January – Day 30/31

It’s my baby’s due date!!! Is he here? Is he coming? Is he late? No idea right now as I am writing this in advance – I will update if I get the chance. Waaaa!

***Update – he’s not here. Tick tock little dude, we are very impatient!***

How are you all getting on? Have you had a read every day this month? What have you put into practice and what have you cast aside? I have put this whole program together with it being about more than just the physical body but the mind and the emotional aspects of life too.

Are there things that you have found that have been or particular interest to you? Things that are working well in your daily life? I would love to hear from you and know how you are getting on.

Today, the penultimate day in this series, I’d love if you could share on social media what you have learned and tag me (HM Health & Well-being) into your posts. You’ll find me on Facebook: HM Health and Well-being or you can just copy the blog post across that you have enjoyed the most. I would be incredibly grateful.

I’d also love if you could complete a random act of kindness – when you’re out and about today. Do something randomly kind for someone, it doesn’t have to be big or expensive, just do something that you think if someone did it for you, you would really appreciate. Keep it to yourself. Don’t tell others that you have done it. Keep that golden feeling all to you and treasure it, for it is a wonderful feeling knowing you may have made another person’s day.

January – Day 29/31

Yesterday we spoke about gratitude and how showing thanks for the things you have can help improve your happiness and well-being. Today I would like to touch on affirmations.

To some this one might come across as a little bit “woo-woo” or a bit “spiritual” but I believe that talking yourself up can dramatically improve your thought process and how you feel about yourself in the long term.

It takes practice and it takes time.

What are affirmations?

Affirmations are positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. When you repeat them often, and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes.

How do you start using affirmations?

You can use positive affirmations in any situation where you would like to see positive change in your life. This could be anything from self-esteem to confidence at work, to finishing projects or overcoming bad habits. If you know there is an area of your life you negatively towards, try turning it around with the use of positive affirmations.

Picture the change you would like to see – really visualise it.

Say it out loud – repeat it to yourself a number of times until it becomes easier to say and you believe it.

Write it down – set your goal and write down your affirmation to accompany it, this can help massively in you actually achieving your desired goals.

Ideally you need to be practising your affirmations regularly, repeating them to yourself throughout the day and repeating them to yourself whenever you feel the negative thought or behaviour you want to overcome.

What is the first thing you would like to work on with positive affirmations? Get it written down, set your goal, know your affirmation and begin practising today. You can do it.

January – Day 28/31

Are you thankful for what you have? Do you show thanks on a daily basis for even the little things in your life?

Practising gratitude is a great way to shift your focus from one that’s potentially a little negative to one that’s more positive. Being thankful for little things, like just being able to have a cup of tea when you want one, for the roof over your head, for the people in your life, or that you can eat today are big things to think about. You are so much more blessed that you even realise.

Personally, I like to start my day by writing down three things I am grateful for. It was difficult at first but you soon realise that there are many blessings all around you. Once you start this practice, it gets easier and easier over time as you become more open to showing your thanks.

There’s even been some research done to show the benefits of showing gratitude which include:

  • opening the door to more relationships – showing appreciation can help with new friends and old.
  • improved physical health – people who are grateful report fewer aches and pains.
  • imported psychological health – showing gratitude reduces envy and resentment, to frustration and stress.
  • enhanced empathy and reduced aggression – people who show gratitude are more likely to behave in a more social manner, even when others are behaving in a less kind way.
  • improved sleep – grateful people sleep better. Try spending 15 minutes before bed writing down all the things you are grateful for.
  • improved self-esteem – linked with becoming less envious and resentful, showing gratitude actually helps people feel happier for others.
  • increased mental strength – showing gratitude reduces stress and helps overcome trauma; recognising all that you are thankful for, especially during the worst times in your life, fosters resilience.

From the points above you can probably gauge that it’s not just about writing things down. It’s about showing gratitude to others. Be kind. Be polite. Say thank you and express what you are actually thankful. “Thank you for your help today, I appreciate it because….”.

What are you thankful for right now. Write it down or tell someone. It feels good.

January – Day 27/31

I’ve been thinking about one of my previous posts today and it was the one on selfcare, specifically the really important, uncomfortable, hard to deal with selfcare; MONEY.

In our Instagram world of perfection where the highlight reel shows our happy faces smiling whilst enjoying meals out, a holiday somewhere exotic, new clothes or shoes, a new car we’ve ordered or whatever, what is doesn’t show is how said events or items are being paid for…

Just because someone has or does certain things does not mean they can actually afford those things. They may be in crippling debt which is slowly suffocating them in silence. Maybe you know what I’m talking about.

Night out that you couldn’t afford so used the credit card? Wanting to give your kids everything for Christmas so exhausted all the credit options you could get? Car on finance that you have no idea how you’re going to cover the monthly payments? Plenty of people do it.

The question is

WHO ARE YOU DOING IT FOR???

In the brutal light of day when you’re dreading opening your banking app or the latest red letter from your credit supplier, or you’re struggling to pay for daily necessities after making minimum payments on shit you’ve bought on tick which doesn’t even make a dint in the amount owed. What have you actually achieved?

You look good amongst friends or followers?

You look like you have your shit together?

You feel accepted?

Or do you feel exhausted by the stress and anxiety of owing out money left, right and centre for SHIT YOU DON’T NEED!?

That right. Shit you DON’T need.

Instead of getting caught up in the “look-how-amazing-my-life-is” bull crap. Stop. Look at your true reality. It’s time to change. It’s time to put your real needs first and start sorting out your finances which, as hard as it is, will definitely help improve your outlook in the long run.

