Getting Back on Track After the Holidays

healthy living

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Entering into 2020, we all are pumped to achieve our resolutions and strengthen our fitness goals, however 2019 did end with the holidays, which means that we all fell a bit off track in some way or the other. Most likely, we ate a little too much or partied a little too late, but that doesn’t mean we let go and say “Oh well, 2021 is gonna be my year!” NO! This means we brush it off and pick our hangover, sugar-coma selves back up, so here’s how you can do it.

Step 1: Get Rid Of The Guilt

One thing to understand is that it’s normal to want to enjoy the holidays and indulge once in a while, but it’s also normal to feel guilty. However, feeling guilty for eating something considered “bad” is toxic for your mind and journey, so stop searching for “how to get rid of a cheat meal?” Instead ask yourself “Does feeling guilty reverse what happened?” No it does not. So allow yourself to enjoy what you ate and the festive season, knowing that fitness is a lifestyle and it isn’t going anywhere.

 

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Step 2: Be Active

It’s important to stay active even during the holidays, but if you didn’t, that’s alright, the time is now. However, jumping straight back into the gym might not come naturally so start small such as going for a morning walk/jog and doing some at home workouts. You’ll find that engaging your body will trigger the desire to get back to your full out workouts, because motivation is temporary and unrealistic but habits are not.

 

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Step 3 : Clean Eating

The family Christmas dinners are over, now concentrate on eating at home instead of outside. It’s not necessary to weigh everything you eat but tracking may prove useful, try it for one or two weeks until you can eat intuitively, because that is the ultimate goal. Remember that food is meant to fuel your body so implement whole foods and take a break from the processed stuff.

 

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Step 4 : Set A specific Goal

It’s a new year, so don’t be vague about what you want. “Get fit” or “Lose some weight” are not definitive goals, they’re shallow, meaningless thoughts. What you should do is decide on a number such as “I will lose 5% of my body fat in 4 months” or a particular skill such as being able to do pull ups and set the deadline. If we don’t visualise the end of the finish line, we’ll never reach it. It’s good to keep a fitness journal, a physical or a digital one; there is something striking about the feel of an actual tracking journal, but digital ones also have benefits such as reminders. Alternatively, you can get an accountability partner, be it family/friends or someone in the same fitness group, for example on social media.

I hope this blog post helps you to get back on track of your fitness goals, these are the steps I am currently taking to do so. Thank you for reading and please leave a comment and follow for more xoxo.

 

The Stages Of Weight Loss

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There are many stages and approaches when it comes to losing weight and getting fit, some of us are stuck in one stage and give up, but what we must realise is that sometimes the only way out is through. You must have heard this at least once, there are no shortcuts, there are no quick fixes, however there are scams, plateaus and burnout, along with results and the incredible high of progress. So let’s dive in to the stages I have personally noticed in others and gone through myself.

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Stage 1 : The Diet Obsession 

Let’s admit it, we’ve all been there. You just decided to lose weight and you go online determinedly searching for the best 2 week diet plan… well here’s the punchline – IT DOES NOT WORK – it only gives temporary results and long term stress. Many of us have an on and off  relationship with this stage, but we should all just break up and move on.

 

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Stage 2: Cardio Junkie

Better but not by much. At this stage, we’re still pretty knew to the whole concept of weight loss but this is where we lose a ton of it. Why? Because we pack on the cardio and monitor our food. I started with the treadmill and bicycle, boring, I know, although it did help shed the weight cause I was spending more than I usually did. I also ate super clean, but only in my opinion at the time since I hadn’t figured out what eating clean really was. I thought I was eating clean but I was still having processed foods that didn’t fuel me.

 

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Stage 3: Losing the Gym V-card 

Hello strength training and extreme food monitoring. This is where I tried out the Keto diet (not for me) and calorie tracking. Here is where the stigma around working out is broken and stress about food is built. I realised cardio was not enough and weights were my friend, soon to be bestfriend, so I started strength training but I still wasn’t sure what I was doing. Also tracking and weighing my food led to food being reduced to numbers and it was highly stressful, I was unhappy all the time. I became obsessed and felt guilty if I didn’t track or exceeded my calories. I had lost all the weight I needed to at this point but I now wanted to lose body fat.

