I don't know where to start with this week - it's been very productive and I feel very grounded. Each day I make choices that support my 2021 goals and each day I am feeling better in myself. Less tired, more focused and healthier. Journaling
This week I have started journaling every morning after my yoga practise and I am enjoying the journey of seeing what comes up. I have journaled on and off since my divorce as a way to work through the process but have become lazier with it. I joined a February journaling challenge and this week's prompts were 'I feel' and 'I am grateful for'. What I have found interesting is that I think I feel a certain way then write something completely different. I think the trick is to not overthink it and just write whatever comes up in the moment. In line with this I have started reading Lunar Living and so far I am finding it fascinating. For many years our ancestors lived in cycles with the moon and were very in tune with the phases and the impact it had on our lives. Over the years we have become disconnected with nature and I am looking forward to learning to work with the moon and the feelings that arise with each phase of the moon. Dry Body Brushing As part of my new and improved morning routine I have started dry body brushing before my morning shower. What is dry body brushing and why dry brush? Well dry body brushing improves circulation, it energises the body and it helps to stimulate drainage of the lymphatic system, it also is a great way to exfoliate the skin. It’s also touted as helping reduce cellulite but, come on, we all have it it’s not a bad thing and unless you have like 2% body fat… women, we’re going to have it. It’s just the way our fat forms and it is nothing to be ashamed by and was actually ‘invented’ by Vogue. Shocking! So back to dry brushing, it might not be safe for everyone and those with sensitive skin might want to be careful or steer clear. It is also safe to dry brush daily and I aim to do it at least 3 times a week depending on how my skin is looking. The best way to dry brush is to glide the body brush over dry skin using gentle pressure and long, sweeping motions, moving toward the heart (feet up to thighs, hands up to underarms).
I always brush before having a shower as I can then remove any dry skin that’s flaked off (no not like Austin Powers - if you know, you know!). Then, after I have showered I make sure to moisturise to get as much hydration back into my skin as possible. When choosing a dry body brush you want to make sure that it has a long handle so you can easily reach your whole body and you want it to have natural bristles. February Goals Over on Instagram this week I asked what people's goals for February were and I cannot believe how many of you want to move more - this made me excited. So many of us, especially in lockdown, have made daily movement a part of life and it's so nice to see. Movement is so good for our mind and body. Movement doesn't have to be HIIT everyday, it can be a walk in nature, a yoga practise, a run - whatever you want to do to increase your movement make sure it's fun! If you hate HIIT or running, you won't be motivated to keep doing it. Pick something fun - such as a YouTube dance workout. I love these because I am so uncoordinated I end up laughing at myself! Remember, if you are new to a certain type of exercise, take it slow and modify if needed. Increasing Calories
Most people at this time of year are looking to reduce calories, in my case I am trying to increase them. It dawned on me the other day that I was probably not eating enough considering how much exercise I do. This isn't great for my hormones. When we are hungry or we are not properly fueling our bodies, our bodies stop functioning properly. I started to wonder if this was part of the reasons I ovulate so late or suffer from anovulatory cycles. I am now using My Fitness Pal to track what I eat to ensure that I am eating enough protein, fats and carbs. I was eating around 1,500 calories a day and easily burning 800 a day. This calorie deficit was too extreme and was very unhealthy. I am now aiming to eat around 2,200 calories on days when I bike to work and increase my protein. I am definitely feeling more energised for doing so and my sleep has improved dramatically. It's not easy to eat that much food and some days I struggle, something I never thought I would say! We all need to listen to our bodies and respect what they are trying to tell us! I am hoping that in time, this healthier approach to food will help see my cycles regulate and for ovulation to return!
I hope you have all had a lovely week - if you haven't already, make sure you check out last week's Healthy Happy Periods post.