I love my iPhone.
Not trying to advertise for Apple as I genuinely can’t afford the rest of their electronic gadgets…but I am so pleased that the one item I do have from them is an iPhone.
It just does so much to make my life easier, I order my food shopping on an app on my phone, I whatsapp my friends to stay in touch, I flick on to social media when I’m out waiting for a bus (or indeed at home, when the other half has picked a really boring film on a Saturday night). It even tracks my period!
But then I downloaded this app called ‘Moment’. It’s a tracker that logs the time you spend on your phone, which is a great concept as it has just brought home how much time I spend using the bloody thing! It logs your time into categories, so if you spend under an hour a day on your phone it’s green, between 1-2 hours, orange and anything over in red. It’s like being back at school although the only thing that is being graded is how well you spend your time!
Needless to say my tracker is not looking good, a lot of orange mixed in with a few greens (go me!) and worryingly a few reds. I know for a fact that if I added all this time together only about a third of it would have been spent productively, on phone calls or work emails. The rest? Wasted. I could have been doing a host of other, more exciting things, but instead I was staring down at my phone, like a little screen zombie.
I do kind of semi-annually have this conversation with myself in my own head about cutting down my screen time, I’ll try to impose these new rules where I ignore the impulse to google cute cat videos. This normally lasts about a week or so…and then I slip back into my regular routine. I’ve even put all my apps together in a folder called ”Wasted Time” to try to deter me, it doesn’t work.
So my phone use is habitual and like I’m sure many would agree, habits can be hard to break.
I am lost as to what to do to try and cut my nasty habit (haha!) but I’ve come up with a few baby steps that I’m hoping will help me do the trick.
- Weaning off Slowly
Going cold-turkey definitely did not work for me, so my new strategy is to delete useless apps one at a time, I’ve started with Twitter. Poof! Gone! I’m not missing it, but then again I’m getting my daily dose of junk from Facebook and Insta so I think those will be harder to cut.
- Out of Sight, Out of Mind
It’s so easy to get to my office and whack the phone out next to me on my desk, planting it there all day so that I can hear every buzz of a new email or every notification. Of course though, you don’t just go and check that email then get right back to work (hope my boss isn’t a reader here..) you end up getting a junk email from River Island about new lines being added to the sale and then before you know it, you’ve spend 20 minutes scrolling through reduced clothes. Doh! So the phone is staying firmly locked away in my bag until break times.
Thats’s pretty much the only wisdom I have on this particular topic and I must say..I am finding it super hard to stick to my wits and stop tapping away on my phone. Any phone addicts out there have a similar experience? Please do share your own tips, have you discovered an app like Moment that is helping you see the error of your ways? How much of your life have you re-gained? I need inspiration!
Till next time x
I’m sure quite a few regular gym-goers and newbies alike have faced the same dilemma as me..
To gym or not to gym?
Sometimes it is just genuine laziness and you scramble around trying to find an excuse for not throwing on your running leggings and getting out there..haven’t washed my hair, ironing left to do, not enough time..blah blah blah.
Sometimes it’s just the result of being in a mood, so you go and when you get back you think ‘ah man I’m so glad I did that’ when the endorphins are kicking in.
But then, sometimes there are days like today. When you’re half way through a cold and even though you can function, have gone to work all week and other than the sniffles have nothing too much to show for it, you just can’t quite muster the energy.
So I’m not going, I’ve made the difinitive decision not to (it took me all morning, mind). I just feel drained and all I really want to do is lounge around and perhaps go get a coffee later to perk me up. Simple.
OR NOT, as my mind has been ticking over and I’ve had the little evil devil smouldering away on one shoulder and the little angel on the other. It’s silly really, how something that shouldn’t really matter too much can make you overthink. It’s just one work out, an hour, but my little devil tells me that I must go to feel good, it is weak not to, I might start getting lazy and turn this into a habit of cancelling.
But the little angel tells me to give myself a break, that it’s okay to not be up to it sometimes, let my body rest. One workout won’t dent my overall fitness and as soon as I have some more energy reserves I’ll be back out there.
I’ve decided to take the kinder advise today. It is down to you to make the call whether it’s your willpower dwindling or whether it’s your body genuinely yawning and needing to stop for a moment.
