20 Tips to Change Your Life & Your Body

Identify where you’re stuck

Look deep inside and be really honest with yourself. This is tough but worth it. Take some time writing in a journal all the areas you feel you can’t change things or stuck in a rut.

What is it that’s held you back? Be really honest with yourself. If you do this properly this will likely cause a few tears. That’s a good thing! it means you’re getting really real with yourself. That’s the first step to moving forwards. Getting real, accepting your current reality and acknowledging what you want to change

Quieten down your inner chimp

I urge you to read (or get the audio download) The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters. In a very short explanation he says that there is an emotional (your chimp) part of the brain and a rational part of the brain. The emotional and the rational part of the brain are often in conflict with each other causing chimp chatter in your brain which has a very powerful control over us. Have you ever found yourself on a diet and want to stop eating but something inside says “go on, have a few more, one more won’t hurt, I’ll start again tomorrow” Promising yourself to get fit but never get your act together? Do you have overly emotional or irrational thoughts? Thinking things like if people are “off” with you they must hate you? Always thinking of the worst case scenario? Thinking you can’t do something? Holding yourself back because of fear? Often left feeling “I wish I didn’t feel like this!” It’s likely that’s your inner chimp waffling on in your brain.

You can’t get rid of your chimp but here’s 4 quick tips to managing it.

  • Allow it to say its bit, somewhere away from and potential situations. Take some time out, as long as it takes (about 10 mins), without interruption.  It’s a ramble, but go with the flow and let it out, however irrational. Once done you feel better and can begin to have a more rational human conversation.
  • You can now look at things in a more rational way – Human style – using facts, truth and logic, to continue calming it and addressing its fears and concerns.  Remember they can be real. It’s deciphering the chimp waffle from genuine and necessary thoughts.
  • Use distraction or reward Count to 10 before you speak, with distract or reward techniques like “I’ll give myself a treat only when I’ve done … [supply what you don’t want to do here]”.Be mindful that this is most beneficial if it’s something like a 5 minute break or a relaxing bath. It’s not wise to use material things or food as a reward.
  • Use the Calm.com app ill discus in my next tip and take a 5/10 minute meditation. I recommend the inner strength, focus or non-judgment ones when the chimps on a rampage

Use meditation to learn to control your thoughts.

There are tons of wonderful meditations on YouTube. For getting started with meditation I love the app Calm.com. I recommend starting with the 7 days of calm and doing it every morning. The full app is about £25 but worth every penny. There is a meditation for every situation, I’ve even found it brilliant for my son who suffers with anxiety It’s more a mindfulness style so don’t worry about things being wacky if you’re not in to that. It helps focus your thoughts and let them go so they don’t clutter your mind. The deep Sleep one is lovely! Leading us on nicely to…..     

Get enough sleep

I can’t stress enough how getting a good night’s sleep will help you. Your brain will feel less foggy, you’ll feel more able to cope with daily tasks and make sensible decisions. These include around food, plus you’ll have some energy for some exercise which can make you feel happier due to the release of endorphins, plus help weight loss.

  • Sleep also regulates levels of ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry, and leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full. The better rested you are, the clearer your head, the more balanced your hormones. Which means you’re able to make smarter eating choices as well as being more motivated to exercise.
  • Sleep is a stress reliever. It makes sense that if you keep regular sleep hours, 8 is the recommended amount, you’re better equipped to deal with any stresses that may arise. Just by being rested, you’re automatically calmer.
  • Sleep also increases blood supply to our muscles, allowing our bodies to physically recover from the day’s stresses and the impacts. It’s also when your body repairs after exercise. For those reading this who have muscle gain as a goal good sleep will help facilitate growth.
  • Sleep relaxes the brain’s frontal cortex. This is where critical decision-making is made. REM sleep is where the brain absorbs and processes all the information we’ve learned. This vital sleep stage aids memory storage and retrieval, as well as creating and maintaining an easily accessible database.

Don’t compromise on things your passionate about.

Be true to yourself and don’t worry what others think. If you’re always seeking the approval of others you’ll never be happy. Even people we love and who love us have their own agendas and their own egos surrounding what we should or shouldn’t be doing. As a side not I recommend reading up on how our egos affect our positivity. This is a good start. http://spiritlibrary.com/eckhart-tolle/understanding-your-ego Eckhart Tolle is a great author worth adding to your reading list) When your leaping forwards in life wither in your career or personal life or on a fitness regime. People find that hard as it makes them aware of things they aren’t doing. In order to justify their own actions they try to change yours. You can also watch a series of him chatting with Oprah Winfrey here.

Commit to your dreams.     

Whole heartedly and without fear. Action is the remedy for fear. Don’t let the thought of what if, or it’s hard come between you and something that can make you happy. Never be too proud to try a different path to get to them either. If plan A doesn’t work there are 25 other letters in the Alphabet. Try another way. You’ll get more out of persevering that giving up! Everything happens for a reason and so we can learn and grow from it. Following your dreams isn’t selfish either. If you’re happy the people around you will be happy too. Especially try for mums. Lead by example and follow your dreams to inspire your children to follow theirs too.

Write Down Your Goals.

Every detail of them. Split them in to long, short and medium goals. Make them S.M.A.R.T = specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time sensitive. Then split them in to things you can act on now and things that need planning. Do the things that are hardest first. ‘Eat the frog’. Once you’ve done the hardest thing you’ll feel accomplished and everything else will seem easier. You can apply this to your everyday tasks to help you be more productive too. Imagine how good that would feel?!

Get a mentor or Coach.

Whether you want to lose weight, start a business, learn a new skill or overcome difficult situation causing you upset and lack of confidence and self-esteem, get a mentor or coach. Why struggle? If you can reach your goals quick and more effectively it’s worth it. Getting a coach or mentor isn’t always cheap but, neither are you, investing in yourself and your personal growth will make massively improve your productivity, finances and confidence in achieving your goal. If you look at dieting for instance. People try and try and often fall off the wagon or don’t keep things up because they aren’t getting results or aren’t held accountable. A coach can help with that.

Ask yourself this every day

Is this action moving me closer to my dreams and goals, or further away from them?

If it’s closer great, if it’s further away, STOP! What are you doing? Ask yourself why you’re doing that and then action a solution to sorting it. Perhaps find a coach, outsource, create a list of how you can stop it but take ACTION. ACTION IS THE REMEDY FOR FEAR.

Make time for yourself

Read a book, learn something, meditate, take a walk somewhere beautiful, do some exercise, commit to walking with a friend or making some delicious healthy food. If you’re only functioning at 60% you’re not able to enjoy life care for yourself or care for others. Again this is especially true for mums. How many times do you come bottom of the list? Do you not deserve a little time out, are you not worth it? Are your kids not worth it? I think you are worth looking after! I also think a happy mummy = happier calmer children. Just a short amount of time out can totally change your mindset and make you feel like a different more positive calmer person and there for more emotionally stable and able to deal with the challenges life throws at you.

Nourish yourself well.

We really are what we eat. Fill your body with the best food you can. Not everyone wants to or can spend the money on organic local meats and organic veggies. Just buy the best you can. Drop old habits and try different shops, different recipes, Get shopping savvy. Pay attention to when your local supermarket reduces their fresh foods. Ask them, they won’t mind. Speak to your local butcher, grocer or Fishmonger. Don’t rule them out for being too expensive. They often have great deals and you’ll get great quality food. Plus its soooo important we support small local businesses.

Make sure you check labels for added ingredients as they are not good for your health. You want food to be as natural as possible to get the most health benefits from it.

Google what foods are in season before you hit the super market. You can get more for your money, meaning you can get even more delicious fresh food to fuel your body with.

Try new things. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with meals. Flick through recipe books, magazines and search google for inspiration. You can even take your favorite treat meal and make a tasty healthier version so you can have it more often.

Ditch the vegetable oils and use Coconut oil

  • Coconut oil has been demonized in the past because it contains saturated fat. In fact, coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man, with almost 90% of the fatty acids in it being saturated.
  • New studies show saturated fats are harmless when used in moderation. Many massive studies that include hundreds of thousands of people prove that the whole “artery-clogging” idea from saturated fats such as butter and coconut oil was a myth.
  • Coconut oil doesn’t contain your average run-of-the-mill saturated fats like you would find in cheese or steak. They contain Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – which are fatty acids of a medium length. Most of the fatty acids in the diet are long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently. They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s in some parts of the world, coconut is a dietary staple that people have thrived on for many generations.
  • Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world. While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others (myself included) believe that the sources of those calories are critical too. It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is NOT a calorie. The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats. One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totaling about 120 calories per day).
  • The best example of such a population is the Tokelauans, which live in the South Pacific. They eat over 60% of their calories from coconuts and are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world. These people are in excellent health, with no evidence of heart disease

 

Have a good source of lean protein at every meal

You want to be having approximately a palm sized portion of lean protein at every meal. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. I also advise my clients to have 2 snacks a day using the same principle if they get hungry between meals. This will keep you full for longer, help maintain lean muscle mass which is important for having that ‘toned’ look for strength and stamina as we age, metabolism and is essential for growth and repair for all calls in the body. That means it also helps keep, hair, skin and nails healthy and strong. This is possible even on a veggie or vegan diet.

