5 Tips if You’re Tired All The Time

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Ok so if you follow me on instagram, if not, why not? @chlohodgkinson then you’d know that I’ve been a bit up and down for the whole year so far. It’s actually really common this time of year, at the start of the year I mean with the weather being colder etc and illnesses going around but I thought I’d do some research in to to try sort myself out. With the nights getting lighter and the weather getting warmer, if you’re still feeling tired here’s what i tried and what then happened…

  1. I increased my warm foods. 

Illnesses and colds etc thrive in colder environments hence the increase of colds in winter months. Drinking warming drinks (a personal fave is hot almond milk) and warming foods like root vegetables and soups can help reduce the amount the bad bacteria thriving… buzzing.

  1. Prioritise sleep

Don’t be ashamed to go to bed really early if you need it. Watch the TV programme on catch up and embrace what your body needs. I went through a week period of being asleep before 9, my body clearly needed it. 

  1. Increased calories

When feeling energy depleted, food is the stuff that gives us the energy so I increased my calories to help my body along. 

  1. Keep exercising but reducing intensity 

Intense exercise can be really stressful on the body. I dropped the intensity of my workouts and opted for longer walks instead. 

  1. Check Deficiencies & intolerances

You may or may not have seen that when I eat oats they make me sleepy. That seems to be the case for a lot of grains unfortunately *glances at the packet of over priced rye bread I no longer can eat* … knowing what foods make you feel great and others that don’t can really help your energy levels. I know to avoid oats first thing in the morning but things like bananas pre workout make me feel amazing. 

I’d also recommend seeing if you have a deficiency somewhere, things like anaemia can cause low energy caused by low iron. 

I’d love to know how you keep your energy levels up, I’ve also added in my favourite products that help me with the all the points above.

Wishing you all the energy in the world

Chlo xxx

Dear Body, I’m Sorry

Dear Body, im sorry.

 

It’s been a few years now, a few years since we’ve been out of the darkest bits… but really about 11 months since I made the decision that enough was enough and you deserved to be put first. 11 months now since I decided that you mattered more than what society told my mind you should be. 11 months now since I started to take back control. 11 months since I guess you can say you’ve been allowed to be the best you. To live, to laugh and to love. But this is the first time I’m saying the words I should have said a while a go… and that’s that I’m sorry. Truly, deeply sorry.

 

I’m sorry for the times that I thought the less I ate the more weight I lost and the better you’d be. I know now that just makes you just go into survival and starvation mode where you will stop all unnecessary cell growth in a bid to keep me alive. I’m sorry that in my constant restricting of calories that you had no choice but to work even harder to keep me alive rather than give me the body I so desperately wished I had when I looked in the mirror. I’m sorry for all the diets that caused me to restrict you from the nutrients you need – You know, the no fat, no sugar, no carbs.. that cabbage soup one when i was 17?

 

Remember throughout my 1st year at uni and my time at uni?

I had you on 3 eggs, chicken and a handful of spinach.. you were allowed 10 raisins and 10 almonds before the gym and chicken and veg for dinner. Endless amounts of black coffee, you were on 4/5 Americanos and you were allowed 2 naps a day. Only now do I know that the coffee and the naps were because you had no energy to keep me moving. You did everything you could to stop me moving and I did everything I could to keep you going.

 

I forced you to move over 10,000 steps a day and if I didn’t I would drag you outside come rain or shine until you did. I forced you to never miss a gym session no matter how busy, how ill or how inconvenient for my friends or family. I would force you to miss time with family to make you run off those calories you ate, miss meals out with friends unless you could have chicken and veg and miss out on delicious deserts you were so badly craving in a bid to get abs. But the abs never came did they? Because you didn’t even have enough energy to keep me awake for the whole day, let alone build muscle.

 

I’m sorry for the time I gave you so much protein in a bid ‘to gain muscle’ through eggs every day, protein shakes, lots of low fat dairy and lots of meat. I’m sorry that you now cant process dairy and you have difficulty digesting foods now. I’m sorry you’re now so sensitive and the gut is now easily irritated because I was so convinced that fats and carbs were bad.

 

I’m sorry that the lack of carbs and fats meant you couldn’t function to give me my period, to keep my mood ok and my hormones balanced. I’m sorry you had to run on adrenaline and caffeine just to keep going.

