I’m a bit late with this post – it should have been written a couple of days ago, but I guess I was putting it off. So here it is, and it shall be delivered using the ‘shit sandwich’ approach – say something nice, deliver the bad news then end on a positive.
So to start with, I’m excited to report that I’ve joined a gym 🙂 I wouldn’t normally associate the words ‘gym’ and ‘excited’ in the same sentence, but wonders will never cease. I have access to a tiny gym at work, and also access to a Health Club close to work, but neither inspire me to go, in all honesty. I know what I’m like – I need to like a gym to want to use it, so over the weekend my friend and I looked a couple of gyms, found one we liked and signed up. We’ve made a pact with each other too – we must go three times a week, and every time we don’t go, we’ve to give a fiver to charity. As much as I do happily support charities, this is one instance where I don’t want to be giving my money away.
Today was the first proper visit where we met (individually) with an instructor to talk about what we want from the gym, and he’s making up a programme. In all honesty though, I’ve got some programmes I can use myself, so the instructor is going to write me out something that I can flesh out with my own stuff. The gym runs a number of taster sessions for various bit of equipment like TRX, ViPR and kettle bells amongst others, so we’ll be signing up for those; first taster session booked for Wednesday. They also run triathlon club sessions that you can sign up to, and Masters Swims, so once I can actually swim a few lengths again without bursting a lung, I’ll be going along to those. They also have an outdoor pool as well as a 25m indoor pool, which I’m really happy about. So I’m looking forward to seeing results 🙂
Now for the shit in the shit sandwich……
I’m sure you can all guess, but after my brilliant first week, having lost a few pounds, I’ve had a rubbish week and ended up practically back where I started. Why? Well, a number of reasons. Despite saying I’d be trying not to have too many ‘weekends of excess’, I had precisely that. Error number one. Following a massively busy weekend, I then didn’t get a chance to do much cooking to make my work lunches, and since I hadn’t given much thought to what I was going to eat that week, I ended up eating not enough of the right things and too much of the wrong things. Errors two and three right there. Lastly I did barely any exercise, just one spin class at the beginning of the week, but nothing else. Laziness and apathy reared their ugly heads because I wasn’t giving enough attention to the food side of things, so energy levels dropped and I didn’t do any more exercise, a vicious cycle perpetuated. Error number four……
So this is usually the point in the game where I throw my arms skyward, and with a pleading wail to the Food Gods above scream, “Why? WHHHHHHHHHY?!” before slouching off cafe-ward to console myself in cake and all things delicious. I’ve been here before. In fact I have a souvenir t-shirt and a cake named after me (have you seen those cakes that look like pigs swimming in a mud bath – that’s me. They are delicious though…… Anyway, I digress….).
So now for the positive ending that is intended to make you forget about the bad news.
As I said, I usually give up at this point, but I’m not going to this time, because I can’t, and I actually don’t want to this time. In my last post I mentioned a list of things I’d been thinking about in no particular order, and as much as they are true, what last week has shown me is that I need order, otherwise I’m going to keep going round in circles and getting nowhere. So in order to try to stop me getting back here, and repeating this post in a couple of weeks, here’s what I’m doing /have done to set me along the right path:
1. Planned my food for the week. I’ve written out what I’m having for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole week (today until next Sunday) and I’ve planned in snacks to take to work (like some hummus and veggies, or fruit and a few nuts etc.). I have most of the ingredients already, and will only need to pick up a couple of staples from the supermarket during the week;
2. Joined the gym. Consistent exercise is key for me, and at the gym I can work on core strength and conditioning. Making a pact with my friend will also help – we don’t want to let each other down. We’ve already planned to go on Wednesday and Friday, and if the weather is nice on Saturday, i’ll probably go in the morning to use the outdoor pool;
3. Taking part in a September 30-day exercise challenge. I’m doing this along with a lot of chums on-line, so the moral support will help me stick with it (the challenge consists of doing daily squats, planks, push-ups and also sit-ups and crunches, but I’m swapping out those last two for swiss ball core stuff, because sit-ups knacker my lower back);
