My health and fitness journey with Bethany Suddens
I’m a 27-year-old Marketing Executive who’s always on the go and I NEED health and fitness in my life to keep me sane! I’m currently studying part time to become a real estate salesperson which will be a massive career change but an exciting one. I love burpees (crazy I know) and I also love to sing. I LOVE food.
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1. What was it that got you to start your health and fitness journey ?
I actually started my health and fitness journey when I was about 15 and wanted to lose some weight. We got a treadmill at home and I just started running every day and got really good at it, won some competitions etc.
BUT unfortunately my motivation wasn’t coming from a very good place and my main goal was to be as skinny as possible. I’d run 8-10km a day on very little food and would constantly have very little energy. Obviously this was impossible to keep up long term so I found my weight would fluctuate dramatically.
I also just loved food (always have) but had the mentality of thinking ‘food is bad’, which led me to developing bulimia. I struggled with bulimia probably for about 3-4 years. Also, all the running led to me developing repetitive strain injury on my hip which meant that every time I run more than about 3km, my hip gets really sore, even to this day.
2. What have you loved about it so far, what have been the highs for you?
It has been one hell of a ride with many ups and downs! I had a massive breakthrough with my health and fitness probably when I was about 19 years old. I’d stopped running as much due to my injury and was heavier than I wanted to be. In an effort to get rid of the bulimia I’d decided to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and was drinking on a regular basis.
It was around this time I discovered functional fitness and weight training, something I’d always thought would make me bulky, but this was so far from the truth it’s not even funny. Functional training uses body weight or light weights and cardio to challenge the body in ways I’d never experienced. My first taste of it and I was hooked. Within a few months I was in the best shape of my life!
It was around this time I also started training with Renee at PWR Fit, who helped me learn how to use weights and helped me get confident with strength training. She had just embarked on her own exciting fitness journey and career in the industry, and she taught me a lot about balanced eating. We used each other to start holding each other accountable for our daily food choices. We would literally text each other everything we had eaten each day!
The best part is, no matter how much I trained with weights or did burpees or push ups, my hip never got sore. I knew I had discovered the type of training that’s right for my body.
3. And what about the lows?
Definitely the bulimia part… I haven’t told many people about it but it was a battle for years, until I shifted my mindset around food. I had to stop viewing it as ‘the problem’ and instead started seeing it as ‘the solution’ - a source of enjoyment and a way to nourish and heal my body through good quality, nutritious food. This mindset shift really helped me heal from the eating disorder, and I became obsessed with health and wellbeing.
4. How do you make the time to exercise?
For me, it’s not optional, it’s necessary for me to feel ‘normal’.
My energy changes day-by-day, so I have different workouts that I love and I select a workout that matches my energy for that day.
For example, on a day where my energy is low, I’ll do yoga or a light cardio dance workout in my lounge to some fun music that makes me feel good and still gets my heart rate up, but which doesn’t push me too hard.
On days where I’m full of energy I’ll put on some badass music and hit the gym and lift as heavy as I possibly can to a PWR Fit workout, or do burpees for a minute straight.
This variety and listening to my body helps me stay consistent with exercise because I don’t dread it.
I’ve also found the time of the day that best works for me to exercise. I hate being at the gym first thing in the morning or too late at night, so I get my workout done at lunch time. I highly recommend finding the time of day when you most enjoy exercise and do it at that time every day.
5. What is your go to brekkie?
OMG definitely oats, every day! With collagen, protein powder, banana or apple and blueberries. YUM!
6. What is your go to healthy snacks to fix that afternoon snack attack?
I love having a fresh crunchy green apple from the fridge so it’s nice and cold!
7. As we know all food is food, but in context so our readers understand, what is your favourite “treat” food?
Burgerfuel. Every time! Or cheese… I love cheese!
Italian.. Mexican… I could go on forever.
A delicious platter with friends!
Beth's homemade nutritious fish and chips!
8. On the weekend what is your favourite active activity to spend some time doing?
I love going for bush walks or beach walks with my partner or with my friends. It’s a nice time to chill together and catch up/reconnect while also getting some fresh air and exercise. House work is another one… does that count??
9. Do you prefer a podcast or music when you workout ?
Definitely music! I am a big fan of podcasts but I’m often focused on pushing my body while working out so I can’t concentrate that well on podcasts. Music also helps me get amped up for the workout!
10. If you could give our readers some advice from your own personal experience during your health and fitness journey so far what would it be?
Honestly don’t sweat the small stuff.
Food is one of the wonders of our world and was made to be enjoyed, so enjoy it! Don’t let it rule your life. Make sure you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables to nourish your body, but don’t beat yourself up for having treats as well.
Experiment and find the style of working out that feels right for your body. Find the time of day you most enjoy working out and then commit to lifelong training.
I also highly recommend finding an accountability partner, someone who will go through the process with you and hold you accountable to your goals. Renee at PWR Fit has always been this for me :)
Remember it’s a lifelong commitment, so learn to enjoy the process.