I am in the process of eating the most glorious vegetable chilli for lunch on the first day of my quest to a healthier body. It’s hot, tangy and filling – a pleasure to cook because of all the wonderful smells & colours – as well as being extremely tasty …
I have learnt over the past year that self-care is of paramount importance to me and those around me. It’s one of the ‘Damsels In Success’ values, in the form of the mantra “Fill yourself up First”
My problem is that I have concentrated on the self-care for my mind & spirit – neglecting my physical being in the process.
As a knee-jerk reaction to the end of a 20 years relationship where my eating lifestyle was controlled by another, I decided that I could keep myself happy by eating what I pleased – without having to answer to anyone. It’s been fun, indulgent, freeing. Lots of chocolate, alcohol, fried foods and unhealthy Carbs.
Trouble is, I’ve put on about 6 stone over the past 6 years. That’s not good for my health – putting myself at a higher risk level for diabetes and heart problems.
It’s also meant that my lovely clothes no longer fit me – and I have robbed myself of the fun of dressing up smartly and feeling sexy. Even though I know that someone’s personality is more important than what they look like – I am not looking after myself or being the best that I can be. When I don’t feel sexy and attractive, it impacts on how my relationship feels and how my confidence levels ebb & flow.
When I was at my perfect weight – I felt great – and was perfectly content to live with the fact that my legs were too short and my chest was too small. They were things I couldn’t change. It didn’t matter. I had lots of positives about the way I looked. I looked attractive enough and felt gorgeous.
This is what I am going to return to. Gradually and with determination.
My overall aim is to get down to 12 stone or less. My starting point is 16 stone. It will be done incrementally – so my first aim is to lose a stone by the end of a month from now.
My good friend Christine introduced me to a book called ‘Lose a stone in January’, written by Jaqueline Whitehart, which consists of a food regime that is more like a healthier way of eating than a traditional diet. She has lost 2 stone since the beginning of March by adhering to the 28 day long diet plan and then continuing to follow the principles & practices it encourages.
Lots of fresh, natural ingredients, full-fat versions of dairy products (rather than ones packed with sugar or unnatural additives), green tea & lots of water plus a number of sensible processes to aid a healthy lifestyle – such as not eating after a certain time at night and a healthy sleep regime.
I’m going to step up my exercise as well – but nothing too challenging. More brisk walking, one swim per week, some bike riding and lots of dancing around the house. I’m also going to enrol in a weekly Pilates class in the village to help strengthen my core muscles and help my posture.
I have lots of great people around me who are ready to support my quest: my partner and my lovely friends from Damsels in Success. Specifically, I would like to mention Christine, of course (who has found me this brilliant diet to follow and inspired me to commit), my ‘sister in law’ Jo, my dearest friend Katie Meadows and my Damsel’s friend – the gorgeous Kate Sparsi – who are all presently working through a diet programme. I love all of you and know that we can all achieve our goals with inspiration & support from each other.
What I really thought would be a great support aid for me – to enhance my existing support network – would be to set up a journal documenting my dieting progress. A sort of self-accountability back-up plan. This will mean that I am relying on myself as well as my friends. I believe that this process can drive my determination and willpower. It will allow me to exercise my mind and use skills that I have learnt in my self-development journey thus far.
If anybody else reads it and finds it interesting or useful – then that’s great – but it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. The important measure is that it will help me to keep on track – and only time will tell if the process will work for me.
I will aim to journal twice a day. A morning session to preview the challenges ahead and an evening update to celebrate my successes and reflect on the day. I know that the stresses and strains of everyday life will play their part in my journey – and I believe that planning and reflection will serve to keep my journey in perspective, giving me greater strength to achieve my desired outcomes.
One thing that I do know for certain is – My visualisation of what my life will look like when the desired outcomes are reached looks amazing and I REALLY REALLY WANT THAT LIFE.
Something deep inside tells me :
“Amanda – You’re gonna rock this ..!”