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Health and fitness update 06 (and a giveaway!)

It's been a couple of months since I did a personal health and fitness update (though I have been posting about other health and fitness related things) which is odd in a way as food and exercise have dominated my mind an awful lot over the last few weeks.  I actually don't really know where to start with this update as I have a mix of things generally to chat about as well as some more specific updates to share.  I've decided to break them up a bit... like little chicken nuggets sized updates (mmm.. chicken nuggets...) Also - make sure you read to the end (or scroll to the end if you're feeling lazy!) for the chance to win a rather snazzy Brita Fill&Go water bottle to help with your own health and fitness goals!

Unhelpful thoughts

I feel like every week that goes by I learn more about myself , especially in regards to my attitudes towards myself and to my general wellbeing.  One thing I have realised over the last few weeks is how much I think about food.  This isn't exactly news, but I've recently come to notice it more than ever.  Along with thinking about food and eating, I also spend a lot of time thinking about how much I exercise, body image and so on. Here are the sorts of things that occupy my brain throughout the day, which I've categorised into helpful, and unhelpful thoughts.

Helpful

[x] "I want to exercise more"
[x] "I will go running tomorrow"
[x] Thoughts about healthy recipes I could make
[x] Feeling determined to eat healthily/'eat clean'
[x] Trying to work out healthiest choice from meal options

Unhelpful

[x] Constantly thinking about next meal
[x] Craving sugar and thinking about chocolate
[x] "I shouldn't have eaten that"
[x] Feeling guilty about things I've eaten or missed exercise opportunities
[x] "I can't be bothered to go running"
[x] Getting upset at what I look like/current body shape
[x] Feeling envious of bodies and fitness regimes I see posted on instagram
[x] Feeling angry at myself for not having any willpower
[x] Wanting to check the scales to see how much weight I've put on when I've eaten something I shouldn't

I have so many more unhelpful, negative thoughts than positive ones and the unhelpful ones are what occupy my brain for the majority of the day.  I know that I need to snap out of this negative cycle and I'm determined to try and do so over the next few months.  I know I keep banging on about mindfulness and yoga but I'm hoping that both will assist in this goal.

credit: unknown, contact for removal

The 5:2 diet

One of the things that has made me realise how much I think about food is the fact that I started doing the 5:2 diet a few weeks ago (this week is my fourth week).  I decided to start more as a lifestyle choice than a diet choice, which might sound odd - this month I've been away from home for every weekend and there have been so many social engagements that have involved food that I felt I needed to retain a bit of control and find away to balance things out.  I know several people who have seen great success with the 5:2 diet so I thought I would give it a try, and though it's been challenging, I've definitely found it rewarding.  I've been using MyFitnessPal on 'fast days' (days when you limit your calorie consumption to about a quarter of your TDEE - mine is 477, they recommend around 500 for women) to try and limit my calorie intake effectively and still find things I can eat.  A typical fast day has been something like:

Apple // Light Babybel // Two ricecakes with low fat Philadelphia // Buffalo cauliflower with 0% yoghurt dip (I use the recipe listed but without the butter and hot sauce) 




OR 1/2 carton Covent Garden Skinny Soup // Light Babybel // Roasted asparagues with Bird's Eye chargrilled fish


Over the four weeks I've not particularly lost any weight, but I've managed to maintain the same weight which I've seen as a positive amongst a calendar of meals out, takeaways, beer garden ciders and a minor addiction to Cadbury's Mix Ups.  Obviously my goal is to find a balance where I'm 'eating clean' on non-fast days and maybe having only a few treats here and there, and hopefully a monthly of mainly being at home will allow me to get back into a normal routine.  Food occupies my brain even more than normal on a fast day - even though it's only one day of denial I find myself dreaming of chocolate and sugar-y treats all day on a fast day - the other day I actually went to bed dreaming of pancakes and maple syrup! I'm hoping that as I get a bit more used to it this will start to decline!

