10 Things I learnt about my health in 2016

  1. My body has a low stress tolerance

    I run a pretty tight ship around here – recipe testing, photography, workouts, blog posts, marketing and everything Fit Mixes related, and a pretty full event calendar, mean I have to be super organised. When I’m not, my stress levels shoot through the roof – what if I miss a social post, or worst, a magazine deadline? So my body loves to let me know I’m not coping that well – snacking on everything I can get my hands on, skipping workouts and not getting enough quality sleep.

  2. Exercise for wellness, not for weight loss

    Going to the gym every day and staring at your (non-existent) abs in the mirror can be down-right depressing. Go with the intention of bettering your heart health, strength or some other positive (and achievable) goal, and know that you are doing something great for your body – regardless of the scales. You’ll find you’re way more motivated to smash out a good session!

  3. More cardio does NOT equal more healthy

    At the beginning of last year I did a LOT of cardio – but it turns out that what is good for your heart, is not always good for your joints. I’ve pulled back from longer runs in favour of weight training or HIIT sprints. My knees are MUCH happier for that.

  4. It takes time to heal your gut

    I’ve been seeing a specialist over IBS symptoms for a little while. Instead of going down the western medicine route, I opted for a naturopath who is building up my good bacteria through herbal supplements. It’s no quick fix though – we’re looking at around 6 months of hard work to get this gut in balance.

  5. The contraceptive pill doesn’t agree with me

    There’s no denying that The Pill has done a lot for women over the years., but after 15 years of taking synthetic hormones, a doctor told me they could be the cause of my IBS symptoms. The pill impacts the balance of gut bacteria – who knew?!

  6. Never stop experimenting

    Whether it be with your morning juices, smoothie bowls, HIIT routines or yoga studios – keep mixing things up to keep your body and mind guessing. We’re creatures of habit, but sometimes embracing change is just what you need to do.

  7. Health is not a number

    I used to base my health on my weight. If I was heavier one week, I felt like a failure – regardless of the healthy meals, workouts and copious amounts of water I had drunk. So what’s really in a number? Throw away your scales pronto, and focus on the very real benefits of a healthy lifestyle – such as better quality sleep, more energy, clear skin and boosted immunity.

  8. My body is unique

    No one knows my body quite like me. When I’ve not fed myself enough, or not given myself enough rest, or worked out too hard – my body will let me know. All I have to do is listen.

  9. Small changes lead to great things

    One small change a month will lead you to 12 healthy new habits by the end of the year. More water, more veg, more walking – whatever it is you want to achieve, do it slowly and incrementally to weave it into your healthy lifestyle. It makes is much more manageable and you’ll be able to sustain it long-term!

  10. Most ambitious, driven people take on way too much. (Yes, I’m looking at you!)

    It can be particularly hard to figure out what to prioritise this time of year when we’re so focused on all the things we want to achieve. After all, who doesn’t want to get in better shape, make more money, start a business, take more time off, write a book, or in some way, live an extraordinary life? I’m all for having the biggest aspirations, but you don’t have to say YES to every opportunity that knocks at your door along the way – that’s a recipe for burnout. Many opportunities are distractions that take you away from your real purpose. Keep your eye on the prize and you’ll get there in a heartbeat!


    This one is going to be Epic.

    the fit foodie


Did you learn something about your health this year? I’d love to hear it – leave me a comment below!

About Sally O'Neil - Editor in Chief

Sal is on a mission to prove that healthy and nutritious doesn’t have to be boring – and that even while staying in shape you can have your cake and eat it too. After losing 14kg from adopting a healthier lifestyle, she shares her journey with others on The Fit Foodie Blog. She also writes for national health magazines, has launched a range of Protein Ball Mixes: Fit Mixes, and is the author of Love Move Eat (Bauer Media, 2017).

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Posted under: wellness, healthy, inspiration, body

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4 Responses to “10 Things I learnt about my health in 2016”

  1. Agness of Fit Travelling

    Hi Sally, I love your positive outlook in life. It’s really not that difficult to achieve whatever goal you have in terms of doing exercises for weight loss, as long as you believe in yourself. And as you said health is just a number. Wish you the best!

  2. Monique

    I really loved reading this article, Sal! These are all such thoughtful, sensible lessons to take away from 2016 and I’m sure they’ll set you up for an even healthier 2017! Mon xx

    • Sally O'Neil - Editor in Chief

      Thanks so much Mon! Its always good to reflect on lessons right? Event better to get them down o paper so when I stumble in 2017 (and I know there will be many times) I can look back and remind myself what didn’t work previously. Happy New Year xxx

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