So we’re done with January; how did it go for you? Are you part of the ‘New Year, New Me’ crew? Did you tell yourself (and everybody else) that this year would be YOUR year? THE year of change and growth? Growth everywhere except the hips right? An increase in your finances and a decrease in the gut? Those health and weight related goals you made; how are they going? Still staying strong? If you’ve already fallen off of the bandwagon and found yourself swapping your cute packed tupperware lunch for a cheeseburger or forgotten your gym entry code then this post might be for you. In a world full of healthy living tips, forbidden foods and before and after photos, here are ten things that I recommend you start doing to find a healthier you.
For the past 8 weeks, I led 10 women through the Love Your Temple Weight Loss Challenge. This was an online challenge using communication through a private Facebook group; I set the woman challenges, such as exercising 4 times a week or a week of eating clean for dinner and they would post their sweaty selfies and yummy chickpea burgers for us all to see. It was a success for many reasons and it was great to see women who had never met before encouraging each other and working hard because they felt motivated and accountable.
It was a great learning curve for myself because I was able to observe the different women and their progress and see why they were or were not losing weight. There were a few ladies with the typical weight loss excuses such as “not having enough time” but they were able to learn how to overcome them and make progress. There were those who thought they ate well but actually did not seeing them change their habits. It was really interesting and it led me to write the following post because I have been able to relate to a few of them and maybe you can too. So here we go, 5 reasons you are not losing weight:
Disclaimer: I am not a Personal Trainer or health professional.
So yesterday, I and 9,999 other women took part in a 10KM run organised by Nike. This was my first every 10KM run, I’ve only ever taken part in one other organised run and that was a Cancer Research 5K over 5 years ago. Prior to the run, Nike did a lot of promotions, sent out a training plan and even organised training groups. I attended two of these running groups at the Oxford Circus Niketown Store and did some runs on my own. I’m not a huge fan of long distance running and running a 10KM was not something I’d imagined myself doing this year but the event looked really good and I told myself to get out of my comfort zone in 2015 so I signed up.
You’ve seen the documentaries and the MTV shows; human wants to lose weight, they hire a trainer, trainer shouts at them in the gym, makes them sweat, vomit and cry, trainer throws away all of their chocolate and creates amazing salads and within 6 weeks they are half their size. They become confident, beautiful, dye their hair and they even get married. So, you ask, is this what it’s really like having a Personal Trainer (PT) and are they worth the money? Well, I’ve had two, (I still have one) both male and female, so I can share my experience.
Final term aka the library term. That special computer in the corner of the second floor becomes your new home and all hopes of a social life go out of the window. A day in the library can drive you crazy; it’s just you, your books and your thoughts. Do you read the next chapter or do you quickly scroll through Facebook? Do you bother finding another journal or is it time for a biscuit? Should you go back through those lecture slides or is it time to consider dropping out and volunteering in Fiji? Students, hang in there, we’ve got this, there are just a few more months to go.
One thing that students tend not to make time for during exam period is their health. It’s so easy to forget about eating well and exercising because “I have so much to do” but I believe that making time for these things will actually increase your exam and assignment success. This is the time of year when your body needs you to take care of it if you want it to serve you well in that exam room. Your brain needs the best food it can get so what you eat during this time matters. You don’t want to spend your entire revision period pigging out on junk and regret it in the Summer, especially you final year students – think about your graduation photos! It takes a bit of forward thinking and planning but it is possible to eat healthily, work out and study. Here are my top tips:
I’ve been in need of a little push lately. I’m still working out consistently and mostly eating clean but it can be hard to motivate myself. Plus, I’ve been having a few ‘fat days’ and not feeling as beautiful as I should. So I thought I’d share some of the quotes that inspire me to lift a bit heavier, reject that cookie and throw more spinach into my smoothie.
Whether you want to lose weight, start a new way of eating or gain some healthy muscle, these tips are sure to help:
1. Tell someone
You don’t have to tell the whole of Facebook and post pre-gym, en route to gym, on treadmill and post gym changing room selfies but telling a good friend or family member helps to keep you accountable and motivated. Once you know you’ve told someone your plan, you’re more likely to remain consistent and actually go through with it because you want to prove yourself and show them that you’re serious. Hopefully they’ll motivate you by checking up on your progress now and again and gently reminding you of your goals when you’re about to order that triple stuffed, double cheese pizza.
I don’t do diets. I like food too much. I mean, I have dieted in the past but nothing became of them. There was the ‘just eat a biscuit all day at school and you’ll lose weight AND save money’ diet I did in year 10, there was the Special K Diet (Who else tried that?) and there have been a few more. Two years ago I began a weight loss journey and it worked. The weight came off consistently, I was never hungry, I enjoyed my food and I feel great.
So how did I do it?
We’ll start with my ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ post. It wasn’t the most exciting day of food but it was all clean so I can’t complain. I was just at home writing an essay and surprisingly didn’t have loads of snacks. What is it about being at home and doing work that makes you go to the fridge every half an hour? Well this time I managed to stay put and only eat three meals and one snack. So here we go, and don’t forget to check out the link-up party over at Peas & Crayons.
So what does cheating mean? When one cheats on their husband or wife it means they are going against the marital contract that they agreed to. They vowed to commit to one person and they broke that vow. So in order to have a cheat meal there must be something that you are cheating on. How can you intentionally cheat on your lifestyle, if it is a lifestyle? A lifestyle implies that it is something you have decided to do long-term and believe in. Sure, people go against their values and even religious beliefs sometimes but to me, to intentionally make a plan to cheat on your healthy lifestyle makes no sense.
Usually, when people adopt a healthy lifestyle, often to lose or gain weight or to just be healthier, they realise how bad certain foods are. You see posts on their Instagram of the dangers of cow’s milk or the amount of sugar in a can or coke or a McDonalds burger that just won’t expire. So, if you believe that junk food is bad for you, then why would you eat it at all? If you truly believe that processed food is harmful then why would you implement it into your diet at all, let alone once a week. It’s like saying, “I’m anti cocaine, it’s so bad for you,” yet setting aside every Friday lunchtime to take it. Junk food is bad for you, that’s why you gave it up in the first place right? The very things that got you overweight or gave you heart problems are the things you’re cheating with. So why incorporate them into your diet on purpose?
And for those who say, “I don’t do cheat meals, I do treat meals” why is food your reward? Are you a puppy? As humans we need to stop emotionally eating. From comfort eating to cheat/treat meals; it’s all a mental thing.