Healthier & Happier Living - Part 1 - Where to Start & Why

January 01, 2014

(This is a duplicate post due to issues with blogLovin' feed)

Hi all,

So here is the first instalment of my 'Healthier & Happier Living' series. 

I know it is just a TINY BIT predictable to have a 'new year, new me' style post on my blog at this time of year but I couldn't resist! I have been living a healthier lifestyle since end of January this year (2013) but I have deliberately let it slip over the festive period.

Lucky for me I have always been slim, even occasionally skinny! After I had my daughter in 2009 I went back to my pre-baby weight within three months although my body was very much a different shape. I enjoy (in fact love) going to the gym but I do also love a treat food here and there!!  

When I started out I was a size 10-12 weighing 10st 7lbs (height 5ft 8ins) and feeling very bloated! The reason I over hauled my diet was not for weight loss but I actually ended up losing 7lbs and shrinking 3 inches off my tummy! Amazing eh? 

By September of this year I was (and still am) more of an 8-10. I am sure I've put on weight over Christmas and I certainly feel bloated, tired and head-achey again!

I initially looked at my diet because I was fed up - I suffer from VERY regular headaches, monthly migraines and I often feel worn out and run down with little to no energy. I've suffered from bad skin, nails and hair. Deep down I think I've always know that this is because of the high amount of sugar and poor diet that I was eating.

The short version of the long story: I cut right back on refined sugars, reduced my salt in take, switched to brown rices, pastas & breads, increased the amount of fresh and whole foods in my diet, increased the amount of water I drink, cut out caffeine, increased my exercising & activity levels and drastically increased how much and how often I ate food. Then I lost lots of weight, got rid of my bloated tummy and felt the best I ever have in all my life!!

The long version: will be shared over a number of different posts coming up on this blog, watch this space! I will be going in to detail about food, caffeine, energy levels, exercise, etc.
I hope you would like to read more about this - I am going to tell you some 'healthy living' tips that you may have never heard before like: eat more and you will lose weight, you do not have to be hungry to get slim, if you hate the gym then you do not have to go to be fit, lifting weights is brilliant for women who want to lose weight, etc!

I am no dietician or personal trainer but I have done a lot of research and have been following these tips myself with real results, some instant and some long term. I am not strict or perfect but what I do works for me, it may help you too.

I have over hauled my whole lifestyle, changed my taste buds and made myself so much healthier and happier. I have not felt deprived or hard done by at any stage in the process... Okay, I did struggle a bit getting off the caffeine! But, I'm glad I did it.

Before and After: I will eventually be sharing some before and after pictures, eek! If you are starting any kind of lifestyle change I would always say take pictures of yourself! It sounds vain and silly but it is SO worth it. I stand in front of my mirror in my underwear and take a 'selfie'. That picture is just for me and I look at where I am now then take another picture a month later and am amazed at the changes! It is so motivating! You do not always notice changes on a day-to-day basis so monthly pictures are really worthwhile. 
You do not have to share them with anyone, just use them as a tool for yourself.

(FYI - The picture is deliberately blurry - you don't need to know all the gory details! Haha!)

Also, write down your vital statistics. Similar to the pictures, it is great to come back to those figures and see how they have changed. I like to document my:
  • Weight
  • Bust (fullest part)
  • Chest (across bra strap)
  • Waist (smallest point)
  • Tummy (widest point)
  • Thighs
  • Hips
As I was trying to get fitter and healthier I also wrote down my fitness levels when I started. I could only just manage a 30 second plank but by the end of the year I could easily do a 1 minute plank on the power plate! It's so great to see your improvements, often if you don't write them down you won't realise just how far you've come.

I wrote everything down in a standard notebook but I love the idea of a fitness journal, like this one on Amber's blog. (Go check it out!)

So, whatever your size and lifestyle I hope my upcoming posts can help you to just generally be healthier and happier. 

Thanks for reading,
Rach xx


  1. Good luck with your fitness regime Rachel! I'm doing the same! Thanks for including my link - I love that diary! I've written down my measurements and my workouts that I've done this year so far and will keep it using it to track my progress! xx

  2. That image is hilarious but I like the positive spin you have put on it! I'm generally quite skinny but I'd like to eat healthier. I'm quite bored with my repetitive diet and unhealthy food now just tastes really unhealthy! I'll look forward to the tips and good luck xx
    Much Love

    1. Ha ha! glad you liked it and 'got' it ;-) I was worried people would take it the wrong way but it caught my attention and made me laugh so I thought it would do the same to others!
      Make sure you follow me on Bloglovin to get the updates ;-)
      I actually update on now (not
      Rach xx


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