The 12-18th November marks self-care week, an annual national awareness week that centres on embedding support for self-care across families, communities and generations. The strapline this year is “Choose Self Care for Life” which fits perfectly with our purpose: inspiring healthy habits for real life.
To celebrate self-care week, WW member Chloe has commandeered the blog to discuss the importance of happiness and looking after yourself on your weight loss journey!
Weight loss is more than a number
Hi, I’m Chloe aka @chloeswwlifestyle, and since joining WW in September 2015 I have lost 45lbs. I’ve since been successfully maintaining that weight by sticking to the WW programme and exercising regularly.
Losing weight is about so much more than a dwindling number on the scales. Whether it’s changing your mindset, incorporating fitness into your busy lifestyle, or maintaining a good social life whilst staying on track, there are so many things that factor into every individual’s weight loss journey.
It can be a challenging time, and we are often far too hard on ourselves for having a simple ‘bad meal’, or one chocolate cookie here and there. This is why self-care is so important.
Weight loss starts from within
Self-care is unique to each person, and it can come in so many different forms. Really though, it’s about taking the time to do something that you enjoy, so that you can feel more content in yourself and your life. Whether that is taking a bubble bath, removing yourself from social media, or simply having an early night, you just need to make sure your health and happiness is the number one priority.
When I was losing weight, self-care was not a priority for me — but it should have been! I was in my final year of university and it was a stressful time. I focused on my studies, exercising, and staying on plan, and never gave a second thought to what really made me happy.
The result? I burned out, and my weight loss came to a halt too. I couldn’t make any progress, and it was simply because I hadn’t been kind to myself or mindful of my wellbeing. Looking back now, I can see that self-care should have been a priority for myself.
SUCCESS STORY: Sarah – I made time for myself, and now I feel fab!
Practise self-care to stay on track
Today, self-care is at the top of my list, and one of my favourite ways to practise it is trying out new recipes. Since joining WW I’ve actually learnt how to cook, and the first recipe I ever made was a tasty potato and aubergine moussaka from one of the old WW cookbooks. Since then, I’ve enjoyed cooking more and more – I find it really therapeutic.
It’s also helped me to maintain, and I’ve found that making a ‘Fakeaway’ is a great way to enjoy healthy, on-plan meals, which taste naughty, but are full of all the right things. Plus, they’re great to share with the all the family.
Another way I like to take care of myself is through exercise, and over the years I’ve discovered I really love it. It’s one of the few times I feel I can truly ‘switch off’ from the world and dedicate an hour of my day to focusing entirely on me.
When I’ve had a tough day at work or I’m feeling a little blue, there is no better feeling than swinging a kettlebell, pushing my legs through a spin class or punching my way through body combat — exercise is like a self-care gift to myself. Back in June I even attended a week’s bootcamp, and although it was a tough week — with 4-5 hours of exercise a day — afterwards I felt fit, healthy, and most importantly, happy.
It’s a journey, and I’m still on mine
However, feeling comfortable in your mindset doesn’t come easily, and it's something I’ve struggled with until very recently. I’ve found it difficult to mentally separate myself from the girl I was three stone ago. When I go shopping, I doubt myself, and wonder how an earth the tiny clothes on the hanger will fit me. Or, when I catch myself in the mirror from an unflattering angle, my thoughts can be immediately negative, and it’s all just wrong.
Self-care is a process, and it’s starting to help me change the perception I have of myself, and my body. Through regularly joining in with ‘Transformation Tuesday’ and ‘Throwback Thursday’ photos on Instagram, I’m visually reminded that I’m no longer the girl I used to be, mentally or physically, and that really does help with my mindset and wellbeing.
Be kind to yourself, and the rest will fall into place
Self-care doesn’t have to be a grand gesture to yourself. It just needs to be something that feels therapeutic to you, something that feels like a well-deserved treat. It can be so easy to feel like you’re fighting a war when losing weight, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By being kinder to yourself and more mindful of your wellbeing, you can have more of positive impact on your weight loss than you realise — and it’s the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle!