Self-Love Is The New #RelationshipGoals

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The most important relationship in your life is the one that you have with yourself. Not only does this relationship dictate and affect the relationships you have with others but it also impacts all areas of your life. It is crucial that you learn to have a good and loving relationship with yourself because unless you do it won’t matter what you achieve or who you date, you’ll constantly feel as if there is something missing and you’ll keep setting goals for yourself and trying different things in hopes that they will help to fill in the missing piece, but they won’t.

In my last relationship my ex didn’t value my worth, he disrespected me and convinced me that I was lucky that someone like him would even consider being with me. The crazy thing is that I believed him and I stuck around. I’m ashamed to admit that the only reason he was able to treat me the way he did was because I didn’t have a strong relationship with myself, because I failed at that time to see my true worth and because I lacked confidence.

The reason I’ve wanted to share this experience with you guys is to illustrate how great an impact the relationship we have with ourselves can have on the other areas of our lives. Maybe some of you have a similar story not necessarily as a romantic relationship but perhaps the relationship with your parents, a friend or even your boss.

A poor relationship with yourself can act as a barrier blocking you from reaching your potential, be that in a  job (you won’t apply for because you don’t think you’re good enough) a goal (you won’t aim for because you believe you’re incapable of achieving it) or a relationship with someone you like (that you won’t pursue because you convince yourself they are too good for you).

Many of us spend so much of our lives searching for external factors (be that a job, a partner, a fancy car, our dream body, etc) because we believe that these things will bring us happiness, when in truth the most important factor that we need to be happy can be found within ourselves and through changing our mindset. It may be a cliché but that doesn’t stop it from being true!

I’m not claiming to have perfected the relationship with myself, as with any relationship in life it is not perfect, but I am working on it and I am investing in it because it is important. As someone who grew up hating every single thing about myself right down to the colour of my skin (which is absurd because this melanin is lit AF) I can honestly say that changing my mindset and continually working on building a better relationship with myself has improved all areas of my life. Not only do I choose to focus on the positives but I’ve come to learn to love the things I once hated about myself. Learning to love and appreciate myself over the years has also helped me ensure that I will never again allow anyone to be a part of my life if they try to bring me down or attempt to diminish my self-worth.

The key message I hope that you guys take from this today is that you are good enough, you are amazing, you are smart, you are beautiful and you’re an absolute badass. There is nothing that you need to achieve or acquire, there is no relationship status that you need to gain for any of this to be true. The sooner you realise this, and the sooner you build a strong and healthy relationship with yourself, the better life becomes. “Never forget there is only one of you and you are as breathtaking as they come.” -E. Russell

Just some food for thought.

Jay xx

Making it a Lifestyle: Being Fit and Healthy Goes Beyond the Time Spent at the Gym

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We all know how important it is to engage in some form of physical activity regularly. For most of us the chosen means to stay fit and healthy is through exercise at the gym. However, being fit and healthy goes beyond the time that we spend working out. Being active outside of the gym and ensuring that we are filling our bodies with mostly nutrient dense food is just as important. We spend most of our time outside the gym so what we do during that time will have a great impact on our lives and our goals.

Here are a few tips to help ensure that you are making the most of your time outside of the gym:

  1. Aim to get 10 000 daily steps: Walk or take the stairs more often. Try parking further away or taking the stairs instead of the lift wherever possible even going to a bathroom that is further away at work.
  2. Be mindful of what you’re putting into your body: By no means do I think you should deprive yourself of food that you enjoy (everything in moderation) but you do need to be mindful of what you’re eating and how much of it you’re eating.
  3. Participate in activities that are fun and will keep you active and moving: Going swimming, bike riding, trampolining, hiking, bowling, ice-skating, going to the beach, etc.
  4. Get friends and family to participate: Getting friends and family to participate in activities with you such as going for a for a daily walk after dinner or on your lunch break can help to keep you motivated and make you more accountable to keep it up.
  5. Think of making it part of your lifestyle and not just a temporary measure: Shifting your mindset and thinking of doing things as part of your lifestyle helps to ensure that you view your commitment as long-term and will also help ensure that you are making positive sustainable changes that will help you achieve your goals.

