Why I changed my lifestyle this year

Although I try to be into fitness and go through phases of enjoying exercise, as a lifestyle choice, it’s really never worked for me. I struggle to fit in the time to go to the gym and can never commit to fitness classes or anything where I need to be there on a certain day at a certain time. This year however, rather than beating myself up about not going to the gym, I have decided to focus on being healthy, living a better lifestyle and eating better foods. And so far, I am feeling amazing!

I have been consciously making changes to my every day lifestyle for around eight weeks now, and not only have I lost some weight, but I now feel healthier and happier in myself. I have a lot more energy, I’m sleeping better at night, yet finding it easier to wake up each morning, my skin has improved and I feel a lot more motivated and productive during the day. An added bonus has been how easy I have found it to make the changes, within just a few days I found myself motivated to keep at it and I haven’t even been feeling particularly hungry or had any naughty cravings.

I’ve always had a sweet tooth, and for as long as I can remember I have eaten chocolate on a daily basis. I honestly didn’t think that I’d be able to cut it out of my diet, but I have somehow managed, and in the last six weeks I think I’ve only had chocolate about four times! Even then, it hasn’t been a big indulgent slice of cake, but a cereal bar or protein bar version instead… Some of which taste really good too and are a great breakfast alternative, which is a meal I would usually skip when I’m up and out early.

As a family, we have been replacing some of our most eaten foods with healthier options; Our weekly Sunday roast has even changed! Instead of roast potatoes we’ve bee eating boiled potatoes, pork has been replaced with chicken, our beloved fish and chip shop tea is now an oven baked cod loin, instead of eating a chocolate bar or biscuits, I’m snacking on cereal with no fat milk and the only fizzy drink in our fridge these days is Coke Zero. My hobby of baking on a Saturday morning has taken a bit of a back seat too, mainly because I know I wouldn’t be able to resist eating the brownies or cakes I had made, we now have avocado on toast for Saturday breakfast and I’m spending my time making healthier snacks to nibble on.

The best thing that has come out of me trying to be healthier is that we are now cooking from scratch almost every night. Not only does it make me feel better for eating healthier, but I actually enjoy cooking, which I never knew before! I love searching for recipes online (Pinterest is my new best friend!) and reading through cookery books, I love spending time with Robbie in the kitchen and I love the satisfaction of enjoying a meal that we have prepared ourselves, I always feel a little bit of pride as I’m eating!

My exercise at the moment is walking to and from the school with Elodie, which is 0.6 miles each way. Not the longest walk in the world, but I make sure to power walk the part when I don’t have Elodie with me, and a lot of it is up hill, so it does feel like a decent work out each day. I know I’m getting fitter too, as the last up hill push gets easier every time. I honestly feel like this amount of exercise (be it small), plus the changes I have made to my diet will have a positive effect on my body and overall fitness… It has to be a good starting point. I do plan on starting walking in the evenings and weekends too, even just for a couple of miles each night, now that I’ve got myself the leggings and work out top from Up Clothing, I feel like I should put them to good use – Plus they’re so comfy!

When eating out (which is now a lot less than we used to), we’ve started to make a more conscious decision to go somewhere that offers healthier options, which is slightly harder than I first anticipated! We’ve made a bit of a habit of eating at Nandos, as there are plenty of options, although I have had to change my usual order slightly. I’m all about the butterfly chicken with corn on the cob and sweet potato mash these days and have said goodbye to the chips. To be fair though, the healthier option is probably more delicious than the other!