Starting My Health Journey

wellness

It’s time for me to make a change…

Sometimes you take a look at yourself and realise that the way you live needs to change. Well, that’s what happened to me anyway. I realised that there are many things I am unsatisfied with the way I currently live my life- and whilst I haven’t been satisfied with them for a while, I’ve always been so sure that I couldn’t change anything that I allowed myself to stay stuck in my ways.

With the rise of the ‘that girl’ and ‘clean girl’ trends going around on social media, I became an avid fan. I love the idea of being able to have an organised, healthy lifestyle but as I sat on my bed looking around at my messy bedroom, I got disheartened. Those TikTok girls just weren’t me.

But then I thought, why couldn’t that be me?

Smoothie from Unsplash

There is one thing I want to make clear. Wanting to be like these girls isn’t me thinking I’m not good enough, or skinny enough, or perfect enough etc. That isn’t the (toxic and unreachable) goal here. What I want is the essence of these videos. Things like being in control of their lives, living a healthy lifestyle, exercising regularly etc. Those are what the videos made me want for myself.

Those who know me or have followed me for a while know that I live with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Only a few months ago I had to stop work because I couldn’t handle it, so a healthy lifestyle change was so far from my mind. But thanks to me taking some time to focus on improving how I manage my illness, I’ve gotten to a place where I can not only work properly again, but also where I can think about making these lifestyle changes.


So, what’s the plan?

Doing a dramatic lifestyle change isn’t something that is going to easily happen overnight (trust me I’ve tried the short term approach…). It is something that is going to take considerable time and effort. Sustainable change is something that builds up within you. You can’t play a beautiful Sonata without first putting hours of practice into your instrument, no?

The same goes for lifestyle. You can’t create this wonderful, vibrant lifestyle without first putting in the effort to get the foundation correct.

Image from Unsplash

So, what sort of things will I be aiming to do in my big ol’ lifestyle change?

Here’s the list:

  • Create and stick to a morning routine
  • Eat healthier
  • Come down to a healthier weight
  • Exercise (min) 3 times a week
  • Organise the space around me
  • Focus more of my time on wellness and mindfulness
  • Make more time for the things I enjoy

I’ll be going into what I’ll be doing to achieve all these goals in a (near)future blog post (so make sure to subscribe to get updated!) but for now, I want to go more into the why of what I’m doing.

Salad: Unsplash

What I want to gain.

Being healthy for healthy’s sake is great and a reason enough in itself but there are definitely reasons for me deciding to take this leap.

Chronic Fatigue Management

One of my main reasons is further managing my CFS. Whilst diet and exercise are not cures for chronic illnesses, the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle should transfer over to other aspects of my body- including my condition.
The better a grasp I have on it, the more things I can do in my life unencumbered by symptoms or even the fear of symptoms.

More Energy

Similar to the above, I believe this lifestyle change will help me have a higher energy baseline- meaning I can get more done and do more higher-energy activities throughout the day.

Looking Better

Quick preface to this- all bodies are beautiful and we should all love ourselves exactly as we are. Whilst I am a big promoter of body positivity, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with wanting to look healthier- which in my case will involve losing some weight. You can definitely be curvy and healthy too but for my own personal journey, the outer benefits are a goal too, as well as the (slightly more important) inner benefits.

Creating Lifelong Habits

I’ve used the word sustainable a few times in this article already because it represents the sort of changes I want to make. Short term fad diets may work in the short term but once they end, it is so easy to slip back into old habits (see: me and keto). The changes I am working towards now as 23, are changes that I want to last my whole life!

Journal: Unsplash

5 Social Accounts Inspiring Me Right Now

Earlier I mentioned seeing videos on social media that started me off wanting to make a lifestyle change. I thought I’d share 5 accounts that are providing me with the inspirational and motivation to make these changes.

1. @honeybobabear

I love Honeybobabear. Her organisation videos combined with her bubbly personality make me want to rearrange my entire life until it looks as aesthetic as her Starbucks cup collection. You can check her out here as she organises her bedroom! P.S. I want to be her best friend ngl

2. @journalnicky

Fellow Bullet Journal lovers will enjoy journalnicky just as much as I do! Her journal page designs are the perfect inspiration for your planners. Check her out here.

