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 64- FITBIT UPDATE: Earlier nights

The results below compare the week before Christmas to the week before that. I won’t be considering Christmas week itself because predictably it’s a write off.

I’ve reduced the number of stats I’m focusing on because there were too many and it was overwhelming. My main focuses now are: steps, sleep and water consumption.

Last Week

This Week

End Goal

Steps Weekly 

81,064

78,699

140,000-175,000

Steps Daily Average

11,581

11,243

20,000 -25,000

Calories Weekly Burned

17,870

17,637

25,000

Active Minutes

317

315

Sleep

6h 15m

6h 6m

8h

Heart Rate Average

68 bpm

69 bpm

54 bpm

Water Consumption

321 ml

714 ml

3000ml a day

So far I have only created two habits to improve my Fitbit statistics. Drinking a litre of water a day at work is working but I’ve not once walked to my local shops instead of taking the car. That explains why all my results except for water have decreased albeit only by a small amount.

To improve next week, I have to create a habit for sleep, steps or more water. I just have to decide which one I want to concentrate on. I think I will dedicate some time to sleep. I’ve maintained an average sleep time of 6-6.5 hours for years yet have always known it’s not enough because I rely heavily on alarm clocks. I know when I get plenty of sleep I arouse naturally and feel good in the mornings.

NEW HABIT: Lights out at 10pm on weekdays

On a night before a work day there really is no good excuse to be awake after 10pm. I’m already heading to bed at 9pm. The natural progression is to make sure the lights are out and all stimulus stopped by 10pm. My chances of getting more sleep must be greatly increased even if on some nights it’s a bit of a struggle to fall asleep.

Below, you can see I’ve set my sleep to be between 10pm and 7am yet the results show how far off the mark I am. I’m falling asleep way later than I wish and sleeping in at any opportunities I can, yet still only averaging 6.5 hours of sleep a night. Next week I would like to see my sleep bars fall more neatly between the two parameters.

“I will turn the lights out and put my devices away at 10pm on work nights”

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Day 1- NEW HABIT: The Morning Wake-Up-Call

NEW HABIT: Get up at 7am on work days

Previously I have snoozed from 6am to 7.10am, then got up to make pack lunches and returned to bed with a cup of tea. This is unhelpful because I find it hard to leave the bed again until I only have minutes to spare and thus mostly skipping breakfast and a shower.

As from tomorrow, my first alarm will be 6:15am, allowing me to snooze for 45 minutes. (The ideal amount of time to make waking up easier). At 7am my old-fashioned alarm clock will go off, and at that moment I will leave my bed and not return.

“On work days I will get out of bed at 7am.”