12 articles Articles posted in Weightloss.

Ignoring the Scales (For Now…)

Ignoring the ScalesAs most of you probably know by now, I’m on YET another weight loss mission having failed about a million times in the past, but I’m doing something a lot more enjoyable and sustainable this time in the hope that I can stick to it. I’m following a low sugar, high fat (ketogenic) diet as it’s been proven to reverse type 2 diabetes, something which is hugely appealing to me. I’ve got a family history of type 2, so theres still a chance I’ll need to be medicated even when I’m down to a healthy weight, but there’s also a good chance that it will reverse altogether.

Willpower is something I’ve struggled with in the past because food is as much of an emotional crutch to me as just simple nutrients but I’m at a point where I’m just so bloody bored of gorging on junk food all the time and the prospect of dying in my sixties (if I’m lucky…) because of a lifetime of greed is enough to make me get off of my arse.

One thing that I’m trying not to do is micro-manage my weight. Every time I’ve ever ‘dieted’ (I put that in inverted commas because I don’t actually see keto as a diet, it’s an eating plan that we should probably all be following on a much more regular basis for optimum health benefits), I tend to get fixated with the scales and weigh myself on a daily basis. This is negative for two reasons – firstly, not all victories happen on the scales. I’ve also started weight lifting, and this usually adds muscle and makes changes to the shape of your body, things which aren’t always positively reflected in terms of “weight”. Secondly, it puts me into a downward spiral of demoralisation.

Today is a prime example. Last week, I made a grand declaration that I wouldn’t be weighing myself until my birthday in mind-June, so that I got to see one big change rather than lots of little ones. However, curiosity after a week of eating well and exercising got the better of me and I stepped onto the scales and happily discovered that I’ve already lost half a stone since New Year’s Day ( YAY ME!). But this is where things go wrong – I weighed myself AGAIN this morning, only for the scales to show I’ve gained two pounds back again.

I can already feel the disappointment weighing heavy on me, even though the logical part of my brain is trying to tell me to chill the f*ck out. This is a marathon, not a sprint. SO many things can play a part in such tiny changes like hormones, water retention, even down to what clothes I’m wearing. But all of the logical explanations aren’t snapping me out of it.

There are various issues that I’ve had when it comes to weight loss, and keeping my head in the game after even the most minor of disappointments is one of the biggest. In the past, if things haven’t gone my way then it’s completely turned my head back around to the “screw it, I may as well binge again” mindset and that’s the demon I’m battling today, but battle it I shall. Instead of letting get the better of me, I’ve had coffee and biltong, I’m drinking water, I’ve taken my supplements and I’m going to the gym before I collect Sausage from school. As long as I stick to that plan and don’t wake up in an hour buried under 800 empty crisp packets, I reckon that’s a win…even if the scales ARE trying to sabotage me. Forgive me for tearing the arse out of the metaphor, but I think this is all about winning the little battles in order to win the overall war against my own laziness and greed.

I think i’ll start weighing myself either weekly or fortnightly – I need a little bit of feedback, just to motivate me and assure me that I’m moving in the right direction, but a six month wait will just be torture!

Tune in next week for “How to deal with toddlers who try to force feed you Quavers when you’re on Keto”. LOL. Not really.

My Weight Loss Journey

belly-2354_640I’ve written on this blog SO many times about how I need to lose weight, need to get fit, need to improve my lifestyle. In fact, I’ve written it so many bloody times that I’m bored of the same old self-motivating stuff that never really works and I’m not going to even link to any of the old posts here as they’re all bobbins.

Here’s the thing; over Christmas, I was really ill. The whole family was, in fact, BB and I spent about 70% of Christmas Day asleep on Husband’s Aunt’s sofa, so it was a pretty rubbish day for us, despite our family doing their best to cheer us up and make us feel better. I dragged us all back to the doctors on Boxing Day and the GP decided to send me for some tests as the illness had been lingering for a few weeks by this point and he thought I might have Glandular Fever (Mono, for anyone reading in the States). By the times the tests came back though, it became clear that GF wasn’t the issue. In fact, the reason I wasn’t getting better was that my other conditions (type 2 diabetes and an underactive thyroid) were being so poorly controlled that my immune system just wasn’t strong enough to fight off the germs.

