6 week challenge: To be a healthy weight by not dieting

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As a reflexologist I know how important it is to eat well, drink lots of water and exercise correctly. However, I’ll be honest, I’m not a very imaginative cook and I’m a little bit lazy when it comes to working out. I regularly eat ready meals and although I walk outside every day, it’s not a power walk and it rarely gets my heart racing. However, I bought a pair of jeans online recently and they don’t fit. Ordinarily I would have just have sent them back but they’ve had a weird effect on me.

They made me think I might have to change my ways in time for my holiday at the end of May. I didn’t want to starve myself for 2 days a week or stop eating carbs or start juicing or taking pills or protein shaking or detoxing or cleansing. I wanted to eat normally as I know carbohydrates, proteins, (good) fats, fruit and veg all make up a healthy & balanced diet. I wanted to make sure my body was getting all the vitamins and nutrients it needed while still enabling me to fit into my jeans.

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My non-diet

I’ve stopped eating processed foods including ketchup, snacks, ready meals and breakfast cereals. I’ve stopped eating low-fat dairy options as these are laden with hidden nasties.  I’m keeping my calorie intake less than my body needs and eating fresh, wholesome ingredients. And I exercise a bit more.

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When my baby was born I was in Sandrine’s Pilates studio, with her asleep next to me when she was just 2 weeks old, to work on my core and strengthen my pelvic floor. I went weekly for 6 months until the new mother classes were sadly cancelled and then my exercise reverted back to walks. If Sandrine ever starts them again, I can’t recommend her enough. So my next mission was to find an exercise class that my now-crawling baby could come along to.

I tried yoga so many times in my 20’s and every time I found myself in a room (sometimes a ridiculously hot room) of 10+ yogis who were all following a teacher who showed off they could stand on their head in lesson 1 or flip backwards like the girl from The Exorcist walking down the stairs. I wasn’t a fan until a good friend of mine, who is currently learning to be a yoga teacher, said it really upset her I disliked it so much. Strangely she didn’t like the idea of reflexology as she’d had it before and it had really hurt her. So we made a pact, if I gave her reflexology and she loved it, I had to give yoga another go.

So I had to find a yoga teacher… of course she loved the reflexology! I found Jo who owns Banana Yoga Studio in Tunbridge Wells. She’s great and my baby is welcome to sit, sleep, cry or play next to me too. There are no ridiculous poses and no, ‘look what you can do if you’ve been doing yoga for X years.’ She works with the capabilities of her class and shows you how much you can achieve. In one session I went from only just being able to reach my calves, sitting with my legs in a V, to being able to touch my toes in an hour. She is relaxed, game for a laugh and very obviously loves sharing her yoga with us and our noisy babies! She’s taught me yoga isn’t about having to be uber flexible and bendy. It’s about stretching, breathing and using your body in the correct way.

I haven’t eaten a processed meal for 10 days now.  I’ve got “Get The Glow” by Madeleine Shaw which concentrates on foods that nourish; making healthy eating a way of life rather than a fad. I make my own granola and muesli for breakfast. I cook every night and eat the left overs for lunch the next day. I’ve made homemade baked beans to almost rival Heinz and attempted sticky toffee pudding. We’ve had a full roast, puddings, stir fries, pies and I’ve had a couple of glasses of red wine. Power balls made of real cacao and ground almonds get me though my afternoon hot-cross bun cravings and I’ve never eaten so much fresh food or had such variety in my diet. It’s also helped me to plan meals and shop a week at a time, rather than flitting about buying things as and when so I’m also saving money. I finally feel I’m a grown up with cupboards and a fridge that are fully stocked with useful ingredients. I’ve also found the Neal’s Yard super foods which are excellent for their healthy and healing properties.

In the last 10 days I’ve lost 5 pounds but my jeans are still on the tight side. However, by the end of May they won’t matter as what I’m doing now is far better for me than the way I was before…

…Yeah right, I’ll definitely want to get into them. 4 weeks and counting!

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 To learn more about the BiG TOE reflexology please have a look at:

Web           http://www.thebigtoe.co.uk

Twitter      @thebigtoeuk

Facebook   the BiG TOE

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