8 weird comments people have made about my long hair.

Image via Walt Disney Pictures.

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but long hair has been decidedly out of fashion for the last few years.

The lob (awkward abbreviated name for a long bob) hairstyle has dominated both Hollywood and street style for a while now, but I refuse to follow the crowd and drastically trim my tresses.

People love to point this out to me. It’s as if I’ve never noticed that my own hair is long! Newsflash: I know it is. I CHOOSE for it to be.

Here are some of the strangest things people have said to me about my long hair.

1. “Is your hair real?”

I’m not a fan of anyone asking if something on someone else’s body is “real”. I get that having waist-length natural hair kind of makes me a unicorn in the current hair trend climate, but even if it was extensions, it’s probably none of your business.

2. “Has it always been that length?”

It takes all my strength to not reply “oh yes! I was born with it! As a baby, my hair was twice the length of me!” But of course, I don’t. Instead I explain that my hair has been a variety of lengths throughout my life…obviously.

The thing about long hair is, in order for it to become long, it needs to be all the lengths in between. I just know that long hair suits me best.

3. “Do you ever get your haircut?”

My hair is not floor length so obviously I get it trimmed. Not sure why anyone feels the need to ask this one.

4. “You need a haircut.”

No I don’t, thanks.

My favourite is when I reply “I had one yesterday” and well-meaning person says “well you need another one”. Nope.

5. You have ‘Victoria’s Secret’ hair.

This was only said to me once by a former colleague but it completely stumped me. I suppose it was a compliment because Victoria’s Secret models are beautiful, but at the same time, long hair is probably the only thing those models and I have in common.

I laughed it off awkwardly, not a great moment for speaking-up for myself.

6. “It must take forever to style your hair!”

Hahaha, oh please. I don’t have time for that.

My hair is wavy, thick and fairly well-behaved. If it wasn’t, I probably would have lost patience with keeping my hair long years ago.

I mostly just wash it, air dry it, brush it, apply a bit of product and put it a ponytail. If I’m feeling fancy or going to an event, I’ll take the time to straighten or curl it.

Myth busting fact: despite what women in sitcoms say, washing long hair doesn’t take any longer than washing short hair.

7. “Can I braid it?”

I admit only my little cousins ask this one and most of the time I say yes because my braids suck.

8. “Why is your hair so long?”

Because I want it to be. Mic drop.

Having long hair has given me an interesting perspective on how nosy some people can be about the appearance of others.

I’m lucky, I love my hair and it doesn’t hurt my feelings if people ask me weird questions about it, but it does make me think about how other people must feel when questioned about parts of their appearance that they feel sensitive about.

My rule of thumb is, unless I’m giving someone a genuine compliment, I don’t comment on their appearance. I think this is a kind rule to follow, if I do say so myself.

Have you ever been asked a strange question about your appearance?


Review: Liverpool St Subscription Box.

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If you’ve ever had a period, you’ll know that the arrival of your monthly visitor doesn’t always sync up with your most recent purchase of tampons.

Hands-up if you’ve ever frantically rushed to the supermarket to buy your monthly supply (or sent a loved one on the mission) just so you can go about your day? I know I’ve been there and it can certainly throw a busy day out of whack.

Imagine if tampons were magically delivered to your door once a month? You’d never have to put your plans on hold to stock-up again!

Well, good news folks, because Liverpool St* does exactly that!

Liverpool St* offers a monthly subscription service in which two boxes of organic tampons (in your preferred absorbency) are delivered to your door each month in a discreet (and very cute) box.


Why organic tampons? Well, just like how we try to avoid nasty chemicals in the food we eat and the beauty products we use, it is a good idea to make sure that the products we use in our most intimate areas are as chemical-free as possible.

According to the Liverpool St* press release, “the majority of tampons on the market are laden with toxins and chemicals that absorbed into the bloodstream once they are inserted.”

Scary stuff, right?

