Archive | February, 2012

Get off the Chair!

29 Feb
 Interesting night’s television viewing last night!
Supersize vs Superskinny

Image via Wikipedia

Firstly the return of Supersize vs Superskinny. I like this programme, the use of shock tactics as well as looking at both extremes of eating disorders is interesting and it’s this realisation that what they are doing isn’t normal seems to be the thing that kick starts the change in behaviour.

Obesity is a major problem, we shouldn’t underestimate that, although I fear we’re all trying to ignore it.  I don’t think we do talk enough about how awful it is being big, or that overeating is an eating disorder – believe me it is and should be treated as such, unless you deal with the head stuff, it is very unlikely that the weight will stay off for very long as behaviour will just revert back.  So if the shock tactics don’t work for the big person themselves (who may not watch), it may for those around them and trigger a response, I would have hoped that the husband of the larger lady last night whilst he said he loved her no matter what her size was, realised that her 25 stone frame put her at massive risk of major health problems and that he needed to intervene. The science helps but so do the realities of what being big is all about, I suffered from or was at risk of developing a host of embarrassing, painful and awful conditions when I was bigger.

It’s this reality that keeps me motivated to stay smaller. I need reminding of that. Often. I do though now despair that things are way out of hand and that we are not seeing the true, awful picture of what the future is going to look like.  Let’s not sugar coat the reality.

I like the programme for one other major reason – the people do lose the weight/gain weight. They realise they have the power to change, they do it without surgery or extreme measures, it’s done over a sustained amount of time with plenty of education and support.

Of course you may feel differently but it’s certainly one programme that keeps me very motivated and it certainly doesn’t hide anything.

So the second programme was an Horizon documentary looking at exercise, now I saw something last year along the same lines so was interested to see if the science had been updated.

What scientists call

Image via Wikipedia

Whilst it was interesting and raised some vital points, there were some significant missings about what type of exercise you need to do to get fit and lose weight.  I did though really like the commonsense advice that getting off your bum and generally moving more is so important!  In fact this afternoon while my boss and I were discussing a project, I insisted we did this standing up and moving around rather than sitting at a table, small things all count, in the 10 weeks I’ve worked in the building I’ve been in the lift once, I tend to stand up frequently and move around. It’s something to bear in mind, how much time do you actually spend sat down in your normal day? There appears to be a lot of good in fidgeting!

The other more controversal discussion was around HIT (High Intensity Training), now I do an element of this with my normal cardio and weight work. Alone HIT will only improve (perhaps?) your cardio vascular health, it won’t tone or help you lose weight which if we’re honest is the reason why most of us exercise.  The research also showed that everyone is different and will respond to exercise in different ways, this is very intriguing and I’ll be writing about that later on this week.

And finally the host (who is not overweight) revealed that during tests for another programme it was found that he had high levels of visceral fat, it is this invisible fat that is the most dangerous, the other stuff is not as dangerous (still needs to be within healthy limits) and it turns out that stubborn stuff around my hips is probably fine in the grand scheme of things. So even if you’re normal weight but not fit you might need to get checked out, especially if like him you’re in your 40s.

Sshhhhhh…

24 Feb

I don’t want to get too excited yet but things appear to be occuring!

Fitting

22 Feb

I’ve just bought some proper exercise trousers – now of course I’ve had some but they have either been baggy ones or normal leggings.

Over the last year the leggings have got smaller which  is great but I’ve still been a bit nervous about the proper exercise ones, in the past I’ve always felt that the fabric they’re made from showed up all my lumps and bumps which for me wasn’t that motivating especially when I’m using a gym with mirrored walls (!)

Anyway given the amount of time I spend in the gym now and that just perhaps I’m not feeling quite so wobbly I decided to take the  plunge and get myself sorted out. I found a great online company and ordered 2 very different pairs.

When I took them out of the bag today I almost fainted at how small one of the pairs looked and firmly thought they’d be going straight back. Even the other pair (not quite so scary) looked tiny.  I put them to one side and decided I’d come back to them later on when I’d got my head around the task in hand…

It had to be done, so tried on the not quite so small pair first, wow, not only did they fit, there were no visible wobbly bits and I actually looked good in them!   Spurred on by my new-found confidence (and amazement) I put on the other pair, yes the fabric is super stretchy (made of bamboo) but they did fit and as far as I can see under artificial light, I’m not showing too many lumps and bumps!

So a result and nothing is going back which is a great thing. I intend to look good in all my different clothing options including the sports gear – still seems a bit weird that a large part of my clothes rail is made up of stuff for fit activities – who would have thought.

I feel nicely motivated now and have booked the mid challenge measurement session for the 8th March – nervous and excited!

The company I used was www.noballs.co.uk – love the name!  Lots of natural fabric options too, also bought a sports bra which fits just fine however given how fast my upper  half seems to shrink may need replacing fairly soon – hopefully 🙂

If you’re struggling with your exercise treat yourself to some proper gear that you feel good in – it makes all the difference (especially if they’re smaller than you ever thought would fit you).

Reading Material

21 Feb

I’m a bit geeky about a lot of things – I do like a good read about the science of nutrition , dieting and especially the head stuff.

