February might be the shortest month of the year, but for me its usually the first time I feel like I’m getting really into the swing of things.
Like, I’ll spend half of January trying to recover from Christmas. Then I’ll spend the other half feeling behind the sofa cushions for change to buy basic groceries.
The shortness of February is a nice reprieve after the looong gap between the early pre-Christmas payday and the end of January. (Not to mention that some of us* may have overspent a tad bit during the Christmas season).
*Me. The accusatory ‘some of us’ is aimed at me.
Whatever, I’m just trying to say that its very easy to be skint AF by the end of January and, all things being equal, February’s payday is probably the most keenly anticipated of the year.
Add in all the #NewYearNewMe stuff, and January can be kinda overwhelming. I’m setting all these new goals, and putting new routines in place and getting everything up and running, and it starts to feel like I’m just treading water.
By February though, I’m usually getting into the groove of things.
If a new habit is going to stick you’ll still be doing it in February. (and if
Goal-setting, for me at least, isn’t about saying you’re going to do a thing and then sticking rigidly to that for twelve months, whether you’re seeing results or not, and whether it’s making you happy or not. What’s the point of that?
If you’re a month in, and not enjoying it and it feels pointless, DROP IT THE FUCK DOWN. Switch focus to the things that clearly do matter to you. Pay attention to the things that have stuck and are starting to become embedded in your life by February, or pivot.
I think this really applies to goals around health and weight and body.
Goals that involve the word ‘bikini’, that see you starting January with an unsustainable change in diet. The diet might have disappeared by the end of January, but you still want to feel good in your swimwear.
Just FYI: I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or a dietician. I have zero medical qualifications. This isn’t diet advice, or health advice, or nutrition advice. Go and see a qualified medical professional for that sh*t.
So reframe it.
Set goals around self-love and affirmations to help you feel comfortable in your body as it is.
Set non-restrictive food & health goals, around behaviours that will make you feel better. More vegetables, more water, more time outdoors, more of the things that make you happy.
The objective isn’t weight-loss, its to feel healthier (physically, yes, but, more importantly, mentally). The kind of healthful behaviours that put you in a good place to be able to tackle some of the internalised misogyny and fatphobia that made you think you can’t or shouldn’t or aren’t ready to wear whatever you damn well
Okay, rant over.
Obviously, I can’t talk about February without at least a passing mention of Valentine’s Day.
I’ll be honest, with both of us working in the service industry the first few years of our relationship, my husband and I have never really gone in for Valentine’s.
I may not be best placed to comment but, I do think that many of us put too much pressure on ourselves. When we’re single, Valentine’s makes us feel like we need a partner to be happy. When we’re loved-up, Valentine’s makes us feel like we need to have the Best. Day. Ever.
Whatevs, it’s a bullshit holiday. Just be kind to yourself on Valentine’s day. As Ru Paul says: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?”
This post is part of my series on eating seasonally – every month I let you know what ingredients are in season and point you to some recipes using those ingredients.
September | October | November | January
So, What’s in
February brings purple sprouting broccoli into the shops across the UK, and I for one can’t wait to throw it in everything from salads, stir-fries and curries to my Sunday dinner table.
What’s in season in February in the UK?
- Blood Orange
- Bramley Apple
- Passion Fruit
- Brussels sprouts
- Purple sprouting broccoli
- Spring Onion
- Sweet potato
- Pak choi
Also in season in February
What to cook in February
- Hedgerow blackberry & apple jam [apples]
- Apple & almond overnight oats [apples]
- Purple cabbage stirfry [cabbage]
- Winter squash & kale curry [kale]
- Easy Broccoli Salad [purple sprouting broccoli as broccoli substitute]
- Lemon & thyme hummous [lemon]
- Orange & almond salad [oranges]
- Black bean, broccoli & sweet potato bowl [sweet potato,
purple sprouting broccoli as broccoli substitute ]
- Orange, tomato & sunflower seed salad [oranges]
- Pink berry & almond smoothie [banana, kale]