No, it’s not me drinking some more tasty (but yes unhealthy) strawberry milk, it’s me getting ready to talk about weight, chubbiness, being out of breath too often and just a little bit disappointed in myself.
I didn’t make any big promises to myself when it comes to health and fitness in 2016… I’ve not said I’m going to lose a dress size (then go up two), I’ve had no solid intentions to be healthier, lose weight or just be more active, but I have got a little too fat (for my own comfort).
I think this is a good place to initiate change from, to be quite honest. Instead of starting a health and fitness journey from a place of self-loathing and embarrassment, today I’m holding my hands up to the fact that I’ve eaten too much over the last three months, I’ve not been very active and all because of science, all my clothes are now pretty tight.
In the past, I’ve had to drop everything when I decide that I’m unhappy with my body. I never seemed to be able to focus on changing my diet or fitting in exercise without feeling completely overwhelmed and like it had to take over my whole life to be effective. This time around, however, I’m not going to let it control me or let other parts of my life suffer.
You might have guessed that I’m not one to throw myself into a tough gym routine or a restrictive diet (or one that triggers a bit of a perfection obsession, i.e. calorie counting) and I’m thankful that I know myself that well by now.
That’s not to say that I don’t have a plan, though… oh look, now you’re interested, you best keep reading…
Getting The Balance Back
Super-Regular Moderate Exercise
I know they say that if you want to lose weight it’s all about the food, but like many, I find that being active encourages me to make healthier choices (and firms my butt up a little bit). As I’m writing this I’m a few days into my 30 Days of Yoga challenge, which I’ve done before in part.
The idea is to complete a yoga session every day this month, which not only tones my arms up a ridiculous amount but gives me a great pause in the day for my mind. Then at the end of this month, I’ll decide what exercise I’ll be tackling for February (it will probably be yoga again, but a bit harder yoga). For now, I don’t have to think about choosing
For now, I don’t have to think about choosing and it will soon become part of my daily habits, i.e. it’s not taking over my life and I don’t have to overthink it every day!
3 Square Meals A Day
The downfall of last year was my incessant snacking and eating biscuits for breakfast (yes, I’m one-hundred-percent serious). Now I’ve realised that a body can’t thrive on Walkers Chicken & Thyme Sensations and sugary tea, going back to basics and eating a balanced and regular breakfast, lunch and dinner is the plan.
This has thrown up the importance of eating at the right times too. Just last week I was dragged out onto a walk knowing that if I didn’t have lunch within half and hour things would turn sour… and hour and a half later I stumbled in the front door and felt as if I couldn’t take another step. If that wasn’t an exhausting lesson to learn, then I don’t know what is!
A Base of Veg
This follows on from my three square meals quite well, and that it constructing a meal on the veg being the base. For me, this is about thinking about veg first. What veg do we have for dinner? What could I do to make the veg more interesting and more involved in the meal? What goes with the veg that I fancy?
By doing this I’m not letting essential vitamins and minerals become an afterthought, which has always been the case in the past. It’ll also help me skyrocket my intake and probably feel a lot more alive.
Okay, they’re easy peasy when you’re on board with them, but I can imagine that a few days this month, sparkling water isn’t going to fill the gap of a big glass of Coke. Ultimately, this is really about not letting myself feel deprived of things that comfort my soul, but also not letting myself feel guilty over letting myself use food as a comfort blanket (kinda confusing, right?).
Instead of fulfilling my constant craving for crisps, I’ll have some popcorn. Instead of having a few cans of fizzy, I’ll grab some sparkling water. Instead of indulging in a bar of chocolate, I’ll have a smaller amount of darker and richer chocolate. Instead of going for white sliced bread, I’ll opt for a dark rye sourdough. You get the idea (also, potential for a future blog post? I think so).
Limiting Mirror Time
Maybe this one sounds a little mad but stick with me. When you’re forming new healthy habits with the aim of changing your body and the way you look, it’s so easy to get sucked into the everyday check. I think assessing your body in a mirror every day is a lot like weighing yourself every day, a fast route to feeling obsessed about change.
To combat this obsession with seeing if my bum if any perkier, or my waist any more defined (an obsession which I am already susceptible to), I’m not going to tease myself with needing to look in mirrors for too long. Yes, I’ll check my face and hair and do my make-up, but not much more, at least for the next month. This very neatly leads me onto…
Having Go-To Outfits
Because I’m not going to want to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror getting dressed, I’ll be sticking to a (probably) boring uniform for a while. Not that this is any different from my current clothing situation.
Having clothes that I know fit, go well together and look okay for a mix of occasions is going to ease the whole disastrous-decline-in-body-confidence-when-something-doesn’t-fit saga. Also, wearing the same clothes is going to help me track non-weight changes, like belts being looser, clothes fitting better and the like.
Although this musing on myself won’t become a very regular series here on BKY, I will update as a see fit, mostly on things like my exercise progress, whether my skin clears up a bit and whether that sparkling water does fill the Coke-shaped void in my heart (every Christmas brings a new love for the stuff).
Enough about me! I’d love to hear if you also went a little mad over the festive season… are you planning to get into shape this year? Or are you already a tried and tested gym bunny who can give me some get-fit tips? Either or, comment down below!
Wishing you a Ryvita-and-yoga heavy week,