New Year ... New You?

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Now that the new year is here and everyone is back to work, it is so easy for us women to get swept up in the 'new year, new me' movement. While I agree that creating a healthier, happier lifestyle is a great change to make (at any time - not just new year), I do not like all the hype and pressure that comes with it.

I know posts like these can spark a lot of debate as we all have our own way of doing things, and I fully respect that. This post is just my opinions on how we can all live healthier and happier without taking extreme measures and without being made to feel like we aren't worth anything for being who we are!

Tip #1; Be realistic.
Remember that this is your life. You can only truly make a change when you truly want to with all your might - no half-assing. You have to put all your effort in and cant expect to see a change if you aren't prepared to make one. But be realistic and keep it simple and do-able. Throwing out every last cake and crisp all in  one day is not going to be a sustainable change if it is what you are used to.
Any habit is hard to break and bad eating is no exception, you simply cant expect to go from junk-fanatic to clean-freak in one day and the sooner you realise that the easer things will be on you :)
Start small and work toward your goal with do-able objectives, gradually introduce healthier alternatives into your diet in place of salty or sugary snacks and before you know it you wont even crave those nasties anymore!
Similarly, you cant expect to join a gym and do a 2 hour spin class or go for a 10 mile run from the offset. Work up to it and do a little more each day and the change will be sustainable and instead of feeling like you are failing because you cant to it all at once, you will be proud to look back on how far you have come!

Tip #2; Sleep well.
A good nights rest is essential for a happier lifestyle. Health isn't all about what foods you put into your body, but about how you treat it too. The body works hard every day and needs a suitable rest to keep it in tip-top condition, so make sure you are getting at least 7-8 hours of good sleep a night. A rested body and mind will mean you can concentrate and perform at your best and that you will have a more positive attitude to all the things around you!

Tip#3; Don't pressure yourself.
I know that weekly diet clubs work for some people but, personally, I just don't agree with them. I think that they can teach you all sorts of bad habits and short-cuts which don't work out in the long run. 
Please, don't think I am criticising anyone - if it works for you then do it! But I have been to these sorts of clubs and I just didn't like the pressure that came with them and I also didn't like the fact that it was all just about weight loss.
Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and it is important to embrace that and remember that if you are choosing a healthy lifestyle, it should not be about losing weight, it should be about improving lifestyle and quality for YOU, not to impress a group of people each week.
I enjoy having the motivation of others around me but I feel that a healthy lifestyle journey is one that cant be measured in weekly time slots and should not come with pressure. We are human, if you feel like you want to have a pig-out day then you shouldn't feel guilty about that or bad about yourself. Tomorrow is a new day to get yourself back on track and no one should be able to judge you for that.
YOU have the power to make a change for YOUR future.

Tip #4; Don't restrict yourself.
Like I mentioned above, we are all human and we all have those times when we just feel like indulging. The difference you can make is to know when enough is enough. You should never restrict yourself from eating something if you want it or not exercising if you don't feel like it, but you should know when to call it quits - don't think to yourself that you might as well lose the whole week because you ate one cupcake or missed one exercise session. Enjoy the treat and move on.
Sensible thinking like this is what will help you achieve your dreams sooner - if you stop yourself from doing or having something you are likely to want it all the more and completely over do it, so enjoy simple treats and don't feel bad for doing so!

Tip #5; Exercise
This word can strike dread and fear into the hearts of many but it is good to keep in mind that daily exercise doesn't necessarily mean joining a gym and spending all of your time there. Small and easy changes to your exercise routine can be most effective and can really help toward a healthier, happier you.
Something as simple as a 30 minute walk or even taking the stairs instead of the lift can really help out and make you feel much fitter. I love to do yoga and, although I don't live near a gym anymore it doesn't mean I can't do it. I bought a few yoga DVDs online (Louise Soloman ones are my faves!) and my sister bought me a lovely yoga mat and resistance band which means I can practise any time I like in the comfort of my own home.

