Round 3 2012 – Bloggers’ Challenge – Week 3 – Time May Change Me

Success will never be a big step in the future, success is a small step taken just now. ~Jonatan Mårtensson

Week 3 – Time may change me, but I can’t trace time

If we want to transform ourselves we can’t expect it to just happen – we have to make an effort and make changes in our lives. This week’s challenge is about the changes you have made to your life – whether you have been on this journey for three weeks or three years – or anywhere in between.

1. What do you think were the three most important changes you have made so far?

2. How have these changes to your food, exercise or mindset impacted on the rest of your life?

3. What did you have to do in order to make sure these changes happened?

4. What difference have these changes made to your body transformation?

5. Have these changes been hard or easy for you to make? Why?

6. Would you recommend others make these changes to their lifestyle too? Why?

7. What do you think the next things is going to be that you will have to change?

Some people dream of success… while others wake up and work hard at it.  ~Author Unknown

Remember, your answers can be as long or short as you want them to be. They can be answered in sentences or in point form. You can skip a question if you don’t want to answer it – though I would say ask yourself why is it difficult to answer! 😉 You can even add your own question. You can add photos too if you want to illustrate your point of view, or share how your journey is for you visually.

If you’d like to join in with the challenge then create a post on your blog to answer the questions.

Then copy the link for that blog post – not the link for the entire blog – just this one post. Then paste the link in the Linky Tool below. Everyone who wants to – whether you are writing a blog post for the challenge or not – can then click on the links in the linky tool to read all the responses to this week’s challenge.

There is a problem with the Linky Tools website at the moment – once you have completed your post either put a link to that post in the comments for this post or on the forum thread on the 12wbt website – as soon as Linky Tools is running again I’ll link up all the blogs. 🙂

 

 

 

A Walk in the Park – Not!

Mr G and I traveled to Perth the Friday before last for the Round 2 2012 Finale Workout and Party. As we live just outside Sydney, we decided to make the most of the flight and stay for a week and celebrate our second honeymoon. When we got married in 1997, we traveled on the Indian Pacific to Perth, and then stayed in Perth and traveled around the South-West Corner for two weeks before flying back to Sydney. So, after all the turmoil of the seven years following my diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder we figured we could treat ourselves to a romantic getaway after the finale.

On the Monday and Tuesday night we stayed our Rottnest Island, were we had visited on a day trip on our honeymoon.  On the Tuesday morning, we hadn’t decided exactly what we were going to do for the day, and breakfast wasn’t being served for another hour or so, so Mr G suggested we go for a walk, and I added that I could do a training session on a beach like I had the afternoon before.

Instead of heading for the beach we went to the previous day – Mr G suggested we try another road as it headed towards a different lake. “There’ll be a beach there,” he said. There wasn’t. There was a sandy gravel road. We had walked as far as we could without risking being late for breakfast, Mr G likes to be first in line for the buffet 😉 – so I agreed to stop and do my TABATA training session.

It was devised by a friend who has just finished her PT training. It involved five different exercises, including sit ups and mountain climbers.  I explained, carefully, to Mr G that the TABATA involved me doing each exercise in eight sets, each set lasting twenty seconds, with a ten second rest in between. And a thirty second rest in between each exercise. All he had to do was keep count of the number of sets and operate the stopwatch on my phone.

 

 

 

 

The sit ups were the third exercise. While resting on my back in between working times I looked up at the sky and thought what a view to have during a workout. The Mr G came in to view, and I thought what a great shot for the photo a day challenge I’m doing this month. So, next rest I took the photo, the title “Hero”. Very appropriate I thought. Here he was supporting, encouraging and helping me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mountain climbers were the second last exercise. When  is doing the first set I counted a very high number. When he called rest I said that was a very long twenty seconds. “Twenty seconds – not twenty seconds – it was thirty seconds,” said Mr G. I asked why he did that. He said all my working sets were thirty seconds long. I lost my calm, cool composure 😉 and said they were supposed to be twenty.

