Sunday, August 11, 2013
Yesterday I watched a programme on the BBC documenting the various weight loss gurus over the years. Two of the diet programmes that were reviewed were Weight Watchers and the Atkins diet. The whole premise of the show was that diets don't actually work and that, statistically, people can end up gaining even more weight than they started with after dieting.
This is not new information. The news really tends to be quite bleak for people who want to keep their weight off, so I got to thinking about what it really is that people need to lose weight and this is what I concluded:
It doesn't cost a thing, but boy oh boy, is it a hard to keep up that motivation.
More than that, this self-motivation never really ends.
Even though I'm at my goal weight and have been for a year and a half, I still have to make tough decisions about what to eat. The decision to stay healthy and slim is still something that I have to make consciously, and, at the end of the day can sometimes be a very difficult, and very tiring, thing to do.
Yes, we have support systems, tracking tools, etc, but it's up to us to use them. Up to us to eat within our calorie range and go out and do a bit of exercise, and, ultimately, if we want to keep the weight off, up to us to decide to keep on doing those things for a very, very long time.
** I realise this may not be a very up-lifting blog, it just struck me that I needed to write about it as I'm starting to get tired of keeping up with my maintenance and it seems to be happening six months before I reach my two year maintenance goal, so it falls into the statistic where people start to gain weight again. I suddenly understood why. For me, at least, it's getting a bit harder to stay motivated and on track. I'm actually needing to work harder at it!
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Everything is looking good for my upcoming half marathon. I had signed up for a 15km race, but it got cancelled, so I created a virtual 15km with the team 'Runner Girls United' which was one way of giving myself a goal halfway towards the half-marathon time.
I also decided to measure my long runs according to time as opposed to distance. Now I try to increase my long run by 5-10 minutes a week, depending on how I'm feeling. My last run was 1hr 37 (I was 500m away from hitting 17km, so I just carried on running until I reached it) and it went well.
I must thank people for all their advice. As soon as I started bringing water along with me and slowing down my pace for the long run all my frustrations disappeared. I felt less tired and my legs have been able to keep going without much pain at all! My muscles did ache a little yesterday, but I think that's probably quite normal. I never thought I'd ever say that, but...... I'm really enjoying these longer distances...... (I bet my old Phys Ed teacher just felt a shiver down her spine....she would never believe it!!)
I've also taken that advice that even if I can't fit shorter runs in during the week, I must still try and do a weekly long run. In fact, I've been quite flexible with myself about when I run - as long as I take a day off between runs and two days off after my long run. This has made it much easier to fit the training into my last two weeks of work. Now that I'm on vacation, I have more time, which will help.
All in all I feel quite confident that I'll reach the 21km mark. I'm so aware that I need to be careful and not push myself because I don't want an injury now! I'm also finding that all my routes (that once seemed so endless) are getting a bit short. I'm having to double up on them! In that respect I'm happy that we will be moving to the countryside soon where I'll have a lot more space to run. The city parks are getting a bit small now, and those long runs are becoming quite epic!!
Saturday, July 20, 2013
It's just so busy at the moment. And when it's busy it's hard to keep up with exercise, healthy eating, and my newest focus: emotional well-being.
This last week I became painfully aware of the power of emotional eating. As part of maintenance plan I allow myself small treats almost every day. Incorporating these small treats was one of the things that helped me break the restrictive dieting/ overeating cycle that I was once in, and I'm sure has been really helpful in keeping my weight so steady. I've been doing this for over a year now, however, this week, whenever I was about to eat a treat, a small voice inside me kept saying, 'go on, have some more....you deserve it.....'
I've heard this voice before. It visits me whenever things get a little bit emotionally overwhelming. This time, however, I was able to step back a little and consider what the impact of that 'little extra' would be. Then another voice, the one that likes to be thin and healthy, was able to rationalise with my desire to treat myself.
Let's face it. I could have eaten every cake in that coffee shop, but once I had finished eating, I would still feel just as stressed out, as well as guilty about how much I had over-eaten. The food was not going to take the stressful feelings away.
In that moment, I was able to catch myself before the emotional eating took hold, but, as a precaution, I'm tracking my food quite carefully just to stay aware of how much I'm eating.
Monday, July 01, 2013
That seems to be my main concern. Not, will anything break? Will the journey be a safe one? Have we budgeted properly? No, no, no...... it's: can I do this without the ever familiar 10 pound weight gain?
Moving and weight gain go together with me. Then once I'm settled, I manage to lose some of the pounds (never all) just in time for the next move. I don't want to go through that again.
Fortunately, my support network for weight loss in on-line (which means I can take Sparkpeople with me where-ever I go ) plus this is the longest I have ever maintained such a steady weight AND it is also the most weight that I have ever lost. I think my habits are in place, but I plan on starting to track my food every day again (starting soon) just to keep an eye on things.
I've also signed up for a half-marathon in Belfast, the city nearby where we are moving to, which is a month and a half after our moving date. That should keep me training, and hopefully set that habit in stone when we are there. My foot started aching a little yesterday, but I think it is minor, and that I'll be pretty much on track again in a few days.
Emotionally, I don't know. I had a few moments this weekend where I really wanted to break out the chocolates. It's becoming harder to just have one or two, which is why I'll start tracking again. I've also started seeing a therapist just to talk things through. That's a new thing for me, but it's helping me keep things in perspective, which is what I need right now.
This is a big test of my maintenance abilities. And I am planning for it, but still really nervous.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Today I've found myself thinking about how small changes in life can eventually lead us to achieving our greatest dreams. The small step approach works, definitely, but as I've been thinking about it, I realised that when I started Sparkpeople, I didn't feel like I was taking a small step at all. In fact, it took me about two months to just get myself to sign-up for the programme!!
That was my big step - taking a chance at something that I wasn't very sure would work for me. Once I was signed up, I was really sceptical that it would work at all, and I think it was only after I had lost my first 5kg that I began to believe that I might actually reach my goal weight...... the hardest part for me was starting.
It was the same with running. I look back at the photos of my first 5km and I am in awe of the courage and will-power it took to do that first run. I look heavy, and it looks like it was hard work. But, I did it. Now, I feel confident enough to try for a half-marathon. In a sense, because I have built up my faith in my running ability over the years, this will be easier than that first 5km ever was.
Every first step into the unknown is a tough one. But, in this present moment, I am so glad I took those first steps towards a healthier life. I'm a happier person for it.
It is something I need to remember as I look forwards towards the next big steps in my life.
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