Are you starting a new diet on Monday? Are you letting yourself of the hook and scoff down that bag of ‘pick-and-mix’ today because you’ve promised yourself you’ll “be good” tomorrow?
Well, let me ask you this: Why do you think that your ‘Tomorrow Self’ will be any better at “being good” than your ‘Today Self’? I see this a lot in people. But how come we believe the ‘Tomorrow Me’ will be any different from ‘Todays Me’?
It’s somehow as we expect our tomorrow (or next week, year or 10 years) self to be different from how we are today. We put our ‘Tomorrow Self’ on a pedestal as this super human who can resist all temptation, and then when we fail to do so, we see ourselves as weak and useless.
But think about it; if you can not stick to a diet today, what makes you think that you will be able to on Monday? If I couldn’t say No to that piece of cake today, why, oh why do I think I will have the willpower to do it next time a work colleague brings in cakes? If I didn’t feel like going to the gym today, why would my tomorrow self be any different?
We have to stop kidding ourselves and just accept that who we are today will be who we are tomorrow… unless we actively decide to work on ourselves!
We won’t change unless we actually want to. And no one or nothing else can do it for us! Sure, we can be inspired and feel empowered by other peoples stories, advice or support, but ultimately WE have to do the work. And if you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I’ve done a lot of work on my mindset. I’ve written a lot of posts about mindset for a healthy life.
Sometimes we hit ‘rock bottom’ and wake up one day, fed up with the person we’ve become, or what we see in the mirror and decide it’s time to take action and let that frustration propel us in to success. But isn’t it a shame though if we always have to reach that point before we decide to take action?
Taking action is hard, but don’t expect it to be any easier tomorrow, next week or year. The only thing stopping you is you and the choices you make today, not tomorrow.
A friend of mine, who I hadn’t seen in a few months, asked me the other day when we met up if I’d lost weight. I replied that ‘no, I don’t think so’ but in all honesty, I have no idea because I don’t weigh myself. I know roughly what I weigh, but I don’t use that as a measurement of progress, so no, I don’t know if my weight has gone up or down. I have to say though, that since I upped the amount of Crossfit classes I do each week, as well as training more on my own, and sleeping more, I have noticed that my body feels ‘firmer’. Not to mention that I have so much more energy!
So I asked my husband when I got home if he’s noticed a difference in me, and he said that he has. “But imagine how buff you’d look if you didn’t eat all that crap” he also blurted out jokingly.
I had to stop him there. “what ‘crap’ do I eat?”
“Well, you know, the Hotel Chocolate stuff you bought at the weekend, and all the popcorn”
Ok, so if you have followed me for a while you know I am all about moderation. Sometimes it’s harder, and I stuff myself with a bit more than I should have, but in general I feel that I have found a good balance. I eat well. I don’t count calories religiously, but I know roughly what I eat in a day and that varies between 1800 kcal and 2500 kcal depending on my activity levels. I eat protein with every meal and make sure I get 80-120g/day. I eat lots of veg and a moderate amount of fruit. I eat a balanced diet. I know that lots of carbs in the evening makes me bloated and sluggish the next morning so I try to avoid that. But, what I don’t do is to deprive myself. If I fancy a piece of dark chocolate after dinner or half a bag of popcorn (ok, ok, a whole bag) while watching “The Good Wife”, I do. No regrets. Ever. If I happen to eat a bit more than I ‘should’, I try to learn from it and just move on.
So when my husband suggested I cut out the ‘crap’, I shut him down quick, because even if I don’t believe in deprivation, nor do I believe in over- indulging. I believe in enjoying life.
My life is not about a “deprive-binge-regret” cycle. I lived that way for years.
I love Crossfit, I love moving my body, I love having loads of energy. But I also love relaxing with my husband after a long week, cuddling up on the couch watching Netflix and have a few pieces of chocolate (from Hotel Chocolate which is my favourite!) And I love going out for dinner with friends and be able to order a dessert. I am not going to deny myself any of these things.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to put your head down and go all-in once in a while if you have a goal in mind. Diet down, do more exercise or cut out chocolate if you feel that is right for you at that moment in time. The trick is to remember that once that diet is over, you have to know how sustainably live healthy so you don’t gain weight or end up in a deprive-binge cycle.
