weight loss wardrobe limbo (or, why I’ve been wearing the same jeans for 11 weeks)

Writing about the five essentials you need on a weight loss journey last week lit a fire under me.  I feel unstoppable with my weight loss right now, because considering each of those five things really focused me.  My results on the scale were better than I’d hoped.  And I’m so glad, because I am sick of being in weight loss wardrobe limbo. Confession?  I only have one pair of jeans that fit me…and I wear them every damn day.

weight loss wardrobe limbo

 

I wear my jeans for two (ok…three) days, then have to wash and dry them strategically so I don’t end up doing the school run in my pants.  Right now they have mud on the bottom of the right leg, so I’m going to have to baby wipe that away because I can’t fit in a wash and dry before the school pick up.

I’m aware I sound like a tramp.

 

how did it come to this?

I’m not sure how I ended up with only one pair of jeans to wear.  Pre-pregnancy I had a few pairs I could rotate.  I can only assume that in my one attempt to Konmari my life (which even nesting couldn’t force me to sustain), I binned all the jeans that didn’t “spark joy.”  Let me tell you, being left with only one pair of jeans that fit ain’t exactly sparking the joy right now either.

weight update

this week’s result

I lost 2.5lb, which takes my total to 7lbs.  But best of all…it means the pregnancy weight is gone!

I also got Slimmer of the Week at SlimmingWorld.

moving forward

I have finally channeled the motivation that I had been struggling to find.  I’ve seen that weight loss is possible and I have my sights firmly set on seeing that number drop each week.  I’ve been keeping track of everything I’ve eaten, and even though I’ve not been on plan all the time I’m confident that the scales will make me smile this week!

Why don’t I just buy more pairs?  Because I do not plan on staying this size long enough to make that a worthwhile investment.  I find it very difficult to justify spending money on clothes, and when I do it’s because I know I will wear those items to death.

The other issue is this.  I’m a size 14, and I have at least two other size 14 jeans in my wardrobe.  I honestly thought once the pregnancy weight was gone I’d fit back in to all the 14’s.  But I forgot that clothing companies are fucking crazy.  So whilst this current pair of size 14’s (Primark) fit me and have done since a week after giving birth, my other two (New Look and George…I know, I’m the style queen) don’t.  I’m not even looking at my 12’s.

 

there are no other options

And I do have leggings, and dresses, and skirts.  But I’m a jeans girl.  If I did the school run or Baby Sensory in a dress I’d feel a bit overdone.  And wearing leggings in public makes me feel as if I forgot to get dressed.

I scoured the charity shops at the weekend, but it would appear that size 14 jeans that fit are something no woman wants to part with.  Even for cancer research or homeless people or heart conditions.  Though I did get a cute little knitted skirt with snowflakes on it for Christmas.  Priorities.

 

the weight loss wardrobe

When you’ve yo-yo dieted the way I have, you can end up with a weight loss wardrobe.  A closet that covers all bases.  Mine has ranged from size 22 down to size 8.  When I lost weight the first time I gleefully chucked away all my “big” clothes as the weight came off.  But I had to replace items all the way back up to a 16 after gaining weight in pregnancy.  When I lost the weight again, I was too scared to chuck away too much in case I needed them again.  But at the same time, I couldn’t bring myself to chuck out my “skinny” clothes either, as I hoped I would one day wear them again.

A few years ago I wondered whether part of my yo-yoing was because of my weight loss wardrobe.  Every time I opened the doors I simultaneously felt guilty for not being slimmer and reassured at still having clothes to wear. I’d diet to slim down, get disheartened at still not fitting in to my old clothes, and gain weight again with clothes waiting which provided a crash pad.  My weight loss wardrobe was not helping me at all.

So I decided to take some action.  I sent all my size 8, 10 and 16 clothes to charity shops – I didn’t want to be a 16 again, and the smaller sizes were unrealistic.  The size 14 clothes were what fit me and I decided that a size 12 was my ideal, so I kept those.

So that’s why I’m now in weight loss wardrobe limbo.  Too stubborn to buy bigger clothes, too big to wear the clothes I’ve got.  But it’s serving as a motivator.

And at least it takes the decision making out of getting dressed in the mornings…

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weight loss journey essentials

Last week, I wrote about how I was struggling to get motivated to lose weight and get healthy.  I’m still lacking that vital spark to kick start my efforts, so I thought this week I’d remind myself about what it takes to lose weight.  If losing weight is a quest, then I thought I’d share my weight loss journey essentials.

weight loss journey essentials - the five things you need

When people say weight loss is a journey, they’re on to something.   And I don’t mean in a hippy-dippy-gonna-cleanse-your-aura way, or even an X-Factor-reality-tv-cheese sort of a way.  I mean a journey in its truest sense – there is no magic teleporter taking you from A to B in split second time.

