My #LTADARESU Challenge

Thursday 29 May 2014

Hi Dolls

You may already be aware of an amazing blog called Letters to Antoinette. If not, I urge you to check it out. Its endlessly inspiring, poetically written and beautifully shot by a wonderful lady called, surprise surprise, Antoinette. She is basically everything I have always wanted to be – stylish, petite and beautiful on the inside and the outside.

I always find her posts very moving, as they frequently inspire me to think about situations in my own life and re-evaluate how I feel and what I could do differently.

 Anyway, Antoinette writes posts about her healthy lifestyle, and a while ago I decided to tweet her and ask if she had any tips for motivation. I must confess I’m a little stuck in a rut at the moment - wishing to make changes and become more healthy, but seeming to lack the spark to get started. I know the will to change has to come from within and although I want to do it and can see all the positives, something has been holding me back. Antoinette seems like the kind of motivated person that I would wish to be.

She responded with a brilliant post, full of intriguing thoughts and actual practical advice. But better than that – she’s also set us a challenge! Her challenge is for us to set ourselves a healthy living goal and follow through. She herself has chosen to get a six pack and will also be updating us on her progress. The challenge runs until August 1st, so between now and then we have to make the change and track our journey.

This got me thinking about my own wellbeing and healthy lifestyle goals and I came up with the following plan. This forms the basis of my challenge and is what I will be benchmarking against

My #LTADARESU Challenge 

My overall goal is to make clean living changes with the ultimate idea of dropping a dress size in time for August – I go on holiday in September so the time frame is perfect for me. To achieve this, I’ve thought a lot about areas of weakness that I know are my Achilles heels and always sabotage my efforts and this plan is a response to that.

1. Make time to exercise for at least 40 minutes each day

I want to experience the feeling of being consistently fit and health. I can be very on and off with my fitness -  sometimes I make it a priority and other times I find every excuse under the sun, usually ‘I’m too busy’ or ‘I’m too tired’.

But guess what? Antoinette points out that you need to make your health the first priority, because everything else comes from that. I need to realise that if I’m too ‘tired’, I should be exercising more, because its actually that which raises my energy levels and makes me feel better. If I feel sluggish about going to the gym or running, its usually because I’ve slacked off for a few days. Exercising is a source of energy, not a drain. I need to realise this.

The second part about not having time – aren’t we all insanely busy these days? I’m going to get round this by making the exercise an integral part of my day. I’m going to be running home from work, walking in to the office in the morning, and leaving the car at home as much as possible. When exercise becomes a part of your day, its impossible to skip it.

I’m also going to interval train and lift weights at the gym (proper ones, not girly ones!) to make sure I’m getting the most out of my workouts. I also be doing some strength training at home in the morning to improve my muscle tone -  simple things like squats, wall sits and push-ups.

2. Return to intermittent fasting

Last year, I read about intermittent fasting and I gave it a go for about a month. And you know what? At times it was tough, but it really worked for me. It reduced my sugar cravings, gave me more energy and a clearer head and really made me think, for the first time, about what I was putting into my mouth and why. But then I went on holiday, dropped it and never picked it back up again.

The benefits of this mode of eating are enormous- after all, its how human eating patterns originally were way back when. It encourages your body to stop burning carbs for energy and burn fat instead by metabolising your glycogen stores. It also helps to normalise insulin levels – and as my father has diabetes, that is something I worry about. And it lowers triglyceride levels, which can improve memory function.

I found I was less inclined to go crazy on non-fasting days as having the time in between gave me some perspective. So, I’m going to be adopting this lifestyle again.

3. Avoid the office sugar trap

The office I work in is constantly covered in cakes, cookies, biscuits, leftover buffets, you name it.

And it can be so hard to ignore all the treats on offer and stay on the straight and narrow, especially if you’re having a low blood sugar moment at 4pm and your willpower is crumbling! And this is often my downfall. I’ll make the choice to have healthy meals but then ruin it all by falling prey to the sugar trap in the office.

So my challenge in this respect will be to learn to turn down the food circulating the office and say no – recognise that it isn’t as important as my health goals and won’t get me to where I want to be.

4. Get those litres in and give up the fizzy drinks

I know this is a really obvious one, but its one I just find really hard to break. I hardly drink any water during the day, and as we all know when we are dehydrated we get tired and irritable and think we are hungry.

This goal has particular importance for me because I have weak kidneys, I’ve suffered from kidney stones and all kinds of problems before and I know that medically its so important for me to up my water intake. But for some reason I just stuggle with it and I think that reason is just because I’m not in the habit of it.

So, I’m going to make sure to keep a 2 litre bottle of water on my desk and drink it every day. I will even download an app that reminds me to drink more water. I think this will help with all my other goals as well, so it’s a good one to have.

And that is my #LTADARESU challenge in a nutshell. Wish me luck! Stay tuned here and on Twitter to see how I get on, I’ll b e posting regular updates. Good luck to everyone taking part in the challenge and remember – it starts now, tomorrow is not an option! Let’s do this thing.


  1. Good luck.

    Beware the feeder! They'll be someone at your office trying to sabotage. I'm dieting at the moment and people are always encouraging me to have a little bit of something.

    1. God, you are soooo right! People love to wave cake in front of your face - I think they're trying to share the guilt! x

  2. I've been trying something similar myself but am really lacking motivation. I have, like you, set myself a challenge goal but it's really, really hard to stick to a healthy regime! I'm not under pressure from office-ites but the family really seem to want to fatten me up. Good luck with your journey! Rosemary x

    1. It is hard, isnt it? Motivation really ebbs and flows with me! Hard to stick to it! I'm generally okay during the week but it all comes unstuck at the weekend! xx