Welcome, one and all, to a new feature on my blog that I am politely calling Fat Friday! Simply, it’s going to be a weekly post tracking my progress (or lack there of) as I aim to lose some weight, to get fit and healthy, and improve my lifestyle in a lasting and balanced way.
Each week I plan to post a round up of my week’s activities. I am going to use the post to track my week by week weight journey (hopefully it’s a weight loss journey). I am going to use the post to track my fitness efforts, to keep note of any exercise classes I take part in or gym/swim/walking sessions I do. I also plan to post any hints and tips from my journey, and collate them all in once place, to look back on, to keep me motivated, and hopefully to help others in a similar situation to myself.
Please join me, support me, and help me along my way as I am to improve my life for the better!
First things first, the name: Fat Friday. I do like a good bit of alliteration when it comes to my blog posts, but mainly I wanted to create something that was both slightly amusing and something that I wanted to keep involved with. I’m useless at tracking weight and fitness, so having a fun post title go blog about each week will hopefully keep me motivated and involved. If you fancy joining in, keeping your own post journey, please comment below so that we can help each other.
Secondly, and probably the hardest bit, the reasoning. Why now? Why this way? Well, it simply was time. I always say if you moan about it, sort it, and if you feel rubbish, do something to help, and I have now reached that boiling point. So for me, it’s simply time:
- Feeling crap: I’ve been through a lot this summer. I’ve had a car crash and had to deal with prolonged time off work and a recovery process that while not that bad, was far from enjoyable or easy. I’ve started to feel rubbish a lot of the time. I don’t feel like my usual happy and upbeat self. I’ve started to dislike looking in mirrors and began disliking looking at photos of myself. I’m not a person that deals well with feeling less than positive because I am an inherently optimistic person, so now as I’ve felt rubbish for a prolonged period, I’ve decided that trying to lose weight, but mainly feel fitter and healthier will hopefully work.
- Photos and mirrors: I like taking photos and don’t mind photos of myself being taken and shared (I’m partial to the odd selfie travelling too!) I don’t mind looking in the mirror either. Usually. Recently, the reflection staring back at me has not been something I want to see and I have almost felt disgusted on occasion at what I’ve seen. I’ve also recently travelled to Washington DC, and while there took lots of pictures and selfies. I’ve had a look back to the last time I was there, when I was thinner, healthier, and happier, and want to try and feel closer to that person again.
- Turning 26: I know that I am by no means old, but I am also not that young anymore. I think, now as I’m on the downward slope to 30, I’m suddenly conscious that it only gets harder to lose weight and get healthy. Yes, I’m currently only 25, but I know that a few more years like this can have detrimental effects that will get harder and harder to overcome, so, before the whole gets too big, I’m going to try my best to claw my way out.
- Fitness: Guys, I feel so unfit. I know that’s because I am, but seriously it’s bad. I don’t want to hate walking up many stairs, or want to take breaks when I am walking far. I don’t want to feel like everything is a huge effort and like I couldn’t do anything I wanted to. I also want to feel the feeling of achievement and optimism that comes from achieving fitness goals and challenges.
- Car Crash: I broke my arm, a rib, and hurt my back in a crash in June, and if I’m honest have barely done much since. My arm and rib have healed but my back still causes trouble. I tend to use that as an excuse to not do things at the moment, where realistically, I should be planning activities around this to restrengthen my back, and to improve my feelings post crash. I think, without realising, I fell into a bit of a funk after, so battling and overcoming that will help my overall sense of feeling rubbish.
- Saving money: At the moment, I am a little strapped for cash as I’ve bought a new car and therefore insurance, and I’ve just been on a holiday to the USA. I have a tendency to buy lunch at work, so meal planning and prepping (like a boss) will hopefully provide me with both healthy AND money saving options for lunch.
So, there’s the theory, a list of the reasons for Fat Friday and the motivations driving me to change. But with these hopes and thoughts come problems and reasons holding me back. Fat Friday is actually, in a large part, a way for me to help keep my reservations in check and help overcome any obstacles that I will come across:
- Routine (or lack there of): I work in a job that has no form of routine. My shifts change day on day, week on week, and not by an hour or two, but sometimes by 8 and 10 hours. I therefore get up at different times everyday, I go to bed at different times everyday, and my breaks and lunches are at wildly different times everyday. It means I can’t get into an eating routine. I can’t get into a cooking routine. I can’t get into a bedtime routine. I can’t get into a fitness routine. Yes, I am trying to battle these issues, but it’s so easy to just look for the quick route out and blame the routine I have.
