Since the start of the year I’ve been making small changes to my diet and lifestyle. I’ve always struggled with my weight. It has fluctuated over the years but I’ve been able to lose it just as quickly as I’ve put it on. Over the last few years that’s changed. I’ve found it a little harder and it’s got to a point where I need to tackle it.
At the start of the year I made a huge effort to really watch what I was eating, get to the gym and work towards developing a good evening routine. I’ve never slept particularly well and that’s something I’m keen to change throughout this year – I’ve improved but it’s a slow process.
I’ve lost 1 stone since January which is good but it’s not good enough. I know I can do much better and that’s why I’m writing this post.
Today I wanted to get the conversation rolling here on PGT and use this as my health and wellbeing diary. When I say wellbeing that includes things like sleep and skincare. It’s not just about losing weight, although that is a main focus for me. It’s about getting enough sleep, keeping active, challenging myself and feeling fit and healthy overall.
Although I’ve made some good changes I’ve got lots more I want to make. Documenting them here on PGT will help to keep me accountable. I was partly inspired to do this because I’ve recently started an eczema diary on my other blog, Dairy Free Daisy which I’m really enjoying. It’s a good way to look back on the changes I’ve made and to see how I was feeling.
I’ve teamed up with Beko for this sponsored post. They’re a brand which I’ve used regularly over the years when it’s come to picking out home appliances. They currently have some fab American Style fridge freezers which I’ve been eyeing up. I really want an ice maker for this lovely hot weather we’ve been having.
Beko are currently working on a campaign focused around the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle. They’ve partnered with a sports nutritionist from Barcelona FC to help get kids excited about healthy foods. I think this is a fab idea and they offer some fab recipe suggestions. I know I’ll be making use of them this summer.
I really hope to see changes over the summer months and would like to feel a lot more positive and on track when September rolls ’round. If you’re also on a health-kick this summer then leave a comment below and let me know how you’re doing.
I’m sure you’re all aware of the importance and the benefits of drinking enough water. It’s fantastic for your skin, keeps you hydrated, flushes out toxins and much more. It’s generally a good habit to get into.
It’s something I go through phases of being really good at and then I’ll have a few days where I fall off track. I like to think that over the last year or so I’ve been much better with drinking water than previous years.
I like to use the same bottle throughout the day so I can track how much I’m getting through. I’ll use my Water Bobble or Camelback Chute, both of which help me to drink more. The Bobble has a filter in so I use that when the water is tasting a little odd or if I know I’ll be filling it up at the co-working space. If I’m at home or the gym I generally take the Chute. It’s much bigger but is particularly good for knocking back lots of water – it’s been designed so well.
I try to avoid plastic bottles where possible but I’m not perfect and do still use them from time to time. I’m a sucker for a bottle of fizzy water. If you’re looking for a fizzy treat with no calories then you must try UGLY drinks – I shared a review about them here and also had the chance to interview the founders.
Cutting down on caffeine
Alongside drinking more water I’ve cut down my caffeine intake. This is something I’ve worked on over the last few years. I used to drink a lot of coffee but cut it down to two a day as well as a few cups of breakfast tea.
More recently, I’ve been aiming to have one cup of coffee a day as a mid-morning treat. I’ll still have a cup of green tea and a regular breakfast tea but I’m making more effort to use my crazy collection of herbal teas. It’s not always easy and sometimes I have two cups of coffee but that only tends to happen once a week now.
Since Monday I’ve totally fallen for iced Americanos. Kirstie from Sidekick PR introduced me to them. It’s a fab way to skip out on my almond or hazelnut milk and they go down a treat in this lovely hot weather.
I’m lucky that I enjoy going to the gym. Sometimes I really have to push myself to go but once I get there I love it. I like to do a mix of classes as well as running or walking on the treadmill or the cross trainer.
I feel so motivated and inspired after working out. I’d love to start going in the morning and that’s a routine I hope to get into over the next few months. At the moment I go in the afternoon during the week and at the weekend I’ll go in the morning.
I take my time at the gym to listen to audiobooks, podcasts or catch-up with Gary Vee on YT. I find that it’s a sort of meditation for me and I can work through problems or simply cut off when I’m there.
Getting more sleep
Sleep is so important for your health and it’s often massively underrated.
If you have a poor sleep routine then it’s not going to help with your goal of losing weight. It also means you’re going to have less motivation to get to the gym. A lack of sleep can have a negative impact on your concentration too.
If you’re interested in this topic you must read or listen to Why We Sleep. I listened to it on Audible and it really made me take a step back and think about how I could get more sleep.
Over the last few months I’ve finally got back into having an evening routine. It’s something I’ve done on and off over the years but sometimes skipped in favour of laptop time – I get more than enough of that.
I think I’ll dedicate a full post to my current sleep routine.
In short, we go for a walk, I then take a shower, do my skincare routine (always with a weekly face and hair mask) and then I’l get into bed and listen to an audiobook or podcast.
I’m now in bed earlier than normal and even if I don’t sleep ’til 12pm I’m still taking a couple of hours to relax.
Starting my day with fruit
I adore Marmite on a slice of toast. If I could have it every morning I would. I’d happily have it for lunch too. Unfortunately that doesn’t work out for me. If I eat too much bread (wheat in general) it flares up my eczema and holds weight in my stomach and hips.
I’ve replaced my morning bread obsession with Alpro Go On yogurt and berries or a smoothie. Simple, but delicious and very easy to eat before dashing out of the house. I also try to drink a glass of water with my breakfast but I’m still working on making that a habit.
Getting outside in the sunshine
We all need Vitamin D but it’s also important to load up on SPF before venturing outside.
Here in Sheffield we don’t get a lot of sunshine so when the clouds move away and there’s a blue sky and warm sunshine you’ll bet I’ll be getting outside.
Today I took a walk into the town to drop off a bag at the charity shop. I loved having the warm sun on my arms and it put me in such a positive and upbeat mood. It’s a good way to get moving and I also find that it has a positive impact on my skin.
Cutting down on sugar
his is not easy.
I don’t have a massive sweet tooth but I do enjoy having ice cream for dessert. I also love baking so I’m putting that on hold unless it’s a healthy recipe.
I also love cocktails so I’ll be avoiding those ’til further notice. I enjoyed having them on my holiday last week but I think that’s where they’ll stay. A treat for holidays. They’re filled with so much sugar and if I’m serious about making a big change to my weight and health then I have to cut out some of the things I love.
Going for an evening walk in the city isn’t quite the same as by the sea or in the countryside but it’s still a good habit to get into.
I love looking out at all the lights across the city and simply taking 10-20 minutes before my evening routine to walk off our evening meal. This is a very new routine for Phil and I. Actually, we only started it a few days ago but I love it and I’m so happy we’re taking the time to chat about future plans while getting a little extra exercise and some fresh (ish) air.