 

I’m sorry that I blamed you every time I looked in the mirror that you weren’t the way I wanted you to look. The dull skin, hair falling out and brittle nails, I blamed you for not giving me what I wanted to see when I looked in the mirror – only now do I realise the lack of micronutrients from fruit and veg caused this, the lack of calories caused this and the lack of carbs for energy and fats for hormones caused this. I’m sorry that when I got so sick of not seeing what I wanted I would force you to consume endless amounts of chocolate and alcohol on a binge and then moan when I took ages to recover simple because you struggled to process the sudden binge.

 

I’m sorry for the lack of rest, for forcing you to complete high intensity workouts putting you under more stress. I’m sorry for focusing on calorie burn rather than celebrating your ability to move or your strength. I think cortisol, the stress hormone was most present leading you to not being able to switch off. I’m sorry that because of this waking up 3/4 times in the night was normal, jumping out of bed at 5am was normal pumped, wired and ready to go on adrenaline was normal, that the grinding of teeth was normal and the inability to switch off the mind was normal.

 

I’m sorry for the aches and pains you had to try get me to slow down and I’m sorry for ignoring them. I’m sorry for never stretching and looking after the muscles. I’m sorry for telling you if you weren’t sweating or out of breathe to do it again and for only being fueled by caffeine to complete such massive workouts.

 

I’m sorry that because of the lack of fuel you were always cold, right down to the bones. No amount of jumpers helped did it? Every day you were colder than the day before, every day you were fed less and if you went to bed growling at me with hunger then that was an accomplishment.

 

I’m sorry to you for making these choices and I’m sorry to my mind for making for the thoughts I had. I’m sorry to my mind and body for allowing myself to follow a stream of diet pages, promoting ways to eat less and move more. I’m sorry for the ruthless quotes saved on my phone, the endless ‘fitspos’ saved as my screen saver and the endless comparing to everyone on social media. I’m sorry for never letting you rest or switch off from the thoughts of food and calories. For constantly forcing you to think where and when your next bit of food will be, how you will enjoy something sweet without the calories and forcing you to look at pictures of food but never enjoying them. I’m sorry for every time I looked in the mirror the words I used to call you and I’m sorry for making you pretend everything was ok to everyone that loved you.

 

I’m sorry that it’s only now that I’m ready to say sorry and that while I can look back at my uni years and notice all the things that I did to you. I want you to know that now I am focusing on energy – no energy? That’s fine, lets rest you, feed you or hydrate you.

 

I want you to know that the thoughts and how I feel are my main priority – feeling low in self confidence? Remember what we’ve achieved and been through so far and my purpose in this life.

 

Comparing bodies with other girls? I promise to check I’m following only positive people on social media, to remember everyone is beautiful and accept you for you.

 

What about when it comes to fitness? I want to celebrate you, push you to become better at things and challenge you – but never completely exhaust you that you have to stop my period again.

 

Nutrition? I promise to listen you about what you need. Need carbs, sure hun. Extra calories because you’ve practicing #ProjectBecomeGoodAtShit? Absolutely. Want that desert? If it’s got dairy in we still need to be careful but if it’s without and you really want it, no worries.

 

That bottle of wine? Enjoy it and I’ll just give you some extra gut health support because although you might not accept it in every way… I know now that memories mean more than inches. That you mean more than the mirror. That your strength means more than the abs. That your thoughts mean more that your clothing size and that you mean more to me than what society tells us to be through that shitty diet culture that’s rammed down our throat every single damn day.

 

Dear body, I’m truly sorry and I promise to use you and your shitty experience to make a change to young girls and females. I promise to show the world how you are now you have the energy and I promise to use my experiences on how I used to treat you to create a bigger awareness of how the ‘healthy one’ might need a little help and guidance. That the one into fitness may be fighting a battle no one knows about and why fitspo might not be that inspiring after all.

 

Let’s make a change but this time together, not against each other.

 

Chlo xxxxx

 

Don’t forget to come say on Instagram, im currently on #ProjectBecomeGoodAtShit & #ProjectHealthyAdventurer – @chlohodgkinson 

 

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#ProjectHealthyAdventurer – The Spa You Need To Visit – Beyond Escapes UK

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So if you don’t know by now I’m working incredibly hard on 2 projects… #ProjectBecomeGoodAtShit and #ProjectHealthyAdventurer and I guess you could argue that the following hits both of these projects kinda well.

Last Thursday I was invited to head down to Beyond Escapes near Totnes to experience the BE Relaxed package at their BE You Spa and Gym. Now, they weren’t lying when they call it relax – having been back in the UK for less than 48hrs and jet lag hitting me hard, this kind of evening was exactly what I needed. I’m attempting to become more relaxed (#ProjectBecomeGoodAtShit) and I’m wanting to do as much exploring as possible (#ProjectHealthyAdventurer.)

