Just so you know – I’m on holiday and I’m not doing any of those things.
What’s the hardest thing in the land of fitness?
Working out how to train?
Working out what to eat?
I don’t think so.
For me it’s accepting that you will never be perfect.
You decide to start something – training for an event, looking to drop a dress size, whatever it may be. You have your plan in place and you’re committed to doing it. Day one does well, so does day two, then day three something comes up and you can’t eat what you planned or miss a training session and suddenly it all feels like it’s unravelling. Fast forward a week later and you’ve completely dropped your plan and feel like you need to start again.
It’s so easy to fall into this trap.
It’s why so many people don’t reach the goals they set themselves.
A lot of us are very bad at accepting that one slip up doesn’t really matter.
I’ll admit this is something I’ve always been bad for. I’d start the week ready to have a totally perfect week and get to Friday upset with myself that it hadn’t happened.
Then I learnt (OK I had drummed into me) that PERFECT DOES NOT EXIST.
A couple of not perfect things in an otherwise positive week won’t derail my progress.
Now, I get if you are on show prep or similar and a few days out then a slip up could make a massive difference. But if you want to feel good on the beach in a couple of month times and go over your calorie goal one day in a week it really isn’t going to matter that much.
As people we tend to focus on the negative over the positive. So there could be 9 great things about our week and one bad thing and you can almost bet your life we will spend more time thinking about that one negative.
So how do you get the results you want?
You accept that things don’t have to always go to plan for progress to happen. If in a week you miss one training session but have two really good ones, those two good ones haven’t been cancelled out by missing the third. If you’ve eaten everything you planned most days but on Tuesday had a cake, that cake hasn’t cancelled out all the nutritious stuff you’ve also fed your body. If the last month felt really really positive but this week you’ve felt a bit off that doesn’t cancel out last month.
In the same way people say one healthy meal won’t make you slimmer or one exercise session won’t make you fit. Well nor will the cake make you fat or missing that gym session and going to the pub mean you’re back to square one.
Find your goal. Make your plan. Then stick to it?
Find your goal. Make your plan. Do it as best you can and when life gets in the way don’t start again just keep going and do what you can.
Not as catchy so probably won’t catch on but might mean you’re a little more likely to hit those aims.
People thinking reaching their fitness goal is hard, and don’t get me wrong it is. If you want to drop 2 or more dress sizes or lose several stone starting from nothing and doing that can be very hard indeed. It involves making changes to your lifestyle, creating new habits and keeping doing those things week and week.
Getting to your goal feels brilliant. People will notice the change, you will feel brilliant. But what happens after?
The challenge is that the motivation to keep to healthy habits can be strong when you keep seeing the scales go down or having to buy smaller trousers, but at some point you reach where you want to be and those visible motivators come to a halt. Of course you still need to do all those things to maintain the goals you’ve reached but now you don’t have the initial goal to motivate you.
In my mind – the initial transformation is tough. What comes after can be tougher (it’s a bit like what happens after the Happy Ever After moment in films). Now you don’t have the oh wow moments to give you that push.
Mentally, this can be challenging. If you’ve ever lost a lot of weight you may have had the same (I admit not overly healthy) struggle to not just keep on going. I got to my aim and just kept on pushing to lose more – it can almost become an addictive feeling. Of course eventually I realised it was in no way sustainable to keep losing or stay the size I had reached and still eat cake (or well eat really) plus I had discovered weights. But several years on i do sometimes feel in a bit of a limbo. I don’t need to lose weight but I’m not as small as I once was and keeping yourself on track and motivated when you’re in that position isn’t always easy, in fact it takes a massive change in mindset and rethinking of your goals.
If you’ve reached your initial goal and now feel at a bit of a loose end, you’re not alone and it’s not unusual. New goals can be formed but you also need to give yourself a break for not being sure how you feel once you have reached your goal because reaching a goal is really rarely the end of a story.
Last Saturday I got my eyelashes tinted for the first time.
I always get my eyebrows tinted at the same time as getting them threaded but have always chickened out of getting my eyelashes done because I hate anyone going near my eyes.
The thought of no more mascara was appealing though! So I bit the bullet.
Result? Highly disappointing! Half my bottom lashes are still blonde and I still need to wear mascara.
I don’t think it was the eyelash technicians fault. I have very very very blonde eyelashes and in hindsight it was unrealistic to expect them to go super black and noticeable (although I also have blonde eyebrows and these always look very noticeable after tinting – serial killer like in fact – so you can see why I thought they would!).
The issue was my expectations. I expected results that were unrealistic for my natural colouring. I considered trying again next month and seeing if it perhaps came out better, then I stopped myself. Why would I waste more money on something that isn’t likely to give me the results I desire – not because the product is bad because it just isn’t suited to me.
How often do you do this with your diet or training? You see a solution advertised somewhere and think that could give me all these amazing results. Then it doesn’t work, you’ve lost money and still aren’t where you want to be.
Now sometimes this could be because you invested in a product that is basically a fad (diet pills, shakes etc.).
But sometimes it’s because you signed up for something that could work for you but your ambitions are just not realistic. You can get leaner, gain muscle but some things about your body will be difficult or impossible to change. Therefore you might actually be getting results but you don’t see them or appreciate them because they aren’t the ones you envisaged as your ideal body.
My eyelash are too fair to be tinted the way I would like them to be. I could continue to get them tinted in different places month by month in the hope I one day find the perfect place. Or I can accept I need to use mascara if I want visible eyelashes.
