GYM & TONEIC

New Year’s resolutions: do’s & don’ts

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New Year, new chances, same you, just a few tweaks here and there… this notion of a ‘new you’, come New Year is a load of sh#t! Something I’ve come to realise, accept and embrace. You’re not going to turn into someone else overnight, you’re not going to turn into someone else full stop. You are you, I am me. We all need to stop day dreaming about being someone or something else, about total transformations and all or nothing overhauls. We all need to be a bit more forgiving, accepting and easy on ourselves.

It’s the second week in January and I’m sat here writing this post, a post that should really have been published and posted on my blog on the 1st, because it’s a fitness and lifestyle blog, and everyone is consuming content about New Year’s resolutions and complete fitness overhauls as soon as the clock strikes 12 on New Year’s Eve/Day, (OK, maybe not quite 12 when the drinks are flowing and dancing is in full swing!), but you get what I mean! I’ve had a busy last few weeks moving in with my man and getting myself sorted with work in my new surroundings (The High Peak), and I took a trip down to Devon in-between Christmas and New Year. I’m just getting back on track and back into the swing of writing and planning content for my blog, and that’s OK… As is it totally OK to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions and goals now, if you dreamt up drastic and unrealistic goals on New Year’s Day and jacked them all in within the first week. Start now, start next week, give yourself time to contemplate and consider what you really want to attempt and achieve this year. Make a list of goals, dreams and desires as long as your arm and then chop them down in to a 1, 3 and even 5-year plan. Having dreams is a good thing, dreams can become reality… just be realistic with what you can achieve and by when. It’s OK just to have one goal… smash that and then focus on the next.

Here’s a few do’s & don’ts to consider if you’re yet to set yourself goals, or re-set yourself goals…

Do’s

Be kind on yourself. Before you tear yourself up and get depressed about all the things you think are bad about yourself, and that needs to change. Consider all the positives, what you like about yourself, your good qualities, how to do and be more of that! Less of the bad chat and dressing down, more bigging up and being body (and mind) positive.

Celebrate every tiny victory. You might have only lost 1lb this week and you wanted to lose 3lbs, the fact is you lost weight! You might have managed to complete an additional set, run another mile, lifted a heavier weight, whatever your victory give yourself a pat on the back, reward yourself even (there are still lots of January sales on!), make yourself a gold star chart like we had back in school.

Have a little fun. Resolutions and goals don’t all have to be about health and fitness, losing weight and placing restrictions on yourself. Have some fun, try new things, add to your life instead of taking all the fun away!

Don’ts

Deprive yourself. Starve yourself or buy into these bullsh#t, quick fix detoxes and diets. You’ll end up out of pocket and back where you started, maybe worse off in terms of weight gain. Just be sensible, wean yourself off 3 mince pies a day. Consider things like portion size, healthy food swaps, drinking water instead of wine.

Do too much too soon. Study your list that’s as long as your arm and then break it down, pick two or three goals to focus on, then break them down further. Set mini milestones and realistic timelines. Go all in, but on a few things at a time.

Give up! When the going gets tough, take a break, pause, reflect, refine and then carry on. It’s OK to tweak your goals, change timescales, move the goal posts. It’s your goal!

Don’t stop until you’re proud!

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5 Top tips to minimise festive flab!

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With just over a week to go, Christmas festivities are in full swing… it’s time to let you hair down; eat lots, drink lots, party and socialise lots and generally have a bloody good old time! It’s a time to celebrate with your nearest and dearest, a time to indulge and be merry, a time to relax a little with your weekly fitness routine, and treat yourself to a mince pie or two!

