The perfect week that wasn’t perfect

Last week I wrote about wanting the perfect week, WLC style anyway, and the week that followed was far from perfect. It went well for around 4 days, the rest not so good.

Like I said it started well, I was racking up the perfect scores for a few days and then something happened, I started to care less about it and I drifted in to bad habits as a stressful, busy and emotional week took hold once again. Today (Monday) I feel cross with myself. We are nearly half way through the challenge and I don’t feel like I’ve made any progress with my weight. I’m pretty sure I’m maintaining, I’m not gaining, clothes fit fine and things aren’t too bad in the bloating area but I should be losing and my score reflects the reason why. I’m dropping nutrition points left right and centre which can’t continue but I think my reasons are different from usual but there are themes.

Largely I’m starting to develop a different attitude to my life and its changed beyond recognition in recent years, I’m adjusting to my new body, I’m fitting in to smaller clothes and I’m enjoying the life I’m building for myself and my family. I’m enjoying life even though I have countless things happening which cause ongoing stress.

 

Someone quite wise told me that I can’t keep going in every direction at 100 mph, I have to give myself some time to adjust, understand and find my way in one direction, it’s imperative now that I don’t get lost and have to walk over the same ground all over again. I want to enjoy my life and the never ending pressure to lose weight (that I put on myself more than anything) doesn’t help me enjoy my life. I actually found myself in tears earlier today talking about how worried I was that I’d not be able to workout enough and concentrate on my food enough to lose weight while in the busiest few months of the year (Oct – Dec) and next year when I know there will be a considerable further upheaval. I need to change how I’m thinking about these things and I’m starting to but it means that lots of other things are going to have to change and the wheels are starting to turn for that to happen.

I’m undergoing some therapy at the moment to sort out some things that happened in the past, its a kind of trauma based therapy and it is kicking up some dust in my brain, it’s quite confronting at times. It leaves me exhausted afterwards. I am trying not to use food to prop me up during that after shock but it’s hard, I wont lie. It’s been a comfort and a habit for a long time and I’m trying to direct my energy elsewhere. One thing that it’s thrown up is my value of myself. In so many ways its massively improved from what it was. I didn’t realise quite how bad it still was until things that I didn’t even realise were a reflection of my self worth until I started being challenged by an outsider.

 

So things will be changing, I really have to allow for what I need now and not what I want. Thats a shift in focus for me, I’ve always chased what I’ve wanted, what I need to do right now is really think about my needs and meet them fully. Thats my focus for this week.

The Perfect Score

I said last week that this week I was setting myself a pretty lofty goal and I debated whether or not to share it with you because a) I don’t want to fail and have to bear that out on here and b) I didn’t know how responsible it was to share what is essentially an unrealistic goal. I’ve talked a lot about perfectionism and this is one of those times but I feel like, for once, I have a solid argument to back that up!

I set myself the goal that from Saturday to Saturday that I would get the perfect score on the whole life challenge. Every.Single.Day.

To explain, to get a perfect score I will need to:

  • Drink around 2l of water a day
  • Take my supplement
  • Follow the lifestyle challenge (this week it’s: to make to do lists in a certain way)
  • Stretch every day (this has been a yoga routine for me)
  • Workout
  • Write a daily reflection

All that as well as not lose any points on nutrition. Every day I start the day with 5 points for nutrition, everytime I eat something that is not concordant with my chosen eating plan (lifestyle in my case) I lose a point. So far in the challenge this has been my biggest bit but I’m hoping that by really focussing myself for a whole week I’m going to get myself through the cravings and the stupid wants and really feel that sense of achievement that comes from knowing I’ve done a good job at the challenge.

So far this week I’m achieving my goal and it’s not been too much of a struggle, time management has been important and just doing the workout even when I don’t want to!

It doesn’t mean I’ve been hitting the gym to slaughter myself every day, I’ve planned my gym use and workouts carefully so that it all is manageable and sustainable, I’ve been stretching like crazy to avoid the dreaded DOMS and I’ve been putting to work some PMA. Thats Positive Mental Attitude rather than Pre Manageable Ambling or Post Movement Avenging or Polite Manhandling of Asses, ahem, well you get the idea. Fitting in a workout sometimes means Jillian Michaels in my living room or a quick run outside.

