Saturday, 29 December 2018

You Glow Girl

The 25th of December has been and gone. Christmas is well and truly over in my home. And to be honest, it never really felt all that Christmassy anyway. It’s definitely been a weird one this year.

It’s the season to be winding down. Hibernating for the Christmas holidays. And switching off for a well-needed break. So why is it that I’ve been feeling rather guilty about doing just that?

The fact I’ve been in this mindset for the past month and a half might be the reason. I can’t shake it. I’ve lost all motivation for everything; running, yoga, work and writing. I haven’t been arsed with any of it. And it’s been weeks now. Normally I’d relish the thought of Christmas. The chance to sit on my butt and really relax; eating and drinking til’ my heart's content. But in reality, I’ve felt like I haven’t deserved to do any of that.

This year was full of new traditions and was more manic than usual - trying to squeeze in seeing as many family members and friends as possible in a short space of time, darting from one place to the next. And it probably didn’t help that I’ve been ill for the last two weeks, trying to shake a stubborn cold that refuses to piss off. It’s been non-stop, and to be quite honest I’m completely drained, but extremely grateful to still have a few days of the holidays left to enjoy without Christmas being the main focus.

For some, these few days between Christmas and New Year (Twixtmas or Festive Perineum) are the ultimate come-down. No one knows what day it is. You’ve had enough family brawls to last you till next year. Spending the day in PJs has become the norm and you really don’t know what to do with yourself other than watch Chicken Run for the fifth time and eat your way through the insane amount of leftover Brie.

But for me, taking new traditions in my stride, I’ve used it as an opportunity to get my life back together...

The tree and decorations are down. The mountain of festive (and over-indulgent) food has been defeated. And my flat is back to normal after an intense (and slightly crazed) post-Christmas clean. I already feel more like myself. So, without the pressures that now come hand-in-hand with the festive period - thanks social media- and the guilt about sitting on my arse and eating my body weight in cheese easing off, here’s how I plan to spend the next few weeks getting back to myself.

EATING


And I’m going to start by eating. Yes, really. Although I feel like I haven’t actually stopped eating, I can’t remember the last day where I sat down and had three proper meals. I’ve been scoffing my face with Maltesers for breakfast, standing at the fridge for half an hour eating cold meats for lunch, and dinner consists of Pringles, salted peanuts and mash potato. And to be frank, my body has been paying for it. I feel unfit, unhealthy and extremely sluggish.

And luckily for me, one of my favourite Chefs and writers came to my rescue at just the right time. Anna Jones, author of A Modern Way To Cook, has created a 7-day meal plan to help renew our eating and cooking, in order to reset our palates and eating habits for the new year. The #7DayReset isn’t a diet but more of a framework to help reset (or kick off) healthy eating habits, putting vegetables, fruit and wholegrains at the centre of every meal. It’s just what I need to get me back on track after over indulging at Christmas and fall back in love with fresh and wholesome food.

You can read more about Anna Jones’ Seven Day Reset here.

READING


I haven’t neglected reading over Christmas, but I got gifted some really great books that I can’t wait to get stuck in to. One, in particular, The Brain Fog Fix by Mike Dow, sounds like just what I need to start feeling myself again. Now, I’m not normally one for taking programmes like this as gospel and I’m not saying it’s completely accurate (I haven’t finished it yet), but it does sound super interesting so far.

The Brain Fog Fix is a three-week ‘programme’ designed to help you naturally restore three of your brain's most crucial chemicals: serotonin, dopamine, and cortisol. Sounds like something I need right now. Focusing on eating right, sleeping better and exercising, this book runs through the do’s and don’ts. Commonsense, but it’s nice to use this book as a way to focus my efforts and reassure myself I’m doing the right thing and I’m on the right track. Plus, if you’re into the science behind Psychology, the author explains the chemical imbalances and nutritional details in a nice way.

RUNNING


At the beginning of summer, I set myself the challenge of completing the Brighton Half Marathon in 2019. I was proud of myself for signing up, and for having the confidence and belief that it was something I could do myself. Training was going well, and I actually discovered that running wasn’t all that bad. I still found it tough to always find the motivation, but the sense of achievement after a successful run kept me going back for more. That was until I started finding more and more excuses to avoid going on my schedule runs as the nights got longer and the weather colder. So much so, that I’ve decided to drop out of running the race in 2019. I’m annoyed at myself and disappointed that I’ve gone back to my ‘old ways’. So, I’m taking these few days to get my arse in gear.

Although I won’t be running the Brighton Half next year, I’m going to start my training from the beginning and do it for myself. My goal is to run 13 miles, whether it ends up being at an organised event or not. If it’s the one thing I achieve in 2019, I’ll be happy.

So, here’s to staying motivated and focused. For now though, I’m treating myself to a nice cuppa and an hour or two binge-watching the last season of Gossip Girl....




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