I was sent two Liverpool St* subscription boxes to trial and review. It was my first time trying organic tampons and I couldn’t help but notice that they are so much more comfortable than other tampon brands I’ve tried. I wonder if my body has disagreed with other brands for years and I just didn’t know that there were better options out there?

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According to Liverpool St*, organic tampons are made from 100% cotton, are hypoallergenic and won’t disturb your body’s PH levels. So it is possible that organic tampons are just a better option for me.

In addition to the products being great, I also love Liverpool St’s packaging*. The exterior cardboard box is very cute and is sealed with a sticker that says “Positive Vibes Only” on it. I love this because menstrual cycles are unfortunately often a taboo topic so I am a big supporter of brands that endeavour to make getting your period a more positive experience. The tampon boxes themselves are rectangular and slender so they can easily fit in any bag or pocket and I love the on-trend pastel colour scheme.

If you’re interested in giving organic tampons a go and want the convenience of a monthly delivery service, all you have to do is sign up on the Liverpool St* website. At this stage, Liverpool St* only deliver within Australia but according to their website, they are hoping to expand to other areas soon.

You can choose between a Mixed Bundle (1 box of super tampons and 1 box of regular tampons), a Regular Bundle (2 boxes of regular tampons) and a Super Bundle (2 boxes of super tampons.) Each bundle costs just $8.90AUD plus $3.30AUD postage.

*All products in this post were provided for my review.  This has not influenced my views in any way.  Please read my PR & Disclosure Policy for more information.

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2015 Resolutions Progress Report: A Pinteresting way to get fit.

Regular readers would know that I set myself some pretty intensive resolutions this year, and I put some big lifestyle changes in place in order to make achieving them a reality. 

Considering I run a business and home, plus it’s finally the last year of my Undergraduate Degree (I’ve studied part-time over the last five years), I probably picked the wrong year to give my lifestyle a massive overhaul. Regardless, I’ve tried my best to make positive changes but there’s definitely been ups and downs.

One of my biggest goals for 2015 was to improve my health and fitness. In the craziness of getting married, moving out of home and going back to uni over the past couple of years, I’d managed to put my body last and gained some weight. I started the year determined to feel good about my body again.

Image: Google

Image: Google

I’ve toned-up a little, but I’ve given-up on weighing and measuring myself for the time-being. There’s so much more to losing weight then simply eating well and exercising, so I can’t expect miracles from my mostly-clean diet and 2 – 5 workouts a week.

Stress, hormones and sleep play a huge factor in losing weight. I’m pretty much constantly stressed and I’m not a great sleeper, so I know these factors are holding me back. I’m hoping that once I finish uni and begin a steadier work schedule that my stress levels will decrease and weight-loss will happen a little easier.

I’ve adjusted my goals slightly, instead of obsessing about the kilos and centimetres, I just want to feel better about myself and look better in my clothes. Around June, I started struggling to find time to get my uni and house work done, work and go to the gym so I decided to workout from home.

Image via @toneitup on Instagram (one of my favourite at-home-workout accounts)

Image via @toneitup (regram from @alix_tup) on Instagram (one of my favourite at-home-workout accounts)

Pinterest has been an amazing tool in helping me plan my at-home workout schedule. By having access to pre-designed workouts, I feel like I have a personal trainer!

Making the decision to workout from home means there’s no excuses and I’m exercising a lot more! If you want to get an idea of some of the great workout plans available for free on Pinterest, check out the pins on my Fitness board. 

If you’re going to use Pinterest to help plan your own workouts, make sure you look after yourself by choosing workouts that match your fitness level and be sure to always stretch before and after every workout.  Listen to your body, it’s OK to have a day-off if you’re sore and exhausted.

If you’re completely new to gym/PT/bootcamp style exercise (which most of the pins on my Fitness board are), it might be a good idea to chat to your doctor and make sure it’s right for you.

