Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography
As like many others at this time of year, I am starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the idea of Summer as I don’t yet feel confident in the way that I look. I am all for body confidence and being comfortable in our own skin, but I do also think that it is very important to remember that it is okay to want to change the way you look and have a goal in your mind for a certain occasion, even if that is just a day on the beach in a bikini. Since my op I have really struggled to get my body back, as I physically couldn’t exercise for months and since then it has taken me a long time to get my confidence back physically and mentally. I really am only just getting to the stage now where I can exercise fully again and am becoming a lot more aware of my food intake and day to day lifestyle.
For me, this process of getting back to me has been more about starting with my mental attitude. I needed to feel happy in my body the way it is, before trying to improve on it for the sake of my mental health. I also needed to see the change that I want to make as much more of a lifestyle choice than a diet. Diets have never worked for me, and I want to do this in a way that I am going to be the healthiest version of myself that I ever have been.
I personally think that this battle is something that so many of us have to cope with, and it is a constant circle of being unhappy with our bodies and then going on a diet to change it, with it failing and the whole process starting again. A complete circle effect, that can be very mentally damaging, particularly on young minds. For a couple of months now I have got into more of a structured routine, getting the balance of healthy and naughty together with a solid gym routine and better attitude to life. I thought I would write down everything I have chosen to do, as well as the parts of the lifestyle change that are really starting to help me feel better and gradually get my body back, but even better than before!
Your attitude to exercise
If I am being honest, the toughest thing I have had to overcome, and still very much am in the process of is my attitude to exercise. When I am in the mood, I really enjoy my workouts, but let’s be honest, life is busy, and I am very rarely in the mood. I find it tough to motivate myself to get myself to the gym, particularly when I have a lot going on in life. However, this is something I have to push myself to do, as it is the only way I will ever stay on track to getting back to the way I want to be. So, how do I push myself? Well firstly, I have to be a little easy on myself sometimes. If I have a busy work day and I don’t get there it isn’t the end of the world. My attitude is to go as much as I physically can, and when I can’t, not to give myself a hard time.
Secondly, the best way I motivate myself is by keeping my workout week totally varied. I have an amazing PT who I see once a week, who not only trains me, but keeps my mind on track. Here is an example of my workout week:
Monday – home strength workout
Tuesday – Cardio
Wednesday – Swim
Thursday – PT
Friday – Cardio & Body Balance (mixture of tai chi, pilates and yoga)
There is absolutely no way that you need a PT to train with or keep you on track, however this is just a choice I made as I needed to get back into exercise in the safest way I could. Even now I sometimes struggle with certain things as it can hurt my chest, so Lucy is amazing at adapting and helping me do things in a different way so that this doesn’t happen. My advice would be to do some research online, figure out a routine that is right for you and really dedicate yourself to it.
Consistency and routine
Ultimately, the best lesson I have learnt through starting this process is that the only way it is ever going to have long lasting effects is by me being consistent and following a strict routine. I read recently that it takes 21 days to break into a routine, so that for me has been my goal from the beginning. To get to that point having done it for 21 days. If I am being honest I have now completely lost track, but I am feeling a lot more structured day to day since starting all of this. Therefore, I think I have managed to get to the point that it has really become a part of me.
Guilt free choices
A big decision I have made is to never scold myself for enjoying naughty/ high calorie foods. I love food, cooking, shopping and eating, so never want to live a lifestyle that takes that away. I personally believe that life is all about balance. In theory, I am generally pretty healthy Monday to Friday, then don’t really think about my diet at the weekends.
Day to day diet plans
Whilst we are on the subject of food, I really don’t believe in day to day diet plans. I believe in healthy meals, homemade food, eating when hungry and just generally making healthier choices. I try to eat three proper meals a day, so that then I don’t need to snack. However, when I go the gym, I always need fuel before and after. So, I generally eat a banana or an apple before, then more fruit or a healthier cereal bar after. If I don’t do this I will snack and snoop around the kitchen until dinner because I am just hungry. Accepting that food is fuel and not just something we enjoy is key in this process.
My last piece of advice for changing your lifestyle rather than dieting is to always be up for anything active. I am making so much more of a conscious to move my body. When I take work breaks in the day from my laptop I try to walk around the flat. At the weekends we are upping how much we do, hence going for lots of walks, and planning some bike rides. Then also when away, trying to swim a lot and walk around to see everything rather than getting in a car. It is all about wanting to keep active and move constantly, which is always going to help as we get older.
Shop this Post:
Blazer – Asos
Bag – Gucci
Jeans – Mango
Boots – New Look
T-Shirt – Primark
I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.