You could chase after the ideal figure that you have in your head, trying diet and training plan after diet and training plan. Or you could find some eating and training habits that work for you and make you happy and enjoy the results you get from this.
If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen my stories over the last week, where I’ve recorded what I’ve been eating.
Most of the time I try and eat food I’ve made myself at home and I’ve had lots of messages asking me for the recipes of the meals I’ve been posting.
I love this so if you ever want to know how I made something DM me and I’ll let you know (some of my favourite meals have come from seeing random pictures on Instagram and asking the person posting how they made it!). And if you don’t follow me on Instagram it’s @heather.sherwood
Recently some of my meal ideas have been coming from Chris Ward of Ward Fitness, a Personal trainer from Liverpool, who offers a service where you get 15 new recipe cards emailed to you each month for just £5 per month (a mixture of smoothies, breakfasts, main meals and snacks). Being honest I can easily spend a fiver on chocolate without thinking so for me this is one of my best value purchases each month as it gives me ideas for things I wouldn’t normally try and make and has made me more adventurous in trying out my own ideas too.
Given that I’ve had lots of requests for recipes I thought it might be nice to share a few of the ones I’ve really enjoyed with you here (Chris has given me permission!).
So here are four of my favourites for you to try.
I’m not the best cook but I’ve found all these recipes simple to follow, plus none of them are time consuming (I generally manage to food prep for the week in about 2 hours) so if you are looking for inspiration I can highly recommend giving this a go.
Follow @wardfitnesspt message him any questions and if you want to get your own set of ideas emailed to you every month you can sign up here.
If you do give any of these recipes a go let me (and Chris) know how it goes!
Affordable protein and supplements with quick delivery times and regular offers.
My favourite product is the Whey Protein Powder in Vanilla which you can use in cakes and smoothies as well as on it’s own. I’m not a huge fan of protein shakes and tend to use them as an addition when I need a quick boost of calories and / or protein but I am a fan of adding protein powder to homemade muffins, energy balls and smoothies so a plain flavour like vanilla works well as it complements most recipes.
Added bonus if you do like drinking them as a stand alone drink and want to experiment this product comes in a wide variety of flavours so you don’t have to get bored.
I also really like their seamless leggings range, which have a gym shark feel without the same price tag- definitely squat proof, look good and are super comfy and long (useful for long legged people like me)!
Check them out here – My Protein
Good quality meats for an excellent price (and let’s face it meat is expensive).
Buy one of their bulk packs and freeze! I like the chicken in particular because it doesn’t shrink when cooked!
They also do nice protein packed cheat style meals (like protein pizza) – now generally if I’m going to have a pizza I’d prefer to have a full on stuffed crust loaded one, but if you want to get the taste at a fraction of the calorie cost these could be a good alternative.
Check them out here – Muscle Foods
They have also recently started doing a meal prep style offering where they deliver your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks weekly and also provide you with workout plans and an online support group.
You can opt to get 5,6 or 7 days worth of food.
I haven’t tried this so my opinion on this service i purely based on looking through their website.
I think I would want to add some extra vegetables and fruit to this plan personally (and tend to prefer and recommend homemade / freshly made meals wherever possible) and I haven’t tried the exercise plans so can’t comment on them, but if you are struggling to meal prep and find yourself buying a lot of your meals off the shelf / living off ready meals this could be a possible way of staying in control of your calorie intake that is quite cost effective.
Have a look below. They are currently offering £10 off your first order using the code UNTHINKABLE
What are your favourite fitness product websites and why?
How often do you think about food in terms of ‘good’ and ‘bad’?
You have a 2,000 calories to eat in a day.
You eat 2,000 calories of pizza and chocolate.
You eat 2,000 calories of oats, chicken, salad, fish, rice, vegetables, fruit and nuts.
Either way you’ve eaten 2,000 calories.
So really there are no good or bad foods.
There are foods.
Now that isn’t to say you’d feel the same after eating nothing but pizza and chocolate than if you’d eaten the same number of calories from a variety of largely unprocessed foods.
Generally your body will probably react more positively to the unprocessed foods.
But sometimes you’ll feel better for picking the pizza!
Overtime a diet of nothing but pizza would probably start to make you feel pretty bloated and lethargic.
There was a man who lost weight by eating nothing but McDonalds for 30 days. He was still in a calorie deficit. Another experiment involving McDonalds, Supersize Me (which had a a different focus and was designed to shine a spotlight on the American Fast Food Industry) highlighted how aside from weight solely eating this type of food affected the participants cholesterol, sex drive, skin, mood and so on.
The point is you aren’t likely to eat nothing but McDonalds.
Nor are you likely to never eat it EVER. AGAIN.
A happy diet isn’t that polarised.
Some days you’ll eat chicken and brocoli from a Tupperware box. Sometimes you’ll eat fried chicken from a bucket.
There’s that saying you’ll see on memes about this being called balance.
Most people struggle because they haven’t got to grips with energy in v. energy out.
They eat too much or not enough.
It isn’t that they aren’t eating the right sort of foods.
If you have this down 100% then looking at what you eat and the specific nutrients in those foods could enhance how you feel. If you want to compete in a show or top-level sport you perhaps need to do this.
For the rest of us (and I include me in that) just hitting those calorie goals (and protein goals if you want to go one further) will be enough to make us feel pretty good and bring results.
So actually from this logic there are no good or bad foods.