How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? Still on track or have you kicked them to the curb? Share your stories below, no judgement here! 🙂 

Stay in touch!

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– Follow on Pinterest: @msthisnthatblog

2015 Resolutions Progress Report

Image: Google

Image: Google

I started the year with a lot of enthusiasm to make changes to my life.  You might remember this enthusiasm from posts such as ‘My 2015 Resolutions,’ ‘How I’m Making My Resolutions a Reality Part 1: Eating Less and Exercising More’ and ‘How I’m Making My Resolutions a Reality Part 2: Reducing Wardrobe Stress.’  If you read that last sentence in The Simpsons’ Troy McClure’s voice, I salute you.

One of the many promises I made myself was to blog about my progress here monthly to keep myself accountable…that did not happen.  This is my first 2015 progress report post.  Apologies if you’ve been hanging out for updates.

So what took me so long?  Have I failed spectacularly and thrown in the towel a quarter of the way through the year?  I am very pleased to say “no.”  I’ve been very goal-orientated all year and I’m feeling like I’m in a much better place emotionally than I was in 2014.

My progress has had a lot of up-and-downs though and I just haven’t been ready to put everything on virtual paper.  Instead I’ve stuck to fun posts like event recaps, products reviews and book reviews.

Let me finally update you on my progress for each resolution:

  • To eat less junk food and exercise more.

I have managed to do more exercise and eat less junk food every, single week this year so far and I am so proud of that.  There hasn’t been one week when I didn’t get to the gym at least twice (my goal is get there five times a week) and I’ve been planning (and prepping) all my meals in advance using the menu planner I discussed in this post.  

Dealing with emotional eating is still a constant struggle and I know that it sets me back.  I can eat all the right meals and do the hard work at the gym and still crave a bowl of ice cream or too much chocolate after dinner.  The influx of chocolately gifts into our house after Easter didn’t help either.

My weight and measurements have gone down and up again.  I know that, as a woman, hormones play a big factor but I wish I was seeing more obvious results.

Starting today I’m going to really focus on beating my emotional eating habit and ensure that I’m feeding my sweet tooth with healthier options such as Greek yogurt with berries, a small portion of dark chocolate or fruit.

I’m also going to try adding more cardio to my fitness regime and see if that helps.

  • To maintain a better work/life balance. 

Considering I teach part-time, study part time and do the majority of the home duties, I think I’m doing pretty well in this area.  I’ve stuck to cutting back my hours at work, which has allowed me more time to complete my uni assignments at a relaxed pace.

My social life is suffering though and I find it difficult to find the time or energy to go out for a girls’ night.  I spend a lot of my Saturday nights catching-up on homework, wanting to cry every time I check Facebook and see all the fun things my friends are doing.  I know this needs to change.  I need to find more time for fun.

  • To make more time for ‘me’: meditation, Reiki, adequate sleep and pampering.

I’m slowly learning to schedule ‘me time’ and my mental health is thanking me for it.

I don’t meditate enough though.  Whenever I do it I feel amazing, but I always manage to forget to schedule time for it.  This needs to change.

Reiki is a part of my daily life and keeps me sane.

I’ll never be a good sleeper, but I’m learning to force myself to go to bed before midnight on work nights, and as a result I’m feeling much more energised in the morning.

Pampering also keeps me sane, as crazy as that sounds.  I especially enjoy the sort of pampering where you don’t need to talk; it’s almost a kind of meditation for me.  I’ve started investing in weekly massages, which both my back and mind are loving, and I want to start adding monthly facials to my budget and routine.

  • To reduce wardrobe (i.e. I have NOTHING to wear!) stress.

This is probably the resolution I’m doing best at achieving.  I’ve cleared out my wardrobe of any clothes that weren’t serving me anymore and filled it with clothes that make me look and feel great at my current shape and size.

My Outfit Planner, as discussed in this post, has helped me immensely and I still use it every day.  This proves to me that an organised life is a happy life.

