Thursday, 23 February 2012

Giving Up for Lent

In the last week, I have consumed far too many treats - firstly lots of chocolates and wine from Valentine's Day, then lots of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. And knowing this is the time of year when we have to give something up for Lent, I have decided to reapply my New Year's resolution (again!) and give up being a couch potato.

Here's my thoughts (pep talk) on diets and exercise:

Firstly down tools (read: knife and fork) and stop overindulging on the calorific crap which we may have rinsed down with fizzy pop, or worse, alcohol for far too long. 

Are you feeling guilty about what you have eaten? I know I am. In fact, it is making me feel pretty miserable whenever I put on an item of clothing from my wardrobe and it no longer fits me. Even more so when I go to a changing room in a high street store and I have full 360ยบ view of my semi-naked body. 

I can certainly remember feeling exactly like this two years ago when it was early 2010 - the year of my wedding - and I had THE dress to get into. But did I go on a diet? Did I heck! Sorry peeps, but I do not believe in diets. Diets to me mean restricting yourself of everything which tastes scrummy, which in turn means you will crave it all the more. Where is the enjoyment in that?

Instead, I think we have to take a different approach - a more positive mental attitude, so to speak. It is called a lifestyle change. A change for the better, not a short-term fix (diet). No different to packing up smoking; quitting a nasty habit is a lifestyle change in order to improve your health.

I know dieting works for many people, but for me it is quite simply wrong to deny myself of all tasty foods. Those dieting advisors who say 'when you feel like eating a doughnut have a bag of dried apricots instead' are quite simply trying to get you to torture yourself. Who wants to sit down with a bag of dried apricots knowing it is really meant to be a delicious jam doughnut? Not me. But I am quite aware that my recent gorging on chocolate has been ridiculously excessive, so I am going to cut back.

Exercise is a choice, a lifestyle change which we can incorporate into our busy schedules. You cannot give me the excuse "I just don't get the time to exercise" because it is bullshit. Celebrities have an incredibly busy schedule, dashing here there and everywhere everyday and they always manage to do their exercise, so what's your excuse? If they can do it, then so can you.

It doesn't have to be joining the gym and feeling embarrassed in front of the svelte young ladies in their lipstick and lycra - there are alternatives. Firstly, we can all make those little differences such as using the stairs instead of escalators or lifts, park further away from the shops so you have further to walk, or purposely leaving the house late so you have to run to appointments instead of taking a leisurely stroll.

Sunday, the day of rest...well, not anymore! Get off your backside and go out. I am not interested in the excuses about bad weather - if it is raining then wear a hooded waterproof coat, if it is windy, then good it will burn more calories as you fight to walk against it. And when you go out on your Sunday walk take someone else with you and have a race to the end of the road, it will be a good giggle!

All of these things are little steps in the right direction to a healthier lifestyle and as you begin to enjoy yourself then lets up the ante a bit and go out cycling, running, swimming or whatever else takes your fancy. Everyday we can all manage to find 30 minutes to burn off some calories, so let's do it!!

Teresa x