3. @kaylieestewart

Kaylie Stewart is ultimate #thatgirl goals. We’re taking morning routine, healthy living, workouts- the works. She always makes sure to emphasise doing all these things for you and not for anyone else which is one of the reasons I love following her. Check her TikTok out here!

4. @thehomeedit

OK so whilst I know I discovered these guys from their Netflix show and not on socials, their socials still slap and are always #goals so they make the list. Clea and Joanna are the ultimate organisation queens and I kinda dream about them coming to organise my life, they let me stay and help, we become besties (including Sumner because she rocks) and I start the UK chapter of The Home Edit. You can check out their unreal space transformations here and also on their Netflix Show: Get Organised with The Home Edit.

5. @miriam.gin1

Miriam’s TikTok is full of amazing amazon finds that are meant to make life so much easier! She collects amazingly handy items for all over the home that fit both form and function! You can find her videos here.


Let’s get started.

It’s time to stop talking the talk and time to walk the walk. Walking is enough for now though because I still hate running :P.
I’ve just finished my smoothie and now I’m off to do a workout so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for more updates on my health journey and my next article going into more details of how I’m conducting all the changes.

Charlotte x

First Steps

chronic fatigue

3 weeks ago I decided to make a change.

For the last 3 years I have been living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Newsflash- it sucks. Imagine you have an energy scale with 1 being a regular person after a good night’s sleep and 10 is being about to pass out: the most energetic I ever feel is a 4 and that’s on a very good day (and also often not for long periods of time.)

With an illness like this, you know any commitment you make is 70% truthful at best. You have no idea if that time you have agreed to meet your partner for coffee, or if the day of your best friend’s birthday party is the moment your body decides to go nah not about that life and hits you with a dip.

I like to think I’m relatively a relatively positive person! I try to keep my head up and push on. I made it through university, keeping my grades up. I’ve been putting myself out there, and have been hired to work remotely on social media jobs. So you know what, I’m not doing too bad! But I live my life with a leaky battery, never feeling free to go about and enjoy life to fullest like my friends around me.

And so 3 weeks ago I decided enough was enough.

My first workout at home

I started doing a few workouts at home, mainly beginners yoga so nothing too strenuous.

I’m super lucky because we have a family friend who is a god-tier PT and is used to helping people with illnesses like me. I rang her up and we started doing some (socially distant) sessions. Together we went through my diet, which was appalling I’m not going to lie, and decided that it was time to switch to a much more healthy lifestyle.

I love cooking so thankfully it hasn’t been too hard to incorporate some new healthy meals into my diet. I am eating; way more vegetables; less meat; brown/wholewheat carbs over white ones; less artificial sweeteners/chemicals and better, healthier snacks.

Vegan/ Gluten Free Oat Cookies

I got myself a Deliciously Ella book on her recommendation and got at it! The best bits are the baking. Over lockdown, baking has been bringing me so much joy, so when my PT and I decided on a diet change, I was so sad I couldn’t bake anymore- until I learned that I could!

I’ve been making healthy recipes such as vegan/gluten free oat cookies, sweet potato brownies and beetroot chocolate cake and get the same happiness from going the healthy route than I was before.

Keeping a food and symptom diary has been really helpful to see if there is a correlation between what I’m eating and how bad my CFS gets.

Trying out a Swan Pilates Pose for the first time

As well as eating well, I’ve also been exercising. I know, gross right? I’m joking now but to be honest I wasn’t a keen exerciser before and with my chronic fatigue, a lot of exercise would just make me feel awful.

Things like yoga and pilates are brilliant for people with conditions like me because they help you to focus on your body and breath without tiring you out too much (although some cardio is still essential). You still get a great workout and it’s actually really fun.

Feeling good

Guess what.

There have been results!

Since I started my new lifestyle, I have found that overall I do have more energy than beforehand. I still have dips- some of which are really bad- but my base energy level is higher than it was before.

Not just that but I’ve lost 3lbs/ 1.4Kilos, an inch and a half off my waist and an inch off both my chest and hips which I’m super happy with!

Thank you for reading my first blog post on my new website, it means a lot that you want to read my story. I hope that I can help others with the things that I learn/share.

Keep well ❤

Charlotte x