Thursday, January 02, 2014
Thanks to a link in the "At goal and maintaining" team, I came across the Refuse to Regain blog ( http://www.refusetoregain.com ) last night, and something that struck me quite strongly was how the author was encouraging me to say "no". "Refuse" is not a gentle word. It's tough and it's quite stubborn, and, in my mind at least, not the most positive of words. But, here the author was pointing out that after all the hard work of losing weight (think about it: the hours exercising, deciding to go out into the winter weather to jog rather than hiding under the comfort of the duvet, choosing to cook healthier food at home rather than simply ordering a pizza after a long day at work, learning how to be nurturing to myself and others in ways that don't involve tubs of ice-cream, basically always choosing the tougher option!!) I almost owe it to myself to be stubborn about regaining weight. I can be a stubborn three year old in the face of tempting chocolates, fish and chips and that loving Aunt with the plate full of cookies walking in my direction. I've worked hard, and I don't want those cookies to be the undoing of my early morning run in the freezing cold. It's not worth it!!
I hadn't thought about maintaining weight in terms of me protecting and honouring all the hard work I put in to losing weight. Sometimes we just forget what an achievement that is - it's worth refusing the extra cookie for!!
I've really been struggling for the last few weeks. I realise now that I just haven't been feeling like all the hard work that goes into achieving my goals is worth it. Perhaps, after two years of maintaining weight it gets harder to remember all the effort that went into it in the first place. I also wonder if I've forgotten how important it is to recognise that achievement. I used to reward myself every week with a little treat (that wasn't food) for simply sticking with my new lifestyle. Perhaps I need to start doing that again. Here I am attempting a giant step in my career and learning how to live in a different country. That was a decision I made because of my healthy lifestyle changes and learning about my self-worth. It's definitely worth stubbornly refusing to gain all the weight back again!!
So, I'll continue with renewed enthusiasm to say no to the things that will add inches to my hips, not because I'm wanting to lose more weight, but because of all the weight that I've already lost.
Monday, December 02, 2013
Today, as an evening treat, I ordered a hot chocolate with marshmallows. I knew it was decadent, but I also knew I had that I would still be within my calorie range, even with this little indulgence. I hadn't had real hot chocolate for ages, and I really wanted one.
The hot chocolate arrived and I popped the two marshmallows on top, leaving them to melt a little bit before taking my first sip. As I was putting the cup down after savouring my first sip, I noticed that there were two more marshmallows that I hadn't seen before and I was filled with such joy!! Two extra marshmallows - what a delight!!
Now, the reason I'm writing this is because I was so surprised at the absolute delight I was feeling from this little sugar indulgence and I realised it needed a bit of analysis. Why the surprise?
Then I realised that for so many years when I ate sugary treats, instead of joy, I felt guilt. Sometimes I'd feel guilty because I knew it would make me fat, and it reminded me of my unhappiness at being overweight; sometimes because I'd already been bingeing on too much chocolate, and this was just more of the same.
I'm not entirely sure I ever fully enjoyed the sweet treats. There were too many other negative emotions to contend with.
So, what I think I experienced today was a healthy reaction to a sweet treat.
It's a good feeling. It makes me want to have more reactions like that and keep the sweet things I eat as occasional treats - just to have that feeling again! Perhaps my emotions are starting to catch up with my weight loss. It's taken them two years, but hey, this gives me a new reason to keep up with maintaining.
Friday, November 08, 2013
In fact, I came third in the last maintenance challenge, so go me!!
This week has not been a good week. I came down with a cold that also managed to affect my ear. This meant that when I got out of bed in the morning, or made any sudden movements I got a sudden case of vertigo! Fortunately, I'm feeling much better today, so I think the worst of it has passed.
The thing about colds is that it is harder for me to get out the door and exercise and much easier to say 'yes' to the cookies and cakes. I am sick after all!!
Those two things don't balance out, however, and the scale does a good job of reminding me of that.
Two things have helped me cope this week:
1: Just say "no".
The "at goal and maintaining" team have a thread where they ask, "what did you say no to today" or something similar, which affirms the strength it can take to say "no" to junk food. I've been stopping and asking myself if I really need to pop the chocolate into my shopping basket, and then, if the answer is "no", leaving it alone. It helps me. It's a little thing, but is one step closer to keeping my body healthy.
2: Tell myself I'm going for a half hour jog.
I realise this may be a bit of bribery and corruption going on, but today, as I was feeling just a little better, I said to myself, "go on, just half an hour". It was enough to get me into my running gear and out the door. Then, amazingly, when I hit the 30 minute mark, I found myself thinking, "go on, just five minutes more" and on it went until I managed an hour of jogging.
Sometimes we just need to imagine doing the first few steps. Once we've done those, the next few steps seem possible.
I read through my last blog before writing this and, amazingly, I've managed to meet most of the goals. Making sandwiches for lunch is still not as regular as it could be, but I do feel life is settling in to a groove here, and I'm becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that this is a new groove, not at all my old routine, but it's a groove that is working and slowly taking shape.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
This last week has been a tough one for me. This was the week when the University set down their expectations for Phd students and I spent a lot of time getting to know my (much younger) fellow students and getting to grips with what achieving a Phd will actually mean!
More than the workload, I began to realise that my usual training schedule was going to need to change, too. I have always gone jogging in the evening, and, although I didn't realise it, seen it as something to look forward to at the end of the day. My college timetable is not going to allow for that. As most of my scheduled lectures are at the end of the day, it is going to make more sense to jog in the mornings. For some reason, this has really upset me.
Added to that, I have not been able to set aside time for lunch. I find myself travelling at what was my 'old' lunchtime and have just been fitting in some food wherever I can find the time. Argh!
My old routine is not fitting into this new life!!
Things need to change.
There is no point trying to do things the way that I used to, because I can already see that it will lead to failure, disappointment and a return to bad habits. I can see that if I want to keep up with my running and healthier lifestyle, I'm going to need to adapt, and, like I needed to when I first started Sparkpeople, this is going to need a little bit of planning.
So, here goes:
Jogging needs to be done first thing in the morning. Instead of it being something I look forward to at the end of the day, I need to see it as a way to start off my day well.
I can still pack myself a sandwich everyday. That way I know that I've prepared for lunch, and, over time, I'll find a regular time to enjoy my lunch.
Start waking up and going to bed at the same time everyday. This may help in feeling like I have some sort of routine.
Plan my studying the way I started exercising - with just ten minutes everyday. Set myself smaller, realistic tasks. It may seem too small at the moment, but it will grow and in time I'll be able to keep up with the academic conversations in class.
Keep monitoring my exercise and my calories, just to make sure I'm keeping stable in that area (Being part of the 5% challenge always helps with this). I'm not trying to lose weight, I'm just making sure no bad habits are creeping in without me noticing.
Work on my attitude and perspective. Just for now, try to see not only the frustrating, negative side of change, but look for the potential in living differently.
This is a start. It is interesting to see how I like to try and fit my old routines into new environments. I think this is the first time that I've realised I can't do that. It is a tough realisation, but I think it may be the key to not gaining an extra ten pounds of frustration. It is also interesting to notice how my main frustration is over when to eat a sandwich and having to change the time I go jogging!! Those things are easily resolved.
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