She doesn’t even cut out certain food groups, or ban celebrating events with a glass of prosecco.
Love a 'trio' … cuts out the messy house in the back ground ! . So I just Killed my workout…. feel completely amazing… super motivated and happy happy happy. Slay the day ladies . . #mondaymotivation #femalefitness #fitnessblogger #mumlife #instamama #bbg #kaylaitsines #homeworkout #stayathomemum #fitover30 #fitnesslifestyle #ootd #wiw #fitspo #fitfam #bbgmums #bbgtransformation #nevermissamonday
A post shared by Nikki Rees (@activelyrees) on Jul 10, 2017 at 1:03am PDT
Instead, she enjoys the food she loves, exercises and balances her favourite ‘unhealthy’ foods with healthy ones – guilt free.
Posting a photo of herself at 34 alongside one taken two years later, Nikki described that it was her change in attitude that gained her her new lean, toned physique rather than fad dieting.
A body which, keep in mind, hasn’t increased in weight.
“Let me tell you about my food/diet/nutrition/healthy eating… whatever you want to call it,” she wrote on June 27.
“Most of you already know that I work out most days, and that I do so at home.
Dirty hair… we don't care Truthfully still sat in activewear because I haven't worked out yet… I've had loads and loads on.. but I know I can carve an opportunity out at some point! Really want to get in arms and abs . . In other news I just bought a £3.50 brown hair box dye … grey hair prepare to die #justsaying . . . #dirtyhairdontcare #mumlife #fitmum #meandmymini #fitfam #homeworkout #fitnessblogger
A post shared by Nikki Rees (@activelyrees) on Jul 7, 2017 at 8:44am PDT
“But I get lots of questions about how I eat because it’s not something I talk about or photograph that often.”
She then explains that there’s no secret formula to her transformation “because there’s nothing really to tell”:
“I don’t follow a plan, I don’t count anything (not macros not calories) I don’t try to cut out food groups or stop eating carbs after 5pm,” she explains.
“I don’t do intermittent fasting or flexible dieting or even clean eating (any more, I did for a while in the beginning).
Today I Looked like a ballerina worked like a and sweat like a . . #sundayfunday in full swing . . #activewear #ootd #homefitness #workoutmotivation #fitmum #mumlife #fitspo #femalemotivation #pink #nude #musclegain #upperbody #fullbody #fitnessblogger #girlswithabs #fitfam #aesthetics #vscocam #picoftheday #stylediaries #athleisure
A post shared by Nikki Rees (@activelyrees) on Jul 2, 2017 at 2:45am PDT
“I still eat cake more days than not… I still drink prosecco.
“I still can’t seem to resist stealing snacks from the kids junk food cupboard. I still love a takeaway curry… eat pizza, burger and fries and love to eat sweets.”
She goes on to say that the difference between the two pictures isn’t what foods have done to her body, but what they “do to my head”:
“Two years ago eating sweets and takeaway and junk all day would send me into a downward spiral of feeling bad about myself,” she recalled.
Mornings with Maddie are my absolute favourite. . . Go Workout… workout with your kids… make your routine an activity you do together, ALLOW it to be FUN. take ridiculous selfies…it doesn't have to be perfect or fancy or remotely serious… i take my effort in workouts seriously but perfection lightly …I workout at home with my little one distracting me at every turn, but I'm still fit and healthy .. we have the BEST most fun time and I have a phone FULL of pictures just like this… #imtheluckyone . . . #homefitness #workingoutathome #workingoutwithkids #mumlife #memoriesmade #nogymnoproblem
A post shared by Nikki Rees (@activelyrees) on Jun 21, 2017 at 6:58am PDT
“All that yummy food would actually fuel my EXCUSES to quit exercise, to not bother balancing the treats out with nutritious alternatives.
“Now these same foods (and my passion for them) fuel my AMBITION to condition my body.
“I know the difference between eating well and eating poorly.
“And if a day happens where I binge eat cake and a tub of butter I leave it at just that – a day that happened.”
While a day like that used to “derail” her goals, she says that she now doesn’t see it as a reason to give up, but to continue.
