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.
Black girl on the far right – yep, that’s ME!
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.
So right now I’m in the library sipping on a green smoothie, typing up revision notes and trying not to panic about my upcoming exams and the conversation on the table next to me inspired me to write this post. (See my Staying Healthy during Exam Season post).
Side note: Please don’t come to the library to gossip about boys and show each other photos of vixen weave. It is very distracting and annoying and there are other places for such activities; the ‘chicken shop’, costa and maybe even the bus stop. The saddest line in their whole conversation? – “I wanna pass my exams but I love man too much!”
So these college aged girls (16-18 years old) are showing each other photos of different girls and asking, “Do you think she’s pretty?” and the others will respond “Nah she just takes good photos,” or “Nope, it’s the lighting” or even “No, she just has good eyebrows.”
The amount of time they’re spending gazing at each photo is worrying; is a selfie that serious? Will analysing another girl’s photo and finding a flaw make you feel prettier? Is being pretty important? Sadly, for some of us the answer is yes. For some girls, being pretty is the ultimate life goal. I know, sad right? But I think most of us have gone through a phase, some longer than others, where all we wanted was to be pretty. We wanted other things too, good grades, the latest Primark jeans and the ability to eat anything we wanted without gaining weight, but being pretty was towards the top of the ‘goals list.’ Here’s why I look back and see how silly that was:
Today’s post is a recipe from a guest blogger, Christine. I follow her on Instagram (go and do the same @pink_osi) and her weekly meal preps are amazing.
She makes such creative recipes such as jerk cauliflower wings and sweet potato gnocchi in these cute little pink boxes and they put my simple quinoa salads to shame. I asked her to share a recipe on my blog so we can all try something new because chickpea curry does get boring after a while doesn’t it? So enjoy the recipe and be sure to let either of us know if you make it.
As promised, here are the remaining 2 recipes of the packed lunch series from Ranette of Love Loretta’s kitchen. [Visit her blog here] These recipes look equally as tasty and will definitely give you that lunch time energy boost as opposed to that afternoon bloat and slump that fast food gives you.
It’s important to pack food that you enjoy eating; if you don’t like kale salad then don’t force yourself to eat it! You’ll just end up throwing it away and heading out to the local chicken and chip shop. Choose a recipe that will make you countdown the hours until lunchtime (as if you don’t already) and that will help you stay on track health wise. We’ve given you four to choose from so you have no excuse – happy cooking!
Spinach Tortillas and roast pepper hummus
By now you should know that I’m a packed lunch kinda girl. Whether I’m off to Uni, a day out or even to Church sometimes, there is some sort of edible in my bag. You just have to be prepared for any strike of hunger and who really wants to spend £3 on a meal deal every day. After all, those dry sandwiches get boring after a while don’t they?
Well, Ranette from lovelorettaskitchen.com has brought 4 amazing packed lunch recipes over to the blog. I’ll be posting 2 today and 2 later this week. These recipes look complicated but Ranette has assured me that they are simple to make. They look so good and they can all be made in bulk for a meal prep and then you can take a portion with you each day. You’d better pack two forks because your colleagues and classmates will be asking for a bite!
Go and check out Ranette’s blog; she has a wide range of great recipes from granola to ice-cream to Caribbean dishes. You’ll defiantly find something you like.
1. Chipotle Bean and rice Casserole
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:
Meet Ashleigh Taylor-Greaves, a 21-year old Pastoral Theology Masters student, a Youth Worker and a Tutor. I took some time to talk to her about her experiences relating to self confidence, body image and what makes her feel beautiful.
What were you like as a teenager?
When I was 14 I didn’t really know who I was; I wanted to stand out a bit but I also wanted to blend in. I was a bit chubby and I didn’t really consider myself to be pretty or anything special.
By the age of 18 I was more confident but for all the wrong reasons. My confidence came from the fact that I knew people would look at me if I dressed a certain way. I knew that if my outfit looked good or if I tried a new hairstyle I would be admired and so my confidence was not from anything internal such as my intelligence but simply from the fact that I knew how to present myself. View Post