Sleep First, Plan Later

Not sleeping properly can have a huge impact on our performance at work or even in the gym. It can also affect our bodies recovery. It is difficult to get the required hours of sleep, 7-9 hours when you lead a busy life, however if we want to have a healthy lifestyle and keep the weight off in the future we should ensure that we make sleep a priority. 

Here are my tips to help you switch off before bed and to get a good night sleep, along with waking up feeling refreshed. 

1. Get ready for your day

By getting ready for your day, I mean, write down any important tasks that you need to do, choose the clothes that you will be wearing and prepare your meals for the next day. Through doing this it will prevent you from lying in bed thinking about what you need to do and when you have your clothes sorted, plus foods that you can pull out of the fridge ready to eat, it will simply save you time. 

 2. Don’t eat a big meal close to bedtime

Going to bed hungry isn’t ideal, however going to sleep on a heavy stomach also isn’t a good idea. Eating a big meal before bed can cause you to have a restless night. Also, foods that are high in saturated fat can cause indigestion. If you are feeling the hunger pangs before bedtime, try eating something light such as seeds or even try drinking a glass of milk.  

3. Do not read emails/ finish work 

Many people think that sitting in bed and answering a few emails in preparation for tomorrow is a good idea, however this is a big NO. By replying to emails you are still activating your brain because you have to think about what you are going to respond. If it is not a particularly pleasant email, the chances are you will be left lying in bed wide awake worrying.

 4. Don’t get into arguments 

Arguments are part of relationships, but if they can be avoided then ensure that this is the case. When you get into an argument with your other half, a family member, or even a friend, it is fair to say that your mood will be affected. You are often left feeling upset or tense after an argument. If you do get into an argument have an action plan to resolve it.

5. Airplane mode your mobile phone

We all love to browse our phones, it has become a habit and part of our life however, one of the best things to do is to switch your devices to airplane mode about an hour before bed. The light from our mobile phones has a negative impact on the production of melatonin which is the hormone that is responsible for sleeping and getting up.

We should be comfortable in our pyjamas and settled with a good book, along with a cup of calming camomile tea.

Our phone should be left across the other side of the room, or even in another room and We should invest in an alarm clock to wake us up in the morning. 


Ignore The Scale

Fitness will always be a crazy, but what is even more crazy is the impact that a number has on our mental health. 

The number I am talking about is the number on the scale. I hear this from clients frequently. 

It isn’t ever easy seeing a bigger number on the scale, but what I can tell you is:

  • You look good with curves 
  • You are gaining muscle 
  • Your energy levels will be better 
  • Your body and hormones will function correctly 

I always find that when tracking progress, the best way to do this is through taking pictures as opposed to relying on the number on the scale. 

Stop The Snacking

Food is our main source of energy and if we skip meals to snack, our bodies are only going to function optimally. 

Our energy will be low, our digestion will be out of sorts and we will bloat more frequently, our natural hunger cues can get messed up, we may feel grumpy and we may eventually end up over eating. 

The best thing to do is to start the day with a solid, balanced meal full of carbs, protein and fats, and continue this pattern throughout the day which well leave us feeling full and satisfied. 

Enjoy Your Food

With December being here and Christmas just around the corner, the subject of food often crops up.

If we see food as neither good or bad, does that mean we shouldn’t see it as an energy source for our body, especially if we are listening to our body when it tells us that it is hungry?

Food isn’t just fuel. It is a connection that we have socially when we go out to eat with friends or have dinner round the table, it is comfort and it is fun. Food is part of our lives. 

We want to see food in a way that we don’t feel guilty when we eat something that is not so nutritious. We want and need to be able to understand what our body needs without having to restrict foods.

Give yourself the freedom to eat for pleasure this holiday period. Not everything has to do with our physical health. The enjoyment is just as important. 

Life Is A Matter Of Choices

I want to ask you a question. Do yo struggle with making choices for your body?

Should you eat 3 big meals or 6 smaller ones?

Should you take a rest day or not?

Should you do cardio or weights?

If so, I can relate. Thoughts like these run through my head frequently and getting it right is simply a matter of trying and failing. 

The key here is to learn to listen to what your body is saying. Just because one person needs x amount of calories, it doesn’t mean you need it. Just because they do more cardio over weightlifting, it doesn’t mean that you have to follow suit. We all require a different level of things, and no body is exactly the same. 

Allow your body to take the time that it needs to work for you and make you feel like your best self.

Get Rid Of Your Inner Critic

How often do you body check?

