Week 1: One Step Forward, 2 Steps Backwards

Photo by Frank Mckenna

Hey, welcome to week 1!

If you haven't read the intro blogpost, you can find it here :-)

1 out of 7 weeks is gone and I feel that I've learnt so much, and on occasion I did totally the opposite from what I set myself to do for these 7 weeks. I started the week full of enthusiasm and open to whatever there is for me to remember and learn on this journey to embody a higher version of me. And I've ended the week on a positive note, having spent today enjoying a Spa Day, where I worked out (gym and swimming) and relaxed (steam, sauna and massage) :-) It feels good and I literally can't wait to get an early night and start week 2 replenished and a little wiser! I'll explain in a bit why I named the post One Step Forward, 2 Steps Backwards...

As I've mentioned in the intro blogpost, in this 7 week journey to a higher version of me, I'll take care of my body, mind and soul and therefore I'll work on a variety of aspects such as eating habits and exercising, mindset and outlook on life and how I'm learning to be more patient with myself and trusting my instincts more.

Going through week 1 and working on all of the above seemed at times overwhelming but I am so happy I'm doing this. I feel that I'm changing for the better and there is so much more each one of us can do to become a more authentic version of ourselves each and every day and therefore get closer and closer to our wildest dreams; and I'm not saying it's bad where I am now, all I'm saying is that once it gets comfortable you stop being as eager as you used to be when you first set your eyes on that goal or dream. I know I'll be a different person at the end of these 7 weeks, but it's not only the destination that interests me; I'm actually more interested and excited about the journey, the challenges, the happy moments and insights I'll gain into myself.

I don't think providing a structure will necessarily help as everyone's life and schedule is different, but if you are interested in working towards embodying a higher version of you, then try and incorporate the below as often as possible throughout your week and daily life. It takes a while to form new habits, but believe me the time you'll invest in yourself will change your life.

Since day one I've started exercising consistently; on Monday I went power walking for 30 mins in the evening and then did about 15 mins of stretching; on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday I ran between 2 km - 3.5 km in the evenings and also did stretching or yoga for about 15 mins. I took a break from running on Thursday because I was physically tired but I did a longer session of yoga. On Saturday morning I went for a walk and played tennis and today spent the day at the gym, swimming and relaxing in the sauna, steam room and also had a much needed massage :-) Even though I'm not exercising for hours each day, I can already tell the difference as I feel more energised, happier and glad that my body already started asking for my evening run; perhaps it is because it's not just the exercise I get out of it, but also the time to clear my mind and feel refreshed; I definitely sleep better!

As part of this "project", I've also started becoming more aware of what I eat or better said, how what I eat impacts on my body, energy levels and mood. I approximately check the total number of calories I have a day and depending on how active I am each day, I aim to eat less than 2000 kcal/day, and between 1400-1600 kcal, while getting in as many nutrients as possible. Some days have been great and I've actually seen the difference in how I felt and also on the scales, while other days I totally overdid it and felt the consequences (Saturday night, at a birthday party... happy birthday missy, love you loads xx). I had so much fun, but at the same time some moderation on my part would've helped! Doing more shots than needed and eating a chicken burger and fries at 2am totally pushed me two steps backwards! I've learnt now that listening to my body more is the key. I knew I won't feel great the next day and yet I didn't listen to my intuition; gym was a bit of a struggle today, but swimming, the steam room, sauna and massage definitely helped.

I must say that it felt like one of those cheat days when you're on a diet... first of all, I'm not on a diet as I generally eat healthy and pretty much anything, but instead of avoiding foods just because you're not meant to have them while on a diet, I'm actually eating anything but actively choosing foods that nourish my body and keep me full for longer rather than eating empty calories (for instance, I would rather have an avocado - about 160 kcal in a medium one and packed with nutrients such as potassium, B-vitamins and folic acid, than two slices of bread - multi-grain, about 140 kcal; this is just an example; I sometimes eat bread, but not every day as it doesn't make me feel good). I'm also just sharing my experience and not giving advice about what people should eat as everyone's unique, and our bodies tolerate foods differently. The idea is that I'm keeping an eye on the calories I have every day and therefore educating my body to eat not to feel full and tired but to feel nourished and energised.

Side note :-) I realise this post is very long, but I appreciate you reading this and supporting me on this journey and hopefully my experience will inspire you to get started too. As I'm talking about "the structure/steps" that this project entails in this post, the following weeks will be more of an update and insights into the week rather than the steps I'm taking. I'm also posting food, updates and insights on my Instagram stories @lorenne_blau.

As part of taking better care of myself, I also feel that it is very important to get in touch with my soul more, my feelings and instincts. As part of this project, I keep a gratitude journal... this could take any shape or form; you could keep a little notebook in your bag, where you jot down moments, things, events etc. you are thankful for, a note on your phone or a diary you keep by your bed and take time to fill with your thoughts and experiences in the morning or just before bed; there's no right or wrong way of doing it and the idea is that this helps bring our attention to moments in our daily life that we are grateful for and makes us aware of all the blessings in our lives. I very much believe that energy flows where attention goes and therefore focusing on positive, happy and fulfilling experiences will create more of them in our lives. I also incorporate mindfulness practices into my daily life, which allow me to become more aware of my body and mind, environment and those I interact with and most importantly help me live more in the now.

Also, if you read the intro post, you'll see that each week has a chakra assigned to it and week one was all about red and the root chakra. I've realised that my root chakra is overactive (based on physical symptoms and some of the beliefs assigned to this chakra), so I've worn something red each day to help balance my chakra and read affirmations related to this chakra as often as possible throughout the week (I set the image with the affirmations as a wallpaper on my phone so that whenever I look at my phone there is a reminder for me to read my affirmations and remind me of my journey and progress). If you're interested to find out more about chakras, then click here for an insightful blogpost (it helped me gain a better understanding of what happens when a chakra is not aligned and the importance of balancing these).

Overall, week one has been a great start and allowed me to challenge myself and at the same time to learn more about myself. I find it interesting to share my experience with you all; in a way terrifying as I'm being honest about the ups and downs I'm going through, but at the same time very exciting as I feel this is just the beginning.

ps: if you feel that you'd like to embody a higher version of you and don't know where to start, feel free to get in touch x email me or DM on Instagram, I'm happy to help; my advice is to be patient with yourself, you are already one step closer than you were before just by recognising that there's more to you than you allowed yourself to experience so far!

Photo by Ty Williams