3 ways to sustain good habits with Alice Liveing
ADAPTED FROM THE WILD SESSIONS PODCAST
For the full interview, Wild Sessions: Episode 4, is available on all popular platforms
As a personal trainer, Alice Liveing knows a lot about forming good habits and keeping your life in balance. In our interview with her for the ‘Wild Sessions’ podcast, Alice shared her own personal experiences that shaped her holistic ethos to exercise and wellbeing.
Alice Liveing is many things - author, personal trainer, blogger and very popular instagramer - all of which help thousands of women and men of all ages with lifestyle and exercise support. Her expertise has come from her own personal experience as she trained as a dancer at Bird College.
Alice began an intense schedule of weight training and a very restrictive diet in addition to her 8 hour days of dancing. The result of this was a dramatic weight loss, and growing success in her career. It was a hard mental journey for Alice to recognise herself as having disordered eating and an unhealthy relationship to exercise.
It was years before her doctor helped identify that her missing menstrual cycles were caused by her controlled and unsustainable lifestyle. It took Alice trusting her internal voice to find and build on the things that brought her joy, and accept the shape of her body as she returned back to health.
1. Finding your balance isn’t a single formula
Having a ‘life in balance’ is something we are often trying to achieve, when discussing this notion with Alice she was clear there was no magic formula; “I don't think you can package up ‘balance’ because I think balance will look different to everyone.”
Finding time for the things that bring you good health, and time for the things you enjoy is the approach that is clearly working for her. “For me, balance is very much eating foods that I enjoy - both nutritious and a little bit less nutritious. Seeking to move my body for how it makes me feel. Walking every day, meditation, listening to podcasts, socialising is a huge part of what balance looks like to me.”
Understanding yourself helps you understand the habits that bring you happiness and then trying to incorporate them into everyday. As a lot of us can probably relate, Alice adds “if COVID taught me anything, it's that I love connection, human connection, and I need that to make me feel good.”
2. Find movement you enjoy
Known for her fitness regimes, and training in dance, it was a surprise to hear that Alice wasn’t particularly sporty in her school days, as she thought “sport’s not really my thing”. As she grew up she realised it was the type of sports she had been participating in that weren’t her thing.
She explains how ‘sport’ shouldn’t be valued on how much you sweat, but how much enjoyment it brings; “It could be walking, running, cycling, swimming, yoga, pilates, climbing, hiking…..almost just want to encourage people to stop seeing exercise as something that they have to do and start to see it in a more fun and engaging way. What can I do that's going to move my body in a way that I enjoy?”
3. Small steps support long-term, meaningful changes
As Alice describes it, “the success comes in those small tweaks, tiny, tiny things. You know what may be one change every week in January, one little change here, little change there. That's where long-term success lies.”
This idea of small changes is something she had put into practice from setting an earlier bed time to achieve more sleep, to adding different vegetables to each meal to achieve a more rounded and nutritious diet.
The changes might not seem significant, but it is a sustainable way to make a meaningful difference.