Being active

Exercise has been a bit of a mixed bag for me over the last few weeks, with some definite wins and some areas I need to improve on.  I have been doing yoga almost every day, from either a few stretches to a full routine with a yoga video.  It definitely makes me feel a lot better. Exercise has been limited over the last week or so however as I fell up our outside step in the back garden last week and bruised my knees and shins, and then fell again on Tuesday night, re-injuring my right leg (I am such a clumsy sausage!)  The bruises on my right leg are so bad that it hurts to walk let alone run, so that's off the cards for a few days.  Once its healed I'm committing to doing something every day, either:

[x] Yoga
[x] Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown
[x] Go for a run
[x] Thursday night Fight FX class at our local gym
[x] 30 Day Shred Workout
[x] One of the free Kayla Itsines workouts from the Bikini Guide

We have a new gym opening near me in July that looks absolutely great, so I'm holding out on taking out a new gym membership until then, so the next few weeks will be focussed on home workouts.

Healthy snacks

I've been road testing some new healthy snacks over the last couple of weeks - the Multipower Nature's Power Bars.

Nature's Power Multipower Bars

I was sent a few different flavours to try and I am pleased to report that they are absolutely delicious, so tasty considering they are a really healthy snack - with only 2-4g of fat per bar, and full of natural ingredients (with no processed sugars).  My favourite by far was the 'salty cocoa' flavour, which is the perfect mix of sweet and salty.  The cranberry and strawberry flavour is also amazing.  I'm now saving my pennies to buy a case of the Salty Cocoa bars, though I don't see them lasting long!

Running achievements

My friend and I ran the Nike 'We Own The Night' 10k in London a couple of weekends ago and it was great.  We managed it in 1:04:05 which is a minute off my last 10k time which is great.  We were hoping to get a sub-1 hour time but there were literally thousands and thousands of runners and it was impossibly to keep a consistent pace.  We also ended up at the back of our time group meaning we had to do a lot of awkward overtaking and running on the grass, so there was no way we were going to be able to consistently run the km times we were hoping to.  What's most important though is that it was loads of fun, and we had a great weekend away in London.




Brita Fill&Go Bottle Giveaway


Brita have launched a great campaign this week called 'Pour O' Clock'.  Their research has shown that 4pm is the time when most people reach for a sugary treat, and instead they're encouraging people to reach for a glass of water rather than a chocolate digestive.  Keeping hydrated is absolutely crucial for your general health and wellbeing and thirst can very easily be mistaken for hunger, so reaching for a glass or bottle of water when you're craving a snack is a good way to find out what your body actually needs (and avoid those extra calories you don't!). They've also kindly given me one of these rather swanky Fill&Go bottles to give away - they're perfect for keeping on your desk to make sure you keep hydrated throughout the day. I have a plastic tumbler I keep on my desk, but frankly, the amount of times I've knocked it over and soaked my keyboard/notepad/files, a bottle is a much more sensible idea!

As always, use the Rafflecopter to get your entries in, and good luck! I'm going to be roadtesting one of these bottles too and trying out the Pour O' Clock 4pm water stop, so I'll be sharing how I get on with keeping hydrated at work too.



Sorry this update has been so long, I've had a lot to share! How are you getting on with any health or fitness goals? How do you stop thoughts of food and feeling guilty about not exercising or eating naughty foods from dominating your brain?

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53 comments

  1. I struggle to drink lots of water, but find different flavoured herbal teas help!

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    1. Yes I second this, I have two cups of peppermint tea in the morning and then have a more exciting flavour in the afternoon. They all have really good benefits too! x

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  2. I swear by Ice lollies to keep hydrated at work - I make up fruit ones at the weekend and then when they're frozen taken them to work - perfectly fruity and great way to get in the fruit as well as water!
    xx

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  3. I agree with Sarah - I don't drink enough water and will only really drink it if I can add some sugar free juice into it like Robinson's Orange. But I also make homemade ice lollies using the same - water and sugar free Robinson's orange squash - they are refreshing, sugar free and fill you up too! Enjoy and good luck!

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  4. I like to chop up lots of fruit in the morning and snack on it throughout the day at work, I also try to substitute my cups of tea for herbal…try… x :)

    http://rinicawrites.blogspot.co.uk

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  5. I bought the "Eat Pretty" Book from Amazon in April and have found it invaluable in making more mindful food choices. It can be hard to eat clean all the time so make sure you do allow yourself the odd treat Rosie :) xo

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  6. Love drinking lots of water. You really feel a difference in the way you feel when you do drink water compared to when you don't.

