Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Tips for getting motivated to exercise!

As you'll probably know, one of the key factors in losing weight (and maintaining a weightloss and leading a healthy life in general) is exercise. Exercise can be lots of fun (Zumba!) but it can also be difficult too, especially for those of us who are just starting to get into working out, and are trying to make exercising a part of our daily routine. For the most part, I do enjoy working out, but there are some days where it's more difficult.

I've put together a list of the things I try and do when I'm struggling to get it together to exercise! All these things might not work for you, and they don't all always work for me either. But usually, if the only excuse I have for not getting down to the gym is I'm being too lazy, at least one of these usually helps me!

Treat yourself to some luxury shampoo/shower gel
I was in the supermarket one day trying to work out which shampoo & conditioner I should get for in my gym bag. I was torn between my normal shampoo/conditioner, or a more expensive, absolutely delicious smelling one. I decided to go for the more expensive one, but to keep it in my gym bag and only use it after I'd been to the gym. Now, I really look forward to using it! It keeps me going, just a little bit. It might sound silly but if I'm at the gym or on my way there and I'm thinking "gosh, I can't be bothered!" I just say to myself "well, at least I'll get to use my gorgeous apple shampoo!" I plan on treating myself to a nice shower gel too, but at the minute I'm using all the little travel size bottles I got in gift sets for Christmas! This works even if you don't exercise at the gym, even if you just do a workout DVD at home you can still buy some and just keep it in your bedroom and away from your partner/kids/self and just take it with you after a workout.

Find an exercise you love
Whether it's swimming, running, walking with your dog, yoga, aerobics, cycling, or trampolining, find something that you enjoy doing, and that you look forward to. For me, I love Zumba, yoga, and swimming. I go swimming about five times a week, and go to a Zumba class once or twice a week, and a yoga class once a week. If I had to go to the gym and do an hour on the treadmill or bikes five times a week, I know I wouldn't do it, because I don't enjoy it. But everyone's different, and that might be what you enjoy! If you don't like what you're doing right now, find something else. Try a different machine at the gym, find a class that you think sounds fun or buy/borrow a new workout DVD.

Write down your goals, and refer to them often
I think it really helps to have some goals in mind. Write them down, so you can refer to them often and look at them. Maybe have a couple of bigger ones, and then lots of small ones too (I plan on sharing mine on the blog soon!). Give yourself positive encouragement when you achieve your goals, and acknowledge the hard work and dedication it's taken to be able to cross each goal off your list.

Track your progress
Keep a record, and again keep looking at it. Don't forget how well you've done, and how far you've already come. A couple of weekends ago, my partner and I went out for a meal with my family to an Indian restaurant. Following the plan that I'm on, I could order a curry without going over my set allowances/points, but I usually order a naan bread too, and I wasn't sure I was going to be able to resist. Before I went, I jumped on the scales to remind myself how far I've come already, and seeing those new, lower numbers made me realise that however tasty that naan might be, it wouldn't be as good as seeing another weight loss the next week!

Make lunch before you go
I don't know about you, but when I come back from the gym, I'm absolutely ravenous, and it's at times like this where I find myself caring less about what I'm eating - I just want to eat! I'll be tempted while I'm getting lunch ready to just snack on something completely unhealthy. What I try to do is decide the night before whether I'll be going to the gym or not, and if I am I'll make something for my lunch that I'll be able to eat straight away as soon as I get back. A salad, pasta or even just a healthy sandwich are all good options and I can just come in, open the fridge, and eat straight away.

Take a rest day when you need one
On Monday, I woke up and my legs were stiff and my heel kind of sore after doing a Zumba class, swimming and a long walk with my boyfriend and Izzy the day before. I decided to make Monday my 'rest' day, and give my body a break and a chance to recover! Pushing yourself to exercise too much and when you're experiencing stiffness or soreness is only going to make you hate it more, and make it that much more difficult the next time you need to go.

So there you have my tips! They might not work for you, but if they do, I'm glad! Do you have any tips for getting motivated that you want to add? If so, I'd love to hear them!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Then it hit me...

I was filling in an application form for a job earlier on today, and I was writing a personal statement. The job was for a family activity co-ordinator at a community garden. As I was writing about the importance of growing your own fruit and vegetables and how it has the potential to make such a positive impact on our world, it suddenly hit me - I really feel this way.

I know that sounds a bit stupid; like, why would I write it if I didn't really believe it? And I'm not sure how to explain it. It was something about how passionate I was being, and how honest and truthful the application was, that made it hit home. I believe in this and I have the ability to do something about it.

I've always wanted to be a teacher, on and off. Ever since I was little. But it wasn't until last year when something really just spoke to me, and I knew, deep down with 100% conviction, that being a teacher is what I'm supposed to do. I can still remember my favourite ever teacher. I looked up to her, she was such an inspiration to me and she taught me so many things. I think most people can remember their favourite teacher. I could be someone's favourite teacher! And I could teach them the importance of being green, and of a healthy diet. All those impressionable young minds, waiting to be moulded!

I probably won't end up getting the job as in reality I'm probably under qualified for it right now, though my heart might be in the right place. But it has made me remember the passion I have for educating children and why I wanted to become a teacher to begin with! I really needed that.

Thursday, 10 February 2011


Look what was waiting for me when I got in yesterday!


I was so excited to get it! Graze is a company that I recently stumbled across thanks to a friend. They offer natural treats, sent to your home or place of work every week. I think it's a really nice idea - better to have this delivered and snack on wholesome food rather than biscuits!


When you open it up, you get four sections of individually packed treats, and what I had inside looked so nice! Here's a close up:


It included fiery cashew nuts, honeycomb flapjack, dark chocolate, rasin, cherry and almond mix and orange infused rains, hazelnut, and dark chocolate mix. When I ordered it, Adam was really sceptical and thought that if it could fit through a letterbox, it must be tiny. But it's actually a really good size!


If you'd like a free box (and your second box half price!) just sign up at graze.com and using voucher code: PGB7YW5N. The only downside is I think this would only be available to UK residents!

(Just so you know, this isn't a sponsored post - I'm buying these boxes myself! When anyone signs up using the code above, I receive £1 which I will be donating through the website to the Uganda school of farming!)

What's your favourite healthy treat?

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Weigh-in's #3 & #4

So last week was a busy week for me, and I didn't get a chance to blog at all - not even to update you on my weight loss progress! So here it is:

Weigh-in #3: I lost 2lbs!

Weigh-in #4: I lost 2.5lbs!

I'm really pleased with those two results, especially as those previous couple of weeks I didn't have as much time to exercise as I would have liked. I haven't yet made public what my current weight is, but I think I'm going to. I was too embarassed at first, but... I don't think it really makes a difference. I am what I am right now, and I have a lot of weight to lose, and I know that a lot of people that read my blog are or have been in a similar position themselves. So I think I will tell you, but I'll save it until my next weigh-in post! Give me a little more time to work up my courage ;)

If you're trying to lose weight, how have you been doing these past couple of weeks?


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