Tuesday 22 September 2020


I know what you’re thinking, “isn’t it a little too early for the Halloween title, Sam?” and normally I’d be right there with you on that thought, but I’m not talking fright season just yet, I’ve got something a little more thought provoking in mind, a Eureka! moment of sorts. 

Numerous times a year, I find myself in a rut, sometimes about my clothing, other times it’s what stage I’m at in life, but more often than not it’s about my weight. In this new era of love yourself and being body positive, discussions about trying to lose weight seem almost taboo, as if you’re about to be judged for changing something about your body that you should inherently love. And I get that, believe me, I really do. I’m just not at that stage yet - and I’m not sure if I ever will be. 

So a couple of weeks ago started on my - what, fourteenth attempt this year? - health/healthy eating kick. I’m writing out weekly evening meal plans, scouring the internet for good recipes/recipe books, and starting to walk more (I’m actually writing this in the bath because my body aches from so much walking) - all in all, I feel pretty good. But let me tell you why I keep sabotaging every other attempt at this. 

I usually get into an ‘I need to change' mindset during the weekend - usually whilst I’m scrolling for new clothes, browsing Instagram or pinning a few too many pictures on Pinterest, I’m constantly influenced by any/everything - I research recipes, make a shopping list of things I need for the week, batch prepare frozen smoothie mixes, and pray that I’ll still feel this motivated once Monday comes around - I usually do. 

Staying away from the seemingly endless chocolate, biscuits and sweet stash at work is pretty hellish, but I sip my vile looking green smoothie and let that little sugar hit wash over me and then I’m pretty fine, I steer clear of anything I can dunk in my brew. A couple of weeks go by and I’m seeing results - I feel better, my skin is a little clearer, I’m looking trimmer and I feel like progress is really being made - and then this godawful annoying little voice in the back of my head says, ‘look at you, you’re doing so well, why don’t you have a chippy tea, why don’t you treat yourself to a chocolate digestive or two, you know you want a glass of wine (I’m sorry brain, did you just say treat yourself to a whole bottle of Rosé?), go on and have an all out pudding after dinner, you deserve it!’ and stupidly, I listen. 

If there’s one major thing I’ve learned about myself in the last 2.5 decades, it’s I don’t understand the concept of moderation. Or rather, I do understand it, I just can’t convince myself to do it, or to limit myself. One or two biscuits quickly becomes the pack, a packet of crisp turns into three, one piece of bread turns into half a loaf, moderation and I are a more lethal combination than me and bread, but for opposing reasons. The treat yourself mantra is something we all turn to to justify having something, and whilst I still wholeheartedly believe in that, it all depends on what you’re treating yourself to, and what your limits are. 

Self care is another motto that we all latch onto, whether it be treating ourself to a face mask and a laze in the bath with a book (or a laptop in my case), a past-con lie in bed, or a movie night with a tonne of munchies, it all means something different to us. This is where trick or treat comes into play. 

After a good old long beach walk with my auntie a few days ago, we started to discuss the ways we treat our body, we’re from a family with weight problems and struggling to keep the weight off, so we understood where each others attitudes toward food. We both thought that lying on the sofa, eating chocolates and binge-watching junk tv was a real treat to ourselves, just what we needed to unwind at the end of a gruelling week. However, the more we thought about it, the more we realised that it actually has an adverse effect on our bodies and mindset. As much as I love lazing in the moment, later in the day I’m so angry with myself for giving into that temptation, that I end up spending the rest of the day doing absolutely nothing too, and then feeling even more awful about it. But on the days I wake up early, start whatever jobs or tasks I’ve set myself, later in the evening I either find myself uninterested in doing nothing and want to stay on the go, or I feel justified in my relaxation and content that regardless of how I spend my evening, I’ve at least achieved something that day. 

One thing I love to do early in the morning is going for a walk, whether it’s local for half an hour or I’m on the go for two hours, it’s refreshing, great exercise and clears your head to start a new day. It’s a relatively new thing to me, but something I’m eager to try one my little work holiday is over and I head back next week. To me, that’s self care, it’s doing something I love that is also beneficial to my body, my mental health and my wellbeing. Instead of eating half a box of crackers and shovelling grated cheese into my mouth straight from the bag, eating things that won’t instantly make me miserable after I’ve finished chewing is self care. 

I’m not saying that you can’t take that break for yourself, that you can’t occasionally eat what you want if you’re trying to be healthier, but limiting the amount you do that is definitely advised, take it from someone who enters that circle of hell at least twice a month (maybe even weekly). Of course this is all my opinion and based on my own experiences. 

Sometimes treating yourself isn’t really a treat at all. 

I’d love to know your thoughts on this, let's start a discussion, do you feel similarly to how I do or are your completely against the idea?

S xo

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