This time a year and a half ago I was the fittest and healthiest I’d
ever felt. I was eating really well, training super hard, and taking really
good care of my body, leaving me looking toned and feeling pretty damn great
too. After a lot of hard work and determination I’d finally lost the weight I
piled on by eating daily ready meals and consuming too many Jåger Bombs at uni,
and it’s definitely the happiest I’ve ever felt about my body.
Now, well I guess you could say I’ve fallen off the bandwagon. The
past year has been a pretty stressful one and, despite continuing to work out
most days, the majority of it has been spent sat at a desk, slaving away and
studying. After I completed my masters my mum whisked me away on an all-inclusive
holiday to Greece (no Greek salad for me, it was carbs and cake galore) and then
I was interning in London, where my meals consisted off pre-packaged salads,
cheesey paninis and a shitload of chocolate brownies.
It’s safe to say I wasn’t looking or feeling my best. In fact, I was starting to feel really self conscious and it was a squeeze to get into some of the clothes I’d bought when I was at my healthiest, which left me feeling even more down. I knew something had to change.
Four weeks later and after a lot of self-discipline
(albeit having the odd treat here and there) I’m finally getting back to
feeling great. I’ve still got a long way to go – which is likely to take a
while now the festive season is kicking in – but for those of you who are
feeling sluggish and unhealthy too, this is how I’m doing it…
1. Set a date to cut the crappy foods – and stick to it!
I go through phases, even though most of the time I look after my body really well. I work out five times a week (not
just in an attempt to look good but as it really helps me to relieve stress and
gain perspective) and I try my hardest to nourish my body with lots of fruit,
veggies and water. But whenever I have an event or occasion which buggers up
foodie plans, my healthy eating regime flies off the handle and it can take me
weeks to get back into it.
Pick a day for your healthy regime to start and stick to it. This
can be the start of a week (I usually choose a Monday as Sundays are for cake
and roast dinners after all), or even the start of the month, and from there
vow to make healthier choices. Stock up on greens, fresh fruit and healthy
snacks when you do your weekly food shop. Avoid the sweetie aisle and
definitely keep the wine to a minimum.
Admittedly, it’s pretty hard at first to quit the crappy foods cold
turkey. Your body will ache for some deliciously gooey chocolate cake, your
taste buds tingling at the thought. But after a few days those cravings will
pass, and you’ll be lusting after your healthy treats instead! Then just keep it up – keep making those healthy choices, and if you
do want a little treat every now and again, who’s to say no? I really love EmTalks’ advice on this one – the 80:20 rule. It’s about keeping it all in
moderation, of course.
2. Mix up your workouts
Personally, I find that the best way for me to stay in shape is to
run. That, and to do light weight work which keeps my muscles toned and my
bingo wings at bay. But I’ll let you in on a little secret, I find running so boring. Even more so when the cold
and wet of winter kicks in and you’re 5k run along the sea front is replaced by
the tedious thud of the treadmill. I usually tend to go to circuits classes,
which involve lots of running and cardio, to keep me in shape. Though I have
been running a timed 5k in my Sunday gym sessions for the past few weeks – a
run that I’m actually enjoying!
3. Have something to aim for (aka. #fitnessgoals)
Last year I took on Cardiff’s Survival of the Fittest. A grueling
13k run with muddy obstacles consisting of rivers, tunnels and even a white
water rapid to contend with. In honestly, it was hell. But the feeling on completion was so amazing and I was
itching to do another competitive fitness challenge this year (just with a
little less mud!). I’m so gutted that I didn’t get round to completing one, but
I am determined to run a 10k or a half marathon in 2017. Having something to
aim for gets me so motivated – and gives me an excuse to get off my ass to
work! This can even be something as looking hot in a new dress I’ve bought.
That’s my motivation for the rest of 2016 anyway!
4. Get lots of beauty sleep
Now, this is a fitness tip I can definitely get to grips with.
Sleeping is the best and so important
if you’re upping your fitness regime. During the festive season I know I’m
going to be burning the candle at both ends – attending Christmas parties that
go on late into the evening with guaranteed early starts the next day – so I’m
determined to get as much sleep as I can now so that I’m in tip top condition
for all the festivities!
5. Planning and preparation is key
I am one of the biggest control freaks you’ll meet. There’s a time
for everything – even eating – and one of the best ways for me to stick to a
healthy plan is by being organised. If I have a week which throws me off
course, I find it so hard to get back into it all, so prepping ahead and
deciding what I’m going to eat and when I’m going to work out is a huge help. I
write it all out in my diary at the start of the week (not down to every single
meal, but always when I’m going to work out) and then I stick to it.
Honestly, these tips are ones that anyone can get on board with.
Getting out and exercising more; nourishing your body with lots of good food
and plenty of sleep; working towards a goal, no matter how big or small; and
planning ahead to keep you organised. Small changes that I’m definitely going
to keep up with!
are your fave fitness tips?
Lots of love. xoxo