Day 1 – #50DaysMotivation

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Day1

So who’s going to join me on my 50 days of Motivation challenge?

If today is the day you’ve decided to take on your New Year Resolution, I’m going to be here for the next fifty days to keep you accountable and motivated!

Whether you want to lose weight, become more active, be a happier person or strive at work #50DaysMotivation will be here to give you the inspiration you need to reach your goal. Every day you’ll receive your pep talk to keep you accountable and motivated!

The reason I’ve picked 50 days is because that will take us to mid-February and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goal!

Every day here on the blog, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat I’ll be here to help you take small steps towards your goal. 50 days may seem daunting but we’re going to take it one day at a time!

For the 50 days we’re going to concentrate on inspiration, motivation, self-love, leadership and calming techniques. No matter what your end goal is, these daily pep talks and challenges will help you achieve what you really want!

So how do we start off the challenge?

Well decide how you want to feel in 50 days time?

Today is the day

In order to succeed in this challenge you have to know what success will feel like for you.

Do you want to be looking in the mirror feeling proud that you lost 7lbs?
Do you want to feel calmer, having meditated everyday for 50 days?
Do you want to breath deeper, having not smoked a cigarette in 50 days?
Do you want to feel successful, enjoying your new promotion in work?
Do you want to feel fitter, after taking part in a Couch to 5k program?

Right now I want you to focus on what your goal is for the next 50 days and write down exactly how you want to feel on day 50. You don’t have to write it anywhere fancy, a note on your phone is fine. But have it somewhere that you can read it at any time during the next 50 days. Because you want to make that feeling a reality!

Have yourself a mindful Christmas!

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Take time for yourself this Christmas

Take time for yourself this Christmas

Well it’s Christmas week. Yay!

Maybe you are already at home or will be travelling home in the next few days. With all the gift-buying, socialising and general hustle and bustle that Christmas week brings, your mind-set can easily spiral, leaving you tired and stressed. It’s important to look after yourself over the holidays. There is no worse feeling than heading back to work in January and being completely run down. Here are a few things you can do to ensure you have a mindful Christmas and hit January with the right mind-set!

1) Keep a gratitude journal – This doesn’t have to be a big fancy thing, it can be as simple as using the notes app on your phone and updating it every night as you brush your teeth. Why keep a gratitude journal? Well while it might be a blessing that you are surrounded by family at Christmas, it can also cause a great deal of stress! If you spend a couple of minutes putting together a list of things you are grateful for this can help you stay calm and more positive when dealing with stressful situations.

For example, if you have a brother who really grates on you over Christmas, maybe spend ten minutes thinking of times when you got on really well, even if it was when you were children. Just remembering happier times and writing them down will help you deal with any issues you have with your brother in the present day. Or maybe you didn’t get a gift you really wanted? Write down all the little nice items you got throughout the entire year. This will put into perspective all the blessings you have, not just at Christmas.

2) Change traditions – Sometimes we blindly follow a tradition at Christmas…well just because it is Christmas! For example, maybe you bought gifts for all your siblings, but now you have to buy for siblings, partners and spouses, nieces and nephews. What started out as a quaint tradition now needs military precision to handle! Maybe this year suggest that this gift-giving is scaled down to a manageable tradition again. Suggest a Kris-Kindle or maybe instead of everyone buying something, donate all that money to a chosen charity.

3) Everything doesn’t need to be perfect! – At Christmas time we seem to think everything needs to look like it’s right out of a movie. How perfectly the tree is decorated, how elegantly the wrapping needs to be on all the gifts, how extravagant the Christmas dinner will be. But in reality – the tree lights will be all tangled up in one another, there will be an hour-long queue into the shopping centre when you go to buy gifts and the turkey will be too big to fit in your oven!

You could let these obstacles stress you. Spend much of your Christmas trying to make everything perfect but instead spoiling it for others on your impossible quest. Or you could just stop right now, and say ‘I do not need perfection!’ Will anyone really remember if you used double sided sellotape to wrap your presents so they look perfect or will they remember you sitting back and reminiscing about past Christmases. Every time you say yes to your quest for perfection, remember you are saying no to just enjoying the moment and the holidays.