It stands to reason then that, like any journey, you wouldn’t set out without even just a little bit of planning and preparation.  After all, even if you’re only nipping to the shops you at least know how you’re going to get there!  Like any good traveler though, you should be focusing on making the journey almost as rewarding as getting to your final destination! Enjoying the process is the best way to get to where you want to be, and key to staying there too.

 

 

my weight loss journey essentials

 

a destination

You need to know where you’re going – what is your goal?  More importantly is it realistic, is it healthy? Is it going to motivate you, or just make you feel as if you have too far to go? You could maybe give yourself other places to stop off at along the way – set yourself mini-goals, to break the journey up.

 

weight update

this week’s result

I lost 0.5lb, which takes my total to 4.5lbs.

I know some people freak out about “just” half a pound, but I hadn’t had a great week and so anything less than a gain was a win for me!  I’d started the week off badly and was only mindful of what I was eating in the last few days before weigh-in, so I was expecting worse.  It also meant I finally broke through the barrier of the 2lbs I kept losing and putting back on, and a weight loss two weeks in a row was something I hadn’t had since July!

moving forward

This week, again, has been a bit crappy.  Like I said, I’m struggling to find my motivation.  And because I’m not focused, I’m more inclined to let myself indulge when the opportunity comes up.  Which it did a lot this weekend, with cakes and a meal out for our son’s fifth birthday.  I’ve tried to reign it in again, but it may be too little too late!

a mode of transport

This is probably the most important of the weight loss journey essentials.  What way of eating and what way of being active are going to get you to your destination?

Diet is obviously vital. It’s important to chose comfort and safety over speed, especially on a long journey.   A crash diet may get you there faster, but it isn’t safe and can take you back where you started just as quickly.

And what about exercise? This all comes down to being honest about your fitness levels, the time you have to hand and what interests you most.  Then you can find activities to match.

Remember though, you can do all the exercise classes your gym offers, but if your diet is crap you wont get the best results.  After all, you can’t outrun a bad diet1!

 

a route planner

Planning and organisation are the biggest tools when it comes to weight loss. You can follow a miracle diet that has helped a million people lose weight before you, but if you aren’t organised and don’t have a plan then it isn’t going to work as well for you.

This is my favourite of the weight loss journey essentials, I love being organised.  Shopping lists, meal plans and tracking your nutrition will all help you map your route, and help steer you back on track when you get lost.

 

a weather forecast

Your environment impacts on the progress you make. You need a good mindset, to approach weight loss from a positive place.  A clear field of vision and positive people to support you are really important too.  The more of these things you have, the more likely you are to reach your destination.

But life doesn’t always work that way. You should  look ahead to any saboteurs or things which may knock you off course. Do you have a time of the month where things may be a struggle? Do all your social occasions revolve around food? Think ahead and have ideas of how to get through each patch of bad weather before it hits.

 

mementos

Mark your journey with postcards of your progress, snapshots of your changing body and rewards for every milestone you hit. They will keep you motivated as you go, showing you how far you’ve come.  They’re also incredible to look back on once you get to your final destination.

 

 

what that means to me…

I’ve looked at each of the weight loss journey essentials to try and get more focused.

My ultimate destination is a body in a healthy weight range for my height and a healthy body fat percentage.  A body which fits into size 12 clothing and is fit and strong.  That means a 10% body fat reduction and 24lb weight loss, dropping a dress size (and a half!), and making noticeable charted strength and fitness progress.

I honestly believe that a diet of high quality, nutritious food in the right amount is the way to go.  I’m going to focus on a diet based on as few processed foods as possible, with quantity kept in check by tracking.

Fitness-wise, I’m going to work through my maternity leave fitness bucket list.  I’m on the final level of my postnatal recovery DVD, then I’m going to focus on strength and flexibility with yoga.  Cardio is covered by Zumba and walking over 5 miles four times a week.

I need to work on my mindset, and be more mindful of situations that can throw me off.  Weekends and times out of my routine are danger zones for me.  Unfortunately I haven’t quite figured out how to get through those times without coming out of them a little weather beaten.

