My Little Personal Challenge

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I have decided to set myself a little challenge, nothing drastic or life changing. Nope just a few small things and changes to make me the happiest, healthiest, strongest version of myself. Why? Because the last few months I have been going through a bit of stress and I would be lying if I said it hasn’t had a big impact on my general health. My glow feels like it has faded a little, so I am taking steps to get that back. Again nothing drastic I just want to get up in the morning and feel amazing in myself, my mind, my skin, my health and body. Not much to ask then right haha.

This has been inspired by a few things and people, one my amazing friends at F45 Tottenham Court Road. If you follow my Instagram you will know I am OBSESSED with this place. I feel like I have found my tribe, re found my love for exercise and fitness. Working out is no longer a chore and I kid you not I look forward to my workouts with them. They are VERY hard let’s not beat about the bush, 45 minutes of functional training. Each day is a different workout some HIIT/cardio (sweaty mess) days, then others more resistance based workouts. I am going to let you in on a little secret, I hate going to the gym and having to do my own workout. There I said it….whatchagunnaaado?!!! I want someone to tell me do this and I do it and bam workout done. Everyone is different and there is no right or wrong way to workout at all, just find what works for you.

For me that is going to F45 regularly, they have become my little family and I love the friendly supportive vibe there I leave every morning feeling SO good about myself. And do you know what the great thing is about all this, I haven’t had a single goal whilst working out there I go, put 100% in and push myself way more than I ever would normally. But strange things have happened, I have been so busy enjoying my workouts that I haven’t even noticed the changes. I am so much stronger, I can do full press ups, I lift heavier weights, my cardio fitness has improved massively I feel so strong and full of energy. My abs have never looked better and I feel so badass when I am working out there. Ok I promise I will stop talking about how much I love F45 promise, I just adore them, the team, the workouts and the post workout smoothies….legit obsessed. This isn’t a plug or asking you to go train there it’s just showing you the difference in exercising for the sake of it and hating it (I have been there) and exercising because you love it and it makes you happy.

So they do a F45 8 week challenge regularly which recently started, this challenge is all guns blazing change your life and body kinda challenge. You get shopping lists, an app with meal plans, tracking goals, measurements and support etc which is amazing.  But that said for me this kind of challenge is unrealistic, I can’t make it fit around my life and travels. Plus I am not giving up my G&Ts for nobody nope, no can do.

But I was inspired by the idea of setting myself a goal and making small changes to feel better. My sleep and general eating has suffered recently. I went through a few weeks of getting maximum a few hours of broken sleep a night and surviving on coffee. I looked awful, I broke out, had headaches continuously and felt so anxious and stressed the whole time. I combatted this stress by packing my diary out to the max, filling every little space with events, workouts, booked a load of trips. But then I decided this was not sustainable or good for me. I felt awful so I gave myself a little talking to. Hence the ‘Natalie challenge’ was born.

Inspired by F45 and my good friend Tally Rye who recently did the #bestme challenge where she made small sustainable changes to make herself feel better. She looked amazing after making small tweaks to her everyday lifestyle and literally was glowing. So yup I am over here admitting I have not been the kindest to my body the last few weeks so now I am inspired to get my glow back. Mission make myself healthy, happy and strong has commenced.

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So what am I doing?

Cutting out coffee in the week – call me crazy. I have a love hate relationship with coffee and go through weeks where I cut it out completely then other weeks where I drink coffee about 4 times a day. Go hard or go home right aha. So yes Monday- Friday no coffee for me, I will allow myself one at breakfast/brunch at weekends because I can’t not. But this is a good realistic step. I don’t want to go cold turkey because I like the taste to much and life is for living and all that jazz. But that said my sleep is awful and my stress levels are sky high which is not good for me. So for the sake of my sanity goodbye coffee Monday – Friday. So far its been 5 days when I write this, I am doing ok and touch wood my sleep has been a lot better. Stay tuned.

Drinking more water – for my skin and generally in life we should all drink more water right! From a girl with the weakest bladder in the world it means I need to wee continuously but small sacrifices and all that.

Alcohol – I would be lying if I said I am going to stop drinking. I am human, I also like to drink with my friends and have a few G&Ts here and there. Nothing excessive but I am going to limit drinking to once a week (sounding like an alcoholic here Nat!) and when I drink I will stick to spirits (Gin durh) and just have a few.

Sugar and sweet foods – I have the worlds sweetest tooth, I could eat dessert after every damn meal. I can polish off a big chocolate bar no problem, jar of nutella? No problem. Blame my mum entirely for this haha. But that said I don’t need to eat chocolate every day, the more sweet treats I eat the more I crave. So yes, no to processed sweet treats, not going to be eating chocolate after every meal. I will still have some dark chocolate at weekends but will make sure it’s good quality chocolate and a small amount….family sized bars are excessive on the regular Natalie.

Exercise – now you know how much I love F45 after my absolute love story to them earlier right haha. Exercise makes me happy so ima carry on going regularly. My aim is regular classes mixed with the odd reformer class (currently loving the Ten Pilates  reformer classes they are the dream) and the odd run for my mind. This balance works for me! (just do you babes, do you)

Eating all the vegetables – little changes like just upping the amount of green vegetables in my meals. I want to feel glowing and healthy from the inside out so my plan is to include as many varied vegetables in my meals. I have been switching it up a lot and bringing new vegetables in. Just ALL DA veg basically.

Portion control – when I started this blog post I thought it was going to just be a few little points and this damn list is getting longer and longer haha. But I can’t write this post and not mention portion control. Little thing I struggle with, legit have the biggest appetite which isn’t a bad thing but I am just going to try and exercise a little bit more self control when it comes to my portions thats all. Small little changes you know.

FINAL POINT PROMISE. Sleep/Chill- probably the most important one right? Best till last and all that. Probably the one I struggle with most but the point of this challenge is just to try and make small improvements. My aim is to be in bed at a good time, have a good bed time routine, read before I go to sleep and not work till late on my laptop answering emails. Also a main priority for me is taking time for me and relaxing with my friends and enjoying life. Not feeling like I have too pack out my diary with events and meetings and trips, it’s totally ok to say no and spend the night in with a face mask and dressing gown.

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