His response, “Suck it up princess and finish them all as thirty second sets!” So this is the face I made him pull to show how mean he was to me! Mr G – the apprentice tough trainer!

I felt I really deserved the breakfast that morning!

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

Week 1 – Round 3 – Bloggers’ Challenge

1. Describe myself in less than fifty words.

I am 47 years old and have struggled most of my life to keep my weight under control and be healthy.

Then a year ago I took a leap of faith and signed up for my first round of 12wbt.

My focus changed from trying to lose weight – to being as healthy as possible. My eating, thinking and exercising all changed as I began to take care of my health for me.

And now a year later I’m 50kgs lighter, and down 60kgs from my heaviest weight.

But I still can’t stick to word limits.

2. This program is called a transformation. When I signed up for this round (my fourth round) what was it about myself I wanted to transform?

I want to transform myself into a runner. I want to run all the time like I did in the sprint for the finish line in the photo above. I want to increase my fitness – so that I can run the 1km time trial in under 5:30. I want to be able to run 10km in about an hour or so. I am doing the 10km Fun Run training this round so that I can achieve those goals.

3.  What is it about myself I am happy with right now?

I am happy that I am more determined than ever to achieve my goals while taking part in the 12wbt.

I am happy that although I have some ways I go in terms of my weight loss, I no longer have to shop in Plus Size stores or departments. (Although I must say the sales assistants at BeMe in Penrith and Emu Plains are just lovely, and I will miss them.)

I am happy that I believe I can achieve anything I set  out to achieve – including running a half marathon.

4. The aspect of this program I think will present me with the toughest challenge.

Getting enough sleep. I am going to set an alarm to remind me at 10.00pm each night to go to bed. I am determined to be close to my goal weight at the end of this round – so this means getting enough sleep each night is vital.

5. What is it you look forward to the most in the next twelve weeks?

Being able to run again like I did last century.  At the moment it usually takes a lot of mental effort to keep going. But I know once I am fitter, and have been consistent with running three times a week, my mind will enjoy the time I am actually running a lot more. And I will regain that sense of freedom I used to get with running when I was younger.

6. I’ve now completed  four days of the Round 3 program.

The thing that has surprised me the most is how much I miss training even after only four days. I hurt my ankle on Day One – and it has meant running, Zumba and BodyPump were not really possible during the last few days.

7. What I want to see, think and feel when you look in the mirror on Sunday 18th November 2012.

I want to see someone who is almost at their goal weight.

I want to think about how I have done all I can do to be a woman of my word.

I want to feel proud that I’m the best version of me I can be at that time in my life.

This post is my response to week 1 of the 12wbt Bloggers’ Challenge I am hosting in Round 3 2012.

If you’d like to join in with the challenge then create a post on your blog to answer the questions – or just the ones you’d like to answer. 

Then copy the link for that blog post – not the link for the entire blog – just this one post. Then paste the link in the Linky Tool below. Everyone who wants to can then click on the links in the linky tool to read all the responses to this week’s challenge.

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

12wbt Blogging Challenge – Motivation

This is a tough topic – because essentially for over eight years it was a struggle to get motivated.  There are complicated reasons behind this – it has a lot to do with the chronic illness I was diagnosed with in 2003.  This illness saw me live through prolonged bouts of clinical depression.  There were days, weeks and even months when just getting motivated enough to get out of bed when there was nothing physically wrong with me (apart from the physical symptoms of depression) was impossible.  Eating well and getting exercise were almost impossible in that state of mind. And the really frustrating thing in hindsight is that eating well and exercising would have been two of the best things I could have done to overcome the depression.