I was sent away with an additional diabetes medication (alogliptin) to take alongside my metformin, my thyroxine dose was upped and I was also put on cholesterol medication (atorvastatin) as my cholesterol had crept up too. I was also advised that losing weight was something I needed to seriously consider. My GP drew a graph to show me what my current state of health was doing for me (which I’ve skillfully recreated in MS Paint…):
Diabetes
The straight line represents what my blood sugar control should have been like, in an ideal world, for the last 7 years. The squiggly line is an approximation of what my control has actually been like over that time period. The red striped area in between represents actual damage that has been done to my body in the time that my condition has been poorly controlled. For a diabetic, that translates to damage to the retinas, heart, kidneys and other organs, as well as reduced healing times and potential shortening of life in the long run.
That little graph scared the crap out of me. 
So, while in the past I’ve written posts containing platitudes about how I MUST lose weight and I WILL take control, this post is being written from a slightly different angle. You see, that was all about 8 weeks ago now and in that time, I’ve actually managed to lose 18lb already. There are two things which have been a great help, so far; My Fitness Pal, where I log every single thing I eat and keep track of how many calories I’ve consumed (I’m allowed 1610cal at the moment) and the Pedometer app on iPhone which I’ve been using to try to up my daily step total to 10,000. I’ve walked the school run instead of using the car and at least 2 days a week, I’ll walk a super long way home instead of coming straight back. A couple of small changes to my lifestyle and I’ve already made a huge difference.
Something about seeing the potential damage done to my organs, drawn crudely in a free biro from a drugs rep, on the back of a blank prescription has given me the kick up the butt that I so badly needed. I still have a long way to go; I need to lose another 40lbs to get anywhere near a healthy weight, but losing the first 18lb with such small effort has made me realise that it’s not as hard as it seems. My willpower has slipped once or twice, but instead of throwing the towel in like I have in the past, I’m moving past each minor blip and seeing it as reinforcement to my will to complete the journey.
Also, I need to up my exercise game – if anyone has any recommendations for home workouts which won’t make me keel over or run away screaming, I’d be super grateful for them!

Lifestyle Change

I’ve resisted writing about this for a while, for two reasons. Firstly, I tend to have better success with weight loss and lifestyle change when I don’t make a big thing of it. Like, sneak up on myself with the healthiness. Secondly, I know hearing someone rambling on and on and on about their body issues can be a bit, um, dull, so I’m trying to hold back a bit. Having said that, there are a few little changes that I’ve made lately which have been fairly small but are making a big impact on not just me but the whole family.

Last week, we invested in Wii Fit and a balance board. It was a great buy actually, we went to a local shop looking for a new one and picked up a reconditioned unit for £15! We definitely need to invest in some rechargeable batteries as we’re using it every day, as a family, once Sausage gets home from school. It’s become a bit of a routine, I collect Sausage and then we spend an hour or two having a family session of yoga or competing against one another in golf, running, hula hooping, archery and loads else besides. It may not be intense cardio but it’s getting us all moving, instead of being sedentary, which is a great start.

Another thing that I’ve been doing is eating a lot less meat. I was very resistant to the idea of going entirely veggie as I worry that I’d get really bored of meals without meat but last week I went five days without eating any meat at all and I didn’t even realise! I’m finding that I can still enjoy meals I like, for instance, I had sausages, mash and peas but subbed out fatty pork for Quorn sausages, which reduced the caloric and fat content of the meal by LOADS.

My car has been spending a lot more time on the driveway this week. Because I’m not working now, I rarely need to go anywhere straight after dropping Sausage off at school, so we’ve been walking instead of driving. Actually, I’ve been walking, Sausage has been scooting, which is brilliant exercise for her and is doing wonders for her balance!

