Feel better by eating healthy foods and exercising

February 2, 2017
healthy, food, blueberry, blueberries, clean eating, healthy foods, healthy food, nutrition, diet,

healthy, food, blueberry, blueberries, clean eating, healthy foods, healthy food, nutrition, diet,

This post is the last of a 14 ways to help rebuild self-confidence series.  We’ve been working our way through the letters of SELF CONFIDENCE with this week’s focus being on the final E in Confidence.  Previously covered are Self Compassion & Self Care; 10 Ways to Enjoy your Life; Learning, Love & Laughter; Finding your passion & your happy place; Clear your schedule of activities that don’t serve you; Open-Minded – The way to go and the way to grow!; Neutralise Your Inner Critic & Self-Doubter; Face Your Fears, Imagine, Visualize and Believe, Define your goals, Embrace Gratitude, and Network with others, Celebrate Your Achievements.

It’s been a while but here we are finally at the last post in the self-confidence series. It was originally written as ‘Eat healthy foods and exercise (find your fun way)”.  However, I’ve decided to title this post ‘Feel better by eating healthy foods and exercising’ because that is the reality.  If you look after yourself you feel better …. it’s as simple as that!

One aspect that many people overlook when it comes to self-confidence is our physical health. Think about it – when you are feeling physically fit and are eating a balanced diet, chances are you feel better about yourself compared to when you fill up on junk food and don’t get enough exercise. This is because the mind and body are inextricably linked. Not only can our bodies be affected by what’s going on in our mind, our bodies can change how we feel emotionally. 

The truth is that those of us women who are in our middle years can no longer get away with abusing or neglecting our bodies.  We become higher maintenance.  We require a little more thought, planning and attention!  Eat too much and/or all the wrong foods  – you get fatter.  Don’t exercise – you can get fatter too but even worse is that if we don’t get enough activity, our brains and bodies become sluggish, failing to function at top capacity!  We all know that maintaining a healthy body weight is a matter of balancing the energy we put into our bodies (calories from food) with the energy that we use up (or burn) during our daily activities or exercise. If we don’t use up all the energy we consume, the excess will be stored as body fat, and over time our body weight will increase.  More importantly though, in order to feel good (and better about ourselves), we need to look after ourselves by eating a good healthy and balanced diet and moving our bodies.  Use it or lose it has never been more true!  

I’m no dietician, nutritionist, exercise physiologist or personal trainer, but you can’t reach the age of 52 without learning a few things along the way.  In saying that, I’m in no way claiming that I’ve got the balance right myself.  I am always learning more and trying though!

Healthy Eating

Eating healthy needn’t be boring and bland as some might think.  It doesn’t have to be expensive whacko hippy superfoods either!  In fact, healthy eating can be affordable, really tasty and enjoyable, and leave you feeling much better than if you ate foods that are considered yummy but not healthy. 

Healthy eating is not about deprivation and bland and boring . It’s about giving nutritional balance some thought and eating from all the recommended food groups.  A balanced diet is one that gives your body the nutrients it needs to function correctly.  You can do that by eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, legumes and cereal foods, and include lean meat, fish, poultry, milk, yogurt and cheese in your diet.  Of course, make adjustments according to your beliefs, likes, and in the event of any intolerances or allergies – eg lactose, gluten, nuts etc and watch your portion sizes!  Below are some photographs of some healthy meals that demonstrate that healthy eating can be diverse and interesting and delicious.  Hopefully they will inspire you!

Soup, food,


healthy, sushi, food,

healthy, lamb, vegetables, lamb chops, chops, steak, lamb,

wraps, salad wraps, lunch wraps, healthy food, healthy,

prawns, prawn, shrimps, shrimp

berries, fruit, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries

healthy eating, healthy, healthy foods, food, asparagus, tomato, egg,

yoghurt, dessert, seeds, muesli, healthy food

couscous, vegetable, veggies, couscous

salad, lettuce, beetroot, pear,

wok, stir fry, stir-fry, vegetables, veggies

smoothies, drinks, healthy food


Exercising is a word that can fill you with dread if you’re not a naturally inclined athlete or lover of getting sweaty, breathless and uncomfortable (like me). However, I’m here to tell you, that you can actually learn to love exercise, even look forward to it and feel yucky if you miss it!  Yes it’s true!  It’s because once you find a form of ‘movement’ (ditch the word exercise if that helps) that gets your heart rate up and that you enjoy, in addition to all the health benefits you gain, you get all the lovely feel good endorphins from it!   You begin to look forward to this feel good state and you miss it if you happen to miss a session.  So, find what it is that you like to do.  It could be one thing or more than one thing which would then allow you to mix it up a bit if that works for you or just stick to what you like best and do that if that is your preference.  Your ‘movement’ of choice could be dancing or a particular sport you enjoy.  It could be running or walking, skating or cycling.  Find your thing or things and commit to doing it or them regularly.  If you lack motivation, maybe try doing it with a friend or friends. You wouldn’t want to let them down, so you’re more likely to show up for that reason!  Personally, I find that I enjoy brisk walking – preferably somewhere nice in nature – along my local water front, on a beach in the bush, up in the mountains! 

