My wellness journey – what keeps me motivated

A lot of you have realised recently that I’ve been really invested in improving my health, more specifically my diet and my exercise routine… or lack thereof. It’s been about 6 weeks now that I’ve made wellness a priority and so I thought I would share with you a few tips that have helped me on my wellness journey.
Let me preface this by saying that these are the things that help me personally, it may not work for you at all and that’s okay! All of our bodies are different and respond differently, you need to find what works for you. Secondly, my main priorities right now are to get my body moving on a regular basis and to really re-evaluate my diet to make sure I’m eating properly. These might change in the next few months but for now this is where I’m putting the majority of my attention.
Now that that little disclaimer is over, let’s jump in!

• Find accounts on social media that motivate you
Isn’t it crazy how powerful social media can be? I know it gets a bad rep a bad rep a lot but if you are intentional about using it to your advantage it can be a really great tool in your wellness arsenal. Personally I only like following a couple of wellness accounts, if I follow too many it becomes overwhelming which isn’t great. I’ve also had to make a habit of reminding myself that wellness is holistic and that you don’t need to incorporate/agree with everything that these accounts speak about. You get to pick and choose what you take away from them. Some of my accounts that I really find useful:
Hearts and Hiccups: truly inspiring healthy living
Vanessa Martin therapy: sexual wellness
Harassed Mom: waste free living
The Lean Girl: really great low cal but filling recipes
Baby bounce: workout motivation, esp great for pre and post partum

• Make your workout part of your routine
You all know by now how much we rely on our routine in our family – it really helps us keep on top of everything. This includes getting my workout in every weekday. I put my workout clothes on first thing in the morning and go for my run or walk right after dropping the girls off at school. This way I’m home by 9am and still have the entire day. If I dont get my workout in first thing I find that it hangs over me and my motivation levels drop as the hours tick by. Whatever time would work vest for you, make an effort to fit it into your routine and make it a habit, it honestly makes things so much easier, I promise.

• Download an amazing playlist
I think most people would agree that music while working out makes a massive difference. It definitely helps to make the time pass faster and the more upbeat songs really motivate me to pick up my pace towards the end of my walk or run when I’m really feeling tired. Personally I prefer music but maybe a podcast is more of your thing… there are so many different options available in all kinds of genres. Also, Spotify Premium is 100% worth it.

• Make easy substitutes in your diet
For me this was key – I didn’t want to overhaul my entire diet, it was relatively healthy anyway but there were 2 things that I I to concentrate on:
1. My portion sizes: these were completely out of control and this is where calorie counting has really helped me
2. Choosing healthier, more calorie conscious options: some good examples are swapping out cows milk for almond milk, and instead of buying a whole slab of chocolate that I could easily wolf down, I buy smaller bars.
It’s simple changes like this that has made the biggest difference to my wellness journey.

• Eat later in the day
This is a biggie for me but it doesn’t work for everyone. I eat first meal of the day around 10am, then lunch at around 2pm/3PM and dinner at 7PM-ish. Previously I was eating breakfast I the girls at 7am, lunch at 12pm and dinner with the girls as well at 5.30pm while theres nothing wrong with this set up at all, I would always be hungry come 8PM and that’s when all the snacking would start. Moving my meal times later totally eliminates this and I find that eating my breakfast a bit later in the day means that I can actually sit down and enjoy it and not be doing trying to do 3 things at once while eating.

• Change your mindset when it comes to food
I’ve had to unlearn so many things over the past few years when it comes to food, especially now that I have two young and I inquisitive minds that pick up on everything that I say and do. Yes there are healthy foods and less healthy foods, but there are no bad foods. Some foods we eat freely and some we only have every now and then. I’ve had to train my brain to think of food as fuel for my body and not something that has absolute control over my life and emotions, and let me tell you, it’s harder than it seems. The diet culture has been so engrained in us, so much so that we often dont even realise it. I’m trying to be conscious about my thoughts and my words when it comes to food, while at the same time not allowing it to become something that I obsess about (especially because I calorie count).

• Don’t compare your wellness journey to someone elses
We all know the saying, “comparison is the thief of joy” and it’s so true, for every aspect of our lives. Being so active on social media makes it very hard to not compare how far I’ve come compared to how far others have. But we’re all on our own journey, we all learn valuable lessons at different stages and at the end of the day, we’re all learning to better ourselves and our families through holistic healthy living.

• Variety is the spice of life
Change up your workout every now and then, it makes the WORLD of difference. I’ve started doing a very easy hike once a week with a friend in different locations and I always look forward to it; I get to see another beautiful part of Jozi, get my workout in and spend time with someone I love. What a win!
The same can be said for your groceries – get inspired via friends and family, pinterest and social media to try different dishes and start to pay attention to what’s available when you go grocery shopping. I know that I generally buy the same stuff week after week but recently I’ve started to pick up a few different things, like the Woolies cooked barley and now I cant go without it!

• Celebrate the small wins
No bloating today? Managed to walk 500m further than normal? Incorporated something small in your home that helps reduce waste and it’s working? Jeans feel a little looser? Have a whole lot more mental clarity? Feeling way less fatigued? CELEBRATE IT! Whatever your goal is, celebrate every single win no matter how big or small.

The journey to wellness isn’t a sprint, its not a quick fix or a fad and it’s certainly not only concentrated on one area of your life. It’s a gradual but steady lifestyle change that betters you physically, mentally and emotionally. No one’s experience will be the same, just like no one’s wellness priorities will be the same, in fact your own goals will change as your progress.
I’ve seen such great changes in myself over the last 6 odd weeks and I’m so looking forward to seeing what I can accomplish next. Even when it isn’t easy, it’s worth it.

* Never make any drastic changes to your lifestyle without consulting your health practitioner first. These are just my personal experiences and should not be taken as medical advice.

Featured image by Tamaryn Lee Photography

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