January – Day 26/31

A little Sunday challenge for you today.

Take at least 5 minutes to just switch off. To do NOTHING. I mean it, nothing.

Have 5 minutes where you sit and do zero, leave technology in a different room, no distractions, close your eyes, just breathe and nothing else. Try not to think about anything, let the mind relax, if it wanders just let yourself know you don’t need to think about it right now and let it go.

Once you’ve done it, take a minute to assess yourself. How do you feel?

January – Day 25/31

Go easy on yourself.

On your journey to be a fitter and healthier you focus on just that – YOU. Please don’t compare yourself to others and especially not to images you see on social media. It isn’t reality.

Thankfully even some of the instagram stars are now showing their instagram posts vs. the reality of the images they are in – posed to perfection vs. their true appearance.

Rianne Meijer is an internet Vlogger, she shares a series of side-by-side shots that reveal the truth behind those “perfect” Instagram photos.

We are also starting to see a more diverse range of bodies in fashion advertising with varying sizes used on websites and no airbrushing out of stretchmarks or imperfections.

Truth is, if we were all these airbrushed “perfect” images, we wouldn’t be us. We wouldn’t be who we have grown to be, we wouldn’t be unique or truly beautiful. For it is our so called flaws that make us who we are and the journey that we have travelled that has made us.

In whatever challenge you have given yourself you should only strive for one thing, to be better than you were yesterday.

January – Day 24/31

YOU ARE MORE THAN JUST A NUMBER ON THE SCALES!

When weight loss days get you down remember this – you are more than the number on the scales.

You are stronger, braver and more resilient than you even realise. You are a worker, a trier, a dedicated dream chaser. You are every thing to someone; you are their sun and moon, you are their rock and safe place. You are a body of emotions, feelings and passions. You are smart, funny and educated. You are kind, loving and giving. You are helpful. You are love.

A number doesn’t make you who you are – You set the rules of who you are and YOU are GREAT!

***Side note – hopefully by taking part in the January challenge you are finding that you aren’t really having down days regarding your diet or weight loss as the plan is designed to work around YOU, YOUR likes, YOUR lifestyle, YOUR way.***

January- Day 23/31

One for the morning pit stoppers or just the days you cba! Quick fix supermarket lunches and snacks…

Base your meal/snack on your protein:

  1. Cooked meat – demi is great as you can ask for a specific amount but pre-cooked package stuff like mini fillets, beef or seafood are just as good (I love a pack of king prawns).
  2. Tinned/no drain tuna – ring pull tin or plastic pot, just don’t forget to recycle.
  3. Boiled eggs – the big lads such as Asda do a pot with a couple of pre-cooked and peeled boiled eggs in. Usually located by the sandwiches.
  4. Greek yogurt – single serving rather than family tub ensure portion control on the go and limits waste.
  5. Protein bars – not the breakfast bars that claim to have protein unless you’re happy to truly read the labels and see if there is decent amount in there. I mean a Grenade bar or a warrior bar
  6. Beef jerky – lasts a while and totally satisfying.

Select your side. Aim for a quality side if you’re looking at a main meal or need a more wholesome snack:

  1. Salad box
  2. Wholegrain microwave rice pack
  3. Wholegrain cous cous
  4. Raw veg – carrots, peppers, cucumber, etc
  5. Fruit – apples, banana, berries, etc
  6. Wholegrain cereal – High bran for example, great for fibre content too
  7. Graze box snacks – supermarket own brand are just as good and cheaper.

Need a drink?

Ideally you want water or maybe a teeny bit of dilutey juice but may be you’re hankering for a fizzy drink. Aim for the sugar free options and try to avoid fruit juices.

Want a bit of something sweet?

If the fruit doesn’t cut it and the protein bar just isn’t an option have a look down the sweets aisle. Look at the snack size options, see what you fancy, make sure it fits your calories and your 80:20 rule for the day.

If you’re veggie/vegan then there are some great options available for you too. From refridgerated soups, and tinned bean salads to fresh produce – I won’t pretend to be an expert in this because I’m not but it is something I will be looking into more in future.

I hope this makes your morning or lunch time supermarket dash easier to manage and helps you hit your daily goals.

Small, consistent changes are key.

January – Day 22/31

So you had a rough day, you picked up a quick lunch without really considering what you were getting because you were rushed for time and in a bit of a stinking fettle. It’s now mid afternoon and you feel tired, lethargic, a bit sick and bloated.

You have two options:

  1. Write off the entire day and eat shite til it’s time to close your eyes, massively overshooting your calorie goal while getting zero nutrition… OR
  2. STOP! Know what happened, know why you feel the way you do and make some better choices from here out – drink water, eat veg, get some quality protein in.

Do not qualify your day as a write-off because you made a couple of not-so-great decisions.

Dust off, take a breath, regroup and get your head back in the game.

We all have little wobbles from time to time but it’s more about how we respond to the wobble rather than the wobble itself.

January – Day 21/31

More of a borrowed post today after lots of talk around “Blue Monday” yesterday. These are truly the things that can actually make you feel better however difficult they may be – you grow when you step outside of your comfort zone.

“Self-care is often a very unbeautiful thing.

It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution.

It is often doing the ugliest thing that you have to do, like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day.

A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure.

True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.

And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.

It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.

It is letting yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends. It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes from not actualizing your latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.

If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.

It is no longer using your hectic and unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of liquor and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place.

It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people.

It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.” – Brianna Wiest.