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.

Back to Blogging

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been nearly 6 months since my last blog post!!  There are many reasons why but I won’t bore you with them.  Suffice to say that while I’ve been away from the blog, I’ve

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

been on a fabulous holiday and landed myself an exciting promotion.  And my weight and body issues have remained about the same.

My weight has been up and down over the past 6 months and is currently up.  I’ll post my stats after the dreaded post-holiday WI on Monday but as I was 12st 7.5lb before Christmas, I’ll just be happy if I haven’t tipped into the 13st bracket.

As with most people at this time of year, I’ve been reflecting on my progress (or lack thereof) towards the goals I set for myself last year.  I’ve read some interesting articles on some of the reasons why people tend to fail at their New Year’s Resolutions and so I’m using these ideas to come up with a plan to help me to achieve my goals in 2015.  More on that in the next couple of days  – I promise it won’t take me 6 months to come up with them 😉

 

Happy New Year

 

You Never Fail Until You Stop Trying

Women sifting peanut shells to make a living in The Gambia - image copyright Hayley Shortt 2014

Women sifting peanut shells to make a living in The Gambia – image copyright Hayley Shortt 2014

Last night I had my first weigh-in following my latest bout of not focusing on my weight loss.  I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it as I’d not been completely ‘back on track’ due to another busy week and weekend (Good Food Show and Father’s Day).  I had considered this when I wrote my last post pledging to get  back on track.  I did think that I could wait until this week to begin but I knew the chances were that doing that would lead to another 1-2lb creeping back on.  So I recommitted knowing that I’d have a week where it would be difficult to focus on healthy eating.

I stepped onto the scales expecting to have stayed the same or put on 1/2-1lb.  Imagine my delight when I found that I’d actually lost 1/2lb!!

I’m so glad I decided to refocus on my weight-loss despite knowing that it would be a challenging week to do so.  Although I didn’t completely stick to the plan it helped to have my weight-loss goal in mind as I made decisions about what to eat and drink throughout the week.

It reminded me of a motivational poster that I saw years ago which said “Putting off something easy makes it difficulty.  Putting off something difficult makes it impossible“.  This really resonates with me when it comes to my weight-loss and sticking to the Weight Watcher’s plan: I know it works when I stick to it and sticking to it is pretty easy when I get back on track.

So I’m going to be seizing the proverbial bull by its horns this week and getting my WW mojo back on track.

I must admit that I’d thought about giving up on this blog as I feel pretty foolish for having to write about getting back on track again for what feels like the umpteenth time this year!  But then I thought about the words of the late, great Albert Einstein who once said “You never fail until you stop trying.”

So, with that in mind, I’m setting the following two small goals:

Weekly goal – to stay on track this week leading to a loss at the scales next Monday

Medium-term goal – to lose 5lb in the next 5 weeks, at the end of which I’m off on holiday.

Thanks for reading.

PS For those of you short on time but eager to cook tasty, healthy food, look out for a review of a fresh food delivery service that I’m trialling next week…

 

 

The Results Are In – Week 15

Weight loss:   +0.5lb

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Current weight:    12st 0lb

Weight loss since start:  6.5lb

Lbs to go to reach next target:   3lb

 

So: I had another small gain this week.

This made me feel a) a little bit annoyed at myself and b) a little bit silly. Why? Because, here I am, writing this weight-loss blog (which was supposed to keep me focused) and I haven’t lost any weight for 4 weeks and I’ve only lost 6.5lb since January!

I allowed myself to feel annoyed and silly for a few minutes, but I realise that if I dwell on these feelings, the effect on my mind-set is likely to be negative: I have definitely been guilty, several times, in the (recent) past of dealing with my disappointment at a weight gain by comfort eating. Because that makes such good sense: I feel rubbish for putting on weight so I eat loads of stuff that is guaranteed to make me put on yet more weight!

So, to combat this, I decided to remind myself of what I have achieved on my weight loss journey:

  • I have lost just over 2 stone since I first started my weight-loss journey
  • I have lost 11.5lb since Christmas (this is calculated from my weight at weigh in prior to my official Weight Watchers weigh in so, although I’m fairly confident in the reliability of the scales used, I’m not counting it as this year’s starting weight)
  • I used to wear size 18 jeans which were too tight and now I’m wearing size 14
  • I have dropped a dress size since Christmas
  • I haven’t given up on my goal

I don’t want to make excuses about why I gained last week, but I think it’s important to think about the reasons why I gained weight to make sure that this doesn’t become an upward trend.