Just some food for though

Jay xx

5 Tips to Help Create a Healthy Relationship with Food

 

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Having battled for so many years in a toxic relationship with food. I thought I would share with you guys a few tips that have helped me find balance when it comes to nutrition and build a healthier relationship with food.

  1. Don’t Restrict = When you restrict food you start focusing on all the things that you can’t have and this can lead to binge eating. When you’ve binged you feel crappy and when you feel crappy you binge more and thus a vicious cycle is created. Instead of restricting, focus on ensuring that the majority of your meals are made up of nutrient dense foods while still allowing yourself to enjoy all your favourite things (in moderation of course 😉 ). Approaching nutrition in this way allows you to fill your body with mostly nutrient dense foods without feeling deprived.
  1. Don’t Label Foods = When you stop labelling food as being either “good” or “bad” you give yourself the freedom to  just enjoy the foods that are good for your soul without feeling guilt.
  1. View it as a lifestyle change = The approach to nutrition you take (i.e. paleo, keto, vegan, vegetarian, etc) should be taken for the right reasons. You shouldn’t pick it solely to lose weight. Moreover, you should be able to see yourself doing it a year from now. Viewing things from this perspective will help you step away from the quick fix mentality and you will be more likely to make sustainable changes that will allow you to be consistent in the long-term.
  1. Address the underlying issues which trigger you to binge or avoid food = Addressing what triggers you and leads you to having a toxic relationship with food is crucial. Failing to address these issues will block you from making true progress and instead you’ll fall back into old unhealthy habits. For me there were a few issues which needed to be addressed most notable were the relationship I had with myself, building up my self-confidence and self-esteem and the second was to recognise when I was stressed and to find alternative ways of coping with it. Since addressing these issues I no longer go to food for comfort.
  1. Be patient = Changing old habits and creating new ones takes time. It is not going to be a smooth process, you will most likely make mistakes. Be patient and be kind to yourself and most importantly don’t give up. I’m not claiming to be perfect but these factors have helped me build a healthier relationship with food and I hope that they can do the same for you guys.

Hope you guys find these helpful

Love Jay xx

5 Tips to Help Turn Behavioural Changes into Habits

 

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When it comes down to it, deep down we all know WHAT we need to do to achieve our goals. For example with fitness goals we know that we need to exercise more, eat better, etc. The WHAT isn’t the problem it’s the HOW. How do we go about making these changes and turning them into habits? Today I’m going to share with you a few tips on how to go about making these changes:

  1. Take It One Step At A Time:

One of the main reasons people give up on their goals is because they try to do too much at once and become overwhelmed. Instead of trying to change everything at once pick one thing to focus on. For example  picking to focus on being consistent with training and once you’ve achieved that moving on to focusing on improving nutrition.

  1. Celebrate Small Accomplishments: 

It’s important to celebrate the small accomplishments. Rewards help to reaffirm and reinforce behaviour as well as acting as a source of motivation. Just make sure that the reward you choose isn’t counterproductive to your goals. For example if your goal is fat-loss don’t reward yourself with food (as this is counterproductive to your goal, you should of course allow for flexiblity in you diet remember everything in moderation) instead you could possibly buy yourself that pair of shoes you always wanted or a new workout outfit.

  1. Be Accountable:

Being accountable to ourselves or someone else can help to turn daily practices into habits. For fitness goals you could perhaps get a gym buddy or a personal trainer, track your progress (through use of photos or diary) or make your goal public through social media.

  1. Accept That You Will Make Mistakes:

No journey will work out exactly according to plan. You have to accept the fact that you will make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them. There will be ups and downs, there will be bad days, don’t let them put you off of achieving your goals.

