5 Steps Forward. How Many Steps Back?

Hi everyone.  I am still here but I haven’t had the best couple of weeks.  There have been a number of factors involved which I’ll explore/vent about in this post but as you can see from my last week’s weigh in (posted late due to my lacklustre mental attitude), this has had a negative effect on my weight loss journey.

So what’s gone wrong?

Firstly, I had a couple of weeks of feeling pretty rotten: headachy, feverish, sore throat, bad chest, achy and fatigued.  I felt like I was going to come down with a really rotten cold.  But I never did despite feeling like one was going to come for a good 10 days.  This lead to me not going running or going to my boxfit classes.  Feeling crappy also meant that at the weekends, I couldn’t be bothered to plan and cook healthy foods so I pretty much relied on takeaways and convenience foods.

The next factor is that I ended up going to the theatre 3 Friday’s in a row meaning I had to miss my spinning class 3 weeks in a row.  For two of these I wasn’t feeling great anyway but I probably would have gone and took things a bit easier that normal.

Finally, work continues to be extremely challenging and, true to form, I’ve been comforting myself with chocolate, biscuits and cakes in the evenings.  When will I learn that, in the long term, this does not make me feel better about myself?!

As I’ve been having little conversations with my conscience about these issues over the last couple of weeks, my inner voice has been smugly chirping ‘Excuses, Excuses!’ at me.  While annoying, this has actually helped me to not lose focus completely and I feel it has played a big part in helping me to nip this attitude in the bud and find the willpower to get myself back on track.

I’ve been back on track for 2 days now and went back to the gym last night.  As I’m starkly aware that my last 2 posts have been pretty bleak!I’m going to go away now and come up with an action plan for the rest of this week  to help make sure I resume moving forwards!

Wish me luck…

Getting Off My Lazy Backside

Last week I was on half term holiday following an extremely challenging and emotionally draining 6 weeks.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On Sunday, I woke up nice and early, had a nice lie in whilst finishing my book and thought to myself ‘I really can’t be bothered to go to the gym today.  I just want to have a lazy day and enjoy the last day of the holidays’.  I even voiced this thought to Mr FFF who replied smugly ‘Well. I don’t really need to go ’cause I did an 8 mile run yesterday’.

Yet, it wasn’t his gloating that made me change my mind.

I got to thinking about how I haven’t had a great week food and exercise wise (although I do feel lovely and relaxed) and how good it had made me feel to make the healthy choice when faced with a weight loss dilemma on Saturday night.  I also thought about how I’d feel if I didn’t go to the gym (guilty; annoyed; that I’d wasted my day) compared to how I’d feel if I went (virtuous; smug).

So, I chose not to ‘Wait until after my weigh in on Monday and then get back on track’: I got up, got my workout gear on and went to the gym.

And you know what?  It really did feel good 🙂

Excuses, Excuses!

Writing my post on why I want to lose weight reminded me of what my husband encouraged me to do in the run up to our wedding when I was trying to shift a few pounds to fit into my dress: He suggested that I make a list of all the excuses I could think of for not sticking to my diet and exercise plan.  That way, when one of these excuses came up, I’d recognise it for what it is: Just an excuse.

Image courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I thought this was a good idea so I wrote the following list on the noticeboard in my study:

  • Too tired
  • Too much work to do
  • Don’t have time
  • We’re going out
  • I’ve never been to this restaurant/tried this dish before
  • Can’t be bothered

I did find that it helped me to ignore these excuses.

Since starting my weight loss efforts afresh in January this year, I’ve been  thinking about these excuses again and I’ve found it useful to spend some time considering how to respond to them.  I’ve found this strategy to be even more helpful because I haven’t noticed the excuses surfacing so far, despite the fact that I’m now well into my second month, a time by when my initial flush of motivation would definitely have expired in my previous weight loss attempts.

Here are my musings on each of my excuses:

Too tired (to exercise) – Will I be going to bed instead of the gym? No? Then I can’t be too tired.  Also, once I get there and get going I’ll feel more energised.  I’ll feel great after my workout and I’ll have an even better night’s sleep because of it.

Too tired (to cook healthy food) – I’ve made sure that I plan very quick and easy meals for week nights and I’ve also got some stock cupboard staples, such as beans and bread, for when I really can’t be bothered.  I also make sure I freeze extra portions of the meals I cook so that I’ve always got a healthy ready meal on standby in the freezer.

Too much work to do – Yes, work is important but so is my own health and well being.  Just because I have a job which will expand to fit every waking moment doesn’t mean that I should allow it too.  Exercise is an excellent way for me to de-stress at the end of the day.  I can always go into work a little bit earlier the following day if I have something really urgent that I didn’t get done.  I also make sure I have quick and easy meals planned for in the week (see point above).

I don’t have time – I need to prioritise my healthy eating and exercise to help me achieve my weight loss goals as I really want to reach my goal weight. Simple.  So I make the time to plan my meals in advance and then make a list of all the foods I need.  I then shop either in person or online.  This makes it really easy in the week as I just have to refer to my meal planner.  I also keep things realistic in the week sticking to recipes that are really quick and easy and using frozen portions of recipes I’ve already made.  I also plan my exercise classes into my week – they’re just part of my routine.

We’re going out – We might be going out but I can still make wise choices.  It won’t be the last time I ever go out and I’ll get to my goal quicker if I stay on track.

I’ve never been to this restaurant/eaten this dish before – I try to look at the menu in advance of going out for a meal so that I can choose the most plan-friendly option.  This also allows me to work in any higher Pro Points options I want to try.  However, I do often ask myself is it worth spending the points on one meal or even dish?

I can’t be bothered – Let’s face it.  We all have days when we simply can’t be bothered.  I’m not 100% sure how to best tackle this one as I haven’t really experienced one yet this time around.   I have had a couple of ‘can’t be bothered’ moments, but I’ve just given myself a bit of a mental talking to and reminded myself that I REALLY want to reach my weight loss goals and throwing myself off track won’t get me there.

 

I’d like to end on a quote I came across the other day which seems to encapsulate the attitude I’d like to adopt towards excuses:

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way.  If not, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn

 

Thanks for reading!

PS How do you deal with ‘Can’t be bothered’ days?