The #PrettyHealthyProject has always been, in part, an effort to regain my mental health following my difficult first year at university. This summer, and the project, has largely been a recovery and strengthening process to support me for my return to York this weekend(!). A number of things have aided me in this process, most notably spending so much time with my family, G, and friends, taking the pressure off, and working on my body image and confidence through this project – but I’ve realised that there has been one thing which has helped more than any other. This summer I was given the opportunity to part-loan a horse called Sooty, and the effect has been profound.

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During this series I’ve made regular mentions of my FitBit; it’s what facilitated my 70,000-steps-a-week challenge and has provided both motivation and information on how I’ve been getting on in my endeavours to become pretty healthy. I’ve owned a FitBit Flex since Christmas, but this summer my wonderful mum gifted me a new FitBit Alta (inheriting my Flex in the process!). Now I’ve had some time to get to know it, I thought I’d dedicate today’s post to a review.

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Back when I started this project, I wrote about how I’ve hated my body for as long as I can remember. But in the last few weeks something in me has changed, and it’s down to that question in the title. For me, that question signifies a shift in mindset which has enabled me to become, for the first time in my life, truly body-positive. So what changed?

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I was never keen on PE in school. For me, it was a waste of time I could spend on other things; when I move to sixth form and was given Wednesday afternoons off for ‘games’ I spent the time in the Music block practising violin. I was never motivated to exercise and enjoyed only a few of the activities on offer, particularly since in upper years I worked hard at my equestrian centre for ten hours a week and rode regularly. Then for a long time after I left school and switched riding centres I thought that ‘exercise’ was just built into my daily routine as I walked around college. It wasn’t until my gap year when I didn’t have any regular, intentional exercise set up in my routine that I suddenly realised how important that time dedicated to focusing on my body and its fitness really was.

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There’s a lot of talk in the ‘wellness’ world about the importance of creating routines. A quick search brings up endless blogposts on becoming a ‘morning person’ or ways to improve your evening. I am not discounting the importance of waking up well, improving sleep quality or supporting productivity through habit and practice. For me, the important thing is figuring out routines that work for you.

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