On 5 January, I posted about 10 steps I would implement to start living healthier again.
Right now, I am almost one month into my regime (I started on 1 January), so it’s time to look back at my ups and downs, my struggles and victories and what works and doesn’t work for me. My biggest lesson was that planning is key, as without it, it’s so very easy to slip back into old naughty habits! Come read along!
I said I wouldn’t drink until February; I did not make that because we unexpectedly went for an amazing lunch at a two Michelin star restaurant where the wine list was just to good to say no to (I’m only human!). To be honest, during the rest of the month, I have not missed it. I might stick to the not drinking at home policy for a while and have it as a treat when I’m out, as I do enjoy a good glass of wine from time to time.
Cutting back on refined sugar, gluten and dairy
When you start reading labels, you become aware of how much sugar is in everything and it’s shocking! Now I know and I try to limit refined sugars as much as I can and stick to natural sugars. Sometimes it’s hard to avoid, but it’s all about balance. Cutting out gluten is hard for a girl who loves bread as much as I do, but it’s effective! After 10 days, I really started to feel a difference: I feel so much lighter and more energetic. Dairy I don’t miss at all; I only use a cream cheese in one of my favorite soups, but I don’t make that every week, so as an occasional treat I’m ok with it.
Planning is crucial I notice; if I don’t plan, I don’t go. All in all I’ve been doing well with focussing on core exercise: I’ve been doing pilates, swimming and cross training. I now need start focusing on cardio again too and get back into running. Next week, I hope to cross one thing of my bucket list: go for a run in Central Park.
I need to put more effort in planning my meals beforehand, so I can take lunch to work. If I don’t, I end up buying stuff I shouldn’t buy. Also, preparing a healthy savory snack (like nuts) for my commute back home is key: being peckish and passing temptation at the shops at the station is a combination which has disaster written all over it!
So in conclusion, my experience is that the secret lies in planning: planning meals, planning groceries, planning work outs. As the Hobbit always says: to fail to plan is to plan to fail. And he’s right.
Next month, I will not go to the extremes as I did in January with my diet, that was an experiment to see how it affected my body. It affected it positively with 3 kilo less, so I’m pleased with that. I’m now implementing the 70/30 rule where I allow myself the occasional treat to keep a healthy lifestyle sustainable. I think denying yourself things completely will only make you crave it more, resulting in binging on unhealthy stuff.
My goals will be finding balance and moderation but also; trying to maintain living healthily while traveling and making healthier choices when eating out!
Pictures courtesy of Pinterest