4) Take time for you – I know with all the demands of Christmas it can be difficult to get alone time that you can truly enjoy. But maybe instead of getting unwanted gifts from loved ones, ask them to give you an hours or even a day where you can get away from it all. You don’t want to face into January suffering from exhaustion! You need to recharge your batteries and that starts by being compassionate to yourself and allowing you to step away from everyone’s demands. This is not a selfish act. This is an act of self-preservation that allows your mind the quietness it craves. If you are rested, you have a greater capacity to care for both yourself and others.

5 ways to stay in control of your cravings over Christmas!

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Stay in control of cravings with these tips

Stay in control of cravings with these tips

It is so easy to mindlessly overeat during the holidays,especially at Christmas. Almost every event you go to centres around food. And generally most houses have far more sweet, rich indulgent foods that can easily cause a trigger and lead you to binge. Here are 5 steps you can take to ensure a healthier and happier Christmas!

1) Recreate old Christmas recipes – Just because a lot of the foods you associate with Christmas are calorie laden, doesn’t mean you have to forever say goodbye to them. Spruce the recipes up with a few healthy tweaks. If you love mince pies – but hate all the added calories of butter pastry, why don’t you stew some apples and mix the mince pie filling through the apples. That way you still get the taste of Christmas but without all that fat!

2) Enjoy just a taste – For a lot of people – Christmas is a time to booze! But instead of pouring yourself a large glass of Baileys, why don’t you just add a dash the next time you are making yourself a coffee. That way you get to enjoy the taste of Baileys (who doesn’t love a Baileys Irish coffee?), and still get into your Christmas day outfit without sucking in your stomach! (Just be warned, don’t get too indulgent with the booze if you plan on driving!!

3) Don’t put food out in bowls – After the Christmas tree is up and the house is looking festive, it’s easy to want to finish off the look of the house and have bowls of sweets and other goodies throughout. Or at parties to fill family size bowls with crisps and nuts. Don’t do this! You will just end up mindlessly eating throughout the holidays and shocked when you can’t get back into your work uniform in January!

4) Make time for workouts – If any of your family is into fitness why don’t you ask them to come workout with you. Even if you are not at the same fitness level, you can just be doing your own workouts there together. It’s much easier to workout when you have an accountability buddy. Or if none of your family want to join in your workouts – why don’t you take a time out from all the commotion and go for a walk or jog yourself. Anytime you think a family argument is about to start, throw on those running shoes and get out of there. No one wants to spend Christmas listening to people feuding!

5) Have your breakfast! – It’s so tempting to skip breakfast over Christmas. You wake up late, and decide you will wait til lunch to eat a proper meal. But there are sweets and nibbles all around the house and you quickly scoff a few handfuls of each while you wait for lunch. Now your blood sugar is all over the place and you’ll spend the rest of the day fighting sugar cravings. Avoid all this by having a healthy breakfast. This Christmas resolve to eat a healthy breakfast every morning. Even if you overindulge in the rest of your meals, at least you are still sticking to a healthy habit that will continue to benefit you into January!

Stay motivated over Christmas – Motivation Monday

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Stay motivated over Christmas!

Stay motivated over Christmas!

So Christmas is quickly approaching and you are worrying about how you will deal with all the extra food and the lure of lazy days sitting on the sofa by the fire! Well here are some tips to keep you motivated over Christmas!

1) Plan your workouts! I know working out over Christmas is probably not your idea of fun, but why don’t you schedule into your phone a quick walk or jog. It can remind you to put on your running shoes instead of reaching out for another handful of chocolates! Or if you are a member of a gym – don’t wait til January to go when it’s packed. If your gym has a sauna/steam room why don’t you treat yourself to a little TLC away from the noise of the family. And while you’re there do a quick HIIT session.

