I go on holiday in 4 weeks and I am so excited. Excited to the point where I almost can’t sleep I’m that excited. I’m excited to swim, sleep, sunbathe, read, eat, drink…did I mention I’m excited?
Like many of us out there however, the prospect of being in a bikini just a matter of weeks after Christmas fills me with dread. Why did I insist on eating all those Quality Streets and did I really need so much cheese? So I’ve been on a health kick since the beginning of January. It’s not a diet; I don’t do diets, I always fail at them and end up resenting myself more than when I started. No, 2016 for me is the year that I get fit and healthy and altogether more glowing.
I’ve upped my water intake considerably (seriously, try it, the results are insane), I’ve swapped my milky porridge for yoghurt and fruit in the mornings and I’m snacking on cashews, almonds and bananas like they’re going out of fashion. And for a couple of weeks, I’ve felt really good. I’ve been in the gym more times the past fortnight than I managed to make it in the whole of last Autumn and I’ve been sweating it out like no-ones business on the treadmill with Beyoncé in my ears thinking ‘hell yeah, I feel awesome!’
And then something happened. I had a couple of days off. I ate chocolate and didn’t work out and had takeaway curry. I took myself to bed at 3pm on Sunday with a hot chocolate and some Minstrels to watch YouTube videos and generally mope about.
To start with, I felt guilty. Like, terribly guilty to the point where I was almost hating myself for slipping. I was convinced that the weight I’d lost (and I had lost a bit) had instantly made its way back to my hips and convinced that my face looked fatter and oh god how on earth am I going to get back on track and into a bikini in a month’s time now?
But then I gave myself a (mental) slap around the face. As if two days of eating naughtily and not moving much was going to undo all that hard work. Sure, I was slowing down the process of getting results and where I want to be. But I wasn’t failing. I was just being “normal”. I was truly practicing the art of balance.
It’s hard for us ladies sometimes to not feel pressured and not feel like we have to be working constantly and eating lettuce and quinoa and salmon every night to feel good about ourselves. Image is important to me; when I look good, I feel good and I’m not ashamed of that. But what I am ashamed of is the fact that I let myself believe that I can’t relax and enjoy life a bit. Did I enjoy my takeaway curry? Hell yes! Did I enjoy those Minstrels? You bet. So why shouldn’t we let ourselves slip a bit every now and then if it means we can get some pure enjoyment in our lives?
I guess the moral of my story is this: work hard, play hard and go easy on yourself. It’s OK to take a day, or two, or even three off from the gym and eating well if it’s what you need. So long as you can pick yourself up again and get back on your health journey.
Now, back to my lemon water and carrot sticks……xo