January – Day 31/31

CONGRATULATIONS – YOU DID IT!!!

You’ve followed me for a whole month reading and learning about things you may or may not already have known about, and probably had a few unexpected topics in the mix.

I’m not the strongest of writers but I am working on it and this month has seen me become more confident in what I am doing so I would like to thank you all for that.

Following on from this free series, I would like to let you know I am available for one to one support on fitness and health should it be something you would like going forward. There’ll be more posts on here in future too (maybe after a bit of a quiet spell with baby).

I think for me, from completing this journey, I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned that I can stick to something when I put my mind to it – I haven’t missed a single day of posting, even when I have felt so incredibly tired that I didn’t know what to write about. I’ve learned that showing parts of myself is not as scary as I thought – sharing they types of things I do on a daily basis like write about my gratitude and affirmations. I’m still learning the types of topics that you lot all love to read about; the insights on my webpage are really interesting and I’ve actually reached people as far as India and Canada with some of my content on here!

Most of all, I have learned that actually, I really enjoy doing this. And, even if I look back in the future and cringe at the content I have been posting, I will know that I pushed myself into starting a new path at a time when I thought I wasn’t going anywhere.

Thank you for your support. Thank you for your time. Thank you for being you.

On that note – thank you for being you – I truly hoped that this program has helped you realise what you really want; do you want the weight loss or did you just think that was what was going to make you happy? Has the mindset work helped more than the weight loss advice? Has the exercise helped soothe the mind more than you expected?

We all want to be happy but chasing happiness is generally the path to nowhere. If you can take one thing from my program and use it to be happy today then I feel like I have made a true impact on you.

Be you. Be all you. Be un-apologetically you; for you are a unique creature of beauty and life, and you are fabulous.

Lots of love, H xxx

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 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.

January – Day 16/31

Time for a reality check!

How are you doing with the plan? Are you seeing changes? Are you making changes? Well, if you’re doing it properly, you should be and here’s the hardest fact – if you’re not then you have no one to blame but yourself.

Brutal? Maybe.

Necessary? Absolutely!

The thing is, when it comes to weight loss, I am giving you ALL of the tools here. I have given you the baby steps to put together to create your ideal lifestyle so that you can easily lose weight at the same time as living. If you are not prepared to use these tools properly then you’re not fooling anyone but yourself.

Lets recap the things that you should be doing:

  1. Are you drinking enough water?
  2. Have you worked out your daily calorie allowance?
  3. Are you tracking your daily calorie intake via My Fitness Pal?
  4. Are you tracking your daily calorie intake accurately by measuring all of your food?
  5. Are you hitting your daily step goal?
  6. Are you using the 80:20 rule to avoid binge behaviour?
  7. Are you hitting your daily protein goal?
  8. Are you hitting your daily fibre goal?
  9. Are you planning out your meals in advance?
  10. Are you planning out your exercise sessions in advance?
  11. Are you achieving 5 x 30 minute exercise sessions a week?
  12. Are you doing activities which help you relax?
  13. Are you working on your sleep habits?
  14. Are you being honest with yourself?

If you want to see a difference, like really, truly, honestly want to see a change in yourself the you will already be doing all of the above and have taken responsibility for your actions. If you haven’t made the changes then you need to either accept that you want to be unfit, unhealthy and unhappy OR decide that enough is enough and now is time to put the effort in.

No one can do this for you.

No one will do it for you.

People will question what you are doing.

But once you hit your goal – PEOPLE WILL WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU DID IT!

January – Day 13/31

Just a quick one today – Monitoring weight loss.

If you can, try to weigh yourself every day, at the same time, in the buff, before you have eaten or drank anything and after your morning wee. Log your weight each day. IT WILL GO UP AND DOWN! At the end of the week add all your weigh ins from the week together and divide by 7 – this will give you your average weight loss for the week.

There are so many factors that can influence how much you weigh each day that you need to understand weight loss is not a straight forward linear process. You will see an overall downward trend over time but it will have little fluctuations here and there which is TOTALLY NORMAL.

Things like how many carbs you have eaten, the type of carbs you have eaten, the workouts you have done, how hydrated you are, time of the month (ladies), are just a few of the things that can make your weight loss appear slightly distorted.

If you were to look at weight loss in graph form, it should look like the following:

If you’re being consistent with your calorie, protein and step goals you will see the scales go down. If you’re not then you’re doing something wrong. You have to accept and own this fact – calorie deficit is law.

January – Day 10/31

Good Morning! How is everyone getting on?

I want to have a look at exercise today and what the best exercise is for fat loss…

So, where are you right now? Are you brand new to exercise, never done it before and don’t know where to get started? Have you tried a few classes back in the day but not dipped your toe in the water for years? Does the thought of the gym terrify you? Have you done it all before but somehow fallen out of the habit?

Whatever your starting point – don’t worry. I promise you that this is not going to be a post all about how you must do X, Y, and Z each week. How you MUST attend the gym and how there are MUST do exercises to get you burning the most fat possible. That’s not what we’re about.

Remember when I said that slow and steady wins the race when it comes to your weight loss, fat loss and your habit change – the same goes for your exercise.

There is only ONE hard and fast rule to finding the nest exercise – finding the exercise that is right for YOU!

If you hate the idea of stepping foot in the gym and dread it even before you’ve left the house, guess what? Chances are you ARE NOT GOING TO STICK TO IT! What we need to do is take a look at where we are now, where we would like to be and work out what we do and do not enjoy. There are soooo many options to getting more active, the gym is definitely not the be all and end all. Here are some ideas of things you could do to start getting more active on a regular basis:

  • Walking
  • Power walking
  • Jogging / running
  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Dancing
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Body Pump
  • Spinning
  • YouTube Fitness Videos
  • Fitness Subscription Services (I write a personalised exercise program for clients)
  • Weight Lifting (this doesn’t mean getting hench. Ladies you WILL NOT get “bulky”)
  • Cross-fit
  • Functional Training
  • Swimming
  • Body-weight Training
  • Home Workout DVDs
  • Boxing
  • Karate
  • Thai Chi

There’s more than this but this just gives you an idea of some of the things you could try. You want to aim to do around 30 minutes designated exercise per day, 4-5 days per week.

Now, if all you’re going off are the numbers on the scales then this could affect those – if you start to exercise and all of a sudden you are increasing your muscle mass then the numbers may not change, or may very much slow down in terms of loss. What you should focus on at this point onward are your measurements and before and after photos.

If you have one pound of fat and one pound of muscle sitting side by side, you will see how compact and dense muscle is in comparison to fat. As long as you are sticking to your calorie deficit you will be losing fat. By making sure you are hitting your protein goal you are ensuring that you are maintaining your lean muscle mass which is what makes you look sexy!

Note here: Less fat and more muscle = “toned” appearance.

It’s not all about weights but resistance training does have a wealth of health and well-being benefits for women. The “weights make me bulky” comment comes from women who have weight trained without cutting their calories – they increase their muscle mass but don’t lose any of the fat as they are not in a calorie deficit then they THINK that it’s the weigh training that is the issue…

Take away from today – go and try some different types of exercise. Try different environments. Try the things that suit your lifestyle. Trial and error is great for discovering what we really want (as well as what we really don’t). Once you’ve worked it out you’re winning!