Last Thursday, I went swimming for the first time in about 20 years! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve taken Sausage swimming lots of times, but I mean proper swimming where I get in and swim lengths, not just splashing about in the kids pool. I managed 6 lengths of a 50m pool, which may not seem like a lot but it’s a huge achievement for me. The great thing about swimming is that it’s fantastic as a full-body workout but it’s very low impact, so I didn’t end up with painful joints afterwards, which is something that has stalled my interest in exercise in the past.

So, I’m taking it steady and making progress at my own pace and I’m really confident that I’m making changes for the better and changes that I can actually stick to. Wish me luck!

Commissioned Post

Weight Loss, Body Shape, Blah, Blah, Blah…

It’s an age-old debate that’s probably gone back for longer than we can imagine; the back-and-forth that surrounds what is considered to be aesthetically pleasing in a woman. For most of my life, it’s been targeted at fashion magazines and the media in general for touting ‘as-skinny-as-possible’ as the ‘ideal’. I’ve seen many a story about how this designer or that designer is using walking skeletons in their runways shows and how we’re creating generations of kids who refuse to eat.

Just recently, I’ve noticed social media getting in on the act with several photos doing the rounds concerning body shape and body image. Here’s a couple of them:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The image on the left is being posted with captions like “I wish I lived in a time when this was attractive” and the photo on the right speaks for itself. Another example of this latest trend is the focus on actresses such as Christina Hendricks who, if you don’t already know, looks like this:

The lady in the top left and Christina Hendricks are both gorgeous, there’s no denying it. But, do people really think that this is in ANY WAY more achievable than the skinny girls at top right? Let me tell you this – it’s not. Both of these women are voluptuous but that’s not down to diet or exercise (okay, it might be a bit down to diet and exercise). What you’re seeing here is GENETICS. Do you know how rare it is to find a true hourglass figure? Christine Hendricks and the lady above are both blessed in that they both have an ample bosom and a round bottom. Neither carries any weight on their face and very little on their arms or mid-sections. Unless they both spend hours in the gym doing only arm exercises or sleep with a facial Slendertone on, it’s doubtful that they managed to do this on purpose. 

Now, let’s talk about the skinny girls. How about, they’re just naturally skinny? Granted, the one in the middle is very thin, but there are people in the world who just are, no matter how much we bitch and moan about it. The problem here isn’t the fact that some people are skinny and some people are curvy, it’s the pedestals they’re placed on. I read recently that Christina Hendricks is so fed up with interviewers asking her about her body, that she actually has her assistant pre-warn them that she won’t answer any questions on the subject.

I haven’t seen any magazine stands in the past few days but I’d bet my last tenner that every single one aimed at women has a headline featuring some sort of ‘New Year, New You’ ‘How to Lose 15lb in 10 days’ diet and exercise plan, and I bet they’re all coupled with a photo of a 21-year-old model who’s been in hair, make up and styling for hours then airbrushed to within an inch of her life.

I supposed I’m thinking about all of this because I do have a lot of changes to make in the New Year. I need to lose a considerable amount of weight and, most importantly, I need to get healthy. But, no matter how hard I try, I’m not going to look like a 50’s pin-up. I’m not going to look like Christina Hendricks and I’m definitely not going to look like a runway model. I’m hopefully going to look like a slimmer, healthier version of me, a 28-year-old woman whose belly has carried a baby, whose hips have been used for balancing a toddler on, whose arms have lugged a million loads of washing, whose face has the beginnings of laughter lines and who would be happy just to be able to play netball again.

I’m not aiming for magazine perfection – I’m just aiming for a better version of me and I think if everyone did that and ignored the so-called ‘ideals’ we’d all be a lot happier.

How A Natural Weight Loss Supplement Left Me Needing Medication for Life

Kelp

Apologies for the slightly sensationalist title, I felt like a Daily Fail reporter for a second there, but I needed to grab your attention. I know that for every post like this, there’ll be a post extolling the virtues of the very same product, or a person who thinks that we all worry too much and shouldn’t restrict ourselves, but I was asked to share this story by the lovely Lisa at The Mummy Whisperer as she thinks this might help others. She’s passionate about helping Mums to reach their weight goals through healthy living and this post totally backs up her ethos.