As I have said in other places in this blog, after l stopped being a WW leader in 2006, I tried a lot of fad diets and gimmicks. Some which made following “Size 12 in 21 Days” for a whole twenty-one days seem sensible.  Any of those attempts at dieting could have seen me lose weight, but I rarely stuck at anything for more than a week and if I lasted more than two days I was bound to be cheating. It was as if I didn’t really care – but the whole time my heart was broken, and with each failed attempted I felt more hopeless.  That coupled with the clinical depression meant I just kept getting bigger, heavier and more unhealthy. My unhappiness and hatred of myself just made it all the more harder to get going and get motivated.

The turning point was my visit to Solar Springs with my mum for the weekend in 2011. I booked the weekend as a gift for her, to thank her for all the support she gives me with my children, especially before and after school. I just went along for the ride. But the weekend of healthy eating, some exercise and a little pampering had a big impact on me. Instead of all the negative feelings – I was feeling positive about myself. I did enjoy eating clean, healthy and natural food. I did enjoy exercise, and the endorphin rush that came with it, and just because I was 160kgs didn’t mean I couldn’t exercise. The trainers in the small group sessions emphasised working at your own ability and how you could replicate what we were doing at home. And, maybe most importantly, the pampering (hot stone massage, facial, hydrotherapy bath) made me realise I was worthy of being looked after – even by myself!

So my motivation sprang from there – from a very positive experience. Instead of feeling bad about myself and wishing I could wave a magic wand and start my life over, I began to feel good about myself. And I had a goal which was achievable and easily measurable.  When you go to have your spa treatments, you wear a bathrobe supplied by Solar Springs.  You are meant to slip it on and then wait in the lounge area for the therapist to come and collect you for your treatment.  Well, at 160kgs, the edges of the bathrobe were more than thirty centimetres too far apart for me to wear in a public area. So I went along to the treatments in my track suit pants and tshirt, not very glamorous at all.  So I decided when I returned in 2012 I was going to be able to fit into the bathrobe, and maybe be able to wear it in the lounge while waiting for my treatments. I had a positive goal to strive for – great motivation – as opposed to something negative about myself to run away from.

Then in August, after having shed five kilograms in three months, I decided to join 12wbt for Round 3 2011.  I figured if anyone can motivate me Michelle Bridges can. Hmmmmmm. Except she doesn’t believe we should rely on motivation to be successful. I was confused at first, I spent nine years as a WW leader motivating my members to want to lose weight.  Or did I?  The first nine weeks of following 12wbt principles saw me lose over 14kgs, and learn a lot more about weight loss, nutrition, exercise and motivation than those nine years of being a WW leader.

Since August my motivation comes from the thinking and action I take as part of the preseason tasks – the preseason tasks I do every round.  The preseason tasks I revisit when I need some “motivational magic”. My success on the 12wbt program – just over 45kgs in ten months – also helps keeps me motivated.

Last week ou task was to come up with an inspiration board.  I suffered badly with “paralysis by analysis” the whole week.  I kept procrastinating about what I should include, what colours should predominate, how many images I should have, how many quotes. And the really silly thing was that I was planning on making a digital inspiration board – so I could have very easily played around with all those aspects until I was happy.  But instead, at 5pm last Saturday, I got serious about putting something together.  A big lesson in how trying to be perfect never pays off.

So it’s not the best inspiration board ever – but I think it shows well what motivates me at this point in time.

I want to be fitter, stronger and healthier every week. I want to prove to myself that nothing I want is impossible. I want to stop beating myself because I make a mistake or if I am not perfect.  I want to be able to do a burpee successfully. I want to take at least half an hour off my 2011 City2Surf time in 2012, and fundraise for the Black Dog Institute in the process.  I want to learn to ride a bike. I want to ride a bike on Rottnest Island when Mr G and I visit there on our second honeymoon after the Perth Finale.  I want to enter a Triathlon, and finish the event. I want to enter the Gold Coast half marathon in 2013.  I want to enjoy summer with my family. And I want to wear a fabulous frock to the Perth Finale, which I haven’t had to buy from the Myer Plus Size department.

I want to be the best version of me.

