We are three weeks into January, which means I should be three weeks into my 2023 health kick! Should being the operative word! Unfortunately, life has got in the way the past few weeks. For various reasons (holidays, poorly dog and crazy work schedule), my fitness programme has taken a back seat!
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. Not only because I am not where I wanted to be at this point in time. But also because exercise for me is what helps me manage my mood and cope with stress. So I am definitely feeling the side effects of no exercise!
I think for me, part of the problem was that I set goals that weren’t achievable or realistic. Not in general, but for January given the commitments I already had in my diary. I should (and do) know better! There is absolutely no point in setting myself fitness targets, that in order to achieve, I have to burn out and sacrifice my health! But, i’m only human. Every now and then I too get guilted into agreeing to fitness programmes via social media highlight reels! This time round, it was good old 75 Hard!
I’ve started this programme twice before, once reaching day 10 . The second time I reached day 28 before a bad bout of tonsillitis took me out! In theory, bar the 4L of water (which is a whole other blog), the programme is challenging. But I am confident I can complete it – when I can schedule it in to my diary and plan for it. I will 100% do this challenge…..just not right now.
This time round, looking back, I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. The reasons I tell my clients NEVER to use as motivation for exercise……. Post holiday blues, post Christmas detox and generally feeling a bit shit about my body. Which I know is due to the lack of exercise I have done over the past few weeks. So come January 11th after returning from holiday, jet lag kicked in. Surprise surprise, 75 Hard was delayed till tomorrow.
But tomorrow never came and now here we are 11 days later and I’ve still not managed to get started. AND THAT IS OK!
Listen to your body
In the past I would have been really disappointed to be 21 days into January and to not have started any structured exercise programme. As a qualified personal trainer, I used to feel immense pressure to keep in shape and practice what I preach. But one thing I’ve realised is that no one has an entirely perfect training programme, even personal trainers!
As I’ve got older, I have definitely learned to listen to my body more and no longer allow myself to wallow or feel too much guilt when I not only fall off the wagon, but also when I don’t even get on it to begin with!
BUT it doesn’t mean that I won’t get back on it, because I will. Exercise and being active is too big a part of my life to stop and I also know that I feel so much better when I am more active. So here are my top tips of how I am going to get myself back in the game….
One step at a time
Trying to get back into an exercise regime by changing up too many things usually ends with up right back where we started. Either we burn out or binge out! Usually both for me and so it is really important to start small and not to try and overcommit to food and exercise. I’ll be starting with 2 x full body workouts a week for the rest of January. Don’t get me wrong, I might do 3 some weeks or even throw in an extra yoga – but my goal is to just hit two for now. Anything else is a bonus.
I’ve definitely overindulged in food/alcohol over the past few weeks and so hydration is definitely needed in January to help flush out my system! Also, as a bonus we know that hydrating can help improve mood and anxiety. I am definitely feeling the need to boost my mood and water is an easy way to do that! Again, starting small I am going to aim for 2L per day of water for this week and next and take it up from there.
I never make weight related goals, however, I am still guilty of setting myself unrealistic goals such as training 6 times per week. Yes this is a long term goal but considering I’ve done nothing for weeks this would be ridiculous, the DOM’s would be on another level! Ive also got a lot of things coming up with work and family over the next month so need to make sure I can plan my workouts around those. It has taken a little bit of time, but ive maaged to schedule in my workouts in my diary as I would a work/family appointment and this way I know I am more likely to stick to it.
This is probably the biggest thing for me – when I am not prepared, all hell breaks loose. I find myself in the kitchen, spooning Nutella straight from the jar just because I can’t decide what to make for dinner. I recently bought some amazing igluu food containers which are so good for prepping lunches for the week! When I plan my meals for the week ahead (not necessarily cook them) but at least know what we are having. I find that I snack on crap less often and feel like I’ve got so much more energy. So i’m going to give a few of our recipes a try and make use of my new tupperware!
Finally, I am going to get moving before January is over! I have had the “perfect” excuse recently as my dog has been really poorly and not been allowed to go for walks. For some reason, my brain has decided that means I cannot go for walks either! Or at least that’s how I have sold it to myself, like I am in some kind of solidarity with Popcorn (my dog). So, I am going to make sure that I get outside for 30 minutes every day. This is not only to get me moving, but for some fresh air, vitamin D and to just switch off and get outside! Yes the weather is awful at the moment, but that’s what winter coats and hats are for!
How is your January going? Let us know in the comments