Monday, 23 August 2010

Crappy Commitment Levels.

Evening all. Yesterday I wrote about lacking drive. I do lack drive. I've been taking the path of least resistance lately. I know I have. I have been 'going easy on myself' which isn't making me happy and isn't seeing me shape up. I either do this or stop blogging and pretending to do this.

I also have to tweak my daily efforts in a considerable way if a) I am to see pounds falling off and b) if I really intend to do lose weight. I can pussy-foot around and talk the talk (write the words?) but unless I walk the walk with real commitment I am not going anywhere. I am fooling myself.

So, I have decided that mornings will mean getting up, doing the things I do to get the boys out of the house  and then, immediately afterwards, begin to exercise. I'd like this to become a Pavlovian response..something I do at a certain time. Something - the boys going through the door on their way to work - will trigger the 'exercise now' response.

(I don't HAVE to get up early now that my oldest son no longer needs a lift into work, but I make myself get up early so I have a bit of routine in my life.) I feel better for starting the day bright and early. I begin the day industriously, making tea, making packed lunches, listening to the radio, unloading the dishwasher, ironing a few clothes from the top of the basket, but when Son no2 goes through the door and shouts "I'm off Mum. Love you..." I can flop, and I do. I have a second mug of tea and turn the TV on to catch the morning news and weather forecast. I may even watch an episode of Frasier. (Such bliss having lazy, self-indulgent mornings after a lifetime of getting the kids out and then rushing off to work in the heavy traffic...The novelty still hasn't worn off!)

This morning however I had a Doctor's appointment. My GP's surgery is about a mile away from my home..perhaps a little further. It's a 25 minute walk. No time for slobbing out this morning. I got showered, dressed, checked I had all I needed in my handbag and then set off.

I discovered as I was walking that if you don't use it - you do lose it. Your fitness I mean. I never had a problem with walking. I quite like walking but now that I am broke I don't go out much. There seems little point if I can't have a mini self-indulgent splurge along the a paper, or a coffee, or a new lipstick. I tell myself the pennies add up....all frivolous and unnecessary purchases have to stop. The bank manager will write me nasty letters if I spend when there is no money in the account! So...going to town to window shop only has lost most of it's joys. That means I stay in more than I used to. This morning I HAD to go out.

I have to go down a slight hill and then up a very steep hill to get out on to the main road. I noticed that my chest seemed tight as I was walking...and I wasn't wearing my trainers, I was wearing ordinary shoes, so as I put one foot in front of the other I could feel my full weight bearing down on my feet as they trod the pavement. Ouch. The impact was unpleasant. I actually felt heavier..slower and this walk was quite an effort. I was huffing and puffing when I got up the hill...I stopped to catch my breath. The rest of the walk to the Doctor's place was on the level, but I was aware that I was breathing heavily. I was so out of condition...mainly because I am not walking frequently anymore.After my appointment I collected my prescriptions from the chemist next door to the surgery and set off to walk home. The actual effort of walking at a reasonable pace was not easy. I was so aware that my heart was thumping even without walking on an incline. I'd just had my blood pressure taken. It was at the top of the 'normal range' apparently...140 over 80. When I got in I felt hot, and vaguely out of breath. I drank a big glass of water but really did ponder the fact that even walking - something I gave little thought to - was becoming difficult, unpleasant. Not good!

I vowed there and then to do it every single day, with no excuses. I really do fear becoming immobile. I like to walk...go things.

On Saturday I walked to the shops. I bought food-stuffs then had to walk home, mostly up hill. My bags were heavy...but I balanced them so that I had about equal weights to carry on either side of me. I was hot when I got in, and puffing a bit. Now, I have a very basic scale...but I wondered what those bags weighed. I plonked them on the scale before I unpacked them. One weighed nine pounds, the other seven. 16lbs in total. Blimey. That's quite heavy. It was a heavy load to carry up hill in the sunshine anyway, and I have almost lost that amount of weight. It really would be worth shifting seven pounds quickly. I am sure I'd feel lighter because seven pounds is actually a significant amount of weight when you are carrying it uphill. It made me think about the excess load my poor frame is having to carry where ever it goes.

Tonight I am kicking myself. Today, after my morning walk was going to be 'serious'. I didn't wildly over-eat today but what I ate was mostly crap in that it wasn't particularly balanced. I had LOTS of bread...very little fruit and veg at all and not enough water.

Breakfast: small bowl of muesli...(containing no sweet dried fruit) semi-skimmed milk. Two mugs of tea.

Snack after Docs: One banana. Water. Coffee..with a splash of semi-skimmed milk.

Lunch: THREE slices of cheese on toast, (wholemeal bread...with oat bran) spread with tangy pickle. Mug of tea. Later - one nectarine. One low fat raspberry yogurt.

Afternoon foraging: One Cadbury's brunch bar - with raisins, pumpkin seeds and hazelnuts. Five pecan nut halves, one apple. Water.

Further foraging: Six Milton's Multi-Grain crackers...dry. (I munched them mindlessly as I sat at the PC.)

