I set out a goal at the beginning of this year to loose 2 stone (12.7kg) by the end of August 2013.
I smashed that goal on 19th August 2013, loosing a total of 2.5 stone (15.8kg)
Lots of people (family, co-workers and you my awesome readers) have already been very kind and supportive along my journey, and to you and them, this post is to say a big thank you.
Everyone’s path on the road to fitness and weight lose is completely different and there is nothing worse than someone bleating on about how they’ve done this and achieved that while the rest of us sit there reading it thinking how pointless it is to us.
So I thought instead of sharing all those frustrated and pain educing months of what I ate and how I felt, that I’d share the rules I adopted along the way to get not only my weight down but to adopt a much healthier lifestyle. In fact they are rules I wish I had known back when I started the challenge at the beginning of the yr.
You will not loose weight until you are ready to do so.
Doesn’t matter if your mum tells you to loose it, nor your Dr, not even a frickin’ funeral director who comes over to measure you for a coffin because it won’t be long before you’re in there.
Nobodies opinion and advice matter, you’re not going to do a bean until you’re engaged with the want of making a change.
No sir, you’ll only start to loose the weight when the time is right. There is no right time but when (or if) it does happen, something will trigger that change, you’ll feel that want, and off you’ll go. Without being bullied, cajoled or embarrassed.
Food, as a substance, is like any other addiction. Until you want to change (or it kills you), you carry on because that’s the way you’ve always done it (or not as you realise later on). It’s a comfort zone.
Loosing weight does not have to be a pain in the backside. Food is the major factor and yet it’s the one thing that’s got you in this mess in the first place.
You do not need to eat diet food to loose weight.
The food plan you set has to be easy to maintain, with foods that are readily available and doesn’t involve spending hours checking out the nutritional data on the back of every item you pick up. If it’s not that easy then you won’t stick to it.
Forget how much you eat, it’s what you eat that’s the key.
You do not need to join a gym. You need to just start exercising.
Walking, jogging, push ups and squats all do not need expensive equipment to get you started.
Forget the gym.
Ignore the tempting offers of keep-fit DVDs, diet pills and other strange looking equipment – just put your shoes on, get outside and start moving. Every day. Every day.
This is a life changing process. You might not realise this at week four, week 12, hell even at six months but all of a sudden, and usually without warning, you will realise that getting your body back in shape is changing your life in a very positive way.
Because of rule 4 you need to realise that when you decide it’s time to shift the weight, that this will become life changing.
This means it’s can’t be taken lightly. No half hearted attempts at eating salad three times a week, or just booking a personal trainer for a month. This is full on. 7 days a weeks, 24 hours a day. It’s not just what you will be eating its also what exercise you’ll be doing. If both these areas aren’t in the front of your mind at all times then they need to be.
Lists need to be made, schedules arranged, fridge cleaned and people in your household need to be made aware of what your doing and why because if you’re not 100% in the right frame of mind for this your body will not follow.
Eating less, great. Exercise every day, wonderful. Got that and then boom – you mentally hit a brick wall.
Well you’re gonna hit a load of them, probably every day and at the very least once a month. If you could just turn your mind onto another setting this whole body change would be a far quicker process but not for that persistent and very loud voice inside your head.
It tells you constantly you’re too tired to exercise. It tells you one jacket potato will not hurt. It tells you this one beer will not make a difference. Beating the mental battle will be 100% tougher than any diet or exercise you under take.
That’s how big this change is going to be – you’re going to beat the voice.
Do not look for support and praise from others, it won’t come readily unless you seek it out yourself. Nor will it come at all if you don’t get your nearest and dearest on board with it along the way.
Don’t do this for praise because no-one really gives a damn. Not because they are mean spirited but just because they have far more important things going on in their lives so stop looking for it. Support on the other hand can be everywhere (the best support can very often come from the people and groups you have never met).
If you need 24hr reminders and cuddles with the plan then you’re not ready to under take it yet. You, and you only, are responsible for what you decided to do (and not do).
When you least expect it people will notice, and make lovely comments about you. That will be one of the biggest boosts you’ll ever get on this journey.
Make a detailed plan. Stick to the plan. Doesn’t matter what the plan is but just stick to it. If you’ve decided to take on jogging then don’t start cycling, just do jogging.
Be consistent. It takes months to see any effects which means you need to stick to the plan for a long time. However long it takes, just believe in your plan and go with it because it will definitely work.
After four weeks you’ll be completely pissed with yourself that nothing is going in the right direction. It is totally going in the right direction, you just can’t see it yet. Life changing means it doesn’t happen quickly.
The goals that the plan is working you towards must be achievable. Don’t suggest opting for a 10k race if you’ve never jogged before.
Be absolutely specific. Don’t say your want to loose weight, say how much. 10 stone, 10Ibs, or 10kgs. Doesn’t matter what measurement it is, just make sure you know what the goal is.
Don’t look beyond that goal until it is reached and always be prepared to evaluate the goal if sickness or other unplanned events come into your life.
You’re going to fall off the plan sometimes. That voice in your head is sometimes going to win. Do not kick yourself up about it. Acknowledge the mistake, realise why it was bad and then head back to the plan.
Good bye old me, or is it?
People often ask me if I feel better about loosing the weight which is rather hard to define, do they mean outside or inside? For me it’s all been inside, mentally. The fact I can now be ‘mega’ active over longer periods of time, the fact I don’t look at my jogging shoes with such despair, the fact I know for certain what is good food and what is bad, the fact I can keep up with Mouse. The fact I’m happy to say I won’t rather than I can’t about certain foods.
These are the good things about me now but I have a feeling the journey won’t end here
Cover photo courtesy of Rafael Peñaloza