The problem with January is it's so... bleurgh.
It's cold, wet, grey and grumpy. It's the time of year where all you really want to do is hibernate. I feel your pain. No, you don't want to eat bloody salad and you certainly don't want to get out of bed. Unless you're super motivated that is and if you ARE one of those people, bottle what you have and sell it to the rest of us!
The one month in the year where promises are made to ourselves to be better in one way or another is the one month where anything exciting seems like a distant memory or too far into the future. We all know, however, summer will be here in the blink of a tired eye and we'll be looking over our collective shoulder saying 'How did I get here?' 'Where did the time go?'.
It's now mid-way through the month, are you still on the wagon? Did you get on the wagon in the first place? Are you thinking about it?
Whatever the answer, come on - let's do something now. Write yourself a list; give yourself a target or a time frame. Take the small steps now, these will turn into strides.
I know what I need to do to get where I want to be but that's my road to get down.
You will feel better if you get off your bumper and do a little something every day. Pinky promise. Otherwise, a month will pass with no change - and how will you feel about that? I'm talking here to those of you who want a healthy change, those who want a little encouragement. We're with you.
Baby steps... things you may already know but a gentle shove in the right direction always helps!
Try to start the day feeling positive; think of something good, be thankful and have perspective on what really matters. We forget too easily.
It doesn't matter when or where you start or how fit you are now - compare yourself to last week, last month, last year! Aim for steady improvement and to feel better about yourself every day.
Measure your progress by how YOU feel and look, not the person next to you. I spent years comparing myself to others, giving myself impossible goals. Don't do that to yourself. I find photo diaries work well to track physical progress. You don't have to share it if you don't want to, it's for you.
Before you put it in your mouth (no sniggering at the back please) does it nourish you? Does it have a nutritional benefit? What is the main ingredient? If you have to justify it to yourself, you probably already know you don't really need it. I'm not the food police, I love 'bad' foods (cake, bread, chips - mmmm chips) but I generally try to eat foods that I feel good about eating, mentally and physically.
I've found a few great alternatives to satisfy my cake addiction when I really can't resist the craving for something sweet and spongey. Instagram favourite Zanna Van Dijk has some delicious and really easy to make breakfast and dessert recipes: I've made quite a few of these, the coconut and raspberry loaf is one of my faves http://www.zannavandijk.co.uk
Variety is key and this counts for most things. Keep your workouts varied and try new things; mix up your meals and experiment with different seasonings, your body will thank you for it. If you're eating the same thing everyday and training the same way your body will soon tell you it needs something different.
Be kind and patient with yourself. Speak to yourself like you'd speak to a friend, give yourself a pep talk. You wouldn't tell your best friend they were fat/ugly/useless would you? So why treat yourself that way.
Remember - Every single super fit/healthy/happy person will have their own tale to tell. This is yours.