Okay so there’s soooo many New Year New You plans, programmes, diets, offers out there this time of year and they are all fabulous if you need a kick start but try not to get sucked into signing up or buying something you don’t need. You already have the knowledge inside you to be healthy, fit and happy in 2017. Most of us know exactly how to tone up, lose weight, eat well but it’s actually applying it to our life that is the difficult part.
That goes for me too; I’m going to be honest with you, the start of 2016 felt like a bit of a battle for me. I just couldn’t get motivated. I knew I wasn’t looking after myself as well as I could have been and the rest of the first half of the year definitely felt like a battle to get back on track. 2016 you really did suck a bit but 2016 was a testing year in different ways, which is perhaps why my focus wasn’t so much on myself.
We all know the saying, “a summer body is made in the winter” but your motivation shouldn’t just be about how you look on the beach in 6 months time. If I eat well and get a good 8 hours sleep, I’ll excel in work the next day. If I regularly exercise and release tension, I have happier relationships. If I take time to switch off completely, I’m more creative. It was remembering that was key to getting motivated again.
If you’ve followed my blog from the start, you’ll know I’ve never believed in fad diets or intense training. Dry January you will never exist in my life (January is my birthday month and it’s not a birthday without prosecco.) I’ve stuck by a philosophy of balance and listening to my intuition for years now when it comes to my health and fitness. Yes my fitness goes up and down and sometimes I feel incredible in mind and body and other times I feel a little out of sync but I’m human. I know I can be healthy and happy whether I’m half a stone heavier than normal or have a taut stomach and I’ve realised this is because I’ve let go of letting my body define me. I learned when to use personal training sessions in Ann Arbor, to help me reach my fitness goals.
I’ve let go of letting my body define me.
I didn’t realise how much it had been for a lot of my life.
I do love to move my body and I enjoy home cooking and could genuinely live off vegetables. I love reading about wellbeing and self-development and the anatomy of our bodies. I couldn’t live without Pilates and getting a sweat on and being outdoors. My lifestyle and job allows me to try different fitness classes and experiment with new healthy food trends. I realize I am incredibly lucky that potentially this makes being fit and healthy easier for me but I promise it really can be simpler and easier to feel good every day!
I really hope that 2017 sees more and more of us embarking on lifestyle changes for life rather than one fix wonders. Getting out the mindset of having abs, looking like that girl on Instagram or lifting a certain weight. Of course these things might happen because you are enjoying training and eating better but the main thing is you will feel good, you will radiate wellness, you’ll be excited for life and you’ll have energy all day to do the things you love with people you love.
My Steps To Being Fit and Healthy in 2017 and beyond…
So when I sat down to think about what’s motivating me this New Year, I did have to think hard because like I said it’s genuinely part of my lifestyle to move my body and eat well; I don’t really have to think about it but to think back to this time last year when I was completely unmotivated really helped me relate to people who perhaps struggle with incorporating fitness and eating healthy into their lifestyle.
Step 1: Make as much space as you need for your own happiness and wellbeing.
I wasn’t in a great place to start with so the first step is to do everything you can that makes you feel good and well. You’re happiness really should be a priority and do not feel guilty about that. Do not feel selfish or self obsessed. My mum is one of the happiest people in the world and she is also one of the most caring and giving people I know. Just because you make time for yourself and your own wellbeing does not mean you can’t make time for others.
When I wasn’t feeling happy, I didn’t want to workout and I was reaching for the chocolate to fill those holes. When you tackle those demons that are making you press the self-destruct button you’ll start to treat yourself with respect, which means no emotional eating, and more energy to get moving.
So whether it’s reevaluating your job, spending more time with your kids, de-cluttering your desk or making time for true friends, address what it is that is chipping away at your happiness everyday.
Step 2: Think of your body like an animal.
Okay so maybe not like your lazy pug that sleeps all day but like an agile cat, energetic ape or fast cheetah. Can you imagine these animals surviving in the wild eating junk food and sitting staring at a laptop all day? We aren’t meant to fuel our bodies with processed food and get out of breath running for the train, we aren’t meant to get tight hip flexors or addictions to sugar.
Yes we are all different shapes and sizes with different body types but we are meant to have mobile spines and joints and strong muscles to help us survive in the wild. So times have changed and we might not be being hunted anymore but thinking of my body in it’s best physical form and moving it in the way an animal moves helps me get out of bed to workout.
I want to be able to hike mountains when I’m 60 and have the energy to dance all night. I want to feel strong and flexible and alive. This is why I don’t just move my body in one way. I cycle, I run, I lift, I do Pilates, I do yoga, I dance. I’d love to get into gymnastics and swimming this year too. I had to get a new mat, if you need one check out this article for great gymnastics mats currently available for sale.
Focus not just on the physical activity but also on how your body is physically moving in space. Is your spine stretching and bending, rotating and lengthening? Are your legs strong? Is your core being worked from different angles? Do you have the upper body strength to climb a tree? Can you touch your toes? Focus on how your body moves and aim to move it better, if not for you then for the dance floor ;).
Step 3: Ask yourself every day, what am I doing this for?
Happiness, confidence, control, the feeling after a workout, long walk or day of nourishing food, your family, your future…
Confidence is a huge one for me. I feel way more confident when I’m working out regularly and eating well. I stand taller; I’m more enthusiastic about life and have more fun. If you’ve never had this feeling then make it your priority to feel this, make it your ‘why’ rather than a six-pack or that bikini body because that feeling is priceless.
Step 4: Be disciplined and consistent.
So perhaps now comes the hardest step. I feel like as I’ve got older and am more control of my time, my food, my routine, it’s harder to be disciplined with myself. My work and social life makes it harder to be consistent and distractions such as social media, box sets and immediate access to information and my emails means set bed and meal times don’t exist however I know having some regularity and being accountable to myself are things that are vital to health and happiness.
Keeping a journal, booking my classes and meal prepping are all little things that help but like I said at the start of this post, we all know what to do and how to do it, it’s the discipline and consistency that we lack.
Ask yourself at the end of the week how disciplined and consistent you’ve been? Be honest and make a step to be better tomorrow. It’s not about being hard on yourself at all, it’s about being honest and loving yourself enough to be accountable and step up to what you’ve asked of yourself whether that’s 3 gym sessions that week or a packed lunch everyday.
So that’s my 4 steps to being fit and healthy in 2017 and beyond; there’s no fancy meal plan or training programme but if you choose to implement those steps I hope they help you like they have helped me. I know they are instilled in me for life and that gives me confidence that I’ll always be free from yo-yo dieting or letting my body define me again.
2017 feels fresh and new and full of opportunity. It’s so exciting that we don’t know what is going to happen. But you can take control of how you feel and I really believe that taking care of you first will have a positive ripple effect into all other areas of you life.
Love, Lottie x