Healthy March Challenge – Becoming Lighter Series

5 Fruit and Veg daily
No processed food
No or Little alcohol
Exercise min. half hour (pref hour)

#HealthyMarch

#BecomingLighter

The aim is to become fitter, leaner and healthier this month by following the above challenge.  Are you in?

Breakfast and lunches can incorporate plenty of fruit with some green veggies such as spinach (breakfast) and lettuce (salad lunch).  Suggest eggs for breakfast because they are filling and salads with protein (fish, chicken or eggs) plus a potato or couscous. A healthy evening meal such as a meat or fish stew is always tasty and can be eaten for the following two or three days, if necessary.

It is a good idea to keep an eye on sugar intake because it is hidden in tomato sauces, fizzy drinks and processed foods.  So obviously it is better to not have processed foods and enjoy cooking your own food.

The odd glass of wine is OK, but not too many.  I find this tricky as it interferes with a social life. However, we must give it a try. Oh, and don’t forget to drink about 6 glasses of water every day.

Oddly enough, for me, exercise is the easier part.  Suggestions for this includes gym, running, walking (city and country), swimming or whatever you enjoy most.

I will update progress and any comments below (with your blog links) are welcomed.

Cheers,

Andy Frances xx

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Running and Fitness Plan


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It occurred to me that a run in the winter sunshine is more appealing than another visit to the gym. So that is what I did.

Started off with a rough route and my music planned. What does everybody listen to? I’ve devised a long running playlist and just add songs when something new and jolly is heard on the radio. The list of tunes is an array of everything and encourages me to run.  Well it all helps!

Started out all enthusiastic because of the lovely weather  – cold and sunny. Just crossing the road and heard a friendly voice asking me where I plan to run. So stopped to chat to my mate, then swiftly started running again eager to accomplish some sort of running rhythm.

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Ran down a long lane with some brief stops for photos. Really enjoyed the countryside and decided that I will run more often. A few hills and roads later I finally ran around a small local recreation ground and went home, tired but feeling a sense of achievement. Always a good thing.

Future Fitness Plan 

  • Write down everything eaten, daily. Plus drinks (particularly alcohol).
  • Weigh yourself first thing, daily.
  • Eat 5 pieces of fruit/veg, every single day. This should be mainly veg. 
  • Try to keep to 1200 calories, most days (but probably not the weekends).
  • 1 hour exercise, every single day. Or at least half an hour.
  • A run outside, once a week

Lost 3.5 kg at the gym’s Fat Club, so slowly winning the weight loss battle.
Ran 7.4 km

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How do you want to feel? – Update and Challenge

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So I’ve decided that it is about time to update on the “fitness regime”, as a friend recently called it.  The answer is yes, I’m still on it and over a month later, feeling stronger, lighter and more motivated.

However, after losing 2 1/2 kg, have found it all very frustrating due to the slow loss.  This is probably because of alcohol  consumption and going out for a few meals. It is very hard to visit eateries and order something low fat. This is something to work on. Not just for me, but the food places too.  Why don’t cafes, pubs and restaurants place healthy options with the calorific information?

Also, I’ve started proactively increasing the weight training in order to gain more muscle (haha).  This is hopefully going to encourage health benefits, but that may take some time. Unfortunately, when you are over 45, it all seems to take forever.

My gym has been running a weight loss group and encouraged this challenge:

– Exercise 30 minutes a day

– Green veggies everyday (broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, brussels sprouts, etc.)

– Write down what you eat and drink

This  challenge has been tricky and harder than originally thought. However, it has been very helpful and enables you to discover hidden weaknesses.  What are yours? Mine is choosing healthier options when away from home.

Anyway, onwards and upwards. Thanks for reading and please follow.

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How do you want to feel a month from now?

This is what is on my mind. I popped into a pub on the way home about 10 days ago, and because I was not driving, ordered a pint of lager. It lasted a long time, but my stomach was feeling bloated while I consumed the fizzy drink.

