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 131- RECOVERY

Recovery is the name I give to the opportunity to get back on the path to perfection when circumstances have veered one off the path. It involves evaluation and then a focus on completing each habit again, one at a time. Sometimes recovery will involve some catching up on habits that got abandoned during a wobble.

So I lost last week to illness. I wanted last week to be my perfect week. I had all my habits neatly organised in my calendar, had got rid of ones that had become too challenging or obsolete and was raring to go. Struck down by a head cold including an awful cough, I had to cancel gym classes and spend most of my evenings in bed. I did however, count my calories and on the days I did, I lost weight. Unfortunately, due to procrastination I was buying food on the go and found myself going to the shops every single day which is such a time waster. Although my cough is still an irritation, I think I’m well enough to resume exercise and stop idling.

The housework has fallen behind, I’ve stopped exercising, I’m shopping daily and my evening routine has been abandoned. Next week I want to return to my gym habits, have a clean house and a menu plan, calorie count my food and stick to my evening routine. I figured I can use this weekend to put in place the things that will help me succeed next week and those are:

  • Do housework to start week with a clean house
  • Make a menu plan (calorie counted)
  • Do online grocery shopping for the week
  • Wash all my gym kit and have it ready

Completing all these things this weekend will set my up for the perfect week. Then all I have to do is be well and disciplined enough to do all my habits.

And most importantly, I want the opportunity to add new habits to my path again.

 

 

 

 

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 121- REVIEW: Daily Habits

Most of my days now, especially weekdays, are 75% full of habits. Some are easy to adhere to, some are more challenging. Since I joined the gym and attend classes, to continue it means I must adjust each day to accommodate everything. It means that dinner and breakfast can’t be at the same time everyday. And meals have to be tailored to time I have. Yesterday I abandoned all variations of diets and have chosen to simply restrict calories until I reach my desired weight. I’ve been meaning for a long time to get a menu plan in place and design an efficient way to quickly create the shopping list and order it for home delivery. With this in mind, I have reviewed my daily habits and created a list of them for each day. This has helped me determine when my meals should be and what kind of meal I should have given the time restraints. It has also made known how much time I have left in each day to fill with the habits I’m yet to make. Let’s face it, to get close to perfection on my path it will mean having an action-packed day. When I was procrastinating, it was empty and idle.

It is my intention to implement my reviewed habits from Monday and to include every habit I have created. Then I will spend the forthcoming weeks using the blog to introduce even more habits that can fill the gaps and finally hone my meal plan and shopping habits. This plan should help me lose weight and get fit so I can move onto the next chapter.

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Day 118- Staying and Straying on the Path to Perfection

I have just come back from 4 nights in Amsterdam. I had a really nice time but being away from home can be a real challenge to the habits we create. Little routine, a different environment and temptations galore can really throw one off the path they wish to take. I’ve learned from this trip that whatever I do in life, wherever I go, I need to plan it, to get the best out of it and to not veer from the path. I’m creating my reality for day to day stuff but I need to create it for every part of my life, not just the routine and mundane.

Cleverly, I took a day off work today. I think it is always helpful to give oneself a day in-between a holiday and work, to take stock and prepare to follow a routine again.

To help me steer back onto the Path to Perfection I will be going to yoga tonight and grocery shopping. I need to wash my uniform and unpack. I will plan for tomorrow and have an early night. Tomorrow, I will check each of my habits and make sure I’m doing them properly and in the right order.

Long term, it’s time for me to create my menu plan so I can start losing weight. I also need to start running my 5k to see if I can improve on my 56 minute walk which is now my base start. I need to go to all my yoga and pilates classes this week and start going to gym in the morning again.

Today I am going to the chiropodist for the first time to find out if I have a nail infection. I haven’t addressed it for about 4 years but now I want pedicures and pretty feet so it’s time. I will let you know tonight how I get on with that.

 

Day 108- NEW HABIT: Flexibility

NEW HABIT: Go to 5 yoga & pilates classes every week at the gym

I joined the gym two weeks ago and have done something there nearly everyday. They have classes there too so I have been trying out different ones to see what I like and can fit in. I’ve tried yoga, pilates, stretch & tone, Buti yoga and spinning. I particularly like the yoga and pilates so I want to make them my first gym habits I’ll commit to. There is 2 yoga and 2 pilates classes and a Buti yoga session. If I attend them all, it means I’m doing yoga & pilates 5 days a week. I swear this week I have done 50 or more downward facing dogs.

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When I have fantasised about having exercise in my life, I’ve always imagined a balance or cardio, strength building and flexibility. The 5 classes I now attend tick the flexibility box very nicely. My yoga efforts now have been the worse I’ve ever seen them because I’m older and haven’t done it for a long time but I can already feel my balance and flexibility is improving in two weeks. With 5 classes a week, I could get really good which I’ve never achieved before.

Buti yoga is a more energetic yoga, almost like dance moves. Pilates is very much focused on engaging weak muscles. Yoga is about holding and perfecting different positions.

I like these classes so much and believe I can become accomplished. I’m already fantasising about buying nice outfits for these classes but I have to lose weight before I spend money on new clothes.

I plan to blog about my cardio and strength training habits soon. They will compliment the flexibility habits when I’ve decided what they will be.

“I will attend all 5 yoga & pilates classes every week at the gym whenever possible”

 

 

Day 98- NEW HABIT: The Gym

NEW HABIT: Try to go to the gym twice a day on weekdays for 3 months

The good news that my job role is to develop into something more professional from the 1st April means I am more inspired than I have been for a very long time. I want to dress more professionally for the role and feel good about myself. It has inspired me to join the gym because we have a new one recently opened right between my home and work. My sons go to it and my eldest son has been saying for a while that he could easily train me to lose weight and gain muscle if we went together. Impulsively, I went to the gym after work on Friday and signed up for 3 months. Thats two months before my role starts and one month after. I should think with commitment I can lose the 30+ surplus pounds I’m carrying around. 10 pounds a month is totally doable. I have joined an Anytime Fitness gym. It’s about £40 a month and you can only join for 3 months if you pay it all up front.

The gym is really nice with lots of stuff available. I’m chuffed that the showers are like individual bathrooms so I can lock the door and get on with my beauty regimen. Fingers crossed they are not too popular and busy. There are also a variety of classes I can attend, included in the price. I’m excited because there are lots I’m interested in, like variations of yoga. I can book the day before. There are even classes at 6am and I’m sure if I get addicted I would attend them, use the gym and then go to work.

I want to make the gym part of my daily routine once or twice a day so I have had to review all my habits and their timings for the entire day. Here is my revised plan for my daily weekday habits.

0645 hrs- Get up & put on gym wear

0650 hrs- Make bed

0655 hrs- Dental routine

0700 hrs- Finish packing for work

0705 hrs- Do any washing up

0715 hrs- Go to gym

0730 hrs- Gym session

0830 hrs- Shower & beauty regimen

0900 hrs- Breakfast at work

1600 hrs- Return home

1615 hrs- Change into gym wear

1620 hrs- Put laundry on

1625 hrs- Prep dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast & lunch, and have snack

Blog post

1800-2100 hrs- Gym classes

After gym:

Dinner

Head to bed routine

Beauty regimen

Pack for tomorrow

Netflix for one hour

Go to sleep

“I will aim to visit the gym at least once in the morning and once in the evening on weekdays for 3 months and then review”