The Rise and Plateau of the Fit Fatty

Can anyone else identify with me here; my diet is currently pretty poor (not overall,more the fact I tend to binge on ridiculous crap in the evening) resulting in me being overweight. However on the flip side, I now work out at least every other day and run 10k per week over 2 evenings so I am probably physically fitter and stronger than I have ever been.

I feel good, my mental health is good but no difference on the scales or with the way my clothes fit! This is why I currently identify with, and like the term “fit fatty”. Yes, my body shape is… Bluntly speaking..fat. But I am a lot fitter and stronger than many ladies I know who have a more slender figure, so I feel more confident about my size knowing that, my love of pizza and carbs aside, I am actually pretty healthy otherwise.

I am not naive, I know I need to make more of a conscious effort to say NO to popcorn, massive portions of noodles and take away food especially if I want to see a difference on the scales. And the surgery I require is most likely a direct effect of having a poor diet over the years. Hands up, I need to take more responsibility especially as a mother.

But that doesn’t change that I feel confident, am learning to say ” f**k it” to any negative feelings on my part about my shape and I know that I am myself and not the sum of what others think of me. Also, I can run. 🙂

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Being Here Now

I am going to try my very best to articulate these thoughts into words, so bear with me. Firstly,  I cannot fail to mention my sadness about the horrific events that occurred in Manchester last night.  My heart breaks a little with every story, plea for contact with unaccounted for loved ones and devastating news at those who sadly won’t be going home.

Also, the thing that has made me well up the most is the pride i feel for the fellow humans who have gone above and beyond to provide comfort, food, transport, shelter and love to those affected.

I also cannot imagine how Ariana Grande is feeling having her performance targeted like that. Poor lady.

With that said, the inspiration for tonight’s blog came to me whilst I was meditating following a reluctant dumbell workout (wow how pretentious does that sound?!).  A little while ago I wrote about the difference between being and doing, and how to differentiate between the two in real life. Easier said than done, right? But it led me to think about exercise. It’s no secret I have an ongoing battle with my weight and by proxy physical appearance. I am trying hard to sever the mental link between that and my self worth. One sure fire way to lose weight and generally get healthier is to exercise. Before I have put pressure on myself to do it, because that’s how you lose weight (as well as eating right). However since I have made a habit of it, I am enjoying working out for the sake of working out. 
Forget whatever goals I have of one day feeling like it might be acceptable to wear a bikini in front of other people (not that I intend to, just feeling like I can); that would be acceptable bonus acceptable nd not the be all and end all. I LIKE  the workouts I am doing. I LIKE  the lady that does them. And as a bonus, I like the positive difference it makes to my frame of mind. And with no defined goal, it makes it feel a lot more relaxed!
Summary: Do it because you like it and do what has to be done.
Second point from that: meditation. I recall reading several times not to meditate to achieve enlightenment,  sleep, relaxation or any other profound experience other than to perform the act itself and spend some time purely in the moment.  It made me think that I am not lost in meditation, which seems to be quite a popular hippy outsider concept ( for want of a better definition) but through mindfulness practice I am HERE in meditation. 

Despite my amateur ramblings, I feel this demonstrates to myself that I am really getting the concept of living mindfully and the attitudes  I’m beginning to adapt naturally reflect that. 
There, that feels better! Now to enjoy the rest of my bath and hopefully the baby will sleep through the night 🙂

I think it’s working :-)

Wow, what a difference in how I am feeling and behaving!

Argh I’m going to sound a little bit preachy now; believe me that is not the intention I just want to share how helpful I’m finding keeping a bullet journal.  It’s like a paper PA that has seen a massive increase in my own personal productivity in the week that I’ve been keeping it.  Like paying outstanding invoices promptly, signing up for things, working out, meditating and being more aware of what I’m eating.

 

I love being able to set daily goals for myself and the satisfaction of crossing off each task as I complete it.  In addition, because I have been able to keep better track of it I have been meditating almost every day (only times I didn’t were after an evening of drinking – not really the best frame of mind for me to sit still!) and working out at least every other day.

 

I really like doing kettle bell workout videos on YouTube.  As husband does kung fu, he finds it helpful as well to do between classes and I love that it’s something we can enjoy together.  As the videos range from 15 mins to 30 mins I find myself sometimes doing a couple a night, it’s getting addictive!  I am pleased with past me for picking up a couple of kettle bells from Aldi when they were on offer a while ago, will definitely be looking to purchase another soon with a heavier weight.  I haven’t noticed any difference in my weight/body shape yet but it’s only been a week and I am enjoying the fact that I have made a commitment to myself and am sticking to it more than anything else at the moment.

 

I also found out that my surgey will be on 2nd July.  I’m scared – not going to lie – and to be honest the worst bit will probably be when they cannulate me!  But I plan to use the techniques I have learned through CBT and mindfulness to try and make it as least stressful experience as possible.  Plus husband has 2 weeks off work so I know the boys and my mum (who I work with) are going to be OK.