You require all macro nutrients. That’s Fats, Protein and Carbohydrates. They are essential for your body to function properly and keep you healthy and energised. By cutting food groups out you can cause unnecessary intolerances and often leads to binge eating. Keto and Atkins style diets and those very low in calories like the Cambridge diet are incredibly bad for your body’s function long and short term. I advise avoiding them at all costs!

Keep calories as high as possible.

There are many cookie cutter diets out there. Many are very very low calorie which is why they work in the short term. Often though people will plateau after a while and have to starve themselves to try and lose weight damaging the metabolism in the process. Long term this will cause more fat gain and make it harder to lose. If your body is functioning properly just a small calorie deficit through training correctly would be enough to cause fat loss. You only need to be in a small calorie deficit to lose body fat. Equally know what you need to eat to maintain a healthy level of body fat and not gain. I actually think that can be trickier.

Keep up variety

Keep a variety of food in your diet. Try new things. Trawl recipes books and look online for inspiration. Variety is the spice of life and keeping food interesting will help keep you on track and food interesting. Eating healthily whether you’re dieting or maintaining can taste delicious and doesn’t have to be plain and boring!

FACT: Most people actually stick to the same 20 food so if you’re dieting and want to give up because your finding it boreing I advise digging deep in your mind and questioning the story your telling yourself and make your WHY stronger. Then get creating with your cooking.

Treats are treats NOT for everyday

Biscuits, crisps, cakes, chips ect and not something you want to be eating every day. Our society has become so accustomed to them it’s the norm but it shouldn’t be. They are often filled with a cleaver combination of fats, sugar and salt to keep you craving more. It’s how the companies make their money, by making they hyper palatable. Most people struggling to diet will find these food very difficult to control just having the one. Save them for occasions and keep them out of the house if you can. Its hard living as a family but I find buying singly wrapped items the rest of my family can enjoy occasionally means I don’t accidently eat them…!

 Look after your gut health

Studies on a selection of probiotic including Yacult showed that there were no active bacteria so you’re wasting your money. That particular brand is full of sugar so really not good for you. I recommend a brand called Symprove. It was recommended to me by my Gastroenterologist as I had massive issues with my gut after treatment for Pleurisy. If you ever need to take antibiotics or steroids it’s even more important to give your gut some extra TLC. A healthy gut is a healthy body. Syprove was a life changer for me!

Try Yoga

You may think it’s not for you or you don’t have time but it has so many benefits. It’s not just about flexibility. It’s been proven to improve symptoms of IBS, reduces stress and calms the stress hormones Adrenaline and Cortisol and promotes a feeling of greater wellbeing. Even the least flexible of people can do it. There’s so many varieties so there’s a type for everyone. If you want to give it a try at home or can’t get to a class try YouTube Chanel – Yoga with Adrienne, she’s ace!

Your life is your responsibility 

You’re responsible for every choice and reaction you take in your life. You have to live your life every day. It’s super easy to blame everything and everyone when our life isn’t as we want it to be. I know personally that like can throw us some really shitty curve balls. Some totally out of our control. We have to process those things, grieve and come to terms with things but not stay in those moments for ever on a loop.

We can choose to be a victim, or we can choose to say NO, this isn’t the end of the story, it’s not going to dictate my happiness.

I’m absolutely all for different therapies, counselling, CBT ect they helped me massively and gave me tools I’m very grateful for. However, I found my ultimate switch for overcoming difficulties and catapulting myself in to a place where I can design the life I want to live was taking responsibility for my actions and choosing to drop the victim mentality I was carrying about. For a long time I thought I had but there was still a little bit in there holding me back and serving me needs negatively and very quietly. Once I realised that BOOM! Happiness and freedom was mine!

If I can do that so can you! Growth comes from jumping out of your comfort zone. When you fear fear be excited by the new levels it’s taking you too.

Ignore the Nay Sayers and Haters!   

As a bonus and one I really couldn’t miss…. This is a BIG one.

There will always be people judging, giving there unwanted opinion and hating when you find success, change your lifestyle, become happier and grow as a person.

Your growth can make those you love and have spent a lot of time with, even best friends, insecure. It highlight things other people struggle with and can bring up all kinds of feelings for others, that’s why they comment or try and put you off making changes. It takes them out of there comfort zone and people are scared to be left behind.

You DON’T have to listen to them no matter how much you may love them. As we evolve we move on and sometimes meet new people. A positive circle of people close to you will help you grow. It’s not to say we have to leave others behind. Just block out the white noise that doesn’t serve you.

If its people on social media BLOCK AND DELETE. You don’t need that negativity.

I love this video of Arnold Schwrzenegger and his 6 rules of success speech and I think he say’s what I’m trying to say here much better so enjoy this!

The 6 Rules Of Success Arnold Schwrzenegger 

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips. Take these in and action them. You’ll feel so much better for applying at least some of these in to your life!

 

BIG LOVE
Nikki x

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