Time to Lose Weight – Challenge No.1

It would appear that although I am fitter than I have ever been in my life, my weight is still not quite where I want it to be.  I’m in the category of overweight and I don’t want to be.

I’ve never been able to achieved that final goal I had, of reaching the magic 135lbs (Closest I ever got was 136lbs).   But now I’m going to try and do it.

This year I’m going to get to 135lbs.

Four years ago I lost 2.5 stone (35lbs) in eight months.  That was losing about a pound per week over the eight months.  It was hard but I still did it.  Now, I need to do it again.

There are many things pushing my weight up; my age and the fact that I drink more alcohol now, to name but a few.

Last time I lost 2.5 stone I had to completely change my dietary habits.  I went from eating pies and crisps to Paleo and it worked a charm.

Four years later I now class myself more of a plant based eater.  I don’t eat steak anymore.  I eat healthy (on the whole), but it’s meant carb-loading more than I used to and only until recently did I get my head around what I should be eating and when especially on the days I am extra active.

I charted my experience of losing weight on an old blog of mine.  On it, I shared my two big losses of weight, one in April and the final one in August.  At the same time, I also picked up the running habit and completed both a 5k and 10k distance result.  Looking back I’m still rather chuffed at what I achieved.

But reading my old posts it would appear all that hard work came down to two lessons.

1. Patience

2. Perseverance

Yup, that was it.  That’s what the eight months boiled down to.

Eating well for eight months and exercising well for eight months.

This time it’s going to be harder.  I’m going to have to up my exercise to something more challenging just to burn the extra calories.  I think that I am also going to have to increase it daily to 45 mins because it was 30 last time just to see what that may do to my metabolism.  This time I have to burn past the muscles and into the fatty bits!

Also, this time I don’t have a solid food plan to follow.  Paleo was great but I’m not going to that again because that no longer represents my lifestyle.

Everything I ate last time was a reduction in what I had been eating before so it was much easier.  This time I am going to have to be extra careful on my portion sizes but also balance the macronutrients depending on what exercise I intend to do or have completed.

All this sounds extremely confusing.  When did losing weight get so complicated?

Well, it hasn’t.  If putting on weight is so easy then so should losing it again.  I just need to develop new habits.  And what is the best way of adopting new habits?  Challenges.

Below are the following habits I’m going to adopt.  Not all at once though.  Trying to adopt more than one habit at a time is a recipe for disaster.  Instead, I’ve got to add a new habit once the former one has been established.  There is no definitive length by which is takes a person to form a new habit but if I’m dedicated I aim for each habit to take around the average 66 days.  However, each challenge I do will be 30 days to get it started.  I’ll know by then whether I can carry it on in my life and start on a new one.

  • No alcohol
  • No sweets
  • No processed food (I’m thinking specifically crisps more than anything here)
  • No sugar (by far the toughest challenge)
  • Exercise for 30 minutes each day
  • Exercise for 40 minutes each day
  • Exercise for 50 minutes each day

I’m unsure at this point whether other challenges such as no snacking between meals, cutting out carbs, intermittent fasting would help or hinder.  These aren’t really things I want to do so I’ll put them on the maybe list!  They are changes in lifestyle that at this time I wouldn’t want to adopt but if I felt the weight wasn’t shifting I might try them temporarily.

I also don’t want to count calories.  This is where it starts to get complicated.  In real life, no one counts their calories.  If you eat well and eat the right size portions then it shouldn’t be necessary (did that sound convincing?).  It is so much easier to just follow a plan.  Alas, I haven’t seen one that is as quick and easy as the one that changed my life back in 2013.  I know I need to eat 2300 calories a day (based on current activity levels) to drop my weight by 1lb per week.  Which is really pretty do-able.  It allows me then to focus on food types rather than figuring out what to keep/eliminate.

What motivated me back in 2013?  What motivates me now?

Running definitely motivated me.  I was surrounded by people who ran and loved running and I wanted to try it too.

This time my biggest motivation is to avoid getting Type 2 Diabetes.  Not only does this cross over in my working life, so I often get to see the consequences of having Diabetes but at home, I have a blood testing kit which tells me I am sliding quite quickly towards pre-diabetes levels.  That’s all the motivation I need.

Well okay, I’d be lying if I said that.  It’s not like I think about diabetes 24/7.  I also think about living to 100 without pain and memory loss.  And finally shifting the extra weight will help me to get my 5k time to under 20 minutes.  It focusses my training and pushes me to achieve new goals – BONUS – as a plant-based eater, not an omnivore.

Weight Loss Programme:

Began: 29th May 2017

Finishes: 28th January 2018

Result: To lose 28lbs BUT more importantly to adopt a much healthier plant-based lifestyle. The lifestyle should bring with it the weight loss.  Trying to force it the other way only works temporarily.

Accountability:  This blog

Challenge No.1: No Alcohol for 30 Days

Begins: 6th June 2017

Ends: 5th July 2017

Potential hurdles: One wedding anniversary (mine), and a weekend away.

Apart from the hurdles mentioned above, where I am going to have to be creative. I need to ensure that I don’t replace the alcohol with either chocolate or super sweetened fizzy drinks.

I’ll let you know how I get on.


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