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. https://www.youtube.com/user/LWRFitnessChannel/featured (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. https://www.nutracheck.co.uk/Home

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. https://www.walk1000miles.co.uk/ 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 😎

Life Sparkles ✨

New Year – Another Fresh Start

Happy New Year and welcome to 2016!! How fast the years roll by these days. 2015 appears to have gone by in a flash. Did you keep your resolutions? You remember those? The promises we made to ourselves of all the things we were going to do for the new year. Nope? Me neither. I don’t remember any specific resolutions although I’m sure I made them, I always do.

I have heard lots of folk say “you don’t need to wait until New Years Eve to make resolutions, you can start over any day”. I agree with that, we can decide to swap and change our goals at anytime but I think there is something different about making our fresh starts at the beginning of a fresh new year. January 1st holds such promise of the year to come. Our hopes and dreams and also our worries and concerns. We for the most part think positive and decide what it is that we want to do, to change, to improve, to make happen.

Once again I will start a healthy eating plan and I have already shopped, loaded my fridge with fresh fruit and vegetables and ordered a Nutri Ninja which I am now impatiently awaiting delivery of. I know of numerous people with Nutri Bullets and Nutri Ninja’s who all love what they can do and some of these people have kept to their healthy eating plan all year!!! What an achievement 👏👏👏. My difficulty will be suddenly avoiding the chocolates, biscuits, cakes and goodies still in the house from Christmas. No point in easing myself out of them…time to turn cold turkey.

  
Picture via Pinterest

My next new plan is to set aside some time each week for some self care. I totally understand how and why folk say “you can’t look after another person well if you haven’t taken care of yourself”. I have two people to look after and I hope that my swap to healthier eating will not only benefit me, but them also. I need to feel better, more energy, less pains and aches…Nutri Ninja I’m expecting serious results.

As you know I commenced vocal coaching last June, took a long break from August due to caring responsibilities and then returned to it a few weeks ago. I have no hesitations or issues getting around to my singing homework and I hope that this year, even if it takes until December, that I will get the confidence to sing on stage, maybe even do a whole gig!!!

  
Picture via Pinterest

Although I enjoy my Open University course, there is so much reading and research now I’m at level three, I’m struggling to find time. Today I am five weeks behind with twenty three days to go before my next assignment is due in. Yes, I need to knuckle down. I only have one more module to study after this one so time must be found to get up to date and stay there. I can always find something more sparkle igniting to do instead of this reading, it is usually singing.

So, there are my resolutions for the year. Have you made any this year? Are they similar to mine? Whether you have or not, I’d like to wish you all a very Happy New Year, may all your dreams come true.

  
Picture via Pinterest

Thank you for reading my blog 🙂