Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. – Oprah Winfrey
This time last year I set about deciding and sticking to a few healthy habits that I thought would help me lose weight. You can read about how that went here.
I have found that habits, more than anything have created the most positive and beneficial change in my life. Being human I don’t always stick to them but I have got much better sticking to them. Like everything it’s about development which requires small, changes which add up to big things over time.
This year I’m building on those habits already started and adding a few more too.
1 Pound a Week
I’ve also set myself a goal – to lose 1lb (0.45kg) a week and a total weight loss of 26lbs by 30th June 2019.
Why only 1lb a week? Because it needs to be tiny. Trying to lose weight in the past has been unsuccessful because I’ve set the desired outcome I wanted to achieve (last year I wanted to get to 135lbs) but didn’t really break that down. I had no metrics to measure it by. I’d lose 2lbs one week, gain 3lbs the next and possibly lose 5lbs the week after with no rhyme or reason. I knew what habits would help me lose that weight but if I went up or down on the scales I would become despondent and frustrated that the weight loss wasn’t consistent.
I’m serious about losing 26lbs so I need to know how much and by when. Then I can monitor (hopefully much more effectively) when I go wrong. Eating crisps on a Saturday but losing weight one week and gaining the next doesn’t really tell me much. I need to focus on cutting out the bad foods, replacing with the whole foods and seeing what (and in some cases if any) change it makes.
I’m no scientist but I don’t believe calories in versus calories out always equals weight loss/gain. As much as I’d like it to be this simple my recent experience tells me differently. Water consumption (and retention), the time you eat and how you burn calories all play a part before you even start on what you eat.
I’m convinced that when I step on the scales at 7am Monday morning, and I see an increase, they are not telling me I ate too much yesterday (because I didn’t), they tell me that Saturday’s chocolate and wine are having an effect (which didn’t show on Sunday). Time and again what I eat (or how much) tends to affect my weight 48hrs not 24hrs but it’s only my theory and I can’t prove it.
Like all big changes I need it to start so small that it’s impossible to fail. 1lb is the smallest metric I can possibly go for. It’s also much easier to monitor with a target of 1lb (0.45kg) a week.
I’ll share my results on this blog so I hold myself accountable because I’m committed to losing the weight (again, unfortunately, I have to admit).
The third week in and it has become all-consuming – for the better. Or in other words, getting to a healthy weight has finally become a priority for me. That does, of course, mean other things are now further down on the rung of importance because if trying and failing has taught me anything – if I can’t give a goal 100% commitment then I can’t complain when I don’t reach it. 95% doesn’t cut it.
I’m using three items to monitor my weight:
- Fitness tracker watch and software
- Google fit
I’m not into fancy gear – all the above is about as basic as you can get. I’m using google fit to track my metrics although it doesn’t seem to always sync with the fitness tracker and I continue to use coach.me because it’s great habit tracking tool.
My “official” (as I like to call it) weigh in day will be a Monday morning. However, I continue to weigh myself daily just because I’m curious to see what happens during the week. I don’t want to get obsessive over the scale numbers because ultimately life is bigger than that but it’s useful as a guide.
So far, even drinking too much water after getting up from sleep doesn’t help the scales go in the right direction. Eating big portions of whole foods (stews and soups made from lentils and beans) can affect my weight.
However, like last year, for me, it’s more about implementing and maintaining good healthy habits. Walking, cutting out ready meals, cutting down chocolate, strength exercises – or any exercise for that matter every single day. Most importantly cutting down my stress and anxiety levels and getting quality sleep.
I’ll go into this in more detail in another post that I plan to write on this subject but essentially a small bad of dedicated scientists and researchers discovered fives zones, in five different countries around the world- pockets if you like, where people live far longer (and in better health) than anywhere else. These areas, often little more than a town or a suburb contain residents that live over 100. The studies have shown that these people often eat and do the same types of things which may (or may not) help them live well into their 100’s.
I’m absolutely fascinated by this study and having read The Blue Zone by Dan Buettner three time over already I’m curious to see if I can apply some of the research findings to my life – here on the little banks of the Humber. So, some of the habits this year will be influenced by this book.
Healthy Habits for 2019
I’m tracking 25 habits this year:
- 16 relate to health
- 6 relate to productivity
- 4 relate to self-development
- 1 relates to gardening
I won’t be tracking them all on this blog this year, only those relating to health (don’t want to bore my readers too much!).
I’m also going to have a go, for the first time, to track my daily state of mine using a new app I’ve found called Daylio. I’m going all holistic but ultimately while the scales say one thing my mind may be in another place – and usually is. Working as hard for my brain as well as my body might actually be the key I was missing all along.
I’ll be back here to share an update at the end of the month.