Written by Janine Rudin


Diary of a fat lass: Stepping away from the stilton

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.

christmas treatsI 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.

steps to distance calculationJanuary 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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Written by Janine Rudin

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