Day 140- REVIEW: Age & Beauty

For just over 100 days I was truly on my path to perfection. There were blips here and there but they never stopped me from continuing forward and making progress. Since my return from a 4 day holiday and a subsequent week long illness, I have found it very challenging to stay on the path. The habits are slipping away and it’s getting increasingly harder to return to them. A weekend sabotaged my calorie counting, an illness destroyed the gym and a holiday disrupted my routine. Day after day, I plan to return to my habits but half way through, my plans fall to the wayside.

Compounding this, I have become increasingly ashamed of my appearance. I can see I’m losing the little good looks I once had. I’ve gained weight over the last four years but now I can see the bad food choices affecting my skin and face. I have sunken eyes, acne on my chin, back, arms and behind my neck and my already saggy jowls are increasing in size and looking ugly. It’s affected my confidence at work and my relationship and my sex life. I’m missing out on so much joy found in clothes and dressing up. Something I always thought would be a delightful hobby for me if I had the opportunity.

I feel desperate to change all this and think that my low self-esteem is part of why I can’t maintain my habits. I feel that if I felt better about myself, a lot of the other things would fall into place. After this contemplation, I think I must hyperfocus making myself prettier, slimmer, fitter and healthier and blog about it. I have a lot of habits in place for other things if I choose for it but for now I need to create the habits that will help my appearance and health improve.

I have spent the last couple of days thinking about what I need to do to reverse the ageing process and make myself feel attractive again. I’m going to take a look at each thing and decide what I have to do and when I can start. I really want to turn things around and show you how I managed it by publishing my transition on the blog.

Sleep

I don’t need to explain how important sleep is for so many reasons and overall health. Even with all my efforts, I rarely manage to exceed a daily average of 6.5 hours yet I know I need 8-9 hours a night to start benefitting. I think the problem is I struggle to go to bed early enough because of the temptation to watch TV or mess about on my laptop and phone. My ‘go to bed’ instruction is usually ignored so any evening habits get abandoned and I end up idling on devices until sleep prevails. In order to get the 8 hours beauty sleep I so desperately need, I need to enforce my going to bed habit. I need to prepare for sleep with an evening ritual and put away all my devices. If I turn out the light and put my head on my pillow my 10pm, I have a very good chance of getting 8 hours. I think I need to head to bed at 8:45pm to give me enough time to be ready for sleep by 10pm. This habit can start tomorrow. I will use Fitbit to monitor my progress.

Hydration

I had made some progress with my hydration. I had found the opportunity for 3 litres of water a day. A litre at gym, a litre at work and a litre in the evening. It is just a matter of reminding myself to drink it. This habit can start tomorrow. I will use Fitbit to monitor my progress.

Diet

Oh boy! This challenge is the biggest I have. I have never really sustained a healthy diet for the long term. When I have followed a healthy diet, I feel amazing and the transformation is always incredible. It’s just been a really long time since I’ve sustained anything. I’m always conflicted about which diet is best but I have settled on one for my beauty challenge. I’m going to follow a diet free of wheat, gluten, refined sugar, cow’s dairy, caffeine, alcohol and meat. I will include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats, rice, potatoes, eggs, sheep & goat’s dairy and fish. This keeps my beauty and appearance as a priority. I’m hoping these rules will naturally help me lose weight. The only way I can succeed, is if I meal plan and shop for it. If I don’t do these two things I will fail because when I don’t know what I’m eating, I will reach for the wrong things. I can’t strictly follow the rules until Monday 1st April but until then I can slowly reduce certain foods and prepare myself for the change. I can already make better choices from tomorrow. I will keep a food diary to track what I eat.

Beauty Regimen

Since I started back on my path to perfection I have introduced many beauty habits, both morning and night. I find it much easier to follow the morning habits than the evening ones. And now it has been weeks since I followed my evening beauty regimen at all. I want to make sure I’m doing everything again to reduce the acne I’m getting and plump up my skin to reduce fine lines, sagging and dehydration. I can start these habits again tomorrow. I have to return to my bath nights on Wednesday and Sunday too so I can incorporate exfoliation, face masks, foot scrubs etc… I must have some regular professional facials also but I must wait until I get my pay increase first. I will start growing my nails and painting them too. My hands look so nice when I do this. I will take daily photographs to see if my face and skin improve.

Exercise

I joined the gym over a month ago and in the first month I attended a lot of classes and did many morning sessions. Since my holiday and illness I’ve struggled to stay committed but I’m very aware how exercise is going to be so important for my health and improving my appearance. I concluded that I need to do 5 different kinds of exercise to reap the most benefits. I need to include yoga for flexibility, cardio for heart health, weights for strength, HIIT for burning calories and swimming for all over toning. I think two sessions of each a week and once for swimming is enough to see health and beauty improvements and I already have a good idea which days to do these. I must start doing what I can from tomorrow and will start with a gym session tomorrow morning. I will use my Fitbit statistics and photographs to track my progress.

Lose Weight

Needless to say, I want to lose about 30 lbs to start feeling healthy and attractive again. Hopefully the improved diet and exercise will allow that to happen but of course if I don’t see it working, I may have to tweak things or get advice. I will use my Fitbit scales and body measurements to track my progress.

Attitude

This is so important. From the moment I wake up tomorrow I can think like a person who is slim, healthy and beautiful. I can make choices throughout the day that serve this purpose. I don’t need to wait for anything. It may start immediately and dictate all my decisions.

Blog My Progress

Finally, I will blog my progress once a week on a Saturday. This will reduce the expectation to blog everyday which I have been finding a challenge recently. Tomorrow, I will start with taking all my measurements and photos as I am now and review my current health. Every week I will publish the results of my habits and track my progress.