I was still on holiday from work last week and, following a fairly busy first week, it was a quieter week. Therefore, I could’ve gone to the gym each day. Or at least once. But I didn’t. Why? Because I just felt like being lazy! Do I need to feel guilty about that? No. I work hard and I’m always on the go with various other commitments and projects so I think it’s important for my mental health and well-being to have some down-time from time to time.

I did cook a number of healthy meals and have stockpiled a load of portions of different soups (click here for my Spicy Chicken, Tomato & Chickpea Soup and Persian Beef Pilaf recipes)to keep me going for lunches at work over the next few weeks so that has helped with the damage limitation.

I did eat quite a lot of chocolate. It’s my biggest downfall. I love it. I need to think about how to incorporate a small amount of it into my diet without letting it get out of hand. To help with this I took advantage of the Weight Watchers bars being offer and have bought some of those. I’m planning on going back to the Simple Start plan this week and using the bars as one of my daily treats. I’ve put them right at the back of the cupboard so I don’t see them every time I open the cupboard. In fact, I think I’ll even get one out of the box when I’m making my dinner and have it on the side ready for my treat – then I don’t have to see the rest of the box when I’ve got my chocolate craving.

I’m 2 days in to my new week now and I’ve already taken a couple of positive steps towards achieving my goal of losing weight this week: I’ve stuck to the plan on both days, I went to the gym last night and I’ve bought a pedometer. I’m going to use it over the next couple of weeks to gauge the average number of steps I take each day. Then in a couple of weeks, I’ll try to up my average.

Looking back at my achievements so far, I think the last one is probably the most important. And that’s what I’ve got at the front of my mind this week as I get tempted to indulge in foods that aren’t going to help me to achieve my goal, or as I’m tempted to miss an exercise session: DON’T GIVE UP Fat-Fighter!

Thanks for reading.

What do you do when you feel like you’re stuck in a weight-loss rut?

 

The Results Are In – Week 14

Image courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Weight loss:   +0.5lb

Current weight:    11st 13.5lb

Weight loss since start:   7.0lb

Lbs to go to reach next target:   2.5lb

 

I realise that I’ve skipped straight from Week 12 to Week 14 but I’ve had a week away from the blog (and away from the plan) for Easter.

Following a gain on my last reported weigh-in, last week I stayed the same – which I was pretty pleased with after not really getting fully back on track and attending a friend’s birthday party on the Saturday night.

So, this week, I’ve had another small gain.  Previously this would have completely thrown me and I’d be well on my way to letting my weight creep all the way back up.  But not this time.

I knew I’d most likely put on as I’ve been on holiday from work, have eaten out nearly every day (and even twice on Saturday) and I’d eaten several hot cross buns and a couple of Easter eggs.  So prior to my weigh-in, I was pretty terrified that I was going to have crept (or leapt!) back over that 12st mark.  So worried was I about this that my intention was not to weigh.  I felt that seeing my weight back over 12st would dent my motivation.

As I’m a clerk at my Weight Watchers meeting, I knew I needed to go to the meeting and eventually I woke up to the fact that ignoring my current weight would in all likelihood just do more damage.   I realised I couldn’t change the choices I’d made over the previous couple of weeks, but what I could do was to take control of my decisions over the coming week.  With this in mind, I made a plan of all my meals for the coming week, and went and bought all the ingredients needed.

I’ve also reset the mini-goal I’ve been working towards.  I was aiming to lose 4lbs in April but have actually put on 2.5lb.  If I stick rigidly to the plan there is a slight chance that I could achieve this by the first weigh-in in May but I think it’s better to keep things more realistic.  Therefore my aim is to lose the 2.5lb that I’ve put on by that point (2 weeks).  This is easily achievable, and if I manage to lose any more, then that will be a bonus.

As I’ve still got another week off work, I’m going to get ahead with some soup making as I know from previous experience that I lose weight successfully when I stick to having soup for my lunch.  So my plan is to make 4 different soups this week, and freeze portions for when I’m back at work.  I’ll be sharing the recipes on here over the course of the week so keep an eye out.

Thanks for reading.

 

The Results Are In – Week 13

Weight loss:   +2lb

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Current weight:    11st 13lb

Weight loss since start:   7.5lb

Lbs to go to reach next target:   6lb

What’s gone well?

Despite the fact that I’ve had a small gain this week, I’m actually pleased with my mental reaction to it.  At weigh-ins past, when recording a gain, I would often get annoyed and feel fed-up.  It would seem as though I had completely let myself down and that I’d never get to my goal.  This week though, I’m feeling really positive.  I know that this week life got in the way of my weight loss this week but I’m determined not to go back into the 12 stone bracket so that’s going to help me to refocus this week.

