It's officially 2014! The year passed so quickly for me. 2012 was the year I changed my lifestyle to the now healthy version (Grace 2.0) and this continued on throughout the entirety of 2013. 2013 was also the year that I started my blog so a lot has happened over this year and I couldn't be happier. Today I want to share with you my tips for staying healthy throughout 2014.
- Plan EVERYTHING
You all know I'm a Pinterest addict, I even wrote a blog post about using Pinterest to maintain a healthy lifestyle! But the main thing that I use Pinterest for is planning. I use it as a visual aid for myself when I meal plan. Now, Pinterest may not be your thing, in which case I encourage you to find another form of planning. Write down your meals for the week, your shopping list, schedule in your exercise time, write down when you're catching up with your friends and won't need a lunch planned! It takes a little bit of time each week but it sets you up for the entire week and you won't be left wondering what's for dinner or left without an important ingredient.
2. Don't Set Yourself Up For Failure
On Pinterest I make sure that I follow hardly any "bad" food boards. I fill my home feed with beautiful healthy foods and not bad ones that will entice me. Are you addicted to watching the food network? Maybe just adjust your tv schedule so that you're not watching around dinner time or only watch healthy food shows!
When you go grocery shopping don't buy junk food. Just don't do it! Buy lots of healthy food or a healthy alternative- you won't go hungry and you won't see the packet of biscuits sitting in your pantry and think "Oh I'll just have one..." *twenty biscuits later*... is that just me?
3. Know How to Handle Cravings
So you've been craving chocolate for the past couple of days, you've done what everyone says to avoid cravings but you just need it. Why not make a healthier alternative like dark choc chip cookies made without butter and sugar? They do exist, I've tried them and even gave them out as Christmas gifts!
If you cook healthy alternatives to an otherwise unhealthy meal, you will beat the craving without the guilt. Try my baked sweet potato wedges the next time you are craving a pub meal or make these Garlic Roasted Pumpkin Seeds when you feel like buttery popcorn. No guilt here!
4. The Wagon- How to Get Back On It
This one's a little difficult. You've stopped exercising for 2 weeks and the bad food is creeping back in. It starts to happen to me when uni gets tough but I handle it by planning. I know I'm going to be incredibly stressed for 2 weeks. I won't have time to exercise but I will MAKE SURE I eat healthy. I CAN take a half hour out of my day to plan my meals for the week.
If you've already fallen off you need to dig deep. Ease your way back into it. Haven't exercised in 2 weeks? Do a gentler version of what you normally do. A runner? Walk your usual route. A HIITer? Do a bodyweight version or a shorter workout.
Plan your meals for the week so that you are EXCITED about them and will want to eat them!
5. Recognise Your Achievements
This is a big one because for me, when I lost all my weight I hardly had anything to show for it. Every bad photo of my "almost overweight" self I had deleted. Every big arm- gone. Every picture of my rolls- disappeared. I deleted them all out of shame but when it comes around to it I don't have a "before and after" comparison. I worked really hard this year and was really proud of myself but had nothing to show. My trouble area is my stomach and I finally took a picture of it that I'm going to share with you today which is still hard for me but I want to recognise my achievement.
So every kilo you lose, write it down in a journal or take a photo of yourself and DON'T delete it!
Smile more. This year will be the year. If you are willing to commit to planning, exercising and educating yourself about healthy foods and lifestyles then you will succeed. You will probably fall off the wagon at some point but everyone does. You have to grit your teeth and climb back on. Hold yourself accountable. Keep a food diary or tell all your friends about your newfound lifestyle even if some won't hear it! You are responsible for your own wellbeing- being healthy is a choice. I hope you choose it in 2014.
P.s This is dedicated to my friend, Steph. Love you to pieces!