4. Take no money to work. This is essentially what screwed me last week. I take a few quid, go get a coffee but then inevitably get a cake or biscuit to go with it, then I get a sugar spike, and because I hadn’t planned my food, I end up in need of another sugar fix in the afternoon, so either buy something else or head to the shop when I get home and get some sugary treat. I’ll be perfectly honest and say I’ve been doing that for so long that it has become an automatic habit, and I’ve usually done it before I’ve even realised. So I’ve planned some morning and afternoon smacks (I don’t usually eat a snack between breakfast and lunch, but I’m taking one just in case. Even with no money to buy snacks, often colleagues bring cake in, so if I have something to eat instead that’ll help);
5. Tracking my food. I think planning and tracking work really well together. Ideally of course the tracking will just be ticking off all the planned food, but I want to track in case I go off the plan slightly, so I can see it more clearly and nip it in the bud. Tracking alone doesn’t work (at least not for me), and neither does planning, if I don’t track it;
6. Forgive myself the odd slip. This has always killed me in the past – I eat something I shouldn’t, feel wracked with guilt then binge eat and ruin it completely. Realistically I’m not going to give up sugar for ever more – I’ve tried and I can’t do it. I can be sensible though, and allow myself the occasional treat (with the emphasis on the occasional). This is why I want to track as well as plan my food – a couple of treats can lead to a daily (or twice daily) treat if I don’t watch.
7. Remind myself why I’m doing this, daily. My friend Vixx gave me a really good tip to think about why I want to lose weight, and write it down, put it in my wallet or somewhere that I will see it regularly, and remind myself why I want to succeed. So I thought I’d put those reasons on here too…..
- I want to be able to look in the mirror and not be ashamed of what looks back
- I want to be able to wear anything I want
- I want to be fit and strong and reach my goals in sport
- I want to finish the Big Sur marathon in April and be really, really proud of what I’ve achieved.
- I want to live a long healthy life
I suppose these reasons are fairly generic, but you know if I’d written down why I wanted to lose weight a few years ago, it would have read something along the lines of “look better so I don’t end up single, alone and crying myself to sleep every night because I’m too fat to love”. Okay, so never being one to shy away from the overly dramatic, that does read a bit OTT, but in all honestly that is what I thought my life would lead to if I didn’t lose weight. But of course I always failed because I was thinking I needed to lose weight to make people like me.
Now though, I don’t really give a toss whether I’m too fat to love – I don’t need a bloke to make me feel better about myself, I can do that for me. In fact reading that sentence which would probably have brought me near to tears in the past now makes me laugh a bit, because it is so far away from where my thinking lies now. I want to be fit and strong, able to move in any way I want, able to take part in life and not have to back away from it because I’m worried I can’t keep up or that I’ll be too out of breath or look ridiculous. The only person i’m doing this for is me. No-one else. I’m writing this blog to make me accountable, not to please anyone else.
The funny thing is that I absolutely HATE someone telling me (or implying) that I can’t do something, that I’m not capable, but for years I’ve been telling myself I can’t succeed at losing weight. At the place I’ve recently started going spinning, I asked what nights the classes were on, and the girl behind the counter told me about all the classes I could do but then said “…oh but not Thursday’s class”. I could feel my hackles rising so asked why not? “It is a really tough class”. I said I’d been doing spin for a few years, but was told this was probably too hard. Queue the red mist…. The thing is, it might very well be too tough for me, but she looked at me, saw I was fat and made an assumption. Maybe I shouldn’t really blame her for that reaction, but I wouldn’t take it in any other part of my life when someone tried to tell me I can’t do something. However, I’ve let such thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophecy when it comes to my weight. Well no more; this time I need to prove myself right – I can do, and I will succeed.
So I think although I’ve taken one step forward, i’ve not taken two steps back, just one. Weight wise i’m back at the start, but psychologically i’ve moved forward, and that, for me, is the important thing. I can re-lose that weight, and I will.
Happy days 🙂