Consistency – the key to success?

Well, after a promising start (4lbs loss in the first week) I went to weigh-in last night and have put on 0.5lb. No it’s not much, but it’s hard not to feel deflated when I’ve been pretty consistent at eating better and tracking the treats. My initial thought was to ‘sod it’ and drown my sorrows in a glass (ok bottle) of wine, but I managed to resist and stick to my healthy pre-planned dinner.

Truth is, it’s easy to get hung up on that number, but that is only a small part of it. The most important thing is making consistently healthy choices, which includes exercise. And although I’ve done well on the food/booze front, I am struggling to make the time to put in some quality workouts because I’ve forgotten how to be consistent.

Last year when training for the Olympic distance triathlon (my number 1 goal for 2014) I used to get up at 5.50am pretty much every working day to walk the dogs and hit the gym before starting work at 9am. Of course there would be the odd morning where I’d roll over and hit snooze, but for the most part it never really used to bother me because it was just my routine. But for things to become a routine you have to be consistent, otherwise it is a constant struggle to consciously maintain that effort level for any significant length of time. So this week is going to be about building that consistency back into my everyday life, so that next time when my alarm goes off I will get up without pressing snooze…

One day at a time

In an attempt to distract myself from the gnawing hunger I’ve taken to having a bottle of water on my desk to sip throughout the day, which does work because now I’m going to the toilet every 15 minutes there is distinctly less time to worry about food.

In truth, I don’t think it is being hungry that is the worst thing about diets, it’s the boredom. Having something ‘nice’ like chocolate or cake gives you something to look forward to and breaks up the day… crabsticks just don’t have the same appeal. But the lack of booze is the real killer; you don’t realise how ingrained alcohol is into society until you try to give it up. The 6 o’clock beer after work, the bottle of wine with friends, and the glass of fizz with brunch; it’s insidious.

With all seriousness though, it is going quite well – although it should be really given I’m only 4 days in and motivation is still high. I didn’t manage to get to the gym on Tuesday morning, but other than that I’ve done a workout every day so far which I consider a success. Hurrah for the small victories!

New Year, New Optimism

Well, it has been precisely 1 year to the day since I published a blog post – and the last one wasn’t even written by me! It seems timely though to pick up where I left off and commit my New Year’s Resolutions to paper (well, screen).

Personally, I like New Year’s. It has a magical quality to it, a feeling of anything being possible and this finally being the year in which I metamorphasize into someone inspired, in control and driven… which is somewhat ironic given my resolutions have been pretty much the same for the last 3 years.

But nevertheless, I’m a big believer in writing goals down. I’ve done it in the past as more of a ‘life wish list’ and was surprised when I reviewed it a few years later how many of the wishes had become reality. I think it is useful to simply reflect on what it is that you want to achieve and the things that you will have to actually do to make that happen.

So without further ado, my 2015 goals are:

  • Lose weight and get back to my ideal weight of 9 stone 9 lbs – to this end I have re-joined WeightWatchers and will be enduring my first weigh in tonight
  • Compete in another Olympic triathlon and beat my previous time – still not decided on the exact race yet, but I may go with the same one as last year
  • Join running or triathlon group – to aid with training for the above. I have scoped out a running group that looks suitable but need to work up the courage to actually go. 
  • Do open water swims every weekend in summer – I did a few last year but not nearly enough. This is actually something I love doing, it’s just the getting up early on a Saturday that is a pain in the arse
  • Run a sub 1 hr 40 min half marathon – this has been on my to-do list for the last 3 years.  I have signed up to Sheffield April 2015 half marathon and bought new running shoes, so this will be the year goddammit
  • Cook one new meal a week – I enjoy cooking but my repertoire of meals is becoming boring and predictable. One new recipe a week is definitely doable and would be something that my husband and I could do together.
  • Do hot yoga every other week – this is a bit of an ambitious goal, given all the other activities I am trying to cram in, but I’d like to pick this back up again. I have the flexibility of a wooden plank, so I’m hoping this will help with that.

