Sometimes I have a really distorted view of what I do well and what I’ve not done so well at.
Often I find myself wracked with guilt over daft things such as a feeling that I haven’t walked far enough or a perception that I’ve overeaten when I should have just nibbled a carrot – but then I realise that the opposite is actually true.
I am (like I’m sure many other people are) clearly my own worst critic.
Yesterday for instance I had a business trip to go on and because of this I got up extra early to spend time on my exercise bike. I was fully aware that if I didn’t then I probably wouldn’t have any time to go walking or doing anything fitness related.
It bothered me so much that at 5am I was already pedalling away like a hamster on a wheel. To be clear this didn’t fill me with joy one little bit – but I did it anyway.
Maintaining my current weight is that important.
As it turned out I was right to worry. I spent most of yesterday sat in a car moving (at times) 10mph through heavy traffic. When I wasn’t trapped in the (heated) leather seated opulence of my boss’s Lexus I was stuck in a meeting room.
Although I view a day like this where I can’t do much as a personal failure (I feel the same when it snows) the reality is that it often forces me to give myself a rest.
I probably don’t do this as much as I should and it’s daft because my body needs to from time to time.
It was clearly pining for a rest too because last night (helped by the miracle of my new electric blanket which I bought on a whim in Aldi yesterday for £17.99) I had the best night’s sleep I’ve had in flippingages.
When my eyes opened at 5.30am this morning I felt great!!!
As I stepped out of the house I was practically bouncing along – still feeling absolutely tip top – and it soon showed how much difference this rest and sleep had made.
Today, whilst on my way to work on mile 3 I managed to crack the 14 minutes a mile walking speed!!!
Back in January I was absolutely amazed that I’d broken the fifteen minute barrier (link).
Since then I’ve lost almost a whole stone and it’s clearly made activity a lot easier because whilst wiping more than two whole minutes off my personal best walk to work time today I barely managed to get out of breath.
My average heart rate was 89bpm.
Back in Jan it was 95!
This in itself is absolutely fantastic news – but it doesn’t stand in isolation, because I’d also been beating myself up about (what in my mind) was a weekend where I felt that I’d eaten too much.
When I stepped on the scales in the end the reality was quite different. I was pretty much exactly the same weight that I was last Saturday – and once again I’m reminded that even in instances where I do overeat a bit I’m still food optimising.
When I reach for more food (that I don’t need but want – which is still a problem at times) crucially the choices that I’m making are good ones.
When I remember the reality of my situation (that I’m doing really well and that I shouldn’t be self critical) I take a photo of my current self and place it side by side with one from the past – because even now I need to be reminded of the positive changes that I’ve made and compare the new vs the old me.
Images like this keep me on point and focused on maintenance because they represent moments of failure vs moments of success.
Believe it or not on the right I was at a wedding – and although I’d have loved to be able to wear a suit and not stand out like a sore thumb in my casual 8XL shirt and 66in waisted black jeans I couldn’t.
On the left I’m just throwing on one of several jackets I now own for work not because I have to – but because I can.
If you’re on the same path as I was I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to take photos of yourself throughout your journey even if you hate what you see.
I’d go so far as to say as it’s the difference between failure and success. When you have a dark moment it’s really crucial that you can remind yourself of where you came from and where you are.
I highly recommend that if you do nothing else on your weight loss journey that you consider doing this.
Well. Maybe not just that.
Get a slow cooker too.
I filled mine today. Absolutely stuffed it actually.
First I tossed in a can of chopped tomatoes, 400g of diced beef, a stock cube, 50g of chopped chorizo (6 syns) 2 bay leaves, chilli flakes, 3 cloves of garlic, some mushrooms, a sprinkle of lentils, a red onion and a courgette.
Then I added some sweet potato and butternut squash.
Then topped it off with potato and carrots.
Only when it looks like the lid will never go on do I actually try and force it on. Usually I pack it all down by hand and then pop it on high before leaving the house.
When I arrived home later in the day this is what greeted me.
So internet – even though I’m at target it seems that there are still mental battles to be fought and victories to be won.
Each day is still a little adventure in understanding who I am and what I can become!
I’m honestly loving my life right now!!!