  • To graduate university.

I’m getting great marks so far.  If I keep up the good work, I’m sure this will happen.

  • To continue to run a flourishing business and find new ways to make it better.

So far, so good!  I’m not going to go into detail because I’m not here to brag, but I know that the positives of both my blog and my teaching business’ growth this year outweigh the negatives.  Considering that finishing university needs to be my first priority right now, I’m really happy with that.

So that brings me to the end of my first 2015 Progress Report.  Hopefully it won’t take me four months to write another one!

Before writing this post I was feeling pretty disappointed with myself for not losing more weight by now.  After assessing the progress of all my resolutions, I see that I’m actually doing pretty well with making changes to my life.  I kind of feel proud actually!

Since my study, business, mental health and style goals are going pretty well, I feel ready to give my diet the focus I need.  Surely this will help me as I work towards feeling better in my own skin.

How are your resolutions going?  I’d love to hear about them!  Comment below or contact me via social media.  If you feel like you’re back at square one, pick yourself up and try again!

There are eight months of this year left, let’s make them great!  We can do this!

Image: Google

Image: Google

Book Chat: January – February 2015

[Image from Google]

[Image from Google]

Welcome to a new feature on my blog: ‘Book Chat!’

As my regular readers know I love to read books in my spare time and listen to e-books in the car.  The title is pretty much self explanatory but in my new monthly ‘Book Chat,’ I’ll be listing the books I enjoyed that month and giving a quick review.  I’m always looking for new books to enjoy and I would love your suggestions!

It Was Me All Along: A Memoir by Andie Mitchell (Unabridged Audiobook) 

  • Genre: Autobiography.
  • How I found out about it: an article that randomly appeared in my Facebook newsfeed (i.e modern day serendipity.)
  • Where I bought it: iTunes for $30.99.
  • I would recommend it to: anyone who is, on or has ever been, on a weightloss/health-gain journey.
  • Quick Review: Successful thirty year old food blogger Andie Mitchell, who has lost 136 kilograms (300 pounds), shares the story of her life so far.  Mitchell eloquently shares how her life experiences shaped her complicated relationship with food and her self-image.  As regular readers know from my previous posts, I am currently trying to loose some weight that I gained last year.  As a self-confessed emotional eater who has been through my share of difficult times, this book spoke to me on a personal level and was very inspiring.
  • Rating: 5/5 stars.

The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dreams by Paulo Coelho (Unabridged Audiobook) 

  • Genre: Fiction/Inspirational.
  • How I found out about it: An Oprah interview with Pharell on the Foxtel TLC channel, in which they discussed it.
  • Where I bought it: iTunes for $29.99.
  • I would recommend this to: People doubting the validity of their goals (and who doesn’t from time to time?)
  • Quick Review: Through a young boy’s quest to find his treasure, Pablo Coelho explores finding and following one’s dreams.  As a discussed in my very first post, I’m going through a quarter life crisis and needed a reminder that I have plenty of time to reach my goals.  This book did the job.
  • Rating: 3/5 stars

My Life So Far by Jane Fonda (Abridged Audiobook)

  • Genre: Autobiography.
  • How I found out about it: Another Oprah interview, this time with Jane Fonda of course.
  • Where I bought it: iTunes for $29.99
  • I woud recommend this to: EVERYONE.
  • Quick Review: As a twenty-something woman, I only knew Jane Fonda as an actress and a pre-Facebook fitspo. This book educated me about the many other sides to this fascinating woman: survivor of a difficult, complicated childhood; political activist; feminist; director; producer; mother; grandmother and new Christian.  If you already knew about some or all of these sides to Fonda, I’m sure the book will give you insight into why she made certain choices and a behind-the-scenes (no pun intended) look at her career and relationships.  My only criticism of the audiobook is that it’s abridged, I think I will need to read the full book in the future to check out any details I missed.  I have a new-found respect for this inspirational woman and the book left me wanting to watch all her films.
  • Rating: 4/5 stars

