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New year new you


New year new you

Want to reinvent yourself this year? We spoke to four experts in their fields to get their top tips on getting fit and losing weight, revamping your style, reducing stress, becoming more mindful and cleaning up your diet. Compiled by Leigh Robshaw.


By Cyndi O’Meara – Author and founder of Changing

A better way of eating isn’t a diet, it becomes a way of life. It will enhance your lifestyle, allowing you to stay active, and physically and mentally well, leading to a happier sense of self.

A common story I hear is people sticking to a diet for six weeks or so, losing some weight, and then going back to their old ways, believing that they won’t regain the weight. Delusion sets in, thinking that they can do the same thing and get a different result. People start a diet because, for the most part, they need to lose weight and they are in that predicament because of the food and lifestyle choices they have previously made. Therefore, going back to the old ways of eating means that the predicament will return.

There are two types of diets out there. The first is the quick-fix diet (such as the prepared-meal or meal-replacement diet). These do not educate about food. The second type of diet is a teaching diet, where you are asked to move away from any processed foods that you have been consuming, like white bread, margarine and other refined foods, towards a more real food diet. This kind of diet means you get back into the kitchen to feed and nourish yourself to heal any health and/or weight issues.

My advice for those trying to lose weight is to consider a supported lifestyle program like the Changing Habits Healthy Keto Way or Fat Loss Protocol. These strip back your food choices before slowly reintroducing foods. This allows you to understand if a specific food causes weight gain or illness, and to truly realise which foods heal and nourish your body.

Education is the key – changing habits and maintaining those new habits create lifelong change. When the higher brain is in control we make better decisions (as opposed to when the lower reptilian brain is in control and we make decisions based on survival, rather than thriving).

Stop blaming the diet and start taking responsibility for what you are consuming.



By Nikki Parkinson – Founder of fashion blog Styling You

Blanket style rules are disappearing from the world of fashion. Trends are no longer being set purely on the international (virtual) fashion catwalks. We are more likely to take our fashion cues from women around us – on Instagram and Pinterest, best friends and work colleagues.

No longer do we reach a certain age, only to be pigeonholed into wearing what our grandmothers did at our age. Thank goodness! What it took me a long time to understand was that life is made up of many ‘seasons’, if you like. And we might change as the seasons do. And that’s okay.

If you’re sitting at the start of 2021 after a year when you’ve fully embraced leisure wear (no judgement here), you might feel like you’re at the start of a new season. I certainly do.

Your style might not go back to pre-COVID times, but you might want to change things up a bit.

My surefire method for doing this comes with three easy steps:

  1. Spend quality time editing and de-cluttering your wardrobe. Pull everything out and only put back in pieces that make you feel fabulous when wearing them. Sentimental pieces can be boxed away.
  2. Do you have your wardrobe basics covered? That amazing pair of jeans? That perfect white tee? That little black dress? Your list of basics might differ from another, but if you make sure you have these wardrobe warrior pieces, the daily ‘what to wear’ question will never be stressful.
  3. Sprinkle your wardrobe with show-pony pieces. Clothing and accessories in different colours, textures and prints help to show your personality to the world. Choose wisely and they will give you immediate confidence boosts.

If you always come back to how you feel in an outfit, rather than following fashion rules or trends, then you’ll be better able to face whatever your day dishes up at you.



By Erin Lee – Founder of The Mindful Yoga School

One of the biggest reasons I hear, when people struggle to create a consistent yoga or meditation practice, is they think they’re too busy and that it’s going to take time away from all the other things they should be doing.

Yet so much of our ‘dis-ease’ in broader society is stress related, with the mind overworking and being lost in the world of so many things going on.

Mindful practices like yoga and meditation are wonderful antidotes for busyness. With consistent practise we can refocus and get back in control of our relationship with our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

We become less busy, yet more fulfilled and satisfied with our doing. In this way, mindful practices can actually help us to feel like we’re enjoying life more – even achieving more, and on a deeper level.

