Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Just getting on with it.

Well, the weekend crisis is behind me (until the next time) and I have been reflecting. My blog isn't exactly terribly motivational or inspirational for people out there who are also overweight, is it, but a bit like my uncomplicated and basic 'slimming plan' I feel that really, writing about the basics, the day to day minutiae of my life is what I do best.

Should I write you a with my menus of so many calories, so much carb, examples of wonderful protein and all for 15 calories?  I could tell you I walked twenty miles, and here are details of - heart rate, type of bottled water, timing, amount of sweat on head-band, and a description of my fabulous Nike so-and-so walking shoes.  I could report that I did six million lengths of the local swimming pool (you get timings per lap and measurements of water resistance per stroke...the pool water is definitely weakening..) before I describe the smoothie I made with damsons I picked from my own (entirely organic, natch) orchard. Then you'll learn how I tied myself into a triple lotus doing a yoga DVD in the evening and I'll stop writing after I record that just before bed I drank two gallons of purified water with an added something or other from the health food shop that everyone really ought to go out and buy if they want to lose weight healthily...

I am obviously failing miserably in slimming blog world :)

Trust me - I'd top myself if that was all I was able to offer you :)

Actually, I'd top myself if my days were spent like that and I thought it would be of interest to others! :)

Hey...I ought to apologise. Some people NEED that sort of detail and record-keeping...and to each their own etc. That's OK if you need it...but...hmmmm. I definitely don't.

I am the other extreme I suppose. I could be accused of wanting the magic wand...a way to lose weight without getting terribly involved. Oh if only! :)

All I do know is...and we all know this...I have to move heck of a lot more - and work up a sweat if I want to carry on eating as I do and not gain weight. So, my plan is ELMM...Eat less, move more, and so far it hasn't seen me lose huge amounts of weight quickly (just the opposite in fact!) but I am becoming happily (and that is the key word) aware of what I am doing to my body. My blog lacks fast weight-loss excitement I'm afraid!

It's taken very little effort to acknowledge that I have to cut down on calorific food treats. I have been more reluctant to actively engage in movement...mainly because all the sweating, laps, repetitions, weights etc loved by so many weight-watchers are an anathema to me. That was my main worry...I'll never in a million years be as active as these people who are losing weight quickly and successfully. to get round this. I have to move. I recognise that my body is designed to be moved, used, and exercised, otherwise it rots..decays, even whilst my heart is beating. Artery walls thicken, the heart has to work harder and no movement begets even more slothfulness! I've had to consciously incorporate movement into my days. I have no aims to become a sprinter or marathon runner. Those aims aren't mine, but I admire those people who have such a goal. I'll stand at the road-side and cheer them on! :)

How to move? How to remain supple? How to exercise efficiently so that my body uses it's fat stores? That was what had me...(the woman who loathes gyms) thinking. I have mentioned before that I wasted gym fees in the past. On a dark November evening after a busy day I just couldn't get my kit together and drive there. I made myself..time and time again, but there was no joy..ever. I felt some satisfaction that I'd made myself do it but hell, I wasn't enjoying it that much, even when I did become fitter and more toned..

 So..gyms were out. I borrowed my man's exercise bike. I can't say using it fills me with happiness, but I do use it - fairly regularly. My legs have to move. That monstrosity lives in the sitting room and I use it once a day...sometimes for ten minutes, sometimes for ten minutes four times a day...sometimes for 40 minutes...It varies, but it is getting used - and not just as a coat hanger :) Get this - I also dust it! :)

I am becoming conscious of 'spare' in the few minutes between doing 'stuff' - ordinary housework type stuff - I make myself jig way or the other. I bend, stretch, jog on the spot. Not for long..but it happens regularly. It's not the same as sweating and pounding away in a gym..or doing an exercise class..but if I join up, pay for classes and then don't stick with things like that, I feel a useless failure. I have to work with the mind-set I have.

I am a reluctant loser :) However, I am losing.

Today I had a hospital appointment. It was a glorious day so rather than wait for a bus to take me the three miles or so to the hospital, I set off on a brisk walk. That's what our bodies are designed to walk. It's probably good if we can make them do more, but walking is such a great exercise on so many levels, isn't it? I had been reluctant to walk for the last few years...mainly because I was in pain and recovering from ops and generally suffering ill health. I was also drugged up on so much medication. I felt mentally and physically wiped out. Slow recovery and the sluggishness and vague depression that come from all of a sudden, limiting the world I inhabited made me fat, made me less of a person. I got out of the habit of moving and it was SO hard to get back in to deliberately exercising...because I HAD to. (The body becomes creaky and stiff and bloated SO quickly when it's not used...I know this!)

I am rediscovering what an amazing mood-lifter walking is. As I walked a chunky man in his running gear jogged past me. He had some weight to lose and I could hear him huffing and puffing. I wondered if he was enjoying his run? I know runners tell me they get a high from perhaps that is something that happens, but I was getting a high from being out in the sunshine, swinging my arms, pounding the pavement. So..I am now conscious of all I do in general day-to-day activities, and if I can, I do just a bit extra..if only for a minute, here and there. One dance to a song on the radio whilst the kettle is boiling is better than flopping down in a chair until I can make tea:) I have spotted an old skipping rope in a box in the loft. I shall go out and skip on the patio one day this week. My garden isn't it won't be an X rated activity even though my blobby bits bobbing up and down won't be a pretty sight! ;)

So...for now I am moving more. What about food? I was digging my heels in here...resisting any sort of plan, any sort of restrictive way of eating. I am just not into it and I am old enough to know myself - to know that I can rebel, even when my rebellion is destructive.

