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One week ago I turned 44 years of age.  When I look in the mirror, I don't recognise myself. I don't like what I see and I don't like how I feel. It's time to take action.

 

For background, just under a year ago, I quit smoking for the last time and consequently I've gained approximately 15kgs.  I was already at least 10kgs above my ideal weight, so I have 25 kgs to lose.  I have never been this overweight before in my life. I have noticed a number of not-so-nice side effects of my weight gain, all of which I'd like to see reduce or disappear over the coming months.  

 

I am a married mum of three boys, I work as a primary school teacher and I am currently teaching from home as well as supervising the home learning of my children.  Times are stressful but I've found that I always work better under stress so I think this is actually the ideal time for me to attempt (and smash) my first 5 week challenge.

 

My goal is to lose 5kgs during this 5 week challenge.  To help me achieve this goal, I will meal plan for each day and shop accordingly, I will walk my dog every day, starting with 5 minutes and building that time up to 30 minutes by Week 5, I will do the NF Beginner Body Weight work out every second day and I will weigh and measure myself to compare Day 1 to Day 35.

 

I hope to check in here regularly to support you and to also receive support during this first challenge.

 

 

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11 hours ago, annyshay said:

Welcome welcome! Are all of these new habits? I love how you scaled the walking goal.

Thank you :)  Yes, all new habits.  Over the years I've been fit, then unfit, then fit, then unfit.  I want this to be the last time that I 'get fit again'.  I want to get fit and stay fit.

 

 

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Welcome and good luck with the meal planning, walking and bodyweight exercises. Oh, and congratulations on giving up smoking!

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Welcome and good luck!! The dog walking goal seems like it will be good for everyone involved 🙂

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Hi! I love how clear sighted you are on what you need to do! I’ll be happy to cheer with you for every success and encourage you if you feel down. You can do it! *waving pom poms*

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Firstly congratulations on giving up smoking! I know quite a few people who struggle with giving up and to be able to kick the habit is quite an achievement!

 

Secondly congrats on having such good, well constructed goals! Good luck and I can't wait to see your progress! 

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Nice goals! How are you doing the meal planning? Is it going to be writing everything down at the beginning of the week? Looking forward to seeing how you do this challenge.

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I know it must be tough to find the time for an update with three kids, but whenever you have a moment, I'd love to know how things are going so far.

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Thanks everyone, for your positive comments.  Much appreciated.  It has been a crazy busy week.

 

I started the week with a weigh-in.  I was 89 kg (196 lbs).  Literally the heaviest I have been in my life.  I wasn't this heavy during any of my pregnancies.  Only 5 years ago I was 65 kg (143 lbs)!  I'm 168cm tall (5'7).  I took my measurements (I won't bore anyone with those) and snapped the obligatory 'before' photos and promised myself I wouldn't look at the scales again for at least a week.

 

Okay, so one of the strategies I listed earlier was to meal plan and shop accordingly.  I enjoyed going through my healthy recipe books (that I've bought but never used because I'm generally a fussy eater and not a risk-taker when it comes to trying new foods).  I stuck a post-it tab on the recipes I thought we might like and fashioned a meal plan for the week.  The only ingredients I really needed to shop for were the vegetables, herbs and spices.  I have a Thermomix that I never use, and a friend of mine suggested some recipe books (Skinnymixers) so I borrowed those from my friend and woohoo, I found some recipes of our old family favourites (that I would just make from the jar), but healthier, made from scratch versions.  Meals like beef stroganoff, apricot chicken and so on.  Wow...these recipes were a winner.  So full of flavour, quick and easy to make in the Thermomix, and I've been making extra batches to freeze for future lunches.  I'm not feeling hungry at all, the meals are very satisfying.

 

Another thing I did this week was track everything that I ate and drank, plus any exercise.  I downloaded this free Meal and Exercise Planner from my state government's website.  My mantra this week has been - Do better today than I did yesterday.  So, without mentally beating myself up in anyway, I wrote down everything, and the next day, I did better.  If I had only 5 glasses of water on the first day, I made sure I had 6 the next day. If I could only walk 420m on the first day (true story), then the next day I had to beat that.  I'll talk more about my exercise in a moment.  I found the planner to be very helpful, and will print off a new blank planner each week.

 

The next step was to actually do the exercise, and the cooking and eating...

