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12 rules to abide by in July for a happier and fitter August

So I was actually going to call this post "11 rules to abide by in July for a skinnier and fitter August" but in the aftermath of that "get your beach body" ad, and all the focus on "fit not thin", I re-thought it and skinny isn't the right word to use.

Because I don't want to be skinny in a "skinny is just an abbreviation of skin and bones" way. But, having said that, I wouldn't mind losing a few pounds in a few places... Obviously on the list of happy, fit, slim I would prioritise them in that order - I'd prefer to be happy or fit than slim - but if I could have all 3? Hmm.

I know slim isn't the most important thing, and despite that wave of dread when I go to try on embellished cigarette pants in my size and realise I can't get them past my upper thigh, I don't spend too much time worrying about my body, and I certainly don't hate it. It moves me from a to b without discomfort, fights off bugs, would let me dance all night in a hip hop club in Dalston if I wanted to (I rarely want to, I really like sleeping).

But the truth is, my BMI is a little bit over where it should be, and that can't be good can it? (nb I am not a bodybuilder with all the muscle and that is why I weigh too much, I just have a little too much wobble). And I do have a double chin if you catch me at the wrong angle in a photo - an unkind shot of me in a strapless dress and my upper arm smushed against my side looks like it may be big enough to feed a family of 6 for a week. I don't fit into all my summer clothes I bought last year, and I probably should start buying a dress size up, and I just don't want to do that, so although I know it isn't the be all and end all I sorta do want to be a bit skinnier.

So here is my little list - I am by no means a nutritionist or a personal trainer, or really have any idea about losing weight and getting fitter. If anything I am quite bad at these things, I mean I somehow managed to train for and eventually run a marathon without losing any weight, and I definitely exercise more regularly and eat more greens than many of my thinner friends, so I am definitely doing something wrong. (Probably binge eating baked goods and chocolate and going out for dinner too much). Really selling my plan here! But this is a mix of what has worked for me before, and what the internet says is good, and I figure by announcing to the world wide web I am going to do this, I am more likely to stick to it. So here it goes:

1. Weigh myself - oh my I am so bad at this. In my head, I think I'll just get myself to a body size I am completely comfortable with and feel is really healthy and then I'll weigh myself...a bit counter productive. Rule number 1 is to get on the scales every week of July starting with tomorrow morning (Obvs not going to start weighing myself in the evening, I am not completely cray).

2. Start using My Fitness Pal. Again - I lost 10 pounds last year in about 3 months without really trying but I guess just thinking more about what I ate. I sort of hoped I'd picked up the life calorie counting skills and that when I stopped using it, and therefore keep the weight off, but I am worried tomorrow morning's weigh in might tell me differently...

3. 4 minute fat burning HIIT 6 mornings out of 7. Sundays off, but only Sundays because if I start writing off the whole weekend and starting it on a Friday, well I am basically doing only half the week. I've heard good things about Lucy Wyndham-Read so I'll be doing this after a quick sun salute (for a little warm up) before work each day. The only days - apart from Sundays- I am allowed off, are days when I am doing a more hardcore work out as part of...

4. 3 times per week proper exercise - I got into a really good habit at the start of 2015 at making sure I exercised 3 times per week every week, and Will and I would mark it on a calendar. That is somewhere in my boxes left to be unpacked, and it seems without it I won't exercise! That is getting unpacked or replaced - either way - hung back up again.

5. 20 squats each morning whilst brushing my teeth - easy win!

6. Planning breakfasts - I definitely agree that having a good breakfast does seem to make me less likely to snack on sweet things throughout the day, but too often I skip it or just have a piece of fruit. No more! Gonna start that metabolism kicking first thing with hot water and lemon and a more thought out breakfast: soy milk and chia seed pudding, avocado on toast, peanut butter and banana bagels. Mmmm.

7. Take a green juice to work - I've got a £20 blender which does the trick and a green juice stops me snacking in the mornings (as I have that to slurp at my desk instead instead of needing biscuits to nibble on) and makes me choose better lunches (as I am not so hungry all I can think about is all the carbs and all the cheese). I juice my veg and eat my fruit as the man of the juice diet recommended, as juiced fruits can become a bit sugary and lose all their good fruity fibre, but it is amazing how much good for you spinach you can easily eat when you blend it and mix it with a glug of apple juice. My go to juice recipe is just a couple of handfuls of spinach and/or kale, a big chunk of cucumber, a few slices of root ginger and a small glass of apple juice.

8. No snacking! I gave up unhealthy snacking for lent -no visiting the table full of biscuits and cakes at work, no 3pm frappucinos on Saturdays or sweets on car journeys - and it was surprisingly easy. I definitely think snacking can be a place where I eat a lot of calories and find it easier to binge compared to having a small pudding after a balanced dinner. So I am not saying no chocolate, no sweets, no cakes for the whole time, just err only as pudding!

9. Dinner as soon as I get in - it is better for your metabolism if you eat at least 2-3 hours before bed, but also, lessens the chance of what happened yesterday repeating itself. I stuffed my face with the better half of a packet of Rolo cookies, because I got too hungry waiting for Will to finish work so we could drive to Sainsbos and get dinner. So that was my tea yesterday. Woops.

10. No carbs after 7 -for the point above, tough to metabolise so close to bed means carbs after 7 find their way as fat more easily. So if I am eating late it will be courgetti not spaghetti.

11. Packed lunch 2 days per week - ok so this is hardly a game changer, taking a packed lunch 2 out of 5 days but it is a lot better than I am at the moment. I tend to use my o2 priority moments to get a cheap deal for 2 of the week days, and I don't want to be the girl that says she can't come to your leaving lunch as you only brings packed lunches so I guess 2 out of 5 days is the best I can do realistically. But a little kinder on my purse strings and my waistline!

12. Reward myself - so many of the big slimming companies use naughty food as rewards, but I don't know if that will work for me. I mean if the question is you could stick to your diet, eat that plate of salad and then you will be allowed half a biscuit as a reward or throw your diet out the window (you can always go back on it tomorrow riiiiight?) and eat that whole packet of biscuits, well I am worried I would choose the latter all too often. So instead of rewarding myself with food, I am going to reward myself with clothes. Imaginative... I am going to pick out some bits, put the money for them in Will's bank account, then if he is happy I've done everything on this list, then hello new clothes! Or new shoes! I think starting with these turquoise snakeskin sandals as my first reward and ending with this bright yellow embroidered kaftan. 

I am going to use Sunday as a break day from a lot of the everyday rules, but still try to avoid carbs after 7 and use my fitness pal and all of it on Fridays and Saturdays too. Although this is a plan for one month, all the rules are quite moderate, and ones I hope will just become habit after a month and will pave the way for a happier, fitter and err thinner me long term!

PS. Exercise inspiration.

Photo credit: Hannah Gale


  1. I like your HIIT challenge. I should definitely do that; everyone has 4 minutes to spare. :]

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    1. Exactly! Although in practice it is taking me about 10 minutes to recover from my squats to starjumps! Eurk!

  2. I like your HIIT challenge. I should definitely do that; everyone has 4 minutes to spare. :]

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