Argh! What are we meant to be? Skinny one minute, then ‘ripped’ the next. What’s with all this emphasis on body image? Now, more than ever, this focus on our looks is getting in the way of us being healthy, confident and happy.
So, we’re going to kick that negative body image in the gluteus maximus, bury that lack of self-worth and realise your full potential. Ready? Here’s what to do:
It’s really as simple as that. I appreciate that adding fitness into a busy schedule can seem impossible. But try any of the following and see in a few weeks how much better you feel:
• Form a work walking lunch club and get out for brisk walk for 30 mins (weather permitting or course).
• Walk up the tube escalators instead of standing.
• Get off a stop earlier than normal and walk the rest of the way to the office/home.
• At weekends, take the kids to the local park and play active games with them instead of watching on the sidelines.
• Start a fitness group with friends and schedule a weekly workout/run in a park or on the common.
• Join a group fitness class. There are loads on Tooting Common or local churches. Aim for 1-2 sessions a week.
• Workout at home. YouTube has some fantastic workouts that you can do in the comfort of your home – aim for 2-3 30 minute sessions a week.
• If all this seems daunting, then enlist a personal trainer like me. Our expertise lies in knowing how to build a personalised fitness plan that fits with your level and lifestyle. Plus you’ll get our undivided support to help you through this journey!
Ditch the ‘fad’ quick fix diets
Yes, they help to shed weight very quickly but they’re no good for you! They may make you feel good in the short-term, but you’ll soon be feeling fed-up when you go back to your normal diet and suddenly find the weight’s returned (and then some). Eat natural, non-processed food as much as possible.
Track your food for at least for 2-3 weeks. Use myfitnesspal.com or write it all down. Then, each week, review your food and consider whether you’re getting enough of the following into your diet. 2 of your meals in a day should have:
• 2 large handfuls of salad/veg especially your greens – spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, rocket etc…
• 1 handful of organic meat or plant-based protein like beans, lentils or pulses.
• 1 handful of starchy veg or carbs (yes, some carbs are good!) – sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, wholemeal pasta.
• 1-2 thumbs of healthy fats and oils – olive oil, nuts, seeds, nut butters.
• 1-2 handfuls of fruit – shredded apple or berries are especially good at breakfast with porridge or Greek yoghurt.
You can find some healthy recipe ideas on my blog
Watch your portion size
If you eat well, but tend to overload your plate and never leave leftovers, then eat from a smaller plate. Research has shown that you will consume less if you do so.
Can’t cook! Won’t cook!
Panic not if you’re reading this and thinking I can’t cook like this! Whilst it might be more expensive than a monthly shop, sign up to online meal companies like mindfulchef.com for a few meals each week– they’ll deliver healthy ingredients (with recipes) to your door. Then just follow the recipe and whip up your meal. You’ll learn how to cook from scratch and build the confidence and understanding to go it alone.
Don’t medicate. Hydrate!
Water is the elixir of your life and if you think having 10 cups of tea or coffee every day will suffice, think again. I recommend this to my clients who struggle to drink water daily. Put a pint glass of filtered water by your bed when you go to sleep. Upon awakening, drink it down before you do anything else. Boom – you’re some way to being hydrated for the day!
Ditch the scales and measuring tape
Get moving more and eating well before you start to worry about losing weight (if you need to that is). Once you’ve cracked this, then you’ll make a more balanced choice about how you want to shift the pounds and be more realistic about what your body should look like, as opposed to what the latest fitness model looks like.
It’s good to talk and learn
One of my favourite follows is #myfitnessjourney on Instagram with real people documenting their path to good health. Share your new healthy journey with friends and family or find a support group who are on the same path. There are plenty of these groups on social media – find the one that resonates with what you want to achieve.
Careful who you aspire to in the media. Follow real people that you can relate to and unfollow those you ‘wish you were like’ – the likes of the Kardashians have millions to spend on restructuring their looks. And let’s not forget the power of filters and photoshop to give that slimline waist!
Each morning write down three things you’re grateful for. It can be anything about yourself or your life. In moments of negative feelings, remember them and you’ll be amazed at how quickly those nasty thoughts fritter away.
I’ve seen first-hand the stress we put ourselves under when it comes to our physical selves. It’s why I advocate my clients start with getting their internal self working in a positive and healthy way before worrying what’s on the outside.
And it works. If you take your time about this rather than seek the ‘quick-fix’ and be kind to yourself, watch what happens to you and what you can achieve. Like I say – ‘fit attitude’ first and the ‘fit body’ will follow!