Archive | August, 2011

The Clock

31 Aug

I like to have little reminders to keep me motivated and often sane!

I could have photos of the bigger me on the fridge but that just focuses on what came before and doesn’t look forward enough for me. The ‘before’ photos are very important however, but more so now to remind me how far I’ve come, I’ll talk more about that later too.

I have a clock, it has little clips round the outside for photos etc, however I have used it for postcards and cards with sayings that mean something to me, every time I check the time I’m reminded now!  They have changed over time and I’m sure will again but it always makes me smile.

Click on the image if you want to check out what the cards say!

 

Past, present and future

31 Aug

And finally today another quote that really helps me, I will never forget where I’ve come from however life is all now about present and future!

There is only NOW .
The past is history, so let it go.
The future is a mystery, so let it come.
The present is this moment now – a gift.

Three Things

31 Aug

I was sent this on Facebook, for me it was extremely significant. Maybe it is for you too. Asking for help is something that takes strength, it is not admitting failure, it’s about identifying the things you need to be able to move forwards and being honest with yourself.  And for me it changed my life, if you need help, it’s out there.

Did you know that those who appear to be really strong, really are the most sensitive. Did you know that those who spend all their time protecting others, sometimes really need someone to protect them. Did you know that 3 of the hardest things to say are: I love you, I’m sorry, and Help me..

Belonging

31 Aug

I thought I’d talk about a combination of the head stuff and exercise.

So the professional exercise avoider had discovered swimming, this went very well and helped to contribute to another 2 stones of weight loss, importantly though my body was changing shape massively. This is an interesting thing, there were bits of my body emerging that I hadn’t seen in a very long time, my knee caps, shoulder blades, collar bones, hip bones. The fat disappeared from my neck and from the tops of my shoulders, almost daily something seemed to be changing. I felt great as well, I had more energy than I know what to do with, my skin glowed and life was beginning to change a lot.

I hadn’t even thought about the shape changing, shrinkage is a very weird thing!  There were trips to the bra fitters, that was amazing, I didn’t realise a good bra could result in losing over a dress size on my top half!

At the same time all this was happening, I had the news that a previous injury to my knee had been aggravated by the exercise I was doing, so surgery was now the only option. It was a big operation and an even harder rehab, so I decided that the best course of action was to put together an exercise programme to build up my leg muscles, the better and fitter I was before surgery, the quicker and easier the rehab would be – hopefully!

Together with the swimming, there was only one place where this could really happen – the gym.

I had always been very vocal in the past about not getting the ‘gym’, lots of sweaty bodies, pounding away, all the talk I ever heard about the place was very negative, no-one seemed to enjoy it, it appeared to be a destination for pain and boredom!

I’m also a bit anxious in new environments, I worry about looking like a fool, making mistakes and people laughing at me. So the gym seemed like a very big step. I did though have a conversation with a friend who helpfully told me that I needed to give it time and that eventually I would feel I belonged?  I thought he was mad.

So I summoned up the courage and rolled up the gym in my newly purchased ‘proper’ trainers, these were the first pair I’d ever owned, they were so white they glowed!

Because of my knee injury I was assigned one of the senior instructors, she was great, we talked about my story and she did a check of my current fitness levels and measured me, this was intriguing, it’s something I wished I had now done from the beginning as is a much better indicator than weight of how much you progress!

And then it was onto the machines, the free weights and lots of other stuff, a lot of it felt very weird but I was quite impressed by what I could already do and I was told I was quite fit!  That was still though quite an alien thing to hear, me, Trudy, 43, formally obese girl – fit?

My first ‘solo’ session was though a bit of a trial, I thought the whole place was looking at me as I tried to remember what to do with everything!  Each session though got easier, what did help was having a little look at the levels other people were getting to on the bike, I was quite surprised to see that I was doing rather well!

I met with my instructor a few times, tweaked the programme a lot, I added in things, so did she. At my check in after 3 months I was astounded to see that I had lost a lot from all my limbs, I was more toned. My legs were also in brilliant shape for surgery and I had far increased upper body strength which would help if I ended up on crutches for any length of time. This was very important for me, when I had the original injury, I was sent home on crutches, I could barely move on them, moving and supporting that amount of body weight was impossible, it was humiliating and I’d had to get up the stairs to my flat on my bottom and then move around on my office chair, I was never going there again.

But what was more important was that I was enjoying it, I wasn’t worried about what people thought because I was achieving things, and I now felt that I belonged to this new world.  The process had been a tricky one at times, of getting my head around me, moving in this world of fitness and health but I really like it.

So I found myself part of a new world, my thought for you is to never dismiss something as ‘not being for you’, life moves on all the time and we should always try to give things a go, I know if I had hated the gym and got nothing from it then I would have found something else to do. And a year on I still go, I mix it up with a lot of other exercise and never really do the same things so it doesn’t get boring and my trainers, well they are nicely worn-in and no longer glow!

I have a little quote that helped me then, maybe it will help you too.

If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.

The Head Stuff

28 Aug

Next week, I thought I might start to look at the head stuff, there are several things that have happened through the whole process which have really needed careful thought and in come cases planning and support.  Some of them I knew all along I would have to deal with, others I hadn’t even thought about!