And when that doesn’t motivate me at 5am when the alarm goes off,  I don’t lie in bed waiting to feel motivated. Instead I do what Mish tells me to do.

12wbt Blogging Challenge – Week 2 – Exercise

It’s hard to believe right now that a little over a year ago I avoided any sort of exercise, pretty much as if I was allergic to it.  Thanks goodness for my visit to Solar Springs last year. First thing Saturday morning I ventured into the gym – and hopped on the treadmill, the cross-trainer and rower.  Before I knew it I had a red face, a heart that was beating noticeably, sweaty skin and laboured breathing. But I felt fantastic!

Now, a year later exercise is an important part of my life.

At 6am I hit the gym from Monday to Thursday.  I do BodyPump or RPM. I really enjoy both classes.  Monday nights I go to a Zumba class – that’s a whole lot of fun and a great calorie burner.

Friday is my rest day – just as important as the other six training days.

Saturday is my SSS. I usually begin with weight training in the gym, then cardio in the gym and finish up with a Sh’Bam class.

Sunday is an RPM and BodyBalance class double.  Unless I’m doing a fun run in the city – in which case I will try to get to Pain in the Domain and/or Pain in the Park with Amanda Cole and the Sydneysiders.

And, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays I also squeeze in thirty minutes of c25k training.

One thing I tried last round which I never thought I would was boxing.  I just love it and wish there were more days in the week so I could add it into my regular schedule.

I have also been inspired by Lisa and Jayne to want to give Crossfit a go.  There is even Crossfit box a few kilometres from where I work, but at this point in time I don’t know how I’d fit it in on a regular basis. But who knows what the future will hold.

There is also a Bikram Yoga studio open now in the north-western suburbs of Sydney – I’d love to try that too.

And of course, this October I’d like to be able to enter the Triathlon Pink short course.  The only reason I haven’t signed up yet is because the furthest I have ridden a bike without assistance is about three metres. I am going to do my best to be ready to take it on in October.

And of course I’ll be hitting the Giant Staircase again in July. Looking forward to being red faced, sweaty and out of breath that day.

Happier and healthier – without a doubt!

Its pretty hard for me to believe that this time last year I weighed 160kgs, and probably more importantly, felt I was never going to get below 100kgs.  Some people who are morbidly obese will tell you they are healthy and totally happy with their lives.  That may well be so, I only know what it was like for me when I was morbidly obese.

It wasn’t fun. And I wasn’t totally happy with my life. And I know I wasn’t healthy.

At 160kgs I was

* morbidly obese – look up the word morbid in a dictionary, and then tell me that’s healthy.  It’s synonyms are “unhealthy – diseased – unsound – ill -sickly”.

* unable to bend down and tie my own shoelaces

* unable to paint my own toenails

* out of breath walking up the staircase in my house.

* having a very *limited* choice when going shopping for clothes.

* always dreading the moment my family were given abooth to sit at in a restaurant.

Thank goodness I signed up for the 12wbt last August, and as I did, became determined to ensure it was going to work. It has been a bumpy journey at times, and as it has made me examine why I made the choices I did and why I continue to make the excuses I do (but I’m pleased to say there are significantly less of those) it moves me right out of my comfort zone. So at times it is hard work. But I have never regretted my decsion, and I know for sure I never will.

Last week I gained 0.2kgs – it was week one of the lastest round so I pouted a little, put the scales away and just got on with it.  I knew I had done the work that would have justified a decent loss, but logically, I also know the scales may not show that at the precise moment I step on them that effort for many reasons. I was so tempted to hop on again during the week. But I resisted, because I know the best thing to do is hop on just once a week.

And I was glad I stayed positive and didn’t let the scales dictate my mood. This morning I got on and I was down 5.9kgs. Yes that’s right – almost 6kgs. I don’t see it as a one week loss though – I really see it as a loss over two weeks.

So that now takes me to 110.7kgs.

