14. My three healthy habits

My whole life is just a series of healthy habits…where do I start! I’ll break it into three categories: eating, exercise and personal.

My healthy eating habits

Other than eating too much sugar (which is the devil these days apparently), I have fairly healthy eating habits. I typically eat 5-6 times a day, and smallish amounts. My daily intake goes something like:

  • Breakfast: Cup of sultana bran, 1/2 cup milk, coffee
  • Morning tea: Oaty slice, coffee
  • Lunch: Chicken and rice or salad or sandwich, fruit
  • Afternoon tea: cereal bar
  • Pre-gym: Protein shake
  • Post gym: Toast or cereal or sandwich or salad or something random that I feel like eating

I’ve been eating like this so long I can’t even remember how I did it any differently.

My healthy exercise habits

Exercise is a cornerstone of my healthy life. In 2002 when I changed my life by beginning to lose weight, regular exercise was key. It wasn’t just about weight-loss – exercise makes me feel happy and healthy and strong.

When I started playing roller derby and was training 3 x 2 hours a week, I had to give up a lot of the other kinds of exercise I was doing, and it made me feel unhappy and I gained weight. I’ve learned that what’s best for my body is regular exercise and lots of cardio. So I exercise a lot – but aim for variety.  At the moment, my typical weekly exercise is something like:

  • Monday: 30 min run or 45 min cross training class + 60 mins yoga
  • Tuesday: Game of ice hockey
  • Wednesday: 30 min run + 60 mins yoga
  • Thursday: 50 min spin class
  • Friday: 45 mins yoga
  • Saturday: 30 min run +  60 mins yoga
  • Sunday: 30 min cross training class + 30 min strength class

Sometimes I will miss one of these out if I’m tired or if I’ve had a busy week, but I have built a life around doing at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday. It truly is a habit now – I feel weird not doing it.

My healthy wellbeing habits

This is all about taking care of my psychological health. Here are the things that I specifically do to ensure that I’m happy on the inside:

  • I practice daily mindfulness each morning – taking 10 minutes or so for reflection on the day ahead, which helps me to manage my emotional health
  • I am purposeful about how I spend my free time and who I spend it with: I spend time with people I care about and make specific time for my relationship with my husband
  • I aim to get eight hours sleep a night
  • I have regular massages – I can’t emphasise enough how important this has been to my stress management and general sense of wellbeing
  • I try to pause when I am agitated and figure out why I am upset and what I need to do to resolve it
  • I actively take time to enjoy moments – warm sun on my face, a good cup of coffee, a comfy chair, literally smelling roses when I get the chance