Weight Loss Commitments
When you are pumped and excited it’s relatively easy to apply yourself to a new healthy eating regime and exercise schedule to help you lose weight. When you start your weight loss journey your eagerness and motivation can be high initially as it’s still a novelty and you can visualize reaching your goal. After a few weeks or months the enthusiasm, commitment and momentum can start to wane, what with dealing with every day life and unanticipated stresses you can easily be thrown off track if you allow it. It’s simple to stay on track when you are feeling good and sticking to your weight loss goals can feel effortless but when you have bad days it can be more of a challenge to dig deep for committed dedication to push through it. Any previous times I launched myself in to a weight loss campaign I would be giddy with commitment for a few weeks, maybe a few months, but then when faced with a dip in enthusiasm I’d give up eventually and abandon the plan, undoing the work accomplished for the previous few weeks, the desire for instant gratification to the fore. Once the novelty started wearing off, I found it more difficult to be fully engaged in owning what I truly wanted, to be a healthy weight and love myself more, and instead chose again the comfort of food rather than standing up and taking responsibility for myself. This year I chose to adapt my approach and mentality about weight loss, to clarify the different things I needed to accept and commit to to ensure success, things I’d been lax with before.
- I accepted that the lifestyle I needed to adopt to lose weight and work towards to be fit, strong and healthy is more than a goal, it’s a sustainable way of living. It’s every day for the rest of my life, not just for a few weeks or months or until I reach my target weight. It’s for always. There’s no point in tracking my food and exercise and learning how to be honest and accountable if when I reach target weight that I fall back on old destructive habits of mindless overeating and no exercise. Slipping back in to old eating patterns would mean gaining the weight back so I have accepted that this healthy lifestyle campaign is not a quick fix, is not a diet, it’s my new way of living, every day. Always.
- This might sound like harmless but a big change for me is to commit to eat my meals while sitting at the kitchen table, not standing at the kitchen counter, not standing in the fridge, not sitting on the couch, not driving in the car. Committing to eating my meals while sitting at the table helps me be more accountable and you know yourself, when you’re standing up gobbling something and have little bites and morsels here and there you are liable to eat more than you realise and cod yourself with “Sure I only had a few nibbles!” I make an occasion out of every meal and take time to appreciate what I am eating as opposed to mindlessly munching.
- I’ve committed to getting rid of any clothes that are now too large for me as I lose weight and need smaller sizes. Bizarrely this has been psychologically challenging for me. With any other weight loss endeavors when I’d move down into a smaller dress size I would always bag up my fat clothes and put them away “just in case” I’d need them again! For crying out loud, what the hell for?? This attitude was not conducive to success as if I truly believed that I would lose the weight and keep it off, sure what need would I have for clothes that were far too big for me? I was always afraid I’d fail and would need the clothes again. Starting out with such a defeatist attitude was of no service to me or my self confidence. Allowing myself to let go of my fat clothes as they become too large for me takes away the safety net and reinforces my belief that I am succeeding with my weight loss, that this is a lifetime commitment now, to stop looking back, to keep moving forward.
- I have consciously committed to stop beating myself up when I have a slip up or go off track a little. Being punitive and abusing myself with a barrage of negative criticisms and put-downs only serves to drive me back towards comfort eating and not caring about pushing out the boundaries of my comfort zone. Instead of tormenting myself I now try to see what can learn from my behaviour or whatever challenge is presenting itself. I am choosing now to see any set backs as opportunities for learning and growth instead of a stick to beat myself up with. Slip ups no longer defeat me now mentally, they teach me how to adapt my plan and to remember to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I am choosing not to be defeated. I am choosing to be kinder to myself and treat myself with more compassion.
- I very much like routine but can tend to get stuck in a rut sometimes, always doing things my own way. Learning to be open to new ways of looking at things and doing things keeps my weight loss journey fresh and interesting and helps me to grow. I needed to get organised with my life in general, to integrate an exercise plan and prioritize a proper planned meal structure to my week. When doing my grocery shop for instance, instead of just having a vague idea of meals and filling the trolley with random items, it is way more productive now, and fun, to write out a menu plan for the week, deciding on seven breakfasts, seven lunches, seven dinners and grocery shop according to that. Choosing from a menu plan gives more structure to my food plan for the week and I feel more in control and less liable to veer off plan.
- Getting enough sleep is now a conscious commitment I need to make to ensure my body gets optimal rest and can heal itself. I have sleep apnoea and before I was diagnosed I was only getting maybe 4 hours sleep a night whereas now I strive for 7-8 hours per night and it has a massive impact in improving my energy and commitment levels. Getting enough sleep also regulates the hormones, ghrelin and leptin, which affect and control appetite.
A change in perspective is vital for long-term successful weight loss. Take an honest look at your eating patterns, your exercise and your daily routines so you can honestly determine what improvement you could make and what actions you need to take to integrate them in to your routine. You need to assess what challenges you feel you come up against with your weight loss campaign and to work out your own strategy specific to you to gradually change your habits and attitudes that you have allowed to sabotage your efforts before. Acknowledging your challenges and commitments are great steps to take but you need to go further and formalize your action plan for how you will meet your challenges head on if you are going to manifest success for yourself in losing weight once and for all. For always.
My Weight Loss Update
I have lost 2lbs this week bringing my total weight loss to 4 stone 2.5lbs over 27 weeks. Just over 5 stone to go!! I’m delighted with a loss on the scales this week though I have noticed that my average weekly loss has dropped from 2.5lbs to 2.1lbs so I want to pull my socks up now to build back up some momentum. This week I know I did not put in as much effort as I know I am capable of, with only 2 days exercise, not enough water and not filling in my food diary over the weekend. So this week I pledge to get out and exercise at least 5 days, fill in my food diary honestly every single day, and get back to striving for eight glasses of water every day too. I hope you are all flying it. Take it one day at a time, one step at a time. 🙂
Cheesy Smoked Bacon Potato Bake
This is one of our favourite potato bakes at home for these cold evenings and is absolutely scrumptious! The original recipe is from Easy Food Magazine but I’ve adapted it here to cut down the fat content. The dish serves 6 and is 343 calories per portion. On this occasion we enjoyed it with roast chicken (skin removed) and vegetables bringing the meal above to 502 calories. Enjoy!
- 500g baby potatoes
- 4 reduced fat smoked bacon medallions, chopped
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 120g reduced fat Cheddar cheese, grated
- 170g reduced fat evaporated milk
- 200ml fat free fromage frais
- 60g real butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- Fry Light Olive Oil Spray
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Boil the baby potatoes until cooked. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180 C.
- Cook the chopped smoked bacon medallions in Fry Light until browned.
- When the potatoes have cooled a little, cut them into quarters and place in a mixing bowl. Add the sliced onion, two-thirds of the reduced fat Cheddar and half the smoked bacon medallions. Gently stir to combine.
- Stir briskly or whisk the evaporated milk, fromage frais and melted butter together. Stir in the thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the potato mixture and mash a little to break up the potato.
- Spoon mixture into a square baking dish and cover with tinfoil. Bake for 40 minutes until well heated through. Take off the foil, sprinkle over the remaining chopped bacon and Cheddar cheese and bake for a further 5 minutes until the cheese has melted.