Get Back In Shape: 4 Truth Bombs for “Formerly Fit Girls”

fit-girl-mount-ninderry

The Truth About Being A “Formerly Fit Girl”

At 6am tomorrow, I was supposed to go back to the boot camp that I used to know and love, after having two years off. To celebrate, yesterday I bought a new pair of Nike tights and a shiny new Nutribullet 900 (green smoothies, I’ve missed you). Today, I found out the whole thing was shut down a week ago.

I’m feeling pretty bummed.  Not just because a company/brand that I have spruiked and defended for years on end has shut down the boot camp and cancelled my membership without telling me (long story), but because now I’ve realised that if I’m going to get serious about this getting back to being my healthy, productive, early-bird former self, I’ll have to find a new gym or training group (I’m not the home workout, self-motivating type). After some convincing from the local club’s owner, I’ve just signed up for a trial at F45 Training so it’s safe to say I probably won’t be able to walk next week, and I’m terrified.

But at the same time as it terrifies me, it’s also a little bit liberating. Because I’ll be walking in as a complete newbie, rather than going back to my old stomping ground where people remember me as one of the fittest. It’s forced me to realise that I’m currently unfit, on my way to being fit. And not this Formerly Fit bullshit I’ve been telling myself.

Wondering wtf I’m talking about? I’ve been a Formerly Fit Girl for two years now. A Formerly Fit Girl (I’m making this definition up as I go, so bear with me) is someone who used to be in fantastic shape, and isn’t anymore – but doesn’t hesitate to remind people that she “used to be really fit.”

Continue Reading

November Goals: Learning to Slow Down & Stop Multitasking

My multitasking burn out and learning to slow down in November

I know everyone says it on the first of every month, but seriously, I can’t believe it’s November. I feel like yesterday I was drinking sangria and freezing my ass off for my birthday, and now the jacarandas are almost finished blooming and I can start planning my Christmas baking!

It’s also the first time in a while that I’ve been excited about a new month. From September to mid-October I had a few weeks of serious burn out. I won’t go into it in detail, but I couldn’t sleep, my mind was fried, my skin was a mess and I imagine I was a fking nightmare to be around.  A lot of this came from my inability to switch off – whether at work, on public transport or at the gym, my habit of always doing five things at once had gotten out of control.

Eventually I snapped (shocker). So in a daze, I came home early, had a cup of tea, went to the gym, read on my Kindle and went to bed – and the next day I almost felt “normal” again. I’ve always kind of laughed about my short attention span and lack of interest in “relaxing,” incorporating it as part of my identity, which it still is. But when I felt so much better after just one evening of switching off, I’ve come to realise that it’s something I should be trying to work with (and sometimes against) rather than embracing.

Learning to switch off and single-task

SO my November goals largely come back to that burn-out – trying to make ongoing habits out of slowing the fuck down and paying attention to what’s going on around me, so that it doesn’t happen again! Being busy makes me happy, but I’m learning to be busy in ways that don’t involve doing several things (at least two involving screens) at once. Others are there just for fun.

NOVEMBER GOALS & CHALLENGES

1. Stick to my new evening routine
Now whenever I get home from work, before I do anything else I have to make a cup of tea, and write down five things that made me happy that day. I still feel a bit silly doing it, but it forces me to slow down and single-task – usually for the first time since waking up that day – in a way that makes me happy rather than resentful of slowing down 😛

2. Have a proper conversation with 3 new people every week
This was inspired by this article, which came along just when I needed it.

3. No more mindless TV-watching
There is nothing wrong with enjoying TV, but I wasn’t enjoying it. I got to the point where I thought I was “bored” if I didn’t also have the TV on in the background while I was blogging/emailing/cooking dinner. The reverse was also true – I couldn’t watch whichever show I had lined up unless I was also cleaning, stretching or playing a game on my phone. I’d then get to the end of 3 hours and have no idea what had happened. New rule – no more than two episodes at a time, and no other screens going.

4. Write at least one letter or postcard every weekend
I still have a massive pile of postcards left from my trip, and I also want to get back into #moreloveletters

5. Go to the drive in movies
I know this was on my 2015 bucket list already, but a new drive-in has just opened a little way down the road from me, so now’s the time!

6. ACTUALLY make a start on my Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain book
Because now it’s just getting ridiculous.

7. Use Pinterest more often
For Christmas baking to-do lists and general inspiration.

Do you have any goals for this month, or tips on overcoming multi-tasking addiction?

xx J

Continue Reading

The 14 Day Minimalism Challenge (and how I sorta succeeded)

14 day banner
STILL don’t know what a good “minimalist” image is. So here’s me on a hill being mindful

As some of you might recall, I recently attempted a 14 day minimalism challenge.

I wish I could say this is the post where I share my successfully 14 day mindfulness diary and declare I’m now a thoroughly cool, calm and collected person. But I think the fact that it has now been 25 days tells you that this is not that post.

Continue Reading

14 Day Minimalism Challenge

This image is minimalist, right? From Death to the Stock Photo
This image is minimalist, right? From Death to the Stock Photo

I am not a minimalist by any sense of the word.

I have a case of shelves entirely dedicated to decorations, souvenirs and trinkets.
My wardrobe is certainly not a carefully curated rack of crisp monochrome.
And I find it incredible hard to do one thing at a time.

The last point is the only one that bothers me. While I’m happy with my collection of mementos and I will never restrict myself to wearing black, white and the occasional beige, I would love for my mind and attention spam to be a little less cluttered – right now I’m typing this out, watching House reruns on Netflix, drinking tea and trying to coax my kitten out from under the lounge.

I’m one of those people who finds it easier to make a change when it has the word “challenge” slapped on it. Work has been hectic and my thoughts are all over the place and I wanted to change it up, so the 14 Day Minimalism Challenge in May’s ‘Less is More’ issue of Women’s Fitness magazine came along just at the right time. 

Continue Reading

Cauliflower Recipes You Need in Your Life

Cauliflower recipes

Cauliflower recipes

Getting back my fit, 2012, boyfriend-in-Afghanistan-for-six-months-and-I-had-too-much-time-on-my-hands body is on my list for this year. 2015 me is going about getting it a different way, however. And that way is low carb.

I realize how tragic this sounds. Once you rule out grapefruits and the ice cream cleanse, Atkins is the easy target of all diet jokes. I’m not on the Atkins diet, nor Healthy Inspirations or paleo. I’m basically just eating lots of protein and even more veggies, with nuts and the occasional piece of fruit thrown in. Like clean eating, but with cheese and a relaxed attitude to treating yo’self.

After two years of trainers saying “you need more fuel!” and prescribing brown rice with every meal, this took some getting used to. Unfortunately starchy carbs aren’t nicotine and they don’t make quitting patches, so I’ve been making do with a certain white veggie who has been my transition buddy over the last 5 weeks: cauliflower.

Continue Reading