New Year, new me… oh please!! Enough already… this was me for years (decades). I called December, ‘deathcember’, because I binged myself into oblivion, did dry January religiously (out of necessity!!), joined the gym and signed myself up to the latest detox and diet crazes… and after a few weeks threw the towel in, always!! Does this sound familiar to you?! If not the level of binging… the cycles, repeat patterns of behaviour, unsustainable extremes… with me it was week after week(end), every Monday I was ‘back on it’. Check out the collection of Facebook status memories…
This one year/detox… I was popping 15 pills a day for a week; 5 for breakfast, 5 for dinner and 5 for tea… eating no food… WTAF!?
When I look back on old me, there’s so much that I cannot believe that I was sucked in to. BUT… I know how easily it can be done. Most people want the quick fix, magic pills and potions that ‘marketing’ makes all the promises (and… I worked in marketing and fell hook, line and sinker!!).
There is no quick fix!
THERE IS NO QUICK FIX!!
Before you go making radical New Year’s resolutions – stop! Take a minute to think… and be realistic. Most resolutions are negative and restrictive.
Cutting out whole foods/groups, stopping this/that – no more chocolate, carbs, sweet treats, alcohol… whatever it is… January is a come-down enough. Switch up your mindset and look to add-in healthy, feel-good habits, that are going to boost your health and well-being.
Here’s 4 foundations to focus on (try to keep it simple)
- Nourish your body (and immune system)
Add-in nutrients, multi-coloured, homecooked, real foods… call time on the beige buffets, nightly cheese boards, fridge tapas and constant grazing 😉 revert back to pre-Christmas norms, and then look to make a few tweaks and changes, over time. Swapping sugary treats for healthier options, look at your portion sizes, don’t eat and over face yourself (like we’ve all been doing the last few weeks). Get in tune with your body (and gut) and see/feel how foods sit with you, eat when you are hungry. Keep a food diary to help you with this (this doesn’t necessarily mean counting calories), but it will help you to become more mindful, and build a picture of what you are consuming over the week.
2. Move more
Start where you are and build gradually. Lots of people go all in from the get-go and go from zero to exercising every day. It’s too much, too soon… or too much to maintain. So, you’re setting yourself up to fail, and will fall off the bandwagon. It’s about setting routines that fit with work and family life, that are achievable and sustainable. Think about what you want to do, what you enjoy doing, and start with a few sessions and build up from there. Be mindful of how much time you spend sitting and try to get those steps in… sit less, move more.
3. Drink less alcohol (up the agua)
The prosecco poppin’ needs to be stopping! I recon there’s a fair few of us that could hold their hands up and admit that they’ve been using any excuse to pop a bottle over the festive season (I have, there’s been a fair few Bucks Fizz brunches). It’s not the norm. But habits can quickly become a norm. Just because you’ve bought or been gifted booze for Christmas, doesn’t mean it all has to be consumed in that timeframe. I’m telling myself this too. With boozing comes snacking and overeating (generally speaking). Reduce the amount you’re consuming and then consider how often you drink in a week normally. Could this be reduced to give your health, physical and mental well-being a boost?
Up the agua… why?
- Healthier skin, teeth and bones.
- Healthier joints – water keeps cartilage around our joints hydrated and supple.
- Improved digestion – water helps to dissolve fats and soluble fibre, flushing waste products.
- Increased metabolism – water boosts our bodies’ ability to burn fat.
- Increased energy – water increases ability to concentrate and reduces fatigue.
4. Sleep and rest
Sleep is life… literally. The body is set to a 24-hour clock, the internal biological clock being fundamental to the survival of all living organisms (so pretty important). It influences hormone secretion, urine production, regulates body temperature and blood pressure. Too little sleep causes drowsiness, inability to concentrate, reduced productivity and performance. In the long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to premature ageing (no one is about that), digestive disturbances, psychological problems, behavioural disturbances and a host of chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes and heart diseases (ref NSF). A good sleep routine should be high up on your priorities.
If anyone struggles with sleeping, I highly recommend meditating. I listen to a guided meditation most nights before bed and fall into a coma. Not only that, I wake up in a calm/zen state. When I don’t meditate, I wake up in a state of anxiety more often than not. This YouTube channel is my go-to: youtube.com/TheMindfulMovement
Love yourself… look after yourself, your health. Protect your energy and enhance your life quality.
It’s not about creating a new version of you. Break unhealthy cycles and behaviours. Create balance and focus on consistency, long-term. Quick fixes and extremes feed the negative cycles. Trust me!
Change your narrative…
Stop, lose, cut-out,
Start, gain, add-in!