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 111- NEW HABIT: Spring Spa Visit

NEW HABIT: Budget for a Spring spa visit with treatments & budget for it

Part of my bigger plan is to have 4 spa visits a year. I would like one for my birthday in January, one for my boyfriend’s birthday in April, one in the Summer before a holiday and one in Autumn with my mum and sister. At each visit I would like to have an exfoliating treatment, a massage and a facial. In Spring and Summer I would like a pedicure as well, so I have nice painted nails for sandals.

We like visiting Nirvana Spa in Berkshire. It is one of the nicest day spas in the country. It’s a shame it doesn’t have a hotel. That would really be the icing on the cake.

To have everything I want for the Spring Spa Day I have to budget about £450. Luckily this Christmas I received a Spa day voucher and £100 towards treatments from my boss so I didn’t have to save up so much money. Today I booked our spa visit. The itinerary is really full and exciting.

Start 8:30am

Breakfast

11am- African Baobab Ritual (exfoliation & massage)

12.30pm- Personalised Spa Facial

3:00pm- Vegan Afternoon Tea

6:00pm- J-GELeration Pedicure

7:15pm- Healthy Buffet

We have never had such a full day with so much on offer but planning and budgeting has finally made it possible, and I wish it to be an annual event. I will blog next week about my visit to the Chiropodist. I feel I have to do that before having a professional pedicure. I’m concerned I may have some nail infections.

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“I will budget for a Spring Spa Day for my boyfriend’s birthday in April and budget for it and treatments including exfoliation, a massage, a facial and a pedicure”

 

Day 101- NEW HABIT: Exfoliation

NEW HABIT: Exfoliate my face on bath nights

A couple of weeks ago I introduced bath night on Sundays. I have had a bath on Sundays for two weeks in a row. As a foundation, I have simply run a warm bath with bath foam and dead sea salts, lit a candle and soaked for 30 minutes. It has been a great way to wind down and take some time out. But bath nights are intended for more than just that. I will be slowly introducing habits to go with bath time. The first thing I do is wash my face with my usual facial wash. Following that I will be introducing the habit of exfoliating my face. This is the opportunity to slough away dead skin and deep clean my pores. I want to use Liz Earle’s exfoliator going forward. I have an old bottle of it to finish up and a Dermalogica equivalent to use too.

“I will exfoliate after washing my face on Sunday bath nights”

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Day 74- LEVEL UP: Night Time Moisturiser

About a week ago I introduced my facial routine in the evening as well as the morning. It means I’m now using moisturiser twice a day. I had been using up my Dermologica products so now they are getting used up really quickly. I thought now was a good time to level up my evening moisturiser to Liz Earle’s Superskin™ Concentrate for Night treatment oil. I love this stuff. When I used it before my skin was super soft in the morning and it smells so lovely that when you inhale it deeply before an application, it really inspires a sense of calm and readiness for sleep. My hands are a little oily afterwards so the temptation to thumb my phone is seriously unattractive, lol!

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Day 61- NEW HABIT: The Evening Facial

NEW HABIT: Start my evening facial regimen

I have created all my morning habits for the time being and I am generally good at completing them regularly. My dental habits are all I’ve created in the evening so it’s really time to now develop my evening beauty regimen. I head to bed at 9pm and start with flossing, brushing my teeth and using my mouthwash. From tomorrow evening, I will commence next with evening facial. It is exactly the same as what I do in the morning but now this means I will be going to bed with a nicely washed and moisturised face.

I’m still using up my Dermologica products before I convert back to my favourite, Liz Earle.

“As part of my evening routine I will commence with my facial regimen after brushing my teeth”

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Day 22- NEW HABIT: The Morning Facial

NEW HABIT: Start my morning facial regimen

This habit is the final part of my morning routine and start of my morning beauty regimen. For now, I won’t be introducing any more habits or levelling them up in the mornings. I really need to spend some time on the other parts of the day and the housework.

So after my shower and brushing my teeth, I want to wash my face. I want to start using Liz Earle products again because I had such success with them before, but unfortunately I have Dermalogica products left from when I was seeing a Dermalogica therapist. I have to use them up because it’s such a waste of money otherwise, and I’m short on money to get everything I want in one go. I will be washing my face again at the sink rather than in the shower because I think I do a better job that way. I will be using my Dermalogica facial cleanser, followed by toner, moisturiser and eye serum. The only other Dermalogica product I’ll have left is some exfoliator which I will include when I introduce the bath routines again.

“I will start my beauty regimen with cleansing, toning, eye serum, spot cream and moisturiser”

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The Dermalogica products I have to use up before levelling up

 

 

 

 

Day 14- NEW HABIT: Shower Time

NEW HABIT: Kick off a morning beauty regimen with a shower every work day

After doing the washing up in the morning, it’s time for me to go upstairs and get ready for work. Just over a week ago I use to stay in bed until 10 minutes before I had to leave and would have the quickest shower every couple of days. Those days are over. I’m already up and about much sooner than I was. When I go upstairs I need to start my beauty regimen again. When I’ve done this in the past, it has had such positive effect on my appearance, my confidence and on my mental health. I’m gonna kick off my morning beauty regimen with a shower every work day, regardless. Before I perfect my products I will use up all the shower gel bottles I have lying around.

“Ever work day I will begin my beauty regimen with a shower”