I recognised too that if I am denied a food or a treat I go completely off the rails...I'll scoff it with a vengeance. That's stupid..I cut off my nose to spite my face, but deny me foods I want and the demon that sits on my shoulder whining "Not fair!" springs into action and encourages me to have exactly what I want, when I want it.

Then I feel weak and out of control and THAT is when I make myself feel like a miserable and stupid woman, without an ounce of self-control.

So..I have befriended that demon and I feed him morsels of the foods we know and love..occasionally. And guess what? The world hasn't caved in...I haven't blown up like a balloon and I haven't had to feel like a miserable loser for any length of time afterwards. A small amount of food 'treat' suffices...and as the days go by those food treats seem to have less hold on me. It's amazing. Knowing I can always have it actually helps me!

Now..those who deny themselves food treats will lose weight a whole lot quicker than I will, that's for sure but I am not of the belief that my life will be more worthwhile without sugar or fat in it..or because I have sacrificed all I used to love because my health depends on it. Life has to be worth living and I enjoy food. I have enjoyed junk food - we all have. I can sort of go cold turkey on that because I wasn't addicted to it. I had it rarely before, and I'll have it rarely now...with no guilt attached.

I have to limit sugar and fat, that's for sure, but my diet was never just needed a conscious tweaking. I have to eat fewer calories - I know that, because my weight is putting a strain on my heart and other vital organs as well as my limbs. I shall however not deny myself too many foods. Obvious deep fried ones and those made with fats and /or loaded with sugar I shall have rarely. Learning to have them only every now and then has been a real revelation. I can take them or leave them now. I don't crave them. I can walk past doughnuts and Danish pastries and not buy them....and that's a lovely feeling. I can also eat fish and chips, as I did last week, and just ENJOY the flaky white fish and the crisp golden batter...sprinkled with salt (yes the dreaded salt) and vinegar. I can say "That was lovely..." without too much remorse. What I have to learn to do is not turn to food as a crutch...a prop when times are hard and I don't care much about anything, least of all the shape of my body. That's where we fall down, isn't it?

I know I have repeated myself here, but I feel I am changing my relationship with food...very, very slowly. I am sorry that this isn't a whizz-bang, 'get yer trainers on and start running'  production. I can't report fantastic results, or tell you about an amazing workout, or tell you tales of incredible will-power when faced with foods that tempt me. I conclude that I just don't have a will of iron. I know I am inspired by those who commit wholeheartedly and just 'go for it'. My reluctance to change my life too much has me weighing up my options, and I opt to do this slowly and gradually - and along the way I am hoping that I too really 'get into it' - start to feel that things are getting better and that I WANT to change my life drastically....which would involve dedication to the cause and perhaps a stricter routine. I am just not sure that I could sustain such a programme long term, therefore I've opted for a 'go easy on yourself' regime which I hope I can stick to for the remainder of my days. I have to make changes...but I don't want the changes to turn my life upside down for a short time only. Mine is perhaps a 'cheats' guide to making a difference. I hope that my tales of changing things slowly but surely, of feeling that my tiny efforts, my minuscule adjustments and my greater awareness help you in some way. It's OK not to change completely and dramatically in your outlook when you determine to lose weight.

It's not the way for many, most go about losing weight with a passion I just can't muster. I lack that passion, but there is a job to be done, so I had to find a way to do it.

I have begrudgingly decided I have to lose I'd better get on with it...but don't push me, or else! ;-) It's not how many people go about trying to lose weight, but it's the way for me.

Slowly but surely my body is improving and my efforts to improve are becoming slightly easier. I am resisting less.

 I know I'll have days when it all goes pear-shaped and I lose the plot, but even knowing that is somehow comforting. I acknowledge that I am human and prone to straying from the straight and narrow path.

I am not Wonder-Woman, Jane Fonda or the snarling Biggest Loser coach. I am just not THAT bothered about extremes. I am a fat middle aged woman who is coming to terms with her big body, her slow progress, and the fact that she is learning lots along the way.

Slowly, slowly I am getting there. I really hope you are too. Being a dieting failure (as so many of us have been) is so disheartening. For me, thinking differently about what I am doing is making a world of difference. Every day is a new day, a day in which I can put tiny changes into practice. One tiny change, one tiny step forward, is a step in the right direction even if the rest of the day has been a bit of a disaster.

Build on those tiny changes.....   xxx


  1. with all fear of being too...suzie sunshine I have to chime in that, though Ive technically "failed" myriad times, Ive learned the most then as I clawed my way BACK to the healthy path I longed for.


  2. I don't go to the gym (I live too far away and it would eat an entire evening). I eat quality food and have occasional treats. I walk or hike when I can. It's taken my 1.5 years but I'm down 25 lbs and feeling pretty good. There is nothing wrong with slow and steady as long as it IS slow and steady. If what you are doing is working then keep doing it.

    Fast weight loss is not always a good thing.


  3. Slowly, slowly, slowly is better than never. Your commitment to moving more (3 mile walk) and eating less are exactly what I am doing. I also do not deprive myself of a few treats. I just add the calories into my caloric budget. It is working for me. I have lost 12 pounds in 9 weeks. You can do it! Slow or not, it will come off.

  4. I think you're doing great sustainable and conscious things - and I always enjoy reading your blogs! I'm even getting better at commenting and letting you know!

  5. Said the tortoise to the hare, "slow and steady wins the race".

  6. As you can see you are not alone. I for one am glad that you blog the way you do. I wouldn't be reading you otherwise. You help me everyday I come here because in so many ways we are the same. I have done the "fast" weight loss before and gained it back. This time I want to slow down and figure out how I can not only lose but keep it off. I love your sense of humor and your way with words. Keep up the good work.