If you’ve kept up with #ThisGirlEats, you’ll know I spent the last month or so keeping and uploading a food diary. For 30 days (the longest 30 days ever…) I kept a log of every single thing I ate and drank, and published it for all the world to see 😬
It was all about learning to live a healthier lifestyle. I wore my bad habits like a badge, telling everyone that yes, I can eat a whole pizza on a Tuesday night all to myself. I can’t say I always wore this badge proudly – but I wore it nonetheless.
It’s easy to munch your way through half a pack of biscuits in front of the telly and not even notice; it’s easy to grab a hot chocolate every lunch break and think you’re just treating yourself. Writing down every morsel I consumed – no matter how embarrassingly gluttonous – forced me to take a look at what I was putting in my body.
Sometimes it was hard. Really hard. But it made me realise I’ve got some serious bad habits that need to be squashed immediately if I want to move forward with a healthier diet.
I learnt loads about myself by doing this, but these are the five main changes I need to make after reflecting on my 30-day food diary.
- Cut out the fizzy drinks every. damn. lunch.
Choosing the “diet” version isn’t a free pass when it comes to fizzy drinks. I’ve had it in my head that a fizzy drink will make me feel more full or give me more energy for the rest of my shift, but it was getting out of hand. Now I choose squash or water with my lunch at work, and find it easily cuts out five fizzy drinks a week. Five! 😱
- Please stop ordering takeaways – for your health and your bank balance!
Throw out the menus. Block Just Eat from all home devices. Delete the Dominos app. Desperate times call for desperate measures and, after logging my eating for just one month, I realise my lack of willpower when it comes to ordering in is getting DIRE. It’s a lethal cocktail of junk food cravings and plain ol’ laziness, but it reeeeeally needs to stop! I can’t afford it, and my body can’t either!
- Five-A-Day is a minimum, not an achievement! 🍏
I’m not too bad when it comes to fruit and veg. I pack meals full of vegetables, and I’d say I hit the Five-A-Day target at least 75% of the time. But it’s not something I’m conscious of – if I eat them, I eat them. If I don’t, I don’t. I think I’d really benefit from just being more aware, planning ways to fit at least five portions of fruit or veg in every day – stick an apple in my lunch, throw some salad on the plate, chuck an extra veggie into the pot of chilli con carne. Just something to think about.
- Packed lunch isn’t just for the playground, y’unno.
I’m a decent cook. I’m creative. I’m passionate. If I took lunch to work everyday, it’d be more than a dried-up ham sandwich and a pack of ready salted. Pastas, wraps, club sandwiches, salads… There are loads of lunches I can make at home which are tasty and satisfying. I’d save some pennies, and they’d definitely be better for me than whatever I find in the work food court!
- For God’s sake, get off your butt and do some exercise!
I am SO BAD AT EXERCISING. Don’t get me wrong, when I go out for a run or do some yoga in my living room I always feel better. Heck, even just going for a long walk every day – which we did in the summer – makes me feel healthier. But the THOUGHT of it? Nah. Sitting on my sofa right now, wrapped in a fluffy blanket with a cuppa, there is literally no part of me that wants to get up, whack on my sports bra and go for a run. I know I should. I know that making the effort to do a little more exercise every day will make probably the biggest difference to my health. I just need to leap over that mental barrier and get some motivation. Any tips?!