A little holiday truth. Ok so … before vacation I felt lean, strong and in great shape. I had my new boobs to dress up in new bikinis and I felt super duper confident. I was looking forward to the beach, the sun and getting a fabulous tan. I thought mentally this is going to be my most happy and confident holiday yet. . . But…After the first 2 days of holiday we were faced with a weeks worth of the worst Florida weather that Florida had ever seen..i.e. Black sky. Rain thunder lightning and gale force winds. So with no sun and no beach available all there was left to do was eat and drink … I can honestly tell you that at no point during this holiday did I actually feel particularly 'bikini confident' – I was bloated for every single one of the 16 days I was there . not one day of my holiday did I have abs or even a flat stomach… and up until day 10 'i didn't even really have a tan. Please believe me when I say this is not me complaining .. this was just a big wake up call. I always believed that my new found confidence was built on sturdier stuff than my abs and some bronzed skin. But it turns out once my flat tum was gone and I had little to no tan to hide my stretch marked skin behind…my self doubt started to creep up on me just a little. . . But ten days in – my friend came to see me at the beach… in all my flawed and bloated glory and after a a day together, she got me to take these pictures (even though I NEVER take pics like these and feel like a prize peach doing so) but the smile on my face came from the confidence she gave me and the real life fun we had. it's not the best pic of the bunch that she took. But it's also not the most unflattering one either… it's the one that best represents what I looked like in real life, totally relaxed, the morning after a day drinking mojitos with a girlfriend …This is actually what I looked like on the beach everyday. not an 'ab' in sight but ridiculously happy and having the time of my life. It was Later that same day, James proposed… . . Abs and body confidence are great but percent my happiness on holiday had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with them. #realife #human #happy
A post shared by Nikki Rees (@activelyrees) on Jun 18, 2017 at 1:56pm PDT
“I don’t workout out of guilt – I work out to be GUILT FREE.
“Healthy bodies start with healthy minds.
“So balance the food books like the intelligent rational human being your are, eat what you love every now and then and what you NEED more often than not.
“And on those days when it all goes horribly wrong… as it inevitably will… just remove your face from the tub of butter.
I hope I always believe in miracles … ✨second chances and happily ever after. . . ✨after all….i have my Happy ever after with a man and a family I adore… . ✨I have my missy moo (the baby I was told I would never have) as my daily reminder that miracles DO actually happen . .and now …. ✨I get a second chance to be a WIFE … ☺️ . . #happyeverafter #luckygirl #engaged #proposal #sunset #fiance #wearegettingmarried #florida #thebeachhouse #annamariaisland #bridetobe . . Pic: by @eliannealexander
A post shared by Nikki Rees (@activelyrees) on Jun 10, 2017 at 3:34pm PDT
“Replace the lid and continue on exactly as you were.. motivated, goal orientated and #healthyAF.”
Rees is right; too often our relationships with food are more to do with shame and an ‘all or nothing’ attitude instead of the knowledge that we can always bounce back.
Which has struck a chord with many of her followers.
“This post is just what I needed today @activelyrees thank you,” wrote one.
Hi lovelies I'm being super busy today trying to actually get a video up on my YouTube (Actively Rees) all about those skincare products I've been using (totally unsponsored fyi) you've all been so sweet saying you think my skin is looking great! (see my IG stories of none of this makes any sense to you lol) … lots of you asked for all the details on the recommendations I got so I thought I would get it all up in a nice short (I promise) video with all the links to the products. So it's super easy for you to check it out yourself… the best bit is the one item I now couldn't live without is only £8!!! So it doesn't break the bank either … anyway keep an eye on IG stories and I'll let you know when the video is live or you can subscribe and you'll be notified as soon as it's ready.. also …….. for all of you asking about this cold shoulder top I'm wearing on stories today… it's another amazing @forever21 find and I think it was about £13 again… I really do love a bargain hahahah (p.s jeans are old but from @zara ) xxxx . . Hope you're all having a great day xxx EDIT: skincare video is NOW LIVE .. link in bio ❤️ . . #ootd#beautyblogger #stylediaries #wiwt #styleinspo #youtube #vlogger #beautyvlogger #beautytips #bargainshopper #affordablefashion #mumlife #makeup #skincare #antiaging #finelinesandwrinkles #goodskin #activelyBEAUTY #activelySTYLE
A post shared by Nikki Rees (@activelyrees) on May 18, 2017 at 4:54am PDT
While another said: “It made me smile and inspired me to continue my fitness, amazing.”
And one commenter summed it all up nicely:
“You are such a inspiration,” they said.
“We all need to start thinking of everything as a journey vs an end point, acceptance vs a goal weight, love vs hate.
“Then maybe when we fix the headspace and hearts the body will follow.”
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