Author Dan Millman says, “Dream big, start small, and then connect the dots.”

Beginning a shorter, yet more frequent practice of yoga and/or meditation is the key to making a difference in your life sooner. A three-minute breathing space meditation, or a 15-minute yoga practice is all you need to begin with, and preferably at the beginning of each day. Set up a time for it in your calendar, just as you would with any other important appointment.

Those who opt for longer, hour-long practices when first starting may be quicker to lose motivation because not only will they find so many other activities to fill that hour with, it can also be very confronting when we first turn the attention inwards. We can uncover all sorts of ‘interesting’ sensations of constriction, long-held beliefs, unpleasant emotions and a very busy mind. Not the most enjoyable experience to begin with!

True mindfulness mastery is when you can carry the ‘less-busy’ and more calm, connected version of you out into everyday life – into your relationships, your work, and how you relate to life’s unfolding events – pleasant or unpleasant.

It can be a matter of only weeks, or even days before you’ll start noticing the ripple effect of your regular, shorter practice out into everyday life. Easing your way in with small yet consistent bites of time is the key to reaping the rewards sooner than you might imagine.



Motivational speaker and author Tony Robbins says most people ditch their New Year’s resolutions by February, so it’s better to set goals. “A goal is a series of calculated steps designed to help you achieve the resolution,” he writes. “By this definition, it may be more straightforward to think of goals as the planned-out process of achieving your resolution.” So, what’s the point of New Year’s resolutions? Mr Robbins says they create a result to focus your goal-setting on. “Goals, not resolutions, are the key to long-term growth and success. And the secret to setting compelling goals is knowing why it is you want what you want – finding purpose and meaning in your goals.”



By  – Bodybuilder and personal trainer

Goal number one when starting a fitness journey is knowing your why. Write it down so if you ever lose your way, you can go back to your why. When starting an exercise routine, you first must train to specificity. This simply means designing a plan specific to your goal.

So, if your goal is to be fit and improve your running, you would primarily focus on running. If your goal is to build muscle, then resistance training is a must for this to happen. If your goal is fat loss, then you will need a combination of resistance training and look at expending more energy daily by simply moving more. To lose fat, we need to burn more calories than we consume so we are in a caloric deficit, as it enables our body to burn more fat. Muscle controls our metabolism and that is the biggest key to fat loss and long-term weight management.

A great starting point with your nutrition is simply start by tuning up your diet. Less alcohol, drop the sugary drinks, have less butter and oils in your cooking, grill don’t fry. Simple changes to start will go a long way and this will create a calorie deficit alone and encourage fat loss.

Add in lean protein sources, lean meats, chicken, fish, turkey and eggs, along with great carbohydrate sources like fruits, grains, vegetables, rice, sweet potato and potatoes just to name a few. It is also essential we add unsaturated fats, like avocados, seeds, almonds, salmon and whole eggs, as these are great for our hormones, insulate us and help protect our vital organs.

You then can go another level and start by weighing your food and tracking what you eat using apps like MyFitnessPal. If you know your daily intake of calories, you then know that if you are not losing weight, you can make slight adjustments. A builder does not build a house without knowing his/her measurements, so it makes sense with fat loss to know your variables.

But the most important thing is that you enjoy the journey you choose. It’s way easier to stay motivated if you enjoy your chosen exercise. Always strive for progression over perfection. Look at improving and progressing on one new behaviour or exercise weekly. Start with just a few times a week and build the process up weekly. This will help build momentum at a steady consistent pace. Rome was not built in a day.

Lastly, switch your focus to your wins and the great things you achieved that week over what you felt didn’t go to plan. This is immensely powerful for motivation moving forward.


Leigh Robshaw is a journalist who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years. Originally from Sydney, she has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Latin America. She joined the team in 2012 and is MWP's deputy editor. Writing, reading and travel are her greatest passions.

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