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H&H: Comfort & Confidence In The Gym

What To Wear To The Gym

So I started going to the gym at the beginning of this year for the first time in my life (I’m 28!). I’ve always loved swimming, but the idea of going to the gym has always been so daunting and a step into the unknown. It turns out – I actually quite enjoy it! Today I wanted to share a bit of advice for all those who are a bit apprehensive about going to the gym, not for working out, but for feeling comfortable and confident to walk in there and feel at home.

Clothing wise it’s important to wear something you feel good in, at least for the first few weeks. When I first visited I wore a tight training vest and I hated (still do!) they way it looks on my arms and across my stomach, even though it’s useful for working out. There are so many mirrors at my gym that I couldn’t hide from my own reflection and it made me feel more and more self conscious and uncomfortable. New Look sent me this grey loose fitting top and I find it so much better to wear with my gym shorts as it hides a million sins and I really like the look and feel of the fabric. It’s such a simple switch that has made the world of difference to my confidence in the gym.

Fashionable Gym Wear

Gym Trainers
I also picked out the grey jogging bottoms from New Look; They’re really soft & cosy and gentle around my stomach which is great because comfort is a huge priority while exercising. What I really love about these, though, is that whilst I prefer to wear shorter and more closely fitting bottoms for working out, if I can’t be bothered to shave my legs I can cover up and still feel good about myself.

Another way I’ve found to feel more at home in the gym is to make music my comfort blanket. Hearing certain songs or certain artists instantly makes me feel at ease so I put together a playlist of my favourite music to remind me of a TV show that I love or a weekend away with friends. Having something for your mind to wander and focus on also makes a workout fly by instead of watching the clock …and if I need some extra happiness I stick on an old band t-shirt instead of my gym top and it’s like a giant happy hug on my bad days!

I’m working towards feeling confident without all these little helping hands, but it’s all about the baby steps when you throw yourself into something new.

New Look Sportswear

Jogging Bottoms | c/o New Look  // Grey Gym Top | c/o New Look
Black Gym Leggings | Similar  // Gym Trainers | Oysho

Loves x xx

posted by onetenzeroseven in Health and have Comments (2)

Health & Happiness: Battling Mild Food Anxiety

Banana RecipeBanana Bread Granola | minimalistbaker.com

Today I had banana, yoghurt and honey for breakfast while I read some business articles online. It may not seem like anything of note to you, but earlier this year I honestly hadn’t eaten a banana for at least 16 years.

I struggle to eat some foods, mostly ones that are good for me. Simply put, some foods freak me out. Usually the ones that are processed to hell are fine, but that’s not great for my body. When I had counselling earlier this year we spoke briefly about food anxiety. I was apprehensive to bring it up in our sessions because I thought it sounded silly, but I was so relieved to hear it’s a real, genuine issue.

Sadly some people have it in the extreme for which I can only recommend therapy (honestly, it’s not as scary as you think!). However if you’re battling mild food anxiety like myself, you’re not alone. Here’s how I’m making progress to improve my diet:

// Why. To start with we discussed why I wouldn’t eat certain things and the resounding problem was that I thought some foods were gross. Fruits and vegetables are grown in such an environment that I deem them to be dirty and tainted. It might help you to chat with someone about why you won’t eat an item, get them to ask you open ended questions so you can’t avoid the answers.

// Write a list. Create the ‘banished list’ from your head onto a piece of paper. Order it with the things you find the most difficult at the top so you can attack it from below, the easiest.

// “So what?” Pick an item from your list and tell a specific story out loud and go into detail to really dig into the problem. I told my banana story and my counsellor asked me a great question, it was, “So what?!” So what if I ate it and the worst thing I imagined happened, what would that mean? I would eat something dirty, something that shouldn’t have been there. “So what?!” I would have something foreign in my body, something gross. “So what?” Whatever it was it would probably be destroyed by my stomach acids, digested and become a waste product. It probably happens all the time without us knowing. There’s something about following the thought through that makes it less scary. The idea of something is often worse than the reality, for me anyway.

// Avoiding it is your first mistake. Digging in to the problem, thinking about the negative thought that I’d usually try my best to avoid, really made me see how unnecessary it was. How the big dark storm cloud really was just a fine rain shower. It didn’t leave anything unsaid to linger in my mind and grow into a monster. All my cards were on the table.
So we wrote a list and I started with salad as the easiest. We set a challenge for me to grab a handful of salad and stick it in my sandwich, instead of picking out individual leaves that I deemed appropriate to eat. Avoiding it forever will not solve the problem, the act of doing it anyway is often the only way to combat this type (and many types!) of anxiety.

// Create a distraction. It’s not an easy task, but the advice I was given was to not think about what I was eating, to not inspect it to see if it was OK like I usually would, to eat while distracting myself like watching TV or using my phone to check Instagram for example.
It works on and off, the war isn’t totally fought and won yet and I still have many items on my list; I haven’t even begun to tackle meat related products yet, but I’ve made progress. It’s important to separate the things you’d like to be able to start eating and the things you just really don’t like. Banana is one of my favourite flavours, so it seemed bizarre that I wouldn’t eat the actual piece of fruit.

// Back to bananas. Somewhere in the middle of my list lay bananas. For 16+ years I wouldn’t eat bananas because my Nan once told me a gross, potentially made up, story about them. Sure the first time I tried it, I choked on a bite. It’s incredible that my mind was so closed down it made my body physically reject what it thought I didn’t want to swallow. Now I cut them into tiny pieces and cover them with yoghurt and honey, it’s so tasty and makes the whole task easier.

This morning I ate bananas for breakfast without breaking a sweat, didn’t even think about what I was eating until half way through. The banana battle is won and I’m determined to win the war.

Loves x xx

P.S. Did you find this useful? Read more Health & Happiness topics!

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posted by onetenzeroseven in Health and have No Comments