A lightbulb moment happened. No more messing about. Need to get back on the healthy, but filling food plan. I was feeling unhealthy, large and uncomfortable.  This is because the pounds are beginning to return.  My plan is as follows…

-Focus on high protein and cut down on the carbs

-Eat only when hungry

-Participate in the Parkrun

-Check out some classes at the gym

-Drink lots of water (2 litres or more per day)

-Be aware of when I am hungry and not just bored and/or fed up!!

-Eat lots of vegetables and fruit

-Write down everything I consume

So lots of exercise and healthy food. The aim is to feel great by this time next month. What is your aim?

I’ve been doing the above and it is working well, so far and I will keep you updated.

Thank you for reading.  Please follow if you like the mishmash…

Update and 3 Reasons Why I Run…

At the beginning of August, I decided to try to have a healthy month. Needless to say, it did not go to plan. To be fair, I wasn’t expecting so much to happen. Lots of days out and weekends away.  Think I’m taking my advice and having experiences rather than stuff!

However, I am pleased to report that I have stepped up the running and exercise and started to make the weekly Parkrun (http://www.parkrun.org.uk/) a longstanding habit.  Also, I am increasing weight training and focus on leg strengthening exercises at the gym.  Plus, of course, I’m still walking little Oscar, and really enjoy the walks around the surrounding countryside. So all in all, I am doing half the programme and hope now summer has drawn to a close, I will do even more.

My reasons for running are:

– It is good for my health – Heart and strengthens joints

– Clears my head, releases endorphins and improves my mood

– As someone who couldn’t run when young, it gives me a massive sense of achievement


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Day 4, 5, 6 and 7 – #HealthyAugust

For Thurday’s exercise, I went for a lovely walk with Oscar through some orchards and woods. The sun was shining and we both enjoyed trailing over the long grass. On the way back, two ladies were picking blackberries and apples and informed me they were going to make an apple and blackberry pie.  Sounds delicious doesn’t it?  My plan is to wait a couple of weeks and pick fruit and make some fruit pies and or smoothies.  (This particular orchard is overgrown and the fruit doesn’t get picked.)

On Friday, I had a PT session and found it unbelievably tough.  Had to go to bed early because I was soooo tired.  However, Saturday I did the parkrun and got a new PB.  Each week I’ve done slightly better, which is encouraging, after the previous day’s training session.

Must confess to having rather too much wine during Saturday and Sunday evening but oh well.  Hopefully, next week will be better.

Sunday, was just decluttering, clearing and cleaning which I will post about this week, as part of my Minimalism series.

Have a jolly week everyone. Bye for now. Please follow :-)))

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What do you really want to change?

I’ve recently noticed many people constantly want to change their life.  This made me wonder why.  Is it because we spend too much time comparing ourselves with others?  It is vital to make a conscious effort to stop this thought process. As we get older it becomes easier to accomplish this and it is surprising how you stop worrying about what people think of you.  Usually nothing, because they are too busy worrying about their own problems.

Many people I know, want to move away, usually to somewhere warmer.  Does this make your life more comfortable or do you just replace one set of problems for another, but in a warmer climate?  It will be an adventure but is it the right route to take?  The main point is to focus on what you want to do, how you want to achieve it and then focus on it.  Nowadays, there are many tools on the internet to help this, such as doing a life board on Pinterest, finding courses and meetups about your interests or just researching new places to visit and explore.

The main thing is to think positively and try to stop worrying about what may happen or what has happened and focus.  Recently, I read about a person who had been very ill and now takes mini holidays and when I say mini, I mean mini, such as a few hours or a day to explore and find new places to wander, investigate and enjoy.

So make the most of life and as they say it isn’t a rehearsal.  Travel, walk, run, read, cook, paint, explore or start a new course.  Take time to notice what is going on around you and make an effort to be happy.

Yes, I will be taking my own advice too:

  • Stop worrying
  • Discover what you want
  • Think about how you want to achieve the changes
  • Don’t ponder on your mistakes (everyone has them)
  • Try new things that will make you get on with being happy

Thank you for reading my blog and don’t forget to follow me.

Cheers,

Andyxx