  1. Remember Why You Started: 

Make sure that the reason why you are embarking on your journey is strong. Don’t just set a goal to lose weight. Focus on why you want to lose that weight? Your reason why will help you to keep disciplined on the bad days.

Hope you guys find these helpful

Jay xx

4 Factors that could be Sabotaging your Fitness Journey

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A fitness journey can be an extremely long and frustrating process. So there is nothing worse than nailing your training and nutrition (and I mean consistently not just some of the time) and still not feeling like you’re any closer to achieving your goals.

It is easy to get caught up in focusing on certain factors (i.e. training and nutrition) while neglecting seemingly insignificant ones that actually play a major role within our fitness journey. Such as:

Setting Clear Goals

When you are trying to achieve goals at the same time that require the exact opposite of each other you are sabotaging your chances of success because what you are doing to achieve Goal A is counter productive to what you need to do to achieve Goal B and vice versa.

The most common example of this are people who are trying to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. This is a massive oversimplification but basically losing fat and building muscle require different caloric needs. To lose fat you must be in a calorie deficit and to build muscle you must be in a calorie surplus.

What to take from this is that you need to ensure that you are setting clear goals and working towards that and not doing work that is counterproductive to the goal that you hope to achieve.

Staying Hydrated

Hydration is arguably one of the most overlooked components with respect to the achievement of our fitness goals. Ensuring that we are adequately hydrated is not only important for our fitness goals, but it is generally important for our overall health and well-being. Make sure you’re getting enough water.

How much water you need to drink will vary for every individual and depend on your level of activity. According to NHS guidelines you should be aiming to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. However, this is quite vague, so a good general rule to go by is to ensure that you are not thirsty at any point throughout the day (as thirst is a sign of dehydration).

Getting Enough Sleep 

In a Harvard study conducted in 2008 experts concluded that “getting enough high-quality sleep may be as important to health and well-being as nutrition and exercise.” When we don’t get enough sleep we feel tired, grumpy and lack focus. While the odd  bad nights sleep won’t do us any harm, several nights of lack of sleep will have considerable negative impact on our fitness goals and our health. According to the NHS the average individual requires 8 hours of good quality sleep every night.

Getting Adequate Recovery 

Ensuring that you’ve scheduled recovery days in your training program is just as crucial to the achievement of your fitness goals as your workouts. Recovery plays several roles from helping to prevent injury to fighting against burning out (both mentally and physically)

Just some food for thought

Jay xx

Are You Still on Track to Achieving Your Goals?

 

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With the first month of 2018 coming to an end how are the goals you set for yourself at the start of the year shaping up? Have you managed to stay on track or have you given up already?

If you’ve given up: 

One of the main reasons people give up on goals is because they try to change too much at once. I was listening to a podcast the other day featuring Jamie Alderton and he gave this amazing analogy he said that when we first learn to drive a car we spend most of the lesson in discussion and figuring out what everything is, what it does and how it works. We aren’t taken onto the motorway on our very first lesson.

Yet when it comes to the gym this is exactly what people do. Instead of making small manageable changes (i.e focusing on getting into the gym a set number of days and then once that is achieved moving on to make another change) we attempt to change everything at once. This then causes us to feel overwhelmed and stressed and before we know it we’ve given up on our goals.

If you can relate to this try focusing on making small manageable changes. For example lets say you set yourself over the course of month to go the gym 3x a week (which is totally do-able). Once you’ve done this you can then maybe look at adding an additional gym session as well as focusing on being more diligent in terms of your nutrition and movement outside of the gym. Now guys this is just meant to serve as an example of how you may go about doing this. It doesn’t need to be in this order or even this way. All I want you guys to take from this is that you need to be patient and take this process one step at a time.

Another reasons people tend to give up on their goals is that they don’t realise that “being fit isn’t some magical permanent state of being. It’s an act of constant becoming.” When I first started my fitness journey I was naive enough to believe that everything I was doing to achieve my goals (i.e. training hard and eating well) was temporary. When the reality was that my goal was temporary. I’ve learnt that just because you’ve achieved your desired end result doesn’t meant that you should stop exercising and eating well.

