Taking Control

Over the last year my exercise and diet has fluctuated and at times come to a complete standstill, or something resembling an atomic bomb; so after a year of procrastination and failed attempts I decided that it was time to take back control of my life and start fresh, with new goals and new inspiration. I have, in addition to this, decided that I will begin posting a fair amount online to add some motivation and to put it out there so that everyone else can see my high’s and low’s, of which I am sure there will be plenty. This is as much for you as it is for me; I hope it inspires, or at least makes people laugh.

Step 1: ENHANCE DIETARY HEALTH:

1.1. Food diary – this is a good way to start monitoring food intake – just be honest because let’s face it, at the end of the day you’re the only one reading it and the only person you are lying to therefore, is yourself.

1.2. A daily Green Smoothie to help boost the immune system and get all the minerals and vitamins you might otherwise be missing out on. I tend to use whatever is in the fridge for these – as much variety of greens as possible, a few teaspoons of Green Powder for added value, some of my favourite fruits and a cup of liquid (50% juice 50% water), the juice can be any variety you prefer. Occasionally I add Greek Yogurt to enhance the creaminess, but I’m sure any good yogurt will do and some naturally sweetened or natural fruit varieties might be nice.

1.3. Throw out all the bad foods – start with anything refined like white flour, bread, sugar, sweets, biscuits – all the usual baddies lying around the house, and fridge.

1.4. Grocery shopping! Retail therapy always helps me feel a whole lot better (especially if it’s food shopping). Go grocery shopping for healthy alternatives to your favourite things, and start reading more healthy cook books for inspiration on what to buy.

1.5. Cook more – eat out less. That way you know whats in each meal because you have prepared it yourself and there won’t be any hidden fats or sugars.

Step 2: ENHANCE FITNESS:

2.1. Start building a training schedule – I like running so I use MYASICS.CO.UK and create new running schedule with a small goal (at this point a 10 km run before Christmas should be small enough to tackle).

2.2. Do something good for the body when you wake up. Get up earlier and practice yoga or find a running club or group training session; try to do this at least 3 mornings a week.

2.3. Find nearest gym / fitness centre and make a promise to yourself to go at least 3 times a week. Do something fun if you can – group sessions can often be a lot more motivating and stimulating. I love CrossFit and MMA fighting, both of which I plan to start again as soon as I return to London as they are great fun and incredibly good for the fitness levels. For now though, running and morning yoga is my plan to begin with since I’m in a foreign country.

Step 3: DOCUMENT + MONITOR

1.1.This is the important part and it’s the best way to stay on track – keep the food diary going for the first month, it will help motivate you to keep going when you read over it. Don’t be too hard on yourself, everyone has bad days. Allow yourself one or even two days a week where you can eat one good meal and not restrict yourself too much.

1.2. An exercise diary has the same effect. Try to do at least 30 minutes of exercise for 5 out of every 7 days of the week and write about each session. Keep notes for when you don’t exercise and write the reason why. You may notice excuses creeping in, just remember – YOU CAN HAVE EXCUSES, OR YOU CAN HAVE RESULTS – YOU CAN’T HAVE BOTH!!!

1.3. Write about your goals at the outset, start with lots of small incremental goals which lead to bigger goals in the future, this makes it more manageable and you will feel like you have achieved something more often as you reach each of the smaller stepping stones on your journey. Write about each time you improve on something – this will show how far you’ve come and encourage you to keep going.

1.4. Read lots of health and fitness magazines, blogs and web pages to keep you motivated. Here are some favourites of mine;

Livestrong | Roni’s Weigh | Daily Cup of Yoga | Fit Bottomed Girls | Nom Nom Paleo | Eat, Live, Run | Choosing Raw | Simply Scratch

If you prefer photographs, check out tumblr for some great photo blogs for fitness motivation.

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