A little challenge and a long catch-up
Ooops, I’ve left this for a fair few days, please forgive the extra-long post!
Day 5: Why do you really want to lose this weight? Are you doing it for you?
The first time I (sensibly) thought about losing weight and joined a group to support me I was losing the weight because I thought I could do with dropping a few lbs. Little did I know I was nearly 15st and I was firmly in the obese category for my height. It was a bit of a health shock and I thought I definitely needed to drop the weight to be healthier all round. Purely through diet and cutting out the junk I dropped a couple of stones over the Summer between my first and second years of university. I felt great, and when term came round, I moved, left my slimming group and continued to eat healthily but the treats and excesses began to creep back so over the course of two years about a stone crept back on. I was happy at that weight but alway knew I could be just that bit lighter. Losing weight has never been about other people, it’s just been about how happy I feel in myself. I’m doing it to feel comfortable and over the years I have felt more comfortable the healthier I have been.
Day 6: Do you binge? If so, explain why you do.
In short, yes. I hate leaving things unfinished. This includes packets of biscuits, batches of muffins and even bowls of salad. ‘Waste not, want not’ is a phrase etched in my genetic code. When I plan, and have my food thought out, I can circumvent the urge to eat all the things just because they’re there. The messier my head is, the harder it is to leave food uneaten, just in case it would go to waste. I do comfort eat but if I plan this properly I can comfort eat healthy things in moderate portions. If I don’t plan and the need to comfort myself with food sneaks up on me then I’ll eat and eat. I’ve not been unknown to make myself sick from just eating too much. I don’t have an off switch!
Day 7: Do your parents know you’re trying to lose weight? Do they care?
What an odd question. Okay, maybe not odd for most, but I don’t have parents in the conventional sense. My mum died nearly nine years ago and I don’t have any contact with my father. My inlaws know, I’ve not asked if they care, but they’ve been lovely in making little ajustments when I go around for dinner. Little things like making a salad to have with my starter so I won’t gorge on bread and pate.
Day 8: Your workout routine
This varies week to week, depending on the weather and for what I’m training. In years gone by, my workout routine was nil – walks when I could fit them in and then not a lot else save the odd yoga class here and there. In recent history I discovered running. It’s not hyperbole when I say it transformed my life. Now I run about three times a week and I’m training for a Marathon. To support my running I am doing more core exercise work for strength and keeping up yoga more regularly to help my flexibility and stability. I’ve also been walking more, rediscovering the fells from my childhood and adventuring to bag more and more peaks (quite handy that I live on the doorstop of the Lake District!). I’m also training for the Keswick to Barrow walk this May.
Day 9: Did people ever make comments about your weight in a negative way?
Yes. I was the fat kid at school. I would walk through town and be followed by a girl saying ‘beep beep, wide load’. My surname was Ford and my nickname was ‘Fat Ford Fiesta’ or ‘chocolate muffin’ (still not sure how that one came about). School was not a fun time.
Day 10: What was the hardest thing you gave up during this ‘weight loss’?
My teal velvet trousers. Haha, I should explain. I haven’t given up any type of food, it’s all about control and moderation. If I have a treat one day then I can’t have it the next. The only thing I’ve given up is the inches, which has meant that some of my favourite clothes no longer fit. It was hard to give up my teal trousers, but when they nearly fell down while I was running a workshop with young people I thought it was best I move on (or never be employed again!).
Day 11: Your favourite thinspo blog and why!
Hmm, not really sure about this. I read blogs by others about their weight-loss journey but each journey is so individual to that person. It’s the training blogs I find more inspirational. The Guardian Running Blog has been great for keeping me motivated and the comments are wonderful for following the journeys of others, whether they are in it for weight loss or not.
Day 12: What do you normally eat?
Everything, except celery! As the title of my blog indicates, I eat everything with the exception of celery, which I can’t stand. I eat a very varied diet, nothing is off limits, I just try to moderate it, which, when I stick to plan really works. While I really like cheese, it plays havoc with my digestive system and makes me very stinky so I have to time when I have it! I love fruit and veg which is helpful, and I’ve always been a bit wary of processed foods which is also a good mindset when trying to lose the pounds. Cooking from scratch means I know what is going into my body and in what quantities. I’m also a big advocate of keeping a food diary, only when you are aware of what you’re eating you can control and tailor it to your goals. Here’s a run down of a typical day in my diet:
Breakfast – porridge (cooked without milk) with cinnamon, poured over chopped apple.
Lunch- baked potato with beans and cheese.
Dinner- home-made bolognase (made with plenty of veg and lean mince) with wholewheat pasta.
Snacks- yoghurt, fresh pineapple, pop-corn (popped without fat).
Day 13: Are you losing weight in a healthy or unhealthy way?
As if anyone sets out to lose in an ‘unhealthy way’. We all think ‘our way’ is the healthy way. I’m no exception. I’m taking it slow and steady, not banning foods, keeping my diet varied, eating plenty of whole foods, fruit and veg, and taking regular exercise. I’d say that’s a pretty healthy way of doing it!
Day 14: What’s your UGW? When do you expect to achieve it?
Well, as my aim is to be a ‘healthy weight’ for my BMI, the most I should weigh is 11st4lb. I’ve set my target as 11st (because I like a round number). Although, I’ll have to see when I get there whether that is the right weight for me. At 12st now, I’m already a size 12 (which I haven’t been since I was age 12!) so I’m not sure how losing another stone is going to affect me and whether or not when I get there I might find that 10st7lb might be a good weight for me (right in the middle of the healthy BMI range for my height). As for when I expect to achieve it… I’d hoped to be there by the end of this month but that’s not going to happen! I think the end of May is a more reasonable target but we’ll see how it goes. As I’ve said before, I’m taking it slow and steady.
Day 15: Are you vegan or vegetarian? If so, has this helped you to lose weight? If not, would you ever consider turning vegan or vegetarian?
Nope. I’m a meat eater. Nope I wouldn’t ‘turn’ vegan or vegetarian. (This makes it sound like some sort of religious conversion!). I like meat, and I like to know where my meat comes from. I’m lucky where I live. I can walk down the lane and see happy pigs forraging in the fields. I can then go to the market and buy lovely sausages and cuts of pork from a local butcher. If I didn’t buy from these local traders then I wouldn’t get to see the happy pigs. On a local scale I support the farming and eating of meat. On a global scale I understand that the conversion of energy from feed into meat creates a defecit of energy and a shortage of food; but perhaps we all need to start thinking locally and responsibly and this energy defecit would deplete naturally over time. I’m not going to solve Third World hunger by forgoing a bacon sandwich but I can have an impact on my local economy, landscape and legacy by choosing responsibly when I shop. Maybe I’m kidding myself, but hey, it might just be a case of picking the battles you can win and doing what little I can.
Day 16: When did you first decide to lose weight?
As I’ve said (above) it was when I was between first and second year of university that I began my weight-loss journey. Before then I wanted to lose weight but never really knew how to go about it healthily so I just didn’t. I’d cut back the excesses occasionally when my clothes were a bit tight but there was no plan, no goal, and so, no outcome. Now I have the plan, the goal, and very importantly, the support, and I’m seeing the results.