At 110.7kgs I am

* categorised as obese – not severely obese or morbidly obese – just obese.

* I can stand on one leg to put on a sock (though I do prefer to sit down).

* I can paint my own toenails.

* I can exercise for  two hours and fifteen minutes in a SSS, burn 1655 calories and not feel totally exhausted.

* on the verge of being able to shop anywhere I like for my clothes, and take advantage of great bargains.

* not worried about where my family is seated in a restaurant.

This morning’s weigh in means I have now lost more then 50kgs.

It means I am only 3.8kgs away from having less than 30kgs to lose to get to my goal.

I am in tears now (happy ones I think) because I realise there really is light at the end of the tunnel for me and there is no need to doubt myself anymore.

Now I know I’ve made a difference

I can hardly believe two weeks have gone past since I was in Melbourne for the finale and I last wrote a blog post. The last two weeks have been a whirlwind (last weekend mum and I went back to Solar Springs – and I’ve got so much to say about that alone) along with being a busy time at school for a teacher.

So I haven’t been lying on the couch and eating for the last two weeks.  I’ve been working on the preseason tasks and making sure I get to the gym every morning at 6am. I did miss the 6am class at the gym this Wednesday – as Master G was very sick and I was the designated parent to look after him, though I did go and do a Sh’Bam class that night instead and really smashed some calories.

The next round is about to start on Monday – and the preseason tasks are just about done and dusted.  Just because this is my third round doesn’t mean they are any less important to my success over the next twelve weeks.  I am so excited about what the next twelve weeks will bring.

I’m looking forward to
* a getting to know you lunch with my local 12wbt group – and doing lots of other great things with the group over the twelve weeks.

* hitting the Giant Staircase again – yes I did it in April after saying never again in January during my first attempt.

* learning to ride a bike.

* doing the City2Surf in August with much better fitness – and doing my up most to j0g at least half of the course.

* going to Perth for the next finale.

And there is so much more I’ll be blogging about over the next twelve weeks, as well as the posts about Solar Springs and my time in Melbourne – complete with pictures.

And how do I know for sure I’ve made a difference?

When I was 165kgs I simply couldn’t get up off the lounge after a hectic night watching TV.  In fact I dreaded the moment when Mr G would switch off the TV, because it meant I had to do an impossible task next.  Each night Mr G  had to help me get up off our lounge.  He always smiled and never said anything to make me feel bad – but I always felt so pathetic that my life had spiraled so far out of control.

Two weeks ago in Melbourne I was with another three 12wbt members who very kindly gave Mr G and I a lift to the workout so we wouldn’t have to navigate the public transport from the CBD to St Kilda.  When we arrived it was still a while before the shenanigans were due to start, and it was drizzling – so we headed over to a coffee shop.  We sat on a couple of lounge chairs to drink and chat. The lounge I was sitting on was about 30cm off the floor, and when it was time to leave I just stood up, with out using my hands and without Mr G counting to three and pulling me up. I almost cried when I realised what I was now able to do – because of course I’ve been capable of getting up off low furniture for quite some months – but in front of other people who understood I was very aware of what I proved I could do. And to think I used to avoid sitting on low furniture in public!

I am now 116.4kgs – and I’m over half way to my goal of 77kgs. Not that I’m counting. 😉

Bring on Round 2 2012!

Really can’t wait for this round to start – but so glad this wasn’t week 1…..

Hi my name is Leonie and I have been a primary school teacher since 1988.  The first week of school always sees me exhausted and ready to fall asleep not much after 8pm.  This picture gives you an idea of how I felt at the end of each day this week.  And will go some way to explain why I haven’t updated this blog all week, and why I haven’t even tweeted.

My energy seemed to return yesterday afternoon.  And as I was driving home from work I thought – thank goodness that this isn’t week 1 of 12wbt – or I would have failed week 1 of 12wbt.

When I caught myself thinking that I thought no – what a negative mindset full of excuses.

