It's that time of year again - I've got a list of resolutions as long as my arm and I'm full to the brim with good intentions! I love this time of year, I get to make list upon list of all the good things I'm going to do and the better person I'm going to become. Maybe I'll fail, but you gotta aim high, right? Here's a little breakdown of all my hopes and intentions for this coming year.
As unbelievable as this sounds, even to my own ears, I lost 19lbs in the course of 2014. I may have put 3lbs back on over the Christmas period, but, uh... festive flab doesn't count, right? I'm not entirely sure where those 19lbs have come from, as I certainly don't feel lighter to that extent, but hey, I'll choose to believe the numbers on this one.
For 2015 I want that trend to continue. Despite my tendency and apparent fondness for silly fads like juice cleanses and weird protein only diets, these only serve to turn me into a grumpy, tired and headachey shadow of my typically well-fed and energetic self, and I think I ought to shelve them for good for 2015.
Instead, I have bought three healthy recipe books - this, this and this - and I intend to spend more time in the kitchen whipping up healthy, nutritious and, above all, satisfying meals. Plus, I finally feel that I have the disposable income required to purchase such crazy things as fresh vegetables (!) and weird health food items like chia seeds, maca powder and spirulina. Yup, I'm that person now.
Fitness hero, Kayla Itsines
I have yet to achieve any of those running goals I set for myself way back at the end of 2012. I did however, almost run the Edinburgh half marathon. I was up to running 10 miles in the early part of last year, but overdid it (standard) and ended up with gluteal tendonitis, which was a pain in my ass. Literally.
For 2015, I've lowered the bar a little. There are enough stressors in life without adding ones you've created yourself. I've already started a very gentle training plan which should enable me to run the 10k in May, and I have set myself no speed goals for it this time. I've entered three races since I've been running regularly, all of which I've had to opt out of, because I've overdone the training and got myself injured. No more. My only goal is to actually run the race!
In terms of other exercise, for the last twelve weeks of 2014 I was doing Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body Guide, which I cannot recommend enough. The work-outs are quick, challenging and effective, the plan is easy to follow and structured enough for you to keep up motivation, and you can really feel your strength and fitness improving week to week. I'm starting the plan again this week, as I fell off the wagon a little as Christmas madness descended, but I can't wait to get going again. Follow Kayla on instagram for some instant gym motivation, and I really, seriously recommend getting the guide. I can't thank my friend Sarah enough for getting me into it!
After having a look back at last year's resolutions post I see I was trying to teach myself Spanish through my iPad. That was a big fat fail. I think I did that approximately twice before abandoning it entirely. I studied French and German at university, and whilst my German is kept somewhat in check through my translation work, aside from translating a letter from the Belgian tax office at work, I haven't gone near French since I left university. So, I've bought myself a subscription to French Vogue, and when that arrives on my doorstep every month, I will make the effort to curl up with a cup of tea and a vocabulary notebook and get lost in the world of French fashion.
Otherwise, I intend to take full advantage of all the cultural pursuits Edinburgh has to offer. I've got a trip to the ballet scheduled in for February and I'm going to make the effort to spend slow Sunday afternoons ambling round galleries or museums - especially as so many are free! There's really no excuse. I'd also like to read more. It's much too easy to sit down on the sofa after work and spend the evening with your eyes glued to some sort of screen. It's not good for the eyes and it's definitely not conducive to a good night's sleep, so more books for me in 2015 please.
STOP SPENDING MONEY IN STARBUCKS.
JUST STOP IT.
JUST STOP IT.
I really want to visit a new country every year from now on. I'm hoping that 2015's new country will be Iceland, even if I have to wait until December for that one. I'm imagining hot springs, geothermal spas, gazing at stars from the warmth of a hot tub, snowmobiling and maybe even dog sledding! Ah how amazing does that sound?
I'm also determined to go back to Ibiza even if just for a long weekend, I'd love a quick weekend in Paris, because I've been craving it for far too long now, we're off to Amsterdam this month, and we're going to go to Greece sometime in late spring. My boyfriend is half Greek and spent his childhood in Athens, so I'm very excited to be taken around by someone who knows the country and speaks the language. Plus, hearing him speak Greek makes me a little weak at the knees...
In a dream world, there would also be a trip back to my beloved Germany, and maybe a week or two in Morocco, and a weekend in Krakow... a girl can dream!
I adore my friends. But I can be quite a solitary creature. I'd like to make more effort to make plans with the people I want to spend time with, because time disappears so rapidly, and all of a sudden months have passed since you last hung out. I know it can be tough because we are all so busy, but more meals out, more mid-week meet-ups, even if just for an hour, more quick coffees at the weekend. It's not too hard to schedule in an hour or two there and there! I intend to make more effort, not just with the friends that I share a city with, but with those friends and family members who are more far flung.
Ultimate yogi, Rachel Brathen.
I hope that with a greater emphasis on eating well and exercising to a more moderate degree, 'wellbeing' will occur of its own accord. To help it along, however, I'd like to get back into going to bikram yoga quite regularly, go to bed earlier during the week and spent a little more time outdoors. I also think it's important for me to remember that the vast majority of the pressure and stress I feel is my own mind's creation, and that nine times out of ten I really should just take a deep breath, chill out, and stop worrying.
Everything is fine, everything is going to be fine, and really, I'm doing an OK job. As much as I'd like to be a beacon of shining perfection in all areas of my life, doing OK is enough. We are all doing enough.
Pictures from pinterest.
Pictures from pinterest.