Tips for a Healthier and Happier You

Thursday, 19 January 2017

(Don't mind me, just chilling' with me peppermint tea)

Isn’t it frustrating, trying to get a fit and healthy? I absolutely hate it, especially during January.

After Christmas it’s been a struggle to lift the remote, let alone lift a barbell at the gym. 

I also hate the added pressure of January, everywhere you look there’s adverts for new gym gear, workout protein and the newest shiniest pill that claims to help you lose a stone in a week. 
Yeah right. 

It really upsets me how many products are advertised during January that are marketed as these ‘quick fixes’. There are no quick fixes with weight loss, just education and persistence. 

* * * * * 

As a gal whose relationship with food and my weight, has fluctuated more than the value of the pound these past few months, I’ve learnt a lot along the way about weight loss. 

I’ve always been a relatively active person, dancing 4 times a week from the age of 8 and often training for competitions and the like. But, when I headed off to university my weekly exercise structure just went out of the window AND yes, ‘Freshers Fifteen’ is a real thing. Before I knew it, I was THREE stone heavier than before. 

I never really noticed my weight gain, it was almost like one day it appeared and hit me like a big bag of boulders. I remembering stepping on the scales at my local gym and literally wanting to burst into tears. How was I ever going to lose that much weight? and why hadn’t nobody said anything to me? 

It was clear my coping mechanism for my anxiety and depression was to comfort eat, all the damn, wrong foods.

So I stopped, reevaluated my relationship with food and educated myself about nutrition. Here we are, a year later and two stone lighter. And, yes. I’ve got a stone to go to feel comfortable in my own body again. 

Here are a few tips that I find help me when I’m trying to become a little healthier.

Meal prep like there’s no tomorrow

Reason number 1: it keeps you on track, and reason number two: it’s super easy and saves you money. I used to prep some takeaway lunch boxes filled with all of my favourite goodies like sweet potato, sweetcorn, Quorn chicken, spinach with a little seasoning. Some people may find these horrendously boring but trust me, it works. Not only did it save me from buying lunch every day, it helped me shed a few pounds. Well, it actually helped me lose a stone. Chop up a selection of your favourite veggies and greens, add your chosen source of protein and simply add some seasoning! Pretty simple right?

Hydration is key 

This tip is pretty self explanatory. I try to aim and drink 4 glasses of water throughout the day, nothing too stressful. I slice a little bit of lemon into my water filter, and pour a glass in the morning to wake up my body in a gentle way. The lemon just adds a little flavour, as well as getting your bodily systems moving. Another great drink in the evening is Peppermint tea, I just buy the cheap version from Lidl. It’s great just before bed to soothe your digestive system. 

Exercise however YOU like

I find exercise classes are the best options for me. I work harder when there’s an instructor taking the class, and advising me what to do. A few of my favourites are Zumba, which is basically a really fun, aerobic dance class and Legs, Bums and Tums (LBT) which really targets key areas I struggle with. The class isn’t too scary, it’s mainly a class using your own bodyweight performing exercises like squats, lunges and ab crunches. A great one if you’re trying to tone up for Summer!

I really struggle with just going to the gym, I just have this constant fear that I’m being judged or watched and it makes me super uncomfortable… anyone else get this? 

Step away from the sad step, and take photos instead

This is something I’ve recently started doing because it can impact me so negatively after stepping on the scales. As Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) calls it ‘the sad step’. I’ve opted to take photos of myself, as I find this is a true representation of my weight loss. It’s easy to forget that you might have only lost 1lb, but you could have also lost 2 inches off your waist and thighs. Photos are great motivation for me, and when I’m feeling down about my image, I look at the photos and instantly feel good about how far I’ve come.

Drink your veggies

I am terrible with food. From a young age, I’ve always had my reservations about anything green. I really struggled to get the right nutrients in my body, and as a result, had a terrible immune system and was constantly ill. I’m a little better nowadays, and will try a lot more foods but I still struggle. I find making smoothies is the best way for me to make sure I get all the nutrients for my body. Just whizz a few leafy greens and fruit into a blender, add some water and voila! 

I hope these tips help a few of you out and let me know if you’d like to see some more. As I’m experimenting with more food, I’ll share the recipes that are super yummy for you all to try. Please remember to be gentle with yourself, progression takes time and results will come, just be patient. Always remember that it’s not about restoring your calories, it’s about learning which foods are best for your body. 

Thanks for reading pals!

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