Lifetime changes for a long life

I started my journey to lose weight and be as fit as I could for my 50th (2012)!

I’ve used many ways throughout my 7 year membership on the weight loss website I subscribe to, to keep my journey interesting and to learn what works best for me – I am very short (4ft 8″), 56 years old and don’t move very much on account of my disability. I use a wheelchair outside of the house.

One thing that has remained constant throughout is logging everything I eat and weighing out portions. If I have ever stopped doing that for any length of time, the weight starts to creep up again.

I have used 5:2 successfully and done a few rounds of the 8 week Blood Sugar Diet.
I now mostly try to avoid refined carbs (well, limit them!) so rice, pasta, cake, biscuits, pastries and bread (most things containing flour). I eat them occasionally (about once/twice a week, always small portions – 50g dry weight (rice/pasta), always wholewheat and ALWAYS measured). I try to eat alternatives – which on the whole, I now prefer!

I bulk out my meals with lots of vegetables – eat about 4-7 portions a day (home made soup or a salad for lunch, lots of veggies with dinner).

Through choice, I eat just two meals a day, that’s been for the past 2+ years. I eat lunch and dinner. I try to keep my eating to between 12 noon and 6pm. Outside of those times, I do drink tea and coffee and plenty of water. That’s a way that works for me, and I’m happy with this arrangement – not eating breakfast won’t work for everyone though. I used to LOVE breakfast and could never have imagined a few years ago that I’d skip it!

I don’t view exercise as a way to earn additional calories to eat – I use it as a way to remain flexible and independent. I do an hour long stretch and bounce seated routine around 4-7 times a week which lasts around an hour.

I try to do cardio exercise as often as possible, but because of my disability, it’s quite a challenge. For that I walk and run (HIIT) on a special treadmill called an Alter G which is able to support a percentage of my body weight as I walk and run – currently I exercise at 80% of my body weight. I do this for 30 minutes every other week. I’d love to do it weekly, but I need assistance to get into the machine and can only get this support fortnightly.

I keep on going…. as it’s what works for me.

I don’t deny myself anything in terms of food – however, I have changed over the course of my weight loss to eat much more mindfully – considering “Do I really want to eat this?” ahead of eating food that is particularly calorific or not very healthy.

Today I am eating a slice of home made carrot cake that I’ve made – I’ve worked out the calories and I’m going to have a slice as it is DEFINITELY worth it! I’ve sliced and frozen half of the cake (un-iced) in packs of two so that I can enjoy it on other days rather than knowing it’s there and needing to be consumed to stop it going off.

I have reduced the number of times I eat out as it’s impossible for me to stay within my low (1100 calorie) limit by eating out regularly – even if I choose wisely. But to be honest, I am very happy cooking my own meals and eating those, as I know precisely what’s in them – and I love, love LOVE my vegetables.

I rarely get a takeaway (perhaps 1 – 2 times a year – usually at others instigation when I am visiting friends). I used to resent these things, but I now accept and embrace them. I no longer view this as a tortuous journey but more a new way of life

I view my way of eating as keeping myself as healthy as I can in order to minimise the risk of developing middle aged illnesses (diabetes, stroke, heart attack…) and to maintain my mobility and independence.

I don’t judge my success by what others achieve nor do I judge others by the lifestyle they choose – I just try to do the best that I can for myself and in a way that works well for me.

It does help that I have an extremely supportive husband who’s happy to eat the same as I do – even though he doesn’t need to lose weight. He makes sure he does have plenty of little “extras” such as the odd biscuit, doughnut, cheese and crackers, crisps….

I hope this helps other understand that this really is a commitment for life, but it has the ability to change and prolong ones life.

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2 thoughts on “Lifetime changes for a long life

  1. That makes very interesting reading, and I am absolutely amazed by your strength of will. Especially because you have sustained the changes for so long that they have become a lifestyle choice. I have lost 2 stones over the last year due to significantly increased exercise and dietary changes following treatment for a serious disease. I do struggle with calorie counting, but after reading this I think I am approaching it with the wrong mindset, because I am looking at it as a necessity, rather than a lifestyle choice, with the emphasis on choice.

    • I’m glad you found the post helpful. Once one accepts that “this is how it’s got to be” – the journey suddenly becomes much easier.

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