I’ve also learnt the approach needed when it comes to fitness is to view it as a lifestyle change. Can you see yourself doing the things (i.e. workouts and approach to nutrition) a year from now? If you can’t this is most likely a sign that the approach you’ve chosen isn’t right for you. You are human, you will make mistakes, but as long as the approach you’ve chosen allows you to be consistent and you can see yourself using it a year from now, five years from now and even ten years from now then you’re on the right track to achieving your goals.

Just some food for thought

Jay xx

For the Newbies: 5 tips to help boost your confidence in the gym

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The gym can be an extremely intimidating place if you’re new to it, especially the free weights area. People fear doing things wrong, looking silly and being judged by other (more experienced) gym goers. This lack of confidence then leads to people either continually doing cardio (as the machinery is easier to figure out) or avoiding the gym and exercise altogether.

Not too long ago I shared these same concerns and would like to share with you guys a few tips which helped me to boost my confidence in the gym:

  1. Go in with a plan = No matter how much experience you have, going to the gym without a set course of action of what your session will entail can lead to a bad session and confusion. Take a few minutes to write down exactly what you are going to do. Not only does this help to ensure that you use your time in the gym efficiently, but if you have any doubts about anything at this stage you can ask someone or look it up.
  1. Get yourself a gym buddy = Having someone to workout with can make the gym seem less intimidating. A gym buddy can also help keep you motivated and make you more accountable. If you’re able to get a training partner who has more experience in the gym you also gain to learn from them.
  1. Personal Training = No matter what stage you’re at in your fitness journey I believe that there is always room for improvement and for the broadening of knowledge. Getting advice and help from a personal trainer (especially if you’re new) can give you the tools necessary to navigate yourself around the gym with confidence.
  1. Make a playlist that makes you feel like the badass you truly are = Countless studies have shown that music can have a positive impact on our mood. On my way to the gym I always like to listen to music that puts me in a good mood and gets me pumped to smash a workout.
  1. The opinions of others don’t matter = Unless you’re doing something that could cause you harm or injury what other people think of you is none of your business. I don’t know how many times I’ve said this but most people in the gym, particularly in the free weights area are busy looking at themselves in the mirror. Don’t get put off going to them gym because of what other people will do or say about you. Everybody makes mistakes, there is nothing wrong with being corrected or helped in the gym.

Hope you guys find these tips useful

Jay xx

Quick Fixes: Waist Trainers & Detoxes

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I don’t know about you guys but lately my social media feeds have been filled with these “miracle” products that promise an array of things from dramatic weight loss in only a few days to the complete removal of cellulite. To make matters worse some of these products are promoted by influencers such as IG models and celebrities which leave people convinced that these types of products actually work and see them wasting their money on them.

We live in a society where we are constantly taught to love and accept others but rarely reminded that this love and acceptance should be applied to ourselves. When we covet something we want to have it as soon as possible and in the easiest manner possible. So it comes as no surprise why products which are marketed to our insecurities promising quick and easy results become so popular.

The non-sexy and unmarketable truth about achieving fitness goals (or any goal for that matter) is that they take time (a lot of it), patience, hard work, discipline and dedication. You didn’t get to where you are overnight, so you’re not going to get to where you want to be overnight. If a product is offering you something that seems too good to be true, the likelihood is that it probably is.

Lets talk about some of these for a minute:

Waist Trainers: these are based on corsets which were worn in the 16th century. The logic behind them is that if you wear them for a certain period of time everyday you will see a reduction of size in your waist.

    • There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that the shape of your body can be altered through the use of spot reduction.
    • While the illusion of an hour-glass figure created by a waist trainer is temporary the damage caused by waist trainers can be permanent including damage to internal organs, the spine and ligaments.