You have to find what is right for you. If you’re happy never eating ice-cream again and to bring tupperware with your own food to dinner parties, by all means. But if dieting depresses you and while you’re on holiday you might as well drink aaaall the wine because you know the holiday will be over soon and you will go on diet when you get home, well maybe it’s time to try something different. Life doesn’t have to be lived in extremes. It doesn’t have to be carrot stick OR cake. You can have both.
Precision Nutrition had a great inforgrafic on the trade offs for getting lean. Just click on this link.
So yes, the trade off is that I am a little less firm. But I can sustainably enjoy life every day.
Last weeks post made me think about other things I’m to old for now that I’m getting closer to 40. Ok, so I have another year to go, but I am finally starting to feel like an adult. Silly, I know, when technically I’ve been an adult for 20 years, but I think I’m not alone in wondering when I would feel like an adult. (I still to this day sometimes catch myself wondering how I ended up married with kids! What a grown-up thing to do!)
But through the years there have been instances that have made me think, “No, I’m not doing that anymore” So maybe now I am a grown up now after all. So here’s what I’ve come up with so far that I’m now to old for.
Drinking more than I can handle. And subsequently getting a hangover. Long gone are the days when I would strive to get drunk and almost brag about the hangover the next day. Nowadays I rarely drink more than a glass of wine or two, but if I do happen to drink more than I should have, I’m so embarrassed and I feel stupid for not knowing any better.
Clubbing. Seriously, You can not hear anyone else talk, it’s to crowded and loud. I would much rather be at home. ( My God, I sound old! even I hear it!)
Staying up late. I am a lark, I love early mornings, so why I would stay awake after midnight is beyond me. A late night for me is past 10pm. Late nights are just not worth it anymore.
FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out. Something the youth worry far to much about. Social media plays a huge role in making people think that they are missing all the fun and everyone else are having such amazing lives and so much fun. Honestly, I don’t care. I’m probably missing something somewhere, but I’m happy with my choice and I don’t worry about what I might be missing.
Caring what other people think. Obviously that doesn’t mean I’m acting like an b**ch. I’m a nice person. I know this, the people close to me know this and everyone else, well, it doesn’t really matter what everyone else thinks. I do work a lot on this because I care more than I’d like to admit, what people think of me, but I really don’t want to, so it’s work in progress. I think I’m a nice person, but I’m not going to waste all my energy convincing everyone of this fact. At least not the people that don’t really matter to me. (writing this blog is a big part of me working on this. It’s hard to put stuff about myself out there in the blogosphere, but I do it anyway. I write because I want to and I work on myself not to worry what other people think of me and my writing.)
Being bitter. Nope. Again, I work on this, but it really, really is an energy waster and time suck which does no good, so I’m striving to just deal with it and move on.
Doing things I really don’t want to do. For example; I tried for years to watch horror films and be ok with it because my other half loves them. But I have now stopped because I really, really don’t like them. They give me nightmares and I don’t enjoy the film because they mess with my head. Another thing; I am never running a marathon. Nope, it’s not on my bucket list. Complete waste of time (in my opinion) There are much more fun ways to exercise than running for miles and miles and miles and miles….
Not liking myself. Look, I spent years disagreeing with myself, about who I should be, what I should look like, what I should do. But that’s no way to go through life. After depression and therapy and a with a lot of work on my mindset I’ve managed to find peace with myself and in my body. I like everything about me. I’m not saying I am perfect, I’ve said it before; I don’t believe in perfect, and I don’t strive to be perfect, I do strive to be a better me, though. Working on myself and simultaneously being happy with who I am are not opposites. I’m trying to be the best me I can be every day, physically and mentally. Being a better person, a better you is something we should all strive for but there’s no point in hating yourself or disliking yourself on the way there.
So that’s it. There are probably more things if I think long and hard. Do you have anything that you would like to add to the list? Let me know!
We rented our old house and the contract ended in the beginning of February. So we’ve had a months over lap which was great! It gave us time to get the place in order before moving in. I spent a week redecorating, and another three days building IKEA furniture. I build three beds in two days! Not bad, huh?