More about the benefits of exercise can be found in this post and this post.  And since I included some pretty and inspiring healthy foods photo’s, here’s some for ‘exercise’ or ‘movement’ too!

kayaking, rowing, boating, adventure, fitness, lake, paddling, exercise

bush walking, walking, nature, activity, exercise

Dance, ballet, exercise, activity, movement

cycling, biking, riding, exercise, activity

joggers, runners, run, walk, fitness, exercise

volleyball, sport, exercise,

swimming, sport, exercise, movement, activity

I’m sure you’re already aware of the importance of healthy food and exercise for losing and maintaining weight and for general good health, but a reminder and bit of inspiration is always a good thing isn’t it?  It’s also important to understand the correlation between how we look after ourselves and our self-confidence.  It’s such an important part of the whole puzzle.  Look we can’t all be perfect and get it all right all the time, but if we get it right ‘most’ of the time then we’re heading in the right direction for making the best of what we’ve got and being able to get out there lovin’ life!

That brings us to the end of the WOTM Self-Confidence series.  I hope you’ve found something helpful with the one or more of the posts.  If you haven’t seen them all and would like to, you can find a listing of them all HERE.

Ciao for now,

Link up here at WOTM or with another of us in the Lovin’ Life Linky team:
Leanne of Deep Fried Fruit, Johanna of Lifestyle Fifty, Lyndall of Seize the Day Project,
Kathy of 50 Shades of Age, and Deb of Debbish
It doesn’t matter where you link up as it will magically appear on all six blogs.

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  • Reply Ingrid @ Fabulous and Fun Life February 2, 2017 at 7:27 am

    I was totally drooling at your healthy food photos! I now want sushi for lunch, prawns for dinner & mixed berries during the day as snacks! Healthy is yummy!


    • Reply Min February 2, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      Ingrid, I agree that healthy is yummy for sure! 🙂

  • Reply Kathy Marris February 2, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Higher maintenance is an understatement! I find if I don’t eat healthy or exercise I feel like crap. These days taking care of my body both on the inside and outside is a full time job! Thankfully I only work part-time so this allows me to have lots of “me” time to take care of myself. But there are times where I lapse and then the cycle of feeling lousy starts all over again. I love your healthy food photos too!

    • Reply Min February 2, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      Totally agree Kathy! If I eat rubbish and go through a sluggish phase I feel like crap too and it sure is a full time job!! It takes TIME – the meal planning, the shopping lists, the allocation of time for ‘moving the body’ and all the rest we need to feel good. I have lapses too – it’s a bit that way right now as other things have taken a bit of priority over my life … but I’ll get back on track again when I can.

  • Reply Lyndall @ Seize The Day Project February 2, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Loving the look of all those healthy meals Min! I’ve really been enjoying eating berries over summer – especially blueberries. I’ve recently become a Weight Watchers Coach, so I’ve embraced a whole new lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise. #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Min February 2, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      I love blueberries Lyndall, which is fortunate because they’re so good for us. Good on you for becoming a Weight Watchers Coach and for embracing a healthy lifestyle! It takes commitment and motivation so well done. Love your sunrise pics too by the way. I miss taking my own but hoping to get back into my walking this year. 🙂

  • Reply Sue February 2, 2017 at 10:25 am

    If you have read my blog you know I am with you 100% in what you are saying Min. Being healthy in mind, body and spirit especially as we age is so important. Yes, feeling good makes us look good which helps with self-confidence. Love the post and the images of the healthy food are so colourful and tempting.

    • Reply Min February 2, 2017 at 4:10 pm

      Ahhhh we’re so on the same page Sue – a healthy balance of mind, body and spirit is exactly what I seek and what I explore and write about here at WOTM. 🙂

  • Reply Deborah February 2, 2017 at 11:08 am

    For me a huge part of eating healthily and exercising isn’t the benefits I gain from either but the psychological benefit that I get from not being GUILTY for not doing it.

    I don’t feel like I’ve ever got an exercise ‘high’ for example…. it’s always more a relief and sense of achievement that I’ve done it than anything physical!

