Over-complicated diets, rigorous exercise regimes and models all over Instagram give us, as women, a complex in more ways than one. To be the perfect mum, colleague, friend, girlfriend, exercise buddy, wife, we need to keep on top of our lives, and more than likely the lives of our partners, children, dogs, bosses and anyone else who'd like us to look after them, frankly.
We've all got enough on our plates and we could really do with some me time.
One thing that probably gets to most, if not all, of us? Our weight. We try the fad diet, we try the crash diet, we try fasting and soups, shakes and smoothies and we fluctuate from just above our dream weight to just below our heaviest never quite settling even somewhere near we are happy to weigh.
So I want to share my four guiding principles that I try (TRY) to live by every day and that so far keep me, mostly, on track...
1. Eat Better Food (Not Less)
People either gorge or starve themselves. For most there is no in between. Making healthier versions of what you like is a start (brown rice over white, cooking with no oil or a healthier oil). Cutting down portion sizes is the next logical step (this is one of the hardest parts to do as when you're starving it's so easy to load your plate up). Adding more veggies, and cutting down meat and carb portions is a must. As they say, EVERYTHING in moderation. But, make sure you enjoy it and have a blow out every now and then too, otherwise you'll drive yourself crazy and fall of the wagon more than you care to admit.
Summary: Healthy swaps, reduce oil, less carbs and meat, more vegetables. Don't over-complicate it.
2. Move More (Find Something You Love)
I've tried boxing, weights, running, Zumba, netball, badminton, swimming, fight klub (damn, broke the number 1 rule) and many other activities to get my butt moving and I fall in and out of love with them every time. I've even tried boot camps, man they're hard! But, I keep looking for that something that will become a crucial part of my physical and mental well-being. Currently I am a few months in yoga and still seem to be loving it! Try to find yours too.
Summary: Try a little bit of everything and find something you love. Solo running or group dancing you'll find what you like to do.
3. Relax (And Sleep More)
I decided on yoga for the mediation benefits as well as the toning (and yes, cardio does play a part too, sort of). Alongside that I try to relax, breath, and not let things that are out of my control ruin another minute of my day. Life is too short. Find a way to let go of things that won't matter in a week's time, take a deep breath and keep moving forward.
4. Enjoy Bad Food, but Don't Over-Indulge
When I eat something bad, my devil side kicks in and I all want to do is consume more bad food. Throwing down a chocolate bar results in a packet of crisps, another chocolate bar and whatever savoury snack I have in the fridge. It goes from one bad choice to many. Now, I choose bad foods that I REALLY like and buy smaller, healthier, versions. That way I can still indulge but it's likely to be on a much smaller scale. Actually THINK about WHAT you are putting in your mouth. If you say out loud, I am going to eat this family bag of maltesers to myself you might re-think how much you want to consume. A final trick? Put it in a bowl. Tip some of the packet out and out the rest into a bowl. That way you have to get back up to go and get more and let's face it, we are all way to lazy to do that!
I say four rules to lose weight, there more like four mantras to live by, but follow these and you'll be your best self in no time!