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran (Unabridged Audiobook)

  • Genre: Fiction
  • How I found out about it: Featured a Caitlin Moran quote in this post, researched who she is and found her books.
  • Where I bought it: iTunes for $32.99
  • I would recommend it to: I think every woman has something to learn from this book.
  • Quick Review:  I have read teenage fiction since I was about ten years old.  Since I feel that life is a big learning experience and adolescence never really ends, I still enjoy a good teen read every now and then.  This book contains explicit language, sex scenes and drug references, so it should probably be recommended to people fifteen years and older.  How to Build a Girl tells the story of Johanna Morrigan’s self-discovery during her teenage years as she turns herself into gothic bad girl Dolly Wild.  I loved this book because it perfectly captures how exciting, confusing and terrifying being a teenage girl is.  I could certainly relate to several of Johanna’s cringeworthy moments, as I’m sure many other readers would.  I really hope that this book is developed into a film.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

What books did you read last month? Any recommendations for me?  Or, have you read any of these books?

Comment below to keep the Book Chat going!

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Keep in touch!

How I’m making my resolutions a reality Part 2: Reducing wardrobe stress

[Image from Google]

[Image from Google]

I would like to start by saying, I know that ‘wardrobe stress’ is a total first world problem.  I completely understand if some of you shook your head and tsk-tsked as soon as you saw the title of this post.  Maybe some people didn’t even bother to read this post because of the title and that’s OK because, hopefully, some of you chose to stick around because you can relate to it.  I’m a stress-head by nature, so it doesn’t take a lot for me to dive into a sea of panic; but extreme wardrobe stress first thing in the morning can actually ruin my day.  I know this sounds incredibly melodramatic, but on the mornings when I waste half of my ‘getting ready time’ trying on outfit after outfit that don’t look right and I settle for something that I just feel ‘OK’ in, I leave the house in a grumpy mood, dragging my self-esteem behind me.  Feeling crappy about myself is not a good energy to take into the world and is a terrible mindset to start the day with.

My recent weight gain only amplified the terror of early morning outfit hunting, because some of my outfits just didn’t fit the way they used to and some of them don’t fit at all (gasp!)  Discovering the horror of work pants that won’t zip up or a t-shirt that is more cropped than you remembered first thing in the morning is like being woken-up with a bucket of water poured onto your face; it’s not pleasant.  So, one of my resolutions this year was to banish morning wardrobe panic forever!  Inspired by Gok Wan’s concept of a capsule wardrobe, I decided it was time for a RUTHLESS wardrobe cull.  After sorting through every hanger and drawer, I donated three garbage bags full of clothes to charity.  I got rid of everything that didn’t fit, was out of fashion, faded or needed alterations that I couldn’t justify paying for.

I used to be the person who hung onto their ‘skinny clothes’ for years hoping they would one day fit again, but I had a big eye-opening moment in December 2012 after losing a lot of weight prior to my wedding.  I realised that although I finally fit into my skinny clothes, there was no way I would EVER wear them in public again.  Fashion had evolved too far for me to wear those clothes and so had I!  So, my advice is get rid of the skinny clothes; they are taking-up space in your wardrobe and not serving you mentally or physically.  If/when you get ‘skinny’ again, you’ll treat yourself to new skinny clothes, which will hopefully be your new regular clothes.  That’s my plan anyway as I continue my current weight loss journey.  Once my wardrobe was cleaned out, I was able to actually see where the real gaps in my wardrobe were.  I went out and bought myself the work-friendly attire that I NEEDED not just the pretty dresses that I WANTED.  It was hard to go clothes shopping when I wasn’t feeling great about my body but I was determined to look and feel good NOW; not just in six months when I was down a size or two.

