how to start & maintain a healthy lifestyle

TeagsLeePointPerronHave you been thinking for a while that you want to get healthy? Maybe you set it as a New Years resolution and it’s now April and you ate a whole packet of chips last night, drank a bottle of wine and that chocolate block has gone missing?

It’s ok we have all been there and we all start somewhere.

First thing is first, we aren’t perfect, we aren’t robots, we have feelings and sometimes want to treat ourself to a delicious naughty vegan magnum (or a normal magnum).
This is your friendly reminder that there will be times in your journey where you aren’t able to make the most healthiest decision. You will go to your mums house for dinner and she’ll have made your favourite dessert, please enjoy that slice of cheesecake. You’ll go to your friends house on a Friday after the working week and she’ll offer you a wine, please enjoy that glass. I am your reasonable reminder that life happens and sometimes there are going to be hard choices to make, sometimes no healthy option is available and sometimes like I said you just want some ice cream. So don’t be too harsh on yourself when one of these moments occur. It is only important that these ‘unhealthier’ choices don’t occur every single day.

Right, now to the actionable steps.

Tell someone.
Let those know who you live with, loved ones and close friends that you are going on this journey and that you’d like their support. So, for one they don’t offer you chocolate and two, they can keep you accountable. Heck you might even inspire them and then you have a buddy for this new part of your life.

Clear out the junk.
Now, we all know that when there are unhealthy choices in front of you, it’s very tempting and almost impossible to say no. So all those biscuits you have in the house, you need to get rid of. For god sake, do not do what everyone else does and eat it all in one go. Either give it away (don’t throw it away, that’s not helping anyone), or chose a day of the week where you’d like to treat yourself. Until it’s all gone, then replace it with healthier versions or not at all because even if there is dairy free, refine sugar free, vegan chocolate sitting in the pantry we are going to eat it anyway. Or is that just me?

Move your body daily.
It is really important to find something that you enjoy doing. Whether it’s playing a tennis game, walking along the beach or going to a gym, you have to find what you enjoy because otherwise you’ll do it for 3 days and then it’ll all be too hard and your healthy lifestyle resolution will come around again next year. That’s not going happen here! This is your year!
If you’re new to exercising, let’s just manage a 30 minute walk 3-5 days of the week. Small steps all count. Join a group fitness gym where you can be surrounded by like minded people and friendly trainers. A little word of warning for those really competitive/all or nothing people, ensure you have a day off too. Listen to your body, if you’re super sore take a day out of the gym and spend those 30 minutes stretching at home. Ensure at least 1 day a week you do some active recovery, stretching or nothing at all.

Learn.
Educating yourself on health and fitness is a great place to start when you’re new to this way of life. Another word of warning, don’t believe everything you read to be true. Sometimes it’s best to see what works best for your body, but just make sure what you’re consuming is from a reputable source. Don’t believe things you read on facebook or anything about those diet shakes, just consume real foods. To learn, I’m a massive advocate for podcasts because you can multi task while listening to one. I also love reading anything self help related because they can really open your mind. If you have a health and fitness question let me know and I’ll try help you.

Meditate.
Give it a go. I talk loads about meditation. I whole heartily believe that everyone should be doing a little bit of meditation in their life. There’s loads of research out there now that shows how beneficial meditation is for the human body and brain. 5 minutes is a great place to start. The app Headspace is super helpful and amazing for the beginners. It’s also free go download it now! The App that unlevelled my meditation is Synctuition. I have also written about meditation on the blog so go have a quick read there. 

Set your ‘Go to Bed Alarm’
Do it now my friend and you’ll thank me in the morning when you wake up feeling fresh AF. If you have an iPhone, go to your ‘Clock’ App, click on ‘Bedtime’ down the bottom and now set your self a bed time and a waking time and ensure the clock says +7 hours. Each person is different to how many hours sleep they need but 7-9 hours is recommended. An alarm will go off 30 minutes before your set bed time so this is when you should be jumping into bed to fall asleep not scroll or read (do that before hand).
Or just set a normal alarm for your bed time. That’s it, step completed.

The reason for doing this is to really take care of your sleeping habits. When we are sleeping enough our body is able to go through a complete cycle of recovery and rejuvenation. Our cells are repaired, our memory is stored, our hormones balance, everything in your body required you to sleep well to function at 100%. 

Do something for yourself daily.
‘Daily’, a bit extravagant hey? Not enough time in the day for this?
Look I totally understand that in this century our schedules don’t include ‘white space’ (well unless we are self isolating) and we just don’t have enough time in the day, but I am going to show that you do have time to fill your own cup. If your cup is empty, how are you going to give from it? You must understand that you are the most important person in your life, so it’s essential for you to care for yourself before anyone else.

If your day is full of working 12 hours, sleeping 8, eating 3, there’s not a lot of time for yourself. But this is where I come in. Unless you’re totally unhappy with your working schedule, I’d probably tell you to quit to find something that you do enjoy for less hours. But if you do enjoy your job (like me working 12hrs), here are some things that you can do for yourself which don’t take long, but they allow you to do something for yourself that you love and that nourishes the soul.

  • Work out for 15-30 minutes. There are gazillions of videos on YouTube.
  • Paint your nails, put a hair mask in, give yourself a body oil self massage.
  • Meditate for 5 minutes before bed.
  • Journal for 4 minutes when you wake up.
  • Take your lunch outside to get some sun rays (without your phone).
  • Online shop and buy yourself those Lululemon tights that you know you deserve.
  • Read a chapter of that book you’ve left for two months on your bedside table.
  • Enjoy a cappuccino at the cafe before work.
  • Paint or draw a picture.
  • Go for a 10 minute walk, a swim or lay in the sun.
  • Watch the latest video from your favourite fitness guru.

Some are really simple things, but that’s what optimising your day is all about. You have to do something for yourself not just for your boss, your loved ones or for society. It’s your life, do things that you really enjoy with the time you have. Feel good saying ‘no’ to those after work drinks when you know deep down you really just want to go to the gym.

When we work for someone else or even if you’re self employed we give a lot out to others. We can spend years giving to others and not thinking about ourselves (mothers do this a lot). We must fill up our cup to ensure we can be our best for our work, our children and for everything we want to do in the day.

Working as a Personal Trainer you give out a lot physically (which is very rewarding and my heart is so happy doing this), and it can be mental too because you get to know these people so they start to share more with you each time you see them. So it is very important for me to do something for myself every day so I don’t take on others problems, issues, energies and to just fill my own cup. Otherwise I’d be a mess worrying about others health, financial, relationship issues or what their mother told them. I do as much as I can to help others but I must look after myself too.

Shopping time.
For food that is. And possibly some new activewear that can launch your new journey. What ever your budget allows for.
So food. These days it seems complicated. I’m here to K.I.S.S (keep it simple silly). Fad diets change more than I change my undies, yes I change them twice a day (does everyone else do this?). Celery juice, detox, keto, carb free, low fat, high carb, raw. Seriously, let’s start with the basics.
BUY – Fruit. Vegetables. Whole Grains. Legumes. Seeds. Nuts.
AVOID – Processed foods (things in a packet). Limit or avoid animal products.
That’s all you need to know.

 

Habits create consistency & consistent efforts create results. So start here and let me know how you go. Also, don’t be too harsh on yourself. We can be our worst enemies so be kind to yourself and just take small steps everyday.

 

What steps are you taking today I’d love to know what’s working for you?
Reach out on Instagram where I am most active and tell me where you’re at in your health journey. 

Love & Peace
Teags Lee x

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