Picture endless nights spent hopping from bar to bar and days spent in bed recovering from said nights and you’re on the right track..!
It was only when I met Ali almost a decade ago therefore, that my attitude to health shifted and my (somewhat bumpy) fitness journey began. But even then, it was anything but plain sailing…
Back in the day, being ‘healthy’ meant hitting the gym daily, lifting weights and sweating hard so that I felt accomplished, paying zero attention to what my body was actually craving at the time. It also meant paying zero attention to my emotional wellbeing or nutrition (unless counting calories and drinking skinny teas on the regular count!?)
Thankfully, in recent years I’ve started to explore the topic of health and fitness holistically – as opposed to reducing the topic down to, ‘what can I do (or not do) to stay skinny?’ – and I’m finally in a place where I’m starting to understand what my body and mind truly needs each day.
With that in mind – though I’d caveat all of what I’m about to say with the fact that ultimately, it really is a case of finding out what works for you – I thought I’d share some of the habits that have worked for me, in case you’re looking to reassess your relationship with the term ‘healthy’ this year too.
Just because Susan might SWEAR by crossfit or thinks you’d be a complete and utter fool to give up pilates, Susan doesn’t know your body like you do, so tune into what your body is asking for first (not forgetting to thank Susan politely for her well-intentioned advice of course. THANK YOU SUSAN!) For me, it’s only when I stopped sticking to just one form of exercise that fitness switched from being something I felt I had to do, to something that my body and mind genuinely craved. Feeling hormonal or anxious? Hello yoga. Wanting to conquer the world? Why good day to you weight rack! Craving fresh air? Grab the trainers and go.
If you’ve watched any of my recent videos, you’ll know how much I am obsessing over VAHA at the moment because it allows me to mix up my workouts on a daily basis and access PTs from the comfort of my home. It came into my life just before Christmas and I genuinely haven’t shut up about it to friends and family since (does this make me Susan!?) But in all seriousness, whether it’s investing in VAHA, ankle weights or a set of decent running trainers (Hylo to be precise), having the right equipment encourages me to take my workouts more seriously which in turn, leaves me feeling empowered mid-workout and more accomplished when it comes to an end.
In the same way that a frosty January walk is more comfortable with the appropriate winter coat on, exercise always feels more exciting and easier when I’m in the right gear. (If it can double up as appropriate loungewear/ dog walking attire too, even better!) It’s no secret that I love Adanola’s tank top/legging sets (they come in so many beautiful colours but I wear the black and white ones most) and Gymshark and TALA’s leggings get my approval too.
We can wear all the fancy gear and read all the motivational blog posts but I’ve found that if I’m not paying attention to my immune system too, my energy levels (and skin!) are noticeably different within days causing any motivation I might’ve had to promptly leave – especially if my diary’s particularly hectic that week. If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know that I’ve been taking Hairburst, Probiotics and Well Woman supplements daily for ages (all of which are full of essential vitamins) along with some good old Vitamin D spray to combat the lack of sun at this time of year too.
I am also the proud owner of a ginger and lemon tonic recipe that is perfect for a daily immune system boost too!
Whether it’s setting 2 minutes aside each night to lay my gym wear out before bed (so that when my alarm goes off first thing, I don’t have to think, just do) or spending an hour on a Sunday evening prepping snacks for the week ahead (so that when my energy dips, I reach for the all-natural stuff instead), preparation has been an essential part of maintaining consistency in my recent health journey and encourages me to keep going and push through any dips in motivation.
After all, if your gym wear is right in front of you when you’re debating to work out and you have healthy snacks on standby when you open the fridge for something to eat, it’s so much harder not be good day-to-day because you know deep down that you can’t blame it on anyone but yourself!
Side note: In case you were wondering, cucumber and carrot batons with lots of hummus are my go-to, along with coconut yogurt covered in passionfruit and berries!
… And if ‘for my own wellbeing’ doesn’t immediately come to mind, take some time to reassess priorities and put yourself first. Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘Easier said than done Lydia…’ I know! But take it from someone that has been sharing her life online for just over a decade now (so is therefore well-versed in the art of comparisonitis and the pressures we each face to look good!) It was only when I stopped associating being healthy with being thin and ‘looking good’ and started seeing it as a way to actually feel good deep down, that it all – finally – started clicking into place.