14/02/2018

FITNESS | PREPPING FOR A NEW FITNESS CHALLENGE

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It might be Valentine's Day but for me, it's all about loving yourself. How about some self-love instead? Loving yourself can in fact be more difficult than loving others but it is equally, if not more, important. For me, loving myself is all about looking after my health and well-being and that includes keeping fit.



Since moving to uni, my fitness levels have decreased rapidly. Even though there is a gym downstairs in my accommodation, I've only used it a couple of times. I've just found it really difficult to find the energy and the time to actually workout. It's hard when you're trying to juggle uni, shift work ranging anything from 9am starts to 11pm finishes and blogging as well as all my other writing jobs. Not forgetting needing to clean the flat, commuting and actually having some much needed girl time with my friends!

Many of us are balancing so much on our plate, it makes us hard to look after ourselves! My fitness has always been a priority to me so it's a pain for me to have to sacrifice it in order to earn a living and work on my career!

Now I've finally got my life in order in Sheffield (well, sort of anyway), I've decided to commit to a brand new challenge starting Monday: completing Tone It Up's Love Your Body Challenge. It's a six-week challenge focusing on health, fitness, nutrition and well-being. It started six weeks ago but I was in still in Christmas/New Year/ birthday mode back then!

The thing I love most about following Tone It Up is the community. It has a huge Instagram following and you can connect with fellow TIU girls from the UK and beyond. If you're having a bad day or a lapse in your progress, you can guarantee someone will comment or message you to show their support!

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Just before I start a new fitness challenge, I make a checklist of tasks I need to do beforehand. It's important for me to clear out my space and get focused both physically and mentally. As the saying goes: tidy home, tidy mind. I thought I'd share my to-do list with you all today and possibly do a progress report half-way though and when I'm finished with the challenge.

I'm really trying to write a variety of posts and I really want to get some more fitness blogs done! I want to work on my blog immensely this year but progress may be slow so bare with me please!

1. Clear out your wardrobes and drawers. Go through your bedroom and have a look at the clothes/accessories that you own already and get rid. After sorting through your regular clothes, do the same with your fitness gear too. Anything ill-fitting can be donated or sold online. I'm starting a capsule wardrobe in the spring so I'm minimising what I have in general!

2. Go through your kitchen cupboards. There'll probably be a few out-of-date items in there as well as a few treats. Eat them up before you crack on with a challenge! But do allow yourself treats and don't feel guilty if you do!

3. Create a workout space. Living in a small studio flat means adapting this slightly. I keep all my fitness equipment on shelving next to my bed so they are easy to get to every day. I have my yoga mat, dumbbells, resistance bands and a couple of other bits. I find I use them more when they're all in the same place! You can read all about my workout essentials here.

4. Start a journal. I don't know about you but I love writing. I love to spend time reflecting on life in general. Sit and write down where you're at and where you want to be. Set yourself some fitness goals but don't just focus on losing weight: focus on what you want to achieve both physically and mentally. Jot down your thoughts and measurements and use this on a daily basis to track your progress. You can include workouts, food, water intake, whatever you want to track, you can do so here!

5. Search for new recipes. This might be dusting off an old cookbook, purchasing a new one or finding yummy recipes online! It's good to have quick meals at your disposable and it also means food shopping and meal prepping is a lot easier!

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6. Create a new workout playlist. Working out to decent music always helps. There's no point in me suggesting tracks because everyone likes all different genres! One day I can be in the mood for classic pop hits like Britney, the next I might be on the exercise bike listening to Foo Fighters. Whatever works for you, stick your headphones in and get to it!

7. Get up a little earlier every day, even just 10 minutes! I know that it's incredibly hard usually to wake up in the morning. I used to be awake at 6am every morning, ready to work out, but now I'm a student again, my usual alarm goes off at 8am. Even just getting up ten minutes earlier is better than nothing!

8. Write yourself a checklist to check you have everything. Equipment, water bottle, headphones, journal. These are staples for me when doing a fitness challenge!

9. Plan your week. If you open up your diary and write everything you have planned for the upcoming week, I promise you, you will feel like you have your shit together (excuse my language)! I do love a day to view diary but with a week to view, you can see the entire week whilst you look at what you have going on.

10. Meal plan and make a food shopping list. After looking up recipes and planning your week, you'll be able to see where you'll be for each meal. Try to take packed lunches for work and get healthy snacks in! Never, ever go shopping without a list! You'll probably find you buy the same staples over and over again but you'll pick up a few different items every week too!

Are you working on your fitness right now? If you have any top tips, please comment with them below!
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