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.

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…

 

 

 

The day on which I start swimathon training …

Just a quick post tonight – and to say I’m trying my best to establish a habit – and planning when I do my exercise!

I haven’t quite yet decided if I’m going to do a swimathon or not, but I even if I don’t, I can train as if I’m doing it – which means I have a structure and am increasing my training.

I looked at the 5K training plans and tonight I did the first session plan. It took me just over 60 minutes – and it says it should have taken around an hour, so that’s ok I guess 🙂 I swam about 1600 metres.  

You can find the training plans here, if you’d like:

http://www.hertsmereleisure.co.uk/docs_centre/bletchley/Swimathon%20Weekend%205k%20training%20plan.pdf

If you fancy doing the swimathon, just take a look here:

http://www.swimathon.org/index.php

PS: By the way, I’m loving your comments and discussions on Facebook, Twitter or G+, but don’t forget you can comment here, too, and you can sign in with your usual profile eg facebook… It’s just over on the left of the page!

Can a leopard really change its spots? And if so, how?

I’ve read so much over the years about healthy eating and fitness. Logically, I know that more energy in means weight gain if energy out is also not increased. Emotionally I don’t always find it so easy to make the right choices.

We’ve all read that a high percentage of dieters go back to their pre-diet weight – or more – after their diets. I’ve done it myself, not usually higher than before, but back to exactly the same weight to the lb (or half KG). This is the 3rd time I’ve got to my maximum “time to trigger action” weight.  That’s 3 times in 12 years.  I reckon it takes a minimum of 6 months to get the weight down again.  Then slowly…. very slowly it goes back on – over a period of between 2-5 years.

So how can I stop it? I guess my ‘leopard spots’ are lack of exercise and a bit too much food per day – and so the weight goes on so slowly that I don’t even notice it.

So I’ve been thinking about how to fix this. My first problem is that I’m not that fond of routine. I like the excitement of an always changing schedule; the adrenaline of a last minute problem to solve. And the nature of my work is very much like this. Perhaps too much like this!   I’ll usually put this (work) above (me) going for some organised exericise.  So, the healthy habits get broken down, I don’t get anough sleep, I eat at erratic times and so on … and weight begin starts to increase and the fitness declines. 

So which healthy habit goes first? I think that it’s the exercise that is the first casualty, and then it’s downhill from there. The good thing about exercise, for me, is that it makes me more aware of my body. Not in an obsessive way – but just how it moves and how it looks. It’s all too easy in the cold, British weather to cover up – in boots, in a suit, in long cardigans – and not be aware of carrying a few extra pounds. But you can’t ignore the mirrors in the gym though (unless you are very determined!)  in your gym gear or worse… in a swimsuit!!!  And of course you can’t avoid how you feel doing exercise. There’s no escape there!

So if that’s the start of the decline for me, I need to make sure that I make a habit – a habit with some built in flexibility, too – for my life – so this is what I’m going to do. I think it’s realistic:

My exercise pledge: Some kind of formal exercise twice a week to be taken: once during the week and once at the weekend. 

So, dear friends and fitness buddies, I’ll be reporting in!  Your comments and tips, as ever, are sought and welcomed – it feels good to support each other.

This leopard is trying to change its spots. Thinking positive thoughts and feeling better for having written it down.

Oops, is it wrong to take my vitamins with a glass of wine?

Yes, yes, I know the answer to that!  I do normally take my supplements (not too many, just enough) with water. But tonight I decided to have a large glass of wine while I wrote my blog – and realised I hadn’t taken my vitamins!

So dear friends, the initial enthusiasm has worn off. It didn’t take long, did it? 5 days to be precise.  But I am persisting anyway. I absolutelty did not want to get out of bed this morning for my swim. But I did it anyway. And predictably, I enjoyed it. As I was swimming, pre-work, I thought this: Our bodies are not pre-disposed for sitting on our (increasing sizeable – and not in a good way) bottoms and looking at a computer or sitting in a car. We’ve made them behave like that. What do we get in return? RSI? Shoulder and back ache? Our bodies are designed to be moving – for hunting and foraging.  So swimming (albeit not very fast) this morning – with a only a few people in the pool – just felt right. In my mind and in my body  – in an almost primordial way. Like it was just ‘so’ and like it should be since time began until forever. Well, it felt that way until someone cut into my swimming lane! 

It’s the thought of the exercise that always worse than doing it (unless perhaps I had to do a 6am spin class – then that would be pretty tough!) so now I just need to do it. Get that habit formed so it’s second nature.

A tip from my friend Jooles – and now my fitness/health buddy – to finish on today. She says  “A useful nugget to add… Paul McKenna said yesterday that they have discovered that a thin person walks 500 more steps a day than a large person. So increase your steps by: Parking further away in the car park so you have further to walk, taking the stairs etc.”

Great advice. We can all do that, can’t we?

PS Loving the tips, keep them coming!

Laugh, feel better, get a fitness buddy, just keep going …

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Laugh, feel better, get a fitness buddy, just keep going ...

I had to smile today. And yesterday. In fact, every day. In truth I am a bit of a giggler – but today at work was a little challenging and I could have done with padded, sound-proofed room in which to bash my fists on the wall and have a good scream. But just the action of telling someone else that’s what I needed was enough to make us both laugh and release the tension. Well, it’s that time of year. Financial Year Start. Time of new projects and resolutions. Well, I’m not making any resolutions as that’s a recipe for disaster for me. I’ll make some habit changes though.

Well-known diet/fitness advice often says that one of the keys to successful diets/fitness plans is to find a buddy so you can help each other with your new habits. Well, dear readers, I’ve decided that YOU are my fitness buddies! I’m going to check in with you from time, to see how you are doing, say how I am doing and also pass on any of your advice.

First off, this is from my old Schoolmate, Graham – who says “I will give you three tips, Andrea.

1. That first time is the most important. The first swim, run, trip to gym. No matter how long the journey you have to take the first step.
2. The only target you should set yourself is to do a bit better… each time. But ignore the first 2 or 3 attempts – initial enthusiasm is the main killer of all keep fit attempts.
3. Most important. A missed swim, run whatever is not a failure. Nor is 2 missed swims. A failure is no more swims. Have a timetable. I go Wednesday and Friday before work. It changes all the time depending on circumstances”

Thanks, Graham for your sound advice. I suppose I had better add those swims to my calendar!

That is all for today, but if you have any tips to share, please do add a comment here on the blog.

Not a good day but not a bad one, either

I managed to get a swim in last night, so that’s pleasing! Now I know that 2 x 30 minutes swimming sessions will not counteract 5 (or even, ahem, 12) months of ‘bad’ behaviour but it’s a start. I’m already more conscious of what I’m eating and doing (or not).

Today I had a 12-hour workday and was pretty busy all day. No chance, then, of a swim today. My small personal win today was have a cup of tea not a large glass of wine when I got home. It’s a small start. But a start nevertheless.

They say it takes 3 weeks to form a habit and 3 days to break one.  Got a while to go, then!