2 days down, 7 to go … and the outlook is sunny!

Outlook is sunny

I am focused. The light is officially on. It’s 2 days into the final 9-day push and all is well. I have curbed my eating, restricted my calories, am drinking more water and have been to the gym.

The ‘X’ stone 11 goal is definitely achievable now with 7 days to go until my birthday – and I might even get into a new dress that is hanging up at home that has never been worn ūüôā (Deliberately bought in a smaller size as a goal to get into!) I’ll be trying it on every day to see if there is any progress – and – I know you shouldn’t really get on the scales every day, but dear friends, I may not be able to resist to ensure progress is continuing! Just got to keep up the good work and not be distracted. Focus, focus, focus!

P.S. Am still addicted to watching the US Biggest Loser on Sky on Monday evenings. Bob and Gillian are still trainers in this series – and they are pretty awesome when it comes to motivating weight-loss. The contestants are heading towards the final few weeks and it’s definitely helping me stay motivated – they are doing their final pushes too. This is my favourite part of the series, where you see the before and after shots – the transformations can be amazing! It helps me, anyway!

A wobble on the 4-week push … refocus, refocus, refocus!

Well, unless I chop a leg off, I don’t think I’m going to make my 4-week goal. I’ve had an enjoyable¬†week and¬†I¬†DID resist the egg-buttie-breakfast-run¬†on Friday, but then it went a bit downhill from there. I had my Mum round for the evening on¬†Friday¬†– dinner-and-a-movie-night. I was all determined to¬†have a healthy dinner. She was a bit later than planned, so I convinced myself I needed a glass of Sancerre¬†while I waited… and this simple decision began a weekend off the diet.

What’s encouraging, though,¬†is that I can view a weekend off the diet in perspective. It simply is a wobble, not the end of the world. It’s true, I haven’t lost weight in the last few days, so¬†no progress made to the 4-week push since last week – but the important thing is not to continue in this vein. In previous years, I’d have just carried on – eating and drinking what I fancied, regardless of the consequences. In fact, let’s be honest, that’s how I used to eat every day! So I must have learnt something this past 10 months or so!

Time to refocus:¬†So now it’s the¬†9-day push! I recognise there is only so much I can do in 9 days. It’ll probably take me 2 days to get back to where I was on before the wobble.¬†I think the very¬†best I’ll be able to achieve in 9 days is to get to ‘X’ stone 11 lbs – above¬†where I wanted to be,¬†but still would be an acceptable loss across the 4 weeks and – importantly – it means I am still going in the right direction. (And no, I’m not publishing my actual¬†weight to the world – even I have my limits as to what I’ll share across to the world!)

So, it’s back to reducing the calories. Later this¬†afternoon, Wayne and I¬†are off to the gym –¬†I’m going for that¬†‘X’ stone 11 goal!

 

Yippity do-dah; Zara and size 12 Jeans!

Time to report in on the previously documented four-week push. So far, so good. A little wobble (involving a certain Mr Pinot Grigio, scrummy bar food and some 10-year old Port last week) but still managed to lose weight in the week overall. So just under 3 weeks to go now for the final push!

Super-busy at work with multiple deadlines. In the denial* days, I would have come home from a long day and hit the wine (I deserve it) and food (I deserve it) as some kind of instant gratification and my reward for getting through a long day, long week, blah blah blah! This time, I decided that I would just have some healthy food (which was on-hand luckily – the secret is in the planning) and that I didn’t need the wine – so I could stay true to my four-week final push. And – yippee! – I managed it.

I felt a little wardrobe update was called for, as I was last at this weight in 1995. So shopping, we went. Pre-‘project-Andrea’ I couldn’t shop in places like H&M and Zara. So I ventured in. Cautiously, I tried a couple of things on. Happy days – they fitted! I can’t tell you how nice it is to be free to shop where you like, because you are not restricted by your size. It’s extremely motivating. So a rather summery peach-coloured jacket was acquired and worn to work this week.

