Enough of feeling bad about what you haven’t done. Let's focus on feeling good about ourselves and the potential for change. I spent half of January feeling sluggish and clinging to my duvet. My jeans were still straining at the waist, reminding me of my Christmas excesses. But I had to go back to work, which for me means no escape from exercise. It was hard getting back into it, but just a few sessions at the gym and fuelling up on healthier food has done me the power of good. I feel more positive, energised and my cheese gut has been reversed!
January is all about denial and darkness. February offers glimmers of potential. So look at your plus points, what you like about your body. Not just how it looks, but what it can do. It might wobble but it can do a serious squat. You'll treat yourself better if you can appreciate the little things and shut out negative voices. Low self-esteem can be such a destructive barrier. But chip away at it, and if you struggle with your outward appearance, try and focus on what goes into your body instead.
I firmly believe if you look after the inside, the outside will take care of itself. Winter is the time to pack in the vitamins, fibre and complex carbs to fuel your day. Eating healthier food isn’t a chore that just helps with weight loss - but in boosting your digestion, hydration and energy, it’ll help you feel great too. Cook up tasty one-pot wonders to freeze and have handy when you get in from work. I’ve been batch cooking stews, veggie curries and spicy soups. Big on flavour, they’re super-satisfying and stop me reaching for sugary treats later on. Drinking hot water is another winner. It helps to flush out toxins, improve circulation, aid digestion and you’ll soon see the benefits in glowing skin, nails and hair.
Exercise can feel like be a proper slog in winter when you’re low on energy - but the pay-off is huge. When the post-workout endorphins kick in, you’ll feel so proud of yourself. OK, you’ll rarely be in the perfect mood to go to a class, but don’t overthink it, just go for it. Create rituals and routines that are hard to wriggle out of. Plan your gym days, try to be consistent and dedicated. Allow for some spontaneous fitness too. Just a quick run around the block, or 15 minutes of YouTube HIIT, can power you up. Remember the happy, smug feeling you get afterwards, and the extra energy you get from charging your batteries. It’ll help you sleep better too.
So here’s to feeling Feb-u-lous. Are you in?