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Get Running – Day Four

I’ve discovered the first flaw with the Get Running app.

Last week, my iPhone went a bit doolally so I factory reset it and started from scratch. It seems to have done the trick and my phone is working fine again, but I had to back up my apps onto iTunes and then re-load them onto my phone again. This means that Get Running has reset and there’s no way of changing the date or your progress on the App, so I had to start all over again. Run Three was actually Run One, Mark Two and I’ve effectively had to do week one 1 and a half times. Get it?

So yesterday was Run Four and should have been the first day of a new week but I’m still doing week one, which is 1 minute of running, followed by 1 and a half minutes of walking. Maybe it’s a good job that I’m extending week one as yesterday’s outing was a bit of a disaster. The actual running was okay, I feel like I’m finding my stride, I’m moving faster and my stride is lengthening. When I started, I’m sure I looked like I was just doing and elaborate sped-up shufflewalk, so I’m glad that actual running is starting to feel a bit more natural. However…yesterday, I learned:

1. When it’s been 27 degrees all day, wait until a bit later than 5pm to go for your run as it will still be bloody hot, which may not be a big deal to fit people but made me feel like I couldn’t breathe.

2. If you’re due to run, either go before you eat a massive pub lunch of scampi and chips or wait until MUCH later as the taste of tartare sauce creeping back up your oesophagus is most definitely not conducive to a feeling of wellness.

3. The smell of other people’s barbecues, whilst running, can be really nauseating.

Once Sausage starts school next week, I’m planning (if I haven’t found a job) to go at about 9.30am. That way, my routine won’t have to change when the nights draw in, I’ll probably still have an empty stomach, only the mentally deranged will be barbecuing at that time and hopefully it won’t be too hot (assuming we’re due any more sunshine between now and next April…)

Oh and I STILL need some new headphones, iPhone headphones SUCK for running. And I need a strap for holding my glasses on; ‘pink face, sweaty head, glasses falling off, headphones trailing behind’ is just not working for me. 

Me and My Boobs.

Okay, here’s some background info.

I got my first bra when I was nine. I had to wear a bra for two years of primary school. I remember getting changed for P.E. for the first time after getting it and a girl in my class ran into the boys changing room and told the whole year that Jayne wears a bra. I was mortified, but that was the start of it all.

By the time I started senior school, my boobs were a C-cup. In year nine, I wore a double-D. In fact, my friends called me DeeDee for a while. Until they kept growing. By the time I left senior school, I had G-cup boobs. 16 and a G-cup. There were two Jaynes in my year (actually, one Jayne and one Jane) but if someone said ‘Ja(y)ne’ and they didn’t know which one, I’d invariably be described as ‘The One with the Boobs’. I put up with years of conversations with teenage boys who couldn’t tell you what I looked like from the neck up, but were familiar with every contour that nestled under my shirt.

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Get Running – Day Three

I realised that I should have been cataloguing the actual course of runs, so starting today, here’s the info:

Week One, Run Three

1 minute of running followed by 1 1/2 minutes of brisk walking, eight times with five minutes warm up and cool down. 

You know that expression; “sorting the wheat from the chaff”? Well, I’ve decided that’s what running does to the body (bear with me here, it’s a bit of a strained metaphor but it’s late and I’m having a rare bout of insomnia so my brain may not be on full power). So, the wheat would be my knees, lungs, leg muscles – these are the bits that all seem to be working well, much to my surprise and don’t seem to be giving me any jip. Hips and neck muscles – well, they would be the chaff.

During todays’ run, which is the last one of the first week, my neck went into spasm around 30 seconds into run five and I had to spend the rest of the runs holding my right arm up. I’m actually due to have my first round of physio this week as I have a long-running problem with my neck and back, exacerbated by the weight of my stupidly ample boobage, and although I’m already wearing a Shock Absorber, I may have to look into other sports bras.

