Life Sparkles

Get Your Healthy Sparkle On

January 2021. New Year, new start and yes we’ve all been here before. We have such great enthusiasm when we start anything new and it takes real determination to keep the momentum going. Whether it’s diet, exercise, work, a new project, you need to have real passion to see it through.

Over the past years since I have been writing my blog I’m sure I have written in January or even mid way through the year about heathy starts, eating well, moving more. And yes, I’m a prime example of someone with the best of intentions that falls off the wagon all the time and you know what, it doesn’t matter. I never give up. At some point I will try again.

Whilst I was a carer for my parents I lost weight, I was on the go all the time but I wasn’t what you would call fit and probably not healthy as I grabbed at snacks to keep going. When I lost both parents in 2019 I lost a lot of weight and I looked awful. There I said it. I did, I looked dreadful. Skinny doesn’t suit me. Then I started the chocolate and prosecco diet and after a while (because you can only get away with these things for so long) the weight piled on.

Last year during the first lockdown of the pandemic, my cousins and I completed the Couch to 5K training. We would all have a Zoom call to discuss how our “run” had gone that day and we were super proud to have completed it. You know from previous blog posts that I started gardening and that kept me active. At the end of August my cousin suggested a fitness trainer on YouTube so I investigated. Oh wow, this lady has changed my perception of working out. I love her workouts. There is something for everyone regardless of age, ability or whatever area you may be targeting to full workouts. The workouts are from 3 minutes to 30 minutes and I love them. I’m fitter, more flexible, toned and the workout has become a habit. Lucy Wyndham-Read is motivational and for me and many others, has revolutionised working out. (The photo above is me post workout).

As the weather changed and I wasn’t out gardening, running or even walking so much plus I was now caring part time for a lady with vascular dementia, once again the snacking and food intake increased. I wasn’t exactly gaining additional weight as the workouts daily were obviously keeping things in balance but I did become mindful of what I was eating. One account that I follow on Instagram, Derek in the Kitchen, had a story about Nutracheck. Like the majority of us he was fed up with various diet plans, restrictions, fasting etc etc and just wanted to see values of what he was eating. This was exactly what I wanted. I eat lots of fruit and vegetables but am I getting my five a day? I drink lots of water but is it enough? Bananas have more calories than a glass of Prosecco? Really? Yes!!!!

I signed up for three months and it has opened my eyes to what I’m eating. I don’t appear to eat a lot of fats or foods with salt. I do eat a lot of carbohydrates and my sugar intake is off the scale. There appears to be sugar in so many foods! Over Christmas I enjoyed the goodies. The cakes, chocolates, nibbles and yes, the fizz. I don’t feel guilty, I had what I wanted to eat. I had a couple of walks, I didn’t work out, I had a restful holiday season.

I wrote a post on Instagram last week about healthy eating, working out, getting fitter and everything in moderation. It really resonated with people. I had loads of messages from people saying that they too were fed up with the usual diets, food restrictions, starving themselves. I decided last year during the first lockdown that I would never diet again, life is just too short not to have what you enjoy. Just have it in moderation.

I’m not counting calories, I’m mindful of what I eat. I’m drinking more water, I’m back on the daily workouts, I have my treats and I’m getting fitter, healthier and toning up. I’ve signed up for the Country Walking Magazine #Walk1000Miles2021 challenge. I’m off to a slow start but it is only January.

We can do this. We can get fitter, healthier and more active. Some small changes go a long way. Are you with me? Get your sparkle on!

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles

Running? Me?!! Yes I do…

No-one is more surprised than I am that I have started to run. Seriously, even as I write this I cannot believe I’m writing about running! For a while, on and off, I’ve been trying to think of, investigate, decide to take part in, an exercise that will make me feel good, benefit my health and body and not cost a fortune. Running has crossed my mind and was immediately dismissed. Apart from running for the train or bus, I don’t run. I hated sports at school which involved running and I have kept my distance from all running activities since. 

I love walking, I really enjoy getting out in the fresh air, walking up hill and down dell, (down dell is preferable, always huffing and puffing uphill). Even a walk around the block seems to clear my mind and put things into perspective. I love my weekly Zumba class. It took some time but now I can hop and jump about to the moves quite well. 

Due to home circumstances I haven’t done much Country Walking for well over a year. That middle age spread appeared to be just not shifting and those of you who read my blog know that even though I’m fruity smoothie breakfast girl for the past six weeks, I find it very difficult to stay away from the biscuits and chocolates.  The fruit smoothies have already made me feel less sluggish, I have more energy in the morning and I actually look forward to getting up and making them.

Running has kept flirting with my thoughts…it was on emails, tweets and even suggested pages on my FB newsfeed. One email I received had a link to the NHS “Couch to 5k” app and website. The app aims to get you off the couch and running 5k in 9 weeks. I kept going back to it and then I took the plunge, I downloaded it to my iPod and went out and had a go.

You start with a 5 minute brisk walk followed by 60 seconds of running, followed by 90 seconds of walking and so it continues for 20 minutes ending with a warm down 5 minute walk. The first 60 second run was awful…I struggled, I panted, I wondered what the hell I was doing…I managed 30 seconds of it…but I kept going. Same happened with the second and third bouts of 60 seconds running but by the fourth time, I did it!! And the fifth, sixth to the end. I ran for five minutes! Not only had I achieved that, I enjoyed it!!!

My muscles ached where I’d never ached before but I found myself looking forward to the next session. (You have a rest day inbetween). The third time out I managed to run the whole 8 minutes. I have now completed the 8 minute run three times and will do the last day of week one again tomorrow before I move on to week two and slightly increased running time. It might take me longer than 9 weeks but I am determined to get there.

I am slow, I get out of breath and sometimes I wonder if the passengers in the passing cars feel sorry for me. However, one quote runs through my mind…

Picture via Pinterest 

And this quote keeps me going. I have such a sense of achievement, I’m enjoying it, I feel good and breathlessness is decreasing. I shall take it slow but I will get there.

Thank you for reading my blog 😎