A sort of pledge

I wrote this post, then I wasn’t sure I’d post it. But to hell with it, I think. I might as well – only self consciousness is holding me back and when that stopped me going to the gym I beat it with my ipod so everything is fine now.*

I’ll be honest, I’m heavier than I should be. I don’t feel within myself that I’m as heavy as I am, and people are often suprised when I tell them my weight because they underestimated. I’ve been heavy since I went to Scotland on exchange when I was 16 and the sudden change in diet as well as stopping all the sporting activities I had at home kinda didn’t help me out.

In the past I’ve wanted to lose weight. It hasn’t worked, and I’ve developed some very unhealthy habits. I eat when I’m anxious or stressed. And when I’m anxious or stressed I generally eat bad things – chips are the main culprit because I love love LOVE the crunchy texture of them. I don’t exercise as much as I should and I don’t make good choices for dinners etc. I often skip meals due to feeling nauseus in the morning (No I’m not pregnant, it’s just that I don’t feel like eating first thing). Being incredibly busy at times at work also makes it difficult, because I either skip another meal or end up eating convenient food in the car – e.g. McDonalds.

It’s never worked. I’ve managed to stop from gaining any more weight, but the few Kgs I have shifted when I’ve stuck to my plans have always come back so I generally fluctuate a few kilos around a set point.

At the moment I have an exercise plan and my physical health has improved (greatly) but my weight remains. If I felt perfectly healthy and fit but stayed the same weight and shape I’d be happy. This is because I am at a point in my life where I appreciate and respect myself and I’m no longer so body conscious. I think that has a lot to do with my wonderful Gary, who loves me no matter what and has made me feel so comfortable in my own skin. However, carrying around extra fatty tissue isn’t health, so I need to change something. I’ve increased my physical effort, and I’m happy with my progress. Now it’s time to step it up a notch and make some lasting changes to my diet.

So here’s the thing. I’m biting the bullet here and using a combination of motivations to get my health goals achieved. I figure if I put this out in public I’ll feel more pushed to make the changes I need to make. I hate the idea of restrictive diets or reigiemes, and the thought of counting calories or losing creativity from my cooking kills me. So I am going to set myself “guidelines” with the understanding that it’s ok if I don’t do everything perfect every day, and that a step backwards always allows another step forwards. I’ll throw in a Red Vs. Blue quote here: “We are not retreating. We are advancing towards future victory!”

The other part is that I’m always banging on about self care in Social Work. Health and fitness is an important part of making sure I’m capable of doing my job well for many years to come.

My Overall Goal:
To focus on improving my health and fitness and to lose some weight as a secondary objective.
Fitness goal: complete challenges – we are doing the trek in Nepal this October. Next year we intend to do Kokoda. More locally, though, I want to compete in the Rutherglen Triathlon next year and also the Nail Can Hill Run. I’d also love to turn up at hockey training for the start of next season and shock everyone with my improvements.
Weight Goal: Lets start with dropping 5kg. Over time I think I’d like to lose maybe 15kg then reassess but I’m working with 5kg increments.

My Overall Plan:
* Eat less unhealthy food
* Eat more healthy food.
* use a variety of exercises on a regular basis to improve health and fitness
* keep myself motivated with this blog, support from other friends with the same goal, as well as “physical challenge” goals.
It’s pretty simple really: eat good, be active, and keep positive.

Specific guidelines to achieve overall plan:

Food
– eat breakfast every day.
– Pack my own bento-style lunches daily (when possible)
– reduce carbs at dinnertime. I love them too much to cut them out completely but reduction is key.
– keep healthier choices for snacks in my desk at work, instead of running to the canteen and eating chocolate or chips.
– start every day with a cup of tea – peppermint to help settle my stomach when I feel I cant eat, or other herbal teas.
– reduce intake of processed food. I don’t eat that much at the moment but it cant hurt to cut more out.
– keep eating heaps of fresh veggies.
– plan meals on a weekly basis – include one vegetarian, one fish, one chicken, and the rest can be whatever. Mostly for variety.
– rely on fruit for quick energy boosts rather than chocolate or coffee.
-reduce dairy intake – look for alternatives. My body doesn’t like dairy anyway. I just like the taste of cheese
– Thursday is my rest day. I can indulge a little then.

Exercise:
– Thursday is my rest day.
– Use a variety of exercises. My current preferences include jog/walk with a friend, gym (cardio and weights), water aerobics, and walking/running/riding with Gary. I’m also itching to throw the kayaks in the water again and spend a day on the river.
I aim to train at least 4 days a week, and I’m going to have to shift my plans and add sessions now that hockey season is over.

so I guess that’s pretty much it. It’s a long post, and it will be a big task but I’ve managed to stick to some changes to my exercise patterns so it’s just a matter of building changes in small steps. I’ve already noticed that I often don’t buy softdrink at the supermarket anymore because I know I have my soda stream at home and I can get the fizz from plain soda water and the fizz is what I’m craving anyway… Anyway, I’m optimistic this time and I’m about to head to the gym to try out the new stair machines!

This is what I’m talking about

* Let me explain – I used to hate going to the gym because I felt conscious and felt others were judging my lack of form or health. I hated it to the point where I signed up at a 24 hour one and went at wierd times so there would be nobody around, and going to the gym was mentally painfull. Then I started listening to my iPod (usually listen to Disturbed because it is AWESOME powerful gym music) and now I can just smash out my workout without even thinking about anyone else in the popular gym I now go to. No more self consciousness!

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4 thoughts on “A sort of pledge

  1. Champion effort!

    I should probably look into something like this if I intend on running up mountains in November…

    I tried to just run the other day, it’s surprising how unfit you get when you don’t go to training for half a season.

  2. hey little brother!

    thanks, I think it’s really about getting my butt into gear. And yes, not training makes a huge difference. My legs (and back, and wrists) always hate me after the first game of each season…

  3. I feel your pain, lady. I have a strange relationship with food. I need to change the way I deal with food—ie, not binge on bad things, not turn to food when I’m stressed. It’s rough because you really do have to fix the whole foundation of your thinking and habits for it to last. But it is doable. I know you can do it! I wish you all kinds of great luck and strength!

    And a bit of humor I came across recently by Jim Gaffigan: “Of course the most annoying people at the gym are the ones in exceptionally good shape. I’m always like what are you doing here, you’re done.”

  4. thanks, I figure small, sustainable changes and continuing motivation will help me out. Funny thing is I love cooking fresh healthy food so that part of my world is good – it just all goes to hell when I’m stressed.

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