“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 – where 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 – a 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!

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.

Triggers for change … or should that be time to change to be Tigger?

I woke up this morning knowing I had a lot to do. It’s Sunday but I still have a little bit of work to do (work work not house work) as well as needing to do a round trip of about 200 miles for reasons of family and friends.

My favourite kind of Sunday is usually getting up late, reading the papers, tea and toast, maybe watchig a film … nothing too strenuous! Definitely more Winnie-the-Pooh than Tigger! Today, though, I was feeling a bit more bouncy and Tigger-like … my brain and body wanted to spring out of bed for another swim! I didn’t have time but maybe with a bit of planning ahead, I’m hoping I’ll be able to do so later.

It got me thinking about what helps us make the decision to make a change – what’s the trigger to change our behaviour? For me, it’s mix of physical and emotional combined with some kind of realistic target in mind and some of reward for changing.

I mused about some of my triggers in my previous post, but I realised it was the combined total of lots of little things that have been rolling round my head that made me act. One of which was that I managed to get some London Olympic tickets in the public ballot. I really don’t want to be feeling unfit (and large!) sitting at an elite sporting event – especially at the height of summer!  And also the realisation that I do not want to buy the next size of clothes up, when it’s down-sizing I want to do! 

I guess eventually all these thoughts combined enough for me to decide to act and do it now. Hopefully I’ve some motivation to achieve my goals  – feels like I’ve got the intention – so now I just need to make it happen … one day, one step, at a time!