What’s been difficult?

I’ve been incredibly busy with a whole host of commitments over the past week which has meant that I haven’t had chance to plan and shop for my meals for this week.  While I think this could be good due to me trying not to obsess over food, there is the danger that I will succumb to the call of the chocolate when I pop into the shops after work each night to get things for dinner.  However, I’m going to view this as a test of my will power and I don’t do failing at tests!  This strategy worked tonight so here’s hoping…

 

The week ahead

We’re going to a friend’s 40th birthday party on Saturday.  There’s a champagne reception and buffet.  As the location is about  an hour’s drive away I don’t know how close to the event I’m going to be able to eat or what the food will be like.  I’m going to save the majority of my weeklies as a buffer and make sure I’ve eaten plenty of filling and healthy foods (I’m thinking of making some kind of lentil soup for lunch and maybe a chicken curry for dinner) throughout the day so that I’m not starving.

I’m also going to alternate between alcohol and soft drinks as I hate feeling rough the morning after a party.

Thanks for reading.

 

The Results Are In – Week 12

Weight loss:    1.5lb5%

Current weight:    11st 11lb

Weight loss since start:    9.5lb

Lbs to go to reach next target:    0lb

What’s gone well?

I’m delighted to have finally reached (and actually exceeded) my “5% since January” goal and can now pick a treat off my list (more about this tomorrow).  My next small goal is my “10% since January” goal.  I need to lose another 8.5lb to reach this target and would like to do so by 2nd June.  However, that’s still a long way off so my next mini-goal is to lose 4lb by 28th April.

I was on the ball with tracking my weekly points this week which I think really helped with my weight loss.

I was really pleased with my exercise because, although I was unable to attend two of my usual classes, I went to my spinning class and actually stayed for a couple of extra tracks and I went back to parkrun and kept going even though my hip-flexor was niggling a little bit and the devil on my shoulder was more than ready to use this as an excuse to throw in the towel.

I think it’s been helpful to not be as focused on food: I’ve been cooking less recipes due to being extremely busy with work and trying to get a new business off the ground.  Instead I’ve been relying on simple foods such as jacket potatoes and beans on toast.  It’s actually been really liberating to realise that I can still lose weight despite not having time to devote to trying out new recipes all the time.

 

What’s been difficult?

It has been a little bit difficult to fit in all of my planned exercise due to other commitments this week.  However, I’m already not letting this throw me off course by making sure that I go to the classes I can get to and work a bit harder while I’m there.

 

The week ahead

I’m going out for a friend’s birthday on Saturday to Chiquitos.  I’ve been wanting to try this place for a long time as I really like Mexican food.  However I do know that the meals are quite high in PPVs.  But I’m simply going to plan ahead, save my weeklies to help cover it and limit myself on the cocktail front.

Thanks for reading.

PS Look out for my post on rewards that I’m finally going to get round to posting tomorrow!

The Results Are In – Week 11

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Weight loss:    0.5lb

Current weight:    11st 12.5lb

Weight loss since start:    8lb

Lbs to go to reach next target:    1lb

What’s gone well?

My fear this week was that after getting back under the 12st mark last week, I’d end up back in the 12st bracket this week which is what I did the last time I got under 12st despite vowing to never end up there again. So I’m delighted that this week I’ve actually managed to lose a little bit more.

I went to an unexpected party on Friday night but I’m really pleased with how I dealt with it.  I still went to my spinning class beforehand to get some activity points in the bag.  Then I ate my planned F&H dinner before we went.  I knew there’d be some kind of food there but I didn’t know what so I thought it best to play it safe.  I also bought a jar of peanut butter so that I could have a breakfast (peanut butter & banana on toast) the following day that I knew would hit the spot in terms of ‘the morning after the night before’ but without breaking the bank points-wise.

What’s been difficult?

I haven’t found anything to be particularly challenging this week.  If I’m really looking for something I suppose I’m not enjoying my spinning class as much as I used to due to a change of instructor.  I might go to the Body Balance class that is on after it instead as I think this will also help me to de-stress at the end of the working week.

 

The week ahead

Although I’m following the F&H plan at the moment, I’m not tracking what I spend my weekly points on.  I’ve been doing it mentally but I’m going to aim to track them properly this week.  I’ve also set my next goal which is to reach my 5% target by next week so tracking properly will really help me with this.

Thanks for reading.

PS Thanks for your suggestions about rewards, I’ll be writing a post based on these later in the week.