It’s a journey not a race…end of the challenge update

Here’s some 8 week progress photos, taken 27th May:

And my Mind and body challenge actually ended on June 3rd, and I forgot to take photos! So I have a couple from this morning:

I’ve noticed a slight improvement in my glutes too! I seem to be struggling to get into size 10 jeans now more than I did before, so think I’m getting thicker rather than thinner!

My bloating still gets me down – this morning I was a bit bloated still – I was flexing in the pic on the left! And by lunchtime there’s no hope in my body looking like that again for the rest of the day.

What I’ve been trying to remind myself of recently is that amazing changes don’t happen overnight. I always cringe when I see the words ‘fitness journey’, but in reality, it’s a journey. There’s no way around it. To build something really strong, emotionally and physically, takes years! So although I feel down sometimes I have to remember that this isn’t a race, and my mental health is just as important as – if not more important than – my physical health. Too often recently I’ve been caught up in the negative self talk towards myself, and have to catch myself. Right now i’m at the stage where I stop saying anything negative, but struggle to convincingly say anything positive. So I’m working on it!

Slow and steady. I’ll keep you updated!

Reverse dieting – one week in

Tomorrow is day 7 so I’ll have reached the one week mark for this whole clean eating malarky! Only 7 more weeks to go…heh…heh… 

For those who are following me on Snapchat/Insta, you may have guessed that my diet/gym regime has had a bit of an uphaul recently.

I mean, I was on my own little mission anyway (See my mind, body, soul 80 day challenge), but also decided to enlist the guidance of online personal trainer, Lukas Duncan, to give me a bit of a kick up the butt diet-wise, to get myself body confident for summer.

My problem is, although I’m pretty clued up about nutrition, I also am a big believer in ‘treat yo-self’ and have always rolled my eyes when people won’t eat something nutritionally good for them when they’re hungry, because ‘it doesn’t fit their macros.’

Now I’m one of those people! I’m meal prepping (which I did a bit before anyway but never to this scale) and weighing everything I eat down to the last gram. I figured I would give it a go for 8 weeks. But this is seriously ‘clean’ eating.

And although I’m on a ‘diet’, which I consider to be pretty restrictive in the sense of measuring macros and strict eating times/portions, I’m not hungry. I’m actually eating more than I have for ages – I’m up 300 calories a day, and most days I can’t even use up all my calories.

Here’s what a general day looks like:

Day 1: was pretty easy. I was motivated. I was doing this. Gym in the afternoon.

Day 2: was a little more annoying, purely because I felt like I’d spent the majority of my afternoon meal prepping and was not happy about this. Also felt like I needed a wee nap in the afternoon.

Day 3: could not wake up. Just couldn’t. I tried to have a black coffee but I HATE black coffee so took two sips and didn’t bother with the rest. Almost threw my Tupperware pot against the wall at work. Didn’t feel able to work until about 12.30pm. Went to the gym that night. Passed out in bed.

Day 4: seriously tired and slight headache all day. Although not as tired as day 3. BUT as I was eating my 3rd bit of dried chicken and broccoli that day I did want to cry and run to get some chocolate. Possibly the most down I’ve felt the entire process so far. Went to bed for 8pm. Good night sleep.

Day 5: woke up naturally at 6.30am and stayed awake all day. No usual ‘slump’ around 2/3pm that I usually get. Also not craving sugar as much. Lots of energy in the evenings after work – cleaned the whole house before going to the gym in the evening. Meal prepping does have it’s perks when it means you rarely have to cook dinner as it’s already done – free’s up some evening time. Oh, and had a bit of a peanut butter binge in the evening before bed.

Day 6, today: Despite not sleeping that great, I woke up again at 6.30am and stayed awake all day, no brain fog. Even motivated enough to write a blog post! Muscle aches almost everywhere on my body, but I have a rest day this evening before arms tomorrow.

If one thing is clear, is that cutting out refined sugars/carbs/gluten/dairy has done wonders for my gut already. That’s what’s keeping me motivated – the fact that I haven’t gone this long without being bloated/uncomfortable since…I can’t even remember.

Also thinking about it, I do feel considerably less anxious and more ‘on top’ of things. But that may fade the longer I go without chocolate!

Watch this space! No doubt I’ll post a progress photo soon and reassure myself that I can do this!! for 7 more weeks (and 1 day)!

90 days of (super duper) mind, body and me

A couple of summers ago, I decided I needed a bit of a lifestyle change. I decided that instead of trying to mindlessly follow some new diet or ‘fad’, I would learn all I could about what it meant to be healthy, and make as much a physical change I could, in 80 days. I didn’t look at the scales. I would only measure my progress by photos, and by my attitude towards myself (levels of self love). This led to a really positive change in my attitude towards life and what it meant to be healthy. Rather than restricting myself and then feeling temped with all the things I couldn’t do or eat, I’d look at all food I COULD eat and get excited about the idea of how healthy and good for me it was. Instead of seeing treats as a bad thing, I stuck to about an 80%/20% rule, and just decided that for the most part, I didn’t want to eat unhealthily anymore, and that a healthy change needed to come from self love and self respect, not from self hate.

Namaste

As motivation and inspiration (or life) has it’s ups and downs, sometimes it’s impossible to stick to such a positive mentality for a super long period of time (especially with anxiety or any other mental health problems you may be facing). Since that summer, I have pretty much stuck to my 80% 20% rule of good vs ‘bad’ food, and worked out on and off – sometimes for 4 days a week for a few weeks at a time, and then go through phases of maybe one workout once or twice a month.

But I am a personal growth junkie. I like to think I’m quite healthy now, and I’ve been making improvements with becoming more mindful and trying to reduce my day-to-day anxiety.

After some thought over the past couple of days, I’ve decided that since the first one worked so well, I’ll do a similar challenge to before – a 90 day mind, body and soul challenge. So instead of just looking to improve my body image (that will just be a great added bonus) I want to become aware of my mind and the noise it creates, and become skilled in how I manage myself. I want to feel myself grow within myself – to become more mindful, effectively manage my anxiety, and develop skills to become more self-disciplined.

Some ways I’ll do this, are:

  • Exercise 4 days a week. I find exercise, especially weight training, really helps me relieve stress. Because I work at a desk for the most part of my day, I hold a lot of tension in my hips and shoulders.
  • Yoga.
  • Reading – reading about mindfulness, emotions, and just reading for pleasure
  • Creativity – prioritising painting, writing and reading over technology (and sticking with it even though I may feel impatient with myself for ‘not being creative enough’)
  • Tech-tox …spending little to no time online apart from at work and to write my blog (and the occasional Instagram post (follow me if you like! I use Insta mainly for watching other yogi’s flows or workouts for inspiration and posting about health/fitness/mindfulness)
  • Slowly move towards a largely plant based diet and experiment with more plant based foods and recipes ( I always suffer with bloating which really impacts my self confidence and makes me look about 4 months pregnant, so it will be nice to see the difference I feel by learning more about and sorting out my nutrition!)
  • Meditation

90 days from now is the 3rd June. I’m excited to track my progress – physically and mentally!

Has anyone else done anything similar to this? What do you do to unwind and focus on your well being?

Thanks for reading, till next time….xxxx