Its been no secret to anyone includimg myself that I’ve been overweight for sometime now and while I’m a big believer in body positivity and appreciating your body for more than how well it fits into todays “beauty standards” the fact is I’m happier,healthier and in a better place both physically and mentally when I’m fitter….
At the end of January something clicked in me (trigged partially I’m sure my a number I had never seen on my scales before) and I felt the time was right.
I remember my old home Ec teacher saying quite wisely we are all on a diet, the food we consume each day is our diet. The word diet to most means punishment, abstinance and sacrifice to mention just a few words and that as sure as shit wasn’t for me !
Just to give you the start point … I was more than likely in the obese stage of carrying weight but i wasn’t wrapped up in it … I was none the better for it if i had to run up a stairs and I’d been struggling with emotional eating over five years . I haven’t got a before pic as such as I only ever really took pics of myself from the shoulders up ! But even in my facial selfies I think the journey is obvious ….
Believe it or not I feel that learning to love my body despite what society and the media deemed all its flaws led me to put a plan into action to get healthier and fitter but maybe that’s another blog post in the making !
I had used the app My net diary before with success so decided I’d start by downloading that again.. Not only is it a great tool but its free and easy to use. Basically you enter your stats and your current weight and the weight you would like to reach and a date by which youd like achieve your goal by .. If your goal is unrealistic or dangerous the app will not register it as they advise a slower rate of loss to sustain it longterm. You can track your water intake,steps and excercise as well as your food.
Now I am no dietition or fitness expert, far from it but here are a few things i did that i found worked for me …
Rome wasnt built in a day or a week either… First off I focused purely on food for the first two weeks and made small swaps and changes and although I excercised I didn’t do it as part of my plan and it was purely leisurely. In addition I did not give up my kryptonite ..for me its chocolate but be it savoury snacks, beer or wine whatever is yours don’t give it up in fact do the opposite factor it in every day ! You will only crave and or binge on a “forbidden fruit” and in the first few weeks as if you were training a dog or a horse you ‘set yourself’ up to win …
Progress Tracking.. For me the lbs in the weightloss were a means to track my progress but I also had a leather skirt that was my tracker too ! It was my goal to get in it comfortably…whether you are measuring, weighing yourself or aiming for an item of clothing to fit… be consistant. For me I weigh myself every sunday after lunch in my weigh in leggings and top (the same ones each week) taking on and off shoes/weighing in jeans one week and leggings the next you are only fooling yourself ! Another must is an accountability buddy .. each week I text my friend cathy and she encourages me, asks my goals and plans for the week to come (It helps that this is her area as a fitness instructor and pt) and gives me tips and tricks to try.
Fill the fridge… Make sure you have plenty of low cal food in the fridge ( these are not necessarily “low cal or diet brands”) and stock up on healthy alternatives to your favourites and make sure you have treats in that are “good value for calories” I personally would not have lasted a week only for skinny whips !!! I’ll do a list of my fave foods and must have fridge fillers next but the obvious is fruit and veg ! I also have a calorie counting highlight on my instagram page @the_eclectikmagicmomma
Remember your struggles and triggers… A lesson learnt early on for me was to remember my struggles… The main one for me along with emotional eating was the lack of a ‘stop’ button in my brain .. I had been excited to see kit kats on special offer in my local shop and the fact that a two fingered bar was just over 100kcals was music to my ears but where as I could stop at one or two skinny whips these were so delicious I had to have three or four in a sitting.. boom just like that i had near 400 or more calories consumed and still longed for more. Clearly this was not a healthy way to “spend” calories and it meant I skimped on dinner that day to stay on calorie budget but you live and learn and go from there one day won’t do any harm !
Excercise…. In week 3 I brought in excercise … I had been riding 2/3 times a week for leisure but I hopped on you tube and got my weights out on week 3 and started riding for longer blocks of time . When getting back to excercise start slowly with whatever you do and don’t over do it, Doing an hour day one is no good if you cant walk for the rest of the week!!!!
Start off by doing a little more than you do allready, be that walking an extra 15 minutes or starting off walking for 15 minutes every second day you’ll be surprised it builds up quickly.
My other piece of advice is do the excercise that you enjoy most as you will do it for longer… Im lucky in the fact that a) I have a loan of a horse and b) horse riding is what i love to do and its a great way to burn kcals but the point I’m trying to get at is I can ride easily for 2/3hrs and enjoy it so ultimatley every minute on that horse is a minute that I’m not shoving something in my gob !!! So maybe a 45min jog will burn more cals than a 2hr leisurly hike but if your hiking without a three course picnic then you can be sure your saving calories… within the app you can track your excercise and choose whether to bank it or add it to your food allowance for the day, I would advise banking it …. we are all human you might have a day where you have only 200 kcals left for the day but you fancy a mars bar that will put you in the red but so be it.. If you’ve banked those excercise cals you can eat the mars bar, grab a latte on your walk or say yes to granny’s apple tart without sweating it !
Sign up for a challenge ! In febuary I signed up to do 3,000 crunches in March for MS Ireland so along with raising money for a good cause it gave me a reason to do 100 crunches a day… There are loads of these challenges going on right now as charities are really struggling in the absence of flag days so its a win win situation for all involved !
A ‘bad’ choice doesnt have to mean a ‘bad’ day or week …. In the past if I fell off the wagon I’d have the attitude “era I may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb ” I’d let one bad choice turn into a bad day or week or more .. Learning not to self sabotage has been something Ive had to do , this week has been an good example after the easter weekend I relapsed into my chocolate addiction … it was all I could think of literally morning noon and night … compared to the last two weeks this week has been hard and not as successful..hopefully if I can just maintain my weight this week it’ll be a win. It has been difficult with the kids at home to excercise god knows i cant even pee in peace and the less I do the harder it is to find the motivation …. but this week has thought me i need to make a plan for the summer and set out how Im going to make it work when the kids will be here with me for 3 months and how I will have have to factor in healthy eating prep for picnics etc…
So learn from falling at the hurdles and stratagise how next time you can clear them without fail … Im writting down the changes im going to make nxt week all ready and the first one on the list is this ….
Drink lots of water… This seemingly easy task is something i find really difficult for two reasons … Firstly for me its in one end and out the other as quick, not funny my friends when your in a farmers field with your pants around your ankles at school collection time when your neighbour passes high enough up in his jeep to get a good view … needless to say I greated him in shame for a few weeks after !
So back to the point secondly I find water hard on my stomach and dont realoy like it .. to make drinking water easier for me I add a little boiling water to the glass as i find cold water harsh also you can add fruit for flavour or theres no harm in adding squash if thats what you have to do to get it into you !
So they are my tips to help you get fit or lose a few pounds of coarse as Ive said earlier I am no expert and I am very concious as to how easily unhealthy eating habits can become damaging so please if you feel you need to talk to anyone with regard someone elses or your own unhealthy attitude to food please contact BODY WHYS HELPLINE on (01) 2107906.
Best of luck if you are embarking on a healthier lifestyle and if you need it my inbox or dms are always open to you ..