Speaking of attire, I was lucky enough to be sent some running tights and a t-shirt by Sports Direct last week. I’ve not worn the t-shirt yet as it’s still a bit snug, but I wore the tights today and they were a godsend. Although they’re full length, they kept me really cool. I’ve been wearing various jogging bottoms up til now and I find myself pulling them up at the waistband every 20 seconds, but I didn’t have to hike the tights up even once while I was running. It’s amazing just how much difference it can make to your comfort to not have to think about silly things like baggy bottoms!

So anyway, the actual running – I have to say, I’m really surprised by how quickly my level of fitness has improved in just three short workouts. Todays run was exponentially easier than the first and second and I found myself less out of breath after each one. I really am starting to enjoy it and I have my route down pat now too, which really helps. I’m actually looking forward to going out for my next run, especially as Get Running is going to move on to week two, where I’ll have to run for a minute and a half each time!

Thanks to anyone who has read and commented on these posts so far, it really means a lot to have support from you all.

Get Running – Day Two

So, yesterday was a rest day and today was the second run of week one. I have to say, even since Tuesday, things seem to be easier. My recovery time between each one minute run was shorter and I didn’t fall through the door gasping for water this time. I’ve been making sure I stretch before and after and I have a cool shower as soon as I get home (after cooling down properly) and I don’t even seem to be too achey.

The thought that today was easier than the first was actually really motivating as I kept thinking “Well, if today was easier, think how easy Saturday will seem!”. I don’t know if, in reality, that will be the case but it’s certainly a positive way to think about the whole thing and really helped me, mentally.

As I’m new to all of this, I didn’t want to have “all the gear and no idea”, like so many people do where they embark on a new hobby and go out and spend a load of cash on things the need but which just gather dust once they give up in a week. However, I’ve decided that if I’m to carry on, I want to invest in a couple of things. Luckily, Husband bought me a decent pair of trainers a couple of years ago which I’ve hardly used, they’re Nike and seem like a good match for my feet, so that’s not something I need to spend on. What I do need is some new headphones. As I said in my last post, the ones that come with the iPhone are both rubbish at staying in and quite honestly make me feel like a running mugger’s delight, I kept my hood up today to cover them up.

I also want one of those elastic bands that I can attach to my glasses to hold them on. Yes, I’ll look a knob, but there’s nothing more distracting than having to push your glasses up every five seconds (except maybe pushing rubbish iPhone headphones back in my ears)…and don’t even suggest contact lenses. Just don’t.

So far, I’ve been wearing jogging bottoms and one of Husband’s t-shirts, which is fine, but I’d like some actual dedicated running clothes. It’s going to be winter soon, so something thermally efficient would be awesome. Oh yeah, and maybe one of those water bottles you can hold while you’re running.

Not too much to ask, I don’t think?!

Get Running – Day One

Yesterday was the first time I used my Get Running app and this is what I learned:

 

1. A minute of running can seem like an hour

2. A minute and a half of walking can go by in the blink of an eye

3. A male, un-neutered dog on a lead can be a perilous running companion, especially if it’s midday and there are a load of other dogs around.

4. Feeling your stomach jiggle with every footfall can be mighty off-putting

5. Ministry of Sound Funky House Classics is a great running album for tempo and taking your mind off of jiggling stomachs.

6. Run number 7 of eight runs is definitely the hardest.

7. I should probably take my inhaler with me next time.

8. You never feel like you deserve a nice shower more than when you’ve worked up a sweat by exercising.

9. Husband pointed out before I left that the lady talking you through the Get Running app sounds like Hattie Hayridge, and imagining that I’m being coached by Holly from Red Dwarf is a great distraction.

10. iPhone headphones are absolutely SHIT for running and fall out of your ears at least 5 times a minute.

11. I need some sort of strap to hold my glasses on because having to push them up my nose every two seconds is a massive embuggerance.

12. I actually quite like running!