We were welcomed by a stunning old building next to a beautiful modern spa, both complimenting each other and the countryside setting. We were taken down to the spa and greeted with robes, slippers and that clean, fresh spa smell – yano the type that relaxes you just by breathing?

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I wanted to experience everything at Beyond Escapes, so much to mum’s disappointment I took her, myself and my new Daisy & Co. outfit into their gym that looked out across the incredible views of the countryside and onto the sea. The gym was cosy and had everything you needed for a good circuit workout. A quick sweat and mum and I were both ready to chill.. I mean I do have jet lag after all.

We were so lucky with the gorg autumn weather because we slipped into the hydropool. Did you know that these types of pools help reduce muscle pain and tightness, and help relieve stress while boosting the immune system?

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Anyway…. we chatted about my trip to Australia and my future plans. If you know me, I’m someone that loves to be working on something, heading towards something and I love to be focused. So we chatted and laughed until mum decided it was time to steam and sauna.

 The sauna and steam rooms has my skin in a little tizz of excitement. Australia and the flights made me have really bad blocked pores, especially hormonal ones so a good 10 mins each and we were hot, sweaty and very smug about how nice this will make our skin. I’m going to try make steam and saunas a more regular thing. 6pm came and we headed upstairs for our Lava Shells Relax Massage and sweet Jesus, I’m 90% sure mum and I got put into a coma.

Now, I´m quite the serial massage receiver (if that’s even a thing) and I’ve been through my fair share of being beaten up, tickled and a few have actually been OK – much to the girls’ amusement when we were chatting after the massage. These hot shells were used across my body sending me into deep relaxation and my mum snoring… although she will prob deny this. The girls went on to explain how the shells promote circulation and the importance of getting enough water because it flushes out toxins – exactly what I needed post flight.

The package also came with £10 off any Elemis product, I purchased the lavender toner – a spray that is good for hydrating the skin and great for breakouts too. Along with the steam room this brought out all of my blocked pores and my skin is clearing up amazingly. It feels so nice on my skin and that lavender smell is unreal.

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Heading back to the gorgeous changing rooms we went upstairs for dinner in the BE Tempted Restaurant. It was quiet and extremely personal, the staff were genuinely lush and the salmon dinner I had? Even better. With this package you get a 2 course meal and as I´m more of a starter and main girl, I went for the calamari and salmon… I was so so full but they couldn’t let us leave until we had at least tried the brownie. I was like huh? As they brought out the sample size… as I took a bite I knew exactly what they meant, it was absolutely gorgeous and I wish I was joking but I think next time I go I´m going to have to pay the extra and attempt all 3 courses…. Man vs food coming up. They change their menus seasonally and often have specials too, like the World Vegan Day menu which will be available from 1st– 7thNovember.

Like I said I was lucky enough to be invited to this experience but this was genuinely one of the best spa experiences I ever had and genuinely can´t wait to head back. I’m really interested in trying their other packages, like the morning or afternoon one… You can see what they have on offer here.

They currently have some Mani-Mondays offers and also their Friday Facial which you can see more of here too.

If you want to see more about my evening with Beyond Escapes I’ve also vlogged it which you can see here…

Lots of love

Chlo

www.beyondescapes.co.uk

@beyondescapesuk

 

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Why I Lost My Period – #ProjectP

periodquote1.pngAhhh the dreaded thing that comes round every month. That thing every girl dreads (and often boyfriend ha). The thing the causes nothing my stress and havoc. That thing that I wanted more than ever.

It was a running joke with my friends that I was probably one of the very few desperate to have a period. I was so desperate in fact that I started #ProjectP on my Instagram, a way of documenting my journey and actually talking about it.

You see, what you guys may not know is having a period is actually really really bad for a female. A humans roll is to reproduce, a female’s roll is to give birth, if you aren’t on any contraception and you’re not having a period it means your body isn’t healthy enough for you to do your primary job as a human. It means your body isn’t healthy enough to allow you to have children. Your body will stop you having periods and stop your ability to have kids in order to keep you alive. Savage.

Or is it? Some may be buzzing about not having a period and not having kids but not having a period genuinely suggests that there is some serious issues going on inside us. Not having a period can destroy our hormones, weaken our bones and even increase your rick of cancer… now that’s savage.

