I was determined that 40 would be my best year yet! My 30’s had been better than my 20’s and my 20’s had been better than my teenage years. I was not dreading the big 4-0, rather embracing it with a ‘bring it on’ attitude! But when I got here I realised that whilst I may be generally happier in life than I was in earlier years, my body wasn’t! Having a 40 year old body is a lot different than a 30 year old one – unless you make changes. You get more aches in your joints for a start! Feeling what it is like to be inside a 40 year old frame made me realise that if I wanted to have a mobile, flexible, ache free and healthy body as I got older, I would need to start making changes now.
I’d never been very educated around food. Growing up I never learned to cook, we didn’t have much variety in our diet. It was a ‘meat and two veg’ household with some convenience foods thrown in and fresh fruit for snacks was too expensive for my single mother who was struggling to keep us all on a budget. I started to gain weight as a teenager and laid down patterns of behaviour with food that were not healthy. Looking back now, I see that my lack of awareness of what constituted a healthy meal, plus a busy lifestyle contributed to my weight creeping on over the years. I was over fed and under nourished.
When I become a mother I tasked myself to learn how to cook, so I could prepare healthy meals for the family. The truth? It wasn’t as hard as I’d thought. It was fear mainly that was keeping me from doing it. With cooking, you can bung anything in and most of the time it will come out ok. It is trial and error. We always think other people will be better at it than us, but it’s not true. I saw this for myself when I became a Pampered Chef consultant for a while. I was being paid to go to people’s homes and cook! Me! But being in that role where people saw me as an expert on food, even though I wouldn’t claim to be any such thing, made me realise that all creating a delicious, healthy meal is – is a little know how and some confidence.
These days I enjoy a healthy and balanced diet. When I took control of my eating, my weight stabilised at first and now it is on the way back down. It takes time, I didn’t gain weight overnight and it will take time to lose it, but I enjoy the foods I eat now, and I feel much better in myself. The changes I have made are simple, easy swaps and reminders that anyone can do and they don’t have to cost much money. In fact they can save you money!
One You is here to help you get back to a healthier you. Get free advice and support to improve your health by taking the How Are You online health quiz today. You can find loads of tips and resources at their website but here are some tips of my own that have helped me.
Let me share some tips below:
Here is an easy and healthy recipe for stuffed peppers that I enjoy making…
To find more food information including some cheap and easy recipe ideas and access to the One You apps, click here. You can also take the ‘How are you?’ quiz at the top of the page to find out where you are now and get some useful suggestions and personalised support to help you make healthy changes. I did the quiz and it told me that my diet looks fine but that I could move a bit more to maximise my health benefits! It suggested more strength training so this could be at the gym or simply lifting heavy shopping bags! Any excuse to go shopping, right?
How are you making healthy tweaks to improve your overall health? Have any of my tips been useful to you? Let me know in the comments!
Disclosure: I’m supporting One You, Public Health England’s new health campaign which provides free and personalised support, advice and tools to help adults make small changes to improve their health now and in the future. Take the online How Are You quiz now!