I also did some online shopping as I wanted some new jeans. Size 14s arrived (Size 10 USA). I tried them on straight away. They were too big. What? Surely I can’t be a UK 12? ¬†Re-order online. Size 12s arrive. OMG. They fit! They fit! Cue singing around the house! Now, I am not naive enough to think that all size 12s are created equal, some are obviously bigger than others, but I am so happy, happy, happy about this.

It’s funny,¬†I obviously know I have lost weight, but my brain hasn’t quite kept pace with my physical appearance – it’s like it needs some time to adjust to the new me. I have had some lovely comments from my friends and colleagues this week. I don’t know why in particular this week, maybe it’s the new jeans and jacket in the right size? Who knows? What I can say is that it does help that other people are noticing – and it makes me even more determined to keep getting closer to my goal and ultimately keep it off.¬†Thank you to everyone who commented – it really does help!¬†

And finally, gym this morning to kick-off the weekend in a good way –¬†which, shock-horror, I really enjoyed. So, it’s definitely been a good week overall, and I have a few key ‘lessons learnt’ from it:

  1. If you have a goal – document it, set a timescale and take the first step to achieving what you want.
  2. Pay someone a genuine compliment – maybe they are looking good or maybe they have been good to you – so thank them for being so nice – it really can make a difference to them.
  3. Recognise the small successes you are making towards your goal – if it your goal seems a long way off, one step towards it is better than one step away from it.
  4. And lastly, If you have a wobble, it’s okay, we’re all human and it’s just a wobble – just get back on track as soon as you can.

Have a fab few days and be good to yourself!

*denial = denial that there was a problem

Get this thing done – giving myself a 4-week deadline!

It’s London Marathon day and a few people I know are running. They have been preparing for months and months with today’s deadline in mind. I truly admire their determination and also their efforts to raise money for some amazing causes.

I am not and have never been a runner,¬† so I’m not planning to sign-up for a marathon anytime soon, but I am giving myself a deadline to ‘sign-up’ to commit¬† to shifting the final few pounds. I just need to stop messing around and do what I know is right for me. This will put me firmly in the healthy BMI range and a weight I was last at 20 years ago. I won’t be skinny, but I will be at a healthy weight.

I am doing a four-week push – given myself a four-week deadline. This will take me to one day before my birthday. I have a goal weight in mind. A good goal and a good date, I think – challenging, but achievable. I have already started. Once done, I’ll get on with the business of stabilsing.

So that’s me, getting it off, keeping it off. And stop messing around!

Beware stretchy clothes – for they are the enemy!

So I wrote in a previous post about staying aware and staying changed. This morning, I had the perfect wake-up call for this.

Yes, I went to the gym on Saturday, but yes, I also enjoyed a little break from healthy eating over the weekend.  Apart from the gym, I was not very active and lolled around for most of the weekend in my stretchy gym gear or PJs. So far, so comfy!

Pasta was¬†my friend again this¬†weekend,¬†and so was a very¬†pleasant dry, white wine and other things that have been absent for a while!¬†Now, usually this would be okay, under the good old 80/20 rule. In reality, it was more like 50/50 over this past week, 50% ‘good’, 50% not.¬†And amazingly,¬†this morning it showed in how my clothes fit.¬†Or didn’t.

Yes, dear friends, the skirt I put on for work this morning was too tight. Now, I know this is hardly world headline breaking news, but I really was a little shocked.  And disappointed. It was my wake-up call! Enough is enough. Time to reverse the trend.

So, beware stretchy clothes, everyone –¬†for they¬†are the enemy!¬†They let you put on weight and carry on in blissful ignorance, happily in denial,¬†until you need to¬†wear something fitted.

But, stretchy clothes will not win! I am changed. I am not in denial. I am aware. I will not buy larger clothes! I started to address it today.

So that’s me, still making the change and staying changed.

Stable. Stuck. So should I stick, or stick with it?

Greetings to you all, this fine day. Had a very busy, but productive week at work with not much space for ‘me’ time. ¬†Went to the gym in Sunday, but didn’t manage to get there again until this morning. But that’s just about twice in a week, so not too bad.

