Now, I'm not going to lie to you all, I am by no means perfect when it comes to eating and exercising. I don't eat salad and fruit all day everyday or go to the gym 2 hours everyday- noooo way. I need to live my life! I eat pizza, I enjoy a good munch of Pringles (or a whole tub), a drink (or a few, ok more than a few...) on a night out- I'm only human! But, I try my best to make those little changes and make sure I look after myself in the best way possible. This is quite a sticky subject for me to talk about but here goes!
My weight is something I've been struggling with ever since that silly P word (ahem, puberty). I used to be pretty thin, I mean I've always had a bit of tummy on me but most importantly, I felt comfortable with my weight. In fact, I didn't even think about it. Now, I hate to say it but it's something I struggle with pretty much everyday...it's something that gets me feeling crappy more than it should and I'm constantly reminded by either the scales, the mirror or sometimes by clothes that don't fit. I think it's even harder for us girls (and guys) today to love our bodies as we are constantly bombarded with pictures of models and music artists whether that be on TV, in magazines or on Instagram, it's hard to escape it and we compare ourselves constantly. Thus leading to extremes such as intense workouts and worst of all, eating disorders... which I am all too familiar with having had someone I know and love suffer from one- it's crazy really how far some people go. I am not going to go into that too much, let's leave that to the professionals. All I want to do is change this negative feeling I have on my body (and for anyone else that does too) to a good one by making little changes. Cause, let's face it, it's the only body we'll ever have!
My aim of todays post is to give you a little insight into how I make healthier choices, how I try and keep fit and healthy and different tips I recommend for any of you out there who perhaps feel the same way- 'cause we're not alone! PS. Please take these tips with a pinch of salt, some don't work for all and I am not a fitness instructor nor a nutritionist... these are just little tips to help you in some way!
Find an exercise that suits YOU
Just because everyone else is going to the gym or running doesn't always mean it will work for you too. If it means trying every sport till you find one you like, do that! It'll be worth it once you find that right sport, it could be anything. If the exercise feels like a task you want to be over and done with- you'll never look forward to it or enjoy it and it's not the sport for you. Of course, if you have not been exercising for a while, any sport will feel difficult at first, just be patient!
I've recently discovered hula hooping! Something I hadn't done since I was about 5 years old till last week. It's so much fun, it is doing amazing things for my tummy, hips and legs and I can do it while watching TV or listening to music- indoors or outdoors. I enjoy it and look forward to doing it, something I never thought I'd say about exercise. Rumour has it Beyoncé and Kelly Osbourne are fans of hula hooping too, so if it works for them, well it works for me! Other exercise I do includes walking, jogging or doing an exercise video indoors.
Get the right kit for you
Trainers: sportsdirect.com | Jogger leggings: Lidl (so cool, I know) | T-shirt: Marks & Spencers | 'Shock Absorber' sports bra: Ebay
You don't need to spend a ton on a new sports kit but it is important to have a good one. Luckily, you can easily get trainers, jogging bottoms and sports bra's pretty cheaply online or at the supermarket. But make sure you buy comfy gear! I've exercised in my normal clothes before and it was a very silly idea. I read a quote that said 'Put your workout clothes on, then decide if you are going to work out or not'...which I've found to be really effective- it motivates me and puts me in the mood to work out. Once you've gone to all that effort to change, you might as well workout. The important thing is to feel comfortable and don't buy something too tight...something you can move freely in.
These Nike's were bought on sale at sportsdirect.com, a great site with tons of sportswear at discount prices!
Use social media to your advantage
There are so many apps out there, it's hard to know which ones are worth downloading. While some apps just waste your time, there are many others that could benefit you in many ways. My favourites would be, Running+ by Nike, RunKeeper, and Moves. These are great apps to record your progress, workouts, runs and how much you've been moving each day. You can also add friends through Facebook to join in with you and do challenges with a voice coach to motivate you. I also use the app iMusic where I have created a Workout Music playlist with all my favourite songs which keep me going and enjoying my workout.
Pinterest is also a great way to keep you motivated. I've created a 'Fitness' board where I post healthy recipes, exercise ideas, quotes for motivation and images of my ideal body...sometimes when I'm working out and feeling like it's going nowhere, I have a flick through these photos and it reminds me why I started in the first place and tells me to keep going.
Make healthier choices
It really is true when people say 'it's the little things that make that big difference'. Just by simply opting for a glass of water with lemon rather than lemonade or making a yummy fruit salad instead of eating a chocolate bar will really make that difference in the long term. Of course, it's easier said than done, I know too well. You are allowed to eat these things though, in moderation.
I've added lots of things to my diet now that before I would never have even thought of such as avocados (ob-sessed) with boiled egg for breakfast (as shown above), almonds, raisins and apricots as a snack and my all time new favourite, Nutri-Bullet smoothies. You can put any fruit or vegetables in a Nutri-Bullet and it blends in seconds. They make the perfect snack or breakfast drink and for anyone with a sweet tooth, smoothies are a great way around that. When I go into restaurants, I opt for something different and something healthier, you may be surprised and discover something new and healthy that you love. Then you can try it yourself at home and then it may become a new staple to your everyday diet. Just little changes like that make a difference.
Strawberries, bananas and apricots- oh myyyyy!
Another quote I love is 'Food is the most abused anxiety drug and exercise is the most underutilized antidepressant'. This is so true, it's amazing how good you can feel after exercise (and blimmin' sweaty too) and also how crappy you feel after pigging out. It's easy to think food will solve your problems and it will, that is if your problem is hunger, of course (duh). But if it's because you're sad, nervous, angry, anxious etc...well, food, in the long term, won't help that. Exercise will! If you have nothing to do, just a little walk, or jog or cycle can make that difference. The other day I went for a walk but brought my new camera with me to take some photos- exercise and enjoyment at the same time. It doesn't always have to feel horrible or like you're dying, trust me, I've been there- not pretty.
So there you go, some of my wee ways I try to keep fit and healthy.
I hope this helped some people and gave you some tips, or new Iphone apps to discover. Not meaning to sound cheesy but seriously, learn to love your body and treat it well. Apart from feeling square-eyed and the word exercise no longer looking like a word, I think I enjoyed writing this kind of post.