Sunday, 1 January 2017

2017...believe it or not. (Part One)

So everybody, somehow it's 2017 today. I'm not going to agonise over all of the awful stuff that happened last year. I will just say this. 2016 was simultaneously the shortest and longest year of my life.

But. We move on.

Now, obviously the year has only just begun. So I can't tell you exactly how it's going to be different, I'm just telling you that I'm going into this year with all the optimism I can muster. So today, just to ease back into this whole 'being on top of my life thing' I want to lay out some of the things I plan on doing with my optimism.

Organisation is great because it means new stationery...
Stage one: Get organised.
This is somewhere where I often fall down and being organised applies to the small things just as much as the big things. If I haven't done my laundry my motivation to go to the gym disappears because I know I have to move into the 'uncomfortable' segment of my workout gear. Should I just get rid of that stuff? You know what...yes. In fact, LET IT BE SO. Today, Sunday, January 1 2017 I shall finally go through my gym kit and pack up the things that are uncomfortable, that are too short, too long, etc. If I take them to a charity shop, especially since some of the half length capri pants (mistaaaaake) have only been worn once, maybe someone else can get use out of them and I'll have to remember to do my laundry regularly.

Taking the last few days of my Christmas study break to really think about the time I want to dedicate to fitness, followed by the amount of time I'm ACTUALLY ABLE to commit to fitness will help no end. Actually making a date with yourself that 'on Tuesday morning between 10-11 I do circuits at the gym' and then slotting the other stuff around it is not going to prevent you from giving the sufficient amount of time to the 'more important things'. No, you'll know when you go to the gym, when you study, when you practice a language or pick up an ageing instrument and chances are you will be giving yourself MORE time to do it and LESS time worrying about ‘whether I should go to the gym today'. Trust me. If you work best with a full schedule like me, this is the way to go.

Stage two: Just, stop and think.
Hello, my name's Florence and I'm addicted to pick n mix. There. I said it. I would love to say that I don't think about what I'm doing when I'm digging into the self serve Candy King and missing the days of Woolworths Pick n Mix stand but that would be a lie. Not only do I think about it. I fantasise about it when I DON’T have it to the point that I can almost taste those pink and blue fizzy bottles and then the inevitable 2am raid of Tesco's happens and...yeah, it's not pretty. Do you know what I SHOULD think?! 'This shit physically hurts you'. I am NOT joking. Sugary sweets of any type, no matter how small a portion causes my body physical pain. And yet, whilst it's happening I'm not thinking about that. I'm thinking about how good it is, how tangy it tastes and how tingly it feels. I'm not talking about guilt. Sure, I've had moments when I have eaten SO MUCH pick n mix, pizza, Chinese food etc. that I feel guilty about my behaviour and that is no good in itself.

But loving yourself means taking care of your body and I HAVE to realise that when I eat certain foods my body simply is not happy. So step two is mainly about thinking about the things that are harming your interests- really having an actual concerted think about it rather than just a cursory 'that makes my tummy hurt' or 'following this person on Instagram makes me feel bad' and really stop and think. Make a list of the bad stuff and then, I don't know, burn it or physically destroy it and just get that shit out of your life. Or, alternatively think about the positive things you can bring IN to your life. My immune system has been barely functional this year and scientists are increasingly telling us that our gut health is crucial to maintaining a healthy immune system. So I'm going to stop and think and research the kinds of foods and habits that will positively impact my health so that going forwards I don't have any 'I ate too much sugar, I think my stomach is about to explode...send help' moments in 2017.

The main reason I’m banging on about this now is that year in, year out I have seen people (myself included) start the New Year with all these great schemes but with no forward planning. Failure to plan is planning to fail. What is the point of saying ‘New Year, New Me’ if the new you only lasts a month and a half? I have known for the last few weeks that I was really going to pull the finger out after the New Year. I’ve been back on track more or less since Thanksgiving (26th November in my house) but I knew that it was going to be primarily damage limitations before the Christmas period. But NOW is the time that I get back to building the habits and behaviours that will hopefully stick with me for good. That doesn’t mean it will come easily, I’ve been so haphazard with my attitude towards nutrition and activity over the last year, but I know that it will be worth it. So today’s post is about how I’m organising myself. Tomorrow will look at how I’m going to make the things I’m organising happen and how I’m going to keep them happening. And then, well, I just have to get on with it!

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, New Year!

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