Author Caroline Foran has fine-tuned her approach to healthy eating and exercise to discover the balance that works for her.
Having suffered a breakdown in her mid-twenties, author and journalist Caroline Foran has had to re-evaluate her priorities when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle and avoiding burnout. She also pays attention to the basics: eating well, maintaining a good sleep routine and choosing exercise that she enjoys. Her first book, Owning It, chronicled her experiences with anxiety and was nominated for the Popular Non-Fiction category in the 2017 Irish Book Awards. She has just released her second tome, The Confidence Kit (Hachette Books Ireland, approx €12), which tackles the confidence gap between men and women and offers a toolkit to help give your confidence a much-needed boost.
I HAVE A GREAT RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD THESE DAYS, but it wasn’t always this way. As a teenager, I was told I had IBS, as I was having such difficulties with my stomach (which I now know was stress-related). I felt unwell almost every day, then discovered I was lactose intolerant, so removing all dairy from my diet has made a huge difference. I still have a pretty sensitive stomach, as it’s where my stress will go, but I eat little and often and in general, I have a lot more confidence with food.
THE CONFIDENCE KIT... is all about increasing self-confidence and tackling the fear of failure, which is something I’m all too familiar with. There is so much that makes me feel confident, but ultimately it’s about incrementally stretching my comfort zone for a short period of time, where I experience optimal anxiety, before returning back to my comfort zone. It’s “I didn’t think I could do that and I did” that really leads to long-lasting confidence.
I ALWAYS HATED EXERCISE BUT began to embrace it in recent years. It took me a long time to realise that whatever exercise you love to do is the exercise you should be doing. You shouldn’t be forcing yourself to run if you hate running. I get bored easily, so I like to keep things varied. I found that yoga and lifting weights were interesting enough to mix up and I really noticed a positive difference with my anxiety, whereas forcing myself to do other kinds of exercise that I didn’t enjoy just added to my stress.
Read the full article in the June issue of IMAGE, on shelves now. The Confidence Kit by Caroline Foran is out now.