Put that Pizza slice down!
Over Christmas, I was a little generous with the junk food. Some people think 6 mince pies in a row is excessive, I call it lunch!. As the weeks went by, I was eating more and more, a Dominoes pizza once a week became twice a week. We all know, at Christmas time we have a tendency to overeat, in my case I was over eating for 10. I would order a pizza and literally salivate at the thought of just demolishing it in one go. I would feel fantastic pre pizza, and like a dishelleved lagoon monster post pizza.
I began to eat like this for weeks and weeks after Christmas, until it became no longer acceptable to enjoy mighty festive treats on an hourly basis. I was feeling lethargic, unproductive, tired, uninspired. I would find reasons to eat poorly, I forgot to go to the shops, there’s nothing in the house, I’m too tired to cook. The only person I was lying to, was myself, and the pizza man ( “oh this isn’t all for me, giant party going on in here”). The more I ate junk food, the less energetic I felt. I didn’t want to go outside, exercise, breath. I was very unfit, I’m naturally very thin, but 6 slices of toast, chocolate and numerous cups of tea, are bound to have an effect on ones tummy.
I literally thought, I would continue on this way until next Christmas, until I had a food epiphany. I was sitting in my kitchen after doing some tough college work, and I took out 2 mince pies and gobbled them whole. Followed in quick succession by 4 more. This was my breaking point, I thought, I can’t eat like this anymore, it’s insane (delicious) but insane. So I went around, my whole house, like a cookie sniper and took out all of the junk food one by one. I even threw out all of the white bread *sobs*. When I seen all of the food in the bin, I couldn’t believe the processed garbage, I had been consuming on a daily basis (I did think about diving in there for one last gobble)
After this traumatic experience *chuckles* I started researching more about unprocessed whole foods, that fuel your body, rather than leaving you hobbling around like gollum part 2. I had been feeling rubbish for weeks, and just pawned it off as having too little sleep. I never thought that eating this kind of food, could be affecting my anxiety, sleep, digestion. I slowly started to exercise week by week. I mean by the first week, I was like a sloth trying to use a kettle bell, in the water, but eventually my body became much more limber. I had more energy in the morning, than I had ever had before. I actually looked forward to going to the gym, but mostly I exercised in my own home.
It’s week 4 now, and I’m past the worst of it, on week 1, I had serious cravings for junk food, but that slowly goes away, and your stomach starts to shrink. I eat as much now, as I did before, but it’s what I’m eating that’s making the difference. Everyone has a different journey with their health, I’m glad I had the wake up call that I did ( I should really be thanking those mince pies). Here are just a few tips that helped me on my Healthy body, healthy mind journey.
> Drink lots and lots of H20 ( I was drinking a lot of coke, before I started cleansing my presses and fridge. Coke is seriously addictive, and dehydrating. You feel fantastic for an hour, and then once the rush is gone, you crash horribly. I still have a Coke at the weekend (cheat day) but I recommend abstaning as much as possible. You should be drinking 2 litres of water a day, that’s the equivalent of 8 glasses. Trust me, you will feel so much better for it. I like to have a glass of water first thing in the morning, and before every major meal. I crave water now, more than Coke. I’ve really noticed the changes in my skin and hair since I started drinking more H20.
> A tonic anyone? ( When I was eating really bad, my immune system was terrible. I kept getting sore throats, chest infections, head colds, you name it, I had it. One Doctor told me to go out, and buy a tonic, so I did and I found them to be super helpful. I would recommend Floridix or Seven Seas multivitamins. I used to crash right around midday, but now I feel super energised, right through the day. Make sure that you check the back of the box, for nutritional information.
> Fresh Fruit and Vegetables/ Whole foods/ chicken and red meats ( If you’re going out shopping, make sure that you only pick up fresh fruit and veg, basically anything that can be steamed and served as a side dish with your meals. Avoid anything frozen, like those pesky frozen pizza’s and chips. Stick to sweet potato, butternut squash and carrots instead of mash and spuds. Do not buy processed foods, they should have warning lables on them!. Look at it this way, your body is machine, if you stick the wrong parts into a machine, it is likely to malfunction and fail. If you feed your body the wrong food, it will malfunction, and you will get sick. Eat plenty of lean meats like chicken and lean turkey/ mince burgers. The general consensus is that, if you eat carbs, you will get fat. This is not true, carbs can be a very helpful source of energy after a workout. Try having your rice or pasta with some protein, after an intense workout, you will feel great, and you’re body will thank you. Cutting out carbs altogether will make you super grumpy (insert angry troll here), I try to stick to two small portions of carbs a day, along with alot of veg and protein. My main sources of protein are, chickpeas, kidney beans, eggs and chicken. If you are a vegetarian, Quorn or Hemp protein powder, are good sources also.
< Exercise ( Exercise has always, had a huge impact on the way I feel. Gym memberships can be costly, I recommend exercising in the privacy of your own home. You have everyhting you need. A couch for dips, a wall for squatting and a floor for jumping Jack’s. Pick up some dumbells, a mat and some kettle bells in your local sports store and your sorted. I usually find the best workouts to do, are high intensity. I usually do 3 reps of 15 sets for 15 minutes. The best exercises in my opinion are Squats, lunges and burpees. These exercises work on your legs and thighs. When I’m working on my stomach, I like to do Russian twists, 15 reps of 8 sets, and occassionaly I throw in a plank. I found this video of Lean in 15's coach Joe Wick’s super helpful.
< Document your food journey ( You can do this manually, by writing it down in your diary or by using an app. My personal favourite is MyFitnessPal. While I don’t recommend calorie counting, I feel it is important to make a note of the ‘kinds’ of foods you are eating, and how they make you feel. Document your journey, by taking a photo of your body every day and compare and contrast. Some people like to use a weighing scales, but I wouldn’t rely on this too heavily, as when you are gaining muscle, your weight may not change too much.
< Meal Prep ( This is one of the most important things to do, when you’re tryng to eat healthier, prep your meals a week in advance, food like chicken, rice and veggies are a perfect healthy lunch, pack snacks with you too, like rice cakes and Meridian Peanut Butter, or a handful of fruit and nuts. Some people might say that these are fatty foods, but they are healthy fats and they will fuel your body.
< Take your time ( Don’t be expecting to see results straight way, it takes 6 weeks for you to notice the changes in your body, and 8 weeks for others to notice. You will have bad days! It’s a Friday evening, you’re just back from work, you’re tired and you want to order a takeaway. It’s ok to treat yourself once and a while. I like to give myself a whole day at the weekend to eat whatever I like, and then I’m back to my healthy eating for the rest of the week. The important thing, is not to let two days of bad eating turn into a whole week of bad eating. Stay on track and you will see results.