This post has been requested and I’ve been intending to write it for a considerable amount of time now. Please do bear in mind that this is a topic I’ve been asked to write about – therefore please don’t assume that I’m attempting to brag or show off, as that is absolutely not my aim at all! I’d say that the title is rather self explanatory ergo if you’re interested in learning more then please do continue reading.
At the start of this year I embarked upon a slight health kick with the intention of improving my health overall, rather than it being about losing weight. There were ample changes of which were implemented and in the space of four weeks I had lost a stone, I were elated with this considering that it hadn’t been my focus. So, what changed?
Firstly, I expanded my water intake considerably, making sure to stay hydrated at all times and I’d cut down drastically on all other drinks. I went from being an unbridled tea and fizzy pop drinker to drinking only one cup of tea a day and cutting out fizzy drinks entirely. I also cut down significantly on alcohol, managing to limit myself to a few shots and one stein at a friend’s Birthday celebrations in January, I’m usually quite a drinker therefore this were a remarkable achievement alone.
This is a problem I’ve always struggled with, like a baby with a blanket – I require food to find contentment. I simply adore eating, it’s actually really hard to ever find myself hungry because there’s almost always something being thrown down my throat, when I’m annoyed, upset, cold, bored, procrastinating, menstruating – it’s quite possibly my answer to everything! By some miracle I cut this out! I honestly have to say that this were the hardest part for me and the only thing I can assume is that I’d suddenly found an unexpected and inconceivable will power within myself, as I would usually crumble within a few hours. This is probably the main reason for my weight loss.
In a bid for some alone time, a chance for reflection and to get myself out of the house whilst promoting a healthy endorphin rush, I made the decision to go swimming once a week. I’m a Leeds Get Active card holder, meaning that at selected participating centres I’m able to redeem an hours swimming session per day and the same applies to the gym, there’s some centres which will allow both to be taken advantage of in the same day and this is completely free. I couldn’t say no really, could I? After all there’s a centre located within a twenty minute walk from where I live. Due to the fact I weren’t very active to start with and remembering that I were borderline Agoraphobic at that point in time, I feel that an hours swim session per week were definitely an appropriate amount, I also eventually added gym sessions to this as my mental health had started to improve a little, although I were rendered unable after a short while due to complications with my foot, of which is being operated on tomorrow!
In a bid to encourage my levels of activity I downloaded the ‘RunTastic’ app which calculates the calories lost during a range of different activities. There’s more of course that the app can be used for, as there’s the option to pay fees to go pro – I however opted to utilise the free option. Alongside this I also downloaded ‘My Fitness Pal’ – an app used predominantly for tracking both diet and exercise on a daily basis, this app has an array of features and also has a paid premium option – again I used the free version only. Inputting personal information such as height and weight, including a target weight, this app will then calculate the time it will take to shed a healthy amount weekly, also providing the user with a calorie goal to achieve the required results in that time. It’s great because it does the math for you and when putting in any activity completed in that day you’re then able to see how much more you can eat in that day without putting on the pounds – perfect for when you’re wanting to treat yourself. I could go into further detail about these apps therefore if you would like me to do so then feel free to leave me a comment below or on any other social media platform.
Always remember to chew your food thoroughly, the longer it takes you to eat something the fuller you will feel. I’m a rather leisurely eater anyway so for me this were proven the proverbial piece of cake. I became more thoughtful in relation to my food choices, opting for healthier options more often and cutting down hugely on the snacking, or all together on days when I’d had a heavier meal. My Fitness Pal were definitely a friend with that, I used the active days as my opportunity to allow snacks, likewise, if I felt particularly hungry one day then I’d go for an evening walk to even out excess calorie intakes. This still weren’t about losing weight for me, though. I figured that if I could get used to a smaller intake of food daily, then over time my stomach would become accustomed to this change also, meaning I’d then become full quicker. To achieve this I aimed for a 1,200 calorie intake daily, recommended by My Fitness Pal and still within an acceptable and healthy level of consumption.
There’s a vast array of things I could have done additionally although I felt that the above were all enough, especially initially. I find it exasperating to make a commitment to things regardless, however I happened to do wonderful with this for a few months before unfortunately abandoning the whole routine during my transition back into the working world. Although a little over a stone weren’t a huge loss I’d definitely started to notice some shrinkage around my hips and stomach, they aren’t the best however some evidence of this can be seen in the above photographs, the before being in the polka dot bikini and after being the black.
Have you been pursuing the same endeavour? Which tips would you like to share with others? I’d love to find motivation and acquire something inspirational to assist me with getting back into all of this – I have weddings to look presentable for!
Disaster Davis x