Feeling crappy in head and body has prompted Janine Rudin to make some changes in her life – and make the kinds of promises to herself that are keepers. She gives us a four-month update.
Since I last wrote about my desire to be less of an unhealthy fat lass, I have been giving myself a bit of a hard time for not losing more weight, for not having the quick transformation I was trying to avoid. For a couple of weeks last month I felt a bit fed up that I was still fat, and then I had a word with myself to focus on what I am trying to achieve and what has changed since I started all this back in May.
My aim was to change bad habits about exercise, food and drinking and that is happening, but physical progress seems slow and I was starting to wonder if I should be doing more exercise or more of a proper ‘diet’. All the pressure I wanted to avoid.
I was giving myself a hard time because of the rushing-around-juggling-kids-out-of-my-normal-routine summer holidays, when I may have become a bit stressed and a bit emotional and a bit at the bottom of the pile.
But then I got a grip and realised that new habits were overtaking old ones – I might have been emotional and stressed but I wasn’t reaching for food to comfort me. I was craving a walk or some exercise instead and I was still eating well, rather than justifying shovelling chocolate and bread in my mouth to make me feel better.
Making these changes was never just about weight loss: I want this to be about better health with weight loss as a positive side effect.
A few years ago I became a jogger and I lost quite a lot of weight but I always felt fat; I never saw the fitter, healthier woman I was becoming. I didn’t change any negative habits and I still continued to make bad choices with snacks and then when I injured my ankle, my weight crept back on again.
So this time I am being more mindful about food and exercise and how I feel.
• No more heartburn.
• I feel fitter, lighter and more energetic.
• My clothes are much looser. I have even had a clear out of clothes and I have binned a bra and many pants because they were too big.
• I have lovely new underwear.
• I am walking every day and I don’t just jump in the car now – even on my slobby days I will have a workout.
• I have lost about 16 inches from my body in four months.
• I have dropped a dress size to a size 16 and I even bought a dress that was a size 14. It was a big size 14 but SOUND THE KLAXON – A SIZE 14! I haven’t worn a 14 for 16 years!
Me and food:
• I’m not eating bars of comforting Cadbury’s anymore and my sweet tooth has almost gone.
• I don’t buy crap snack food to have in the house.
• I eat more fruit – I’ve even started to like it!
• I think before I eat.
• I rarely eat after 8pm.
• I don’t skip meals.
• I have learned more about my appetite and the food I eat – I can’t believe I have only just worked this out, but I have more energy and I am less hungry if I eat properly.
• I am reconnecting with food and cooking again.
• I like salad.
• I walk every day and I do step workouts at least three times a week.
• Moving my ass more makes me feel stronger, happier and healthier.
• I feel a need to move every day; my body seems to crave it now.
What is working for me?
• Realising that good food is better for me and more of a treat than the quick fix of chocolate, cake or bread.
• Thinking about the food I am eating. Do I really need it? Am I just thirsty? Can I wait for dinner?
• If I feel tempted to snack at night, I brush my teeth – after that I only want a glass of water.
• Being more organised with shopping so there is decent food in the house and at work.
• Making myself exercise or go for a walk, even if it is just for a few minutes, if I feel tired or if I have a headache. It makes me feel so much better.
• I am enjoying having more control; I feel less of a victim to my bad habits.
To keep doing what I am doing and focusing on the positives – I am not just feeling healthier but in only a few short months, I have started to reverse lifelong bad habits with food and exercise. These changes have boosted my self-esteem and I feel more connected to my body, I actually like it. Which leaves me wondering why I haven’t done this before.
I still don’t want to be skinny. I am loving my curves more and more; I just don’t want to wobble so much! I want healthy curves and, with exercise and good food, a healthier body.
I am ditching the can’t-be-bothered-I’ll-do-it-tomorrow mindset and I like it. And while I am not working towards being lean, I feel pretty fantastic and a lot healthier than I did only four months ago.
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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