2) Indulge in what you really love! Almost everyone associates Christmas with certain foods they love at that time of year. For me it’s mince pies. But there are other foods I eat but don’t really like that much, like after dinner mints. Instead of wasting calories on foods you don’t really like but just eat them because it’s Christmas – only eat foods you really love. That way you won’t feel deprived but can still keep a handle on your weight.

3) Try and keep a routine! I know it’s so easy to slip into a terrible sleep pattern over Christmas. Staying up late watching movies, sleeping in til lunch time – for so many people this becomes their daily routine. But it also means that you are eating later into the night and are less inclined to go out into the dark at 5pm to go for a walk. Try and set your alarm to go off in the morning and try and follow through. If you have to tell your family you will walk to the shop to get the milk needed for the morning. That way you will get up early and have your cardio in for the day!

4) Try some healthy cooking! So many people say that they never have time to cook healthy meals during the year. Now is the time to fill up your freezer. Find all those cook books that are kept on the shelves throughout the year – or maybe you received a new cookbook as a present this year. Get a few recipes together and start cooking! If there are younger kids – get them to help you. They can measure stuff or mix the bowl. Put on some good music and you’re making a memory!

Don’t let a slip turn into a slide – Mindset Monday

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Don't let these cute cookies derail you!

Don’t let these cute Christmas cookies derail you!

As we approach Christmas I want you to make this your mantra. It’s so easy to overindulge during the holidays – with Christmas parties, days out shopping and of course Christmas itself. If every day you ‘slip up’ and overindulge, you will very quickly find that a pound can turn into five pounds of added weight. How will you feel on January 1st to see all the effort that you’ve put in during the last couple of months be completely evaporated?

Will it make you feel motivated to tackle your weight loss? Or will you just feel disheartened? Will your motivation be low, as what started out as little slips – suddenly turned into a major slide.

We can all enjoy the extra trimmings that come with the holidays – but we need to pay special attention to our bodies. Are we eating to please others? Or are we eating because we are bored? Or because the tin of Roses is within grasp? If you feel full during Christmas – stop! Don’t eat any more because you won’t enjoy it. Instead you will just feel horrible – the complete opposite of how you are supposed to feel on Christmas day.

If you have a slip – don’t dwell! Make a note of it and move on. Remember you are looking for progress not perfection! If you manage to maintain your weight over Christmas – that is a victory! If you lose weight – that’s amazing! And if you gain – don’t lose heart. All you have to do is get a blank piece of paper and plan your next 3 meals. That’s it! You don’t have to go on a crazy detox, or sign up to do a marathon – just plan your next 3 meals. And once you’ve eaten those, plan the next three. Because the opposite of a slip is a step. And if you take little steps towards your goal – soon you’ll be hitting your stride!

Self-Sabotage – Mindset Monday

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Self Sabotage quote

Does it sometimes feel like everything is set up against you – that the world is willing you to fail in your weight loss efforts?

Sometimes though, when you really examine what is happening – you realise that you are the main obstacle in your way! You never wake up and say ‘hmmmm….today I am going to sabotage all my efforts at losing weight’, but subconsciously that could be exactly what you are doing.

There can be many reasons why you self-sabotage. Maybe you are afraid of failure? Maybe you had tried to lose weight in the past and had regained what you had lost. This feeling of ‘failure’ may prevent you from taking action this time.

Or maybe your afraid of what might happen when you lose weight. Will you attract more attention – does this make you feel uncomfortable? Are you worried about the pressure to maintain your new figure?

Or perhaps you are just afraid of the unknown? You have no idea what changes are going to occur if you continue to lose weight. But you know that your comfort zone will be altered. And maybe the habits that have been ingrained in you will have to completely change. This level of unknown change can make anyone feel uneasy.

To overcome these things you really have to look deep within you and see what issues your mind is dwelling on. If you don’t identify the ideas and feelings that are causing you to self sabotage – you will forever be doomed to yo-yo diet. People who can face the thoughts that are causing them to self sabotage and work on changing those belief systems will be able to maintain their weight loss easily and effortlessly.

