Hi hi, it’s me! I’ve been quite quiet over on here recently and I thought I would just check in with you lovely lot and give you a bit of a general life update (for anyone who’s interested!) as well as share a few tips based on my own experience of maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a full-on schedule.
Everything has been really busy lately and it took me a little while to realise that I am actually a very busy person. That said, I like being occupied, as long as I include plenty of fun things to occupy me too! This year is pretty stressful to say the least – juggling A levels with uni, driving lessons, a weekend job, fitness, blogging and of course some social events too (don’t forget me please, Friends) is proving to be quite a challenge.
As I have A level work (my current priority) on a daily basis, I have to manage my time carefully. I’m passionate about fitness and I train 5-6 times a week with a combination of longer weight-based gym workouts, running and a real focus on home HIIT workouts, which are ideal for a busy schedule. Due to school I am pretty sedentary, so I try to walk daily and I really enjoy being able to move my body and get my sweat on, even just for 30 minutes. How do I fit it in? I get up early. I lie out my gym kit and HIIT workout plan the night before, prep my breakfast if I’m going to be in a real hurry and, if I get a good night’s sleep, I will be burpee-ing away in my living room first thing.
(Full workout on my Instagram)
I’ve always been an ‘early to bed, early to rise’ kinda girl, but I completely get that fasted early morning workouts aren’t everyone’s thing. Believe me, there are some mornings where I wake up and just know that that workout will not be happening that morning. I also get that if you don’t love to train, 5-6 sessions a week might seem like a lot. So, I would suggest that you choose whatever works for you. Set aside some time in the evening for a short workout if you’re not a morning person or train just a few times a week.
Next update: I’ve just passed my driving theory (whoop whoop!) but I’m nowhere near ready to take my practical test yet, so I do one 2hr driving lesson per week. Sometimes these are after school, or they’ll be first thing (and I mean first thing. Like 6:45AM FIRST THING). I actually prefer to do them in the morning as I’m much more focused, whereas after school I am normally fairly exhausted and weighed down with work (same goes for training). I can’t say I enjoy driving, but at least it’s a pretty useful skill to have.
Now onto nutrition. A little while ago I was having a growth spurt (hard to believe, I know, I’m still only 5ft3) and as I was still training regularly my appetite was through the roof. I listened to that hunger and believe me I fed it, but when that growth spurt stopped, it took me a while to adjust. I ended up overeating quite a bit and just felt generally quite bloated, ‘fluffy’ and not so great in myself. I have adjusted my portions now (I am still a very hungry person) but I’m pleased to say that I’m much happier both with how I feel and how I look. I only made a few dietary changes and although I am rubbish with progress pictures (I once tried to take a selfie with the back camera of my phone) I have noticed that I have become leaner recently, which I am pleased about.
I don’t track macros or count calories or any of that stuff (life’s too short) but I do sort of half-heartedly carb cycle – by ‘sort of’ I mean that I don’t stick to this regularly; I am quite flexible. If I want oats on a rest day, then you bet I will have my oats. Basically what I mean is that I usually tend to tailor my carb intake based on my activity levels (without tracking it, I just choose options lower in carbs) so more movement = more carbs, particularly after a workout.
I have also increased my intake of lean protein, which I’ve found really helpful. I’m a big fan of protein sources like chicken, fish, and eggs and I often snack on protein too – such as nuts, Skyr/Greek yoghurt or a healthier protein bar. There is a lot of hype around various processed protein bars which aren’t actually all that healthy. A lot of them are really high in protein (the kind of amount you’d have in a meal) – which, by the way, you CAN have too much of. Although I might have one very occasionally, this kind of protein content is probably too high for me, but it entirely depends on the individual. They also tend to be full of artificial sweeteners which aren’t great for us at all, so I prefer to go for snack bars like Pulsin and Bounce balls. They might be higher in sugar, but at least they’re made with REAL ingredients.
Also make sure you do treat yourself, to keep yourself happy and sane! I used to be way too strict with myself and deprivation is no fun. I prefer to have healthier dessert alternatives (think Oppo, Lindt 90% or a rare Farmacy sundae which is out of this world) because I actually love these but I am also more than happy to have something a little less ‘clean’ if I really want it!
I like to arrange something to look forward to at the weekends if I have time and my favourite thing to do is meet a friend for a fitness class (I love KOBOX but my bank account does not) and for lunch – anything that takes my mind off the stresses of everyday life for some time. I should also add that I’ve started to ‘book in’ free weekends into my routine. By that I mean weekends that I deliberately keep free. It’s easy to underestimate how much rest we need and I am definitely guilty of doing this, so I like having a day where I can catch up on work, make time for a workout and also just have some me-time. Don’t forget it’s not just about physical exertion; school and work are mentally exhausting and even physically draining too.
We all want more time to do the things we enjoy, but sadly this isn’t always possible. At least that’s how I feel at the moment! Writing this blog post (when I should have been working) has actually made me feel a lot better, so don’t underestimate how important these relaxation things are. Hope this helps if you’re feeling in a similar position and please feel free to share your own experiences or tips on managing a busy routine in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!