    • Reply Min February 2, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      Maybe that ‘relief’ is your ‘high’ Deb? I know about the guilt thing – I’ve got it right now. I have guests staying with me and can’t keep to my usual exercise schedule and it’s making me feel fat and sluggish and guilty and blah. I’m not sure that I feel ‘high’ after exercise – it’s more a feeling of having renewed energy and vigour as well as a sense of relief and achievement! It’s a state of ‘feeling good’ about myself which is a nice thing to achieve. 🙂

  • Reply JODIE FILOGOMO February 2, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    This is such a great reminder, Min!
    Not only does healthy eating help your self confidence, but really the feeling good part is so key. I don’t think we know how bad we feel until it’s better!!

    • Reply Min February 2, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      Exactly right Jodie! I know how I feel after Christmas Day for example – when I eat things I wouldn’t normally eat and I eat far more than I would normally eat. The comparison to how I normally feel is a good reminder of the benefits of eating healthy and watching portion sizes.

  • Reply Leanne | crestingthehill February 2, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    So many gorgeous photos – and you’re absolutely right about the need to look after ourselves more in midlife. I find I’m eating healthier and moving more than when I was younger, but the extra weight keeps creeping on. I need to be more diligent but I also don’t want it to be a miserable life of deprivation either – it’s all about balance in the end isn’t it?

    • Reply Min February 2, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      Thanks Leanne! Stock photo’s – not my own (in case you thought I took them). Yes it seems that as we get older we really do need to look after our bodies much more if we want to feel good. I know what you mean about doing the right thing but yet the weight still creeps on. It’s a challenge at this age!! Yes – I don’t believe in deprivation – just moderation and balance and movement. 🙂

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl February 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Thanks for the ongoing pep talk with these posts, Min! Helping me mainly stay on the straight and narrow.

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Min February 2, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      Haha SSG – didn’t realise I was giving a pep talk but happy to help keep you on the straight and narrow! 😉 x

  • Reply Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit February 2, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Timely post! I’m usually the fit and healthy one, but I slipped last year and GEEZ it’s hard to get back on track. Takes a lot of commitment and a strong will. Getting there though. Getting there …

    • Reply Min February 3, 2017 at 9:55 am

      Timely for me too Leanne! It IS hard to get back on track and it does take commitment and strong will to do so and to keep to the routine but we can only do our best. I need to get back on track too! We can do it!! 😉 x

  • Reply Life Images by Jill February 2, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    thanks for this blog post – I’ve just discovered you through LIfestyle Fifty. I am just a shade over 60 and have a small health issue that has pulled me down over the summer holiday period. I really feel like a “slug” and need to get up, get moving, and eat more healthy, and spend less time in front of my computer. Thanks!

    • Reply Min February 3, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Hi Jill – so lovely to meet you! I’m sorry you’ve had a health issue. I know how that can pull you down as I have had health issues do the same. I need to get back into my regular routine – hopefully soon. Looks like we have a similar interest of photography! I look forward to seeing more of you and getting to know you better.

  • Reply Nikki@Wonderfully Women February 2, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    It’s the exercising that is not working out so well for me at the moment. Looks as though I have detached part of my Achilles Tendon, ultrasound tomorrow will reveal all.

    • Reply Min February 3, 2017 at 9:58 am

      Oh Nikki – ouch!! Good luck with the ultrasound today. I hope you heal quickly! x

  • Reply Jo February 2, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Yum! Your healthy food photos are gorgeous and who wouldn’t want to eat THAT kind of food when it looks SO good! We went out last night and had a crappy greasy meal and we both said we’d rather be at home eating (or trying to eat) healthy stuff. Yes, I’m a believer in exercise every day too – I do an hour’s walk , some planks for weight bearing, and some yoga stretches most days.

    • Reply Min February 3, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Thank you Jo but not my photographs – just some free stock images! Crappy greasy meals are nice sometimes (a bit of a treat) but I always feel heavy and yuk afterwards. Home cooked healthy food is best! Sounds like you’ve got a good exercise routine in place – good on you! 🙂

  • Reply Janet Camilleri aka Middle Aged Mama February 3, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    I’ve started aqua aerobics this week – in a bid to get more active and hopefully find a form of exercise I’ll actually enjoy. I’ve been putting on weight and I know it’s because I sit on my butt in front of a computer most of the day!

    • Reply Min February 4, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      Hope you enjoy aqua aerobics! Where are you doing it? I’ve got to get back to it yet since before Christmas! Once life returns to normal at home I’ll get back into the usual routine! Sitting in front of a computer all day sure is problematic with the ‘ol weight gain – I know where you’re coming from!

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