Of course, work-friendly attire is something different for everyone.  For me, I’m a singing teacher who spends most of my day sitting at a piano so I need clothes that are comfortable yet professional.  As I work in schools, I feel more comfortable wearing high-necked tops teamed with straight-leg work pants or just dresses.  At my current shape, I look and feel better in loose or a-line cuts. I got most of my new work clothes from a long time favourite store Glassons.  I love that they sell lots of versatile basics for affordable prices and their sizes are very consistent.  My clothes from Glassons have always washed well and stood the test of time so it was the first place I went when stocking-up on new workwear.

Once I brought home my new clothes and combined them with my current workwear, I drew-up an outfit planner.  What is an outfit planner, you ask?  Well, for me it is photos and descriptions of my various work outfits which I hang in my wardrobe to inspire me each day.  I left a space under each outfit to write the date it was last worn.  The idea of an outfit planner was inspired by a very old ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ episode in which I saw Kim taking polaroids of outfits that she was packing for her trip to help her get dressed each day while she away.  Yep, I’m not ashamed to say that a Kardashian inspired me to better my lifestyle.

Part of my Outfit Planner

Part of my Outfit Planner [Some images from the Glassons website.]

The night before each work day, I check the weather report for the next day and then refer to my outfit planner to choose an outfit.  I then quickly check my wardrobe to make sure the outfit is washed and ready to wear.  I even choose which underwear would be the most flattering under the outfit so I’m fully prepared for dressing the next day.  I plan to revaluate my wardrobe planner in winter and add or remove options, if necessary.

I’ve been following this system for three weeks now and so far it has completely eliminated my wardrobe stress.  It has also freed-up more time to eat a healthy breakfast and do my hair and make-up properly in the morning, which helps me leave the house feeling much better about myself than I used to.  The more I focus on reorganising my life (which was the focus of most of my New Year’s Resolutions), the more I learn that planning out the small details of my day like what to eat and what to wear in advance, really reduces my stress level.  I’m finding I have less reasons to ‘sweat the small stuff;’ which for a person prone to anxiety is a wonderful thing.

This used to be me. [Image from Google]

This used to be me. [Image from Google]

It seems I’m not the only one who equates an organised wardrobe with better mental health; I read the article ‘Do You Have Decision Fatigue?’ in the Body & Soul liftout of the Sunday Herald Sun this week (15th February 2015.)  The article basically described exactly how I was feeling for most of last year.  It defined decision fatigue as “…a psychological phenomenon in which our productivity is compromised after we become mentally exhausted from the daily decisions we have to make[,]” which wastes valuable brain power we should be saving for more important decisions and activities.  The article also explained that iconic figures including Mark Zuckerberg, Barack Obama and Steve Jobs all have/had very simple and organised wardrobes to prevent the same wardrobe stress which also caused me discomfort in the past.  Suddenly, I felt less alone in my quest for a more relaxed morning schedule.  While some people may laugh at my pedantic wardrobe planner, it seems my new habits have put me in pretty good company.

There’s an old saying that the state of one’s house is the state of one’s mind.  Maybe for me, the state of my wardrobe is the state of my mind and right now it’s looking pretty good and running like a well-oiled machine.  Here’s hoping it stays that way.

How do you keep wardrobe stress at bay?

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Keep in touch!

How I’m making my resolutions a reality Part 1: Eating less and exercising more

So, why am I STILL blabbing on about my new year’s resolutions when it’s February?

*Dramatic pause*

…because I am STILL sticking to them and am determined to continue to do so!  Also, I figure if I share my journey of chasing my goals, maybe I can give you ideas to help you achieve your’s.  Maybe, you’ll even feel less alone as I share the honest truth of my ups and downs on my road to success.  If you’ve fallen off the bandwagon of your resolutions already, and trust me I’ve done it many times in the past, maybe this post will encourage you to pick yourself up and try again (bonus points to you if that awesome Aaliyah song is now stuck in your head.) It’d be an honour if this post helps you in any way.

