In my 'My July' post, I spoke about the beginnings of changing my lifestyle for the better and how even though it'd only been a week into this change, I was feeling strongly about it and finally motivated enough to keep up with it. I'm talking about my new lifestyle of keeping fit and eating healthy; something I'd never done properly before or you could say never at all. Before you ask, I'm not doing it to lose weight or anything, I generally just want to be physically fitter, stronger and healthier as well as feeling it inside. I did just suddenly woke up one morning and decide for good but it came with a long time of thinking about it to actually doing it too. I'd tried before to eat healthier and to start a fitness regime and nothing seemed to stick, but this time (yes I know it's only been like 3 weeks), it has. And out of nothing but a sudden urge. Strange huh?
The reason I'm writing this post, is not only to remind myself of the achievement I had in beginning this new lifestyle and how strong I was to keep up with it so quickly, but hopefully to share my early experiences with anyone who is like me and never used to like exercise or being strict with what they eat. I've not changed too much, but enough to make a difference in how I feel towards my health and fitness levels. I needed to do it, because I didn't like how lazy I felt before, and it's actually given me a more positive outlook on something that used to terrify me for no real reason and turned it into something good!
So if you want to know more about this change - read on to find out more about my new eating habits and what I'm doing in terms of fitness...
In terms of eating, I'll be honest - I haven't changed that much. I decided to make more room for things like vegetables, and fruit. Picking healthier cereals for breakfast and not giving into lunch/break time temptations like the bakery on the way to Tesco or an unnecessarily expensive lunch to the closest coffee shop. I'm still having a bar of chocolate almost daily, but I'm picking a wrap over a BLT and skipping out crisps for a fruit bowl. I've even turned to my new smoothie maker, making smoothies for those times I feel the need to snack, and has even been great for making breakfast smoothie when I don't have time to sit an eat!
I've also cut out fizzy drinks (apart from in restaurants) and I've cut out fast food too, and will probably only have one once a fortnight, or every month if I can help it. This is the stuff that slows me down in the worst way, and I don't need it in my life, but sometimes I can't help but crave a quarter pounder with cheese!
With dinners and eating out I usually eat what I like when I'm out and not think too much about healthier choices, just because eating out is a treat to me and I don't want to burden myself with the problem of picking a 'healthier option'. As for dinners at home, I swap out little things like using olive oil instead of vegetable and adding vegetables to my meals or even trying something completely new. Pinterest has been a great inspiration for new meal ideas. My new favourite being salmon and asparagus with rice. I need to make that again soon...
Though I've started to eat healthier but still as yummy meals, and found alternatives to snacking, I love my chocolate too much to cut it out completely and I still want to eat what I like, when I like but with a little more control. It's all about the moderation.
My main exercise is running, and I've started to run lots! This is what's been keeping me going the most because I actually love running, and I always have. It gives me time to myself, listen to some music as well as doing something that's good for my body! I use the Nike Running app to help me with this and keep track of what and how I'm doing and run 5 times a week, as well as the iPhone's health app to track my steps throughout the day and Nike Training twice a week for a workout on top of my runs. I make sure I have two rest days so that I don't over do myself too.
I've seen a big change from day one to now in my speed, stamina and endurance with my running. I can now do my usual 1.26 mile lap in 13 minutes and I can go on for longer if I decide to mix my route up a little bit. It's not very quick, but for a beginner I feel pretty good.
On days I don't want to do anything but I have to it's been nice to have new workout gear to get into. Also the fact that I spent money on it to do something good for myself gives me a enough of a guilty conscious naturally to get up and go! I also think about how well I've been doing, and stopping is pretty much giving up - and I can't be having that after doing so well! I really want to be fit enough for a 10k run next year too. I'm also even considering a gym membership, which is crazy for me - but I don't think I need one. It's weird to know I enjoy something I used to fear so much, but I feel so amazing for it.
It actually makes me happy doing this. It took waking up one day for me but the want to do it for a long time before and I did start with little baby steps before like cutting out snacks first, and picking fruit instead of crisps. Going for a long walk with my dog and taking the stairs instead of the lift at work.
And if you're thinking about a little lifestyle change, there's so many things you can do - but do what suits you and what you want to do. Don't go all out changing yourself! I didn't and I'm so happy for it. It's all about balance and moderation - life is still for living and being happy, not dieting depressingly!