2015 Year in Review

As 2016 beckons, I wanted to take this opportunity to review 2015 in terms of my journey to a healthier version of myself, to learn more about what works and what doesn’t, and how I can improve next year.

Fitness

At this time last year, I weighed around 158lb, and by the New Year that figure had reached 162lb. I’ve fluctuated between 161 and 154 for most of this year as I’ve gone through spells of intense exercise and complete latency.

During those times that I was committed to a steady exercise regime, I noticed my body was firmer, and I was less conscious of my arms (the one area of my body that I’m self-conscious about). After having Jessica my stomach has taken on a new shape, with the lower ‘tyre’ more prominent than ever, even at the same pre-pregnancy weight. There’s not really much I can do about the shape (and I’m not that bothered by it to consider a surgical alternative) but eating less processed food and having a consistent level of activity in my life definitely reduces the prominence of the shape.

I actually aren’t that unhappy with my body, and I think I look better naked than in most clothes! Of course I would like to tighten up, and so my goal for 2016 is to consistently add some toning exercises for my arms, abs and arse as well as running.

2015 Lesson: Consistency is key.

2016 Goal: Exercise at least 3 times a week (running, Zumba, bodyweight toning) but try to squeeze in some mid-week lunchtime runs when the weather improves enough.

Food

There’s no question about my love for food, and whilst I have my quirks (I don’t like ‘wet’ food such as mashed potatoes, but could happily eat a jacket or new potato) there isn’t much that I don’t like.

The upside to this is that I can experiment with different vegetables and grains, the downside is that I also love me some chocolate, and cake, and bread with lashings of butter. I’ve even developed a fondness for whipped cream this year, which is something that really cannot be considered healthy!

I also don’t really have an off switch. I could quite happily polish off a family size bar of galaxy chocolate or grab bag of crisps, especially if I’m watching TV or bored.

During the last few months I’ve been playing with the idea of vegetarianism. Animal welfare, global warming and the cost of meat are all factors. I don’t think that I’ll be turning into a strict vegetarian in 2016, but I’ll be trying to reduce my meat and fish intake and instead find alternative protein sources.

2015 Lesson: Keep things interesting

2016 Goal: More meatless Mondays (but not just Mondays)

I’d like to take my ‘healthy journey’ to the next level in 2016 by reaching 153lb and maintaining that weight (or under). I’ll be discussing my 2016 goals in more details in my next post, and how they’ll help me to kick it up a notch and make some proper progress!

Happy New Year everyone, and thank you for following 21lb Challenge this year!
xoxo

My mini hiatus is over…and it’s Friday!

“Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty.

I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.”

― George Carlin

Life is what you make it, and recently, I’ve been making it a bit rubbish! I’ve mentioned before how I haven’t been all that happy with my work, but I’ve been letting that dissatisfaction creep into other aspects of mu life. My energy levels have been low, my motivation non-existent and my usually positive outlook has been somewhat dampened. And of course, that has all affected my health and well being, as I’ve let bad habits creep back in; sitting at my desk during lunch instead of going to the gym, choosing processed foods where something whole would have been just as convenient.

And whilst it’s actually only been that way for a couple of weeks, it’s amazing how easy we get back into old habits, and hard to break them.

So, taking George’s advice above, I’ve decided that for now, I’m OK with a low level of career satisfaction if it means that the rest of my live can thrive. I’m doing more with friends and family, be that walks around our gorgeous country side, entering a race to challenge myself, booking some me-time, and planning trips! We don’t always have to have it all, so if we accept that the cup is smaller, it will get fuller more quickly! That’s my logic anyway!

So, what have I been up to during my blogging break?

We took a short trip to the Norfolk/Suffolk seaside where we had great weather, played on the beach, swam in the sea and visited SeaLife centre in Great Yarmouth!

Ice creams at the seaside Shark at SeaLife Turtle selfie

We’ve been teaching my little girl how to ride a bike, and Grandad trying to hitch a ride!

learnign to ride a bike

Enjoying the great outdoors near our home. This is Kilnsey Cragg and climbers love tackling the overhang.

