I wrote last week about my plans to lose the baby weight (and then some). I put on 7lbs in pregnancy and said that I would update weekly until I’d lost that before tackling the rest of my weight loss journey. This week, I’m trying to find some motivation for improving my health and losing the weight.
this week’s result
I lost 2lbs, which takes my total to 4lbs.
If I’m honest, I was actually surprised by that result. After a bit of a mixed week, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It hadn’t got off to a great start food-wise, and it was only in the second half that I started being more mindful. I think what saved me was upping my activity levels. I’ve started a Zumba class, and I’ve been walking over 5 miles a day on the school run. At 9 weeks postnatal, that’s the most active I’ve been in quite a while!
I’ve been flip-flopping on these 2lbs for the past four weeks though, and this week has again got off to a rubbish start food-wise. A cake sale at the school, a choice of burger or hot dog when out on Saturday, a curry and a big Sunday dinner have all gone under my belt already! I’ll not be surprised if I see that 2lb back on again.
i need motivation
For some reason I’m struggling to find motivation for improving my health. I’m getting frustrated with myself. I really want to start seeing evidence of fat loss but I’m not motivated to put the effort in. Especially with food. I know the healthy choices I need to make, but somehow I just can’t be bothered.
Sure I want to be slimmer and more toned, but that want isn’t strong enough to light a fire under me. It pales in comparison with the want to veg on the sofa with a bar of Dairy Milk right now. I need to find a stronger motivator than just what I look like.
finding motivation for improving my health
People often say they want to be healthy so that they can live longer or be around for their kids. And those are great reasons to aim for better health. But as a motivator for right now, those reasons are too out there for me. They seem too far away to really get me focused.
I need to look at the here and now. What changes to I want to see this time next week or next month? What does better health look like to me in the short term? Two things come to mind – feeling more comfortable with daily activity, and improving my mood.
not letting sweat get in the way
Activity is the area I’m doing best in right now, but I’m a long way from my fittest. That means I’m finding daily activity a bit tougher, and not working out at the level I want to.
The school run is on a hill, so by the time I get home I’m a sweaty puddle. I cannot stand the feeling of being sticky and damp. I know there are a lot of things that contribute to my hot mess-ness, like the temperature and what I’m wearing. But carrying extra weight contributes to sweating, so losing weight and not having to work so hard to get up the hill can but help. The thought of feeling a bit more comfortable with daily activity is motivation for improving my health.
When it comes to exercise though, I know it’s unrealistic to expect not to break a sweat. Especially when in any given fitness class I am always the sweatiest in the room. I like to work at the top end of my ability and tend to really go for it. When I’m fit I don’t really mind people seeing me all red and shiny, because I’m proud of putting in the effort. But when I’m soaked and puce even from the warm up, I feel really self conscious. I’ve noticed in my Zumba class that I don’t go quite as hard as I could, because I’m embarrassed at looking so unfit. I know it shouldn’t matter, but for me it does. So improving my health will help me enjoy exercise more, and to get more from it.
improving my mental health
In order to get the weight loss that’s going to help me get more from my activity, I have to start eating better.
With being up each night with a young baby, not to mention all the effort it takes to keep him and the rest of the family alive each day, I’m knackered. When I’m knackered I feel stressed, angry and down. That just leaves me feeling awful, and triggers a mental health slump. My motivation to get anything done disappears and then I end up feeling even worse because not only am I tired but the mountain of stuff I have to do is looming over me in piles.
Eating crap is not going to help any of that. It’s not going to fill me up and it’s not going to give me energy. It just makes me feel worse because I’m either starving or drained. When I feel bad I turn to food, which will make me feel even worse…lather, rinse, repeat. I need to focus on the fact that I do enjoy healthy food and I do feel good when I nourish my body. Improving my diet is going to boost my mood because I’ll feel productive and energised, and that is great motivation for improving my health.
so what now?
My plan of action is to keep up the level of activity I’m doing and to really examine my diet. Hopefully together they’ll start to help the weight come off, make me feel more positive and help me feel more comfortable when I’m exercising.
Diet-wise, I’m considering stripping it right back. Just focusing on nutrients and not being too concerned with counting calories or Syns or points just now. Maybe if I start feeling better by eating better, I’ll be more motivated to then knuckle down with trying to stay within a certain allowance to try and get some weight loss happening.
I’d love to hear what inspires you to improve your health or motivates you to lose weight – what keeps you going?