- Snacking: Guys I admit it, OK, I am a serial snacker. I enjoy food, I like it, and I enjoy eating, so snacking is just all kinds of good fun. And snacking is fine when you’re hungry, or your energy is super low, or it’s fruit or something. It’s not when you’re pretty full and just want to eat. It’s not when the food I high in salt, and/or sugar, and/or Fat, and/or calories. It just makes you feel worse overall, but not eating snacks is sometimes very difficult. What if I slip and have the chocolate? And the cake? And the crisps? And the biscuits?
- Portion control: My housemate Emma and I cook a large volume of our food from scratch, so the actual food I am eating for the majority of my meals is not what would be described as unhealthy or unwise choices. That said, sometimes the volume of food on my plate would be. I’m currently battling the dilemma that my portion are too large and I snack, so cutting both back or down would leave my cripplingly hungry and not able to focus. I’m worried I’ll compensate for my snackless days with larger portions at meals.
- Fitness: When I had my car crash I stopped all forms of exercise. I felt unfit before, but that’s nothing on how I feel now. I’m going to try and battle it, but when you’re unfit, it’s hard to then motivate yourself to suddenly get fit because that involves doing fitness-y things that you can’t do. Throw in sore backs and joints, and you have a cocktail of excuses that form a vicious circle of never ending couch potato-dom.
So you see my struggle. I’m trying to battle with the want to live an easy and enjoyable life, without rules, restrictions, and things I don’t like, with wanting to improve my health and fitness. To many of you this will seem like an easy balance to strike, but for me, it’s been an on going problem that spans years of my life, and I’m not sure if there is yet a solution.
This is where Fat Friday comes into it’s own. I’ve read lot of books, watched lots of programs and videos, and listened to advice, and it’s clear that there is no right answer other than ‘eat less; exercise more’ and ‘find what works for you’. I have decided to keep a public track of my progress to hopefully motivate me and keep me on track, and hopefully inspire other people who stumble across it to look at their life and turn it around.
I have a great friend at work, Steph, who is going through her own weight loss battle and journey. While neither of us feel comfortably joining the workplace ‘Chub Club’, we have made a pact to help each other lose weight for our respective trips to Disney World next year. Steph has created a wonderful pair of jars. In one jar she has a set of pebbles, each pebble representing a pound that she wants/needs to lose prior to her next trip September. When she loses a pound she moves a pebble into the second jar. I love this idea, and hope that such a simple, visual reinforcement will help motivate me too. She is so lovely, and has offered to make me some Disney themed ones to help me. (They’re a little like the ones below!)
While thinking of writing this post, I have been debating what I would like to include each week. As much as each week is different, I want an element of consistency that lets me monitor my progress and share the best hints and tips I’ve picked up each week. To do this, I’m going to great a template that will form the basis of each post:
- Weight tracker: Each week I am going to record how many pounds I have lost or gained (but let’s be honest, we’re hoping it’s always a loss)
- Fitness/Exercise tracker: Each week I am going to record how many times I have exercised, and what I have done each time.
- Mood tracker: Each week I plan to log my overriding mood on the Friday when I wrote the post.
- Recipe/food of the week: Each week I’m going to record my favourite recipe/meal/snack of the week
- Hints/Tips: Each week I plan to record any hints and tips that I hear/read, so I can read back over them and share them with everyone.
So, this is the big plan. The grand ideas that are hopefully going to result in a healthier, thinner, and happier Liz. I technically started this on Monday this week, so, I’m going to start the trackers right away and get going with it!
WEIGHT: This week: -1lb Total: -1lb
EXERCISE: 2 classes: 1x Yoga, 1x Yogalates
MOOD: Optimistically Rubbish
RECIPE/FOOD/SNACK of the week: Heinz Lentil and Bacon soup
HINTS/TIPS of the week: Eating less and Exercising more is the healthiest way to lose weight.
It could have been a lot better and it could have been a lot worse to start things off. I’ve not been it doing it for a full week yet, but I’ve finally managed to snap into the right mindset, and I’m determined (with help from everyone) to succeed!