I have been feeling a little ‘bleugh’ lately; it sometimes happens, after the beautiful summer off and then the kids being back at school, the initial excitement of getting back in to health and fitness routine wearing off. The chocolate buttons and comfort eating reappeared as the afternoons became shorter and the evenings longer, my hibernation mode kick starting a ‘fatten up’ mentality.
But it is only 2 months (less now) until Christmas and the festive season and firstly, I want to look and feel good, but I also know I need bags of energy to be sociable and entertain, not this current feeling of wanting to lie on the sofa in front of a box set by 7pm.
So I had a little word with myself and wrote myself a plan for the next few weeks to get me into December feeling full of vitality and ready to swing from the rafters! I thought I would share it with you as just after one week, I am feeling so much lighter, brighter and happier..
It is called the MORE plan: more Movement, more Optimism, more Rest, more Eating! It is a plan based on positive steps rather than many plans for health and weight-loss which focus on removal, deprivation or cutting out. I find being positive, that makes me happier too and if we feel happier, we are more likely to continue doing something…
I personally feel so much better when I move, exercise and sweat more! I have a pretty set routine during the week when it comes to exercise as I know I feel better when I do it, I am better for my family and my clients and therefore my diary works around my exercise. For the purpose of the next few weeks, rather than fitting more exercise or movement in an already busy period I know I need to get MORE out of my exercise sessions; this means increasing my intensity, increasing my heart rate and MORE focus and get much MORE sweaty!
Quick tips :
- diarise and prioritise your exercise FIRST
- move your body in a way that you enjoy, you are more likely to do it! ie. dance, walk, gardening, yoga, running, trampolining… anything to work up a sweat.
- it is the intensity of your training that matters, not the duration; 20-30 minutes of moving your body in a way that you love to get a sweat on, is better than an hour at pretending in the gym.
Feeling good about myself, my health, my fitness and my body weight all stems from how good I am feeling mentally and emotionally. If I feel ‘bleugh’, I recognise that the negative thoughts in my head only magnify that feeling. My self esteem plummets and I start to feel worse, want to hide, do less and eat more chocolate buttons … and the self hate cycle starts. For the purpose of these few weeks, there is only self love going on in my mind!
Quick tips :
- compliment yourself in the mirror as if greeting a friend – ‘you look gorgeous today – check out your legs in those skinny jeans / you should wear that colour more often – check out your eyes!’
- Find 5 positives about your reflection and walk away before any self criticism begins.
- Wear clothes you feel great in! Baggy jumpers and jeans will make you feel worse, and so will your ‘skinny’ clothes – so find something that you always feel great in to wear. Red is often a good colour here… positive and proud!
More Resting (and sleeping)
Stress and feeling overtired only intensify any feelings of ‘bleugh’ or low self-esteem; they also don’t help with weightloss by increasing our cortisol and adrenaline. I know I need a good 8 hours of sleep to feel rested, so that means getting to bed earlier than the summer or half term holidays as the alarm is back on for shortly after 6am. I also recognise my stress triggers – too much screen time, too much procrastinating, taking on too much, not saying no and sadly… some people or environments! So personally, I am focussing on being selfish; getting clear on what is important to me in work and with the family, and doing just that and only that. I also know daily focussed mindfulness for 10 minutes in the morning works like magic for my attitude and sense of calm.
Quick tips :
- give yourself permission to say no! Remember in December, most of us have to be superhuman and make it about everyone else, this month, is your time.
- give yourself permission to take some time for you every day, at least 30 minutes of quiet time, in whatever form works for you; meditation, mindfulness, a walk, a lie down on the sofa… Building up your energy reserves this month is crucial so allow yourself some time to do so guilt free.
It is a confusing time out there with a plethora and myriad of different diets and cookery books telling you how to eat and what to eat (or not to eat) to make you feel good and lose weight. In the simplest terms, you just need to eat fresh; fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meat, fish or protein sources and drink lots of clear liquids (non alcoholic!) and herbal teas. By doing this, you get a balanced whole food diet that will give you all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals you need to support a healthy body and immune system as well as give you all the energy and clear mind you want! Cutting out or down on processed foods, sugar, soda, caffeine will promote good digestion which not only helps your energy levels but also will support fat loss. I used to think losing weight and feeling good was all about fasting and not eating; I have found through experience that by eating more of fresh food, drinking more water, I feel full but not bloated and less likely to be vulnerable to temptation or over eat and feel terrible afterwards.
Quick tips :
- download Amelia Freer’s positive food pyramid to ensure you are eating all the right proportions and portions of food and drink in a day: click here to download Positive Food Pyramid
- get in touch for a free health consultation or book in for a Drop in Health Check where we can work up your own personal plan to achieve your health and happiness goals for the end of this year and start 2019 feeling fantastic! Contact me here: Click here to contact Ali
I have found this is a really simple and easy way to reset and feel so much better than I did a week ago. If you feel good after just making progress in each of these 4 areas, you will find this a really useful ‘reset’ plan whenever you need to feel good, happy and healthy again.
I would love to hear your thoughts and any feedback after you have tried the ‘MORE’ plan!