  • How I could lose the weight in the first place, how could I take control of food?  I knew firmly it was in control of me!
  • When I’d lost some weight, I didn’t really recognise the girl in the mirror, I had a close, very closed relationship with the old me, it was hard to let go and get to know the new me.
  • I had to learn to love my new body, it doesn’t look ‘perfect’, there are things that have happened due to the years of being big and won’t get that much better no matter how much work I do, it’s been difficult at times to accept that.
  • Working out how I needed to be supported, I am quite an insular person, so asking for help, taking compliments etc needed to be learnt, it didn’t just happen.
  • Being brutally honest with myself, I had after all spent years perfecting the art of not being!
  • And finally keeping it off, working out the best way to do this, there is a LOT of head stuff involved.  You need to look at why you got big, why you eat the way you did, there will always be something that is significant.  For the boys, a special note, I have heard lots of blokes say that there isn’t any head stuff, that it’s all rubbish, it’s just that they have no willpower or are just lazy, think again if you’re serious about this, you will need to look at it on some level if you are going to succeed.  I can help with that.

So, have a think, do any of the things that concerned me, bother you, are you ready to start questioning yourself, being honest and to make changes, however difficult it might be?

I hope so, it’ll be a pleasure then to share!   And for me, the best therapy is about sharing, if I share my story with you, I can’t exactly go back can I?   You’re all watching!

Alcohol

28 Aug

It’s not something I have ever done a lot of, well maybe the night of the Bailey’s glass tower, or my 21st …… but in the main I have never drunk that much, I’m not a killjoy or taking a moral stance but simply it can add considerable numbers of calories to your daily intake. Did you know that 2 pints of cider contain almost 500 calories  or 2 bottles of lager, 430 calories, I was very surprised when I started to look at it, I think we all read the news reports about the dangers of the numbers of units we should stick to but calories are never talked about? Remember too that there is no nutritional benefit to any drink either?

The problem is that you probably don’t even think about them. And if you’re drinking, you are also very likely to eat more too!  It just happens!

I know a lot of people who have that ‘evening’ drink at home,  no-one bothers to measure at home so you can almost guarantee it’s much larger than a pub drink. If you’re looking to be healthy and reducing your intake, beware of this, the calories in drink are pretty high, it also affects your metabolism so could affect how you absorb other calories so beware.

It will also affect your exercise, so just have a little think about how you drink on a regular basis, it doesn’t mean that on special occasions you can’t celebrate!  I’m not than mean!  I have though found that as I got healthier and fitter that I actually didn’t want to drink that much, it just seemed like a natural process, about respect for my body and everything else I was achieving.

It’s also worth thinking about how many units you do drink over a week in this way, some friends of mine did, were quite shocked at the results and it did make them think about why they were drinking full stop?

My tips here are to have ‘good’ drink in the house, if its more expensive it feels like more of a treat…….and you are less likely to pour out one every night!  If you’re drinking less you can afford a better bottle of wine for example.

Or to only drink when you’re out, as with everything else it’s fine in moderation, you just need to think about it!

I found these easy reckoners, always worth having in your head what your drink of choice contains, just do a little sum when you’re thinking about how to reduce your intake.

http://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/calories/calorie_counter/alcohol.htm

http://www.drinkaware.co.uk/tips-and-tools/drink-diary/

Hunger Pangs

27 Aug

I’ve been asked a few times how this all got started, so let’s go back to day one.

This is perhaps not the healthiest way, but it happened by accident, didn’t last for too long and what came out were a few interesting and crucial learnings about food, appetite and me.

I lost my appetite, almost completely, I might have managed the odd cereal bar but for two weeks I barely eat anything. It was an emotional time and unusually did not result in massive comfort eating but exactly the opposite, I like to think my head was just telling me it was time.

I am though very pleased it happened because:

  • I knew what hunger and being empty actually felt like, we all say ‘we’re starving’ but I can guarantee that you’re not really.
  • My stomach had shrunk over the two weeks, once my appetite started to return I found I physically couldn’t eat as much without feeling sick.
  • It was becoming interesting, my clothes felt a little loose?

I realised that this was perhaps a once in a lifetime opportunity to change, I could just return to how things were, stretch my stomach back or I could see what might happen. It was at this stage that I knew the simplest answer was to just reduce what I normally eat.  I love food and after getting my appetite back I was really looking forward to my favourite things! At the time I had no idea if it would work?

The stomach shrinking thing is interesting, it is of course the basis of most gastric surgery procedures, I was proving to myself that you could do it naturally, if you read about it, this is perfectly normal, your stomach will shrink if you reduce the amount you eat for a sustained amount of time.

For a girl who is a bit geeky it was intriguing, I was listening to my body, now I knew what hungry REALLY felt like, I could control it, I also knew what full should REALLY feel like!

It was fascinating stuff and sowed the first seeds of motivation.  Within a month I had dropped a jeans size.

I found this very useful blog post about managing hunger pangs, of course you will still get them, the trick is to take control of them, I think over time I have used all of these tips and tricks, so it was great to see them all written down!  They do work, it does take a bit of patience at the beginning as you reduce the amount of food you eat but your body will play ball, you just need to get your head to work with it.

Remember a few days of confusion and persistence will pay off in the long-term.

Taming your Hunger

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