My friend bought me a book for Christmas that’s proving very interesting as it brings up (and supports) a lot of the things I’ve come to believe in  – from a science point of view.

Brian Wansink looks at a lot of things that when you think about them are commonsense, however we’ve lost sight of them over time resulting in over eating and not thinking about food and nutrition in the correct way.

The whole world is on a diet yet the science clearly shows that this approach doesn’t work  – 95% of people will put the weight back on however we continue to yo-yo on and off diet plans?  Why?  It makes little sense yet everyone does it?

The book clearly shows that it is a lot to do with how we think about food, if we re-programme that thinking we’re able to make significant changes. I’m enjoying it because it is based on science, every single question and answer is backed up with research, it also links into some new American and Australian research that backs up why as we lose weight it gets harder to lose it, I found losing the first 3 stone surprisingly easy however now six stone plus down the line it does take more effort and has to be backed up with exercise.

It’s worth a read to understand how the brain works with food, it’s one of those ‘light bulb moment’ books.  Often we just need to understand and make sense of the situation to be able to make changes.

Oh and it talks about smaller plates – I’ll always be a supporter of those, portion control is the one easy step we can all make, for all our family members, it’s becoming increasingly important that parents begin to realise the impact of children over eating, even in a small way, the knock on effects through life are there for everyone to see now, we really need to give ourselves a really big kick up the bum to change things.

Challenging…

19 Feb

There’s a little update tonight, a good week on the whole – especially the spinach! Go on click on the page – up there!

Keeping Focused

19 Feb

As with most important things we have to deal with in our lives, losing weight, keeping it off and getting fit and healthy is not always easy. There are hurdles to overcome and you may come up against obstacles you would never even have dreamed off.

Keeping focused is important, keeping sight of those things you really want and aspire to, often though you may need to re-evaluate when it becomes difficult – this is absolutely fine and it will happen in one way or another at some point.  Don’t be afraid or it or let it scupper your new life, all it normally takes is a bit of re-jigging and you’re back off and running.

For me there have been several points like this:

  • Knowing surgery on my knee was around the corner and I wouldn’t be able to do anywhere near the amount of exercise I was doing pre-op, I was scared of what this might mean, would I put on weight because of this? In the end it took a bit of thinking about what I was going to eat and drink and also that there was actually a lot of exercise I would be able to do, it wasn’t that bad in the end I didn’t put on any weight.
  • The realisation I was very unhappy at work. However deciding that life was too short and that I really needed to get out there and really enjoy the weight I had already lost was a turning point and I ended up having a fabulous few months and re-evaluating how I lived this part of my life too.  It’s framed the next stage nicely and without having done it, maybe I wouldn’t be on the next stage.
  • Struggling with the new eating regime as it challenged some of my thinking – yes this was difficult, it was as much about how my head dealt with the problem as the awful digestion problems I encountered. I have to really redo my thinking on this one however I was reminded I needed to find my own way of moving my challenge forwards, if it didn’t make me happy then it was unlikely to work, everyone is different and I have only succeeded this far by finding my own way, it was perfectly okay to approach this stage in the same way and yes I feel a lot better now!  Check out the Challenge page to hear more.
  • Not having the support of some people who have been unable to deal with the changes in my life. Don’t get me wrong I have wonderful friends and family who are very proud of what I’ve achieved, they see how happy and content I now am and also how unhappy my old life was. However this hasn’t been the same with everyone and it has been incredibly difficult and upsetting to deal with.  I have though recognised that I don’t need the negative impact they bring to my life, I’m not going back to my old life and the old ‘me’, and this isn’t my problem, it is theirs?  It’s taken a lot of strength and determination to move past that, I’ve ended up having professional help to get through it in a healthy way for me. I’m disappointed that it’s happened but I won’t let it ruin what I have achieved or what I want to do in the future.  Asking for help doesn’t mean you are weak or in trouble, it marks a certain strength and its something I actually should have done a long time ago.   The brilliant news is that I do have people in my life who challenge me, support and motivate me and I would much rather spend my emotional energy on them!

Staying focused and motivated is always going to be challenging, for the vast majority of it, it is incredibly positive but there will always will things that sneak up to challenge you in other ways, I do always find that I do learn something and it makes the next time that bit easier.  That’s life I guess!

 

Losing things

16 Feb

This morning I found I’d lost one of my rings. In one way I’m really disappointed as I quite liked it but on the other hand it tells me something – my fingers are shrinking again. I almost lost a very special ring that was made for me last summer a couple of weeks ago too & it fitted like a glove a while ago?
Not only did I have to replace every item of clothing I owned (even shoes) thanks to the shrinkage I also had to ditch bracelets and rings. At the time it surprised me, I’d never given that any thought, that everything would shrink! And I did, in different places at different times, it didn’t happen proportionally all over either, I seemed to wake up one morning and find my double chin gone or my knee caps were visible?
I put on a top for the first time in a while this week too & it fitted differently to the last time, my shoulders seem narrower and there is something going on around my waist?
Maybe this is the beginning of seeing the effects of the new regime – whatever it is, it looks like I need to go shopping for some new smaller things soon.

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