The 9KG Challenge
Why? Why am I on this 9Kg challenge… simple really, over the past 5 months I have enjoyed myself to say the least, I took myself on a journey of drinking, eating what I want (within reason, I still have standards!) and as I have been injured: doing very little exercise and slowly and surely the weight has been gaining. Like a glacier, at first I didn’t think anything about it and when I did, it was a *oh one good weekend will set me back to normal*, but that weekend never happened and as such it’s just accumulated. Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a self loathing, I hate myself, self flogging trip, in truth I perhaps love myself more, I love who I am, my body and everything about me, including the extra pounds, but what I don’t like it not feeling strong and fit and that is where this comes from.
If you have ever read my article about scales, you will know that I am a big disbeliever of them, for one reason… they have the ability to control and change peoples emotions far more than any object can. This little number can send you into an obsessive, controlling frenzy or spiral out of control if you let it, i have often found this is less of a helpful tool. However, change they say is good and for some incomprehensible reason, I decided to step on the life changing contraption…. And what happened? This happened….
After travelling 13 hours in a plane for a restful relaxing holiday in Asia and feeling jet lagged, my boyfriend and I decided to hit the gym, in air conditioned gym and sweating to death, I decided to step on the scales, hoping that the number in my head would show up, I took the plunge: one foot… second foot… breathed in…. closed eyes and prayed to whomever might like to help and slowly with one eye, peaked through to see a whopping 9.9kg has been added to that number…As such I quickly jumped off swearing and cursing and trying to reconcile this with myself and ultimately deemed the scales… BROKEN… they must be, I can’t have put that much on… I mean I still fit into my clothes, well most of my clothes, ok well not all of them but a few! To which BF stepped on and to add insult to injury roared…. Yup spot on, oh look I’ve lost a pound! Now if looks could kill… so after a bit of feeling sorry for myself, justifying why I never go on scales as they have proven my point and just depress you, and secretly loathing my BF’s metabolism, I decided to do something different, change my tact. So I decided to use my BF’s perspective, and what I like to call – “The Scales Perception”. For him, they are a guide, it helps him maintain a weight which is ideal for his marathon training, he is a great athlete and as such uses the scales to aid his speed, produce his PBs, and keep him in a steady range etc, for him, it’s a tool to ‘help’ his training not hinder, so I thought I would give it a go and see if I could change my perception of what scales can do… I would set about a 9kg challenge and with scales as my ally and the will to succeed under my ever growing belt, I am ready!
How? There has to be a how, otherwise this will all end in disaster and I refuse point blank to end in disaster. Whilst on holiday, enjoying everything there was to do, scuba diving, paddle boarding, turtle watching, kayaking etc I came up with a light plan, a ghostly outline at the time, which I knew would need to be deepened but one step at a time! I was still on holiday… I declared “I am going to personal train myself”… My theory being, If I can train myself, then I can train anyone and I am a very difficult client, constant back chat, sarcastic, lazy as a sloth when I want to be, I really am going to have to pull all the tricks out of the book to get me to where I want to be. A challenge indeed! I would set out a flexible training program, allow myself rest days (I’m nice to myself sometimes), make sure I don’t overdo it and risk more injuries or damaging the ones I have further and really look after myself and most importantly not beat myself up on what is going to be a good hard slog with many ups and downs. I am going to work with myself and make it as positive and as inspiring as I can! So taking a good hard look at myself I knew my injuries were getting better, I can increase or rather start my training and build up each week, so providing I don’t go straight into an extreme regime (which I have a tendency to do), I will slowly begin to improve in strength, fitness, injury rehabilitation and kg loss. Although it’s a fairly decent plan, personally I like to have a challenge to work towards and with that in mind – I booked the Hampton Court Half Marathon in Feb and challenged myself to do it under 2 hours.
So I have the training side down or rather an idea/outline/ghostly run through of a program in my mind, we all know that this will only take me so far and in order to really make a difference, we have to take a look at the food side, and it pains me to say as I love food. I am a huge carb addict and sweet treat ninja, even though I make my own treats and I do make them refined sugar free and most of the time, gluten and dairy free. I have a tendency to over indulge than just take the one. I also don’t want to suddenly reduce my intake dramatically, as that will only make me ratty, unhappy, weaker as I am not getting the right nutrients to assist my body and ultimately make me most likely to food overload; which is exactly what I don’t want to do. Food has to be cleaner, healthier, still can be hearty, especially in the coming winter months, which means more white meats, fish, brown rice, hearty veg and drinking more water. I am not going to forbid myself treats, as I love myself and I would only hinder progress by doing so, but be conscious about when I have these treats, not just because I feel like it, but because it feels right to. That may sounds contradictory but food for us is in abundance so a lot of the time we consume like robots, on automatic pilot, without actively thinking about what we are putting in our mouth. I’m telling myself to think, be present when I eat, enjoy every mouthful and stop when I feel full, and not try to bypass it as I have often done in the past. This I know will be an ongoing struggle but one I am happy to take on. Alcohol… well this is going to be an interesting one. I never used to drink that much and have as I got older found the appreciation to having a few glasses of wine with the evening meal, not to overdo it, never that but having dinner, going out, being social, these all add up and again I don’t want to limit myself but simply let me conscience be my guide, and drink when it feels right, with all this, it is trial and error, so no doubt I will make mistakes, but I will not beat myself up about it. Life is ultimately to be lived and loved not to be strict and in a way alienating to others. I want this to become and natural way of life that will ultimately be a day to day happy habit and not hindering to myself or others.
What? This is what I have to compare against, the before and after, the weight before, the weight during and the weight after and photos to show, as well as measurements, as despite scales being an inspiration, I do firmly believe, how you feel, how you fit in your clothes outweighs the number on the scales, but as a motivator.. The scales will be the main stage in this challenge! So I will be doing the uncomfortable task of measuring my thighs, hips, waist, bust, chest, arms and taking a photo in order to compare later down the line and rejoice in the challenge that it will be and will be conquered!
When? There has to be a when, otherwise all this talk is for nowt and that doesn’t sit well with me, if I am going to make the time to write about it, I am sure as hell going to do something about it. On holiday didn’t seem the right time, would be cruel to not have the cocktail but at the same time, with all the water sports we were doing, we had a hearty appetite! So it would have to be a few days after coming back, when jetlag has settled and back to day to day life as resumed. This was a week and a half ago and I am slowly building myself up, slowly getting around to embracing this and will slowly rewind the glacial creep that once was, the timeline… well for me it’s the half marathon in February but I won’t be doing some mad crazy fad diet in order to get there, slow and steady is how this is going to happen, with regular (weekly or maybe twice a week updates) and a weekly “weigh in”, I will plot my achievement (or not) for all to see so that you can see a true woman’s struggle when it comes to getting fitter, stronger and leaner. So let’s get going…
For anyone that is at this stage or wants help, encouragement or is just interested in one woman’s challenge to shed 9kg, or wants to see me fail or laugh at my agony, then join me in this blog, I would love to hear from you and hope that I can inspire and promote self awareness to all…