Posts tagged sleep

5 steps I took to achieve body confidence

I recently received a message from a woman who wanted tips on how to lose weight and feel whole again.

First, I thought, how sweet that she would want to take advice from me. I’m not a personal trainer or a nutritionist – I simply enjoy an active lifestyle and eat well. If anything, I’m an enthusiast.

What I do know, though, is that if an opportunity to take a dip in the ocean on a sunny day arises, the last thing on my mind would be, “what does my body look like?” I own every dark spot, bump, line, bruise, and kink like jewelry and that has very little to do with the way I look, it’s my mindset.

There was a time that I felt extremely self-conscious about my appearance. I was surrounded by people who were distinctly different to me and not knowing any better, I felt that there was a lot wrong my appearance. Not anymore – because of the 5 habits below that I’ve adopted.

I am at my heaviest weight, and I feel wonderful about it. None of us are built the same way; our bodies don’t digest food in the same way, and for goodness sake, our bodies are vessels that take us places – we aren’t bodies, we have bodies. Can I get an Amen?

I was at Woolworths’ pay point when a cashier (I forget her name) looked up at me and complimented my hair. She said, “It’s so long, are you mixed?” I said, “I know, thank you. I guess so. Does it matter?” “No,”she murmured. I didn’t feel offended that someone was trying to validate my race to explain the length of my hair – I thought, “Wow, people must wonder about me.” And that was it.

How much do you love your body right now? I slip in and out of love with my body – it happens to all of us. One way to truly love your body no matter what is adopting habits that promote your wellness. Take a look at these five things I’ve been doing that works for my body confidence:

Sleep early

Sleeping early has been a game-changer for me. When I get 8 hours of sleep, I perform at my best. Not only will you feel recharged and perform better, you will feel and look better. A lack of sleep slows the metabolism, increases emotional distress, and can literally cause you to become a negative person.

You may want to read: Sleep your way to the top says, Arianna Huffington

emotional distress from low body confidence

Write out your body confidence goals

Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to firm and tone, grow your hair or have clear skin? Write it down and be specific about why you want it, how you will try to achieve it, and also give yourself a deadline. When you monitor a goal consistently, you are bound to make progress.

Have daily motivation

Instagram is my go-to for motivation. I follow a bunch of healthy eaters, fitness models, and motivational pages, to continuously keep my mind focused on my ambitions. Find influencers that inspire you or talk to people who have achieved the goal that you’ve set out to accomplish. Motivation doesn’t work without action so keep that in mind as well.

motivation for body confidence

 

Find a workout method that doesn’t feel like work

I have so much fun at my kickboxing and boxing training classes that I wish I could go every day. I train four days a week and because I enjoy it so much, it doesn’t feel like a chore. Find out which form of exercise turns you on. It could be dancing, running, cycling or swimming; try a lot of different things until you find the one that you thoroughly enjoy and suits your lifestyle.

Change your environment

One of the biggest mistakes we make when we want to change our habits is that we try to fit new things into an old lifestyle. If you’re trying to quit smoking but all your friends smoke, how likely do you think your chances of quitting for good are? A strong will can only move you as far as the influences around you. Once you get into the swing of adopting habits that promote your body confidence, people with similar interests will be drawn to you.

Can you think of any other tips that are particularly helpful for body confidence? I’d love to hear from you. Post your comment in the space below, or connect with me on Instagram.

Images: Pixabay CCO

Sleep your way to the top: Arianna Huffington

If you can’t remember the last time you had a good sleep, you wouldn’t be the only one. Our generation is packed with highly ambitious minds, determined to see their dreams realized with every opportunity. We work long hours to make advancements at work, attend time-consuming events, maintain side projects, and then squeeze in fitness training because we are also health conscious. Some would call us super human multitaskers, others – near burn out, because we don’t get enough sleep.

MUST READ: Thrive

In her latest book entitled, Thrive, Arianna Huffington introduces a third metric to the meaning of success and argues that instead of only valuing money and power as currencies of success, we should value a life of well-being, wisdom, and wonder, as true components of success. Arianna dedicates a chapter to stressing the importance of sleep and how a lack of sleep can be detrimental to your life. She offers stats and personal accounts by the world’s most influential people, who agree that sleep should be an integral part of your life. Sure, there are times when you will need to burn the midnight oil to meet a deadline, and times when you will have to ‘lose sleep’ to attend to an urgent matter, but this no-sleep lifestyle that is becoming the norm in our society, and often boasted about on social media, is really unhealthy.

Thrive also delves into the importance of meditation, and how clearing your mind can largely improve your well-being. You can download the book now on Takealot.com.

Sleep and Weight loss

Have you ever noticed how really slim people are always early sleepers while most insomniacs also happen to be overweight? It’s not a coincidence. The Daily Mail reports that sleep deprivation slows the metabolism, causing the body to use less energy. The article also uses scientific evidence to highlight that people who sleep less are prone to snack more.  Read the full article, here.

Sleep and Productivity

There’s a serious misconception that working longer hours without breaks means that you’re working harder. The average attention span for human beings – without distraction is 8.25 seconds. This means that when you’re doing one thing for longer than 8.25 seconds, you will lose focus and your thoughts will drift to another topic. Refocusing on the same topic for a long time can become tiring, and boring. This is why it’s better to take breaks; clear your focus or steer your focus, and then revisit the main topic that you were concentrating on.

A study conducted by the Center for Advancing Health showed that teens with late bedtimes have lower grades. The study, which examined 2700 teens aged 13 -18, revealed that teens who went to sleep at 11:15 pm or later, showed signs of emotional distress and performed worse than early sleepers on cognitive tasks. If this is not an ironic wake-up call, continue reading.

Sleep and Relationships

Dr Theresa E DiDonato writes on Psychology Today, that sleep deprivation can not only make you less attractive (as well-rested individuals are seen as more attractive), but that a lack of sleep hurts your humour and happiness as humour requires high-level thinking.  DiDonato also suggests that low sleepers are prone to more negative emotions and making bad decisions, which causes conflict in relationships. Read the full article, here.

While reading Thrive, and conducting my own research on sleep deprivation, I’ve decided to begin a 30 Day sleep Challenge to get at most seven to nine hours of sleep per day. This will cause my social media interactions to take a dive but I am willing to risk losing followers if it means that I can live a healthier and more productive life.

I will be documenting my sleep challenge, and would love if you could join me. Connect with me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za.

Feature photo: Pixabay