4 Ways to stay motivated while losing weight

4 Ways to stay motivated while losing weight | H is for Home

For many people, losing weight is a huge struggle. The sad truth is 80% of people who lose weight following different diets can gain it all back and more. This could lead to a lot of health problems as we grow older.

Knowing full well that you have to lose weight is not enough. You have to establish a schedule or routine and really commit to it. When you decide to break a bad habit, you’re essentially changing your behaviour. There’ll be times when you feel inconvenienced by preparing healthy meals or tired from exercising and you start to relapse. Motivation comes and goes and it’s easy to fall back into bad habits. Here are four ways to stay motivated whilst losing weight.

Food diary

  1. Create a healthy meal plan

One of the reasons for gaining weight is unhealthy eating habits; consuming fast food every day, drinking fizzy drinks and fruit juices that are high in sugar and eating crisps, cakes, chocolates and the like in the middle of the night. So, it should come as no surprise that eating healthily will help you lose weight. It does not, however, mean that you should give up all of them. If you think that you don’t know enough about nutrition, a great way to start is by using a meal subscription service like Nutrisystem. A great article by Debra Moorhead provides a detailed review of different Nutrisystem plans and how they can benefit your nutrition. The key is having a healthy and balanced diet. Start by writing down all the food that you consume currently. Identify those that are unhealthy and only makes you gain weight then, search for alternatives.

Bathroom scales and measuring tape

  1. Track your weight loss journey

You’ve probably heard this before, but losing weight doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t get 20 pounds lighter from working out for hours a day and neither should you do that. While experts have different recommendations when it comes to the amount of weight you should lose in a week, they all agree that slow and steady weight loss is the most sustainable for the long-term. You can track your weight loss journey by starting to step onto the dreaded scales so you know your starting point. Create milestones and celebrate your successes. The idea is to keep you focused on the goal and see exactly how you’ve progressed over time. Don’t forget that losing weight shouldn’t come at the expense of failing to meet your nutrient needs.

Friends fist pumping

  1. Have a support system

An environment full of pessimistic people is bad news when you want to start losing weight. Losing weight is a personal commitment, therefore, you need to surround yourself with people whom you can talk positively about the journey. One of the reasons for binging and weight gain is depression. To have a positive weight loss experience, you must resolve any underlying psychological stress that you might have. Cut ties with people who bring you down and spend more time with family and friends who’ll support you no matter what, encourage you and even join you in your quest.

Walking a dog in a park

  1. Keep yourself busy

When you’re sitting and fantasising about losing weight, guess what? You’re not actually losing weight. Do you sometimes feel hungry even when if you’re not doing anything and have already eaten? This is because, in a relaxed state, your mind wanders and you’re more in tune with what’s happening to your body. You actually feel more tired, sleepy and hungry when you’re not moving around. So, why not visit an art gallery, walk around the park, go window shopping, take a yoga class, walk a dog, do whatever? You’ll be surprised at how being active can help improve your health and overall well-being.

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A cabinet full of charm

Vintage mirrored painted wooden cabinet painted with "G & J Weaver, House Furnishers, Warrington" | H is for Home

We picked up this charming little wall cabinet this week. It’s constructed of wood with a mirrored front advertising G & J. Weaver, House Furnishers, Warrington.

Detail of a mirror-fronted cabinet painted with "G & J Weaver, House Furnishers, Warrington" | H is for Home

Doing a little data mining on the internet, we found mention of “G. & J. Weaver, cabinet makers” located at 86 Bridge Street – sandwiched between a pork butcher and a confectioner. They also had another premises at 2 Arpley Road which it appears they shared with a beer retailer, tallow chandler, wire mattress manufacturers, wheelwright, brass founder and a printer. England really was a nation of shopkeepers!

George (the ‘G’ in the partnership) is recorded as having lived at 208 Wilderspool Road and James at Manor House, 96 School Brow.

We find social history like this fascinating. What started as a quick, 2-minute search for a company name ended up in an hour-long browse at street maps, census records and old photos.

Vintage mirror-fronted cabinet with vintage first aid kit accessories inside | H is for Home

Back to the cabinet. It probably dates from the early 20th century. It’s had various layers of paint applied over the years – we can identify red, green, white and mustard shades. We love the current combination of mustard exterior and red interior.

Vintage mirror-fronted cabinet with vintage sewing accessories inside | H is for Home

The immediate use that springs to mind is a bathroom medical cabinet perhaps, as it’s a classic size & shape for one – and has the mirror. However, it’s a very flexible piece. It would make a lovely little craft room cupboard – or kitchen spice storage area to name but two.

Vintage mirror-fronted cabinet with spice bottles inside | H is for Home

We love the shabby chic, vintage industrial look and simple practicality of it. If you do too, it’s available now in our online shop.

Get their look: Monochrome open-plan living space

Monochrome open-plan living spacecredit

This monochrome open-plan living space belongs to textile designer and Rosendahl Design Group Creative Director, David Andersen‘s Copenhagen home.

Wonderful light enters the space from all directions – the kitchen area being particularly blessed, which is ideal for food preparation and cooking tasks.

It’s a very pared back, masculine interior – no unnecessary fuss in evidence here. The interior décor has a  strong design-led feel with some real Scandi classics in evidence. It’s striking, yet very functional.

