In early 2017, I could not get out of bed. January has just begun, and I no longer kept the New Year’s promise to go to the gym again because of the severe flu. I had to ask friends to look after the children. When they arrived, I made my way to the front door crawling. One glance at my pitiful figure clinging to the battery in the hallway was enough for them to gently rebuke me and advise me to better monitor my health.

I didn’t lead a completely harmful lifestyle, but I never really thought about health. By nature, I’m pretty lazy and love to eat. And until 40 years old, health was maintained on its own. From time to time I went to the gym, monitored my weight and completely dispensed with a smoothie with spirulina and a discount card for health food stores. It never crossed my mind that one day such an approach would stop working.

After a difficult chemotherapy course in 2015, I gained extra weight, and only one name remained from my immune system. Influenza was the last straw. It was time to take drastic measures. I needed help. I found a small company, Detox-Fit, which provides the services of a personal trainer and nutrition specialist. Only they offer not just healthy food, but only veganism.

healthy lifestyle: giving up meat

Previously, I did not think about the attitude towards animals. She loved to eat meat, and considered veganism an empty chatter. Then I asked myself: can I eat right without becoming a vegan? Why not just listen to your body? For most, this is a reasonable decision, but not for me. My body regularly requires two Mars bars and a chocolate bar for breakfast.

The owners of Detox-Fit looked like a model of physical ideal, and I decided on a three-month experiment with a personal trainer and a vegan diet. Just in case, I took part in the Challenge of Women’s Health magazine and took my picture before the test. Such challenges have always seemed to me very effective.

Nothing motivates to stay away from the refrigerator, as the anticipation of the photograph “after”.

At the end of January 2017, I began to engage with a trainer three to four times a week. Rory Lynn used to be a professional rugby player. He dispelled all my prejudices about personal trainers. Before, they always seemed to me just a symbol of lifestyle.

I was never attracted to the thought of paying someone to shout at me in the gym. Therefore, I practiced myself, doing the same exercises for almost 25 years. They were not particularly different from what most visitors to any gym do: several approaches on weight training machines, a treadmill and some kind of jerking in the air in the manner of Jane Fonda. It never crossed my mind that all this is almost a waste of time.

There was nothing like this in training with Rory. I plunged into a new unfamiliar world: a bear walk and a burp, Turkish lifts and Russian twisting, a buttock bridge on one leg and a crab gait. Something was like moving from everyday life: climbing the platform, throwing a stuffed ball on a mat, walking back and forth with a heavy load.

When Rory demonstrated these exercises, they seemed simple and even funny. But when I started to do them, after a few minutes I was already lying on the floor in attempts to catch my breath. “When will we move on to the simulators?” I asked plaintively. It turned out never.

But this was not the main surprise. Practicing almost to nausea with Rory was much easier than hanging around the gym itself. By temperament, I am usually not inclined to transfer control to others. And for me it was a complete surprise how much easier it is for me to do when everything is decided for me. The difficulty is to force yourself to come to the gym, and then not get out of there after 20 minutes. Because of this, you fight with yourself during the whole training session. But when you have a coach, you can just forget about it.

You come when the coach speaks and you do what he says. There is no need for willpower.

Other useful habits have somehow taken root imperceptibly for me. I began to get up at 5 in the morning and start the day with a 15-minute cold bath. This was advised to me by a friend who also had chemotherapy. It is believed that they improve the functioning of the immune system. The first time I screamed at the whole house. Soon I realized that I needed to get into an empty bath and gradually pour water. I would not call it a pleasant pastime, but the sensations after are comparable to taking class A drugs. Sometimes the buzz remains until lunch.

Dry brush massage also makes you feel alive. It is useful for lymphatic drainage and toxin elimination. Everything is very simple: within 10 minutes, massage the whole body with a dry brush, and after a few days you begin to glow.

Another surprise awaited me. Veganism does not complicate at all, but simplifies life. An omnivorous diet is an endless debate between your inner angel and demon. Everything you eat requires a decision. And so you need to make only one decision – do not eat animal products.