This is the first official update post in my new #notlambFIT series: I am getting back to fitness and two weeks ago I invited you to follow my journey and even join in if you wished!
To briefly recap: Last November I slipped a disc, found myself unable to walk for 6 weeks, unable to exercise for 10 weeks and eventually putting on a fair bit of weight (it also being Christmas) as well as experiencing a massive drop in fitness levels. This is my pledge to myself to get fit, get healthy, and putting a plan in place for my long term health. Every second Sunday I will record my progress in a post right here on the blog, and every day I’m tweeting what I’m doing and eating with the hashtag #notlambFIT!
I want to make this first post mostly about training the mind and what I’ve done to achieve that, rather than specifics about diet, recipes, or exercises I’ve been doing. Training your mind to achieve your goals has to come before the actions you take to reach them.
TRAINING YOUR MIND TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS HAS TO COME BEFORE THE ACTIONS YOU TAKE TO REACH THEM
So after my intro post two weeks ago, I said that I’d be charting my goals here and showing you my “before” picture. This is probably the most nerve-wracking bit: The show-yourself-in-leggings-and-a-tight-top picture that you see on all those “before and after” pins on Pinterest or weight loss sites.
Not something that I’ve been relishing, but I decided to do it in order to give myself something to show for my hard work. So here are the front and side views, warts and all:
For me, when I get out of shape my long, skinny arms stay exactly the same, my waist stays small but I get a bit of a paunch. My problem areas are my thighs, bum and legs, which is where all my weight goes.
However, my physical appearance is not the only thing I’m focusing on!
Reasons for getting fit
What I think is important here is to recap on the reasons I’m getting fit as outlined two weeks ago, them being:
- To build my strength and immune system
- To sleep better
- To have more energy
- To stop sugar cravings
- To give me a better chance of living a long, healthy life
- To be able to wear all the (gorgeous) clothes (I own that) I can no longer fit into
I want to be VERY clear on this point: I do not want anyone to look at me and compare themselves to the way I look, in the same way that I mustn’t compare myself to other women. There is no one anyone should compare themselves to other than a strong, fit, healthy version of themselves. Health cannot be determined by what you see on the outside. Nor should anyone think someone shouldn’t get fit simply by taking one quick look at them without knowing anything about them and their lifestyle, habits or general health.
I DO NOT WANT ANYONE TO LOOK AT ME AND COMPARE THEMSELVES TO THE WAY I LOOK, IN THE SAME WAY THAT I MUSTN’T COMPARE MYSELF TO OTHER WOMEN. THERE IS NO ONE ANYONE SHOULD COMPARE THEMSELVES TO OTHER THAN A STRONG, FIT, HEALTHY VERSION OF THEMSELVES
And as I also mentioned in the intro post, we must be careful not to judge or criticise other people when they say they have begun a new fitness regime. Ever had anyone say to you that you look fine as you are? (Often with a “what are you talking about” at the beginning.) I stress the word “look”, because that ‘s all they’re doing – just looking. It’s all too easy to absentmindedly compare someone else’s body to your definition of “slim”.
No one should ever say to anyone who is trying to get fit and/or lose weight in a healthy way, “Oh but you’re fine, you don’t need to lose weight”. This is not the sort of motivation people need – or want – to hear. Does that mean someone who’s decided to get fit and healthy should just continue to sit on the sofa eating takeaways because they “look fine”?
NO ONE SHOULD EVER SAY TO ANYONE WHO IS TRYING TO GET FIT AND/OR LOSE WEIGHT IN A HEALTHY WAY, “OH BUT YOU’RE FINE, YOU DON’T NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT”. THIS IS NOT THE SORT OF MOTIVATION PEOPLE NEED – OR WANT – TO HEAR
I’ve had it said to me on many occasion, and it is the biggest killer to your new-found spirit. You finally get yourself in the frame of mind to do something about your health and someone tells you not to bother because they’re judging you on the way you look, not on what you’re doing to take care of your body (or not).
Luckily my best friend in the whole world – my husband – is always 100% behind me in the nicest way and I’m so thankful for that. When taking these pictures he told me I look pretty damn good for someone who hasn’t exercised in months (which helps with the loving your own body thing that’s so important) – but he doesn’t tell me not to bother with the exercise either. I get encouragement with each workout and run that I do as well as every time I walk right past the chocolate bars in the supermarket without so much as a glance.
