….but we are all fabulous.

Fitness and wellbeing campaign

Over the past few months and years I have increasingly noticed various niggling aches and pains, vague stomach and digestive problems, being prone to anxious thoughts when I’m out of my comfort zone or busy at work and an insidious weight creep.

Last year I started tackling the weight by loosely following an old Weight Watchers plan – I lost just over 1 stone, taking me out of the obese category and into the safer but still unhealthy overweight category. I’m aware of the research that’s emerging about overweight being the new healthy category, but I carry weight around my stomach which is known to be predictive of more health problems and for me it’s about how I feel, but I know that I feel better when my weight is lower.

So, I lost a stone and then in October I decided to take a break from drinking alcohol. I drink wine and although I make sure I have nights every week without drinking, there is no doubt that I was drinking more than the recommended guidelines and again, despite knowing the issues around these guidelines, I was aware that wine was probably contributing to my health grumbles.

So I took 40 days off. Since these included an overseas work conference and various other social events, I was very pleased with myself. As well as losing a few more pounds, I noticed I felt calmer, less prone to anxiety, fewer stomach issues etc. – go figure!! At the end of the 40 days I started being much more moderate with my drinking and all was good.

[I’d like to pause here with a shout out to a fantastic website called Hello Sunday Morning

HSM – this is an Australian website which encourages people to take a break from drinking – they suggest 3 months or 1 year – as a way to change people’s relationship with alcohol. The site was started by a young guy called Chris Raines and it recognises that frequently people drink because everyone else is or that’s what they do or because of the lad/ladette culture or because they are bored or lonely or stressed and ‘deserve’ a treat – in essence because they aren’t drinking mindfully. What’s great about this site is that it’s not preachy, it doesn’t dictate long term abstinence although there are bloggers who use it to support abstinence, it simply encourages you to explore when and why you drink by taking a break – hopefully facilitating long term moderate drinking.]

Fast forward a few winter (=less exercise) months and the few extra pounds have crept back on (although not the original stone I’m happy to say) and it’s time to take myself in hand again. This time it is not about the alcohol so much as just getting fit and healthy. But wine has a lot of calories and worse still after a glass or two I get the munchies and I eat more, resulting in a double calorie whammy!

So, to kick start things, I have cut out the wine again for the past 2 weeks and despite being away for work much of the time, I have also been walking regularly. It’s time to up the ante now so here’s my plan:

  1. Try and meditate/draw/practise piano (all share ‘in the moment’ qualities) most days
  2. Up the exercise – follow the Run your Belly Off Runners World plan, go swimming, go to yoga and keep walking
  3. Make healthy food choices (avoid ‘dieting’ and counting but choose wisely)
  4. Reduce my chocolate consumption which has grown steadily recently
  5. Mindful alcohol consumption – including more time without any as a boost

I found tracking my chapter writing progress helpful, so here are the charts for the past 2 weeks:

w/c 26th April 2015

  Exercise (type & mins) Alcohol (units) Weight (% fat in brackets)
End of last week 13’1
Sunday Walk (60 mins) 0 13’1 (37)
Monday 0 0 13’3 (37.8)
Tuesday 0 0 13’1
Wednesday 0 0 13’0 (36.9)
Thursday Walk (45 mins) 0 13’2
Friday 0 0
Saturday Walk (30 mins) 0 13’0
End of week 3/7 (135 mins) 0 units -1’

w/c 3rd May 2015

  Exercise (type & mins) Alcohol (units) Weight
End of last week 13’0
Sunday 0 0 12’13
Monday Walk (90 mins) 0 13’0 (36.9)
Tuesday 0 0 13’0 (37.1)
Wednesday 0 0
Thursday Walk (45 mins) 0
Friday 0 0 13’0 (37.2)
Saturday Walk (40 mins) 12’13 (37.2)
End of week 3/7 (175 mins)  units -1’

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