Ohhhh... This is going to be a tough post to write. What was meant to be a positive summary of my progress is now going to be a pep talk to myself! I'll explain...
So we had Easter, and of course the inevitable happened - too much eating generally, large portions, tasty puddings and of course chocolate. We had a couple of family birthdays too, so there was also birthday cake, and yet more puddings. I have no excuse, but a long weekend of too much celebration and not enough exercise turned into about 7-10 days of falling off the fitness wagon almost entirely.
YOU HAVE TO GET RIGHT BACK UP, DUST YOURSELF OFF AND CLIMB BACK ON BOARD AGAIN, AND THAT'S WHAT I'M DOING HERE.
But luckily not enough to give up altogether, which is all too easy to do. I was still clinging by my fingernails to the back of that wagon (otherwise known as a strong desire to get fit), thank goodness. You have to get right back up, dust yourself off and climb back on board again, and that's what I'm doing here.
I need to find new ways of finding my motivation again; whilst being somewhat inactive and being on social media (and the sofa!) more hasn't been such a good thing for this process, it has at least given me the chance to re-evaluate my goals and think about how I'm going to achieve them.
This week I read the most fantastically inspiring post How I Lost Weight Without Dieting by the wonderful Michelle of The Barefaced Chic. As well as the post being a very entertaining read, this is the story of a (then) 49-year-old woman who decided to get her health in order - the before and after pictures speak for themselves. Her advice is incredibly sensible and straightforward, and the fact that she looks 20 years younger is a testament to that sensible approach. (I've met her in real life too and she really doesn't look a day over 35.)
As I haven't actually weighed myself for the last two weeks (I know I'm not losing weight because my trousers are still just as tight), I'm going to assume I'm still the same weight, and maybe even a few pounds heavier. I'm more lethargic than I was at the beginning of my #notlambFIT journey too so that's another thing that hasn't changed that should have.
Firstly, I'm changing my target date that I originally set at May 1st to a more realistic date of July 23rd. There are two reasons for this:
- I am not under so much pressure to be at my target weight in what is now less than a month.
- It's the date that my husband has also set as the date that he wants to reach his target weight by. It's also my birthday, so it's a memorable date that we both know we're working towards.
So this is my new goal from today:
15 weeks, 15lbs.
[Update 11/04/2016: Please remember not to judge how much I want to lose on how you think I look - I am still receiving comments that mention how I don't 'look' like I need to lose 15lbs... This is my journey back to FITNESS, and we're not able to tell how fit someone is by judging how they look. Read: Health cannot be determined by what you see on the outside.]
That's only 1lb weight loss a week: I feel positive about it being perfectly achievable. I'll still only weigh myself once every two weeks, and I'll take more notice of how tight my trousers are - and how I feel. There are some new rules that I'm setting myself in order to get out of a rut and get my mojo back. Maybe some of these will help you if you're in a similar rut - this is my NEW way of thinking about this...!
My six rules for getting my fitness motivation back are:
1. Sleep is going to be my number one priorityFor too many years I have sacrificed how much sleep I get in order to do "just a bit more work". Although I am self-employed as a blogger and I don't (and can't) stick to traditional working hours, it's essential to my health that I make rest and sleep my number one priority, even if I think I'm not getting enough work done. By being so tired every day, I'm not working efficiently anyway so working late isn't actually helping me.
2. I have to get my working space – and house – in order.The old adage of "tidy house, tidy mind" is so true… Again, I'm going to blame it on blogging, but all too often I'm working surrounded by my own mess. I do too many things in a rush, like photographs of Instagram flatlays or trying to find an outfit to wear and I end up leaving everything in a mess in order to get a post written on time or meet some sort of deadline. I know for a fact that if I get the house in order, I will feel a thousand times better and therefore be able to work more efficiently. I've bought Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, the irony is I've not found the time to read it... It would be even more ironic if I'd lost it amongst the mess, but it's an e-book on my Kindle app so no more excuses!
3. I have to make myself far more accountable for what I'm consuming on a daily basis.I think I'll go back to the method I was using a few years ago which was to track all my calories and nutrition with a fitness app (I like My Fitness Pal). I think it will shock me into realising that I'm probably still consuming too much. The app will also tell me when I've reached maximum daily limits for things like fat and sugar, the latter of which I'm pretty sure I need to cut down on. Which brings me onto...
4. I am going to try cutting out sugar entirely from my diet.Or until my target date, at least. I've read a lot about how people feel so much better after cutting out sugar that I'd really like to give it a try. What could be better than feeling (and looking) amazing? I love reading tweets by @iquitsugar, and with 25.5k followers on Twitter Sarah Wilson must be doing something right - I want to know what she knows, and to feel the way she feels (i.e. amazing for having cut it out).
5. I will go back to writing meal plans for the week.And making more food in bulk in advance and preparing it for the week ahead. I can prepare plenty of snacks in advance to chomp on in the week to stop me eating too many sweet things: Carrot, celery and cucumber sticks, sugarsnap peas, broccoli, etc. all make good snacks that stop me reaching for too much dried fruit or nuts. While the latter are good for you and high in essential fats, I am prone to gorging myself on them and the calorific content becomes a problem in those sorts of quantities.
6. I will schedule my daily tasks more thoroughly, and every day.I know that by not using my time efficiently during the day for my work, I'm often behind at the end of the day when I should be exercising*. Therefore having a full day where I've got a lot of work done means I will be in a better frame of mind to want to work out when the early evening rolls around. Liz of What Lizzy Loves wrote a great post this week about How to Do it All and Stay Sane: Time Management and Self-Care, which perfectly sums up what I need to do... Time management is key here.
*I'm an exercising-in-the-evening type of person - I just can't do early workouts. I do go for a brisk walk every morning though to wake myself up, and an evening workout forces me to stop working past the standard 9-5 office hours... It's what suits me.
As you have probably gathered, there seems to be a common theme of how I need to sort out other things in my life in order to feel more positive about my diet and exercise. I've written before about how you need to get your mind in the right place before any changes happen physically, and without the right attitude nothing will change.
Positivity is key
For the next two weeks until the next #notlambFIT update, the six things above are what I'm going to concentrate on. Luckily my husband feels exactly the same way and having a supportive partner, friend or family member can often be crucial in the way your journey back to fitness progresses.
HAVING A SUPPORTIVE PARTNER, FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER CAN OFTEN BE CRUCIAL IN THE WAY YOUR JOURNEY BACK TO FITNESS PROGRESSES. YOU NEED SOMEONE WHO'LL SUPPORT YOU 100% OF THE WAY.
You need the encouragement from someone who either wishes to make the same changes that you wish to make, or someone who'll simply support you 100% of the way.
Although this isn't the stage at which I'd intended to be at this point, I think it's important to be honest about my personal progress so that you can see that I too am having the same struggle with getting fit that many people have... The important point is that we shouldn't give up, our long-term health and fitness is far too important!
I know for a fact that being positive - PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) - is the beginning of a journey like this. Your body can't respond positively to making positive changes unless you're mentally in a good place.
So I hope to have a more positive update for you in two weeks' time :)
DID EASTER AFFECT YOUR PROGRESS, OR DID YOU MANAGE TO STAY AWAY FROM THE CHOCOLATE?! COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!
P.S. LIKE THIS POST? YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT TO READ AND PIN 7 WHEAT-FREE, HIGH PROTEIN & HEALTHY BREAKFAST RECIPES!
Linking up to: Let It Shine, Fitness Tuesday, Brilliant Blog Posts, Friday's Fab Favourites