Kilnsey Cragg

And, this month I overcame my biggest body hangup (my arms) and wore a sleeveless dress to a friends wedding, excuse the selfie, it was taken after several glasses of wine! And I felt confident, and even a bit sexy!

Arms out!

Next I’ll post an Eats of the Week as I’ve managed to take some pictures too!

Here’s my question for you this week…do you feel like to you have to sacrifice some parts of your life to enjoy it more overall??

Have a great weekend xoxo

Friday Round Up – Mindful Eating, not counting calories

Eating isn’t supposed to be a math problem, It’s supposed to just be eating – unknown

Happy Friday, I’m really looking forward to this weekend and going on some fun active adventures with my bambino!

The quote above has really stuck with me the past couple of weeks. Whilst I have found that I’m most successful with weight loss as dictated by the scale, I’ve never been able to sustain that for the long term. Having to log every calorie that I ingest is time consuming and requires access to the internet (I use MyFitnessPal). I don’t want to spend minutes everyday logging every morsel, not when I could be watching Say Yes to the Dress (my guilt pleasure) or splashing in the paddling pool with the toddler.

20150716_124414 – Amazing cherries from Keehlam Farm Shop yesterday!

So instead I’ve been mindfully eating whole foods, choosing larger portions but without too many starchy carbs and processed foods. I am keeping a food journal, but I’m not recording calorie intake. I think that for me personally, this will be more manageable in the long term, and as I’m wanting this to become a lifelong habit rather than a short term weight loss fix, that’s my main goal.

I’ve also upped my exercise, including my daily squat challenge. Today I managed 100 variations of squats and arse work! They included squats with a kettlebell with an overhead press, plié squats with the kettlebell, closed legs squats with the kettlebell, saddlebag raisers (I don’t know any other way to describe them, picture taken from Pop Fitness below) and squats with a back leg raise, alternating between legs.

saddlebag raisers

And even though it’s too early to see any physical results from my increase in exercise over the past couple of weeks, I felt confident enough to wear shorts for my run last night (not tiny shorts as I don’t like any inner-thigh chafing, but shorts nonetheless!

20150716_203627 20150716_211936

Richard Simmons said something very poignant about shorts…

I don’t know about you, but every time some joker points me out as I walk through an airport wearing extra-small Dolfin shorts, a tank top and leg warmers, I get a little upset.

I feel your pain Richard!

It’s been a good week! What has everyone else felt good about this week, and what are you working on for next week?
xoxo

Recommit

Yesterday you said tomorrow

For the past few weeks in the Friday round up, I’ve spoken about how I’ve let my habits slip back into unhealthy territory, and the pressure I’ve been feeling from a busy life that has lead to the lack of focus.

Well today I’m recommitting to being healthy, they’ll be no more excuses and 100% accountability. That doesn’t mean that I’ll talk badly to myself if I make a mistake, or let negative thoughts outweigh the positive, but I will be honest and recognise when I’m not trying hard enough or am falling back into bad habits.

Some one has said

It’s the start that stops most people

And sometimes it’s starting again can be scariest of all, when you know how good it feels to be active regularly and nourish your body with whole foods, but you’ve let yourself go for the easy option of sitting on the sofa each night and eating an entire bar of chocolate when you should have settled for a couple of pieces.

So, as of today, I weight 161lb – that’s right, I’ve gained back 6lb that I fought hard to lose late last year.

Weight Loss Goals
My aim is to lose those 6lb and an extra 1lb, to take me to 154lb by the end of August. That’s 7 lb in 8 weeks and should be achievable.
Non-scale goals
More importantly than the number on the scale though, I have a friends’ wedding on August 21st and would like to feel confident in whatever I wear.
I’d like to go through the rest of the summer confident in wearing sleeveless tops (the one area of my body I’m really uncomfortable with)I’d like to get some energy back by exercising more, and consequentially sleep better each night

This is my re-committment to myself and I’m exited to share the part of the journey with you!
xoxo

Friday Round Up – Procrastination

Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.

