My New Year’s Promise

Happy New Year!

Image courtesy of Heavypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Heavypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve been away from blogging for quite a while now but it’s already starting to feel as though I’ve never been away.

As we are already half way through the second week in January, it feels a little bit weird to be saying ‘Happy New Year’ still but I think I’ll keep things a bit traditional for my first post of 2016.

The reason for the delay is that I’ve been given a LOT of thought about the theme of my first post.  Last year, I spoke about not wanting to make resolutions because they’ve previously left me feeling like a failure.  But clearly that didn’t have the intended effect and I sit here around the same weight as I was last year, if not a few ponds heavier, and I’m still unhappy with my body and fitness levels.

So what went wrong and what am I going to do differently?

Firstly, I let too many things get in the way of me achieving my goals last year.  Some of these things I had control over and some I didn’t.  To cut a long story short, last year was Hectic (and yes, that IS Hectic with a capital H) and looking after myself pushed off my priorities list.

So this year I’m making myself a couple of ‘promises’ as I think this sounds a little bit more positive than making some resolutions:

  1. I promise to be kinder to myself
  2. I promise to prioritise the things I actually want to spend time on rather than the things I think I should be spending time on

That’s it.  Short and sweet.

This week, I was back to work after a two week break for Christmas.  In order to keep my promises to myself, I made sure that I left work at a reasonable time each night.  My plan was that I would go for a walk in the evenings to make sure that I clocked up 10,000 steps each day.  I did this on every day except for Saturday (when I forgot due to it not being a work day and by the time I remembered, it was raining so heavily that I think I would have drowned if I’d gone out in it – note to self, check weather forecast in advance in future!) and I even found myself agreeing to restart the Couch to 5K training plan which I did on Thursday & this morning.  I must admit I was a little bit nervous at first as I can’t remember the last time I ran, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought and I felt really good after doing it.

Although I was back to Weight Watchers for my first weigh in of the new year last Monday, I haven’t been very focused on my food this week.  However, I have made up 6 batches of different soups to take to work for my lunch each day and my goal for this week is to be more focused on my food choices.  I’m not going to promise myself that I’m going to stay on track 100% for the entire week but I’m going to aim for that.  If I can track for 5 out of the 7 days I’ll be happy with that.

I’m looking forward to getting to grips with the new Smart Points plan too.  I’m motivated by the way it seems tailored to encourage healthier food choices.  To help me, I’m stealing an affirmation that I’ve just seen on an episode of Fat: The Fight of My Life (I find these programs massively inspirational):

“The purpose of food is to nourish my body and mind.  I will not find comfort in food.”

I also aim to get my blogging mojo back this year.  I really enjoy it and I find it really motivating – I just need to make sure I prioritise it.

Now, in the interests of being kinder to myself, I’m off to enjoy a lovely, relaxing bath.

Thanks for reading,

FFF

 

P.S. Have you made any ‘promises’ to yourself this year? I’d love to hear how you’re getting on with them so far.

 

Fresh Start Statistics

So, I braved the scales last night for my post-holiday (which was 2 weeks at a Gourmet Inclusive hotel) weigh-in and I was astounded to find that I’d only put on 1.5lbs!  I nearly fell off the scales!

Whilst I’m not happy with having let my weight creep back up to its current reading, I’m not going to dwell on it – there’s no point: I can’t change the past.  What I can do is learn from it and move forward.

So here are the starting statistics for the next leg of my weight loss journey:

Current weight:    13st 5lbs

Waist:    36in

Hips:      44in

Bust:      42in

Arms:    13in

Thighs:  25in

These are the targets I’ve set based on my current weight:

Goal Amount  to lose Target Weight Date to be achieved by
Mini-goal

4lbs

13st 1lb

05/10/15 (loss of   1lb/week for 4 weeks)
5% of current weight

9.5lbs

12st 9.5lbs

16/11/15 (loss of   1lb/week for 9 weeks)
10% of current weight

19lbs

11st 13.5lb

25/01/16 (loss of   1lb/week for 19 weeks)
Goal Weight

40lbs

10st 7lb

20/06/16 (loss of   1lb/week for 40 weeks)

I have based the dates for each of my targets on a weight loss of 1lb per week which falls well within the Weight Watchers plan’s recommendations of between 05-2lb per week.  I’m sure there will be some weeks when I do better but I want my targets to be realistic and achievable.

As I achieve each of my small targets, I will be setting another one to help break my final goal down into more manageable chunks.

It was actually a bit disheartening to calculate how long it will take me to get to goal – 9 months!! However, I’m trying to view this in a positive way – I definitely don’t want it to take any longer than that so I need to stay focused.  And who knows, if I stick to the plan, I might even get there a bit quicker.  After all, I know from experience that when you stick to the plan, it works.

Here are my current pictures – taken on the last day of my holiday.  I plan to update these and my measurements every month or two to help show my progress.  Although in subsequent pictures, my skin is likely to be even pastier as, believe it or not, these show me with what is a pretty good tan for my Irish heritage, so apologies in advance for that!