Anyway, so I lost it. I was diagnosed with secondary amenorrhea.  We don’t quite know when it went because I was on the mini pill where It stopped me having a period all together – my doc predicts from my previous years of training and then eating habits that it could have been some time. When looking back and looking at my behaviour and actions, I think I could have lost it in my first year of uni, about 4 years a go maybe.

I think I went through a period lol pardon the pun of changing my pill quite a bit last year (I wont go into why I was changing it, I’ll save it for another post in this series) and my doc thinks that constant change in hormones wouldn’t have helped anything.

I came off the pill in December after a break up and deciding a) I no longer needed it (lol soz mum n dad) b) I had been on it since I was 15 and was sick of putting artificial hormones in my body c) I went through a stage of independent woman, don’t need no artificial hormones paha… anyway, it never came back. Until last week.

There are a few things you may not know about me.. like for example I’m really into healthy eating and training. Lol, I hate myself too. Anyway here are few reasons about why I think I lost my period – we don’t know the exact answer as it came back without any tests from the doctor until recently but from reading books like No Period, Now What? And spending my evenings researching amenorrhea here’s why:

 

  • I was constantly stressed – I was always on the go, never stopped.
  • I was constantly caffeine-d up – I’ll take a black first thing, an almond milk capp after the gym… oh and one mid afternoon plz.
  • I under ate – I went through a time of eating 1000 calories which is when I think I lost it, I then upped it to eating about 2000 calories, but with how active I was and how much muscle I have… it still wasn’t enough.
  • I over trained – 7 days a week of HIIT. Doh.
  • I avoided starchy carbs – Carbs were the only thing that made me fat.. lol doh. (not true FYI)
  • I never rested … lol doh.
  • I didn’t eat much fat – always been a fan of nut butter, but that’s kinda it.

 

All of these were contributing factors and basically the ideal recipe your body needs to lose a period.

I’m so excited to share this #ProjectP series with you guys and hope it gives you some info about the importance of your monthly cycle as well as helping you maintain real health on your fitness journey.

Chlo xxx

A Moment with Gregg Wallace, on children’s health.

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We’ve seen him on Eat Well for Less changing people’s lives on how to enjoy healthy foods in a cheaper way, you may have also seen his 3 stone weight loss which he did by swapping his meals to be done with lean meats e.g lean mince chilli as a way to slash the calories but still enjoy his favourite meals… I chatted to Gregg Wallace about his thoughts on children’s health…

1) What were your main reasons for wanting to work with children in these books? 

I myself didn’t have a great upbringing and I became a single parent 15 years ago.  I wanted to help.

2) In your opinion, how do we get children actively being healthier? 

I would like to see a small percentage of school time dedicated to cooking and nutrition and more encouragement into sport. 

3) What do you think, are the barriers 6-18year olds face with cooking & being healthy?

The barriers are obviously what is going on at home.  Filming Eat Well for Less has made me realise there is a chronic shortage of basic cookery skill.

Like The Body Coach, healthy kids is a big passion of mine. I don’t want the young kids to have to go through the mistakes I did (more on this to come), I also don’t want kids growing up being completely unaware of how food can make them feel and what can be done to make them feel their very very best – to me I want food to be celebrated to make us feel amazing rather than labelled as ‘healthy’ more labelled as ‘energy’ … anyway I could ramble on about this all day but there are some key things I wanted to share that I’ve read and heard from other parents thathelp them keep their kids healthy….

  • Watch caffeine and sugar. This pays havoc on their hormones and their moods. Give them sugar and caffeine (diet coke etc) and they will have a huge spike in craziness and then a massive drop making them feel exhausted and prob moody… win win if we can manage this one.
  • Keep them hydrated. Our brain often confuses hunger with thirst – monitor how much they are drinking and make sure they are having enough.
  • Get cooking & get the kids cooking too. Playing a game of how many colours you can get on a plate makes the meal times more exciting, it gets them involved and educates them at the same time. Encouraging the kids to help make dinner could also encourage the whole family to eat a diverse range of meals and foods – kids get bored easily, so wont want to make the same meal over and over! Gregg has also released a cook book for kids by kids…you can buy here….

Personally for me, I think we should just get children as active as possible while watching the amount of sugar and processed foods we eat. I don’t think we should fuss about calories or make a big deal out of it because I think that can lead to other issues like becoming eating disorders or body confidence – allow kids to have treats but make them treats, I don’t believe processed or high sugary foods should be a staple in a diet, but if they have them more often then just get them moving to use the energy? I dunno maybe im wrong and maybe as im not a parent it’s easier for me to say the answer … either way, it’s a big passion of mine to make it easier for teenagers and children to make better choices because they want too.