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  7. I always drink lots of water because I've gotten so used to it over the years, I can't even leave the house without a water bottle anymore! Whenever I feel like drinking water gets boring, I add some lemon juice or some mint or sometimes some berries to make the flavour a bit more interesting.

    I really recognise your bit about the thinking patterns, I find myself feeling guilty a lot of the time because I've eaten particularly 'bad' things or because I haven't been on that run I told myself I'd go on. It's all about seeing things positively, or at least I'm trying to! I really have to make myself think 'eat healthy because you'll feel better/healthier/more energised' instead of 'don't eat crap food because you'll get unfit/unhealthy/anything else that's negative.' It sounds a bit silly but talking to myself in a positive sense really helps! xxx

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  8. I drink mainly filtered water straight from the fridge as so refreshing :-)

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  9. I always keep at bottle water nearby to stay hydrated.

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  11. Really enjoying these posts to try and keep myself motivated.
    I'm trying to up my water intake by ensuring i drink a at least two 75cl bottles of water a day -before i would just drink nothing or a coffee or two- so the Brita water bottle would be perfect for me.

    Jenna xo

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  12. I think this is a really good post, I found that blogging about my 'healthy lifestyle' helped to keep me more on track, or quick my ass back into gear when I'd fallen off the wagon! I am well and truly OFF right now, I've got a mini holiday with family starting tomorrow (luckily in England, so no bikinis) so I'm giving myself five days of indulgence, then I will be well and truly back on it in preparation for an actual bikini holiday in July.
    I am completely with you though, I do think about food pretty much all the time, and beat myself up about what I've eaten, and exercise I haven't done. I think it's really easy when you're on a 'diet' to get totally fixated with it, which is exactly what everything tells you not to do...apparently it's a lifestyle change! But that's not so easy.
    My plan is to go with a healthy during the week, weekends off plan...kinda like the 5:2 in reverse, and not so extreme? And just up my exercise which is pretty much nil.

    Anyway, I think I'm rambling, just stick at it, and you will reap the rewards, I bet you feel fitter and better just for doing what you're doing!

    Stick at it (Says she who is incapable of that!, ha)
    Caroline x

    allaboutthegirlblog.blogspot.com

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  13. I find I have to make a determined effort to drink water during the day. I find keeping a bottle on my desk at work helps, but at home I'm more likely to have herbal teas. Congratulations on your 10k run, I think that is a real achievement! x

    Sarah// A Sunday Smile

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  14. Keep a bottle of water near by all the time!

    Ashleigh

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  15. I always have my metal bottle with me and make sure it's in my bag when I'm out and about.

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  16. I make a huge jug of water with lemon and cucumber and have in it my fridge at all times

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  17. I bought a 64oz bottle that I drink most days at my desk. Sometimes I add peaches, cucumbers, strawberries etc to flavour it. I love water, it's the yummiest!

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  18. I'm terrible at staying hydrated, but recently I've started setting a timer to remind me to drink something at least every hour.
    xx

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    1. The idrated app is brill for letting you know when you need water and how much you need for your age and weight on a daily basis...I got it a few weeks ago and it's kept me right on track with drinking 1.7 litres a day! x

      http://whatgemskididnext.blogspot.co.uk/

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  19. Well done! I am so inspired by your perseverance to get through your negative thinking! Don't beat yourself up about things - if you're having some sneaky chocolate, enjoy that chocolate more than you've ever enjoyed chocolate before! Make it about loving every little thing and appreciate every moment :)

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  20. Keep up the good work, great giveaway :)

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  21. I think about food a lot, too! It's something I'm working on, but I do understand how difficult it can be to switch off. I like to prepare my meals beforehand (just the day before, I don't do a weeks worth like some people do), if you have time I think it's a great way to keep on track. It works for me anyway :) I had wondered if you had started the 5:2 diet, after seeing your posts on mfp. I'm not sure I could do it myself, but well done and keep it up! Hope your legs are better soon xx

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  22. I definitely drink more water at work because there's no sugary squash or juice to tempt me!

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  23. This is a great post! I've been slacking with my fitness lately and this post has given me the boost I've needed!

    whatlaurendidtoday.blogspot.co.uk

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  24. Keep a bottle of water on/in your desk, the closer to hand it is the more you'll find yourself taking frequent sips during the day.

