Hello my friends!
In this post, I wanted to open a little window to reality when it comes to my own bad health habits.
Despite I think I am quite healthy overall, I don’t believe in super strict lifestyle rules and can become a bit too indulgent at times. Being a Health Coach, this can easily lead to the so-called Impostor Syndrome, if I ever feel I am preaching something I don’t practise.
The truth is, we are all humans, setbacks happen and these are actually important steps into our path to lifelong wellbeing and health. Why? Because allowing us to get off track a bit, while being able to kindly forgive ourselves as we analyse what happened, and then try to go back to where we were originally is essential. Life is long and, despite our best intentions, we might go through periods where keeping up with our health ideal is not as easy.
These are the times when being our own “best friend” is important. We should treat ourselves as we would treat a young toddler who falls while learning to walk, encourage them to get up again with reassurance and kindness.
Without further ado, here I go with my most recent health bad habits:
This all started while being on Maternity leave. I would have a massive late breakfast in the morning, then go out for the day with Julia to run errands, go to baby classes, etc to then realise I am STARVING at around 4pm. Indeed, too hungry to make any good food decision. KFC was on my way back home, and who could say no to tasty and cheap fried chicken?? Not me!
How did I overcome it? I managed to solve this problem by analysing why I was falling into the KFC trap in the first place: hunger and convenience. I made sure I ate a healthier option before the 4pm mark, to avoid the too-hungry-to-think situation, and/or carried some snacks with me to keep me going until we got back home for a proper meal.
Yes, vaping, my friends… have you ever imagined a “Health Coach” smoking? Imagine me! Despite I stopped smoking cigarettes for good 10 years ago, I always liked the relaxation that it brought me. During all my attempts to quit, I learned that it’d be best not to ever touch a cigarette ever again, as it was too much of a risk. The problem came during a holiday last Feb 2022, the family we were visiting were into vaping, and you know… one thing lead to the other… the heat (we were in Arizona), the chilling, the holiday-mode… I did enjoy my vaping while we were away, and swore that “that would be it” once we returned to the UK.
Little did I know that Rob (my partner, who unlike me, can go on/off smoking without feeling addiction) brought back a couple of yummy apple and blueberry vapes. Having them around, added to the stress of juggling a full time job with a young toddler, resulted in me getting into the vaping habit for a good 2-3 months.
How did I overcome it? This was a tricky one… The truth is that I really like the feeling of vaping, even more so than actual cigarettes because vaping tastes and smells much nicer and doesn’t stick into your clothes, mouth, hands or hair like cigarettes do. Despite my love for vaping, I did not want to become a “smoker” again, nor wanted my daughter to see me doing it. I also realised it was not the best thing for my lungs either, even though in theory they are a bit safer than actual cigarettes.
Anyhow, how did I manage to quit? 1) Analysing why I was doing it, what was the “prize” for me? Vaping helped me relax both mentally and physically. In my mum/employee/housewife/freelance health coach’s full on day, vaping was the only enjoyable “me time” I had, and I could even do it while hanging the clothes from the wash! I then realised I needed to “book in” some space for myself throughout the day to feel less stressed, as well as finding other health treats to keep myself content (aka food or soya matcha lattes).
2) Motivation. Wanting to be healthier in case we went for baby #2 was a great motivator too. Even if I was happy to damage my health a bit in exchange for the sweet “vaping chill”, I didn’t want to jeopardise the chances of damaging my health for a future pregnancy. That helped, it is an external motivation after all, but helped. It also helped me having quit smoking before and knowing that, once you are over the first few hard days, you are actually fine and, any other cravings are, in fact, just mental and not physical (nicotine is already out of our system).
Sugar after dinner –
I must say, Rob is the one who got me into this one, as I tend to be more like a savoury go-to person, rather than sweet. He LOVES sweet stuff (hence why he chose me, bad joke!) and of course, like the social animals we all are, we constantly influence each other, for the good and the bad things.
In this case, he (we) do enjoy a little sweet treat after dinner. Nothing bad with that, if it wasn’t for the portions and frequency. We realised we had to keep the sugar down, especially artificial sugar and especially at nighttime, when our bodies have nothing else to do with it other than storing it in the fat compartment (= Hello saddlebags! Hello love handles!).
How did I overcome it? I either 1) tackled the problem by its root; meaning, I ate enough food during dinner to ensure I had literally no space for anything else, sweet or otherwise. Or, 2) replaced and reduced. Instead of a big chocolate cookie (dipped in Greek thick yogurt mmmmmhh…), I had half (and ate it slowly!). Or even better, replaced the cookie for a square of dark chocolate, luckily my favourite type of chocolate and a healthier sweet alternative.
Long post again, guys… I hope you managed to read it until the end. If that is the case, thank you xxx I hope you enjoyed it, and it helped in any way. Until the next time!