The weighting game

I, along with the rest of the country, returned to work this week feeling like an overstuffed turkey! Being completely honest, it wasn’t just too much festive fun that has led to this "clothes not fitting" feeling (or actual reality if I’m being really honest), it has probably more to do with getting into some bad habits and slight change of lifestyle that I’m sure some of you can identify with. Some are very clichéd but such is life!

It started about a year ago when I moved house resulting in a much longer commute. The thoughts of coming home a lot later then I usually would have, tired, hungry and trying to make gym classes or get out for a run, walk or a cycle became harder and harder, especially as winter approached (the last point is an excuse more than a reason, there will be some more of them to follow). I also moved in with a Kildare man that loves treats and takeaways - something I would have been far more disciplined about before. I could just not have eaten them of course but I dare you not to want chips when you smell them coming in the door!

It was also a time in my life where there has been a whirlwind of 30th birthdays, hens, weddings and christenings that, fun and all as they are, are usually filled with lots of food, alcohol and a lot less time to exercise as it turns out (excuses again but they felt like reasons at the time). Anyway, the general gist is I slowly but surely got into a bad routine of more food and less exercise, and it shows!

Many of us make tough New Year’s resolutions such as "giving up chocolate", "going to the gym five times a week" or "I’m going to live on lettuce for a month". Well, I’ve decided I’m not giving up anything at all. Given my current situation, that might be met with a raised eyebrow or two. The thing is, telling yourself you’re not allowed something, really does make you want it more. We all know that so why do we start the new year telling ourselves NO?

running shoes

Instead of saying no this year, why don’t you join me in setting small, achievable goals? I think it’s a much better way to start 2015 with small steps that might make a big difference to your health, wellbeing and general quality of life. It’s also a great way to keep you going and keep you motivated. Feel free to add/edit my list as you wish!

  1. Drink more water – I’ve started bringing a jug and glass to my desk in the morning which really helps to remind me to do this. Dehydration causes fatigue, slows down your metabolism (yikes) and increases unhealthy cravings…so drink up!
  2. Go to bed earlier – not getting enough sleep leaves you at risk of becoming overweight. A good night’s sleep is better for your metabolism, digestion and energy levels…and getting you out of bed in the morning! Leave the iphones, laptops, Facebook etc. alone at least an hour before bed. They do not help!
  3. Plan healthy meals for the week ahead – it saves time, money and creates a lot less food waste. Even though I work in Public Health Communications and hear tips and advice all the time from industry experts, not planning ahead just doesn’t work for me. During the week I’m trying to make up porridge oats with low fat yogurt and fruit (I prefer it to normal porridge) and let it soak overnight. I’m also trying to bring a healthy, fulfilling lunch to work and leave some for a snack later in the afternoon which has really helped with any slump in energy and the ravenous feeling I had getting home late. Looking back, it probably led to eating bigger dinner portions than I should have had or making much less healthy choices.
  4. This leads me to making fakeaways – instead of eating out or ordering a calorie packed, expensive takeaway at the weekend, I’m going to look up lots of healthy versions of my favorite dishes and enjoy them without the guilt or expense. January is hard enough as it is, we all need a little treat now and then!
  5. Moving more - I thought this would be the hardest for me but after getting back into a better routine this week, I have really enjoyed a few circuit classes held in a local school. I think the main aim I have for this goal, as most of us do struggle with it, is to pick a few things you like doing and keep doing it (regularly)!

Whatever your own goals are this year, I wish you the very best of luck…the excuses/reasons are hard to overcome sometimes but you owe it to yourself, and your long term health to try. And maybe, with a bit of work and a positive attitude, we’ll be seeing a little less of each other this year.

Here’s hoping and here’s to a great New Year everyone!

Posted: 08/01/2015 09:47:57 by Julie Carroll
Filed under: Christmas, Diet, Weight loss

About Me

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Julie Carroll
I work with the Communications team in safefood. My background is in Marketing and PR and I work on our awareness campaigns, promotional activities and events. I’m a Dublin native who lives in Co. Kildare with my husband. I love anything beauty/health related, crime dramas (True Detective being a favourite) and anything social that involves my family and friends. I recently became an aunt for the first time and am in love with my new nephew, Seán.