So we bought a few things in IKEA. This was tricky for me. Not because it’s IKEA, I love IKEA and it certainly has its place, but because I am so fed up with living ‘temporarily’. My husband and I have moved ten times in 15 years. We have moved country twice. We have rented three houses since moving to the UK the second time. All this is very expensive and complicated. Every move required some new furniture, but we didn’t want to buy nice things that might fit in a room in a house where we might only live for a year. We’ve stored things that haven’t fitted in to our then house. Things that have then been damaged. Things have been damaged by being taken apart and put together again several times.
When we lived in our apartment in Stockholm, which we bought after moving back there from the UK in 2004, we bought this lovely, huge, U-shaped sofa. It which fitted perfectly in our massive living room. Then a couple of years later we moved to a house with a slightly smaller living room and we had to take a section of the sofa of, to make it L-shaped. When we moved to England, the living room in the house was even smaller and we had to take another section off making it just a straight I-shape. We always joked about our poor sofa that got smaller and smaller with every move.
And it was like that with every piece furniture. A kitchen table that didn’t fit in in that house, a coffee table that was to big. Rooms to small for a double bed, and so on.
But we didn’t want to keep buying new, nice, expensive things when we didn’t know how long we would actually live in a place and if it was worth investing, both financially and emotionally. We were always aiming to buy our own house eventually, but as I’ve written about before, life doesn’t always turn out the way we plan and it took longer than we had anticipated. We did buy a flat shortly after moving back to the UK, but it was a step for us to get on the property ladder. We knew it was temporary and that we eventually would want and need to move to something bigger. But a couple of years after living there, the property prices had fallen and we couldn’t afford to sell. So we sub letted the flat, and then sold it a few years later. Again, it was not straight forward, took ages, and it put us off buying again!
Fast forward to last year and we felt ready. We wanted our own place and we were in a financial place where we could afford to buy.
So eight years (!!!) after moving back to the UK we finally have a place were we can not only call our own, but where we can stay until we’re old and grey.
So this is why I didn’t want to go to IKEA. At least not for all our furniture. Finally, we don’t have to buy things ‘temporarily’. We can buy things we actually want and can invest in because we are not going anywhere.
But unfortunately, money also plays a role, doesn’t it? And we had quite a lot of new furniture to buy; all of us needed new beds for example, and the house has almost no storage which meant buying wardrobes as well. Did I mention we needed a new fridge/freezer, dishwasher, washing machine and dining furniture?
So Richard and I planed and budgeted. I found a lovely kitchen table and chairs that I just fell in love with, but was out of our price range.
But here’s the thing, I also feel that I am to old now to only buy cheep, convenient stuff. I want nice things too. There’s just a certain point in life when I find myself to old for some things. Not that I’m that old, but just to old not to be entitled. Entitled to actually buy a piece of furniture that will last. Entitled not to feel that my life is ‘on hold’ because we’re only living someplace temporarily. I’ve had enough. I want to build on what we have, not feel like everything is on ‘pause’. We’re in this house now. And like I said, for the first time in close to a decade we can finally stop and enjoy our lives without worrying about where we’re going next.
So we compromised. We bought the beds and a few other things in IKEA, hence two days of bed building, and also bought the nice dining furniture. This table and I will grow old together.
I’ve been off the blogging radar for a while. I haven’t written a word, I have barely read a thing, and I’ve been itching to go back to it. But, sometimes, life happens. In our case, we have moved house.
Moving is a big thing for anybody, especially if there’s more than one of you. We are four in our family. Four very different people who all handle it differently. My other half has enjoyed the chaos and the planning. He described it as having all these puzzle pieces that he now had to put back together, and his ADHD brain enjoyed and thrived with that challenge. I, on the other hand, hate living in a mess. For a month or so it’s been chaotic and messy. An endless task of boxes to go through or pack. What to keep, what to throw? Endless trips to the skip. Then redecorating and furniture building in our new house. Not to mention that our usual life still took place parallel to all this, with appointments, parents evening, school, and homework to get through. To say that I’ve been stressed is an understatement! Everything that could wait had to, like training and writing. I’ve missed it, but it was only for a short time while everything was crazy around us.