One of the best ways to identify what lies at the heart of your self sabotage is to spend some time meditating on the subject. With our busy lives it can be hard to find a time for reflection but even the next few times you go to boil a kettle, try and quieten your minds chatter and just reflect on a few of these questions:

  • Have you tried to lose weight in the past? How did that experience leave you feeling? Have you negative feelings towards that time?
  • Think of the last time you binged on ‘unhealthy food’. What emotion were you feeling right before the binge started?
  • What obstacles are in your way to lose weight. Is your spouse/partner giving you support? Does your family know that you are struggling? Do you feel you have to act differently around them or can you make the food choices you want to make?
  • Does getting your goal weight excite you or intimidate you? How do you see your life being different if you lose weight? How would life be if you stayed the same weight?

Exercise Affirmations – Mindset Monday

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Exercising

Get your mindset in the right place so this becomes easy!

For many of us – struggling to get to the gym or even just go for a walk is one of the major obstacles we need to overcome. Even though we know we benefit from consistent exercise it can be difficult to get yourself off the couch and into your exercise gear. It’s so easy just to ‘watch one more episode on Netflix’, or to just ‘quickly check your Facebook’ rather than get your blood pumping and doing some exercise.

Like so many things – it all comes down to mindset. And how do we change our mindset? By changing our beliefs. And that come be helped with affirmations. There is a great app called ‘ThinkUp‘. This app allows you to record your own affirmations and play them on a loop. Perfect to listen to when drifting off to sleep – letting your subconscious pick up on these messages and change your attitude to exercising. Here are a few of my favourite affirmations.

  • Every day in every way I am becoming fitter and healthier.
  • I love the way I feel when I take good care of myself.
  • I am making positive changes in my life.
  • I awake each morning feeling healthy and full of energy.
  • I breathe deeply, exercise regularly and feed only good nutritious food to my body.
  • I always stick to my exercise plan.
  • I am always motivated to exercise.
  • I exercise everyday and I love it.
  • I am totally focused on getting myself into shape.
  • I am becoming more and more motivated to exercise.
  • I love exercising.
  • I am changing into someone who is always motivated to exercise.
  • All my excess fat is melting away from my body.
  • Exercising is one of my favourite stress relievers.
  • Everyday my body becomes stronger and leaner.
  • I never miss a workout.

Do you have any affirmations to add to the list. Please comment below and add to the list.

Adventures in Hypnosis – Mindset Monday

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Self hypnosis for weight loss

Self hypnosis for weight loss

So as it is the start of November and Christmas is rapidly approaching, I’ve decided to set myself a new challenge!

Christmas for me in the past has all been about overindulgence. Too much food, too much alcohol and too much sitting around watching terrible television. Now if I only overindulged during the days of Christmas – that would be fine. Everyone is entitled to relax and enjoy themselves.

But for me Christmas pretty much starts once Halloween is over. I am tempted by the Christmas goodies in all of the supermarkets and restaurants. A mince pie here, a chocolate yule log there and a couple of mulled wines to round off a cosy night in! Every time I am out and I see some new Christmassy food I must have it! I can’t wait til Christmas – what if it is sold out before I get to try it? Plus I love the build up to Christmas. Enjoying hot chocolates while walking around the shops in December is something I love to do.

In a word my mindset and motivation about Christmas is – weak!!

So in preparation for the onslaught of everything that is merry and bright (and tasty!!) I have begun to dabble in self hypnosis. I’ve downloaded a few apps on my phone to use. Some are just self guided meditation, while others are made to target the subconscious. I started this challenge on November 1st and have completed just over a week of it. Honestly I can’t say I feel any different, nor have I managed to resist sampling some of the Red Cups and Christmas goodies in Starbucks. But I am going to soldier on!

If I find any of the apps particularly useful and find that it is helping me make better choices I will be sure to review it here on the blog. I’ll also let you know about any progress I’ve made in my weekly check-ins.