The mindfulness meditations I have been doing have made me feel overall calmer; in particular when dealing with children who refuse to sleep/settle/not sleep through the night and also feel more positive despite the resulting lack of sleep.

I have been trying to do the loving kindness meditation over the last 7 days but to be honest, I’m having trouble getting into it as much as those that focus more on the breath/body so will be trying that kind this evening.  So yeah, it’s nice to have something positive to talk about!

I also managed another period of the boys playing with balloons… husband even blew another one up (sneaky man!) and was releasing it much to the boys’ delight.  I feel like I cheated a bit as it was mainly whilst I was in the kitchen preparing dinner but this for me is progress, and I kept popping my head into the living room to see what they were up to.

 

Definitely feeling a lot better than I did a year ago.  Give meditation and mindfulness a try, I’m still very much a beginner but already feeling the benefits!

Kettle bells and plans for the future.

Since my last post, I have generally been feeling a lot happier and brighter. Husband is embarking on his dream of starting a PhD in October, and my own academic aspirations look to be partly fulfilled next September as I am hoping to start my MSc in Psychology!  It will be difficult both mentally and financially, with the added challenge of two small children but we want to do it so much so I will be sharing that journey here no doubt.

In addition, I was in touch with my former undergraduate superisor and my independent study has been accepted for publication in an actual psychology journal! Exciting!
An update on my 32@32: things hadn’t been going so well until Friday just gone when I ran my first 5k in ages. I have also been trying to meditate each day for 10 mins and find it really relaxing. Tonight I did fitness blender (on YouTube)’s 30 minute kettle bell beginner workout and am proud to say I am sat here in my own sweat having successfully completed it and enjoyed it. Definitely ready for a bath though!

I have a wedding to attend in 2 weeks and anothrr in just under 3 weeks. If I want to fit into my planned outfits this needs to continue!

Working the Body and the Mind

This week it appears I have got my mojo back!  Or obtained some mojo from somewhere; either way it’s brilliant and I’m not complaining!  I’ve felt more energised and involved in my work, and have also had the motivation to try out new workout experiences AND meditation the last couple of nights!

I realised that 30 day challenges, although a guaranteed way of getting fit if followed properly, are not for me.  I can’t commit to doing it daily (which isn’t too bad) but I just put too much pressure on myself and so have decided to go my own way rather than follow someone else’s plan.

 

Last night, 6 months after purchasing them, I tried out a 10 minute kettlebell workout on YouTube.  I was amazed how hard I worked in that short time, and was feeling the after effects for most of the day today.  So this evening I decided to try Yoga, thinking it might be a bit more on the relaxing side and maybe do something to relieve my hard-worked muscles.  Again, I searched for a beginner 10 minute video and boy was I wrong… my heart rate was going and some of the moves were quite difficult.  Needless to say it was not the relaxing, gentle experience I was hoping for!  But did I enjoy it?  Yes!  Will definitely be doing more!

 

Since finishing Sons of Anarchy, I definitely feel at a bit of a loss of what to do in the evening.  I am still playing the Witcher 3 after almost a year but I don’t want to spend every night in front of the TV, I want to do things that are going to make me feel good and be good for me in the long run.    And in addition, tonight I decided to undertake a Mindfulness meditation and ask husband very nicely to be on small person alert so I could be uninterrupted, and hopefully not fall asleep.

 

I can totally see why people do this.  It was only short – again 10 mins as I don’t want to overwhelm myself and it’s been a while – but to perform a proper, mindful meditation felt like my mind was having a lovely hot bubble bath with a Lush bath bomb.  I didn’t want it to end, so must be a good sign!  The night is still young, so I might be totally rock n roll and get into my jamas and read my book in bed.

Daily Update

A much better week at Speech and Language group for toddler today, and a very helpful and positive chat with the health visitor.  I have felt generally more energised today, and have remembered to read through my affirmations I posted about yesterday.  Still going with it though!

I am on day 14 of the 30 day full body toned workout challenge.

180 Jumping Jacks DONE (130,50)

135 squats DONE

11 push-ups DONE

75 crunches DONE (managed about 50 or so in a row and then had to have a couple of pauses)

1min 30 plank DONE (1min, 30 secs)

2min 20 wall-sit DONE (over 3 attempts, really felt the burn tonight!)

One of the affirmations I posted about yesterday is “I choose my own goals and my criteria for success in reaching those goals”  My goal is to complete this 30 day challenge, though I know it’s OK if I don’t manage 30 consecutive days.  And I allow myself to complete the exercises in stages, over the course of the day if necessary.  As long as I do the correct amount of exercises for the right amount of time I feel it successful.

I may have mentioned before, when performing any kind of exercise when it gets hard I try a mindful approach, feeling and embracing the pain and difficulty to try and bear it for longer and push myself.  It’s still difficult but definitely noticing a difference, which is why I note down how many attempts it takes me to reach each goal e.g. performing a 1min 30 plank in 2 sittings.