It’s been stressful for the boys. The move in it self was stressful and took some getting used to, and not only do we now live in a new home but we’ve had to find a new routine since Harry no longer is eligible for transport to school, which means I have to do the school run with both boys. Harry has struggled a bit with this, he misses his taxi and the friends he made on it.
Harry made it very clear to us that he didn’t want to move. Slowly we’ve been working on him, and by working, I mean bribing, haha! We told him we’d let him have the Wii in his new room. His new room is much bigger than his old one and plenty of space for the Wii. He was keen on the idea and loves playing on it now that it’s in his room, but at the same time he also now miss the old house, his old room and the familiarity. I guess it will take a while for him to adjust.
I’m from Sweden, a country where moving house, (and selling and buying) is a fairly straight forward and quick process. I, of course, did not realise this until I moved here to the UK where its a whole other ballgame! It’s a process that takes time and effort and is very, very complicated. I won’t go in to details, because that would be far to boring, but I am very thankful that my husband did most of the hard work involved.
We bought this house, or should I say, had our offer excepted in the beginning of August. We moved in the beginning of January. And we only just found out our moving day a couple of days before christmas! Needless to say, our christmas wasn’t as relaxed as it usually is.
Our boys knew about us moving for a long time. In fact, they saw the house a few times in the early days after we had put in the offer, but this has been such a long process I believe they started to doubt whether or not it would actually happen at all. I too started to wonder the same thing. It felt like a myth. Something we heard about but never really knew if it was real or not.
Fast forward to December and all what that month entails, and it became very real. In fact, I sat on Christmas Eve ordering our new kitchen appliances. Not the most relaxing christmas.
Its been a stressful time, but now I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’re all moved in, and there might be a few more things to do, pictures to put up, a shelf here and there, but we’ve settled in and are very happy in our new home. I feel like I can finally take a deep breath and relax.
In many ways 2016 has been a pretty crappy year globally, hasn’t it.
But at the end of a year I’d like to look back at all the great things that have happened in my life. So although it is easy to dwell on terror attacks, shootings, wars, election disappointments and celebrities we’ve lost, for me and my family, personally its been a pretty good year.
This was the year:
Joshua started high school, and is doing really well
He also joined scouts and loving it
And he made his first real friend!
We found out that Harry got a placement at the secondary school we wanted for next year.
Harry was approved a “Personal Budget” from county, which means we can hire personal assistants and pay for activities, which gives him access to things he otherwise wouldn’t because of his disability.
We bought a house! (we get the keys on 6 January )
I hope everyone is enjoying themselves and spending time with family and friends.
I just want to send out a friendly reminder to everyone out there:
You do not have to eat until you’re stuffed and can not move to have enjoyed the food.
You do not have to drink yourself stupid to enjoy the party.
You do not have to eat all the chocolate because ‘it’s Christmas’.
And you do not have to avoid the gym like the plague to be able to ‘relax for once’.
I endeavour to live moderately and mindfully year around, although I do eat more (less healthy) food this time of year.
So my plan is to;
*Eat plenty of delicious food, but as always put focus on the veg and protein (hello, turkey!).
*Drink a few glasses of wine and prosecco.
*Have some chocolate most days.
*Continue working out 3-4 times a week, and get my daily movement in in form of yoga and/or walks.
*Spend lots of quality time with my family
*Enjoy every moment.
I am not going to:
*Stuff myself silly to the point were I have a tummy ache.
*Feel guilty about anything I eat.
*Work out because I need to ‘earn my food’ or to ‘work anything off’
*Start the new year with a diet.
Wouldn’t it be nice to go in to the new year not feeling like you have to start new?
Without the impromptu New Year Resolution to diet and every day runs, because you’ve overdone it during the christmas period?
This doesn’t mean you can’t relax and enjoy yourself; enjoyment and moderation are not opposites. You won’t enjoy the food more because you stuff yourself.
It isabsolutely possible to enjoy Christmas without overindulging and starting the new year with regret and weight gain.