Why is being healthy so bloody boring?!
The idea for this blog came to me on a Saturday evening at the beginning of January whilst most of my friends were subjecting themselves to dry January, I was out with the few sane people I know sipping on my second Espresso martini having, well, a really good time. It made me think of an article I had read on The Skinny Bitch Collaborative (SBC) whereby their long list of rules consisted of no booze, lots of sleep, no TV and an excessive amount of exercise. And here I was having gone on a half arsed walk, half tipsy, having got ready watching Sex and the City in the bath and like I said, feeling pretty bloody great.
As a nutritionist I have been on a life long quest of what would remove what my mum likes to refer to as ‘the Harrison thighs’ and will forever read about the new 'It' food, diet or lifestyle that could turn me into Gigi Hadid. But why? I’m a nutritionist, I know better than anyone what I should do. But I sit here writing this article having just demolished what can only be described as a hugely indulgent yet delicious breakfast.
Let me be clear, I am not condemning giving your liver and waistline a break after the excessive indulgences of the Christmas period, nor am I criticising the method of the SBC which would undeniably succeed in making you a "skinny bitch" if you were to follow it religiously. What I am questioning is why we know what we should be doing but fail to do so after January the 15th let alone January the 31st. I’ve had a revelation, it’s because it is pretty damn boring and we’re going about it in the wrong way.
As the Owner of a healthy food company, Jamie Oliver's ex senior nutritionist and an all round Instagram addict I am aware I’m shooting myself in the foot a little bit with this blog. But I wanted to have an open dialogue about how we could actually be quite a lot healthier in 2017 rather than just limiting ourselves to a dryish January. There is so much information at our fingertips now; we know how important sleep is, our Fitbits tell us if we we need to move more, we have thousands of health recipe inspiration on Instagram, all in all info wise we’re pretty covered. What we fail to do is remove the stress and guilt around food and lifestyle and focus on what actually makes us happy.
I went to a mindfulness course before Christmas, very on brand, I know. But one of the most interesting topics that came up was the Exhaustion Funnel. It explains how the more knackered and unhappy we become the more our brains are programmed to stop us doing the things we know would make us feel better, like good sleep, exercise, eating well, seeing friends. The more exhausted we become the less time we ‘think’ we have for the bits of our lives that actually allow us to be at our most healthy and productive. It’s a catch twenty two. This resonated with me because I so strongly experienced this in 2016, not only myself but the people around me experiencing it too.
So how do we fix it? It’s simple, chuck away your juice fast and think about the last time you were really really happy. Focus on this, do this more, and the rest, well it will come.