I’m looking after me, my mind and my body all whilst trying to help the environment | Part 2

*pieces in this post have been gifted as part of a collaboration with Organic Basics but do not affect my own opinion* 

 You may remember I wrote a little post wayyy back in June titled 'I'm looking after me, my mind and my body'. Well, I decided to write a follow-up. 
I started writing this second part a day or two after that post went live, I was feeling motivated what can I say? However, I found myself holding off for a little while at least until it felt right or at made sense to do a second part. I think because both then and now this whole exercise regime/pursuing a healthier lifestyle outlook is and has been so prominent in my life it's something I feel very passionate about investing my time into writing about. I think that passion also comes from knowing that for a while I lacked so much motivation or belief in myself that I could push my body in different ways or just push myself mentally to take a few minutes out of my day just for myself. It's something I want to keep reiterating in order to allow people to believe that they can do it too (if you want to that is). Again please bear in mind that much like with part one this post isn't for everyone, it's prerogative isn't to force or push anyone into doing anything they don't want to do, it's more about inspiring as well as recording my own personal journey to share with you, my readers.
Just to repeat something I wrote in my first post 'motivation and the desire to start healthy eating, exercising or taking steps to do so comes from inside, it's not something you can force'. So take from this post what you need to. 

Ironically I’m now picking up this second part again 6 months later whilst sitting in bed eating Jaffa cakes as I begin to write. Now, now before you begin to mutter to yourself 'well that healthy mindset has gone down the pan you can rest assured it hasn’t, in fact, it’s still very much still a prominent point in my life, if not even more so.
This second part is quite simply to record my progression and my journey, the things I've learnt within that time, the things I've changed and adapted to work in line with me, my mind and my body.

Upon writing this second part I got a wonderful opportunity to work with an incredible brand called Organic Basics. Now you may have seen this name about quite a bit on your feeds recently or at least I have, though Instagram ads are very almost scarily spot on for each individual sometimes.

If you don't know or haven't ever heard of Organic Basics let me give you a bit of background on them. They are a sustainable and environmentally friendly brand specialising in underwear, activewear and essentials. They ensure sustainability is at the centre of everything they do for example they choose fabrics that care for our environment and work with factories that care about impact too. They were a brand I was keen to work with for both their ethics and their brand message. It made sense to include them within this post given that I am talking having an active lifestyle and of course being active involves wearing activewear.
Now admittedly before choosing my activewear from organic basics, I hadn’t put a lot of thought into the impact that washing workout clothes has on the environment. There’s a lot of things I’m more conscious and educated on nowadays in regards to the fashion and textile industry something I’ve spoken about in both 'Can we stop buying clothes for the hell of it' and 'I haven't bought clothes in 6 months here's what I've learnt'. But for some reason when it comes to doing a workout and as a result sweating washing my workout wear just seemed like a given, they’re smelly and they are damp and as a result, need washing, disgusting but true. With organic basics however their activewear is made with recycled materials and treated with a material called Polygiene® Stay Fresh technology with the idea that you don’t need to wash them so frequently. With each item on the website as well it includes an impact index a tool that calculates and measures the brand's environmental footprint and compares that against traditional industry practices. The Impact Index shows you the environmental savings when better practices are used.

The pieces I chose came as a set 'The SilverTech™ Active Starter Pack Workout Bra set' to be exact. I went with this set because for a start I loved the shape and the fit of the top, the description was that it has breathable material, it's supportive (always a plus) and most of all provides comfort. The set honestly fits like a dream, it's super comfy and having worn it a good few times since receiving it, it very scarily still smells like new. Not only is Organic Basics worth mentioning because as I said before it's relatable and fits with the nature of the post but it's in order to be aware that with any lifestyle change it's about how you can get the best from it, how you can change your habits for the good in every way possible. If I'm doing something I enjoy all whilst trying to help the environment at the same time that's good enough for me.

You can use my code to get 10% off: PAIGEOB1

So in the past 6 months what else have I changed or what else have I learned in this process.

"Sometimes you have to really push yourself that bit further out your comfort zone and mix things up completely to either continue to enjoy what you do or in order to see results."

Not to be afraid to try new approaches to exercise

A month or two after I wrote the first post I switched up my exercise routine dramatically. I started using an app called FIIT (not an AD) in order to improve my cardio practice. Something that I felt I wasn't personally pushing myself enough in. From starting exercising I've always been keen to build up my endurance and my ability to keep going. So changing up my workout routines to more high-intensity aerobic exercises has helped put me back on track and keep me more focused not to mention help me progress. Something I mentioned in part one in regards to changing your routine or your habits I spoke about introducing weights or straps in order to refresh and mix up your workout routine but sometimes you have to really push yourself that bit further out your comfort zone and mix things up completely to either continue to enjoy what you do or in order to see results.

Fitness isn't just about losing weight

In a follow up to part 1 something I spoke about in that post was calorie counting, something that since writing about I've stopped doing altogether, not because I thought it was bad for me, but more because I felt like I no longer needed to do it. When it comes to losing weight or making lifestyle changes you have to be sensible and you have to serious about it. I believe in healthy weight loss and losing weight in a risk-free way, at the time of getting into working out and eating healthy I did want to lose weight, I wanted to get to a healthier weight and maintain that and for me, I did that. Now I'm working to maintain but I don't feel as though I need to count calories or record what it is I'm eating in order to keep going, that's my personal preference and again through this process, it's all about finding what works for you, it's about trial and error. I found creating a food diary reassuring and definitely something that kept me on the right path but it wasn't necessary for me and me personally.