Me, September 2015

Thanks for reading,

FFF

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

No, I’m not totally confused and neither have I been through some kind of time-warp.  But I am celebrating the new school year.

I'm looking forward to starting the next chapter in my weight loss journey (in fact this book was actually filled with puddings so I was REALLY excited about starting it!)

I’m looking forward to starting the next chapter in my weight loss journey (in fact this book was actually filled with puddings so I was REALLY excited about starting it!)

One of the advantages of working in schools is that every September you get that ‘new year’ motivation that everyone else only gets in January.  Remember when you were at school and you had new teachers, new classrooms, new books?  You would vow to keep your books pristine and complete your homework diligently as soon as it was set. It was such an inspiring and motivational time.  Well, even as an adult, I feel the same way at this time of year.  So I’m going to use that positive feeling to focus on the next stage on my journey to goal.

For some people, losing weight is a simple, straight forward process: They decide they want to lose weight, change their diet and exercise habits and lose weight.  However, for many people, it’s not that simple and straight forward.  I fall into the latter category (see here, here, here and here if you’d like proof).

Ordinarily, I like to use the long summer holidays to refocus on healthy eating and exercise following a long and tiring school year.  This year however, we ended up having to go on holiday at the end of the summer instead of the beginning when we normally go.  This made it difficult for me to get motivated with my food and exercise as I felt like I’d just undo the hard work I’d put in when I went on holiday.  I did try for damage limitation initially, but that didn’t last long as I kept telling myself that I wasn’t going to worry about my weight loss journey until I was back at school.

What I did do, however, was take the time to begin decluttering my life.  I have a demanding job with long hours, various other commitments outside work and a large family to keep up to date with.  The result is that I often feel as though I’m living at a million miles an hour and I find that my living space can easily become cluttered and chaotic (I’m astounded at how much ‘stuff’ I have amassed in the decade since I left home).  I reasoned that by focusing on getting my house in order, I would feel calmer and would find it easier to focus on the other areas of my life that I want to improve, including my health and fitness goals.

I’m not completely decluttered yet – I’m  about halfway through so far – but I’ve already started to see improvements such as not letting paperwork stack up.  So I’m hopeful that the positivity I’m feeling from this will help me to focus on what I need to do to achieve my weight loss goals.  I’ve spent today preparing my food for the week.  I’ve made 2 batches of soup for my lunches (recipes to follow later in the week) and a thai beef curry for dinner one night.  I’ve got the rest of my meals for the week planned and the ingredients are all bought.  I’ve stocked up on some tasty fruit to snack on and I’ll be making some bircher muesli tonight ready for my breakfast tomorrow.

I’m really looking forward to tackling the next stage in my weight loss journey.  I’m even actually looking forward to my weigh in tomorrow night to find out what my starting point is!  Here’s hoping the motivation will carry through to tackling my workload for the term…

Thanks for reading.

 

FFF

PS –  I’ve been following a process for decluttering after reading a book (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo if you’re interested).  While I don’t agree with everything in it, I have found it to be a very useful tool so far.  I’m hoping to be completely decluttered by Christmas, maybe sooner, and I’ll write a review of the process then.

Operation Damage Limitation: Starting Statistics

As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been off-track for a while and my weight has been slowly and surely creeping

Image courtesy of zirconicusso at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of zirconicusso at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

up.

As a busy primary school teacher, I usually use the long summer holidays to kick-start/refocus my weight loss efforts and I organise my holiday around this – going away at the beginning of the break so that I have time to get back on track before going back to school.  However, this year, we’ve had to rearrange our holiday dates and destination and I’m now not going away until the end of the summer.  AND the place I’m going to is a Gourmet Inclusive place with amazing food and drink available 24hrs.

 

So, I could either write the whole summer off, and no doubt put on even more weight before my holiday, or make the most of the time I’ve got.  I’ve decided to go with the former and try to kickstart my weight-loss before I go away.

 

Start of summer weight (20/7/15):    13st 5lbs

Waist:    35.5in

Hips:      45in

Bust:      40in

Arms:    12in

Thighs:  26in

I’ve set myself a goal of getting below the 13st mark before I go away.  When I come back, I’ll set myself some medium and long term targets.

WI Results – Damage Limitation Week 1

Weight loss:   1.5lb

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Current weight:    13st 3.5lb

Weight loss since start:   1.5lb

Lbs to go to reach next target:   4lb

 

What’s gone well?

I’m really pleased with my weight loss this week.  I’ve been exercising really hard using my new training app (more about that soon) and have found it pretty easy to stick to eating healthily.

Unbelieveably, I’ve managed to ‘run’ (more like a steady plod really) two 5km distances this week.  I’m not loving the running aspect of the training so far but I know that I soon will once I get back into it properly.

Despite eating out a couple of times this week, including on a fantastic day out in London taking my mum to see The Lion King, I managed to make sensible choices and avoided the temptations of desert on boths occassions.

 

What’s been difficult?

