So how was January for you?
So how was January for you? I wonder how you got on with any goals or “resolutions” you may have set yourself?
I have also been thinking about all the “how to diet” tv programmes that are around at this time of year and all the newspaper and magazine articles that set out plans that are “easy to follow” and purport to be THE answer to our ongoing tug of war in the health stakes. I confess, half of these “diet plans” I have never heard of, I’m sure they invent new ones every year just to boggle our minds!
Where do you start? Whilst I believe that knowledge is power and it’s good to be mindful of our eating habits, ultimately, I find the mere word diet sets my pulse racing and my stress levels rising. After watching or reading the latest plan on offer I mostly just stash away one or two recipes from it that I want to try.
DIET, an anagram of TIED
which means to restrict or limit. My point precisely. In my experience I’ve found restrictions and limitations just leave me hungry and feeling quite miserable. Quite a few of these diets are also very extreme so you may well lose weight at the beginning but struggle to adhere to it long term so eventually the weight creeps back on. Sound familiar?
BUT, if you are trying out a new diet or fitness thing, I want to say to you don’t be too hard on yourself. You are allowed to have a day off the gym/exercise, in fact you must, your body needs it to recover properly. And also, one slip off the new healthy eating plan does not amount to it being a fail. You are human and allowed to have a bad day. Write it off and start again tomorrow.
My approach to food is to try to eat whole, unprocessed foods most of the time. It’s more of a lifestyle choice. I plan ahead when I can, so I feel more in control of what I eat and “junk food” is less of a temptation. I also find that if I don’t buy the sweets or biscuits in the first place then they can’t wink at me from inside the cupboard and the temptation to eat them is removed. As I mentioned before, most of the recipes I cook are the best bits from lots of other people’s/expert’s concepts of healthy eating. Check out my skinny lasagne recipe below.
I also live by the 80/20 rule, 80% good & 20% what I want, on these days I just write it off as a “4000” calorie day and move on the next day. I still eat chips and pizza, just not very often. This is not just because I know they don’t offer the best nutritional bang for buck so to speak, but they also leave me feeling sluggish the next day. So, listen to your body, how do you feel after eating a particular type of food?
Exercise wise I try to be kind to myself. There are some days I want to exercise but my body is still sore from the previous session, so I have a rest day. Other days I just don’t feel like exercising so opt I for something gentle instead, a walk or maybe a bit of Yoga.
Only began half way through for me! What! How can that be I hear you ask?. It just happened this year that two social occasions came up on the first two weekends in January, so I let myself off the hook, I decided to be kind to myself. It felt good to ring the changes. Two and a half weeks in and I’m feeling great, sleeping like a baby and full of the joys of spring. I’ll carry on into February so I’m calling it DRY JEBUARY.
Good luck with your goals, stick with it and remember to go gently and ultimately give yourself the self-care you deserve.