So instead I thought about what I had done this last week that had been good, and, what can I do next time this happens to ensure the week is better.

Firstly, even though I was thinking I’m a failure, I realised that wasn’t exactly right.  I had kept up with the nutrition, stuck to 1200 calories and the only bit of non-clean eating was a cupcake from the batch my class made yesterday as a maths lesson.  I enjoyed it, I didn’t feel guilty and I allowed for the calories.

I had made the 6am pump class on Monday, 6am RPM + swim on Tuesday, c25K run on Tuesday and first yoga class on Wednesday.  I had planned to have Friday as a rest day, so really only missed one day of training – 6am pump on Thursday.  (Though I also had planned to go to evening Zumba on Tuesday, RPM + swim at 6am Wednesday and c25k on Thursday – but they are all over and above the beginners workout plan – so I knew there was no point beating myself up over not doing them.)

So, given those two set of facts about my training and eating it certainly wasn’t an epic fail by any means!

So what would I do differently if something threatened to interrupt my training and eating again?

1. Pack my bag for the gym (including work clothes for the next day) and prepare my food (breakfast and lunch) for the next day before dinner.  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday there was no hope of me getting to the gym by 5.55am becuase I hadn’t done these things before crashing asleep at 8pm.

2. If you don’t have time, or perceived energy for a planned workout – do something for ten minutes.  That is, JFDI and apply the 10 minute rule!  For example, when I felt so exhausted Wednesday morning and couldn’t face the gym, I know now I should have just walked on the treadmill at home for ten minutes or done the warm up and cool down of one of Mish’s videos.

And what did I do this week that helped that I should continue to do?

1. Plan my weeks meals in advance.  Shop, and order fruit and veg online, in advance so dinner is ready to cook each night – and I can give the recipe to Mr G and say go for it.

2. Accept compliments that I am looking better – and know that there is a bigger picture to think about, not just that a few days are a little hard.

So today?

First, hopefully meeting Michelle Bridges at a book signing.

Second, preseason tasks 5 and 6 to be completed.

Third, clean up kitchen and do a cook and freeze session.

Fourth, exercise DVD and c25k on treadmill at home. (SSS tomorrow)

I have to remember I am not going to succeed because I am being perfect.  I am going to succeed because I am consistent.

What are you going to do today to set yourself up for success?

Preseason Task 3 Set Your Goals

My ultimate goal, and reason for signing up for the 12wbt in August 2011 is to be 77kgs again, which is about 7kgs under the top of a healthy BMI for my height.  When I achieve that I will be a “comfortable” size 12 again.  As I write this I am 130.9kgs and a size 20/22ish.  So I have to be careful that I am not overwhelmed by the task ahead of me.

Starting this journey in August 2011 I was 155kgs and a “comfortable” size 26.  At my heaviest I was a 165kgs and a barely fitting into size 26.  So, how does one go from my starting point to where I want to be?  Its simple.  By breaking it down into manageable steps and focusing on the things I am in control of – that is, my behaviour, and not worrying about numbers on the scales and clothing tags.  If I care about my health, change my behaviour to demonstrate that I do care about my health and well being than the numbers will happen.

This is a computer simulation of what I look like now at 130kgs.

Right now I have started the c25k program and have completed a whole two days.  I can barely swim one 25m lap of a pool.  I can do these pathetic push ups from the knees but my nose gets no where near the ground. My core strength is better and I can do some more advanced forms of sit ups and hold a plank without shaking from the knees.  I can do a 1km time trial in about ten and a half minutes.  I can not ride a bicycle, but I desperately want to learn, and have a lovely friend who is willing to teach me.