Detoxes: The idea here is that after an indulgent period of eating (such as the holiday season) you can wash away toxins that have been accumulated by the body (from unhealthy foods and drinks to the polluted air that we breathe) by drinking juiced vegetables and fruits. One of the main benefits other than removing these toxins from the body is weight-loss.

    • Doctors and investigations conducted over some these detoxes have found that they aren’t backed by science
    • Edzard Ernst a Professor of Medicine at the University of Exeter has said that “the healthy body has kidney’s, a liver, lungs and skin” that detox the body
      • The best way to react after an indulgent period is just to eat well and to exercise
    • Moreover the weight that is lost during these detoxes is not fat it is water which will comeback as soon as you start eating food again.

The message to take home is do your research before you use or buy products. Don’t just use them because your favourite IG model or celebrity is using them.

Just some food for thought

Jay xx

Halo Top Creamery: A Review

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2018 is off to a great start with Halo Top finally becoming available in the UK. For those of you who may not know Halo Top is a “low calorie, high protein, low sugar” ice cream made using natural ingredients and boasting a variety of flavours ranging from vanilla to red velvet.

Having seen so much hype about it on instagram I’ve been dying to get a hold of some and last weekend I finally got my chance. I bought 2 tubs vanilla bean and cinnamon roll.

Jay’s Verdict: 

The entire tub of vanilla bean contains 240 Kcal and cinnamon roll 360 Kcal (typical pint of regular ice cream contains 960 calories)

The texture is slightly more creamy than ice-cream

Taste wise the vanilla bean flavour was pretty spot on (pretty much identical to ice-cream) the cinnamon roll flavour had a bit of a sugary after taste, but was still amazing

Score wise I’d give the vanilla bean a 9/10 and the cinnamon roll and 8/10

I think that Halo Top is a great alternative for anyone wanting to watch calorie intake and still wanting to enjoy some ice cream. Honestly even if you aren’t watching what you’re eating I would still highly recommend it. Its available at Tesco for £5 per tub.

So far I’ve enjoyed it on its own and have topped my protein pancakes with it. I’m going to do a lot more experimenting with it and will hopefully have some recipes up for you guys soon.

Make sure to give it a try

Jay xx

Balance: Working Towards a Healthy Relationship with Food

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Growing up my mom always used to say “de tudo um pouco” which essentially means everything in moderation. From experience with clients and friends it shocks me to see how many people still demonise certain foods or feel guilt when eating certain things like pizza or chocolate. Don’t get me wrong guys, there is an element of discipline required in order to achieve your fitness goals which means you can’t always eat exactly what you want but that shouldn’t mean that you never allow yourself to enjoy a few treats.

Basically:

  • If you eat more energy than you burn you will put on weight
  • If you eat the same amount of energy that you burn you will maintain weight
  • If you eat less energy than you burn then you will lose weight

Now this is a massive oversimplification but I’ve used it to illustrate the fact that if you eat well most of the time the occasional treat won’t derail your progress. In fact allowing yourself the occasional treat can help keep you sane and help you stick to your routine in the long run.  I have found through personal experience and through closely following the journey’s of others that when our diets are too restrictive it leads to binging, feelings of guilt and the use of extreme methods to try to undo the damage.

Allowing for flexibility in your diet also means that you don’t have to avoid social events or feel anxious about them. Now with the ability to track macros through the use of apps such as MyFitnessPal it is even possible to fit these treats into your diet without being in a calorie surplus thus allowing you to still work towards your goals.

Guys what balance looks like will be different for every individual and finding it may be a case of trial and error but its important to find what works for you and not looking at food as an enemy. If you feel that your diet is too restrictive and you’re finding it hard to stick to it will be unlikely that it will work out for you in the long-term. Remember consistency is key, being consistent in the long term is much better than bursts of being perfect. Taking an approach which allows for balance between doing what you need to do to achieve your goals and allowing you the ability to enjoy a treat can be the key to helping you be consistent.

Just some food for thought

Jay xx