Saturday, 14 May 2016

Living a healthier life


I have been an unhealthy, caffeine addict for most of my life. I’ve always been fairly active but my weight skyrocketed during uni and I really abused my body with alcohol, food, and caffeine. I also  made things worse by depriving it from sleep and real food. When I moved back to my home town everything changed. I wanted to be the very best version of myself, so after the last year I have made small changes in my life to make me a healthier person. I have lost over a stone and a half since starting, but this is in no way a weight loss post, it has just happened as a by-product of treating myself better.

H2O

This is a really obvious one but drinking more water was the easiest thing I’ve done to improve my health. I try and keep water with me at work and at home and then keep a little bottle in my handbag. I think before I started I was drinking a litre or less a day which is so bad! Doing this has improved my skin and it just makes me feel good. It was only once I started running again that I realised how much my body was screaming out for more water. Also water will help ease almost any illness, it is literally that good for you. I'm very pro water in case you can't tell...

Going on the Run

I’ve always been a runner but pretty much stopped during my last year of Uni. Building my stamina back up has been a real challenge but running makes me feel so happy and free. It’s essentially what our bodies are built to do so it’s just a matter of getting used to it and pushing boundaries.  I’ve started going along to ParkRun every week which is a community based 5k run on a Saturday that occurs all over the world. You run the 5k and scan your barcode, then later in the day they will send you an email with your stats, your time, and compare you to your gender / age range / everyone. It is a really great, encouraging environment which is so motivating when you’re trying to beat your PB.

Becoming a bit of a Yogi

Getting bendy and breathing is one of the best things I have ever done. It makes me feel calmer, gives me a workout and improves my flexibility all simultaneously. There are so many yoga enthusiasts out there but I really can’t say enough how much I endorse it for all body types and fitness levels because you just go at your own pace. Flexibility is a big goal for me personally, one of my 101 in 1001 targets is to get into the splits. I've got a lot more bending to go but I've already come leaps and bounds.


Putting fun into fitness

I workout a lot but I think it’s important to add in exercise that is a little bit more fun and enjoyable. Not that I don’t love running or going to the gym, but switching things up makes a big difference and keeps me motivated. If you’ve seen my Instagram account (@NatalieGrr) you have probably seen a couple of videos of me spinning around on an Aerial Hoop. This is my fun fitness and makes me so ridiculously happy. It has done amazing things for my upper body strength and my confidence. When I pull off amazing ninja moves and drops whilst dangling from a steel hoop I feel so proud. I’m also a big advocate for climbing as a fun exercise, bouldering is my favourite as you don’t have to have any knowledge of ropes to go along and have a go at. Basically I like fun fitness where I get to climb on things and be upside down!


Learning to stress a little less

I am a big old stress head who will panic about everything that has never mattered to anyone ever. This is a particularly hard habit to break but I am finding ways to stress less and not get worked up all the time. I still really struggle with this but I keep a gratitude list, I have a favourite cosy jumper to escape to. I take mini breaks when it gets too much and I plan fun stress free weekends to look forward to. I'm not sure I will ever be a calm, zen type personality but worrying all the time is bad for my health and I'm determined to be better.   


Creating a skincare routine

I haven’t quite found my stride with this one yet but I’m working on it and seeing a difference. Stress, caffeine, lack of sleep and a lot of make-up has made my skin very sad and angry. I’ve been working on a new skincare routine to revive my face a little bit. I've been testing out new products from the Body Shop and lots of Lush face masks. I will report back once I've nailed it down. 

Cooking from scratch

I’m not the biggest fan of cooking and I’m even less of a fan of washing up. However, most of the crap that I put into my body was from processed foods. Cooking more from scratch will dramatically reduce your intake of sugar and various other chemical concoctions that are put into foods to make them last longer. I like to read lots of healthy eating blogs and try and use their recipes to make my meals from start to finish using all or nearly all natural ingredients. I’ve also incorporated a whole host of veggies I wasn’t eating before. I think this is what has helped me the most with both weight loss and building up my energy.


That’s what I’ve been doing to live a healthier life and it’s made me so much happier. I just want to keep pursuing the best and healthiest version of myself, apart from the days I want to be the version that stays in bed and eats too many Malteasers, it’s mostly the healthy version… 
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