Way back sometime in the first couple of weeks of this new lifestyle, I read that quote that’s been going around about how it takes 4 weeks for you to notice your weight-loss, 8 weeks for your friends to notice, and 12 weeks for everyone else. Today at lunchtime, one of my friends at work took me aside in the lift and said very quietly “I actually need to ask you something… you’ve lost a lot of weight haven’t you?” and then we went on to chat about it for a little while and she asked me about what I’d been doing. It wasn’t until after she’d gone that this huge WAVE of elation swept over me – I was just so ecstatic that someone had finally noticed! This week is just into the 9th week since my holiday when I started cutting out starches and committing to workouts – so maybe just over or just shy of the 8 week point given that the first week was a bit of a false start. Bang on schedule!
Of course *I* notice it every day – and I really have got to that point now where I do notice it every day. Most often I notice the tone in my arms and length, the difference in my silhouette in the glass walled corridor in our office, and my face, from certain angles, with certain hair arrangements, or just when I’m at work resting my head on my hand and I can feel my chin.
That said, I’ve been having a pretty hard time of it lately. Ever since week 3 I’ve been beating myself up over whether I’ve actually been losing real weight at all, since my scales are so wildly all over the place. I do get the low numbers consistently but I also discovered a different place in the bathroom where my weight is way more and moves much more slowly – this is my ultimate highest weight (I think this might come to be known as my “dead weight”!!) but it seems like nothing I’m doing is making very much impact on it – plus I don’t have a starting weight for that line either. I’m glad to have the other lines to work on in the mean time because I know for sure I would have lost motivation and given up on just one line that moved so little! But doing it this way means there is usually some movement and that keeps me working at it – and I figure the only way to get the dead weight down is to work on the others as aggressively as possible, in the end the effect is the same.
I have also not quite yet hit that sweet spot I’m waiting for where everything would suddenly start to fit (this is what led me to suspect that there was a higher number out there because at LWY everything SHOULD fit bar some minor shifts in body composition) and I’d have that feeling of looking at myself and knowing I was different from every other time before. I’m not quite there yet, but I can squeeze into 3 out of 4 pairs of the work trousers (although given that I have two perfectly nice and well-fitting pairs I’m questioning why I would want to wear them before they actually fit comfortably, just for the size issue). On tops I am almost there but need to be able to fit into my coat and hoodies before the temperature drops significantly again, and I seem to have way more spare tyre than last time around. I have been feeling nervous and tetchy about my diet and allowing more treats and the occasional mini pig-out creep in, which I’m sure has stunted the wild progress I was making back at the beginning. I haven’t been focusing as much on getting the weights down and doing everything I can, limiting portions by choice rather than obligation, and so on – have just taken my eyes off the ball a little bit and I need to get it back.
That said, on what I believe to be the most comparable line to my year-start weight, I am down just under 3 stone (41lb) for the year so it would be great to try and lose another 3 now that I know what I’m doing. One thing I do feel convinced of is that whatever I’m losing, I am losing for good – even if I get stuck at a certain point for a while I’m not going back to where I was. So I don’t feel like I’m doing too badly in the long term.
But I NEED to get back on it and clean up my act because I don’t want to waste what’s left of August when I could be making progress and getting over the last little hurdle. So using what happened today as motivation, I’m going to try and refresh my attitudes and actions and push through to the next milestone. This is the 6th week before my holiday and there’s a nice split between August and September (three weeks of each) so I am going to try and take each block separately to build some new momentum. Over the next three weeks I want to see a significant enough shift in my weight to give me confidence that I *am* moving into an entirely different phase of my life in terms of my weight and image. And I want to be able to get into all those clothes come September.
Strategies so far:
- Have an attitude of “tomorrow I will be there!” – imagine each day that the next day, I will finally cross that line to reach that new sweet weight where everything fits. One day it will have to be true and in the meantime, it makes every day an opportunity to put in one last-ditch effort (and clean up my act!)
- Clean up my diet: some things have been sneaking in and there are easily times when I could just eat more fruit or veg instead. Keep starches to Sunday morning breakfast and don’t have treats every day!
- Focus on one target time-slot at a time – at the moment I’m making a concerted effort to rule-out eating when I get home from work and while cooking dinner. Conquer these problem areas one at a time before moving on to the next one.
- I have been having some success in cutting the amount of processed meat and cheese I’m eating so keep on with that.
- Try to improve some way each day on the day before. Write down intake if this will help.
- Take time to notice and celebrate the changes I *can* already see. Take photos. Try on clothes. Think about it lots and lots!
Still to work out:
- Come up with exact targets/framework for F&V vs. non F&V plus roughly weekly meal-plan (one evening meal just veg, one veg & beans, etc.)
- Cut food spend – I have to find ways to do this while keeping things going because it’s interfering with my other savings goals.
Commit to a better sleep schedule – we are making a start with this but it’s so hard given everything else that is going on!