Tip #6; Join pinterest
It sounds silly but Pinterest is a gold mines when it comes to learning about a healthy lifestyle. There are endless tips, workouts to try and even recipe ideas. Its free to join and you can organise all of your favourite pins into separate boards (just like folders) so that they are easy to keep track of and find!

Tip #7; No excuses
None. Zero. Just don't waste your time. If you're going to find an excuse then its not worth you doing it at all. 
'I cant afford to buy fresh fruits/veg' .. but that fast food was oh so affordable right?! Fruits, vegetables and fresh foods really aren't expensive if you shop around. Markets are a great place to pick up fresh foods at a fair price and even supermarkets like Aldi & Lidl are surprisingly affordable!
' I cant afford the gym' .. who says you need to join a gym? Grab your buddy and go for a walk or run in a local park, invest in some fitness DVDs and work out at home or try some moves which require no equipment!
'I don't have time for the gym' .. When it really comes down to it, you either want it or you don't. If you want it you'll make time, if you don't then you wont. Simple as that. All it takes is 30 minutes a day a few times a week and you'll notice a difference in no time! 
The best time to work out is when you wake up as you haven't had time to think about it and put yourself off, so get up 30 minutes early and enjoy the energy boost from your morning workout!
It may sound like I'm being mean, but it really is a case of if your gonna waste the energy making the excuse you might as well quit now!

Tip #8; Be positive
A positive mind is the key to a positive life. Don't let the little things get you down. if you feel sad or low, take a minute to sit quietly and think about all the blessings and good things you have in your life. 
A positive attitude can make all the difference to a happier lifestyle and the sooner you take weight off your shoulders and stop worrying about the little things, the better and more focused you will feel, inside and out.
Remember to spread positivity to those around you to make sure you are always in a pleasant environment. Compliment and thank people, spend time growing relationships and let others know that you are thinking of them. 
Try to wean yourself away from negative people and situations and you will see how much a positive mind and attitude can affect your life for the better!

Tip #9; Do it for YOU
There is so much pressure on women nowadays to look a certain way. Not only are most of the images doctored but they are also unrealistic for real women - we should all embrace our personal forms, everyone is different and that is what makes us unique and beautiful.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be fit and healthy, its a great step to take, but its so important to remember that you should be doing it for you, not to compete with others.
There is no time limit on your new journey, progress can be as gradual as you are comfortable with - and often its the slower progress is the one that sticks with you as it is more sustainable. 
So, do this for you, be confident at each stage, be proud of yourself and remember you are you and you have nothing to prove to any one else!

I hope this has helped some lovely people realise that we are all beautiful and that one particular body shape doesn't define you - being healthy is a much better goal to be focusing on than a clothing size! 
What is your top healthy lifestyle tip?


  1. I'm going to try hard to lose a bit of weight this year, because I'm currently the heaviest I've ever weighed and I just look at myself and go, "Well ew." Rest assured however that if anyone else ever told me to lose weight, I'd tell them where to go! It's going to be tricky, though, I need a support network for that sort of thing (you know what I mean, the people who'll help you get off your butt) and mine consists solely of my best friend. Who currently lives in Indonesia. It'll be good, though! I bought myself some more sports bras, singlets, etc., so I no longer have the excuse of "Ooh, no exciting workout gear!" There is EVERYTHING exciting about a neon yellow sports bra! I think the key is to change things a little bit at a time -- I'm trying to make healthier eating choices, but I still sometimes chow like crazy on bad things like ice cream and chips.

    Sarah xo
    Diary of a Beauty Padawan

    1. Go Girl, its so great you have motivation with your friend, it'll a fun journey to go on together - especially since its so far across the world :D Thats so cool!
      and, you are so right about the workout gear - it definitely makes you feel more the part when you have shiny new gear!
      Good luck on your new lifestyle!

  2. I totally agree, if you're not doing it for you then I don't think you'll ever truly have the right motivation to reach your goals!
    Tegan xx - Permanent Procrastination

    1. Yes! Exactly right - motivation is key to success :D
      Thanks for reading :)