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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

A marathon, not a sprint

 A photo from my BMF class this month! I'm number 21 hiding away in the background.
Not quite ready for pics on the blog of me running just yet :)

So it's the end of August and according to my last blog post I was meant to lose 10lbs by now... oops! 

Ok so that totally didn't happen. BUT, I did make some progress this month towards being a healthier and happier version of myself - and as long as I'm not taking any backward steps I'm satisfied with that for now.

My major realisation this month has been that there is no way I can realistically lose 10lbs a month on top of looking after Leo plus everything else I have to do whilst also managing to stay sane. Losing that amount of weight in such a short time frame is basically crash dieting which is exactly what I said I wouldn't do. Doh!

Recently I've been inspired by dietician and blogger Lyndi Cohen whose website I discovered a few weeks ago. She writes honestly about her incredibly slow yet very successful weight loss journey. The concept of slow weight loss isn't exactly sexy but it is much more realistic and sustainable in the long term so I think I'm going to get on board with that idea and give myself a break!

This is what August looked like for me health and fitness-wise:

I joined a supportive online community of women all working towards individual weight-loss, health and fitness goals. We're all going through the same bootcamp together but it's online so the workouts are done in the comfort of your own home and you can go at your own pace. Loads of info and guidance is offered on exactly what and when to eat, what foods to avoid, exercise, overall lifestyle tips etc. There is a private Facebook group for everyone to chat, swap tips and offer support. It felt great to be part of a group all working towards a common goal and cheering each other on. It might sound a bit like WeightWatchers or something like that but it couldn't be further from it. The focus is on eating healthy whole foods and natural fats, and on cutting out nasties like refined sugar, gluten and empty calories. No low fat junk like the sort of rubbish that's pushed on WeightWatchers. There aren't any weigh-ins and in fact the group are urged to ditch the scales and pointless calorie counting, instead focusing on losing inches and feeling your best ever. I think being a part of this group for the next few months will be instrumental in keeping me motivated and on track with my regular workouts and healthy eating. 

This month I also signed up for BMF (British Military Fitness) and attended two classes. This is major news as I've barely done any exercise at all since 2013 so I'm incredibly unfit. The classes were challenging but not impossible and I really had a good time. I can only go when I've got childcare for Leo so that is a bit limiting. But I've tried things like 'buggy fit' and other classes where you bring your baby and awkwardly try to incorporate them into the workout and I'm not keen. I feel like for me exercising is hard enough without having to look after my baby whilst doing it! 

Yesterday I went to the doctor about my thyroid and managed to get clarity on a few things that have been confusing me. But its still a bit of a minefield and I have lots more to learn about how to live well with hypothyroidism. I'm back on my medication now and will have to see how that goes. The doc also did a blood test for gluten intolerance (amusingly called 'Celiac disease') and I'm currently awaiting the results. Fingers crossed...

Finally, I took the leap and invested in a FitBit (posh pedometer) to track my steps and encourage me to get out of the house more often on foot instead of in the car. I've used it sporadically throughout the month and it's been interesting to see just what it takes to hit 10,000 steps in a day. It's not easy! That's equivalent to around 5 miles which is far more that I would walk in any normal day where I'm just out and about running errands. But I'm going to give the whole 10,000 steps a day a proper go in September as I think walking everywhere instead of driving is a great way to bring more incidental exercise into my life alongside my other workouts.

I definitely fell of the wagon slightly towards the end of August and enjoyed a few really fun nights out in London with friends. Finally we went to Brixton Beach! A really fun place for cocktails and DJs in the sunshine.

So even though August was a real mixed bag in terms of sticking to my healthy eating plan I still feel really good about where I am right now. I've noticed that I have actually started craving healthier foods and am slowly losing interest in some of my favourite 'treats' (Nutella anyone?) so that's an incredible turnaround. I've also maintained a really balanced attitude all month generally to getting myself back on track. I've felt consistently enthusiastic about making positive lifestyle changes even when there have been days where I've just eaten whatever I felt like (lots of ice creams in this gorgeous weather we've been enjoying!) and I'm pleased that I've managed to enjoy drinks and fun without a side order of guilt.   

Next month I have lots of great things lined up to keep me moving in the right direction with my health. Firstly we've got a family holiday to Portugal where I hope to recharge my batteries and re-focus so I'm ready to get cracking when I'm back home. I've also signed up for the next bootcamp - this time its a 30 day 'Tummy Attack' bootcamp - starting on 12 Sept. And I'm excited about a relaxation workshop I've signed up for at the new Aveda Spa in Guildford amongst other things I'm trying in an attempt to address some of my issues with stress management.

More on all of that next month...!


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