 

Something else I am proud of myself tonight; I watched “The Walking Dead” with no snacks apart from my between-exercise amaretti biscuits. Wow that makes me look like I have some kind of food problem!  Ha!

Yeah, I  was enjoying an amaertti biscuit after every completed exercise.  Makes me feel like I earned them!  So that was today’s update. Still trying to work on “I accept what happens to me without frustration”!

Growing yourself: Mindfulness and Your Potential

I would firstly like to say that a lot of my material I use for study comes from Practical Mindfulness: A Step-By-Step Guide (Ken A.Cerni, Dorking Kindersley 2015).  it’s such a vast, detailed yet easy-to-read book that I have made it the focus of my studies.  it will take a while to get through but it’s important that I take my time.  I have purchased a few other books to read at a more leisurely pace but this is the main one for me.

This afternoon I have been (whilst looking after the children so go me!) looking at the role of Mindfulness and realising one’s potential, living life as fully and a contentedly as circumstances allow.  To me it’s not in itself about being wistful and planning on making massive changes, it’s about living and growing in a way that’s manageable and realistic to now.

The idea is to focus on an authentic reality of my present experience, and detach myself from others’ opinions – a massive thing for me.  So stop wishing, fantasising and focising on what I want/haven’t got.

Be aware of artificial cues for failure or success!

Positive and negative events, e.g. good results vs bad results, can influence our attitudes and expectations. E.g. recently I didn’t do as well as expected in an assessment.  This doesn’t make me bad at what I do, it is a result I got along with information on how to improve.

Our inner dialogue can influence whether we build barriers that prevent us from realising our potential. “Can I see myself…?” is one of the most limiting thoughts we have as we often see ourselves askew.

On my phone, and pictures above, I have typed a list of self-realisation statements to look at frequently and remind myself that I am ME, and not the sum of what others think of me, to remind myself to live in the moment and accept what happens without frustration.

 

As I mentioned earlier, although I follow a main text for my studies here are the books I purchased today.  I’m definitely into my overdraft but I felt it was important to buy them, enjoy them and learn from them.

 

 

Last but not least, my daily fitness challenge targets have been hit!  Which is good because I have put on half a stone in a week.  My food intake has just become ridiculous, so I really need to rein myself in.

Jumping Jacks – 170

Squats – 130

Push-ups – 9

Crunches – 75 (was meant to be 70 but I forgot so did more)

Plank – rest

Wall Sit – 2 minutes

 

This is only day 12.  I’m not even officially half way through yet and it’s only going to get harder!  Again, with the stupid food attitude, I was having an Amaretti biscuit between exercises.  Stupid.  Then had popcorn and chocolate whilst watching “Call the Midwife”.   You’ve probably noticed the flow and style of this blog seems to change a lot – that’s because I’m still finding my own style and I make plans and change them.  I want it to be my own diary as much as sharing info on my mental health development.  Thank you for sharing it with me.

Daily Update 

Seriously…these blog post titles are boring me let alone anyone else but I can’t think of anything more relevant!  

160 jumping jacks: DONE (100, 60)

Squats: REST 

Push-ups: REST 

65 crunches:

1min 30 plank: DONE (30s, 30s, 30s)

2min wall sit:

Making a really healthy chilli for tea tonight. Maybe it will counter the pick n mix sweets I have been scoffing all afternoon? 
As you can see, not all of the exercises were completed for today’s challenge, and I had a lot of sugary snacks whilst watching a film tonight. Not a smart move. Must try better tomorrow! 

(Almost) Daily Update

150 jumping Jacks DONE (130 + 20)

110 squats DONE 

9 Push ups DONE 

60 Crunches DONE (40 + 20)

1 min Plank DONE (50 secs, 10 secs)

1 min 50 Wall sit DONE 

All I can say is TGIF.

And husband seems to have forgotten about balloon exposure. I have not reminded him.

And I am planning another take away.
 I fail at life sometimes..not even any particular reason for it aside from I want it so I am having it. 
I wonder where my boy gets his tendencies from?!

Daily Update

30 day fitness challenge:

140 jumping jacks DONE (actually did 150, 100 then 50)

105 squats DONE 

8 push-ups DONE 

1 min plank DONE 

1min 40sec well-sit DONE 

This morning I took 3 toddlers to playgroup by myself and got through it! One of them had to go for a wee but one of the volunteers came to help so that happened without incident. 

I had a nice breakfast of fat free yoghurt, then went nuts at lunch with a pile of cheese toasties coated in butter as an accompaniment to my otherwise reasonable reduced sugar and salt tomato soup. As I wrote this I am holed up in mum’s bedroom with toddler in his travel cot refusing to nap. Which isn’t a problem iin itself but he has a half hour hearing test this afternoon and I can’t aee it going very well if he’s tired.
Update: hearing test was fine, no problems and he actually behaved pretty well. This suggests his speech and language delay have other sources…hoping HV calls tomorrow or Friday.