Five Things | Lifestyle Changes

Last year was a big year for me in terms of my lifestyle. I made major improvements to how I lived and now it feels quite silly to have waited so long to do those things because the changes were so simple.
I somehow lost my way in June which I think was down to Charles' birthday, Britmums Live and I found it hard to find my way again. As a result I've been around the same weight ever since. Although over Christmas and my two holidays I have put on weight but something has clicked and I've been able to get back into that frame of mind to get back on track.

1. Food

Food was the biggest change for me last year. Cutting out takeaways, reducing portion sizes, reducing bread intake, checking calories, eating more vegetables, simple changes really that now seem so obvious and like things I should have been doing for years anyway.
I really enjoy putting together lunches and dinners for myself and do come up with some weird combinations but I think the fun thing is to try different foods together and seeing what you can come up with.
My latest obsession is with raw beetroot. Before I would buy it pickled or already cooked in the vacuum packed bags, or if I bought it in the fresh bunches I would cook them first and then add them to a meal. Then I Googled to see if they could be eaten raw and then....well then I fell in love and became addicted (I have 3 bunches on order from Sainsburys for this Tuesday, which excites me more than it should).
I also love using Philidelphia Lightest as a base to make my own sauces, and am really becoming obsessed with that mixed with sweetcorn. This week I also mixed it with some cauliflower, broccoli, onions and sweetcorn, served alongside some Calamari. Oh my goodness it was DELICIOUS.

2. Fitness

I found the best way to introduce exercise into my life was simply to start walking in the evenings, and walking to school with Charles. I found this really helped me to lose that "easy weight" but recently it doesn't seem to be enough. I am still carrying on with it though as I can feel the benefits of it and set myself targets of either walking so many miles or getting to a certain point on the trail I usually walk until I turn around and walk back.
Up until recently I have been mainly using a running app on my phone to track my walks but needed an alternative as I've found the one I use has become a little unreliable.
Aldi have recently launched a running range with essentials including clothing, trainers, a heart rate monitor and an activity tracker.
The activity tracker, £39.99, is a multifunctional wristband which measures daily activity, time, steps and more.
• Set daily goals
• 7-day data storage 
• USB battery charging
• Interchangeable straps
• Water-resistant up to 3 bar
• Detailed reports available via Smartphone, Tablet and on cranesportsconnect.com
• Automatic synchronisation
• Available in 4 colours
 As with all of Aldi's Specialbuys these are only available whilst stocks last.The running range hit stores on April 16th so be quick if you want to check out what is still available.

3. Clothes

I had to buy new clothes when I lost weight, obviously. It wasn't until this weekend when I was having a wardrobe sort out that I realised how big I was, and how different my body shape is now.
Last week I wore shorts. I felt a bit paranoid, and self conscious, and like my thighs are too big to be able to wear them, but I still did it anyway.
I think that wearing clothes is all down to confidence, and if you are not confident in what you are wearing then you won't look as good. This isn't an excuse to wear something see through, or two sizes too small and so on. But more like "I like my legs, so I will wear shorts. I don't care if you think my thighs aren't quite right for them".
I've worked so hard to change my body from what it was and although I'm not where I want to be yet, I don't think I look too bad but realise I still have a way to go and work to do. However, I will celebrate and take the opportunity to wear shorts whenever I can now.

4. Frame of Mind

I'm not silly and I think when losing weight or wanting to improve your lifestyle it is best to be realistic and sensible. There are times I get frustrated and can't understand why I didn't lose a stone by walking Charles to school.
I found a quote recently, when feeling a bit deflated, and felt it was perfect. It reminds me how far I've come, and of the differences I have made so far.
I do have a target to reach by September and I think that, even if the progress is slow, I can definitely reach it.

5. Skincare

I am so lazy when it comes to skincare, I anger myself. I have so many lotions, potions and oils and I go through phases of being in a good skincare routine, and then completely lose it. I've been really stressed recently and noticed how it has affected my skin so have taken action and started a proper routine which actually doesn't take too long and is pretty simple.
I think the secret is to get into a routine that is quick, isn't too fussy but also can be adapted if needed. So, with my current skincare routine it's all about using my Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser twice a day, using a face oil twice a day, moisturising twice a day, using a Liz Earle tonic once or twice a day, but also when needed adding a face scrub or face mask, eye cream and so on.
It's amazing how quickly I noticed a difference in my skin from having no routine and being lazy by using face wipes (which I think may have been part of the cause of problems recently) to using good quality products and spending time pampering myself.
 I think one of the best things for me, and my skincare, is being subscribed to Birchbox. A lot of the products I use are ones I discovered because of the Birchbox, or are full size products I have received one month.

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