 

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Stage 4: Prime Time

This is where I fell I am at right now and it is bliss, but I have to say that I didn’t reach here alone, I had help and great advice. This is the most mentally healthy stage, food is now your fuel, no more tracking or weighing food. I eat when I’m hungry and I eat clean, and there are times that indulge, but the most important thing is I am fully aware of it. Working out has never felt better, in other words, I push hard but I don’t beat up myself about how many calories I’ve lost or about taking rest days, I just embrace every workout as a chance to exert my all into it. This is where progress is slow but significant and long term.

 

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Stage 5 : Finish Line

Funny thing is… we never reach this one, because it moves along with us. This is your goal, the perfect, ultimate result of your fitness journey, but this is the point that you realise there is no finish line, because this is your lifestyle now. The more you go along the more your goals change and you will keep having new ones even as you accomplish them. There is no perfect, you will always find more to want, even when you think you’ll be happy once you reach this weight or that body fat percentage, you will be but it will not stop there. This is the forever stage.

 

These stages took me 3 years… it was not easy. However, not everyone goes through these exact stages, some people have gone straight to strength training or other forms of fitness, but this pattern is highly common in people trying to lose weight. I hope this post was helpful in giving you clarity on your fitness journey or in any way possible, thank you for reading.

7 Skincare Mistakes

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  • Skipping SPF – sunscreen is necessary to protect against the sun’s UV rays which can cause premature ageing of your skin with fine lines, dark spots and in the long term can even lead to skin cancer. It’s a common mistake to believe that darker skin types don’t need sunscreen but we’re all at risk, so wear SPF even inside as UV rays can pass through glass.

 

  • Not cleaning your face tools – this includes your makeup brushes and even tools such as jade rollers and gua sha, although the latter is much easier to clean. Makeup brushes should be cleaned once every two weeks at the least, as bacteria builds up on them and we use it on our face and in our makeup which may often lead to breakouts.

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  • Using masks after your skincare – I’ve seen a lot of influencers apply all their serums and essences and then apply a mask after, washing it off. That does not leave enough time for the serums to sink into the skin and essentially all of it is washed down the drain. So apply your masks before your skincare.

 

  • Oil before serums– the order of your skincare regimen is highly significant, oils can penetrate any barrier, that is serums and moisturisers, but none of your skincare products can penetrate oil. Face oil should be the last step in your routine, so that your other products are effective and if face oils break you out, this may be the reason as your other products just lay on top of your skin instead of being absorbed.

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  • Over-exfoliation– this depends on your skin type, some people cannot exfoliate more than once a week while some can go up to three times a week. Over exfoliation can irritate your skin and strip it of its natural barrier, we exfoliate to remove the layer of dead skin cells on our skin and twice a week should suffice. It’s also important to avoid exfoliation when you are breaking out as it can irritate it and cause it to spread.

 

  • Drying blemishes – a common solution when we notice a blemish is to dry it out, but this depends on what kind of blemish it is. For example papules which are deep pimples can lead to scarring if dried out before they turn into pustules. It’s best to study the problem and use the appropriate solution; such as a warm compress for papules.

 

  • Too much cleansing – twice a day is usually enough, over cleansing strips the skin of its natural oils and this is common with foaming cleansers, if your skin feels tight then it’s possible you may be using a harsh cleanser or overusing it. This is a common mistake which can irritate and dry out your skin.

 

I hope you found something helpful here, if you have any skincare mistakes you’d like to share, comment them down below. Please like and follow for more skincare tips xoxo.

10-Step Nighttime Skincare Routine

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Everyone’s skin is different and it takes time to learn the best routing for your skin. Some people can maintain their skin with only 3 products and then there are the skincare junkies, that love all the layers of serums and moisturisers.