In this post I’m going to share the changes I’ve made in my life which I’m hoping will help me achieve one of my biggest goals for the year – to lose weight and tone up so I feel better in my own skin and like how I look in photos more.  As someone whose weight has fluctuated A LOT ever since hitting puberty, I know what is takes for me to stay slim.  It’s the very basic principle of eating less (especially when it comes to junk food) and exercising more.  When life gets busy, I get lazy and before I know it I’m madly untagging Facebook photos where my [insert body part here] looks big.  As I mentioned in my 2015 resolutions post, I utterly exhausted myself in 2014 so I got super lazy when it came to health and fitness.  I’ve spent my summer break putting some simple new habits in place which should keep me on track when life gets busy again.  Here they are in no particular order:

  • Preparing a weekly Menu Plan, Food Preparation Schedule and Shopping List every Sunday before doing the groceries. 

As Ashy Bines (and Benjamin Franklin, as Google taught me) says (or said in Franklin’s case), “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” and I couldn’t agree more.  You know what it’s like, you get home from work after a crazy day and inspect the dinner options in the fridge.  You have no defrosted protein options and nothing but a lone, squishy zucchini greets you in the vegetable compartment.  Suddenly take away seems like the best option.  Or, you’ve finished dinner and feel like something sweet.  Luckily your house is full of chocolate/chips/ice cream and you eat until you’re stuffed while watching a ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ marathon.  To avoid these moments of weakness YOU HAVE TO BE PREPARED FOR THEM and have healthier, easy and delicious options at-the-ready.  This is why I plan my meals at the start of the week.  Sure, it takes the spontaneity out of life a little, but the time and money I save is oh so satisfying.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 9.25.34 pm

An example of a past weekly meal plan

It’s very easy to create a table in Microsoft Word or Apple Pages with the days of the week listed down the side and meals/snacks listed across the top.  Apple Numbers even has an awesome Meal Planner template where you can just fill in the blanks (pictured above.)  Every Sunday afternoon I find the time to sit down with this template open; a list of the protein, veggies and fruit currently in my fridge, freezer and pantry; and my iPhone with a Shopping List app open.

Variety is the spice of life so I am constantly looking for new healthy meal and snack options.  Some of my favourite recourses for finding new recipes are:

  • Ashy Bines Clean Eating Recipe Book.  You can learn more about it here.
  • The Healthy Chef Website. 
  • Organise Yourself Skinny Website. 
  • The Body and Soul lift-out in the Sunday Herald Sun
  • Google!  Seriously!  Put the word ‘clean’ or ‘healthy’ before any of your favourite meals, click search and you’ll find someone has probably already posted a recipe for it.

I make sure I also have my recipes on the table or computer screen so any items I don’t have in the fridge, freezer or pantry can go straight onto my shopping list.  There’s lots of fancy shopping list apps out there but I love ‘ShopShop’ because it was free and by tapping the screen you can cross items off as you buy them, which I find just as satisfying as crossing items off a good old-fashioned paper list.  I never leave my house without my phone so switching to a shopping list app has prevented the frustration of leaving my list at home and forgetting half of it.

Eating healthy can be tough because using fresh ingredients usually involves a lot of preparation such as defrosting meat and chopping-up vegetables.  This is why I look at my weekly schedule (which for me is in my iPhone calander) and work out the days when I have time for prep and when I haven’t.  I make a list of the prep I need to do each day.  For example, preparing two dinners on one night because I know I won’t have time the following night or chopping-up certain vegetables the night before a long work day.  Living this way can be tiring but it will keep me on track and away from the temptation of take away after a long day of work.

As soon as I have finished my Menu Plan and Meal Preparation Schedule, I print them out and stick them on the fridge so I can check them whenever I need too.  Also, having them on the fridge makes me feel INCREDIBLY guilty if I slip-up and I’m determined to follow the plan for the next meal or the next day.