It is dangerous to compare your health/weight/appearance to anyone else’s, whether that be a celebrity, your best friend, your sister, or the woman at the gym. The only person I’m comparing myself to is myself. I know how good I feel when I’m back on the fitness wagon, and having my clothes fit me better is purely a bonus – it’s like my body is saying “Thank you for looking after me, as a reward here’s a trimmer, stronger, less wobbly figure”.
And I’ll take it, thank you very much.
I KNOW HOW GOOD I FEEL WHEN I’M BACK ON THE FITNESS WAGON, AND HAVING MY CLOTHES FIT ME BETTER IS PURELY A BONUS – IT’S LIKE MY BODY IS SAYING “THANK YOU FOR LOOKING AFTER ME, AS A REWARD HERE’S A TRIMMER, STRONGER, LESS WOBBLY FIGURE”.
So with that off my chest, here are the statistics!
My current stats and fitness goals
As I said in the #notlambFIT intro post two weeks ago, I know I am not especially “overweight”. However, I know that I am unfit. Therefore, I wish to lose 1 stone (14lbs) because I know in the past that’s when I’ve felt at my fittest. I’ve been a lot thinner in the past and I’ve been a lot heavier than I am now, but one stone lighter than now is where I’m strongest and therefore happiest.
I am also looking to be able to run a 10k again. I ran one a year ago and wasn’t fit enough and found it a struggle. The weight had already been creeping on a bit a year ago, and my fitness levels had already started to drop. So to be able to run 10km (about 6 miles) without feeling like I want to die at the end is where I want to be.
Here’s the nitty gritty! Again – please do not compare yourself to these figures. It is pointless and I am only publishing them to make myself accountable and to have a proper record and some way of seeing my progress.
Weight two weeks ago: 9st 12.5lb (138.5lb)
My target weight is 1 stone less, i.e. 8st 12lb (124lb)
It’s a weight that allows some fluctuation for me to put on a little at times of birthdays or Christmas, but not so much that it’s not too difficult to take it off again.
If I aim for a loss of 1.5lbs a week, that means I should reach my target weight in just over 9 weeks. I started two weeks ago, so my target date is 1st May.
When I was younger (in my 20s) I was naturally much, much lighter than my target weight. I have incredibly skinny wrists and arms with bony shoulders and arms, so I have a naturally small frame and am used to be lighter and stronger.
What I did in the last two weeks
I’m going to very briefly summarise what I’ve done here as I focused on the “why” this week rather than the “how”. Over the next few weeks I’ll go into specifics about what I ate with recipes, exercises, etc. My new routine and habits were:
- Cutting out chocolate, sweets and cakes, as well as Friday night pizzas or curries
- Upping my intake of water to at least 3 pints a day
- Getting to bed earlier and trying to get minimum 7 hours sleep a night
- Going for a brisk 30-40 min walk every morning, no matter the weather
- Doing yoga once a week, a run once a week, cardio 3 times a week and toning with weights 2-3 times a week
- Recording what I ate and did (on most days) by tweeting everything with the hashtag #notlambFIT
Do note that for two days I had a sickness bug – not the best way to start a new fitness regime. But it didn’t last long and I don’t think it really affected my weight either way. So although I ate very little for two days, I didn’t exercise either.
Progress since the intro post
This week’s weight: 9st 9.5lb (135.5lb) so weight loss over two weeks = 3lb.
This is a figure I am very happy with – a steady, healthy weight loss of 1-2lbs a week is the best way to go and shows that I am not starving myself or over exercising, nor am I being naughty with too many treats or huge portion sizes.
So it’s a great start, and very encouraging for the next seven weeks! In two weeks’ time I’ll talk diet and what I eat.
ARE YOU IN ON THIS WITH ME? JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON TWITTER WITH #notlambFIT AND LET’S ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER DURING THE NEXT 7+ WEEKS (AND PLEASE DO COMMENT BELOW AS ALWAYS)!
P.S. LOOKING FOR MORE HEALTH AND FITNESS MOTIVATION? YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE 11 WAYS TO ADOPT HEALTHY EATING HABITS!