Reflection and Goal Setting

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I feel like I’m starting to say this every month, but I can’t believe how fast time is flying; it’s August already! The start of a new month is a great time for reflection and goal setting. A time to be totally honest with ourselves. Despite me having this blog, a blog about health & fitness, a blog following my journey to a healthier, fitter me; Despite going to the gym and eating healthily on and off, I have gained a stone since November. Ironic, isn’t it?

November saw my 24th birthday, which brought cake, alcohol and treats. That was closely followed by Christmas which brought even more treats and indulgences. Many of us gain a few pounds over the Christmas period, with us vowing  to undo the damage and get in shape come January. However, for me December was the time we found out my beloved Nan was suffering from Cancer. We sadly lost her by February and I gently and subtly leant on the self-destruct button. On the outside I was fine, but on the inside I struggled to get back the motivation to care or look after myself once again. I sought comfort from the temporary highs that junk and sugar-laden foods provide.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t constantly gorging on bad foods for 8-9 months. I still did my healthy food shops and still went to the gym at times. But I no longer had the balance right. I ate too much, even when I ate healthy foods and I wasn’t consistent with my workouts. My metabolism slowed, my appetite increased, my cravings were relentless and my motivation waned. That leaves me here, where I am today; Sitting pretty at a stone heavier than my start weight, the heaviest I have ever been and up a dress size.

Sure, I don’t like what I see in the mirror, I don’t like taking full length pictures, I don’t enjoy clothes shopping anymore and my trouble areas have become even more troublesome. BUT I do not hate my body and I refuse to beat myself up about it. How I have felt and reacted these past few months have been a learning curve. The way my body looks right now is temporary and I have the tools and knowledge to improve my body. So, here’s what I’m going to do:

1. Eat clean

I will eat clean, wholesome, unprocessed foods with one cheat meal a week where I will eat whatever I want. This is what works best for me, my body loves and needs good, clean foods and my sanity and social life need a cheat meal to help me keep on track and not force me into becoming a hermit. I find it easiest when I have a meal plan and I shall be writing my own. I know how to eat healthily, I know what I like to eat and I know what I can afford, so I’m taking charge.
P.S. Don’t worry if you’re just starting out, or are not sure how to eat healthily, I’ll be talking about great sources of meal plans in an upcoming post! Plus I’ll be sharing what I’m eating in my Weekly Eats series.

2. Sweat it out

Whilst you can lose weight by eating healthily alone, you can’t get a sculpted, toned or fit body without working it out. Up until this point I have been focusing on building muscle whenever I go to the gym. Now though, I have reached the amount of muscle I’d like and now my focus is on fat loss. Note, not weight loss. I want to maintain the muscle I have worked hard to build, but shed the fat that is covering it. All 20 pounds of it. I will be upping my cardio from practically zero, to 3 times a week to start off with, whilst still weight training, focusing on increasing my strength.

3. Pay attention to my emotions

I have allowed my emotions to control my head and used them as an excuse when I ate badly. “I feel tired, I need a sugar hit”, “I feel like crap, let me not go to the gym tonight”, “I can’t be bothered to cook, let me order a takeaway”. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like this sometimes. But, eating the right foods will give us consistent energy throughout the day, working out will give us endorphins and being prepared with healthy, nutritious foods will ensure we won’t reach for the takeaways. I am going to work on getting the balance right so that a genuine want takes the place of a craving.

4. Blog!

I started this blog as a way of tracking my progress, keeping me accountable and sharing what I learn with you beautiful people. However, I am not a hypocrite so I will never blog about nutritious smoothies and salads whilst I’m eating a greasy pizza. I believe in practice what you preach, so whilst my health took a back seat, so did my blog. On top of that I work a full time job and blog as a hobby and often find I don’t have the time to blog. However, just as I make time to go to the gym, to cook and to see friends, I can make time to blog. Besides, sharing my progress with you guys will keep me on track and help me to feel like I’m not doing this alone.

So there we have it, I may be currently the worst I have been in terms of health and fitness, but I am finally ready to stop leaning on the self-destruct button and become the best I have ever been. What are your goals/plans for August?

Are you wanting to get in better shape too? If so, let me know in the comments and let’s do this together!

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