This post could also have been called 5 ways I’m trying to become happier in my own skin. Because I’m not happy in my own skin at the moment. And when I look in the mirror and I don’t like the person I see staring back at me.
I’m reminded of a line from one of my favourite songs:
“It’s just that we stayed, too long
In the same old sickly skin.”
Full of Grace by Sarah McLachlan
I feel like I’ve stayed too long in the same old sickly skin. That I’m trapped in a body that I don’t particularly like. A body that seems plagued with little ailments – IBS, migraine, fatigue, rosacea and chronic depression and anxiety.
I’m a big believer in the body positive movement. I look at other women and I always see their beauty. And it makes me sad that they can’t see what I see.
Yet, the irony is that I look at myself and I don’t see beauty. I just see a body that I dislike and a face that I’m sick of seeing in the mirror. I want to change and I want to be different.
I’m going to be 40 years old this September. And although I’m okay with that. I’m not okay with the fact that as I approach my 40th birthday I hate the way I look. And I’m unhappy that at the moment I’m more unhealthy than I’ve ever been in my life.
There is only one person who can address these issues. There is only one person who can help me to like myself. And there is only one person who can start to make my health a priority. ME!
My diet is atrocious. I don’t drink enough water and I eat far too many sugary and fatty foods. I don’t get enough exercise. And I never get enough sleep.
I could bore you with all the reasons for why I struggle to look after myself. But I won’t! The truth is none of that really matters. The only thing that matters is that something needs to change. Because I know that if I start to look after my physical health then I will be a happier and more content person.
So this year, as I approach my 40th birthday, I’m determined to make the changes needed to become a healthier and happier person. And I’ve already made a start. These are the 5 ways that I’m trying to look after my health.
5 ways I’m trying to look after my health
I’m very lucky that over the next few months I’m going to be working with a fabulous nutritionist and fitness expert. I’m taking part in the Gold Transformation Programme from Lamorna Nutrition and Fitness.
This programme is absolutely perfect for me. It isn’t about faddy diets and it is not about making radical changes. It is about making healthy choices that will add up to a healthier Lucy. And that has got to be good, right?
I’ve already noticed a difference. And I’m really committed to this programme. Because it is not just about changing my diet (less sugar and more protein). It’s also about addressing my activity levels, my sleep and taking care of myself.
I had my first proper chat with Lamorna on Tuesday and it was like talking to a good friend. She really understands me and the type of person I am. As a result, all of her advice is tailored to my needs. And if something doesn’t work (I’m not a massive fan of the protein bars) then we can try something else.
It’s so nice to have someone to help me on this journey to become a happy and healthier version of myself. And I really think with Lamorna’s help I can finally make the changes I need. So watch this space. I’ll be writing regular updates on how I get on.
Also, I LOVE one of the mantras that Lamorna taught me:
“You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be better.”
I’m terrible at getting enough sleep. There are many reasons why my relationship with sleep is so terrible. But whatever the reasons, there is no denying that I need more sleep. I’m exhausted most of the time. So this year I set myself the simple goal to go to bed by 23:30 every night. And apart from the night that I fell asleep on the sofa, this is what I’ve been doing.
3. Saying “no”
I don’t like to say no to people. I’m a people pleaser and I hate feeling that I’ve let anyone down. This often means that I end up doing things that make me unhappy or that I don’t need to do just to please other people. But I’m now learning to say no. And it is helping me feel more in control. Which in turn is helping my stress levels and my anxiety.
Self-care is so important. Yet it is not something I prioritise. And like many women, I feel guilty if I prioritise my needs over the needs of others. But over the past few years, I’ve realised that if I’m unhappy and running on empty then it has a negative effect on those around me. And practising self-care is not only a kindness to my self. It is also a kindness to those around me.
Self-care is a kindness to myself and those around me.
This year I’ve been spending time concentrating on taking time for myself. So I’ve been lucky enough to have a day out with my best friend when we saw Hamilton The Musical. I spent a few hours of blissful relaxation at The Space Retreat. But I’ve also been taking the time for the little activities that make me feel better about myself. Having a long bath, reading or even having an early night.
Recently whenever I’ve struggled with my anxiety or depression I’ve been focusing on mindfulness and filling myself with positivity. They’ve become the tools that I use to get myself out of the funk that I sometimes get in.
As part of this practice of mindfulness, I have created my own positive affirmation. I aim to say it to myself a few times every morning. It speaks to my insecurities and it shouts in their face. And it sets me up for the day ahead.
“I’m a wonderful person. A wonderful mother. And today is going to be a wonderful day.”
What makes you feel happier and healthier? I’d love some hints and tips as this is the start of a long journey for me.
I am working with Lamorna from Lamorna Nutrition and Fitness for 12 weeks. I’m getting this programme for free in return for regular features on my blog. However, as always all words and opinions are 100% my own. And I honestly love working with Lamorna and I already feel so much better just from being on the programme for a few weeks.