Further "What else can I eat" mad woman foraging: A packet of plain crisps. (Stupidly I'd bought a bargain multi-pack at the weekend , for the boys as a lunch accompaniment. If they are in the house, I'll eat them. I felt guilt afterwards like I'd not felt for a long time. Only one pack..there were five left and there are still five left..hours later.)

Evening meal : One low fat microwave meal. Chicken Tikka Masala curry with rice. Water.

LOADS of carbohydrate. I am now burping. I didn't plan meals today...I ate impulsively, which is OK, but I know me. I'll NEVER grab an apple impulsively, or go and peel a carrot to snack on. Oh no. I rarely raid the fruit bowl like a woman possessed, or go berserk scoffing everything in the salad drawer in the fridge. In fact I threw out a whole soggy lettuce and a tray of little 'vine' tomatoes growing green mould this weekend :(

I had also planned to fit in another walk. I had a letter to post and I was going to go to the post box at the supermarket after lunch...another 25 minute walk away. Did I go? Nope. (OK, so it was raining hard this afternoon - but I like being out in the rain, so that's no excuse.) I also planned to have half an hour on the exercise bike at some point. Did I do that? Nope.

So much for all my early morning renewed commitment. I cheat on myself.

How many times can I tell myself  'Tomorrow is another day and I'll do better...perhaps?' Any of that strike a chord with you? Why am I so weak-willed?


  1. Yes, "tomorrow is another day" kind of mentality is what got me through years of denial. Years. I do not wish the same for you or anyone else that is reading this blog. (Read this post if you like:

    So, I am living proof that you can change a life time of dis-ordered eating. Every day I find success, even small. You have made the first step by walking and recommitting yourself to this habit. Habits take a while to grow in us. Give yourself some time. The second piece of advice is to PLAN what you eat. Don't like peeling a carrot or an apple? Then how about making some and sticking them in the fridge. There is nothing like ease when you are hungry and reaching in a finding your baggie of apples, grapes or whatevers to munch on. Each time you plan ahead you will start a history of success. Here are three posts related to planning that you might find helpful:

    You can do it! Blogging is empowering and you will find tins of support to cheer you on. Michele

  2. Don't beat yourself up..Take a look at what you did do RIGHT did take a walk in the ate a good breakfast, snack, & evening meal...
    So now you just have to figure out how to keep from messing up the rest..And yes we all know it's all about Planning! You can do it. The fact that you came here and Blogged tells us you are serious about this..You do have drive, you just haven't realized it yet.

  3. First I agree with lady sue do not beat yourself up ...your eating was not horrible... so... tomorrow is a new day in reality.. get up.. eat a healthy breakfast... ( we all know how to do it.. just do it) You can get moving. go for a short walk.. do what you have planned for the day.. go for another walk.. when you eat make it conscious make it count.. make it what you know is healthy.. then there are no regrets .. my friend I am learning this the hard way myself.. take it a day at a time.. move, live, eat healthy.. live longer..

  4. I used to do this all the time when I tried to lose weight in the past (efforts that lasted days or a week or two and then I gave up). The main problem was that I was trying to heap too many changes on myself too quickly. Walking for 5 minutes for a week, then walking for 10, then walking for 15 each day built up gradually. I am now so used to getting out for a walk that I get antsy if I don't go, but it was not the way things started.

    You might want to consider a slower lead-in to your changes so that you make a smaller change absolutely routine and then build from there. It'll make it easier and reduce the chances that you'll simply set up a goal that is too big and fail. And when I say, "too big", I don't mean that you are physically incapable of doing it or don't have the time, but I mean that you are psychologically defeated by the change in routine.

    I realize that small changes won't get you to a lower weight fast, but they will get you there faster than saying you'll walk for 25 minutes and then finding you don't go at all. The same goes for your exercise bike. Don't say you'll ride for a half hour. Say you'll do 5 minutes, and do it every day until you find it natural then start adding in more time.

    One thing it's hard not to notice about your eating habits is that you eat a lot of pre-prepared and ready to eat stuff rather than cook your own meals. I think that's likely not helping your progress. It's not that such foods are inherently bad or anything, but they tend to be low protein and low in good fats and high in salt. You're essentially getting salty carbs and then not exercising much. Since you have time, you might want to start cooking more for yourself such that you can have food with a better balance on hand. This will stop you from being as hungry as often, be cheaper, and allow you to improve the protein/fat/carbohydrate ratios. I always make a lot (enough for 3 days most of the time, sometimes only 2, sometimes as long as 4) so that it's on hand for a long time. I also freeze all of my homemade low-fat, sugar-free baked goods and just take them out for breakfast or snacks when I want something.

    You'll find if you spend more time preparing food, you also spend less time eating it. ;-) Vegetable eating isn't something which usually comes naturally. You really do have to plan it. It isn't fun, but it will help you if you want to achieve your goals.

  5. I, too, am weak-willed...but I know what I want. Now I'm just trying to find my way there. :) Thank you for the comment you left on my blog this morning...I really appreciate your insight..makes good sense to me. :)