I am definitely the latter, after having issues with acne as a teenager, I’ve learnt a thing or two about skincare. However, two of the most crucial yet overlooked factors are diet and hormonal imbalances. After cutting dairy completely from my diet, my skin rapidly improved and I also noticed that acne on the chin area was often triggered by hormones. Sometimes it’s hard to find the cause of your skincare issues, for example; biotin supplements which are great for strengthening your hair and nails, often gave me acne. This may not be the case for you, but whatever your skin condition is, it is important to ensure that your diet is helping your skin, not compromising it.

The following routine is my current nighttime skincare routine, this is a guideline if you’re not sure how to go about a skincare routine. Keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different, I have combination skin and my it isn’t as sensitive as yours may be. So here are the steps and the products I use.

Step 1: Oil cleansing – this basically melts off all of your makeup in a very gentle way. You can either use a balm or an oil cleanser, massage it into the skin and wash off. I recommend the Clinique Take the Day off Balm or L’occitane’s cleansing oil.

Step 2: Cleanser – now time for your daily water-based cleanser, it is essential to find one which does not harm your skin’s protective barrier. If your skin feels tight after use, then it is probably too harsh. I am currently using Dr Barabara Sturm’s Foaming Cleanser . Another option for oily skin is Clarins.

Step 3: Exfoliate – I do this 2 – 3 times per week. There are two types of exfoliants- chemical and physical. I use a chemical exfoliant only once a week, usually in the form of AHA or BHA acid and I use a scrub twice a week. I am currently using Tarte’s Knockout treatment  and the Dermalogica Microfoliant. Regular exfoliation suits my skin as it isn’t overly sensitive but make sure no to overdo it.

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Step 4: Face Mask – I use face masks about 3 – 4 times per week, depending on what my skin needs, I may use a clay mask or a hydrating mask. My current favourites are Dior’s Jelly mask , The Face Shop Mud mask , L’oreal’s Red Clay Mask and L’occitane’s Purifying mask.

Step 5: Toner – this is to hydrate, balance your skin’s pH levels and to minimise the appearance of pores. I would recommend L’occitane’s Essential Water or Tata Harper’s Floral Mist.

Step 6: Essence – this is lighter than a serum but has similar effects and is optional. If you like to be extra with your routine then you should try out Laneige’s Waterbank Essence.

Step 7: Serum – definitely a must in your routine, depending on your needs you can go for a brightening serum or a rejuvenating one. Make sure to pat your serum into the skin, don’t let it just sit on top.

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Optional: Face Massage – I love using a jade roller for this, but you can use other tools such as a gua sha or just use your hands! This is great for improving circulation, lymphatic drainage, plumping up the skin and if committed to, will help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Step 8: Eye Cream – you need an eye cream even at a young age, because the skin around our eyes is extremely thin and sensitive and it needs attention. I use an eye cream for hydration and dark circles as anti-ageing isn’t my primary concern right now, but I’d suggest Clarins or Shiseido.

Step 9: Moisturiser – even with oily skin, moisturiser is necessary. I currently use a lightweight one. Any moisturiser should work as long as it has clean ingredients that suit your skin.

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Step 10: Face oil – now I often see people apply face oil before their moisturiser, however face oil can penetrate any cream of serum but creams cannot penetrate oil. This is why it should be the last step of your skincare routine. One face oil I’m really enjoying is Tata Harper’s Retinoic Nutrient oil   but with any retinol product you use, it is important to note that it makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so make sure you’re always wearing sunscreen. There are a number of oils you can use such as maracuja oil, sweet almond oil or jojoba oil, depending on your skin type.

Bonus Step: Lip balm!! Never forget to hydrate your lips. Any balm is great, but if you want a specific, one I love the Laneige Berry Lip Mask.

This pretty much sums up my whole routine, it’s taken me a while to adopt it so if you’re still a newbie, I’d suggest starting with a simple cleanser, eye cream and moisturiser. I hope you enjoyed this read and that you found something helpful here. Please like and follow for more skincare tips xoxo.