The Sparkle Coach: The power of exercise, eating and sleeping in achieving our health and fitness goals
Each year we are encouraged to ‘binge’ for the winter and then ‘purge’ for January, so no wonder we struggle to maintain consistency with health and fitness goals all year round.
All this confusing talk around food, exercise and well-being, can lead us to avoid taking action or being too drastic with our ‘goals.’
With analysis over every calorie we consume and digitally tracking every bit of energy burnt, I wouldn’t blame you for being overwhelmed and ‘too busy’ to work your way through a plan; it really is a case of ‘analysis paralysis’.
But there are simple yet powerful strategies I have learned to transform my mind and body and most of all, to improve my relationship with food, drink and exercise.
I always start with exercise first because movement is so powerful for your well-being and with all the benefits it brings from releasing endorphins to boosting metabolism and most of all, our self-esteem.
Research shows that people feel stronger and more confident almost immediately after exercising. And whilst I am living proof of the power of exercise on our mental health, for me the biggest shift has come from changing my mindset from exercising to punish myself and being a ‘necessary evil’ to exercising because I love my body, not because I hate it.
It’s so important to focus on nurturing our bodies through moving it and doing things to take care of our beautifully unique bodies which we are born with.
It’s not easy to adopt this mindset but by finding movement and physical activities that you can enjoy really helps. I teach women to dance online and I track their progress by a ‘feel-good’ check-in each week.
Too often we see our bodies as something to abuse and sculpt in a certain way, nothing is ever good enough, but I genuinely believe that “Everybody is a perfect body.”
Setting our intention to exercise as a form of self-care can transform our relationship to moving.
For me, I have chronic fatigue and mental health issues, so every morning I do some movement first thing whether that be a jog to buy a newspaper or a hiit or yoga class online - anything is better than nothing and it sets me up for a more productive day, giving me more clarity, an ease in pain and I am more likely to keep moving all day and eating well.
Once I start to feel better by my intentions in moving more I find eating well even easier because I have started to feel within my body and intuitively feed it.
We get taught to over feed our body and comfort eat or to deprive ourselves of nutrients in order to lose weight. Again, such acute analysis can be demobilising too, so I follow this simple mantra, especially after the Christmas period of overindulging: “Eat to nourish your body.”
Rather than head into January punishing ourselves, let’s try and focus on eating nutritious foods and really being mindful about what we consume.
If you struggle being mindful at first, begin with a food and drink diary to see what you’re eating and drinking, and how it makes you feel before, during and after. As well as making sure you keep hydrated with water, I always have a huge bottle beside me.
If food itself makes you anxious or you struggle with stopping, like I do, plan a walk or something to do following your allotted portion.
Listening to our bodies can also help us to recognise when we are tired and to factor in sleep which is such a powerful tool in feeling good about ourselves and can also help us to eat better and move more.
You can read more at: https://mamamei.co.uk ahd https://thesparklecoach.com or join the free Squats and Sparkles - Women's Health Club on Facebook and tag @mamameiblog @greenhealthpt on social media.