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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fitness is a journey - not a destination.

Feeling good about your body and choices can be very empowering. When we feel crap - this is disempowering and stops us from making changes.
It's all about self esteem and belief in yourself. If you think you have failed -- YOU HAVE NOT!!! Every mistake you make is a learning experience. Do not give up - it is a normal part of the process. These things need to be learnt in order to move forward. Unfortunately it takes a huge amount of emotional and physical energy -- changes in your life need to be made for this to happen. Remember its a journey - be patient, be courageous and do not give up.

Self image is the predictor of success or failure.

A few ideas:
1. Keep a journal of your daily successes. Think about the healthy choices you make along the way and how these make you feel... Think about all the little steps of improvement you can see.
2. Spend 5-10min visualising each day. Visualise only eating healthy food and doing exercise during the day. Visualise yourself jogging faster and getting more fit.
3. Do a treasure hunt on your life. Sometimes we focus on the one negative while failing to acknowledge positives. Sometimes we need perspective!

A bit of perspective for me.
- Almost a year on from when I first reached maintenance weight and I am still (mostly) there - perhaps 2 kilos off. But compared to 50kg - I am happy with that. This is despite having one of THE most horrid years ever.
- I am still a size 10
- I can run 15km in 90min (which is not as good as a few months ago -- but comparing to a year ago -- pretty good!!)
- I can wall sit a crazy amount (12min last try), do at least 40 push ups in a min and I am up to 3-4 chin ups unassisted.
- I have heaps more knowledge and skills than this time last year : I have more practical knowledge, self awareness, experience and the realisation/learning that diet and exercise need to remain a priority for maintainance to happen.
- I have developed some awesome friends in my life quest to be healthy.
- I am still moving forward slowly - even if I am knocked back a couple of paces the overall result is me further along.
- I am determined, persistent and unrelenting and am actually starting to believe that I CAN maintain this weight loss.

Given these reflections I have me some new 1 month goals!
1. Loose the 4kg I have found over the past 4 months.
2. Get back to the 4 unassisted chin ups (which are soo much harder with an extra 4kg!)
3. 17.5kg dumbell chest press: 3 lots of 8.
4. Record food and emotional stuff.
5. Complete the 30 day challenge! Eat between 1200-1500 calories for 30 days and then I can buy a rower.

How will I reach these goals!
1. Weigh once a week (only - more is discouraging!)
2. Eat between 1200-1500 cal per day for the month - recording everything
3. Run 10km and 15km twice a week (wedns and sat)
4. Weights twice a week - focusing on back and upper body. (tues and fri)
5. Join a step into life class for a bit of variety. (mon)

Reflections/Goals continued....
I have been finding that working the crazy hours I have been working and trying to fit everything else in too --  I have not had the energy or time to prioritise the exercise or eating. So, I have decided to have some extended time off from working at the gym too.... which is sad for me but its what I need to do... especially with everything else that is going on at the moment. I wanted to be a PT because I was passionate about helping other people with their weight loss and exercise goals -- I cant do that if I cant even help myself!! I need to walk the talk!! Prioritising exercise and eating healthy is on the agenda once again. "It's about attitude, thinking, beliefs, passions, self control, decisions, standards, habits, fears, expectations and desires." And I am pulling mine together and straightening them out so I can teach/show others what I have learned.

I also had a look at the things which I am having problems with... and changed some stuff so I can fix it.
I have been struggling with consistency in exercise time because of sooo many various shifts with work  etc... Because lots of my workouts have been by myself I have been struggling with intensity and variety in my workouts and have been finding them boring. I have been majorly struggling with emotional eating and then feeling crap and the cycle continues!! And then I start freaking that I am going to put on the 50kg because I don't believe I can STOP eating emotionally... LOL!!
So I decided to stop one job for a while.... which means I can start to workout with people more again... I am joining a step into life class which should give me variety and intensity... and less work means more consistent exercise times! More time, less tiredness and generally being happier with life and myself will mean less emotional eating!! Win, win situation all round!! Woo Hoo!!! :-)

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

I felt like crap, so I ate crap... because that makes so much sense!

When I can stand back and think about this topic objectively... I find it fascinating just how much of a struggle this whole emotional eating thing is. It really is quite amazing! I can ignore pain and exercise until I drop -- but I struggle with not eating when I am upset. Go figure!! Mentally tough in most areas of my life - except this one!! You would think not doing something would be easier than doing something... that makes more sense.

I thought I would blog a few things I have found helpful lately. Not saying I have it all figured out yet -- but I am happy the process of learning and changing is moving along.

1. Emotions come and emotions go. They are going to do this whether you eat or not. Eating might make them go away temporarily - but it's only going to make it worse longer term. Realising this is the case is helpful because when you feel upset and want to eat to get rid of that feeling -- realise that the emotion is going to pass... acknowledge that you feel like crap and ride it out until the emotion passes.

2. You may have temporary lapses in your eating and your ability to ride it out. Whatever happens DO NOT QUIT!! If you keep persisting you will eventually get to where you want to be. Personally, I want to understand the drive to eat when I am upset; I want to be able to ride the wave and wait for the emotion to pass. So, I am going to need to keep on thinking and experiencing... stuffing up, back tracking... and putting in crap loads of hard work mentally!! The alternative is to give up -- and that is not an option.

3. Someone gave me some helpful advice recently. In regards to an earlier blog where I was saying I didn't believe I could maintain my weight under this amount of stress... They told me that just like I trained my physical body to adapt and perform to do chin ups -- I can train my mind to adapt and perform under different circumstances too. Keep on keeping on -- just keep swimming!! Do not stop.

4. I saw this photo too. It really spoke to me and is so very true! My weight and fitness will go up and down - but that is ok! It's does not mean I have dropped the ball... It is such a small part of my journey!! I am human and I need to learn -- "Failure is a perfect opportunity to start again more intelligently!"

5. Focusing on the process rather than the scales was a very helpful piece of advice. One which I need to do more of. As soon as I saw the scales go up and few hundred grams instead of down - I immediately felt like crap which in turn affected my motivation levels to eat healthy! No more scales for a while -- focus on eating right calories and type of foods!!