My goals for the 18th March 2012 are to:

1. Run for 3.22kms (2 miles) without stopping.

2. Start swimming three times a week and sign up for stroke correction classes.

3. Have had my first lesson in riding a bike.

4. Weigh 117kgs.

My goals for the 29th April 2012 are to:

1. Run for 8km without stopping.

2. Be able to swim half the distance of the short course of the 2012 Triathlon Pink without stopping.

3. Be able to ride a lap of the 5km Regatta Centre – stopping allowed 😉

4. Weigh 101kgs.

5. Finish the round 0f 12wbt at the intermediate level of training.

My goals for the end of September 2012 are to:

1. Run 14km without stopping.

2. Be able to swim the full distance of the short course of the 2012 Triathlon Pink without stopping.

3. Be able to ride the full distance of the short course of the 2012 Triathlon Pink without stopping.

4. Weigh about 85kgs.

5. Training at the intermediate to advanced level with 12wbt.

My goals for the end of December 2012 are to:

1. Be training for a half marathon in 2013.

2. Training for a slightly longer course in a Triathlon.

3. Riding a bike for fun with my family.

4. Weigh 77kgs.

5. Training at the advanced level on the 12wbt program and signing up to do a round of Lean & Fit.

I will be healthier and happier.

More determined than ever.

Stronger in mind and body.

Is it going to be easy? No, I am going to have to work hard and do everything Michelle Bridges says I should do in order to achieve these goals.

Is it going to be worth it?

What do you think? 😉

By saying no thanks, I’m saying yes to something far more valuable

One aspect of the 12wbt program I really like is that it challenges us to think about the choices we make and how they contribute to our health.  Its not just about numbers on the scales each Wednesday morning.

At the beginning of Round 3 2011, I made the choice to cut out alcohol, caffeine, chocolate and diet soft drinks.

I remember clearly having my last alcoholic drink on the Saturday night before Week 1 began.  My agreement with myself was to give it up for just the twelve weeks.  And I’m pleased to say I did it, I lasted the 12 weeks, and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be.  And the really good thing about giving it up completely for those 12 weeks is that since the end of round 3 (apart from the Finale Party), I have indulged in true moderation.  I decide how much I’m going to have before I pour the wine – and I stick to it.  So giving up for 12 weeks worked for me.  I have already decided on the 13th February 2012 I will say no to alcohol for another 12 weeks.

But the chocolate, caffeine and diet soft drinks?

Gave in on the coffee within the first couple of days.  But I’m happy to say that I reduced the number of skim cappuccinos I had every week and generally when I bought one it was a small size.  I started drinking a lot more green tea and dandelion tea.  I’ve decided I’m happy with that level of consumption and will continue with how I went last round.

Chocolate – I think I may have lasted 10 days.  I tried to give myself  calorie controlled portions – but it was so hard.  Its so hard for me to stop once I start.  And the “trick” to have Dark Chocolate instead, because it’s more intense and you don’t want as much?  Doesn’t work for me – I can inhale it the same way I inhale milk chocolate.  I’m still not sure what to do about chocolate this round.  Have to think about it.

And diet soft drinks – I may have lasted two weeks if I was lucky before I picked up that habit again.  There’s a few reasons I want to stop drinking diet soft drinks altogether, but there is one really important one. It comes down to helping my weight loss efforts.  I find that instead of helping to satisfy a sweet craving, the diet soft drinks actually make my sweet cravings worse.  And that leads to me blowing my calories or just feeling plain deprived.

So I made the decision on 27/12/11 to go cold turkey on the diet soft drinks.  For good.  The ticker on the right will show you how many days its been so far.  Its now the 11/1/12 and I realised yesterday that I don’t have the sweet cravings anymore.  It may not be the right choice for everyone, but I know for sure it’s the right choice for me.  It helps that I’ve always liked sparkling mineral water – I used to be a big fan of Taurina Spa mineral water in the 1980s.

We are all individuals, and what works for one person may not work for everyone.  So the question is – not whether you are going to give up alcohol, caffeine, chocolate or diet soft drinks for 12 weeks or for good.  The question you have to ask yourself, is what change, or changes, am I going to make to be a healthier version of me?

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