Ever have a month that felt like an over-indulgent Christmas day on repeat?
My recent UK holiday to visit friends and family was one of those. Twenty-nine of the 30 days involved alcohol, three-course meals and my mother-in-law’s chocolate almond cake (impossible to resist!).
Great fun at the time, but my return to ‘reality’ (aka jeans too tight, puffing up hills, feeling a bit ‘blah’), required immediate action! I’d fallen off the wagon and was at least a good 3 days walk behind it.
So here is my no nonsense 3-step plan to catching up to and securing oneself back on that wagon!
Read on pioneers, read on! (Hmmm, have I taken that metaphor to its limits…?)
Step 1: DO NOT PANIC AND CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK! (Sorry for shouting, but this is so important it requires capitals).
Giving it the ‘I’m so rubbish, I hate my thighs’ spiel is unproductive and pointless. The fact is: you’re human and you’ll veer wildly off track now and then. Don’t freak out. Otherwise you’ll find yourself in a slipstream of:
‘I’m so useless. Why do I bother? I may as well give up and just let myself go, I’m never going to change in a million years....I’ll end up dying fat and alone in a dark damp flat with 50 cats, starring on the TV reality show Hoarders…”
And those thoughts make it hard to get motivated. Remember, it’s normal to not be perfect!
All that’s needed is a couple of small adjustments. So keep calm and imagine what your best mate would tell you. Click here for more tips on bigging yourself up. Then move to Step 2 below.
Step 2: High five anything (I mean anything) that you are doing well.
Concentrate on the stuff that you’re good at. Chances are there is at least one thing you’ve been doing that’s good for you (even if its just reading my blog! ;-) . Find that thing, be glad about it and concentrate on doing more of it.
This is all about ‘leveraging your strengths’ and ‘accentuating the positive’. Perhaps you did eat half a packet of chocolate chip cookies by 11am (not ideal) – but you also went to yoga (ideal!). Or walked to the shop. Or did....etc
Focus on that good thing and do more of it, and you’ll start to get moving!
Step 3: Set some small and clear goals.
Make em modest. Small reachable goals work best. Instead of swearing you are going to lose 10kgs in 2 months, you might start by committing to drinking x-amount of glasses of water a day for 10 days, or going to bed at x-time or eating some veg at lunch x-days a week. (I have purposely left the numbers out because it depends on where you are now to what goal you should be setting!)
Why is this important? Because it’s all about momentum! When you achieve a goal you’ve set, you feel all warm and glowy and you’re motivated because you feel good! You realise you can make a change.
One thing builds on the next and before you know it you are riding bareback on the lead wagon horse, your pilgrim bonnet flapping in the wind…..
It’s the little changes that accumulate over time that makes you the person you are with the life you’ve got. So it’s okay to have an-out-of-control period. It’s not a disaster. You can definitely rectify it and get back on track.
Tweet, tweet, tweet.... what's that I hear? Yes, spring is just around the corner! If the idea of taking the kid’s swimming, summer outfits and bare flesh is filling you with horror, then now is a great time to get some new good habits on the go! Contact me now for a free discovery consultation to find out how we can get you feeling all flirty and free in the sun!
(Psst…it’s about making great new habits and not another fad for you to fail!)
I'd love to hear from you in the comments below about what makes you fall off the wagon every now and then, and exactly what helps get things going again. Or just post a pic of your best bonnet!
The other night was hot, sticky and full of mosquitoes. Those annoying %*&^ers kept me awake half the night. Critter v Woman (and electric fly swat) was a euphoric battle until almost dawn. The early morning alarm did not feel great.
I was knackered, and it wasn’t due to the body count I had inflicted. I missed out on sleep. Good quality sleep. Which, it struck me, just like good health, we only notice when we don’t have it.
Sleep is a bit mysterious isn’t it? When all is well, we go to bed when we’re tired, drift off immediately and awaken feeling refreshed and rejuvenated like we just slept in the arms of an angel. But when its not - its like existing in our own private hell of dark, duvet-rolling, heavy-sighing aloneness!
Part of that middle-of-the-night-pain, is the knowing of what’s coming the next day. Tired, grumpy, with endless daylight hours yawning before us and every task a huge effort. We know we aren't on top of our game, and we can trust our body on that assessment; the research shows we definitely aren't!
The evidence is clear - lack of sleep equals higher risk for illness and accidents, more likely to feel stressed and irritable, to have mood and relationship problems, a poor performing brain, poor work performance, and weight gain.
So exactly what happens when we are asleep? Well just about every critical body activity you can think of! Our internal organs rest and recover, tissues repair, muscles grow, memories consolidate, and the hormone leptin that regulates appetite control and metabolism is released (i.e. no leptin means a stronger appetite and more cravings the next day leading us to overeat!). Its safe to say that sleep quality is as important as diet and exercise for our well-being.
When we have a good night’s sleep we have more energy and are more likely to make better food and lifestyle choices. For instance, cooking instead of takeaway, exercise instead of couch. Our immune system is strengthened, we feel more alert focused and creative, it improves our mood and increases our sex drive.
So I think we all agree we want it. So how do we ensure we get it?
If you are one of the 30% of people who report sleep troubles, then there are some things to consider.
The main one is how are we ‘shutting’ ourselves down at night? In the ‘olden days’ when Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were still in nappies, we couldn’t pay our bills, catch up on work and emails, order our brother’s birthday present, obsess over Facebook or act on any other random thought that might pop into our head at 11pm. In the olden days, before 24/7 access to the world, we would jot a thought down on a piece of paper and look into it tomorrow. In the olden days we wouldn’t watch a thriller in bed at 10pm. It got dark, and we all went to bed at 9pm because there was nothing else to do.
Modern life means we tend not to get winding down time. And our bodies aren’t used to it. Even though we are intellectual mental beings, it helps to remember that we are also still physical beings. Our body moves to the rhythms of the world in which we live. They need the message and the time to wind down. Artificial lighting, flickering of screens and our rampant thought processes don’t do this. So if you can’t sleep, try making a conscious choice to slow down as bedtime approaches.
Other things to consider if you’re struggling with sleep are:
If you notice that you are having problems sleeping, try keeping a journal noting what things do and don’t work, and see if you can identify any patterns.
Sleep is crucial for your health and well-being. Wouldn’t it be great to just bound out of bed, focused and ready for your day? Addressing your sleep can help make that a reality. If you need some help working out what’s affecting your sleep then make a health consultation with me today.
I'd love to hear your favourite mysterious sleep-making tips, comment below!
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Ready for change, but don't know how:
Health coach, Mindfulness teacher, Mother, Bee Pollen consumer. "You want health? Well, health costs, and right here is where you start paying in sweat" (tee hee - actually its really rather pleasurable and fun!)