Time to Change – Day Seven

Well, it’s officially been a whole week.  I’ve surprised myself with how disciplined I’ve been.  That’s always been an issue of mine – I have no self control.  That’s not just with food either, I also burn through money given half the chance.  The amount of stuff (aka crap) I’ve bought off CatchOfTheDay over the past three years is unbelievable.  I’ve also never been very self-motivated away from work.  At work I could motivate myself to do almost anything (even waking up at 5.30am to go in and do stocktake once a month), but the second I got home, all that went out the window.  I had no motivation to cook a proper meal (hence the take away I’d get on a very regular basis) and no motivation (or energy) to exercise.  I will admit, when I eventually land another job, I’m worried I’ll fall into the same trap, but I’ll cross that bridge when it comes.  For right now, I’m sticking with this lifestyle change.

I guess the best moment I’ve had this week is checking how I tracked overall in MyFitnessPal and seeing this.


Look at that! Almost bang on target!  My calorie intake never strayed more than a couple of hundred over either, and for the most part also stayed right on the app’s recommendation.  I’m so proud of this in particular because previously when I’ve counted calories, it was always next to no protein and hugely over in carbs.  I’ve really made an effort to plan my meals and make sure I’m eating the right kinds of food and the right portions.  Like a lot of people, I really struggle with potion control, and even now I’m still adjusting to it but I think it’s getting better.

I’ve also made it a goal to get at least 30 minutes of exercise in a day.  For the most part I’ve been hitting 40 minutes, with the exception of two days where I only managed 20, but they were harder workouts.  I’ve found my Apple watch incredibly helpful with all this, as the fitness tracker in it works beautifully.  It monitors step count, calories burnt, time exercised, heart rate and distance.  I’m averaging over 3kms each day in exercise, which I know isn’t record breaking, but considering just a week ago I was lucky to make 1000 steps each day, it’s definitely an improvement.

Unfortunately the scales still aren’t being too friendly, and I’ve only lost about half a kilo, which is still better than nothing but given my weight has always fluctuated by 2 or 3kgs isn’t great.  I’m not going to let that bring me down though.  Even if the weigh only comes off slowly, it’s better than not coming off at all, and I know I’m going to feel better for the diet change and exercise anyway.

Bring on week two!

-JD

Time to Change – Day Five

Today was an okay day.  Not fantastic but I feel better than I did yesterday and the day before.  I have kept up on my healthy eating.  I know I’m not even a week into it, but for me to have lasted this long and only having one small hit of actual sugary goodness is pretty impressive.  Part of the reason (a large part, probably) that my previous attempts at dieting failed was because I’d reward myself with food.  It’d tell myself “hey, you ate well yesterday, it’s only one bad meal, it’s fine”…and I’d be right if for the whole rest of the week I kept eating healthy.  But no, the next day would come and I’d go out to lunch with a friend and say “well, I’m out to lunch, may as well enjoy it” and again, I would eat unhealthy.  The worst part was, I didn’t even think twice about it.  Oh sure, there was that annoying little voice in the back of my head squealing “you’re supposed to be dieting!” but over the years I’ve become accustomed to tuning it out.

Tying into that, I also used MyFitnessPal…wrong.  I’d track my meals and exercise (what little of that there was).  The thing with that app though, is that if you don’t eat all day then binge on Maccas for dinner, you can still stay under your calorie limit.  Obviously, that’s not what the app is aiming for and yeah, you don’t meet your protein needs by doing that, but it’s easy to tell yourself “the app says it’s fine!”.  I have also used Noom to track meals, and overall I believe it is a better app as it breaks foods down into “red, yellow and green” and tells you how much you can eat of each.  This actually taught me a lot about nutrition that MFP never could.  My main issue with that app (keeping in mind it may have had updates since I last used it) was that it didn’t link up to fitness trackers such as my Jawbone wristband, which I was using last time I tried dieting.  This was a major drawback as it was a real pain trying to correlate your step count with your diet manually.  This is why I’ve gone back to MFP – I have an Apple watch and it links up beautifully, taking into account my steps and working out an overall picture of how my day has gone.  This time around, though, I’m being careful not to cheat.  Just because the app allows for it, doesn’t mean it’s right!

Anyway, I digress.  What was I talking about again?  Oh right, rewarding myself with food treats.  This time around, that ain’t happening.  I’m not having “cheat meals”, which seem to be all the rage and part of every diet plan these days.  I’m not saying I’ll never eat unhealthy, because that’s ridiculous, but I’m making a rule that the only time I’m going to eat unhealthy is when I’m eating out.  Given I’m unemployed and my social life is hardly what anyone would consider raging at the best of times, I think this will work out okay.

I’m still feeling hungry most of the day but it’s considerably less so than yesterday. It’s there but it’s not in the forefront of my mind continuously like it was.  I’m also trying to snack more instead of having big meals, which is probably helping a little.  The cravings are still there, but it’s mostly when it’s bought to my attention – through ads on the TV (“what I wouldn’t give to have those Maccas chips in my hand right now”) and emails (“Oh, Dominos have a promotion, I’ll just have a quick look!”).  I never realized just how successful advertising was.  I mean, I knew it had some success over both me and the general public (otherwise they wouldn’t waste big bucks doing it), but I didn’t fully comprehend to what extend.  It really only takes an image of some of my favourite foods for my mind to jump from the healthy eating train to the junk food wagon.  Luckily, I haven’t let myself give in.  I can eat a pizza now and fall off the diet and stay fat forever, or I can push it out of my mind, snack on something healthy and stay on this journey.  I know which option I’ll be thanking myself later for, and it ain’t pizza.

I’ve been keeping up with exercising, taking the dog for a long walk each day.  Surprisingly, I’m already finding the walks easier each time.  I knew eventually they’d make me fitter, I just didn’t think I’d feel the change so quickly.  Each day I’m doing the track faster, and feeling less horrible at the end.  Another sign that everything I’m doing is working!

-JD