Now here’s the thing. I’ve lost a fair bit of body weight – and 3 dress sizes – (yay!) – since June last year. I was last stable at my current weight about 18-20 years ago (wow, that’s scarier written down, than in my head!) It’s still not quite where I want to be and I am definitely not beach-ready, if you know what I mean. I’ve been stable to within about 5lbs at this weight for the last two months. I know this is a good thing and it proves that I can maintain my weight.
But I’d really, really like to get a little bit more off. I wondering if psychologically I am taking into account other people’s comments:
“Don’t go too far – we don’t want you to be a lollipop head”
“Don’t get too skinny, you’ll be a beanpole!”
I think it might be because I like my food, and it is nice to eat a bit more – to be stablising, not dieting. I can ‘live’ at the weight I am – you definitely would not describe me as skinny and according to my BMI, I am right on the borderline of healthy weight and overweight.
This week, I thought, right, this is it, stop messing around, I’ll stick at it, give it a four-week focus, get to where I am happy (and firmly in the healthy BMI range) and then stabilise. But for some reason I have struggled. Maybe I just don’t want it enough. Maybe I am diet-weary.
Maybe I should stabilise for a bit, and gradually, gradually try to get to a lower weight – carry on with the gym, tone up and keep a track on my weight. Am not sure. As a minimum, I’ll be working at sticking where I am – making sure the belt stays on the same notch and that my clothes don’t get tighter than they should be.
And maybe tomorrow evening, after a nice weekend, I’ll have the motivation to do that four-week push for the last few pounds.
As you can see, I am undecided. If you’ve experienced something similar, I’d love to hear what you did about it! Looking for some inspiration and advice!

image
March 2012
image

May 2012
image

April 2013
image

March 2013

Too many Easter Eggs? Time to get back on the diet pony!

Well, the Easter break in the UK was 4 days long and a very welcome break from work. Met up with family, celebrated my Godson’s 16th birthday and generally ate and drank what I wanted to.

When I woke up yesterday (day 4) I felt more sluggish than normal – almost like a hangover. It seems my body has become used to eating more healthily – and it was not too keen on the carb-laden treats of the weekend.

Stepping on the scales was none too pleasant this morning either, but no more denial for me, the Easter weight needs to come off. So, today I jumped back on the diet pony and even went to the gym after work with Wayne (Fiance). Neither of us really wanted to go, but somehow we cajoled ourselves into going. Once there, I did a good job of impersonating someone who was enjoying themselves ūüôā except for the burpees with this weird pipe thing and doing the plank on a powerplate! Ouch.

If you’re reading this and you’ve over-indulged… don’t worry, just start being healthier tomorrow. Oh yes, and try to get some decent sleep – apparently it helps with weight-loss.

Night, night, my friends!

Stay Changed. Be Aware.

It’s a bit¬†of a constant¬†mission,¬†this ‘project me’¬† thing.¬†It’s not just over¬†when you¬†reach your¬†goal weight.¬†Here’s a little of what I’ve learned over this change process:

One, decide what¬†to want to change.¬†Two, make the change. Three, you are changed! Ta Da! Not done yet, though. Four: Stay changed¬†– or¬†end¬†up¬†right back where you started again.¬†And that’s not good. Unless you liked that place.¬†And I definitely didn’t!

What’s a¬†tiny bit scary is that the behaviour from ‘before’ is just there, waiting, below the surface… waiting to make its appearance. In my case it could be¬†the eating to celebrate … the convenience (for convenience, read junk food) eating¬†… and possibly the worst offender, eating when not even hungry.¬†What can I say, I like food!¬†But you¬†know, a slip-up is just that. As¬†slip-up.¬†A¬†few days off¬†is absolutely¬†fine – and probably quite healthy. I’m probably going to make a mistake, go a bit food-crazy from time to time. The important thing is to recognise when¬†I am¬†no longer making sensible choices as soon as possible and not let it get out of control. In the past, this has been my mistake – I haven’t noticed as the weight gradually piled back on. So this is how I am trying to stay changed:

1) Stay active – walk up stairs; park away from the supermarket¬†door (not the closest possible¬†parking space!) – go to the gym¬†once or twice a week (it’s hard to avoid those full-length mirrors!)