I’m finding tracking difficult.  I’m not sure why.  I seem to have some kind of mental block.  I did ok with it up until Friday and then it went out of the window.  I still had the plan in the front of my mind but I just didn’t write anything down.  I don’t really know why.  I had time and I’m determined to eat healthily.  It’s a puzzle.

 

The week ahead

I’m planning on sticking with my training programme this week as well as trying a new circuits class this evening.  I’ve got to increase my run to 6km for one of the two this week and I’m quite looking forward to that.  I’m going to add the extra 1km to the beginning part of the route so that in my head, I’m doing the extra before I get tired.

My biggest challenge this week is going to be spending a girls’ weekend in Liverpool.  I’m really going to try hard to track so that it will hopefully help to keep me focused.  I’m going to take my trainers and running gear with me too so that I can complete this weekend’s run along the waterfront.

I’ve also set myself a mini-target of losing another 4lb by the time I go on holiday which will take me back into the 12st bracket.  I’m hoping that this small but achieveable target will help me to stay on track.

Wish me luck.  And if you’ve got any idea about why I hit a block with tracking at the weekend, please let me know!

 

Thanks for reading,

FFF

 

 

 

Mission: Damage Limitation

Well, as you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been away from the blog for a LONG time.  This is partly down to me getting a promotion and getting my head around my new role.  But it’s largely down to the fact that I haven’t been prioritising my own health and fitness.  The result is that my weight has gradually been creeping up for the last few months.

I can't wait to be back here!

I can’t wait to be back here!

I have felt really annoyed at myself but I’m choosing not dwell on it as that’s not going to get me anywhere.

I’m now on holiday from work for 7 weeks (just over 6 left) and so my plan is to get my fitness and diet kicked back into shape.

Well, that was my plan but, as we all know, the only sure thing in life is change:

Originally, we’d planned to go to Tunisia for 10 days in the middle of the holidays.  I felt that I’d have enough time to get my prep for September done before going then have a couple of weeks when we got back to get back on track.

So, we’re now not allowed to go to Tunisia so are instead going to Mexico at the end of the holidays.  It gives me only a few full days to get back on track between coming home and going back to work.  AND where we are going is a Gourmet Inclusive hotel.  We’ve been before and the food and cocktails are absolutely to die for.  Now, we’ve paid a lot of money for this holiday so I don’t want to feel like I’m missing out BUT I also don’t want to have to pay for an extra seat to accomodate my backside on the return flight!

So, I’ve come up with a new damage limitation plan:  I’m working really hard to eat really well and exercise daily to enable me to be in as good a position as possible when I go on holiday.  We’re going to make use of the gym facilities at the hotel (if my sister is reading this, “Ssshh! It’s my holiday, I’ll do what I want!”).  I’m going to do some energetic swimming whenever I need to cool off (this really helped when I was in Turkey a couple of years ago and worrying about not fitting into my wedding dress) and I also really wnat to try the yoga classes that are available at the hotel.  I’m going to enjoy the food on offer but will make sure I make sensible choices and don’t go overboard.  When I get back, I’m getting straight back on track.

Sorry for the long post but it feels good to be back!  I’ll write a couple of shorter posts over the next couple of days with more info on my exercise plan etc.

If anyone’s got any suggestions for how to keep focused on making sensible food choices and how to motivate themselves to exercise on holiday, please share!

Thanks for reading

FFF

New Year, New Start v2.015

At this time of year, many of us make resolutions of things we are going to give up or start doing in the hope of improving our health, appearance, job or quality of life.

Setting goals and self-improvement are all well and good.  However, for many of us, the setting of resolutions for the new year is often followed by the failure to stick to those resolutions.

I had been thinking about setting some resolutions for 2015 when I read an article about this topic in which many things rang true for me.  I have said for the past 12 years that this will be the year that I reach my goal weight and I never have.  This has resulted in 11 years of me feeling like a failure and being critical of my body and my appearance.

Enough is enough.  It’s time to stop putting it off.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So this year, I am going to do it.  I am setting myself some specific goals to reach by a specific deadline.

I’m heeding the advice about ‘taking baby steps’ and so I’m giving myself a full year to reach my goal.  This works out at 0.5lb per week so is more than achievable.  I’m also taking on board the idea of phrasing my goal positively rather than negatively: it’s necessary to talk about how much weight I want to get rid of (not lose, I don’t want to subconsciously try to find it again!) but I’m going to focus on how good I’ll feel when clothes start fitting me better and going shopping for an outfit makes me smile instead of cry.  I’m also going to think about how good I know I’ll feel on the inside when I’m eating well and exercising.

I’m going to have a visual reminder of my progress by putting a bead into a jar for every 1lb I shed.

So here are my initial goals:

2 weeks:             Complete week 2 of the Couch-to-5k programme

6 weeks:             3lb total weight loss

12 weeks:           Run 5km non-stop

1 Year:                Reach Goal Weight (-26lb)

 

I’m going to set other short-term goals as I go to help me to stay on course and I’m going to make sure that I plan how to ensure that I stay on track on a daily and weekly basis.  I’ll also be thinking of new ways to reward myself for my progress.