Why you should be meditating in 2018

Meditation isn’t just for yoga mums and monks.

Seriously, meditation is for everyone. The act of meditation is essentially training to be more mindful and mindfulness helps you be fully present in the moment and not worrying about the past or the future. It is unique. It is unique to you. As a practitioner you get to choose how you meditate and its completely special to you. Your method might work for you but they wont for somebody else and thats ok. The practice comes in many forms: Mindful meditation which I do and Transcendental Meditation (TM) which I also do from time to time. TM is where you repeat mantras to yourself in life.

A perfect app for this would be Headspace. It combines both mindfulness exercises and meditation. It prompts you each day and can take as little as 10 minutes each day. All you have to do is sit back and relax. There is an abundance of resources out there for you to use as guidance when your just starting out.

But why should you add meditation into your life?

Oprah does it and so should you – since oprah encouraged meditating as a practice into her workplace she said “People who used to have migraines, don’t. People are sleeping better. People have better relationships. People interact with other people better. It’s been fantastic.”

It makes you happier – Think about it. What’s better than a clear mind free of any troubles or doubts? Meditating and mindfulness techniques are a pathway of self- healing and they help to ground you more, making you more connected to the world around you and to yourself. It improves all kinds of relationships.

It reduces stress and anxiety – Anxiety currently affects 1 in 14 people worldwide. The aim of meditation is ultimately to have a silent mind. Sounds like a dream right. Through meditation you learn to think of your thoughts as separate from yourself. That way you can throw away these thoughts when they jumble through your mind. We all face stress in our lives and a lot of it is unnecessary. When meditating you gain more control over your body, mind and your emotions.

It helps you focus –  A clear mind makes you more productive. It not only helps improve your focus but it helps improve your concentration and your memory too. Meditation is a discipline in itself and so when you are faced with a task this self discipline helps you focus more on the task at hand.

It improves your sleep – It has been proven that it does indeed help with insomnia. Meditation enters you into a state where you are fully relaxed and content, allowing for a better night’s sleep.

It’s free –  You can do this anywhere and everywhere at any time of the day. I like to do it of a morning or late at night before sleep.

Meditation helps you gain control of your life and that’s why you should be meditating in 2018.

Fabrizio Verrecchia

 

Weight Gain: My Story, My Struggle, My Size

Weight – No matter what age you are, this is something we ALL struggle with. Even saying the word weight has negative connotations with it. My struggle happens to be weight gain. It’s alien to me and always has been.

I’m one of those people who’s mantra when it comes to my weight is “I eat so much crap yet never seem to put any weight on” much to people’s envy this is sadly true.

For the most part of my life anyways.

Since the age of 14, I’ve always been under 9 stone or slightly above. My eating habits have never been right – I’m a big snacker. I could easily get through the day on cups of tea, biscuits, toast and tea (dinner for those who call it dinner). Through high school I almost never had breakfast and I was lucky if I ever bought myself lunch. I was just never hungry or so I was telling myself I wasn’t. Instead I’d opt for a flapjack or I’d ‘treat’ myself to ‘Chicken Burger Friday’ – that was a requirement.

Now though, I realise the error in my ways. I physically and mentally just cannot survive on that routine anymore. I’ve been depriving myself for years, even if I didn’t know it at the time. I think for a part of my life I had some form of eating disorder subconsciously. All of that has to STOP.

My weight last year

After travelling SE Asia, I came back home a stone lighter than what I originally was. This freaked me out. I started in September with the mindset to get fit, healthy and stronger and this included a much overdue weight gain. To achieve this, it meant that I had to put myself on a calorie surplus diet.

So what is a calorie surplus???

Often hitting 3000 calories as a target a day. Some days this just wasnt possible and I was naughty by not sticking to my plan. I joined the gym and started seeing improvements, however, by the end of October I had manage to get closer to the 10 stone mark and keep the weight on – a FIRST ever!!!

Throughout November I was involved in a touring project Seussical and sadly I wasn’t looking after myself as well as I should have. Meaning that I had lost a few pounds in the process. I felt deflated however I was still above 9 stone so that was the main thing.

My weight in 2018

I’m setting myself a challenge: By the end of 2018 I will be 11 stone. That is my ideal weight.

As part of my resolutions I’m going to be prioritising my meals a lot more and making sure I’m getting the right types of food. I will be gymming more and with the addition of my flat mate, Brendan, on the same journey as me I’m sure I’ll be a lot more motivated to actually make this happen.

I believe in myself.

Weight-jan-2018

Weight will be a series of progress pics and posts on my journey to a stronger and healthier George in 2018.

Jennifer Burk

What is a Calorie Surplus?

In essence a calorie surplus is a way of effectively consuming more calories than you naturally burn. Thus leading to weight gain in the form of muscle or body fat. A calorie surplus is required if you ant to gain weight. To gain muscle you must be training equally as rigorous.