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  25. I love reading your health and fitness updates. Updates like these really spur me on for reaching my own goals. I tried 5:2 for a few weeks in April but gave up over exam period. I'm going to start again next week and get back on the running bandwagon. I find when doing 5:2 eggs are brilliant to eat in the morning to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
    x

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  27. Lovely post Rosie! You always give me a boost with your health and fitness posts. Your also really approachable! Thank you for inspiring me to take up running and always answering my tweets :) You little sweetie. I drink a smoothie in the morning when i get to the office and always have a large bottle of water on my desk, also sometime take coconut water in with me. xx

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  28. i use the water cooler at work

    Lynsey Buchanan

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  29. I feel your pain, I find myself thinking unhelpful thoughts and it is unproductive really.
    I feel like much on Twitter really encourages me to stay active, all the motivational tweets are pretty uplifting. By making a plan of what I'm going to do each week I feel like I'm holding myself accountable if I then cancel.
    You're doing great, Rosie. You've obviously reached out to a lot of people and inspired them too, let that thought spur you on that little bit more :) x

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  30. I also feel your pain! I am a little reassured that we're all struggling with much the same thing, but also sad that we can't stop eating food then feeling guilty. I'm working on the helpful thoughts too!

    I did 5:2 for 8 weeks and I didn't lose anything, but it did change my attitude towards food and I blogged about some good 300 calorie recipes too!

    http://alifelessphysical.wordpress.com/category/diet/

    x

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  31. I like to have fruit to keep me hydrated in between meals or if I don't have water with me. It's refreshing, but also tastes great!

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  32. This is a great giveaway! I love everything Brita makes.
    -- Heather @ FBG UK

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  33. Does this competition apply to Aussies? I live in Kingaroy (rural Queensland) so I'm not sure if it would make it to me.

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  34. I really needed to read this today - feeling decidedly guilty for having a pizza last night, which is frankly daft. My goal for the next few months is to try and cut down on snacks - eating fruit or yoghurt at work instead of biscuits - and to kickstart my fitness again using the couch to 5k programme. A friend and I have both been having crappy times at work, and both agreed that instead of wallowing, we'll do something to increase the endorphins!

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  35. I add lemons to water as a treat or drink fizzy water instead of fizzy drinks. My bf adds squash to fizzy water so it feels "posh"

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  36. I'm always sipping on water! I always keep it near by - no juice or fizzy drinks for me x

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  37. I have a citrus zinger water bottle - great for infusing some flavour

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  38. I'm exactly the same with water - so many cups have ended up all over my desk! A bottle is a great idea

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  39. I have no idea how you manage to do the 5:2 diet. I am as obsessed with food as you are, and eat loads! Luckily I manage to make it all healthy stuff so I can still lose weight.
    I wrote a blog post similar to this yesterday, here's the link if you want to have a read! Summer Health Kick

    Rachel x

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  40. I drink a lot of fruit water..I freezed strawberries and lemon pieces to flavor my water.

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  41. I got myself a water app.basically, it sends a reminder to my phone when it's time for me to drink water.

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  42. I freeze a litre bottle of water (sometimes with a little added fruit juice or a slice of lime) and then take that to work in the morning, it defrosts slowly, but enough to let you drink nice cold refreshing water throughout the day

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  43. I make sure I eat lots of fruit, that way I'm getting water as well as curbing sugar cravings.

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  44. Tips to stay hydrated... hmmmm...

    Personally I found that getting a large water bottle and putting tape markers with times on it to keep track of how much water you need to drink by say... 10am. So that way you know how much you're drinking, how much you need to drink by when, etc. It keeps me motivated to know that I'm drinking the proper amount! This is super great to do if you work a set time each day!

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  45. Drink lots of water and lots of low sugar ice lollies when you're out and about.

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  46. a HUGE water bottle (50oz) so you have a constant visual reminder of how much you need to drink.

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  47. Always keep your water bottle in sight as it is a constant reminder, also marking on your water bottle times to drip will help!

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  48. Eat lots of fruit at lunch time x

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  49. Always keep a bottle handy and full next to your desk

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Thank you in advance for your lovely comments, they mean the world to me! If you have a question or want to get in touch, tweet me at @rosieoutlook.