Have any of you tried self hypnosis or guided hypnosis? Was it helpful? Or did it make any impact? I’d love to know so leave a comment below!

Visualise your progress! – Motivational Monday

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Visualise your progress

One of the strongest ways to boost your motivation is through visualisation. Just seeing the progress you have made may spur you on when at times you feel like going on a mega food binge! Here are 3 ways to help you visualise your progress!

Me taking a casual selfie on the bus!

Me taking a casual selfie on the bus!

1) But first – let me take a selfie!
So many people find before and after photos a huge motivation. But now you can document your entire weight loss journey with your iPhone! Looking through selfies as your transform can help you see the changes that are happening to your body. Oftentimes we are so obsessed with the scale that we can’t even see the physical changes that are happening to us. Taking photos throughout the journey can help you see what other people see!

2) Go to a garden centre!
No I have not gone crazy – this will actually help you! Next time you are at a garden centre try and find items that are the same weight as the amount you have lost. Try lifting and carrying around a bag of soil or fertiliser that is 40lbs. You’ll see how difficult and cumbersome it is. Just think you carried around that weight all the time and you couldn’t put it down when you got tired. This should show you how far you have come!

3) Be the star in your own movie!
Make the pledge that for the next 100 days you are going to strength train 10 minutes every day or you are going to master a couch to 5k programme. Every day you train take a video clip and at the end of the 100 days put all the clips together to make a movie starring you! Put some inspiring music in the background and you have your own motivational blockbuster starring you!

Secret Eating – Mindset Monday

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Pic via http://www.oystermag.com/this-artist-examines-womens-secret-eating-habits

Pic via http://www.oystermag.com/this-artist-examines-womens-secret-eating-habits

Hello my name is Sinead and I am a secret eater.

I don’t know when I started to eat secretly but it’s definitely had the biggest impact on me in the past 10 years. It was through secret eating that I gained most of my weight. Eating in private – mainly in my bedroom, became a major part of my life when I was in college. I think it was the freedom of living alone, being able to buy whatever I wanted – and eat whatever I wanted that led me to have a constant secret stash of sugary goodies.

Maybe I was dealing with the emotional upheaval of moving away from home for the first time and I used food to comfort me? Maybe the stress of college manifested itself in me buying multiple packets of biscuits every time I went to the shop. Or maybe I was just doing what I always did and turned to food no matter what emotion I was experiencing.

I used to store all my secret foods in handbags that were thrown about in different parts of my room. By looking at the them you wouldn’t realise there might be a cake or several packets of cookies inside one. I would shop alone when I was picking up my binge goodies. The only people that would know would be the girls behind the counter in the local shop that would see me a couple of times a week bulk buying sugary treats. With the weight piling on – it was easy to figure out that they were all for me!

I don’t think my housemates ever realised the extent of my secret eating. I would keep all the wrappers and packaging hidden in the handbags and dispose of them on solo trips to the communal trash bins. I would eat late at night when no one would bother me. My eating so mindless that I wouldn’t even realise when I came to the end of a packet of biscuits. I would reach for another one – only then to realise there was none left!

Even now I still sometimes struggle with secret eating and bingeing. I’ve found three strategies that have helped me limit my secret eating.

1) I keep a post it note in my old regular stash place saying why I am losing weight. When I’ve opened that drawer and read the note, it has stopped me from buying and hiding foods there.

2) I now no longer keep food in my bedroom. It was far too easy for me to binge eat secretly in my room away from my housemates. Now I keep all food in the kitchen. This way I know my housemates would see me if I was bingeing alone.

3) I track everything – even the ‘bad’! On Weight Watchers it’s encouraged that you track your food intake at all times. Often I would only track the good things and when I had a binge I would ignore tracking it. Now I track everything. Even if it ain’t pretty! But what I’ve learned is that by tracking everything, my food is no longer secret. It helps me move away from the mentality of secret eating.

Have you ever suffered from Secret Eating? Do you have any strategies to stop yourself from Secret Eating?