You’re going to put on a few pounds over Christmas, we all are! Don’t over stress it, just do what you can to minimise any weight gain and maintain physical activity levels as much as possible. Think of it as damage limitation…

Here’s 5 top tips to minimise festive flab…     

Easy on the chocolate treats
Easy to say, bloody tough to do… it’s everywhere! Advent calendars, boxes of chocolates brought in to work, tubs of Quality Street everywhere you go and on special offer 2-4-1 at the end of every aisle in all the supermarkets. If the chocolates weren’t enough, then there are the boxes of luxury biscuits to contend with… you need will power of steel to resist! Limit yourself to two or three here and there, it’s all too easy to grab a handful and mindlessly devour one after the other, before you know it you’ve turned into Augustus Gloop and devoured them all! Why not have a go at making your own tasty treats, like protein balls, that can fuel you for longer and are great for snacking on the go. Check out these recipes on Women’s Health website. You could even store them in a Quality Street tub, so it feels like you’re digging in to chocolate treats 😉

Grab a workout where you can
With all the Christmas parties, school nativities, family gatherings and get togethers, it can be difficult to find even 5 minutes for yourself, never mind finding the time to make a trip to the gym! Change up your routine and do home HIIT workouts, just 15/20 minutes is all you need to get your heart rate and metabolism fired up, and get a serious sweat on! HIIT workouts are great as they’re quick and effective, and a lot of the exercises and circuits you can do require no equipment at all, just your bodyweight. Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) is the king of HIIT and has hundreds of videos you can follow on his You Tube channel, check it out and give them a go.

Drink gin!
Yes you read that right… drink gin! You’re going to lots of parties, drinking lots of booze… that’s a lot of calories you’re going to consume (empty calories that have no nutritional value). So plan your poison and stick with a clear spirit, like gin or vodka, that isn’t as calorific as something like larger or cider. Drink it with tonic or soda, and stick with the same drink all night… the dreaded next day in the office, with the hangover from hell won’t be as bad that way too! Check out my gin blogs for gins I’ve supped and sampled, my all-time favorite is still Bloom gin, I really like Manchester Three Rivers and Manchester Gin too!

Drink more water
I go on about this to everyone, all of the time… water is life! Drink water in-between your alcoholic drinks, and drink plenty throughout the day, between 2-4 litres. There are so many benefits to drinking water; increased energy, healthier skin, teeth and bones, increased metabolism and improved digestion, to name a few! Next time you think you’re hungry, try drinking a glass of water, it may just be that you’re dehydrated and mistaking it for hunger. I’ve written a separate blog about the importance of drinking water, you can read more about the many benefits here.

Lastly, plan as much as you can
If you’re out for a Christmas lunch and get to see a menu beforehand, choose healthier options such as turkey (minus the skin) and veg, a great source of lean protein! Choose a healthier starter, such as a fish dish and go easy on the dessert – do you really need one?

When it comes to the Christmas food shop, write a shopping list and stick to it as much as you can. Don’t be sucked in to the 2-4-1 Quality Street and chocolate treat offers! Also, never go shopping hungry, you’ll go wild with insatiable temptation.

If you have lots of social events in the week, plan meals around them. Try to have healthier home-cooked dishes and prep meals in advance where you can. More often than not, it’s the dirty, salty, greasy food you crave and eat on a hangover that leaves you feeling the most bloated and bleurgh!

Remember… everything in moderation! 

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Today is a good day!

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The impossible became possible! I passed my level 3 PT theory exams… YAY!

Chuffed to bits and so relieved, I can breathe again… well until Saturday, when I do my practical.

The pressure I’ve felt in the lead up is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, as everything in my ‘dream’ future is riding on this… I quit my job for this!

Stress, anxiety, fear, doubt, major doubt; is the toxic cocktail of emotions I’ve been swimming in for the last few weeks and months, since handing my notice in. Questioning my sanity, capabilities, life decisions (all of my life decisions to date for that matter…). I’ve looked like a walking corpse! So much so that my tutor/examiner said as much today, as I stood grey complexion, shaking like a leaf, waiting to go into the exam room.

I’m not a scientific thinker, I was crap at science at school, and the anatomy is bloody complex! So this has been no easy feat, no ‘winging it’ on this occasion. I’ve had to read everything hundreds of times for it to go in and ‘get it’, and I still don’t fully get it. I’m going to be studying and learning constantly from here on in… but I’m excited about that!

So that’s my good news for the day… fingers, toes and anything else that can be crossed, crossed for my practical exam on Saturday.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear!

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