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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Make yourself: motivated.

Source: Nike Women

I haven't done a health and fitness post in a while, because I feel I haven't been the healthiest person lately - eating chocolate bars, not watching my calories. Not always a bad thing, but I've been feeling sluggish, which isn't good. A few of my excuses include: but it's winter, it's cold outside, I'm tired, I'll start next week, I don't care - I just want it! Well, it's time I stopped with the excuses! You should too! 

When I'm feeling as unmotivated as I am now, the best thing for me to do is to figure out some goals, take a 'before' photo (and look at past progress photos!) and work out a plan. 

For the month of July, apart from a couple of days (this Saturday is my birthday party, and I'm heading home for my actual birthday) I'm going to start eating clean, and cutting back on sugar and alcohol. 

July Goals: 

• Clean up my eating - fresh, whole foods only, no preservatives. 
• Cut back on my sugar intake - including in coffee and tea. Slowly ween myself off it and take it down to 1/2-1tsp in coffee and tea. Only bittersweet dark chocolate allowed occasionally. 
•Limit alcohol intake to two days this month - my party and my actual birthday. Opt for non-alcoholic, low sugar options for work drinks. Avoid the nibbles. 

From August for 4-6 weeks, I am going to go completely mucho on this body. Clean eating, no alcohol, exercise 4 times a week, I'm going to get some abs for summer, damn it! 

August Goals:

• 1 tsp sugar a day - one coffee in morning only. 
• Gluten free all month. 
• No alcohol.
• Medium- to high-intensity workouts 4 times a week.
• All clean foods, no preservatives. 

Reading food labels is such an important thing - my friend commented on the fact in that Green & Blacks organic chocolate, the ingredient list is only 5 things, while in cadburys, the it's closer to 20-30 ingredients, most of which you can't pronounce.

Another thing I have noticed with myself, and others around me, is this false advertising thing of 'low fat' being good for weight loss. This is completely false! Fat is such an important component in our diets - protein and fat together help satiate you and make you feel full for longer. Companies who have 'low fat' on their labels, tend to up the sugar content in such products - because taking the fat out of something makes it taste awful. What happens when you have excess sugar in a product? Your blood sugar spikes, your body produces insulin, and then it plummets, making you hungry again in an hour. Eat full fat products - though the calories may be higher, you won't need to eat as much to feel content! 

I would also caution those who use artificial sweeteners. These can upset your stomach, and I think that having normal sugar is probably better in the long-term. The amount of chemicals in these sweeteners is terrifying, and if you can go for a natural option like cane sugar, honey, agave or stevia I would be much happier - even if these have a few more calories, they're better for you in the long haul. I'm pondering on buying some agave syrup as the smallest amount is said to be very sweet and you don't need a lot to sweeten things. I'm not a huge fan of the taste of stevia, and I love honey in my tea. 

If anyone else is keen to do this challenge with me this month - let me know how you're going in the comments/on your blogs! It will be fun to have a group of people to help motivate each other! 


  1. Im doing a much more refined July too! My gym card was getting a little bit dusty in the bottom of my bag! Good luck to us both! xx Elly @ jazzlipsandtulips

  2. This is a great idea, I have been so lazy since it got cold. I got your hilarious comment about moving with a shopping trolley, but blogger deleted it! Grrr. Hope your goals go well, I completely agree about the sugar intake, yikes I need to cut down x

    1. I know. I think I go into this state where I go to work, it's dark when I finish work so I'm all 'I just wanna go home, screw going to the gym!' and then I feel even more lazy.

      It was hilarious, my friend and I likened it to Two Broke Girls.

  3. Artificial sweeteners are infinitely worse for you than sugar. Seriously avoid them like the plague. And (refined) sugar is really bad for you. You're better off using agave or similar when you need it, even pure maple syrup. But just because its better doesn't mean you should use a tonne! It's BEST to limit your sugars to the natural ones you get from whole foods (see: fruit).
    I have to stop myself there before I ramble too much-I could go on about diet and health all night.
    Good luck! x

  4. I love reading your posts about eating healthier and exercising, its so motivating! I'm doing 'dry July' = not drinking alcohol for the month to try and be a bit healthier. (Except for my birthday weekend hehe July baby buddies!) I've also started trying to streamline my eating to the 'Blood type' diet, which my sensitive tummy seems to agree with.

    For exercise, I go for weekly runs which I am trying to make time to do 3 times a week (so hard, where do I fit it in?) And I also just got given a bike so will go for at least 1 big bike ride a week. PHEW!

    Am excited to see your progress and how you get on!

  5. Thanks for this motivational post. My goal for July would be to stick to my daily calorie intake goal and exercise at least three times per week. I do like to snack on sweets, luckily I always drink my coffee and tea without sugar. Wishing us all success in sticking to our goals.

  6. Great post! It's summer where I am so I am motivated to exercise but my food intake has been filled with unhealthy summer treats... Your goals sound wonderful I may have to try a similar routine... Oh and the ads Nike does are always so motivating.

  7. I'm trying to make myself healthier as well. I've started running which I'm not a huge fan of but it's definitely working. This is a great post!

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  8. I always believe in healthy livin = happy livin. Keep it up!!!
    The alcohol is the hardest part for me esp during summer with all the celebrations (happy belated birthday btw) but in small increments and appropriate active life, there's no feeling of being deprive.
    Can't wait to read more of your posts!


    1. Oh, my birthday isn't until 12th July. :)

      I'm going to cut alcohol just for a few weeks to get rid of the last few kilos that have been sticking around... :)

  9. ahaha I'm eating chocolate right now xD I'll be an obese :((. you gave me the best idea, I will make goals too :). Good luck with your targets :) be constant.

  10. So need to do this, I've been eating terribly lately because of this chilly NZ winter & therefore desire for comfort food. But I know I always feel better physically and mentally when I eat whole foods. Quite tempted to try after my cold goes away! xx
    Maddi / Lapin Coeur

    1. Yeah, I always feel so sluggish in winter, it's tough even to get out of bed in the mornings, and takes until about 10am to get going anyway. Need my morning coffee right now. Zzzz

  11. Just stumbled upon your blog..and love this post!!
    A great low-glycemic, not-refined yummy sweetner in a "sugar" like form (verses a liquid like agave) is coconut nectar, LOVE it in coffee! :) If you need an idea there.
    I've been doing a lot of what your working on for over a year now due to health changes..if you want any ideas for clean gf eating..etc..let me know!

    Good luck!!!!

    1. Oooh, Clean Gluten Free eating is very much what I need to do.

      My god, I'm so bad. It's the middle of winter and I really just can't. be. bothered at all to go to the gym. It's dark right now and it's 4:45pm. So not good for motivation.