How I made fitness a way of life - Women's running

How I made fitness my way of life

Author: Women's Running Magazine

Read Time:   |  July 22, 2016

How I made fitness my way of life

Lydia McCall: How I made fitness my way of life

Lydia McCall is a holistic health coach who is on a mission to help you ditch the diet mentality for good and ‘live a life of balance’. She can be found tweeting @lydia_mccall_  and Instagramming at  @lydia_mccall 

No day is the same. That is why I love what I do A typical day mostly consists of seeing clients, replying to emails, working on upcoming projects and writing blog posts for my website. I make sure I do some form of exercise during my day. My workouts vary from running, strength training or attending a yoga class with a friend. Whatever my body feels like doing that day, that is what I will do.

I became a holistic health coach due to my own health struggles when I was a teenager I had a terrible relationship with food and my body. Falling into the trap of yoyo dieting. I had had enough of living that way so I decided to ditch the dieting mentality for good and find a new way of living where food didn’t control me. My journey back to a healthy way of living led me to study at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition as I wanted to use my past experiences and knowledge to help other women struggling with similar issues.


I believe that we should always be setting goals for ourselves so we are constantly striving to achieve something and growing as a person. My personal goals for health and fitness are to keep experimenting with new ingredients so I can expand my cooking repertoire and I would love to do a Tough Mudder. I think it would be such a challenge both mentally and physically. It would definitely push me out of my comfort zone. For my business I want to continue working with amazing women to help them achieve their goals as well as start running workshops around London, focused on specific health topics, wether it be on sugar, emotional eating, healthy snacks. There are so many topics I want to cover so watch this space.

I remind myself how awful I felt when I was much heavier and on an unhealthy path This motivates me to keep making healthy choices. Exercise and eating healthy makes me feel energetic but more importantly it gives me confidence and boosst my self esteem. Both of which I struggled terribly with during my teenage years. The way we treat ourselves is all down to the way we feel about ourselves. If you keep making healthy choices you will feel better about yourself and this will keep you moving forward.

I would advise readers who want to change their negative relationship with food to look within To ask themselves a few questions. What are you actually hungry for? Do you reach for food to fill a void in yourself? Do you suffer from emotional eating? What bad habits have you created that are holding you back?

When you know what you use food for you can then come up  with a plan of action This is what I work on with my clients. One thing you can start doing is becoming more mindful when you eat. Simply sit down for your meal with no distractions. That means no TV, phone or laptop. Simply be with your food. Take three deep breathes so your awareness comes back to the present moment and eat slowly and un interrupted. This exercise will help you reconnect with your body and your own hunger signals.

It is so important to eat healthily if you are a runner It is crucial that you are fuelling your body properly if you are undertaking such high impact workouts. If you are not supplying your body with the right amount of fuel and giving your body enough adequate rest, your body can become stressed out resulting in hormonal imbalances, among other things. Runners on the whole tend to have a better relationship with food because they know that to achieve the results that they are aiming for in terms of their fitness, they need to eat right.

I love to run. It is more of a mental thing for me It helps me de stress and get those endorphins flowing which makes me feel amazing, confident and full of energy. I started running to help me shift the weight I needed to lose. I am more in favour of short runs where I throw in some intervals and hill work to keep my body guessing. I have always been sporty. With sports I love the team work that comes with it. Working together to achieve something. To be apart of something that is bigger than yourself is a great feeling.

I completed my first 10K run last December for a charity santa fun run Running that far in a santa outfit came with a few wardrobe malfunctions but I crossed the finishing line, white beard still intact. That was a huge achievement for me and knowing it was for a good cause made the experience even better.

One of my fitness goals is to practise more yoga I tend to favour more high impact workouts so I am trying to create more balance in my workout routine and focus on flexibility, stretching and working on strengthening my mind body connection, which is so important when you are trying to achieve optimal health.


When I workout out I wear a pair of Sweaty Betty capris Then there’s my Shock Absorber sport bra which offers amazing support for bigger chests, a tank top and my Nike trainers. In terms of gadgets I love Gym Boss, which is a great interval timer you can download on your phone for free.

I love to refuel my body properly after exercising to keep my metabolism running high My go-to post workout treat is a sliced banana with some almond butter on top. So simple but supplies my body with a dose of protein and healthy fats from the almond butter and complex carbohydrate from the banana, to replace glycogen levels. Along with a dose of potassium, which tend to fall after a sweaty workout.

My sporting heroine has got to be Davina McCall After I watched Davina’s documentary ‘Beyond breaking point,’ where she ran, swam and cycled from Edinburgh to London for Sports Relief, I have a huge respect for her. She came across many challenges and was able to break through them and keep going, while still finding the energy to communicate with the spectators and talk to the camera, so the viewers could be with her every step of the way. I have to admit I was a bit emotional when she crossed the finishing line. It was such an amazing achievement.

The thing I love about running is that I don’t have to think You can just forget about everything and let your stress and worry melt away. All you have to focus on is putting one foot in front of the other. I always listen to a great playlist to keep me going. The beat from the music along with my beating heart makes me feel so alive.

Don’t compare yourself to others and what they are doing, this will only discourage you So what if the person next to you can run faster than you or that they can fit into a smaller dress size than you? You are on your own journey. All you can do is your best with the body you have today. Just keep making the next healthiest decision for you and your body. Being fit and healthy is not a destination but a way of life.

You can subscribe to Lydia’s mailing list here to receive six top tips to fight your sugar cravings effectively.

Want to be featured on our Inspiration pages? Email us at [email protected] or talk to us in the comment thread below – we will do our best to get back to you soon. Follow us on twitter via @womensrunninguk

Women's Running Magazine

NMA’s 2020 Lifestyle Magazine of the Year, Women’s Running provides expert advice on gear and training, motivation from your favourite runners and the latest running news.

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