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  • Writer's pictureLara

Small Changes, Big Impact

I’ve been going to a PT for two years now but still gaining weight because I wasn’t doing anything about my nutrition and diet (despite my PT's best efforts!). I knew what I should be doing, but just wasn't in the right mindset - it was all I could do to get my head round the previous tumultuous years of covid and house renovating.

By the time we went to Australia in February I was the heaviest I’ve ever been, and when I came back I was, inevitably, even heavier. I tried not to be disappointed with photos of me, but I really was.

On the flight home I made a list of things I wanted to do on my return, but I was so poleaxed by the dreadful weather when we got back to the UK that all good intentions went out the window.

I had planned to stop ‘wasting’ the morning in bed and get up and go for a walk every day. The fact I needed wellies to do that soon put the kibosh on my walks and all my other plans quickly fell by the wayside. I realised quickly that it wasn't a specific enough goal and going for a walk every day is not necessarily a sustainable habit, even for someone who doesn't work or have children at home anymore (unless you have a dog!)

After a week the only habit I’d stuck with was remembering to moisturise my body after a shower (I’m super strict with my face care but not body skin!). I made sure I remembered to do it every day just by leaving the lotion directly in my line of vision, next to the toothbrush and face cream.

I decided as it was too wet to get out walking I needed something else, so, I began to get up as soon as I woke up, and before I even made my morning cuppa I would do 15 mins of yoga. Another habit formed, by leaving my mat in my eye line for when I wake up. I do 30 minutes at least 3/4 times a week now.

I began to realise that self care is just forming good habits, best done one at a time. Get one bedded in and only then add a new one. It’s not easy, apparently it takes six weeks to form a new habit, and nine to break one! So working on one at a time makes sense. You just need to start with one that works for you. Remembering body lotion may not seem like a big change, but it’s a nice to have great skin and something like this re-enforces the feeling of 'looking after yourself'. We are not good at this, women. We usually just have too much other stuff going on.

But ultimately I still needed to address my nutrition. I have a dreadful sweet tooth but until this week I've managed to avoid confectionary (cinema!) and we have gone back to only drinking alcohol at home on the weekend.

I’m using the LifeSum app because it suits my brain to record stuff in that way (and it works with Apple Watch). I’m ‘calorie controlling’ in that I’ll aim to have 600ish at dinner and another 600ish spread across breakfast and lunch. Sometimes I’m over, sometimes I’m under. No 5:2, no excluded foods, no faddy diets, and no massive crises if (when) I have "a bad day".

I just eat better and move more.

We still eat out, I don’t look at calories on menus but do usually find myself naturally choosing something that’s neither the highest nor the fewest calories.

This week I re-joined the gym. The weight is coming off. It's coming off slowly, but it is coming off.

When we were at PT yesterday Ian took some photos to show me how different I’m starting to look because I just don’t see it (I accused the gym mirror of making me look better than I really do!). I have some before photos that I will be able to compare myself with in a few months time. If I can sustain this I should be back to 10 stone by November.

For a long time, a few years ago, my life was dominated by someone else’s obsession with food, dieting and exercise, which I realise badly affected me, this time I'm making sure it’s about health and strength too. I absolutely do want to lose weight, that’s my main driver at the moment. But making my body the best and strongest it can be is just as important.And it can be done in small steps, with small changes.

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