Christmas 5 Day LBD challenge

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Tick, tock, tick, tock…

It’s just 4 WEEKS til Christmas – can you believe it?!

We spend so much time tut-tutting the early decorators, the Christmas ads in October, and the festive treats on supermarket shelves exactly one minute after midnight on Hallowe’en…

Then, all of a sudden, the office Christmas party is around the corner and you’re flinging outfits from your wardrobe to beat the band, looking for something sparkly but flattering, and wishing you hadn’t bought those 6 tins of Roses at the end of November “just in case”… (and had then accidentally opened and scoffed 5 of them because you had visitors…)

So I’ve devised a 5-day plan to get you Little Black Dress ready in time for the holiday season.

You’ll feel great in that LBD for Christmas, but even better than that… finishing the year fit, healthy & positive is a great gift to give yourself.

Day 1: Say “Yes” to the dress

Our first step might be the one that you will enjoy the most, and it will possibly involve some retail therapy 😀
If you already have a Little Black Dress that is hanging in the wardrobe, crying out to be worn with some killer heels, then I want you to do the following:

  • Root it out and get it cleaned – you want this dress to be your shining beacon of light that will keep you on course for the next few weeks
  • Try it on so that you know where you are in terms of fitting – does it fit but you want your arms to look more toned? Or your legs to look a little shapelier? Or is the zip struggling to close? You have PLENTY of time to do what you need to do to feel fab in a few weeks.
  • Finally, hang that dress somewhere that is visible – the front of your wardrobe, in front of your mirror, from a hook in the bathroom. This is your motivation.

If you don’t have a dress already, then this is where the fun starts:

  • Pick a dress that will make you feel amazing
  • Make sure you are realistic when it comes to sizing – if you are a size 16 and buy a size 8, it is highly unlikely that the dress is going to fit in a few weeks. This is meant to be a positive experience (and it’s also not a starvation diet where you can expect to lose stones in a matter of weeks), so be kind to yourself and pick a dress in a style and size that works for you
  • Finally, hang that dress somewhere that is visible – the front of your wardrobe, in front of your mirror, from a hook in the bathroom. This is your motivation.

This is your starting point – it also means you will have a go-to outfit for the holiday season without having to fork out the cash in nearer Christmas when presents and events are going to put a bit of a strain on the purse strings.
Take a look at the attached guide on Dressing Right for your Body Shape for tips on getting that killer frock.


Day 2: Forget “Eat Less, Move More” – instead, focus on “Eat Well, Move Smart” – Part I

So this one is a two-parter, and today I am focusing on “Eat Well”.
This is one of the most straightforward steps but can sometimes be the hardest to maintain.
Basically, there is no need to calorie cut – what you want to do is cut the C.R.A.P., not the calories.

  • Carbonated drinks
  • Refined sugars
  • Artificial additives
  • highly Processed foods

as much as possible.
Your mantra should be “eat food, not food-like products”.
So today’s challenge is to write down all of the foods from the C.R.A.P. list that you eat, and what you can replace them with.
Check out the really useful list attached, with foods to avoid and what you can replace them with.
NOTE: The recipes for each of the healthy alternatives are in the list below, just click on the links.

cut_the_crap1                    cut_the_crap2

Wholemeal scones or muffins
Homemade oat bars
Low-fat products without sweeteners (use honey instead)
Homemade fakeaways
Homemade vegetable crisps (my favourite are parsnip)
Good quality sliced meat
Roasted sweet potato fries
Stove-top cooked popcorn (with spices)
Wholemeal banana bread
Cauliflower-based pizza
Homemade hummus (using yoghurt)
Chocolate quinoa breakfast bowl
Banana ice cream


Day 3: Forget “Eat Less, Move More” – instead, focus on “Eat Well, Move Smart” – Part II

So have you cut the CRAP from your food intake today?
If you are struggling, then I want you to make sure that the next thing you put in your mouth after reading this email is a good food – an apple, natural yoghurt, a handful of nuts… that will help you get into the swing of things.

So today we’re focusing on Move Smart – and by this, I don’t mean spending hours pounding the pavement, hitting the gym or going to fitness classes. I mean making the most of the time you have available to you to get the best from any workouts you do.
And the best way to do this is through intervals.
If you are a walker or jogger, then start including intervals – this is repetitions of high intensity exercise followed by a period of recovery. I find a ratio of 1:2 works well – so, that could be 30 seconds of intensity followed by 1 minute of recovery (at your regular walk pace).
As you improve, you can change this ratio to 1:1 or even 2:1. Throw in a few hills and the fat burning will intensify and your fitness levels will soar!
Also, throw some resistance work in there too. 5-10 minutes of bodyweight exercises (squats, push-ups, lunges…) at the end of your cardio will do wonders for your tone.
And if you want a good full-body workout that you can do at home with minimal equipment, check out my Milk Carton Workout video on YouTube. It’s a great way to get lean.

If you want to know what’s the most time-efficient exercise for burning calories, take a look at the chart attached – and make the most of your half-hour of activity each day!


Day 4: Just Add Water

So this is going to be another straightforward step, but the trick is to be consistent and stick to it.
Today, I want you to get yourself a 1 litre bottle – it can be a fancy sports bottle or a reused Aldi bottled water bottle, it doesn’t matter.
This is going to be your new BFF! You will take him in the car with you, to the office, to the kitchen, to the bedroom… everywhere you go, Mr Bottle goes too J

The target is to get 2.5 litres of water intake each day.
For the first few days, you may have a few additional trips to the loo. But after that, your body will regulate the intake and you won’t have any problems there.
And the benefits are many:

  • Since you are cutting out the C.R.A.P. and upping your activity, your body will start getting rid of any toxins built up in your system. Water helps to flush these away.
  • Your body will feel more hydrated, and this will show in your skin and hair.
  • You will start to recognize the difference between hunger and thirst (we often misread our body’s desire for water as a desire for food) and this will help to regulate your appetite.

See the list attached for the top 10 benefits of upping your water intake.


Day 5: Show Yourself Some Love

So our last step is something I want you to stick with, during this challenge and beyond. And that is, speak to yourself kindly and positively.
If we ever heard someone speaking to our friends or family the way we speak to ourselves, we would be shocked…

  • “You’re such an idiot, I can’t believe you ate that”
  • “Can’t you control yourself for just one day? You’re so weak”
  • “You look disgusting in that dress – and serves you right, all the crap you ate this week….”
  • “Just get up and do some exercise – don’t be such a lazy bee**”
  • “Well I’ve done the total dog on it now, takeaway and biscuits – I might as well just quit. I’ll never do it now”
  • “I don’t even deserve to look nice anyway, the way I’ve been stuffing my face”

Do any of these sound familiar?
I’m sure they do, we’ve all spoken to ourselves in that horrible way before.
So it’s time to show ourselves some love.
We deserve to look and feel fantastic, to look and feel comfortable in our own skin, to be happy with who we see in the mirror.

So no matter what your goal is from this challenge, I want you to do the following.
At the end of every day between now and December 25th, promise that you will give yourself a compliment.
Make it sincere, make it personal to you, give yourself that pat on the back that you deserve.

Stuck for compliments? Take a look below for things we do every day that we should compliment ourselves for…



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