Since the start of January, the media has been full of weight loss plans and exercise regimes. My gym, which was quiet over Christmas, was full to the brim on Monday and I struggled to park the car at 6.30am so knew I’d struggle to find a treadmill!
So are you contemplating a weight loss or new exercise plan for 2018, and if so what is your motivation?
My motivation is simple. I’m in my 50s and well aware that things can start to go wrong from now on – heart disease, stroke, diabetes are all there lurking in the background. In the Spring of last year, my brother-in-law was diagnosed with bladder cancer. It was a shock and whilst he doesn’t fit the standard profile of a bladder cancer patient as he’s healthy and fit in every way, cancer touched him. It made me question my health and well-being and I decided I wasn’t doing myself any favours by being both overweight and not doing any regular exercise. In fact, when I look back I’d become not only unhealthy but quite miserable too. Clothes didn’t fit me properly, I felt lethargic, I was drinking too much and felt generally low.
So I decided to do something about it. I didn’t make a big deal about it as I was concerned that if I shouted from the rooftops about what I was doing I might just fail and that would be embarrassing. I met with a personal trainer at my gym and told him I wanted to lose at least 2 stone, and I wanted to get back to my running, something I’d put on hold due to constant injury and excruciating pain in my knees. He told me that this was all possible, but that I needed to make a minimum commitment of 3 months, follow his advice and guidance, which meant recording EVERYTHING I ate and drank, and do some exercise at least 3 times a week. Oh yes, and the important weigh-in every Monday morning at 7am on his scales! Knowing it wasn’t going to be easy but wanting to make changes, I committed to the plan and my journey started on 18 July 2017.
I have completed my food and drink intake every day from the beginning in my app (even on days when I’ve eaten way too much and eaten the wrong things as there’s no point in kidding yourself you’ve not had a bad day). To be honest it’s now part of what I do everyday and isn’t onerous at all. I’m used to it. In fact I quite enjoy doing it. It also allows me to plan my day, particularly if I know, for example, I’m going out for a meal.
I’ve also exercised regularly – perhaps a little too much at times. But I’ve discovered a Core class at my gym which I love, and a Glute class which has helped my running no end! I go to gym classes 3 mornings a week and run 3 days a week. I’m running faster than ever before and I have loads of energy, despite having been on a calorie deficit for 171 days! And I truly believe it’s because I’m eating the right foods. A high protein diet rich in fresh vet, low carbs and some fat. I’ve pretty much cut out refined sugar and whilst I had been drinking a little, I’m now not drinking at all. Oh and I drink lots of water too (with the occasional latte which is always noted in my app).
The one thing I’ve struggled with is sleep! So, ‘New Year New Me’ is attempting to get into bed at 9pm, read and then lights out no later than 9.45pm so I’m able to get up at 5.30am more easily. Better sleep is also know to help stress levels – see below!
I also recently did a blood test to assess the effect of what’s going on inside my body since I’ve taken control of my food and exercise. The results came back yesterday and I am delighted that my body is in pretty good shape on the inside – controlled cholesterol, low risk of heart disease and no sign of diabetes. I have a bit of work to do on my cortisol (stress) but overall healthy for my age.
I’ve lost 2 stone and 2lbs in total and would like to lose another 6-7lbs. I can honestly say I’ve never felt better and only wish I’d taken control sooner.
We all owe it to ourselves to stay as fit and healthy as we can not only for ourselves, but for our nearest and dearest. There are so many health issues associated with being overweight that are mostly preventable from heart disease, to diabetes and high cholesterol to some cancers.
So if you’re thinking you’d like to lose weight and improve your health, remember it’s only you that’s stopping that from happening. Good luck in whatever way you decide to improve your health.
If you’ve lost weight, for whatever reason, tell us about it below. The more positive stories we share the better.