TRYING to decide what topic to cover in my first ‘proper’ post on the blog was a bit of a no-brainer – it should probably start with a look at what prompted the change to a healthier (happier!) lifestyle. Some post-hangover resolution? Finding my ‘baggy boyfriend jeans’ had started resembling leggings? The realisation I was about to reach 30 and had never done a proper push-up?! (Possibly all three….except that last one…no sane person ever thought that!)
For me the healthy start came about thanks to a £1 water barrel, Cameron Diaz and a random app download….
Like everyone I’d heard the benefits of drinking two litres of water daily many many (many, many, many…) times but never really paid attention – mainly because I had 1) no desire to resemble a water balloon or 2) spend most of my day running to the bathroom and back (neither of which ended up happening – ok, once maybe).
That firm held belief changed one bored Sunday when I came across a free app called ‘Water Your Body’. It was an incredibly simple concept – enter your body weight and a few details and it’ll tell you how much H20 you should be drinking on a daily basis….easy-peasy, lemon (-infused water) squeezy.
Crucially, the app also gives you the option to set reminders so the phone would ping* and remind me to drink up! (*I say ping, be sure to check the settings – the sound of pouring water coming from your smartphone every hour, causing half your the people around you to LOL and half to run for the bathroom is a tad embarrassing…)
After a few days I found myself in competition with the app – I’d used a measuring jug to work out how much the glasses at home held and was determined to hit my 2749ml target. Remembering to drink enough at work was crucial to achieving this but in reality it was a different story – up and down constantly to fill up the plastic cup from the machine and entering umpteen depressingly small 100ml entries into the app instead of my usual 400 was starting to get annoying. Solution? A two-litre plastic barrel with tap that could sit on my desk and I could pour from whenever I wanted – it came from a pound store and is possibly the best money I’ve ever spent!
Between the app and the barrel I built up the intake, and after just a week or so hitting my target became second nature. It got to the point that if I didn’t I drink enough my body felt ‘weird’. I started noticing other things too…
- My usual afternoon trip to the vending machine became a thing of the past, a change I only really noticed when I did found myself standing in front of it again one day about a month later (cue one happy purse, those ‘little treats’ add up!)
- I was buying my usual lunch-time ‘nourishment’, some form of sandwich, a snack and some crisps, but finding myself saving one till later, then saving one till the next day until eventually I cut out either the snack or crisps all together. And it wasn’t long until the craving for healthier alternatives started (cue one happy waistline!) .
- My energy levels shot up – don’t get me wrong I wasn’t exactly doing jumping jacks in the kitchen (that came later 😉 ) but I wasn’t getting to the end of the working day desperate to crawl into bed or ‘chill out’ on the couch or sit in the pub (cue one happy Sam – social life, reclaimed!)
Also, despite being lucky enough to never having really suffered with ‘problem’ skin (thanks for the genes mam!) I have had issues with hair loss since my early twenties – both have never looked better since I started drinking enough.
It didn’t take me long to put two and two together and work out the reason behind all of the positives suddenly happening – water really was the key.
Having seen the results of this little experiment I started looking more into the ‘health hype’ – and exploring what I could change next. Cue – Cameron Diaz!
Someone I’d always admired, Cameron had released a book based all around health and well-being. I read a couple of reviews and was really interested to see how, unlike a lot of celebrity tomes, it wasn’t just a few sentences and a lot of pictures, but was well-researched, brimming with scientific factss and had plenty of real-life experience thrown-in for good measure.
A hop, a skip and an Amazon click later I had my own copy and I can honestly say I’ve never looked at food the same way since. I still go back to it months later and I’ve even taken pictures of some parts on my phone to inspire me on days I’m struggling.
So there you go, that’s (the reeeeeeeally long post) about how my health journey got started! Hope you enjoyed and well done for making it to the end – I promise my next one will be shorter!
How about you? What kick-started your journey to a healthier life or are you still looking for the inspiration? Share your story in the comments below!