This week has been all about putting off things that should have been done months ago, heck, writing this post is just another form of delaying the fact that I should be finishing my final diploma unit TODAY!
Some of the things I haven’t done in good time which I’m now regretting:
  •  Finishing the diploma more than a week before deadline (or starting it a week before deadline for that matter)
  • Looking for a new car before my finance deal is about to lapse
  • Potty training my child who now thinks it’s acceptable to wee on the floor (even when there’s a potty right next to her!)
  • Thinking that putting on a few pounds and staying at that weight is OK, because I’m maintaining, even though I’m maintaining a weight I’m not happy with:-(

So what are we going to do about it???
I’m going to TRY to stop procrastinating!
How am I going to stop procrastinating? EXERCISE and CLEAN EATING.

I haven’t been exercising as much as I was due to a hefty workload, no motivation and lack of sleep. But when I was working out on my lunch hour or in the evening, I could concentrate much better during the day and had more energy. I’ve also been eating too much sugar which has put me on a crazy roller-coaster of utter concentration for about 15 minutes followed by laziness and mind wandering for the next hour! Boredom at work isn’t helping, and I feel that it may be time to start looking for a new job that I’m more passionate about.

I feel like every Friday I commit myself to something that’s going to make me healthier and give me more energy, and each week I have less and less energy, with the added pressure of not having done any of the things I committed to in these posts.

So, for anyone else feeling pressure, stress or just general overwhelmed-ness (it should be a word), take a breather, write a list of tasks that are manageable, tackle them one at a time and once you’re done, take a breather, go for a run, do some stretching, take a fuc***ing nap!

And most of all, enjoy your weekend!
xoxo

Friday Round Up – Meh

It’s been one of those weeks where nothing has gone sensationally wrong, but nothing has been sensationally sensational either, it’s just been…meh

But that’s OK, sometime we have those type of weeks, and next week will turn itself around especially because…

1) My little girl turns 2 (how did that even happen!) and we’re hvaing a picnic party in the park

2) Made possible because the weather has FINALLY turned itself around and we’re expected to have a few days of sunshine, yipee!

Health-wise, I’ve been fairly crap this week and today alone I’ve already had a large caramel frappe from McDonalds (lovely) and a kit kat chunky, which I’m now questioning why I even ate. I also haven’t run since my Blackpool 10 mile road race which I’ll update you on next week!

For now, I’ll leave you with this thought…

Eating a sexy beast

Have a good Friday and weekend everyone.
xoxo

A Bit of Monday Inspiration!

Be the change you wish to see – Ghandi

progress

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s very easy to make up excuses as to why your progress is slower than you would like, has plateaued or has reversed, but often it is because we have gone back to bad habits or we have settled at a place that we aren’t truly happy at.

It’s very easy to lose an amount of weight (1 stone in my case) and think, that’s a great achievement, now I’m going to treat myself and ease up on my workouts because I’ve done so well!

It’s very easy to become disappointed in yourself for not reaching a ‘goal’ you may have set for yourself such as hitting a certain number on the scale or fitting into a dress you have hanging in your closet.

But it’s really hard to wake up every morning and be unhappy, to go through each day wishing that you were still moving forward and then sabotaging yourself by eating unhealthily and sitting on your sofa watching TV and snacking.

So today, I’m committing to making the change I need to see the results I want. Yes, last year I lost a good amount of weight and most of my clothes fit much better. But I still have that dress hanging in the closet that is still a bit small. I still don’t have the confidence to put on a two piece this summer. I still don’t like wearing clothes that reveal the tops of my arms, and I still don’t feel happy with my body or fitness level.

So today, I’m committing to these promises…

I will eat mindfully, choosing nutritious food and making tasty, satisfying meals that will make my body and mind feel good.

I will move more, running, stretching, Zumba, kettlebells and anything else that feels good.

I will celebrate the positive impact that being healthy has, and I won’t make excuses for my own actions when I sabotage myself.

These are my promises, and today is the day that I make the changes I want to see in myself.

xoxo