"Yoga is incredible for recovery. I also make time now for a morning mid-week to spend doing yoga a chance to reconnect with my mind and my body and be aware of any aches and pains I have that I need to work into."

Yoga is the original MVP

Not for everyone of course, but much like every lifestyle change, it's about finding what's right for you. Something you can find out pretty easily, perhaps you did dancing when you were younger, try aerobic dance classes, or perhaps you did gymnastics try pilates or yoga.
I chose to do yoga during my time at the beginning of university when my anxiety was pretty bad, it allowed me to really take the time to slow everything down and just breathe, really breathe. I often did it before nights out, I found it helped me take my mind of things and allowed me to relax and feel less stressed. So for me reconnecting back with Yoga has been one of my favourite things this year and noticeably I have seen a difference and progression in my practice. Much like taking up aerobics to improve my endurance, Yoga helps me with my flexibility as well as allowing my mind some time to settle. When I first began a more active lifestyle I made myself feel guilty for the days I did yoga, stupid I know but I felt as though it was tapping out when I felt tired or deflated during the week but instead I use yoga now as a way to stretch things out, it really helps after an aerobics class. It's so important to stretch your muscles after putting them through an intense workout and yoga helps to do that, Yoga is incredible for recovery. I also make time now for a morning mid-week to spend doing yoga a chance to reconnect with my mind and my body and be aware of any aches and pains I have that I need to work into.

Remembering why you started in the first place 

I'd be lying if I said I don't have mornings where I wake up and think why am I rolling my mat again? Especially on mornings where I really can't be bothered but I try to remember the feeling and the mood I'm in after I've completed a workout, that rewarding feeling not to mention the relief of finishing a sweaty and intense workout. It's important to remember that sometimes if you aren't feeling it, don't push it. If you aren't finding any enjoyment out of the process anymore, then stop.
Relating back to part one I started working out for a number of reasons and continued for a number of different reasons, for me, I love seeing results and I love the way it makes me feel. Do it for the right reasons and your body will thank you for it.

"Not being able to reach the points that you can't- yet is completely normal. Everybody is different, everybody's body journey is different."

Don't compare yourself and your progress to somebody else

This relates a lot when it comes to yoga completely, some days I can be perfectly in tune with my body balancing like I didn't even know I could and be able to move and flex my body the way I want to and other days I can fall out of a tree to pose about 10 times in a row during Yoga. I get frustrated with myself when I can't stretch the way I need to or reach the point where I'm happy. It's about realising that, that is okay. It's okay to wobble, to fall, to not be able to push yourself that bit extra to reach the point where you need to be just for one day that is okay, even for the next day it's okay. Even more so it's important to not get frustrated or to compare yourself to your trainer or to say someone on Instagram, being able to reach the points that you can't- yet is completely normal. Everybody is different, everybody's body journey is different.

It's easier to cut things out your diet than you may think

I'm a big dessert person, I love desserts and sweet stuff so much. So much so that a lot of the time after I eat savoury I immediately want sweet. As you can imagine it's been hard to break that habit, but for a while, it has been something that I've begun to leave behind. Again I'm going to say that yes there are days where I want to stuff myself silly with a takeaway and go to town on a chocolate bar and yes I do but on the days where I can gather the willpower if need be, I can tell myself to stop and look the other way.
For a long while, I replaced sweet by making myself eat fruit. I've always eaten fruit but I was sticking to the same variety time and time again like eating an apple or a banana for example so instead, I began venturing into fruit that I'd forgot about or forgot that I enjoyed eating. For me, I love plums, peaches and kiwis the types of fruits I like to call underrated, they are right? Cutting out things that aren't amazing for you in your diet and replacing them with healthier options is so much easier once you begin to enjoy the food you are eating. Have a play around and try new things, you might surprise yourself.
Another thing I've cut out my diet for a long while is a lot of dairy food, I think I may have mentioned this previously in a post but I tend to now stick to soya, rice and oat milk in order to stop drinking cows milk a move I made for a variety of reasons but something that has in turn helped me health-wise in the long run. You find that after you've made that change going back to what you had in the first place really didn't taste that great anyway.
I've even started to try and work in more vegetarian options where I can. I was a pescetarian for a long while so choosing vegetarian options- for me isn't so difficult. Replacing certain meats especially red meats where you can makes for a super healthy meal as a result.

Exercise is not about duration 

Lastly, another change I made in order to improve and both feel the benefits of exercise was to cut down the amount of time I spent doing it. When I first began I thought that the longer I spent doing it the better it was for me, when in fact you can spend as little as 20-30 mins or even less in some circumstances working out and in turn reaping the benefits. Working out for a long amount of time number one tires you out faster and can also cause injury because it's a lot on our bodies. Moving to shorter and sharper workouts I find I can really feel the difference in my body not to mention the less time I spend exercising the more time I have to get on with other things. Find practices that focus on your core, legs, arms or glutes for example and work on that one area one day and a different area the next that way it's not so much on your body. Also, make sure that you maintain your form and your movement, you can spend 20 minutes doing sit-ups but if you aren't using a full range of motion it most likely won't give you many benefits. Twenty strong and proper sit-ups will be far better, than twenty minutes of badly formed sit-ups, honest. Quality not quantity.

What's your opinion?

@paige rhianne_