I often say that healthy living is a journey not a destination. You don’t just change your diet, start exercising, lose weight and then put your feet up, that’s why I call healthy living a practice, as in it has to be practised every day to make a difference. As we grow and our lives change, our health will change too and we might need to change our approach or get back to basics to continue to be our happiest, healthiest selves.
I’ve come a long way from the person I was 7 years ago when I decided enough was enough and I was going to lose weight. I’ve had my ups and downs and now as a mother, my life and health looks very different.
I said in my 2015 and 2016 goals posts last week, that I felt like my health and wellbeing goals didn’t quite materialise. I feel like part of this is because at the start of 2015 I still didn’t appreciate how different my life would continue to be with a baby. I had grand plans to get back to fitness and lose weight, but in the end, all I could manage health-wise was keeping myself going through sleep depravation and illnesses! Add into that moving in with our parents while we wait to get into our new home and my routine was shot to bits.
But with a new year comes a fresh start and the ability to look back over 2015 objectively. Reflecting on things is something I do with clients because we really need to make sure we learn from where things didn’t go quite right, and then plan ahead to make sure those areas are addressed.
The things I really want to focus on now health-wise include:
Boost my immune system
I came down with some nasty viruses last year and even ended up with cracked ribs twice due to coughing. I know it’s normal to get poorly sometimes and I’m definitely being exposed to more viruses via Finley being at nursery, but they’ve hit me very hard and I’m bloody sick of it! I know that things like sleep, rest and eating better come into this, so as well as some extra supplements I need to focus on those things too.
Prioritise sleep more
I’ve totally accepted that Finley just isn’t a great sleeper, I can generally cope unless we have a few bad nights in a row. Last year was tough because I didn’t accept or ask for enough help. Now James is taking Fin in the mornings on weekends which means I can have a lie in. That’s making a huge difference already! I’m also starting to have afternoon naps with Finley when I can.
Last year I was the excuse queen when it came to working out. I scraped through my Great North Run training and did some metafit classes but overall it was very sporadic. Exercise makes me feel so good as it gives me energy and makes me feel better about myself, so I know it has to be prioritised by stopping the excuses (I know that sounds like I’m being quite hard on myself, but I really was slacking!) and recognising the huge positive impact it has on my wellbeing.
I can be quite an intense person in that I’m type A goal getting, motivated and ambitious, which has its pros but most definitely has its cons as well. I do find it hard to really relax and turn off sometimes and I know that my underlying stress levels are high. Now my aim is to make sure I make time for those activities that fill me up and recharge my batteries. I’ve made a commitment to myself to go to a yoga class at least once a month, to have dates with James and family activities, to take long baths and see my girlfriends whenever I can.
Figure out a new healthy life
My overarching issue last year was that I was comparing my new self to my old self. I am not the twenty something child-free woman I was! My life looks vastly different and there’s no way I can possibly do the same as what I used to do around my health and wellbeing. Now I need to figure out a new balance of what I need to keep myself happy and healthy in amongst being the best mother I can be to Finley, the best wife, daughter, sister and friend and running my business.
Ah the big one. I’ve gone backwards and forwards with this goal for a while. I actually love my body, I don’t hate it at all, but as I said in The Truth About Losing Weight, you can still love your body and want to lose weight. I think it’s because I know I’m not the healthiest I can be right now and that the bit of extra weight I’m carrying isn’t helping. Now I’ve made the decision I’m monitoring my weight with the scales once a week and the fit of my clothes, I have a lovely pair of jeans I’d like to fit in comfortably! I’ll never go down the route of excessive weight loss I did before, I know what size is achievable, and most importantly maintainable for me now.
What areas of your health and wellbeing are you focusing on now?
Great targets- I also need to sort my immune system out, I had so many colds last year which is really unlike me, so I’ve been focused on supporting that for the last few months. My goal for this year is so sort my hormones out, because I literally cannot deal with excruciating cramps every single month, it’s frustrating because I already feel like I avoid a lot of hormone disruptor’s, so I’m not sure where the answer lies with this one, I’ve just started taking some new supplements, and I will probably be playing around with a few things in my diet over the next few months to try and see if anything improves.
It’s strange you mention that, I’ve just started getting really bad cramps with mine. My hormones definitely won’t settle until I stop breastfeeding, but it’s still very painful! I’ll be watching your blog to see how you get on!
Great targets Laura. Especially the one about not comparing yourself to the past Laura. You’re an amazing mother and hard-working business woman, you can only do so much! You set a fantastic example to other woman and give me hope that when (if!) I have a baby I can balance things like you do :)
Thanks Anna, that’s lovely of you to say!
Good luck with all of your goals Laura! You have such a good approach to health living so I have no doubt you’ll achieve these. My immune system totally sucked last year too! I’m not sure what was going on, I became ridiculously unwell after I finished my degree and I think that may have been my body purging illnesses I’d ‘gathered’ and was just waiting for all of the University stress to be over! That’s probably just wishful thinking, but nonetheless, focusing on giving my body the best fuel and nutrients is very important to me this year.
I’m also focusing on nailing exercise and also sorting out my damn sweet tooth. It’s just causing too many issues and I’d really like to hit that on the head this year!
She’s So Lucy
Thanks Lucy! Having a low immune system sucks doesn’t it! Hope you manage to tame the sweet tooth!
Great targets- good luck with them. I think that asking for help is so important- other people don’t always realise that you need something unless you ask, and it sounds like a lie in at the weekend makes a big difference.
Hopefully you will get less colds now- when kids start Nursery or school they always get loads of colds as they are exposed to new viruses (and if you are a teacher, your first year of teaching you just get everything) but after that first year you have been exposed to the common strains so your immune system gets a boost anyway.
Fingers crossed, he’s not well at the moment but has certainly improved since he started nursery back in March!
Great goals, I love how your approach is always so real and balanced. My only quantifiable goal for this year is to run a 10km in under an hour but otherwise I just want to feel healthier, act healthier and treat myself with more kindness which can’t be measured but are really more important! x
Love that goal and your general ones, as you say those things can be hard to measure but are so important!