By body checking I mean, looking in the mirror many times thought the day, picking on your physical appearance and pinching and squeezing certain parts of your body. 

How does doing this make you feel? Do you feel stressed or does it make you feel better?

If it gets in the way of your day to day activities and makes you severely change your habits, it will be considered compulsive. 

A few thing that you can to if you find yourself body checking:

  1. Keep a log off when it occurs and how often. 
  2. Workout if there are certain situations that trigger you to body check 
  3. Practice affirmations and self-love 
  4. Remove yourself from social media for a bit in order to stop comparing yourself to others. 

You are worth more than your thoughts. 

Perfection Isn’t Always Best

When I first started out on my journey, it was to do with fitness, but the main thing I did was to tell myself that I wasn’t restricting myself and that I was just dedicated to becoming my best self.

The fact that I had to tell myself that I was living a balanced life and seek validation from others was a huge sign that I wasn’t doing that. 

I believed that those who told me that it wasn’t a good balance didn’t understand the fitness journey, I believed that eating all the meal prepped food rather than out was how it should be and I believed this was the norm.

Upon reflection it wasn’t. I thought should choose my fitness goals over having a social life, I believed that I had to live through eating a restrictive diet and tracking every ounce of calorie and choose having a routine over fun. 

What I am trying to say here is to watch out for that dark area. Be mindful and live. Don’t think abut perfection, because in reality perfection isn’t sustainable. 

How You Look Is Not A Reflection Of Your Life

Changing your body and how you look doesn’t make your quality of life better. 

If you sit there and think you feel great and have had a good day because you can see your abs or six pack, this isn’t a healthy way of thinking. 

I was a person who weighed myself on a daily basis and the number on the scale dictated my life and how my day would pan out. It would dictate what I ate and what social plans I had. 

On reflection, this wasn’t healthy nor did it make me feel happy. In fact, I was more lost.

I decided to change my outlook. I trained in ways I enjoyed, ate food that made me feel good, stopped tracking and now living a more balanced life.

Go out there, create a life that enables you to feel your best and make the most out of situations.

Relax, Refresh, Recharge

Have you ever felt guilty for taking a rest day? If you have, this is a reminder that 1. It is okay and 2. sometimes your body needs it, especially for those of you who do a lot of weight training. 

Here are some of the reasons why you need to have a rest day:

  1. Muscle recovery. When we lift heavy weights, it puts stress on our muscle fibres which cause them to break down. When we then take a rest from lifting weights, these fibres recover, in turn making our muscles stronger. 
  2. Decrease in strength and performance. When we lift heavy everyday, are we actually able to give 100% in each session? The answer here is probably no. If this is the case you are probably hindering the progress that you are making, even causing a potential loss in muscle. 
  3. To prevent injury. You can run the risk of overtraining. Alongside this, it can increase your susceptibility to muscle soreness and also pose the risk of injuring yourself in the long run.
  4. To stay motivated. It’s great to have the eagerness to train on a daily basis, but if you do too much you will lose the enthusiasm for doing your workout and the quantity will outweigh the quality of the workout. It is better to train less but focus all the attention on the days that you are training.
  5. Because you can. You may have a lot to do on a particular day or you may simply just not feel like going to the gym or doing exercise. That is okay as well, because resting both physically and mentally are equally as important as one another. 

Next time you feel guilty for taking a rest day, remember the above. Making progress means having a rest. Your body will thank you for it and you will come back stronger. 

Fitness Is A Lifestyle

I have been thinking a lot the past few weeks about the fitness industry.

The fitness lifestyle can be perceived as egocentric- causing people to become obsessed with their body and what they look like, when in reality there is a lot more to the fitness industry and lifestyle. 

I have found that the fitness industry has made me feel more confident within myself and I can apply this to other aspects of my life. The main things that I have discovered is that it shows me that I have the potential to do anything that I want to do, along with being able to do things that I find difficult, plus it helps me to feel good both inside and out.

This isn’t just what fitness does but also other methods of self-care can do. Making yourself feel good on a general basis and loving yourself helps to be become self-efficient. 

As an online coach, I aim to help people feel confident within themselves by instructing them on how to treat their body with:

 1. Respect
2. Good Nutrition 
3. Positive Mental Health
4. Physical Exercise. 

This isn’t just so that they can feel good when they look at themselves but so they feel that they can become the best version of themselves through achieving what they work for and towards. 

Each one of us must be visible for ourselves and show up for ourselves. The most powerful weapon is the human soul.