1. Is it all in my mind? Discover whether your tired because of your state of mind or whether you genuinely have reason for it. A stressful week, or run down from a cold? You might be better off taking a day off. On the other hand, if you just couldn’t think of anything worse than pounding a treadmill or doing a few reps on the weights bench, get over it! The more you do it the easier it gets 🙂
2. Will I feel better for it? Sometimes when you make the call to go and exercise despite REALLY not wanting to, you come back with a big sense of accomplishment and feel great that you have gotten over another hurdle on your fitness journey. Other times you’ve the wrong call is made, slogged it out on a treadmill wondering if the sweat is from the exercise or from a coldy fever, and you leave feeling like a drowned rat, with an even further depleted supply of enegry.
3. Will this hinder my progress? The simple answer, really, is no. Missing one day is like a drop in the ocean. It’s how you percieve it. Dieters act in a similiar way, when a momentary lapse of willpower means a portion of chips were munched the thought process that ensues is ‘oh well I’ve ruined it now’ and so starts the descent back into bad habits. Well, don’t copy this behavior when it comes to fitness. Okay, so you’ve had a day off, hopefully for the right reasons, but you’ll be back to it, make a pact in your mind that once you feel better you will definitely book that spin class. Or even if in your heart of hearts you know you skipped your workout because you couldn’t be bothered, make sure you don’t leave it more than three days without a workout.
Don’t let a small hiccup stop you in your tracks, sometimes life does get in the way of our fitness regime but just keep in mind that you are ultimately the one in control!
Now, I suppose I should at least get out of my pyjamas!
When Christmas is finally over, all the presents have been given out, the cheese selection in the fridge devoured and the fizzy wine popped, what is always left? Chocolate.
Let’s face it, it’s the perfect gift to give to anyone and everyone. Colleagues at work you don’t really like that much? Chocolate. The cleaner? Chocolate. That distant auntie you only ever see at Christmas? Chocolate. Everyone likes chocolate, and it’s inexpensive, which is a great help!
So in my lounge is a huge bowl choc full (excuse the pun!) of Cadburys roses, Reeces peanut butter cups, Lindt truffles..and no matter how many after dinner cups of tea and an ‘oh go on then only one’ moments I have..the supply doesn’t seem to reduce!
But you can’t just throw away good chocolate..so I’ve cobbled together this lovely recipe that will end that stash and produce something even tastier. Which is also freezable, so you can chuck it at the bottom of the chest freezer and dig it out as an when, normally once the post Christmas buldge has had a chance to reduce. Chocolate brownies. Oh yes!
These brownies are really sweet and fudgey, perfect with a hot drink as a treat once in a while. Usually I use rich dark chocolate in brownies but with this recipe it didn’t really allow (depends on what chocolate you have left over!) but it was still lovely. The more refined milk chocolate type leftovers you have, the less sugar you should need to add, so just chop and change as necessary – you can’t really go wrong.
Christmas Chocolate Leftover Brownies:
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup leftover chocolates
- 2-3 cubes of 70-80% dark chocolate
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder (or regular cocoa)
- 1 and a bit cups full fat greek yoghurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees f.
- Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl
- Melt the chocolates in a bain-marie, over a low heat to prevent them burning
- In a seperate bowl, combine together the melted chocolate with the yoghurt, cacao, sugar and vanilla
- Mix all the ingredients together until fully combined.
- Add any optional extras – I particularly like brazil nuts or chopped pieces of toffee (if using toffee make sure to combine in the batter as if you place them on the top of the mix they sink down when baking!)
- Pour mixture into a prepared brownie pan (or if you are ill-prepared like me, use an oven dish that’s too big and use parchment paper to try and fashion a smaller vessel!) A pan of around 8×8 inches should be perfect, any bigger and the brownies will be a little thin.
- Bake in the preheated oven for around 30-35 minutes, test the centre with a toothpick to ensure there is no wet batter left before removing from the oven.
- Cool and enjoy!
A really nice treat to have a hot brownie, knowing that it’s used all the leftover milk tray that I would have no doubt grazed on for weeks. Perfect to share with friends or if you’re really feeling sick of all the festive indulgence, put these heavenly slices in the freezer individually wrapped in cling film and bring out whenever you are most in need.
