Sunday, May 27, 2012
Three years ago I trained up for my first 5Km, my only motivation for it being that I wanted to lose weight. I was under the impression that as long as I started an exercise routine I would lose weight. I trained up and managed to run the race in 37 minutes, but only lost 4 pounds!
I managed to gain back the weight I had lost and came to the conclusion that I needed to train for a longer race - maybe if I ran more I would lose more. So, in 2011 I ran my first 10km.
I loved this race. I managed to lose about 6 pounds while training for this one and felt a great sense of accomplishment at completing it in 59.33. However, during the last km, I began to experience pain in my left leg, which left me unable to walk the next day (I found that a pretty scary experience) and resulted in my future runs always ending with the same sharp pain shooting through my leg at the 30 minute mark. I persevered, and ran two more races, but my training and my times suffered. I didn't lose any more weight, and, actually gained everything back again.
It was after The Nun run, (hence the fancy dress!) that I began to consider that perhaps there was some truth in what people were saying about needing to diet as well as exercise.
After a lot of debate, I joined sparkpeople. I had also been advised by my doctor to stop jogging and start strength training and cross training in order to strengthen and heal my leg. That was in September 2011. Gradually, as I began to lose weight and get stronger, I began to start jogging again.
Today, I ran my first race since the Nun Run. It was the Race for life 5km, which I completed in 25 minutes! Not only that, but I came 23rd out of the 9000 or so people taking part ! And, I managed to do the whole thing pain free!!
So, I'm converted : if you want to lose weight, don't just exercise, count your calories too!
thank you, sparkpeople.
Thursday, May 03, 2012
And I'm still skinny !! Because I still find myself a little surprised by that whenever I jump on the scale.
I think I have been at my current weight now for about two months. My original goal was 59kg (130 pounds, I think) and I went on to lose another 5kg while I think I was still making sense of what maintenance actually means!! I've been at 54kg for about two months now (give or take, I seem to be able to stay within half kilo of that weight every week for the last little while). I'm happy at this weight and feel quite relaxed about it, which is great. I do still have to remind myself on a weekly basis that I have actually done it, especially as the longer I am at this weight, the more normal it feels and I start to forget what an achievement it is for me.
Which leads into the inevitable 'its all about how you feel inside' part of maintenance. Because it is is simply one of those undeniable truths. If I don't feel so great on the inside, I end up looking at myself in the mirror and thinking 'you've gained weight' even though my precious scale denies it!!
My new realisation is that I need to start eating healthier. I eat less, but I still eat too much sugar. So, I've signed up to the 'tame your sweet tooth' challenge and have started by challenging the cookie monster inside me. In the last two weeks I've started allowing cookies back into the house, thinking I could handle them, but, seeing as yesterday I ate 11 of them in about ten minutes, I think I still have a long journey ahead of me!!
It's simply a case of not being fully aware of what I'm doing and I also think I may be in a bit of a rut with my routine meals. So, I will be investigating an alternative to my usual ham sandwich at lunch (I do love them, but have been eating them every week day for about five months now!!) to see if the variety will make me less likely to crave a cookie at 4.30pm.
I also think I need to research a healthy 4.30pm snack. My budget limit is 1800 calories, so I can definitely afford to eat a healthier snack at that time. I just need it to be as appealing to me as a nice chocolate cookie is.
As this cookie over-eating trend is recent for me, I'm also going to give myself a treat every evening when I manage to get through the day without eating any! (Renting a movie or downloading a favourite song, probably).
As my outside appearance is a good one now, I really want to start working on what's going on inside me. Starting with what I choose to eat and leading on to what I choose to think about. I hope that will give even more strength to stay at my goal!
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Saturday afternoon, DH is out of town and I am making the most of a flat to myself by dancing up a storm!
This is the exercise I do when I'm tired and home alone. For me, there is nothing quite like it because it seems to feed my soul, my body and my mind more than any other exercise. My main sport is jogging, which I work hard at, but it is different in that it is a discipline: something I have had to follow a training plan with, and something that I need to do on a regular basis to keep at the current training level that I am at. I do love it now, and find I miss it when I don't do it, but, I still have to make myself do it. Dancing is different.
On my own, in my little flat I can dance any way I want to - nobody is watching, nobody is judging, there is no such thing as a training plan for me, I just move my body in whatever way the music is inspiring it to do. And, before I know it, I've been moving around for an hour and I'm feeling a million times better.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
DH and I shared a delicious bag of chunky fries today from our local chippy, and, as I was busy adding it to my nutrition tracker, I realized that I still eat fries quite a bit - not every day - but they must make their way onto my nutrition tracker every two or three weeks.
ice cream is not very common at all for me now. This is one junk food that I've had quite a bit of in the last week, but can't actually remember the last time I ate it! That seems to have been one of the junk foods that has made its way out of my new lifestyle without me even realizing.
I used to bake cookies quite a lot. It has become apparent that I cannot just eat one cookie and stop. So, although I love baking, for the sake of my waistline we no longer keep cookies in the house. This has stopped.
DH and I have a chocolate each every night after dinner from a chocolate box (Hotel Chocolat, for those of you in England) that is so expensive and so rich in flavour that one piece seems to be enough.
So, chocolate has stayed, and, up until last week, I've managed to eat in very good moderation.
I never eat muffins any more. I once bought a muffin from starbucks, read the calories in it, and decided, never again. It's just far too high in calories to justify.
I eat cake once in while - but only if it's a type of cake I truly love. A few days ago I ordered a coffee cake that was just terrible and I stopped eating it. When the waiter asked if it was ok, I acutally said, no!! Gone are the days when I will finish my plate just because it's there.
every Sunday DH and I share a custard tart (Pasteis De Nata) at our local Italian cafe. This is our Sunday routine, and we balance this with a lighter meal in the evenings. I learned early on in my dieting phase that there were some 'traditions' that I did not want to give up so I needed to work around them.
My new lifestyle is certainly not without junk food. I've just realized that I've become extremely selective about what I will eat, and, I seem to eat most of it in cahoots with my husband (who has lost twenty pounds since January and is still working his way down the scale). I think this is why I struggle to say I'm living a healthy lifestyle.
It feels more like a normal lifestyle. One where I'm not eating 7 cookies in one sitting, or eating an entire box of chocolates on my own BEFORE my husband gets home and then rounding it off with a box of pringles before dinner.
So, I'm making peace with the junk food that has stayed. It seems to have found a way into my calorie tracking that is working, and, at least for the moment, I'm okay with that.
Friday, April 06, 2012
This last week has been eye opening for me. It has been my first proper break in a long time, and, it seems that when my mind realizes it is on holiday, it feels like it needs to be on holiday from calorie counting too!
How strange to observe my hand as it reaches for the popcorn/ chocolate/ dessert just the way it used to six months ago. Mentally I knew this was not the thing to do, but at the same time, I needed to relax. And, 'this is what I do when I relax' was what my mind was telling me.
The spa break was wonderful and I have come home very relaxed, and, thankfully, only one pound heavier. But, I'm also back to struggling to eat things in moderation again. I let myself relax and now I'm finding it hard to reign myself back in again. I've now learned that I equate relaxing with eating whatever I want to. I've even said to myself 'I can start dieting again tomorrow' - another throw away comment from a few months ago that I haven't said to myself for ages!
I need to spend a bit of time reflecting on this new discovery. Awareness is the first step, right? Now to figure out how to feel relaxed without needing to over-indulge in food.
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