I’m not on a “diet”. I don’t believe in them, not really. Just look after yourself and do the best you can every day to reach your goals, whether that’s to lose weight on the scales or bulk up at the gym, tone a post-pregnancy bod or reap the health benefits of a new lifestyle. Just try, that’s all you can do.
I’m trying to get on board with a healthier way of life, especially in terms of what I eat. There are lots of changes I’ve made, and some I’ve still got left to make – plenty of mistakes, too! But I think it’s important to celebrate every step of the way, even the teeny tiny achievements. More often than not, these are the ones that make the most difference.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been making a note every time I’ve done something awesome that has helped me inch just that little bit closer to my goals. This is a list of my small but significant foodie triumphs.
1. Getting home from work, proper feeling a slice of thick, buttery toast would hit the spot but reaching for a mug of green tea instead of the bread bin.
2. But if I’m REALLY hungry, toasting up a bagel rather than snacking on sugary treats or a big bag of crisps.
3. Saying, “No thanks, I’ll just meet you in the break room later,” when the girls in the office are going to McDonald’s for lunch.
4. And making sure I prep a packed lunch the night before so I’m armed with food to stop me caving. Which otherwise I totally would.
5. And when I do forget lunch, going to Boots and getting a meal deal instead of going to one of the many fast food outlets on the high street.
6. Writing down ‘Soup’ as a planned dinner one night every single week, and for once ACTUALLY FOLLOWING THROUGH AND HAVING SOUP FOR DINNER!
7. Sitting in a pub garden after work, feeling pretty hungry and choosing a small side dish of halloumi to munch on rather than cheesy chips or nachos or a burger.
8. Having a binge weekend, but not letting that dictate the next week or so. Just accepting that you had a few indulgent days, it’s okay, you’re not doomed forever. You can get up on Monday and start again.
9. Deliberately dishing up meals onto smaller plates and bowls in an attempt to control portion size.
10. Using the sunny weather (which we had when I started compiling this list…) as a good excuse to cut out the heavy lunches and make fresh fruit smoothies instead, getting more of my 5 A Day. ☀️
11. Setting a strict food shop budget every single week and actually sticking to it – and quite often keeping a few quid under it!
12. Keeping a bottle of water to hand at my desk each day instead of fizzy drinks or cups of coffee.
13. Making sure that water is the ONLY thing at my desk – no snacks or treats stashed away means I don’t munch my way through the days!
14. Making the tough, life-changing decision to delete all of the fast food and takeaway apps from my phone, replacing them with more cost-effective, nutritious tools such as MySupermarket and BBC Good Food.
15. Being offered a chocolate biscuit with a nice cuppa on a Sunday afternoon and saying no thanks, because I’m just not feeling it and I don’t always have to say yes to food.
16. And when I do decide to take a biscuit, only taking one rather than delving into the tin time and time again.
17. Along the same lines, buying myself a big-ass of Dairy Milk on an off day but not eating the whole thing in one go, being sensible enough to wrap some up and keep it in the fridge ready for another bad day.
18. Making dips like guacamole and salsa at home where possible instead of store bought, so I know exactly what goes into them (aside from my tortilla chips, obviously!)
19. Feeling the familiar late night craving for something sweet, almost being tempted enough to slip on some shoes, run down to the corner shop and waste money on confectionery – but settling for slippers and a low-cal hot chocolate.
20. Getting through every damn day, no matter how difficult, nourishing myself – whether that be with the warm, comforting hug of cheesy pasta sauce or the crisp, fresh crunch of salad – and taking care of myself, with whatever my body needs to keep taking on the world.