Fingers crossed you’ll have most of the ingredients you need without having to pop to the shops – I know I had most of the list in my kitchen cupboards, a bonus is not needing any eggs or butter with this one, just an inexpensive tub of greek yoghurt works wonders.
Like a lot of young people, at the start of it all, when I was about 18 and studying at college, all I wanted to do was unlock the key of how to get skinny and more importantly..STAY SKINNY.
Now I look back I realise that my thoughts on having a nice figure were a little off-kilter with a healthy lifestyle, but this is how my un-balanced (and to be quite honest, un-happy!) day would pan out.
Eating: Every calorie counted, every little bit of food to cross my lips had a value and was getting me closer to my oh-so-small daily allowance. I wasn’t working out at all, so aside from the long walk to and from college, I wasn’t giving my body the opportunity to burn off the food I was ingesting, so in my mind, the calories I got through had to be minimal..or I’d get fat.
Mistake To Avoid: Don’t starve. Don’t focus on calories like they are the key. Diet is very important, but remember your body burns an amount of calories in each given day just to function (your basal metabolic rate). Make sure you always have enough fuel to keep your body running like a well oiled machine.
Exercise: Non existant. To give myself some credit, I was studying far from where I lived so by the time I’d taken two trains and walked a couple of miles with a guitar and books (the joys of being a music student..), I’m sure it accounted for something. But I had nothing else going on. No gym classes or hobbies like netball.
Mistake To Avoid: Thinking that exercise isn’t important. Yes, you can lose weight without it, but it’s much better to incorporate some light exercise into your life, not just to keep your body looking nice, but to keep your mind healthy. I can’t believe what I was missing. It’ll be really hard to start with if you’re new to it, but as time goes on you will value this key part of your life that was gone for so long!
The Goal: 18 Year old Chrissy’s top priority was to have no fat and to weigh in as small as possible, the scales don’t lie, I thought.
Mistake To Avoid: Don’t set unrealistic goals. It always led me to disspointment, eg: the scales say I’m three pounds lighter that my goal weight, so why do I still have a paunchy belly?
It does not work that way. Your body is a machine with lots of elements that cause the dial on the scales to move. Water weight before your period, does that count? Also, muscle development will add weight but doing excercise will make you lose fat, so it’s hard to get an overall assessment just from a weigh in. You’ll know when the going is good from what you see in the mirror.
Looking back at where I stumbled, it all seems so obvious now, but when you are just starting and have no guidance you do it the hard way, learning from your mistakes.
Does any of the above resonate with you? Start to learn your bad habits and try to retrain your mind to think about them in a different light.
So you want to be skinny? Ask yourself, is that really what you want? Can you maintain your life so you look that way? Would you rather be healthy and the weight loss comes as a result?
Get your thinking caps on!Yum
I’m Chrissy and this is my blog.
I’m passionate about healthy living and through this blog I hope to inspire you with tips and tricks to lead a happy, healthy life.
Ditch the fads, ALL of them! This is not about the newest vegan trend or how to lose weight juicing, this is me, this is real life. I work 9-5, I pay bills, I have vices and cravings, I like a drink, I am as Jo Bloggs as they come.
A few years ago you would have not seen me set foot in a gym, pound the pavement running, or even cook anything myself unless it had instructions involving a microwave. Sounds familiar?This lifestyle took a while to unravel and so it should, humans are creatures of habit and no 10 day clense will change you for good.
Fastforward to the present and I am loving the updated version of myself. Exercise? It’s a hobby I really enjoy and manage to fit it in with my lifestyle. I can cook a healthy meal without having any recipe book infront of me and I’m used to the time constraints of modern living; a healthy, quick meal? easy! No cash? no problem!
Making small positive steps in the right direction is all you need to do. Get your mind over the hurdle of thinking you can’t acheive. Working little changes into your life will reap big results one day.
Sound a bit more realistic? I thought so!
If you think you could benefit with changing a few areas of yourself and your life, follow me. I can’t do the work for you but a little motivation and a few tips along the way never hurt anyone!
Hope to see you again soon,