Whilst health has been a big part of the last two years of my life, it’s not been by choice. My whole life recently has been dictated by my health, and it’s been pretty crappy. Because of my health I’ve been unable to workout, or even move around much, and eating healthy has been hard because pretty much the only foods I’ve been able to stomach are salty crisps and pasta. Since getting the all clear after my last surgery however, I’ve been making small, positive changes to try and regain control over my health – and have my discussions around health be more positive.
I’m a big believer in small changes for a big outcome, and to be honest, as my general health is still improving, small changes are as much as I can manage. There are 5 little changes in particular I’ve been trying to implement, that I wanted to share today.
I drink a LOT of water, and not much else, but my one vice is my morning coffee. I think because of my anaemia/B12 deficiency I’m so tired all the time, I rely on my morning drive through the Starbucks Drive Thru to get me through the day. It’s certainly not a healthy habit (and expensive to boot), so I’ve been trying to kerb it.
If I desperately need a coffee in the morning (cause you know, sometimes you just do), I’ve been making them at home. We have a Nespresso machine, so I have a Vanilla pod with oat milk and a splash of maple syrup to sweeten. It’s definitely cheaper, healthier than drinking lots of soy milk out and about, and I’m less reliant on it too. I still enjoy a coffee, but I’m trying to see it as an occasional treat rather than an everyday necessity.
I worked really hard in my therapy sessions to be more present + mindful, and daily meditation is the easiest way for me to keep that in the front of my mind. I use the Calm app and try and do around ten minutes before bed, it’s a nice way to wind down for sleep, and I’m enjoying having it as part of my evening routine.
At the moment, joining the gym/going to classes/going for a run is kinda out of the question, my body isn’t strong enough. Yoga is about all I can manage these days, and Bournemouth Council are running free classes in the gardens next to our flat on a Sunday morning. It’s been so much fun doing yoga out in the fresh air and so far we’ve had great weather for it. Because it’s free it gets a huge turnout, between 80-100 people every time, and there’s a real ‘take it at your own pace’ attitude. I’m loving the excuse to get up and out on a Sunday morning, and I’ve definitely been having a leg hangover after!
Less processed food.
My mum trained as as nutritionist, and if there’s one thing she’s taught me, it’s to steer clear of processed as much as possible. I don’t follow a strict diet (banning foods has never worked for me, it just makes me want them more), but I try to make sure that what I am eating is the freshest, most wholesome option. At home we try to cook from scratch as much as possible, and I pick fresh homemade bread over processed loaves, rice over pasta, and we make all our own sauces. I’m making a conscious effort to take lunches to work (and stop my M&S ready meal habit!), and trying to find healthier snacking alternatives to a bag of crisps. This way, I don’t feel too bad after the occasional dirty burger indulgence!
Consciously move everyday.
Some days I can pass from bed to car to desk, to car to sofa and back to bed without much else happening. Most of my energy goes to work these days, and by the time I get home there’s little left for much else. I’m trying to make sure that I do some kind of conscious movement every day, whether that’s a little walk at lunchtime, a short yoga sequence in the morning, or an evening walk to town. It doesn’t need to be much, but making room in my day for a little more movement has had a big impact.
And that’s it really, little changes that together are having a positive effect on my health. I’m hoping that implementing these things now while the weather is good will make it easier to keep up as we move back into the colder months.
Are you a little change or big change kinda person?
Photos by Lauren Shipley, the megababe.