It is important to know your food weakness or regular cravings and organise healthier options as part of your food preparation schedule.  For me, I have a massive sweet tooth, so I make healthy muesli bars and muffins and always have a jar of Stevia Hot Chocolate on standby.

  • Allowing myself cheat/treat meals

I refuse to live the rest of my life feeling deprived and tempted to binge eat, so I schedule my cheat meals in advance and savour every bite.  Scheduling my treats insures that I don’t overdo it or try to sneak them in every day.

  • Staying well-hydrated

I’m sure you’ve heard of all the benefits of staying well-hydrated so I won’t list them all here.  I make sure that I drink two to three litres of water a day and I carry a reusable BPA free drink bottle wherever I go.  I also believe in the power of Alkaline Water and I love my Kangen Water machine.  You can learn more about Kangen Water here.  

  • Scheduling workouts as if they are appointments 

We all live busy lives and personally, if an event isn’t in my iCal (iPhone calander), it doesn’t exist. Why should workouts be any different?  I’ve created workout events in my iCal which repeat weekly and set alert alarms for one hour before.  I also include a short description of what I’ll be doing at the gym in each iCal event so I have a plan of attack and use my workout time effectively.

For me, the trickiest part of scheduling my workouts was figuring out when I can realistically get to the gym.  If you’re thinking of setting time apart on the same days/times each week for your workouts, you need to have an honest conversation with yourself.  Make sure you at least ask yourself the following questions (feel free to swap the word gym for park, bootcamp, lounge room, backyard, or wherever it is you work out):

  1. At what time of the day do I enjoy working out the most?
  2. Can I fit in a workout at that time of day (including travel time)?  If not, when is the next best time that I can fit a workout in?
  3. Will I need to go to school/work/uni straight from the gym and am I comfortable doing that?
  4. What do I need to bring to the gym so I can go straight to school/work/uni? (Clothes, towel, toiletries, lunch, books etc.)
  5. How will this affect my morning/afternoon/evening routine?  How will I need to shuffle other activities?
  6. How many times do I want to/can I workout?  Which day will be my rest day?

If you find this list a little crazy, that’s cool, maybe I am a little crazy!  BUT, I have failed at getting to the gym SO MANY TIMES and some of the reasons why were due to crappy scheduling.  I know myself better now and I know that my workouts need to be in the morning or early afternoon so I’m not too tired to enjoy them and, with my current work schedule, I don’t deal well with getting-up before 6.30am.  I also can’t stand showering and getting changed at the gym, so I need to allow time to go home and get ready for work.  My schedule is working well for me so far, so give my crazy questionnaire a go.  Give yourself no room for excuses to skip a workout.  Honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to self-talk.

  • Surrounding myself with inspiration and fitspiration

Find a motivational quote that cliques with you, or an image of your dream body type (make sure it’s a realistic goal ie. if you’re short, you’ll never wake up with legs that go for days no matter how hard you workout and eat well; trust me, I’ve tried).  Stick this image or quote anywhere that it could motivate you; such as on your fridge, in your wardrobe or set it as your phone and/or computer wallpaper.  My fitspo is an image Kourtney Kardashian before babies because she is short and curvy like myself so I feel her body type is a realistic goal.  I’ve put a picture of the beautiful celebrity on my fridge; on the box of junk food at the bottom of my cupboard and on the drawer where I keep my gym clothes.  Her image reminds me that no matter how much I want to eat that ice cream or chocolate bar or avoid that workout, I want to feel fit and healthy much more.  I also follow lots of clean eating, health and exercise pages on social media to ensure my newsfeeds are full of good influences.

Thanks for reading this post about how I’m making my resolution to get fit and healthy a reality.  Comment below if you have any other ideas for me, I’m certainly not an expert!  I hope I’ve given you some good suggestions on how to tackle your diet and fitness goals.

Till next time,

Claire x