 

 

 

Day 126- REVIEW: The Perfect Week

I have so many habits created now that they really are becoming the backbone to my week. My first round of visits to the gym are becoming permanent so soon I will consider adding more activities. I have so many habits now I have had to review them and decide which to cement and which to discard. I transferred all my habits to Calendar to help me see where gaps are left in my dairy so that I can fill them with new habits. The classes at gym vary in times so I also need to plan my meals around them.

Now that all my permanent habits are in my calendar, I am making a concerted effort this week to complete them all. It will be a good foiundation this week before I start to conquer my meal plans and look to introduce additional exercise.

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Day 122- LEVEL UP: Hair Oil

NEW HABIT: Replace hair conditioner with hair oil

For the last couple of years, I have grown all the bleach and hair dye out of my hair. Finally, I now wear my natural colour. I wanted to do this before I go grey. My hair is in such good condition now, that using conditioner weighs it down and coats with residue. Not using conditioner however, can make my hair a little dry and unmanageable. The perfect solution for me is using Liz Earle’s Nourishing Hair Oil. Unlike Argan Oil, it smooths the ends of the hair without making it greasy. It’s the perfect substitute for hair conditioner.

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“I will use hair oil after washing my hair instead of using conditioner”

 

Day 104- LEVEL UP: Dining Table

My path to perfection is all about me getting fitter, prettier, more organised and having a home I can be proud of.

In a month, I’m having 7 people round for dinner and my 4 seater table is just not going to do. As my life improves, and I enjoy it more, I like to imagine myself entertaining guests a bit more enthusiastically. This has triggered me to deciding it is time to get a new, bigger table and six chairs. Besides, I have a kitchen now that can accommodate it. I currently have a small table with benches from John Lewis. It’s very nice and we have had it for about 10 years. I’ve now sold it and purchased a new extendable table from Ikea. It can sit 4 or 6 and even 8 at a push. It took me all yesterday to build it and now my hands are sore from the screwdriver. IMG_4021.jpeg

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From Ikea’s catalogue. Ekedalen Oak

Day 94- REVIEW: My Daily Habits

Yesterday I explained how my job description and title is about to change on 1st April. Prior to that I had considered reviewing and changing my evening habits to help complete them. Now with this news, I want to reconsider all the daily habits because I want to be fit and thinner for my new job role and be even more efficient and professional. I’ve given it all a lot of thought and come up with my new habit plan which I will embark on from Monday.

Here is a brief description of my new habits in order:

I will wake up, make my bed and brush my teeth and then go to the gym for 7:30-8:30am. At 8:30am I will shower and get ready at the gym, follow my beauty regimen and go straight to work. These times can be adjusted if I want to walk to work and when work starts earlier from 1st April.

Recently, I said I need to improve my evening routine. I have now come up with a way to help me commit to my evening habits. After work, instead of getting into my lounge wear straight away, I’m going to put on the laundry and then go out for a walk or a run. After my exercise, I will put on my lounge wear and make dinner. After dinner instead of returning to the TV, staying up late and skipping my beauty regimen, I will do my blog post and perform my regimen straight away, as if I’m going to bed. Then I will lock up etc… and watch one episode of a programme. Just one- not dozens, one after the other, late into the evening. That should take me up to about 10pm and then I can go straight to bed because everything is done. I should be tired after all that exercise.

From Saturday, I am doing 2 weeks on a plant-based diet. I have a great book to follow which has all shopping lists and menu plans. I will prep breakfasts and lunches the night before and bring with me to work. I will weigh myself before and after and report on the results. By 1st April I would like to be slim enough to buy a nice new uniform for my new role.

Tomorrow, I will be visiting the gym to join up for 3 months. My son says he will come with me in the morning to train me. In a few weeks, we are going to Amsterdam for 4 nights. I will give myself a break then and then afterwards spend 3 weeks on the plant-based diet again.

This is a monumental development on my path to perfection. I have lots of habits to introduce, and complete, to succeed. It’s a sudden push but I’m feeling hopeful.

 

 

Day 93- LEVEL UP: My Job

I had some really good news today which is going to really affect my lifestyle and its habits. My position at work will formally change from Housekeeper to Private Household Manager, at my request. My hours will increase to 8:30am-4:30pm and my salary will increase also. I am likely to improve my uniform to a formal suit rather than a cleaning tunic and take on a smarter, more professional appearance. This is from 1st April and all these changes are really going to influence and inspire me. They make me want to be slim and fit so I can look good in my new uniform. More money means I can make more dreams come true. I can honestly say this change is going to majorly influence any forthcoming habits and I am very excited.

Day 84- LEVEL UP: Create Cleaning Box

When I first introduced my weekly housework routine I struggled to fit it in and complete it every week. But since I created a printed housework task list I have had much more success. It’s easier to do the housework with a to-do list I can tick off. It gives me structure and focus and I simply commit to it until it’s finished. The only thing I still struggle with is the final task which is mopping the wood floors. Twice I have left it uncompleted. I’m considering a steam mop may solve it but that is an expense I can’t afford.

I’ve been using up cleaning products I’ve had around the house for a long time. However, now that I am having success with the housework and I’ve been establishing a routine visiting True Food, it’s time to level-up the cleaning box.

I narrowed down the minimum products I need to complete my weekly housework successfully. I need a duster, lime-scale remover, toilet cleaner, a scourer, cloths,  glass cleaner, a glass cloth and anti-bac.

I went to True Food today and bought some ethical alternatives and the picture below shows my ideal cleaning box. Everything is considerate but I have included Viakal and bleach just incase the others don’t cut it.

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