What is a calorie surplus? – The maths

As stated above, a calorie surplus is a way of consuming more calories than you normally would burn. If you eat 3,000 calories each day and burn 2,500, you’ve created a surplus of 500 calories each day. This is then transferred into muscle or body fat depending on your exercise routine.

Gaining weight requires a consistent weight surplus. It’s through consistency that you see results.

What is body fat?

Everybody has it. Our body stores energy as body fat. Especially when you’re on an excessive calorie surplus. Muscle growth is limited to approximately 10-15 pounds a year so anything over this gets stored by the body as fat. If you’re gaining fat as opposed to muscle then you’re probably eating too much. Keeping your surplus at a moderate level (500 excess calories above how much you burn eg. 3000 calories for every 2500 burnt) will help resolve this issue.

Healthy ways to create a calorie surplus

While it remains true that a larger calorie surplus leads to faster weight gain, that doesn’t mean you should be eating anything and everything you can get your hands on. Be smart about it and make the right choices.

You should be eating foods that are high in complex carbs, lean proteins and unsaturated fats: 100% whole wheat bread/pasta, brown rice, chicken, turkey, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, low fat/fat free dairy products and vegetable oils (particularly extra virgin olive oil).

You should be avoiding foods high in simple carbs, sugars and saturated/trans fats: fruit juice, soda, doughnuts, muffins, candy, potato chips and white bread (refined flour).

 

 

My 2018 New Years Resolutions

Setting goals and resolutions in 2018 couldn’t be easier with my last post.

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen countless posts about how 2017 was the worst year in people’s entire existence but fortunately that wasn’t the case for me. Call me lucky I guess. I had an abundance of happiness in 2017 and my life was one big adventure. I travelled far and wide from Amsterdam to Cambodia, Vietnam to Berlin. The world was my oyster. Like any year I had my ups and downs and so after reflecting on last year I’ve set these goals and resolutions to help me get that one step closer to my dream.

2018 Resolutions

Drink more water

Water is the best thing for your body and even with knowing this I still don’t  drink enough of it. My ideal aim is 3 litres a day – I’ll be pissing for Britain in no time.

Wake up earlier

I’m the worst when it comes to sleeping. Like water, I never get enough of the crucial z’s. Due to the nature of my course I need to be energised  day and an active participator at all time throughout my day and in the last year I’ve found that sometimes my sleep patterns have prohibited me from doing so.

But no more, this year I’m going to make it a personal aim to be in bed by 11pm each night hoping to get that to 10:30pm by June. This means that I can wake up earlier and get a more proficient morning routine from 6:30am onwards. I’ve figured out that my body responds best to 7/7.5 hours sleep each night.

PRIORITISe MY MEALS ESPECIALLY BREAKFAST

After losing a lot of weight when travelling I went on a bit of a gain phase and it worked out really well up until my show when I lost the weight again. But on the plus side I still didn’t fall back to the weight I used to be. So this year I’m going to be prioritising my meals further. I’m going to make a conscious effort to not skip breakfast due to lack of time.

Live simpler

2017 was a year of impulsive buys and while I do believe in treating myself every now and then, I did take it to the extremes last year. It’s even the 3 costa coffees I’d have each week at lunch. They can be left in 2017. Instead, I will limit my costa spending and drink tea because let’s face it tea is better anyways. I will also be using Yolt to keep track of my finances this year.

REDUCE TO 1 SUGAR IN TEA

I usually take 2 but this ones more for my health.

sobriety

To be quite honest with you I’m aabsolutely sick of the headaches I get after a drunken night out. It’s lead me to be counter productive on my weekends and I just can’t be bothered feeling grim anymore. So I’ve decided to give my liver a detox and a well-earned break from alcohol for the foreseeable future.

Make time for reading

With my busy schedule I find it hard to read as much as I would like to. However I’m at my most contented ness when I’m reading and the joy of turning a page or getting to the end of a chapter is what I live for. So I’m setting myself a challenge: I want to read at least 1 book every 3 months. That way I have plenty of time to read and possibly even more dependent on my schedule.

relearn spanish

I’ve been meaning to do this for quite some time now. I love the language and I’d love to be able to say ‘I know spanish’ or converse fluently. It’s just something I’m keen on.

Gym more

I’ve got my membership and I do use it, I’d just like to use it more often in order to reach my own body goals. In case you’re womdering that’s over 10 stone, fit, strong and healthy.

Finish writing my play

I started writing a play and I’m eager to finish it this year. Hopefully, I’ll submit it to a panel to get it workshopped in terms of the writing and then who knows maybe I’ll be Britain’s best new playwright 2018. A boy can dream.

write more

I think that’s every writer’s goal right? This year I’m going to continue blogging and taking you on my journey. A big part of me wants to dabble in journalism and magazine editing so I’m hoping that I’ll actually get started on that this year. I’ve also bought myself a journal ‘Q&Aa day for 5 years’ so it looks like this one will be on my goals every year for the next 5.

And finally, the same as every year:

Know my worth!

What are your resolutions for this year? Tell me in the comments below.

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