Do it yourself (DIY).. From a young age we teach our children to be independent, to do things for themselves, to learn and explore, to keep trying until they pick up a new skill and to not give up.
So how come when we get older we become, dare I say it, lazy? We get take away, buy things ready made and ‘outsource’ a whole lot of things in our lives. I’ve always been someone who loves trying new things but admittedly there are times that I put things in the too hard basket and just give up.
I think it’s time we all got a bit better at the DIY in our lives, so here are my suggestions for some easy changes that we can all make to get ourselves moving and motivated.
1 – Create it, cook it and enjoy it!
There has never been so much focus on social media, TV, blogs and print about food and nutrition as there is now. You can mindlessly scroll through your Facebook news feed and see delicious recipe after recipe to give you inspiration. Almost every health and wellness blogger will tell you to ‘meal prep’ at the start of the week, and I think until you’ve done it you really don’t know how helpful it is.
I’m not talking about bland chicken breast that gets cooked then microwaved until it’s dry and flavourless. I mean, make something tasty, something that you want to eat for dinner or lunch potentially more than once. Eating, it shouldn’t be a chore, find a few different things that you can cook in bulk and chuck into containers to grab out when you rush out the door to work.
Get your groceries on the weekend and think through at least the first 4 days of the week, don’t leave your meals to chance because chances are you’ll end up spending more money and eating things you wish you hadn’t because they were ‘convenient’. Roast some vegetables with your favourite herbs, do a big healthy curry, make a big batch of pumpkin soup. Whatever it is, make sure you enjoy it! Cooking can be fun, and if you think you’re not a good cook follow a recipe – that’s what they’re there for!
Here is my recipe for Pumpkin Lasagna, I made it up with ingredients we had on hand and my family loved it!
2 – Get your body moving
I find when it comes to exercise and healthy eating consistency is key, and really they go hand in hand. When you’re exercising, you don’t want to waste all of that calorie burn by eating crap and having the guilts. I generally don’t have more than 1 day off a week, because if I don’t keep on top of it it’s very easy to slip into bad habits. Waking up at 5am is hard, but if that’s what it takes to fit your exercise in before work then that’s what has to be done.
Having a Fitbit has made me so aware of just how little I move when I’m at work compared to days off, and those of us that work desk-jobs know how easy it can be to go what feels like 8hrs without walking much further than the toilet or kitchen then back to our desks. If I don’t exercise before work then chances are life will get in the way come 5pm (aka. 3 year old) and then you’ve missed your chance.
All it takes is 30mins, if you don’t want to join a gym you can exercise at home! I used to follow a lot of workouts on YouTube on PopSugar Fitness. It’s great for Mums who need to fit in a quick workout around Mum duties and even better it’s FREE! Invest time in yourself, even if you’re ‘too busy’ you need to make 30mins or an hour just for you because no one else can do it for you.
Here’s one of my favourite quick boxing workouts, it only takes 15mins and you’ll feel great after it.
I’ll be honest, goal setting doesn’t come naturally to me, like at all. I always thought it was a bit weird to tell your future self to do something. That was before I actually set some goals, wrote them down and achieved them. My goal in 2016 was to run the 10km Gold Coast Airport Marathon. When I set the goal I hadn’t run 10kms before, and I certainly wouldn’t call myself a ‘runner’ but I wanted to do it for me. Obviously running takes a certain level of fitness but more than that it’s a mental game.
I ran one 10km prior to the race so I knew I could physically do it, but on the day there was still a huge feeling of pride when I ran over the line in the time that I’d hoped for. After that day I didn’t run 10kms again, it was like ‘well I’ve done it now I don’t need to do it again’. I wish I hadn’t had that attitude, because I completely lost my drive to run. What I wish I’d done was set myself another goal, to go further, or to do it faster. But no, I pretty much stopped running altogether. When you stop doing something like running you lose a whole lot of self-belief that you can actually do it.
On the 1st of May this year I said to myself that I could run 10kms, and I did. It wasn’t as easy as it was last year, I was a bit slower but the voice in my head told me not to stop the whole time. I set myself a goal at the start of that run and I wasn’t going to chicken out and let myself down, and I’m so glad I pushed through the self doubt.
Goals don’t have to be massive, and you don’t need to tell them to anyone because they’re yours to own and achieve in your own time.
I hope my ramblings have inspired at least one person to cook themselves a tasty dinner or go for a morning walk, every little bit counts.
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Jess Middler – Executive Assistant