Hitting the goals has been straight forward because thats how I run my days anyway! I always have a list on the go so it’s the only way to organise all the balls I’m juggling. I found the weekend fairly straightforward for food, it felt like something clicked when I made this commitment to myself and I didn’t crave the junk anymore. It was great! It’s more of a struggle when i’m out and about but I’ve been planning well, preparing well and loving the choices we are making.

How do you guys stay planned and productive? Do you make lists? Set reminders? 

 

Healthy?

Healthy is one of the most subjective phrases in blogging I think I’ve ever seen, what I may consider healthy has evolved over the years from following a well known diet club plan to Paleo, to a medium place which feels good for me but I find hard to manage. I see bloggers post “Look at this healthy XYZ” food and I think hang on, that’s entirely what “It starts with food” describes as “Sex with your pants on”, it may be made with oats and almond butter and maple syrup but it’s still a dessert, still a sugar fix, it’s not promoting good health it’s helping you make less unhealthy unhealthy choices. I try and be careful about this although I’m sure in the past I’ve failed, I’ve educated myself more since then. If you put “Healthy” in to Pinterest you get all manner of things I’d never consider healthy!

It is harm. Not just physical harm but it plays on my mind afterwards for some time, I get the need to check what the calorie intake was, I punch the numbers in to myfitnesspal to see what the “damage” is. It’s a challenging time after to get myself in the mindset that I’ve not ruined the whole day so I might as well keep going. And you know, this:

Food is a struggle. Eating a salad in a restaurant feels like a waste of going to a restaurant! I’m loathed to do it but its going to have to be the way because every day is real and counts towards my goals and every day will make a difference to or away from them. There are so many things I want to do with my life, I feel like I have an exciting future, I don’t hate myself or my body anymore, so I have to fire up some other way and what I see now is that my body doesn’t reflect who I am and that frustrates me, it shows who I was, what I was trapped in but not what I am now and so for that reason I need it to change. For the most part I don’t feel like a giant monster anymore but sometimes I do get bogged down in my appearance and how this compares with my colleagues and friends, of course I do, but its not my driver anymore, I’m no longer punishing my body with the gym I’m feeding it, Im a much more gentle person now and much more kind to myself and thats a positive thing, I’ve allowed myself to become much more vulnerable and gentle.

I’m going to be setting myself some very ambitious targets next week, some people may not agree thats healthy, but I’m hoping they will allow me to focus myself fully on what lies ahead and find a more middle ground for the long term. It’s something I want to prove to myself that I can do. If I fall down I’ll deal with that along the way but its just one week and it will set me up for many weeks after that. The cravings are going to happen and thats ok. I’m not a failure for having them (as I’ve sometimes felt I was) but it’s not problems that maketh the man it’s how they deal with them.

I’ve decided not to weigh in until the end of the challenge, again people may decided it’s healthier for them to weigh in daily or weekly, I decided that I would rather focus on my habits than the end result, I’ll know if weight is going on or off, I can feel and see it in my body now, it’s intuitive, so I’ll be happy to see a focus on habits rather than outcomes and its far more where my mindset is leading me, it seems a healthy place for me to be.

The WLC Challenge

Well the Whole Life Challenge is well underway and while it’s had some technical challenges I’ve had some personal challenges of my own to deal with!

Its been a tough few weeks with my personal life being turbulent and needing to spend a considerable amount of time helping my 7 year old adjust to the changes in his life, everything else has taken a back seat (including blogging as I’m sure you’ve noticed) but what it has done has provided me a chance to review my life and really think about what I’m getting from it and what I really want. It’s changed dramatically over the past year or so from what I thought it was.

I started the challenge on Saturday already knowing that my food choices for the day were out of my hands, 5 points lost (if you want to see how it works check out here but you basically start the day with 5 points for nutrition, stay on plan you end the day with 5 points, get off track and you lose points). Sunday we started out fantastically but ended the day after unplanned massive drive losing a further 3 points and not managing to get a workout done.

The beginning of this week I’ve managed to do everything but get my diet on track. Same old story I know. It frustrates me no end because in my head I’m screaming just put it down but actually its as simple or as hard as I make it and I have to start making it simple for myself.

I don’t eat those things right now. Thats just how it is.

Whatever I do though I’ve been honest and I’ve been completely upfront about my failings on the challenge. I hope that I can start to acknowledge and turn a corner now things should be settling down a bit.

