It is easy for us to get caught up in losing weight, exercising more, being the fittest and healthiest you can be. Looking back, this year, however, has taught me that health and fitness encompasses many forms.
This has been a hectic, busy, yet incredibly exciting year and I am taking this time not to set targets for the year ahead, but to look back at the progress I have made. We are always told to set goals, long term, short term, those that are easily achievable and those that may take far longer to achieve. But do we ever sit back and look at all the things we have achieved or experienced over the past year, however big or small, and feel proud of these things?
My task for you all, is to sit down and think about all the things you are proud of this year… there is nothing more motivating than seeing our achievements written down together. There are no rules, you can include things you are thankful for, things you didn’t quite achieve but are happy you at least tried or just thoughts about the past year, you may surprise yourself just by sitting and looking back at the past year.
Health is not just about the way we physically look, its also how we feel mentally and physically.
So, I am going to start first:
This year I have stepped away from counting calories all the time to being mindful of how much I am eating but being slightly more flexible. I needed to count macros to get a grasp of my food intake, but that has allowed me to stay macro free for the past 6 months without drastically gaining weight or losing my ‘gains’. The biggest thing this has taught me is to enjoy my food in moderation and I can enjoy socialising and eating out without worrying for the whole week after.
I have taken a massive leap in going fully self-employed. No more juggling two jobs and trying to race between both whilst still giving them my all. Looking back, i tried my best but my office job really took a backseat, which is neither fair nor productive. It has been fantastically liberating and allowed me to do something I am wholly passionate about. I want to make a positive impact on peoples lives, not just to lose weight and tone up, but to just feel good about themselves and to feel strong and healthy.
I got engaged and set a date to get married. An exciting 2018 is ahead.
I have taken up yoga. After several attempts and just not getting it in previous years, I would say i am now converted. Constantly lugging around weights, being in the gym and years of football, have left my body slightly neglected and my muscles needed a break. The tightest hamstrings you have ever seen, have caused havoc on my knees, a dodgy shoulder and never being able to touch my toes. 3 months in and already I am seeing so many benefits to taking a class once or twice a week. I would recommend yoga and stretching to anyone, just taking an hour each week to think and breathe and stretch is a wonderful way to relax.
My beautiful sister gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl, Everly. Meeting her at 1 day old and watching her grow over the past few months has been truly magical and has turned me into an emotional wreck (feeling slightly tearful just writing about it). Not only do i get to watch the little Pea grow and discover and learn, I get the honour of being her Oddmother (Godmother minus the God). What an incredible and terrifying prospect all in one… more terrifying for her than me if my ability to create catchy tunes for her is anything to go by.
I have learnt to go easy on myself. If I am exhausted or just not feeling the gym, I don’t go. I am trying to find new ways to workout on those days, whether it is a long walk, a hike or just resting on the sofa, i am allowing my body the rest it so obviously craves. Having 6 weeks off training in September and October just proved that a little time off can actually do you the world of good. And no, I didn’t pile on weight, i actually lost some from focussing on eating more nutrient dense dishes in order to keep my health in tip top condition.
I ran a half marathon. About 4 years ago I ran a half marathon faster than I ever thought I could, 1hour 44mins to be precise. I always said I wouldn’t run another one until I could beat that pace (I am super competitive with myself). What a silly thing to be worrying about…. after putting it off many times, I finally signed up and ran another one, the Cheltenham Challenge. And what a challenge it was…. 37degree heat, some horrific hills and several tears later, Drage and I completed it in well over 2 hours. Nope, i wasn’t disappointed, I was ecstatic to actually finish the hardest race I have ever seen on the hottest day of the year. Sometimes you just have to ignore your mind and sign up and challenge yourself.
So there we have it, a very long post this week. If you have made it to the end, well done. Heres to 2018, another action packed year with so much to look forward to, I literally cannot wait.
If you do one thing over the next few weeks, allow yourself to be proud and thankful and happy for all the things, big or little that you have achieved this year by looking back at 2017.
See you again in 2018!