  1. PH ‘Snowball’ pendant lamp by Louis Poulsen
  2. Set of 2 Kay Bojesen Lovebirds
  3. Verner Panton ‘Panthella’ floor lamp
  4. CH24 Wishbone Chair black beech & black paper cord seat
  5. ‘About a stool’ bar stool by Hay
  6. Kubus 8 Candleholder by Lassen
  7. Fredericia No1 3-seater sofa designed by Børge Mogensen

Have a look at some of the other interiors (and exteriors) that we’ve featured in our Get their look series.

Get their look: Monochrome open-plan living space | H is for Home

Designer Desire: Bernard Buffet

Mosaic of Bernard Buffet artwork | H is for Home

We’ve highlighted Bernard Buffet before on our blog. We have a few of his lovely prints dotted around our house.

Buffet (1928-1999) was hugely successful and extremely prolific – producing over 8,000 paintings in his lifetime. He was described by one biographer as “The modern Mega-Artist”. As part of his exclusive contract with Galerie Drouant-David, the artist staged a major solo exhibition every year. Suffice to say, there are an awful lot of prints and lithographs on the market; check out eBay and Etsy in the first instance. If you have a spare few tens of thousands of pounds, there are also originals to be had on auction sites such as Christies.

Buffet developed Parkinson’s in later years which prevented him from working. The disease was cited as the reason he committed suicide at his home in Tourtour, Provence.

If you’d like further insight into the artist, there’s an extensive essay online about him by The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) who have 3 of his works in their collection. There are numerous books and exhibition catalogues available as well.

Portrait of Bernard Buffet with his wife & muse, Annabelcredit

Additional image credits:

Pinterest

Price Points: Indoor clothes driers

Indoor clothes driers | H is for Home

We have a washer-drier but I’ve never actually used the drying cycle on it. I prefer to use non-electric clothes driers. It saves on electricity and you can be getting on with the next load while the previous one is hanging.

I’ve compared Sheila’s Maids in a previous post – however, there’s only so much ceiling space available for drying laundry. And, if like ours your ceilings are low, floor-standing clothes driers are a great addition or alternative; we use both types. our 2-metre 4-lath Sheila’s maid hangs about one and a half loads of washing, the one above has seven 2.4 metre slats – a stonker!

We have two floor-standing clothes driers – my favourite is a vintage 4-panel wooden one that fans out from a central axis. It folds flat and takes up very little room.

  1. Classic traditional concertina indoor clothes airer, 6-metre: £34.99, Lakeland
  2. 4 panel, 4 rung clothes airer: £69, Etsy
  3. 2.4-metre, 7-lath Victorian Kitchen Maid® pulley clothes airer: £86.25

Cakes & Bakes: Fig rolls

Home-made fig rolls | H is for Home #recipe #baking #cooking #cookery #figs #figrolls

A biscuit recipe twice in as many weeks. We’re on a roll! This week, I’ve made a batch of delicious fig rolls… nothing like those dry horrors you tend to get in the shops. The pastry is buttery, crumbly and melt in the mouth; the filling is sweet, figgy and boozy – just lovely!

Fig roll filling

Jacobs is the brand that most people in the UK associate with fig rolls. Americans have Fig Newtons and the French, Figolu.

Strips of pastry | H is for Home Lines of fig filling on pastry | H is for Home

There’s a fair amount of debate online on the subject of, “Fig rolls: slice before or after baking?”. I decided to conduct my own experiment to find out.

Fig rolls before going into the oven | H is for Home

I’ve decided that I prefer them to be sliced before. The pastry is neater and the fig filling softly oozes using this method.

Cooked fig rolls

Disagree with my opinion? Have a look at my photographic proof below! The two on the left were sliced prior to cooking and the pair on the right, after.

Fig rolls: left, sliced before cooking - right, sliced after cooking | H is for Home

If you’ve given industrially manufactured fig rolls a try, not liked them and have turned your back on them – try making your own. Believe me, you’ll wonder what took you so long to embrace them!

Click here to save my recipe to Pinterest for future reference.

Fig rolls
Yields 16
Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
For the pastry
  1. 125g/4½oz plain flour
  2. 75g/2⅔oz plain wholemeal flour
  3. 25g/¾oz ground almonds
  4. ½tsp baking powder
  5. 2tsp caster sugar
  6. Pinch of salt
  7. 140g/5oz cold butter, diced
  8. 1 egg yolk
  9. 2tbsp milk
For the filling
  1. 200g/7oz dried figs, stems removed, roughly chopped
  2. Juice of ½ a lemon
  3. 2tbsp dark rum
  4. 2tbsp water
  5. 2tbsp muscovado sugar
  6. ½tsp mixed spice
  7. 1 egg, beatenHome-made fig rolls ingredients
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For the pastry
  1. In a food processor or large mixing bowl, combine the flours, ground almonds, baking powder, caster sugar and salt in a large bowl or food processor
  2. Pulse/rub in the butter to make crumbs
  3. Mix in the egg yolk and just enough milk to bring it together into a coherent dough
  4. shape into a rough rectangle, wrap and chill for about ½ an hour
For the filling
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the figs 2 tbsp water, 2tbsp dark rum, lemon juice, sugar and spice to a simmer. Cook gently for a few minutes until softened
  2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool
To combine
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Lightly flour a work surface and roll the pastry out to around 20cmx30cm and ½cm thick. Cut in half lengthwise to make 2 long strips
  4. Put a line of filling down one side of each, leaving a slight gap between it and the edge
  5. Brush the edge with water and fold the pastry over the top of the filling pressing down gently to seal
  6. Cut into 4cm lengths and arrange on the baking sheet
  7. Brush the tops with beaten egg before baking for 20-25 minutes until golden brown
  8. Allow to cool on a wire rack before eating
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