A recent inspirational webinar (SGCP) on weight loss, presented by Dr Meg Arroll PhD., reminded me that I’d let the old tummy go a bit and I'd like to get back into shape. Couldn't believe I'd put 3-4" on the waist when only a few pounds heavier. I had managed to maintain a steady weight for years, probably because I did regular stretching exercises and cycling. But the last couple of years there have been major changes in my life and some stress from things beyond my control, hence the physical exercise tailed off.
Reviewing Dr. Arrol's salient points my reflections and future goals are as follows:
- I know from the past that I can get back to a sensible weight and keep in shape. It's important to remember what has worked in the past even if it hasn't lasted.
- I need to be clear about why I want to get back into shape and decide upon realistic goals. Setting SMART goals (follow the link for details) is a good strategy.
- Previously I did keep a written record of my daily exercise, which helped. This time I will focus on food and mood, keeping a daily record for the first couple of weeks. How I felt before and after eating, what was the context, and include a weekend which is a different, and sometimes, no routine at all. This should raise my awareness of eating habits over the first two weeks.
- I don't particularly like "doing exercise" or going to a gym. I prefer to be doing something that is purposeful, so I will walk to and from the office. Hope to also get back into the stretching routine. Also purposeful as my back tends to be a bit stiff when I get up in the morning.
- Sharing my experience here will hopefully keep me in line, or that could be with family, a friend or colleague.
- Everybody’s different. I will give some thought to how my personality might impact upon my eating habits.
- Diets that involve intermittent fasting can be more effective. I will try the 5/2 diet, that's eating normally for five days a week, and fasting the other two. The advantage is that I can choose the days to fast so I am able to enjoy social and celebratory events without compromising the diet. I can of course have a limited calorie (500-800cal) intake on fasting days.
- Will address those factors that have caused me stress, even though mostly resolved. I still need to be clear in my mind that they are done with. I know one difficulty will arise again next year, but that is irrelevant for the 12 week period I will be carrying out this exercise.
- I will practice some breathing exercises, imagery, and perhaps a distraction technique to give me a moment to think about what I’m going to eat.
- Best to eat within an 8-hour window per day. So, I could skip breakfast, brunch at 11 or 12 noon, and an evening meal, or some other variation within the 8 hours.
Okay. I’ll give it a go – starting next week. (Hope that’s not the first excuse.) Next Monday I will be clear about why I want to lose weight, think about what has worked before, and work on the SMART goals.