I have taken before pictures, and will be taking some progress ones as I go.  I’m also logging my changing measurements and body fat on MyFitnessPal which presents it in a graph. I am a sufferer of the “fat day” which can make me feel as if I’m getting nowhere. A record to look back on can keep me motivated.

I have a plan.  I have my weight loss journey essentials.  Now lets just see if I can put it all into action!

 

 

1 – British Journal of Sports Medicine

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motivation for improving my health – kick starting my weight loss

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.

motivation for improving my health - kick starting my weight loss

 

weight update

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!

moving forward

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?

 

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lose the baby weight [ & then some ] – my plans to get back in shape

It’s taken me a little longer than I thought it would to get round to writing about my plans to “lose the baby weight.” And that’s because it’s taking me a little longer than I thought it would to get round to actually try to lose the baby weight.

lose the baby weight & then some

 

pregnancy weight gain

You may know that I’ve just had baby number three.  He is now eight weeks old, and my pregnancy with him was my healthiest ever.  Ordinarily I put on about three stone in pregnancy, but this time around I was determined not to do that.  So I joined SlimmingWorldexercised until 38 weeks and prioritised sleep.  The result?  I gained just 7lbs.

I can’t put in to words how good it felt to be pleased rather than devastated when I weighed myself after birth.  That helped incredibly when it came to how I viewed my postpartum self and for the first time in three pregnancies I loved my postnatal body.

 

my body now

But that isn’t to say I’m happy.  I’m proud of my body, and as postnatal bodies go (at least, my previous postnatal bodies) it’s pretty awesome.  But the reality is that I’m still overweight and I’m not as healthy as I could or should be.  I’m not as slim or toned or strong as I was this time last year.  And I want to be.  It’s time to lose the baby weight…and then some.

Currently I’m sitting at 5lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight, and 27lbs over the BMI prescribed healthy weight for my height.  I want all of that gone.

Last year I had finally gained some (slight) definition in my upper arms and shape to my usually flat bum.  Those have disappeared, so I want them back.  I also want to be able to fit my calves into knee-high boots again.

I want to be able to run a 5k again, to lift a decent amount of weight again, and to make it through a dance class without wanting to quit.

 

my attempt so far

I went back to SlimmingWorld three weeks after giving birth, but in five weeks I’ve only managed to lose 2lbs.  I keep gaining and losing the same couple of pounds.  My head isn’t really in it.  I’ll have an ok week, and then a week where I just don’t try at all.

I’m too tired and busy to find the drive to lose the baby weight, let alone face the further weight loss journey.  But I need to find that drive, because without it I could easily fall in to the trap of putting more weight on.  I don’t want to undo all the body positivity I’ve felt from having a healthy pregnancy with minimal weight gain.

I’m struggling to find my approach.  As I’ve said before, there is a lot I don’t like about SlimmingWorld and so I mainly go to have someone weigh me.  I need that, to be held accountable.  If I just rely on weighing myself I’ve got even less drive to try.  As far as “dieting” goes, I’m using MyFitnessPal to track calories.  But I’m keen to do some sort of mix of the two, just to see what happens.

I also need to get active.  I’m struggling to find the time to workout at home because baby boy feeds every two hours and only sleeps for 20 minutes (if I’m lucky) at a time!  Thankfully, with the four year old starting school I have the perfect reason to walk 3.5 miles per day on the school run, so that’s something.  But I was heartbroken to hear that my beloved Clubbercise class has been cancelled.  Getting out to a class is the only way to guarantee I’ll get some exercise in, so I’m having to revert to Zumba…not as much fun but at least it gets me sweaty!

 

my goal – lose the baby weight & then some

The first step in finding the drive is to set myself some targets.  First I want to lose the baby weight – 5lbs off in the next 3 weeks (so by 7th September).

Next, I want to lose the rest.  It’s a fair amount I want to lose, and I don’t want to punish myself doing it.  So I’ll aim for 1lb off a week.  My goal is to be at my healthy weight by the end of February, which builds in a little wriggle room to account for Christmas!

I know BMI and weight aren’t always the best way to judge a body, but I find I am motivated by the change on the scales more than any other form of tracking.  However, I will also be taking measurements and photos to show my progress, as I think together these will all tell the full story of my journey.

 

my weight loss journey

I’m hoping to bring this blog back more to what I had pictured it being when I started it – a place to chart my journey to health, sharing my tips and struggles along the way.  Until I reach my first goal, I’ll update weekly on my progress.  After that, probably monthly will be enough.  But along the way I’m hoping to blog about recipes, workouts, tools and the reality of getting myself into shape.  I’d love it if you would join me!

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