Health Is So Much More Than What You Weigh

I’m a little bit over ‘health’ being quantified as how much you weigh, clean eating and whether you have abs.

Like, so over it.

You see, we only get one life. ONE LIFE. And I truly can’t get on board with dedicating that one life to just lifting weights, doing crunches and eating chicken and broccoli.

Now, kudos to you if that’s you. And I am in no way anti-exercise – after watching Cheer on Netflix I’m currently trying to work out if it’s too late for me to start gymnastics! But for many it’s not their main goal in life and social media would have them believe otherwise. It then becomes a vicious cycle because it’s hard to be motivated for something that you don’t truly believe in.

I have a love/hate relationship with influencers. It’s good that ‘health’ is now on the radar, but sadly the content that is being promoted isn’t always that healthy.

I remember being ‘introduced’ to the wellness industry and my first thought being ‘wtf, this isn’t healthy’. Having just finished a course in nutrition at the time I was completely baffled about the variation in content. I certainly wasn’t consuming as a viewer what I’d just learnt in a text book and I sat there thinking ‘well that was a waste of money’.

Almost 2 years later, I’m back to where I started. I have been on quite the rollercoaster but I like to think I now have a true understanding of what healthy is to me.

I like to think my mental health is pretty decent. Because that’s what I truly spend my days working on.

I am on a medication that technically is classified as a depressant. In order to control my epilepsy, I need to be a tad depressed. But I refuse to be depressed because as mentioned above… one life.

Now I’m not superhuman. There are days when I cry, there are many days when I’m anxious but I have the strategies to be able to cope.

You see if I get too stressed, my oesphagus goes into a spasm. I can’t swallow and experience a pain like no other. If I get REALLY stressed I’m at a high risk of having a seizure.

I think it’s fair to say that not many things are worth getting into that situation for.

Now my ability to recognise my stress is something I have spent the past 13 years working on and is something I have to continuously work on. And I don’t always get it right. But I try.

My biggest mental health project at the moment is working on comparison. I don’t have the thoughts of ‘I want to look like her’ but I do have the thoughts of ‘I seem so boring in comparison’. And I do live a quiet life. But for the most part I like it that way. Once we have *finally* bought a house, I will plan more weekends away and holidays as they are my favourite, but we can’t have it all all the time eh.

As for food, I’m all about balance. I know that my confidence grows when I feel good about myself so fat loss is still necessary at this time. I know that I’m definitely NOT about cutting out food groups. I know I have a sweet tooth that I have to watch. I know that as much as I’d love to be an intuitive eater, now is not the time.

Exercise… to move is effort for me and this is an area I need to work on. At the moment I’m trying to just focus on moving more in general. The old tricks like parking further away, deliberately leaving things upstairs… you know the kind. I’m particularly conscious of my glutes and my shoulder girdle at the moment as they are quite the hot mess.

Hobbies/Career – I’ve learnt that I love cooking. I have highs and lows with my motivation but I find nothing more satisfying than recreating something I could have bought in a shop for 3 x the price.

I still REALLY want to have some kind of social media platform. I love the idea of creating content and I need to figure out the best way to go about this. I spend far too much thinking and not enough time doing. It’s weird because I’m not usually such a procrastinator but I guess I don’t want to ‘fail’ at it?!

Anyway the moral of this story is that it’s okay if you’re not keen on chicken and broccoli, you hate the gym or you’re not fussed about the weight you can squat.

Growing up my ultimate goal was to be financially stable because that wasn’t always the case for my family. However, between a mixture of meeting Tim and experiencing unemployment for 4 months, that goal has changed. I now just want to look back and say I enjoyed my life.

On a daily basis I work with children with complex disabilities and not many of them have a tomorrow. It has been a truly eye opening experience to work with these wonderful children and their families. And so although I will always advocate for living a healthy life, I will advocate harder for living a life that you enjoy.

Health is holistic. The healthiest thing you can do is be kind to yourself and treat yourself with respect.

When It Becomes More Than Aesthetics

I’ll let you in on a little secret… this is my fourth attempt at running a health and wellbeing blog.

Each time I’d start one I’d think to myself ‘I’m in such a good place to preach and empower people on how to look after themselves’.

Ha!

In order to appear perfect for the internet (which is quite lolz when you think about it) I find that I am robotic because I have nothing to talk about. Because I’m not being myself.

I can’t preach (nor do I want to) because I’m in a place where I’ve borderline let myself go. I’m in no way at my heaviest but my muscle tone is non existent, my self esteem is on the floor and I’ve just been informed that I have new stretch marks. Recently my anxiety has been running rife and I’ve been having dreams that Tim keeps cheating on me. Ahh the female brain eh?!