2) Stay well-hydrated (it’s amazing how easy it is to forget about this)

3) Wear belts or tight-fitting clothes (or¬†at least, not stretchy clothes) –¬†to tell when¬†my waistline starts to increase!

4) Get on the scales once a week

5) Throw away larger sized clothes so there is no instant bigger wardrobe on hand; give them to the charity shop or have them made smaller

6) Nip any weight gain¬†in the bud and don’t let it get out of control.¬† It’s easier (and less depressing!) to lose 6¬†lbs than 20. Or 40!

I think awareness is going to be key. So that’s my goal: Stay changed. Be aware.

When do you know you’ve succeeded? And what are you doing this week to achieve your goal?

I find it interesting as people are now asking me how I’ve lost weight. In their minds it is as if I have already succeeded. (By the way, there’s no one easy answer because I’ve changed just about everything, from using the stairs and not the lift – to my entire eating habits. I’ll come back to this – probably – in another post.)

I wrote in my last post that my mantra was ‘get it off, keep it off’. Well, I’m still in the ‘getting it off’ place – a few more pounds to go.

But it got me thinking – how do I know when I have been successful? I don’t feel like I am successful… yet! Yes, I am part of the way there, but I think it has to be to do with the latter part of my mantra ‘keep it off’.¬† As we know, a massive proportion of dieters regain the weight after they have dieted.

So I think I’ll be able to say that I have been successful if I am the same weight as I am now (or less) in one year’s time. That will be an achievement.

In the mean time – to keep losing those few extra pounds so that I achieve my goal – and to counterbalance going out for lunch AND dinner on Friday (can’t wait!) – I’m going to:

  1. Make sure I drink at least 2 litres of water a day (yes, water helps!)
  2. Get to bed before midnight (yes, sleep matters)
  3. Go to the gym on Sunday for an ‘MOT’ (health check) and workout (no surprises, here)
  4. Watch ‘The Biggest Loser’ for motivation!

What about you? What will you do to help achieve your goal this week?

Until next time…

 

 

 

“Is this plane seat smaller than the others in the row in front?”

Slightly too long pause.

British Airways Crew “Er… no, madam!” Uh oh. It’s just the size of my bottom, then, causing the trouble! Not an auspicious start to my holiday and not a very comfortable two hour flight. Thank goodness it was a short haul flight!

Well, that was then, last year. Things are a bit different now. Thankfully.

What sparked this particular memory was this wonderful image I found on¬†Facebook on Detox International’s Facebook page last week – which really resonated with me.

Website: Credit: https://www.faactually I just woke up one daycebook.com/pages/Detox-International-A-life-changing-experience/276360322420371

It struck me then once you have decided you want to change – then you do. It’s not that difficult, you¬†just have to want it enough. It can apply to any area of your life – big or small.

This is what happened to me after the plane incident. Last June I started ‘Project Me’. I didn’t blog about it. I didn’t really talk about it – except to those closest to me. I just did it. I am still doing it.

I am trying to become healthier by the day by losing the unnecessary weight and becoming more active. And becoming more aware of myself – because somehow, somewhere, I had lost ‘Andrea’ – she was buried deep in extra layers. And boy did ‘she’ like to reward herself with food and drink. Tough day? Glass of wine! Good day? Glass of wine? Normal day. Oh, let’s have some nice dinner. And on it went.

So my first trigger for action was the (small!) plane seat.  The second was choosing what to wear every day had become a trauma. It was taking longer and longer to find something that looked vaguely flattering, to hide my increasing bulk.  But, really, the plane was the trigger. Enough was enough. I enjoyed my few days abroad, but I knew I had to do something about it. Summer was coming and I had a big programme of events to deliver for work Рwhere it would be difficult to eat healthily. Timing was terrible. But deep inside, I had to start. So start I did. I bought a pedometer. I found myfitnesspal.com Рa free app that calorie counts your food. And that was the start.  So gradually, I am changing and I need to stay changed!

My mantra is ‘get it off, keep it off’. I have a feeling it will be the continuing challenge of my lifetime. I’ll be blogging about my journey from time to time – sharing things I have discovered ¬†about myself in the hope that even one other person (apart from me!) will be helped or inspired to make some positive changes in their lives. Until next time!