So, from tomorrow there are exactly 91 days until Summer officially begins!
What better way to motivate yourself to prepare for these spring months than dragging a few friends into a month long health and wellbeing challenge as well!
I would say there might have been a little eye rolling and “oh here we go”s around when I asked a few girls from work if they wanted to join me in committing to a month focussed on my three favourite things – Nourishment, Movement and Empowerment.
I have to admit, I sometimes struggle to practice what I preach. Don’t get me wrong – health and overall wellbeing is my biggest passion and I could talk about it until the cows come home – but sometimes the usually balanced scale can tip a little far one way. I have never claimed that I only eat 100% clean (apart from the 3 months earlier this year which you can read about here) because that would not be true. I do claim to nourish my body and mind with healthy, good quality food on a daily basis, which allows me to be flexible with what I choose when it comes to not so clean foods. 9 times out of 10 I will pick the healthy option, as I’m a firm believer that it is what you do on a daily basis that has the most impact – not what you do just sometimes.
Eating one salad won’t make you lean, just like eating one burger won’t make you overweight. It’s about consistency.
So sometimes I need to check myself – am I being consistent with my eating? Am I picking the right foods for my body? How big are my portion sizes? The month of August was an opportunity to check myself. And having 3 girls from work joining in with me was great motivation. There were definitely some struggles and challenges throughout the month, which I’m not surprised about. Life happens – all the time! Things come up where what is available to eat is limited and possibly not something you would always have OR is something you always have and you’re trying to avoid it for a little while.
These challenges will happen ALL THE TIME. I’m not going to sugar coat anything here – it’s not a walk in the park to change your lifestyle, eat healthy food for the majority of your meals, move your body in some way every day and also have some downtime to relax. It’s HARD. Very hard! If it was easy everyone would do it!
It’s how you respond to those challenges that will determine your outcome. To not prepare yourself for any type of challenge is just setting yourself up to be challenged even more – which may make or break you. I’m not going to pretend that not succeeding isn’t an option, because a lot of people just find it too hard and prefer to go back to their old habits of eating junk and not looking after their body and mind. However, if your mind-set is set on one thing and in one direction, then every challenge you overcome will make you all that more determined to stay on track. You might slip up here and there, but if you don’t let one unhealthy meal become a WEEK of unhealthy meals then you should be so incredibly proud of yourself.
This past month hasn’t been that easy. It’s still been cold so the motivation to go out for a fat burning walk or prep for my lunches in the coming week has been pretty difficult – sometimes I would MUCH rather stay snuggled on the couch with my hot tea. But you see, these are just all excuses.
There will ALWAYS be excuses, but none of them work.
(I got that quote from my old trainer in Perth – check him out he’s awesome. Don’t be intimidated by the singlets that show his nipples, you get used to it after a while)
I’m super proud of the girls who blitzed their way through this challenge – some of them learned new things about themselves and their willpower, others discovered healthy alternatives to their usual meals, and they ALL experimented with something new in the kitchen. I hope they will all continue with some of the new habits they have picked up in some way or another. Just remember that any progress, no matter how big or small, is still progress. It can be hard to keep your eye on the light at the end of the tunnel (in any aspect of your life not just health and wellbeing) and instead think about how far you still have to go, instead of how bloody well you have done so far.
What did I find most difficult?
- Fitting in the three FBW’s. I love to do these in the mornings but a recent change in my schedule has meant I need to fit them in at the end of the day. As this means not eating 3 hours before hand, if I do it after work then that means not eating after 2:30pm…. Hence my struggle! Hahahaha
- Portion sizes. So my husband is a dairy farmer and is active all day every day. This means he eats – A LOT. So we only have one meal a day together – dinner. Theoretically this should be your smallest meal of the day as you’re just about to hit the sack and get some much needed (in my case!) beauty sleep. So really I don’t need to be eating much at this time of night but my husband is STARVING from all his work – hence sometimes it’s a bit hard to tell who’s plate is whose…. I’ve started dishing the food up then actually taking some off my plate and putting it back. No way am I still hungry after eating, so I know that’s a good indication that I don’t need what I’ve taken off. I’ve also been known to use a bread and butter plate for dinner, just to trick myself into thinking I am actually eating a plate full….
- The sweet stuff. Now I haven’t eaten any processed sugary foods this whole month apart from a couple of times – some rocky road with friends we hadn’t seen in ages, a mocktail in Auckland, a little dark chocolate every now and then and I split this oaty bar from a café at The Mount. It’s amazing how the sugar effects you! I had the mocktail and the rocky road at the same time in the evening and I’m not even joking when I say this but I actually felt like I had a hangover the next day. I hadn’t had any alcohol and I wasn’t late getting to bed, but I was struggling the whole 24 hours after that!
What I’m going to keep working on:
- All of the above!
- Using more willpower for when it comes to giving in to cravings.
- My hormones. This is something I’ve felt like I have needed to balance for a while, and I’ve actually organised to have an appointment with the Natural Hormone Therapy company in Tauranga – watch this space!
- Leafy green vegetables. These have taken a back seat the last couple of months, I think just because during winter I haven’t made as many salads which are my main sources of these vegetables! Now it’s warming up a little I’ll be making them more frequently. I CAN’T WAIT!