I told myself today that I was going to get all 5 points and I’ve dropped one on a drink. I’ll take that. I’m off to the gym now with my man to sweat out some of my feelings from the previous week and try and get myself into a routine.

(Oh and the very observant will notice my new twitter handle! @BeccaRocksLife – come say hi!) 

What’s Been Going On

Well theres been some personal stresses recently, coaching my son through a difficult part of his life has been both heartbreaking and a test of patience and resolve. Add to that the feeling of failure that my summer plans kinda fell apart and I’ve been pushing since last week to get myself back on track properly. I’m pleased to report it seems to be going ok, theres been some ups and downs but I’m happy with how its gone so far. I hope to be heading back to work on the 17th at least having maintained my weight over the summer (in reality it’s spiked and I’ve fought it down again but moving on….) .

We went to an amazing Pickle Shack pop up at the Real McCoy in Exeter, sat under sparkly lights outside a vintage cafe with music and a pop up bar was ace and the food even better! Tapas served over a few hours in the late summer warmth was so much fun and the cocktails were amazing. We took my best friend and her husband along for the ride too so fun all round.

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What have I been up to though? I’ve been owning the gym in preparation for the Whole Life Challenge which starts September 13th. You still have time to join, you can read all about it via Ayesha’s WLC blog and sign up there too. I’m really excited about it and will blog separately about it later this week.

I made these amazing truffles, but learnt very quickly that they can’t be in the house, lots and lots eaten later and I’m waaaay over my calorie count for the day even with a workout! They’ve got my brain whirring though about my Christmas menu which in turn got me so excited for my first Christmas as a family with Olly and Charlie by my side.

 A “Clean” Christmas is on the cards for sure and I’m so looking forward to being inventive and experimental over Christmas and making treats that aren’t going to destroy the years work! While I may have given up my big weight loss goal this year I still have one, to reach my lowest weight by the end of the year. I think secretly I’d like to see wonderland but I’m actually somewhat scared of not being able to do it. I’ve been wandering around the 70 lbs lost mark for a long time, I get there more or less but I can never seem to make it stick. This has been a pattern throughout my weight loss journey, with the big round numbers being tricky to break through.

Sorry I know Christmas talk in September is a bit much but I’m excited about it ! Moving back to the present day we’ve been lucky enough to have a few days of beautiful weather, sunshine, warmth and hazy September summer, its been beautiful from sunrise to sunset.

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Theres still lots of fun to be had this year it seems and heading into my favourite time of year I couldn’t feel more positive about my future.

Whats been happening for you? Are you excited about Christmas yet or do you have your fingers in your ears!? 

{Review} Nuband Activity Tracker

I recently got given the chance  to try out a Nuband activity tracker and I jumped at the chance after seeing the cost was only £49.99 making it competitive in the marketplace for trackers right now.

The Nuband looks tidy and is comfy to wear, I wore it for two weeks straight and didn’t notice it really. I have medium wrists and it fit me comfortably with a little bit of give around the outside. The silver cap covers a connector which plugs in to your smart phone in order to sync the device. From the associated app you can set your Nuband to vibrate every 30 minutes of sedentary behaviour to remind you to move, plus you can set up alarms to wake you up in the morning (without disturbing your partner) for that early morning workout.

You sync through the Keep Fit app which is free to download and you can share directly after the sync, it tells you your active time, how many steps you’ve done, how far you’ve travelled, etc, you’ll get reports after 7 days, allowing you to try and beat your weekly target week on week, and you can see up to 28 days of data on the app.

The Nuband fully charged lasts for around 10 days of average activity. The sleep mode allows you to track how well you sleep at night and review how many hours quality sleep you’re getting.

So all of that sounds ace. I have a few niggles with it though. Once the alarm went off it was random the amount of taps which would turn it off again. The sleep mode is activated and deactivated by tapping on the device and again this could sometimes be hit and miss. My biggest issue was the accuracy. I tested it on a treadmill and outdoors and neither times did it match the distance travelled or the steps measured by my clip on fitbit. It is a general complaint of all wrist based pedometers that they tend to log more steps than their clip on contemporaries as they tend to log “steps” from arm movements.

So the Nuband didn’t get me to change from Fitbit but the price tag makes it super affordable and accessible for a number of people and it could set them off on a journey of improvement for them.

*** I was provided the Nuband in return for a review, I always write honest reviews and the companies never ask me to say anything in particular about their product ***