 

How do you think we tackle getting kids healthy?

 

Chlo xxxx

 

 

Healthy Hacks for the Office

arnel-hasanovic-375269-unsplash.jpgOne of my most asked questions is how i’m coping from going from a full time personal trainer to a full time office worker. I’m hoping to film a full vlog for this but I thought i’d share with you some healthy hacks…

/ Get walking on your lunch break

I was used to being on my feet all day everyday and although it’s nice to sit down now I do get itchy feet… so I head out at lunch to help clear my head & get my movement up for the day.

/ Stay hydrated

This is the one hack I’m actually loving – i’ve started using a smaller water bottle and i leave the top off it so i can easily swig at it. From having a smaller bottle it encourages me to get up from my desk to fill it up. The smaller bottle also makes it easier to carry to and from the office and is a lot better for the environment and my health from carrying an Evian or a big 2l one around and then changing it every few days.

I’m loving this BPA free one Ion8 Leak Proof bottle from amazon. This one is designed for your workouts too so ideal if you’re a gym head like me!

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If you’re more of the bottled water type person or prefer the whole filtered shizzz… you can get the purest of water with the ZeroWater 7-cup which combines 5 technologies that work together to remove virtually all dissolved solids from your water and removes 99% of all fluoride from the water.

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Buy yours here

/ Be prepared

When you get in from work it may be tempting to just sit on the sofa, but preparing yourself for the next day will make the next morning so much easier. I pack my gym bag and sort out all of my food so when I get to office i’m not left unprepared and then having to go to the vending machine.

/ Gym in the morning

I dunno about you but my office gets so bloody hot in the afternoon that by 5:30pm im exhausted. I tend to have clients in the evening sometimes so getting my workout done in the morning means it’s out the way and I dont have to worry about it.

/ Pack ya snacks

I’ve become a right snacker at my desk so I opt for lower impact foods (less calories) like making a mix of bran sticks / berries / granola or having things like veggie sticks to snack on.

I hope these help! Will update you when i’ve found some more I can share with you!

 

Chlo xx

 

 

Reasons You Might Not Be Losing Fat

 

Feel like your constantly trying to shift fat? You’re probably not alone but i’ve been doing some research for you guys & here are the top reasons you might not be losing the fat that you’re wanting….

  • Estimating portions wrong

This is a huge one because although you may not be eating loads and loads. So many of us are really unaware about the portion sizes and calories can creep up without us realising. For example a table spoon of nut butter may not seem a lot but it could be 200 cals+, same with the amount of olive oil you drizzle on your salad to increase healthy fats. I would never ever say to cut out these foods or to opt for lower cal foods as they have so many benefits for the body but I really would recommend weighing out your foods & investing in some scales to keep portions reasonable.

Try this as a guideline:

Meat & protein: Palm Size

Starchy Carbs : Size of clenched fist

Green Veggies: 2 hand cups

Fats: Thumb

  • More common – not eating enough!

This is actually one that so many ladies come to me with. Serial dieters suffer from this because we are constantly told from the media to eat less & move more. However, the issue is that this often leads to us undereating drastically what our body needs so instead of losing fat our body with stop losing the fat to survive & stop cell growth from this like hair, nails and giving us lovely skin. I recommend getting a professional to help you work out the amount of food you should be eating – holla if you need some help!

  • You’re Way too stressed

Increased levels of cortisol (stress hormone) is said to lead to weight gain while more research suggests that those who have less than 6 hours sleep at have higher levels of grehlin the hormone that stimulates hunger! If you’re feeling quite stressed I recommend a bath, turning your phone off & getting some early shut eye – not possible? Try practising some yoga or going for a walk instead of your usual weights/HIIT session.

  • Don’t Eat Enough protein

Protein is not only the building blocks of our muscles but can help speed up metabolism and keep us fuller for longer. Try going for 1-1.3g of protein per kg of body weight & if you’re really active increase it more. Guidelines suggest 30% of your diet to become from protein.

  • Relying on Gym sessions

Staying active through out the day is so important to help calorie burn, it will be less strain on your body & will go nicely with your high intensity workouts. Don’t rely just on that hour in the gym, get up from your desk as much as you can to get some steps in. I recommend investing in a Fitbit or similar to keep your steps up![amazon_link asins=’B019VM3CPW,B06X9K4V7Y,B01LW2TH3Y’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’hlohodgkinson-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’0d68e437-f9ee-11e7-aa3b-a5be7356686b’]

 

 

Do you have any tips?

Love Chlo xxx