The first morning I walked around my yard.  I live on a big block and one lap is about 250m (820 feet).  I could only walk 420 m before my calf muscles started to seize up and I was hobbling like a little old lady.  I did some stretching and moved onto the NF Bodyweight 1A.  On the second day I walked in the morning, during my lunch break and in the afternoon.  I kept to my yard and managed to cumulatively walk 1.12 km (just over half a mile).  The calves were killing me, I took it slow, did lots of stretching and reminded myself that I was doing better than yesterday. Fast-forward to today, I'm cumulatively walking 3 km per day (almost 2 miles)!  My goal remains, I want to be able to walk for 30 minutes in one hit, but I want to add that I'd like to improve my pace within that 30 minutes. Oh, and my gorgeous border collie is loving the laps around the yard.  Why am I not venturing further just yet?  I live in a lovely rural area and I'm enjoying spending time in my yard.  I can wear my comfiest tracky dacks :)  Plus, teaching from home allows me a bit of freedom to keep the walking shoes on throughout the day.  Between lessons, I can go outside for a quick lap around the yard.  I'm not sure what I'll do when we all have to go back to school the week after next, but I'll think about that another time.

 

I know I'm waffling so I'll try to finish this quickly...I'm fasting from 6:30 pm until at least 7:30 am.  If I'm starving, I eat, but if I'm not struggling, I'm trying to push out my first meal until about 11 am.  I am using the Zero app to track my fasts. This has been so motivating.  Instead of my usual night-time chocolate snacking, I remind myself that I'm fasting and drink some water instead. It seems to be working so far.  I've reduced my intake of bread significantly, but I've still enjoyed some meals with rice, pasta and potatoes.  I don't plan to go low carb at this stage, but it's something I'll definitely consider if I think I need to.  I've been drinking lots of water, trying not to drink my calories if I can avoid it.  I've upped my daily veggies and fruit, making some good choices I think...

 

Anyway...I jumped on the scales today and I'm down 3 kgs (6lbs).  I know it's mostly water weight so I'm not getting excited.  But, I definitely feel less bloated around the stomach.  I'm sleeping better, and I'm feeling motivated to keep going.

 

 

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Whoa! 420m to 3km is a huge improvement. That's wild! Congratulations on your success!

I had to look up what a Thermomix is. Looks pretty convenient. Awesome that you seem have taken care of meal prep so handily.

I really like the mantra of doing better than you did yesterday. I might adopt that.

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A quick check-in, we’ve gone back to school here in Australia so it’s been busier than normal the past couple of weeks.  I haven’t anything exciting to share but I wish to keep checking in to keep myself accountable.  

Weight loss is going well, I have 400 grams until I reach my goal for this challenge, to lose 5kg.

I’m still walking every day.  Now that I’m back at school, I’ve cut out my morning walk but I’m going for a 15 minute walk during my lunch break.  Luckily we’re going into winter here and in my local area, winters are beautifully mild and sunny, perfect for walking.   During our summer, it’s too hot during the day to walk. I’m walking after school for about 20 minutes.  Still around the yard, I don’t feel fit enough to go for a longer walk around town.

Food is good.  I’ve continued to meal plan (very loosely) but trying different dishes and the family is enjoying the variety.  I’m allowing myself a treat here and there.  I think if I were very strict with my food choices, I would be seeing faster weight loss but I really want to do this in a way that is sustainable over the longer term.  

One thing I need to work on is the body weight workouts that I told myself I would do during this challenge.  I have to be honest and say that I haven’t really done these at all.  I’d love to hear your ideas for how I can better incorporate these types of workouts into my life.  I find them a little boring.

I’ve started to see a PT that I have worked with on and off over the past few years.  At the moment I can only afford one session per week (with one zoom session to touch base) and we’re going to focus on strength/lifting, because it’s something I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed.  

At this point in the Australian school term we are working on student assessment, grading and soon, report card writing, so life is going to become even busier for me over the next four weeks.  It’s usually at these times that I give up on ‘healthy’ and opt for ‘easy’.  No exercise, takeaway foods, late nights, early mornings.  This time I’m determined to be prepared.  I must stick to the plan!

Take care everyone.

 

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One thing I used to do (and maybe should go back to) was to incorporate bodyweight into a few sessions through the day. Wake up, 2 pushups. After you brush your teeth in the morning (or even better, while brushing teeth) 5 squats. 3 lunges each side as you wait for water to boil for coffee (or tea)... just do a couple reps of something a bunch of times through the day. For me, at one point I had 50 pushups a day as my goal, but I spread them out over the day, never doing more than 10 at any one time. It doesn't build up a sweat, and it is a slower path, but it sounds like slow and steady is what will win the race for you.

Other thing to think about is that maybe bodyweight exercises aren't for you if they are boring you. Finding something interesting that requires strength might be better... whether it is gardening, a new sport or even something like training for handstands.

 

Thnx for checking back in and good on you for sticking to the meal plan and getting those walks in.

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Another idea is to try to find some videos. I sometimes have a hard time motivating myself to do bodyweight workouts on my own, but following a on online class is sometimes easier. There is tons of free content out there, and of course also things you could pay for. Bodyweight exercises can be a lot of different things....pilates, yoga, cardio kickboxing, etc. so maybe try a few different things and see if anything feels more fun to you.

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