I haven’t felt this rubbish about myself in years and it’s seriously not okay. I know it’s of my choosing. No one is forcing me to not exercise or to eat the cookie. There is seriously nothing to gain from this except misery and only I can change that.

I have decided to sign up to WW (aka Weightwatchers). I have signed up to their green plan as it makes sense to me and means I can eat what I want (obviously within their points system).

It’s not just about the food though. My posture has got so bad that I feel like I’m caving in on myself. My muscles are in agony and my husband said they feel like ‘rope’ because they’re so unhappy.

Finally I want to belong to something. I want to be in a position to make new friends.. if only it’s just online. Due to my aforementioned fake self, it’s hard to establish common ground when you’re not being yourself. Well that’s changing from now!

In the grand scheme of things this isn’t rock bottom, but in my little preventative health bubble I’ve hit the ground. The only thing I can do now is run.

Merry Christmas Me!

A year ago tomorrow I said to myself that I would be at my goal weight for next Christmas and I’ll tell ya… I ‘failed’ miserably.

However, I have lost 7lbs which is a step in the right direction but to the detriment of a positive relationship with food.

I was going through old photos the other day and I found a before and after of me doing 30 days on The Body Coach. At the time, I thought there was a HUGE difference in my physique but looking at these photos showed barely any difference. However, I paraded the shores of Aruba on my honeymoon like I owned the gaff.

The difference? I’d taken a healthy approach and I was doing everything in my power to feel good about myself. I was working out, eating good foods (with the odd treat) and being kind to myself.

Aesthetic goals just don’t do it for me anymore. Sure it would be nice to look a certain way but as a motivator it’s about 1/10 to even get me started.

However FEELING good about myself appears to be a different ball game. At the moment my muscles hurt from being so weak. My poor posture gets me down and hurts my back even more. My glutes are a mess. My belly is bloated and my jeans dig in. And I’m spotty (which isn’t usual for me).

Don’t worry this article isn’t all doom and gloom. As a Christmas present to myself I have signed up for group coaching. As I’ve said before I know everything I could possibly know about weight loss – it’s just me standing in my way.

I plan to continue to stick with my behavioural changes but I’m hoping group coaching will just give me that extra bit of support that I’m clearly lacking. I’m fed up of the pressure of diets,.. I want a lifestyle that facilitates me feeling good about myself.

So I’m that note… Merry Christmas Me!

I hope you all have a fabulous festive period however you celebrate!

Welcome to Simple Healthy Living

You should probably know that as I type this I am lying on the sofa in my PJs, with Tim (my husband) rubbing my feet and a tub of Cadbury’s Minitature Heroes by my side. Bliss right?

Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

On the flip side I’m also lying on the sofa with a sore big toe, a pending cold, controlled epilepsy, gallbladder-less, yeast intolerant and I have some very sore muscles from being in quite a sedentary job and not doing much exercise. I’m also lying on said sofa with approximately 40% body fat and with borderline low bone density.

And this my friends, is the inspiration for setting up Simple Healthy Living. I have spent the past (almost) 20 years on endless diets (with only some success) and have found that the more information I gather on weight loss, the more confusing it becomes. Well, the basics aren’t confusing – calories in versus calories out and strength training.

Social media would have you believe that it’s anything but calories in versus calories out. It’s food type, body type, exercise type, hormonal imbalances, food addiction, intermittent fasting, low calorie, high calorie, in the middle calorie. Basically anything but a calorie deficit that aids weight loss.

Yet every diet group and social media influencer drives a hard sales pitch with great success and as a result I have spent the last 18 months spiralling into the deepest pits of diet culture hell.

And quite frankly, I’ve had enough.

I’m bored of spending money on diet plans, bored of being a sheep and most importantly bored of dieting.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Now don’t get me wrong… I’m also wary of the Health At Every Size movement and think that in due course it will come back to bite certain individuals on their derriere. But that’s a discussion for another time.

The biggest focus on this website will be on the word ‘simple’. I need to reduce my body fat (I’m fortunate that I’m not overly fussed about the numbers on the scales), I need to build my strength, I need to manage my stress and I need to introduce more hobbies into my life.

I don’t want to ‘eat clean’ all the time – moderation is definitely key. There’s room for both kale and cookies here (although I’m not mad for a cookie but you know what I mean!).

So please, take a seat, sit back and relax and enjoy the simplicity!