Feeling crappy in head and body prompted Janine Rudin to make some changes in her life – and make the kinds of promises to herself that are keepers. This week, she’s retrieving her step counter from the cheese board.
I think two words sum up the recent Christmas holidays for me – gin and cheese. It’s been a proper holiday of lazy mornings, late nights and movies. I’ve switched off, chilled out and only just smeared the last bit of cheese on a cracker.
So, how did my new healthy regime fit in with Christmas? Well for a week and a bit, I rarely hit 10,000 steps a day, I ate chocolate for breakfast and I probably ate my body weight in the aforementioned dairy miracle. But I have not one jot of guilt.
I am not telling myself off, I do not feel like I should have done better and I don’t feel ill.
Compared to a year ago when I was in tears because I felt fat and unfit and I was worried about having a bloody heart attack at 43, this year I feel a lot fitter, less blubbery and happier with my health.
Over Christmas, I still listened to my body and I haven’t eaten for the sake of it, I still stopped when I was full. I have grazed and nibbled and thoroughly enjoyed every damn mouthful. And on one day I did think about going for a walk or doing a step workout, but realised I just couldn’t be arsed – I was on holiday.
Christmas is always the laziest holiday of the year. It’s when I recharge and regroup, when I curl up with books and movies, when I catch up with friends and family.
And now normality resumes, I am focused once more on eating well and moving my ass. I’m setting myself some targets for this year. I walked 1,120 miles last year (and 2,695,300 steps if you’re interested) which is about 3.5 miles a day. This year, I’m aiming for five miles a day. I want to push myself a bit more: if last year was about changing bad habits (it was), I feel like I am successfully achieving this.
Now it’s about motivation and time to move more and to move a bit harder. I still have no desire to almost kill myself on a bootcamp but I love walking – it gives me much-needed head space as well as exercise – so faster walking might be in order and I suppose I’ll need a hill or two as well to get my heart pumping.
January is the time of fresh starts if you need or want one – do what works for you.
My advice after almost a year of taking more control of my health is to know what you want to achieve and to find the best way to achieve it. For you. I can’t labour this point enough because if you absolutely hate the changes you make, and it feels more like torture than a positive thing, then there’s a decent chance you’ll end up back where you started before you can say, “This Fitbit can fuck right off.” I’m speaking from a lot of experience here.
For me, there’s been no dramatic change; it’s all been pretty slow but that was the point when I started this – I wanted to make changes that last a lifetime, not just dive headlong into quick fix which I couldn’t maintain.
And while this was always about health not just weight loss, I felt I did need to lose some of the weight which wasn’t doing me any good. I bought some new clothes last week – in medium, not large or even extra-large – and am feeling happy, confident and healthy, so slow seems to be winning the race for this lass!
Read the previous instalments of Janine’s diary here.
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Antenatal teacher, postnatal group leader, birth & baby specialist, writer, mother, wife, friend, me. My time is spent with my family, working with parents and trying not to eat all the biscuits. @BirthandBabyCo