Sunday, May 5, 2013

BEDM: Fit and Healthy

I must confess being fit and healthy are two things I am not particularly good. I am a smoker; I enjoy a drink (or three!), eat too many takeaways and have rarely exercised but this year I started making changes to try and better my lifestyle. The changes started when my friend Ben took up a 5 stone weight loss challenge for charity (you can read more about it here) and I decided that I was not going to be the “fat friend”.

Usually I would dive straight into whatever idea I had to reach my weight loss goal without making sensible changes which I would be able to follow long term so this time I decided to take things slowly. First step was to think about getting active. Aside from my short walk to and from the station and maybe a spin round Westfield I would drive everywhere but I also knew that joining gyms or attempting long runs were not sustainable for me. Ok it may be an excuse but it was an excuse I would make and I need to find a way of exercising without really realising it and build up from there.

I started walking the “long way” to/from the station from home. Whilst I’m only talking the difference between 4 and 7 mins it was something more that I was doing than before. Next I decided to start walking into my local high street. Every Saturday unless I have plans which took me further a field I would pop into town for a trip to my local library and pick up the weeks batch of books and dvds I’d ordered. Unfortunately the first time I decided to do this I was visiting my brother for the day but when I returned home an hour before the library was due to close I decided it was now or never. A journey I was prepared to take up to an hour I’m embarrassed to say took 10 mins! The positive of this was that I would only need a maximum 30 mins on Saturdays do to my library trip – again something I would be doing once a week on regular basis.

When the cold snap reached us there was more reason to avoid using the car in the snow and get my walking boots on. I began enjoying my Saturday trips into town, visiting the library and supermarket which due to carrying my wares I found I was less likely to buy unnecessary treats and stick to what I needed, thus assisting with cutting down on my food intake. I’m now at a place where walking is part of my routine and I will choose the option of walking rather than jumping in the car where possible.

Following a similar theme instead of jumping straight into a “diet” I started making sensible choices with my meals. As I mentioned in my typical day post I have a lunch allowance at work and a very inviting restaurant to use it in which has helped me pile on the pounds in recent years. Instead rather than choosing the full meal option I started omitting the carbs and sticking to protein and vegetables. I actually found this made me less sluggish throughout the afternoon and I could then enjoy a nice meal in the evenings. Whilst I’ve mentioned omitting carbs at certain meals I am not an advocate of Aitkin’s or cutting out carbs completely, I just now chose when to eat them and with what. For example if there was burger and chips available I would have the burger with salad rather than AND chips. Likewise my takeaway of choice is a chicken kebab, usually with a portion of chips now I will share chips with my friend rather than having to have a portion to myself. If I’m going to have chips it’s from the local chippie and far more indulgent!

These few little changes saw a couple of pounds drop off until I found I plateued and had to take the next step which was for me joining Weight Watchers. I followed the original WW plan over 10 years ago and successfully lost a lot of weight and whilst I’ve always had it in the back of my mind (I still cannot drink full fat Coke knowing it’s the equivalent of 3 points compared to zero point diet) therefore never going to far overweight it was time to get back to following it properly.

I plan to do some specific posts on WW very soon so all I will say for now is if like me you want to lose weight yet still enjoy your treats it’s definitely the way to go and so simple – especially with the iphone app. So far I’ve lost half stone and during that time I’ve still ate out, a few boozy nights with friends as well as my chocolate treat with a cuppa at the end of day – the difference is it makes me think about what to eat. Yes I can go Byron Burger for dinner but do I really need/want the chips as well or would I rather save those points for something else later that week.

Being on WW means I plan ahead, my freezer is stocked with microwave meals, not something I’m a big fan of but it removes the excuse for reaching for a takeaway menu if late home. If I want to indulge in a burger from Patty & Bun or Byron I can but need to make sure I’ve stocked up on my fabulous low cal Mexican chicken soup for the rest of the week.

With Easter, my birthday and Bank Holidays I’ve found that my weight hasn’t budged for the past 4 weeks so it’s time to get serious again and I think I need to take my exercising to the next stage. I’ve discovered a woman’s only swimming session locally on a Sunday evening which I intend to start attending. Hopefully if I get into the habit of going once a week I can build this up to a few extra sessions. Wish me luck!

You can also see more weight loss style posts here

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  1. How long have you been doing Weight Watchers - I'm in my fourth week and went to my second meeting today and it actually seemed to click a bit more - I think it might have been because a couple of people actually spoke to me!
    I've bought their Eating Out guide too so I know theoretically exactly how much fat I'm killing myself with if opt for something mega huge when we're out! I'm hoping it pays off though :)

    Loved the post - definitely in tune with many of my thoughts :)

  2. It's the little things that make the biggest change... Loving my walking sessions at weekend... I've downloaded a book on my iPod and walk to chapters!.. It's great fun... Good luck with the healthy living x

  3. Good luck! I need lots of help being healthy!!! xx

  4. Well done on making the changes to your lifestyle - I've lost a lot of weight in the past couple of months, and it's something I never thought was possible. I've surprised myself. And feel so much better for it now xxx


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