Tuesday, 12 February 2013

You are what you eat!!

For the past couple of weeks I have been educating myself on all things nutritious.  After months (even years) of struggling to maintain a healthy weight, always yo-yoing between clothes sizes, I decided it was time to find out what I was doing wrong.  I had already enrolled at our local gym last year, so I knew it wasn't a lack of exercise.  With each gym session came more disappointment, as I pushed myself through (what I thought were) gruelling cardio and weight sessions.  I even sought advice, and bravely approached one of the instructors for tips on how to achieve the results I wanted, but, being a man, he basically told me to train harder!!!

Luckily, the other week, a (what would later become invaluable) gem peeked out at me from the magazine rack in WHSmith.  'Mens Health Nutrition Guide'.  Ok, I'm not a man, but flicking through all the pages filled with amazing nutritional information, what to eat, when to eat it, healthy recipes, it seemed to have all the answers. My boyfriend is a self-confessed gym worshipper, so it was a given that he was already on board with my plan.  I bought a Women's Health magazine too, just to make sure I had all the information specific to my nutritional and fitness needs, and downloaded an app called My Fitness Pal (recommended by Womens Health) to help me chart my progress.  Since starting the nutritional plan 10 days ago, I can see the tricky areas of my body (namely my J-Lo ass & hips) become more toned and I'm feeling so happy.  I continue to go to the gym, but only for specific classes and have taken up swimming.  The instructor of the classes I attend is such a down to earth (if not slightly crazy!!) lady, and I've approached her several times asking advice on certain foods.  She's the most helpful person I think I've ever come across, explaining things in such a basic way, unlike those who presume you automatically know that a glass of milk is protein (as well as Calcium!), or that you need to balance out carbohydrates with essential fats, not cut them out completely.  Understanding where the food goes, and how it helps your body has enabled me to look at food in a completely different way.  Making small changes to my diet, such as skimmed milk instead of semi-skimmed, and brown sugar instead of white, can make all the difference!

Being aware of what I'm putting into my body, how much of it and why I need certain foods at certain times helps me feel more successful in achieving my goal as I control it and understand what I need to change should I feel, one day, a little sluggish or bloated (of course all of us women feel that at least once a month!).  I don't go to the gym feeling lost or frustrated anymore, or come home and raid the fridge for the first thing I can find to satisfy my hunger.  Personal growth, whether it be weight loss, finding a new job, becoming a calmer person, all starts with educating yourself.   Educating yourself is such a soul satisfying task, I can honestly say that my worries and insecurities are slowly becoming a thing of the past, and my new confident, in control personality is showing through with positive, energy and happiness.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Powerful positivity

I have just been reading an interesting chapter in a book someone gave to me, about how the unconscious mind cannot process negative thoughts. I am frequently bombarded with Facebook statuses, such as 'think positive and positive things will happen', (in all honesty I'm guilty of posting these myself on a bad day!'), but I didn't actually believe it worked.

I have a few friends who are believers of 'spiritual healing', and another who recently introduced me to Neuro Linguistic Programming (they're both the same to me, except one appeals more to those who need scientific proof).  The theory behind NLP is that you reprogram your brain into thinking in a positive way, this does sound reminiscent of most self-help books except it explains it in such a scientific matter-of-fact way rather than an annoying 'you can do it' kinda way.  The unconscious mind can only process thoughts positively, so if you think negatively, e.g., 'I don't want to be poor' it will focus positively on the 'poor' word and so it becomes 'I want to be poor'. 

It explains why you feel happier and healthier when you surround yourself with positive people, and rid yourself of all those negatives (I find 'unsubscribing' to certain FBers helps!).  At first I felt bad for keeping distance from certain 'energy vamps', but understanding how the mind processes positives and negatives has helped me feel less guilty.  It inspires me to continue my quest for positivity in life, knowing that the power of my thoughts can really change my life (as cheesy as that does sound!)