Before I begin, I’ll update you on a couple of life changes since my last post. The most exciting thing I want to mention is that I bought my wedding dress! I’m going to do a separate post on the whole experience soon; explaining how I found ‘the one’ and giving some tips on searching for your own dress, but the main reason I’ve finally got started in this journey back to a healthy lifestyle is because I now have a very physical motivation hanging in my parent’s spare bedroom!
Another massive change in our life is that we have a new puppy! Our gorgeous Cocker Spaniel is called Ringo (yep- after Ringo Star) and he is almost 15 weeks old. Obviously, he’s been keeping us busy (lot’s of people warned us having a puppy is like having a baby and they were not wrong!) and we’ve had our hands full getting him settled!
So. That’s the big news out of the way and now I can get to today’s topic: What I have learnt during my first week of ‘being healthy’. I’ve been looking to make some positive changes to my lifestyle and diet for a while and to be honest, it’s been a hard slog to get started. Over the past year, motivation has been hard to find and my willpower has been at 0%. But one day last week, something just clicked. I can’t say exactly what it was, maybe the warmer weather meant I wanted to eat less, or being up early with Ringo meant I had more time to prep meals, but I had two really good, healthy days. And then I found my wedding dress. Since then, I’ve been determined to stay on track and my first week has been a huge success. Here’s what I’ve learnt so far…
1. Variety is the key to feeling full. It’s enevitable that you end up eating quite a bit of salad when eating healthily; they are quick, easy and a sure-fire way to make sure you are getting the good stuff. I’ve made sure that each salad has been packed with as many different foods as I can; peppers, cucumber, tomato, onion, two types of lettuce or greens, a meat and sprinkling of cheese is usually the starting point. That way, each bite is different. I find I feel like I’m eating more when there are lots of different foods on my plate. That transfers to any meal, I’ve been cooking up lots of veggies for dinner and have even been having two small breakfasts (scrambled egg and tomato followed by yoghurt, honey and granola) to give the illusion of bigger meals, when actually I’ve been having more smaller portions instead.
2. It only takes a few days to feel the difference. After the first day, I felt proud that I’d made good choices. After 3 days, my stomach felt flatter and I was much less bloated. After 5 days, the scales showed a loss. After 7 days, Guy noticed I looked a bit slimmer. I’m not talking about massive changes; it has only been a week, but they are noticeable to me. I feel generally healthier and that gives me confidence.
3. A full fridge is not a temptation. In the past, I’ve always tried to keep as little food in the house as possible, following the idea that if I don’t have it, I can’t eat it. All that has led to is late night trips to Tesco to buy one quick snack, which inevitably becomes a basketful of treats which are on offer. And then I think “I’ll start again tomorrow” so eat everything I have just purchased in one sitting. This time around I’ve packed my fridge full of healthy goodies and so if ever I feel peckish, I have something to graze on which isn’t made entirely of chocolate or comes in a large, blue tube (Pringles are my life!). This also helps with point one- filling my plate with lots of different things!
4. Everything in moderation. I’ve heard this advice so many times but never followed it. Until this week. Nothing is off limits. At lunch yesterday, my fiancé had crisps with his salad sandwich. I wanted some too so I had four on the side of my plate. I didn’t feel like I was missing out and I really savoured that little treat. I’d already swapped my sandwich for just a salad to avoid the bread; so there was my compromise. This afternoon, we found ourselves out over lunchtime and ended up at Nando’s. Again, rather than denying myself, I chose a healthy option from the menu and really enjoyed it. I still ended up under my calorie count for the day – winner! By not actually banning any foods, I feel less restricted and crave unhealthy snacks much less.
And those are my four lessons learnt from this week. Hopefully, they will give you inspiration to get going if you have been stuck in an unhealthy rut; or some food-for-thought (I know- terrible pun!) if you are already on a healthy journey!
Ciao for now,