And then because I felt selfish that all my goals were about me, I tacked on:

  •  Do something nice for someone else

This is definitely not a ‘SMART’ goal so I revised this to:

  • Send birthday cards and gifts to key friends and family on timethis is something I am truly terrible at. I am always sending belated cards and often I leave it so long that I just don’t bother altogether. There really is no excuse since people’s birthdays are on the same bloody day each year. It’s like people who complain that they ‘aren’t prepared’ for Christmas. Really? Did the fact it was on 25th December catch you by surprise this year?

So there you have it, my 2015 goals. Let’s do this!

New Year’s resolutions from a male perspective (guest post from my husband)

Well there it is 14st 9lbs or 92.98Kg or 205lbs! How the cock did that happen?

 Well I know perfectly well how it happened. As already mentioned by Puddingtummy we both have a penchant for the booze and I’m afraid it is our undoing every time. 

We have been trying on and off for some weeks now to get some momentum with the healthy eating/ not drinking/ going to the gym thing but so far I think our world record is four consecutive days. I’m afraid booze is the main culprit, as was pointed out to me in uncomfortably clear language the other night…after a few beers. Thus ensued an interesting “discussion” about what “exactly” constituted being an “alcoholic”. For what it’s worth, I’m not sure I believe in this fairly nebulous and existential concept, obviously I won the argument/ conversation, but as is often the case with Puddingtummy, it didn’t really feel like I’d won.

All that being said I decided to turn over (another) new leaf. Thing is, Puddingtummy has big plans involving ironmen or mans or something, which in my limited understanding of such things a) doesn’t involve alcohol, b) is accomplished largely by not being fat, and c) requires more than four days consecutive dieting.

Not being one to get hung up on detail my lay interpretation of what is expected of the ironmans is essentially to run, swim and cycle as you see appropriate until all your limbs fall off. Naturally I can see why anyone would want to do this, it does sound great, but being a fairly laissez-faire sort of chap I thought I might give it a miss.

Don’t get me wrong though there are things I would like to accomplish on the fitness and weight loss front such as tying my own shoelaces in fewer than 3 reps (my current PB), climbing a flight of stairs without getting chest pains and putting on some of the tighter clothing in my wardrobe without sobbing uncontrollably and as such I can understand fully the importance of PT’s goal to her too. So here it is, my first ever blog, and a firm resolution to help out in MTs motivation and be encouraging by not being an alcoholic/ beer enthusiast, by eating stuff that isn’t beige and by going to the gym until all my limbs fall off. For at least five or more days.

Apathy

Endless cycle!

An endless cycle!

The above picture is taken from a link that has been floating round the internet recently: http://www.buzzfeed.com/hnigatu/comics-that-capture-the-frustrations-of-depression The article has various cartoons that depict the feelings of helplessness and frustration associated with depression and this one particularly resonated with me.

I just feel like I’ve lost my spark at the moment, especially where sports and fitness is concerned. Around about this time 2 years ago I’d achieved one of my life’s ambitions to run a marathon and managed to maintain my WW weight loss for 2 years. I feel like a bit of a failure for letting it slip so far and my attempts at getting into a routine haven’t been that successful. This time of year is never particularly good for me (dark mornings & dark nights aren’t exactly conducive to exercise!) and I think this is compounding the problem.

I suppose the answer it to keep going and try not to get disheartened by the odd set back. I don’t have any races scheduled for the remainder of this year, so perhaps it is time to look ahead to 2014 and find something to work towards. I need to remember that something is better than nothing – with a little bit of persistent effort hopefully my routine (and mojo) will resurface.

1 week review

Well, I am now 1 week into what I have labelled the ‘transformation’ plan, which to be honest is a pretty ambitious description of the last week.

There have been highs (hitting the gym 6 out of the 7 days) and lows (hello Domino’s online ordering) but on the whole it has been positive.

I’m pleased that I managed to stay on the wagon and only drank on two days, which considering my recent behaviour is pretty good. The scale hasn’t budged but at this stage that’s to be expected, so I’m not too worried about that at the moment. I’m still struggling with really committing though… at this initial stage it always seems like a long slow haul, but I know that consistency is the key!

Still no ‘before’ pictures, as I can’t quite bring myself to either take or post them. It’s a funny thing the before/after pics, they’re inspiring at the end but pre-transformation they just highlight how much work you have to do!