An apology, marathon training and the pitfalls of exercise.

Hello! Long time no post. I have no excuse apart from that I’ve been absorbed in some really good books, and when I get caught in a book world it’s difficult to pull myself out of it! I’ve been reading Wool, Shift and Dust by Hugh Howey, amazing books! But anyway… Sorry!

When I haven’t been off in book land I’ve been training for a marathon! I’m pretty proud to actually be able to say that! I’ve signed myself up for the Edinburgh Marathon on May 31st, and so far so good! The weather hasn’t been great and has resulted in a lot of slow and steady runs in the snow/slush/ice. Can’t complain too much because the runs have so far only been 3 or 4 miles long. Think I’m going to have to get used to my legs feeling permanently tight. I’ll be out running 5 days a week from now until June, scary thought for a couch potato! The hunger that comes with an increase in exercise though, that’s currently a problem.

I’m always hungry! Always! I’ve fallen into some really bad habits since I started running and I really need to snap out of them. I run on an empty stomach or else I get a really sore stitch in my side, and the minute I’m back in the door I’m now heading straight for bread. I pretty much cut bread out of my diet last year and here I am now, eating sandwiches like I can never get enough of them. I really need to find something else to snack on, but it’s like a craving! The other downside of marathon training is that somehow my brain thinks I can eat whatever I want because it will all balance out with the running… But this really doesn’t excuse the amount of cake I’ve eaten lately. I can’t handle this amount of sugar anymore. It’s making me tired and cranky and it IS making me gain weight. No excuses anymore!

Bye bye bad sugars. I already miss you..

Rachel x

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First Weigh-in and New Book Blues

Firstly, hello to all the new Slimming World members! My group was jam-packed full of new members last night as I’m sure most groups are at this time of year! I’m wishing you all a fantastic first week that sets you up for the rest of your journey! Bet you have your book in front of your face almost constantly! After my first class last year I done an Asda shop with my book propped up in the trolley and checked everything I was buying against it, it confused the hell out of me for ages, but you’ll get to grips with it shortly if you haven’t already! And good luck!

I’m not going to lie, I walked into my first class back to Slimming World last night with a sense of trepidation. I ate a horrific amount of crap over Christmas. I won’t confess my sins (or syns, ha!) here but I will say they involved a lot of chocolate. I did a lot of comfort eating over the new year as well (had Uveitis in my left eye and felt super sorry for myself). Basically I was off plan for 4 weeks. I geared myself up for a massive gain, I estimated it to be about 7lbs and decided that no matter the number on the scale I would get back on plan and behave myself – time to face the music.

3lbs gained… 3lbs?! That’s all!? Now, because I’m a target member at Slimming World I’m allowed to be +/-3lbs. My target is 10 stone and I weighed in at 10st 2lbs, so still at target! What the heck!? As I sat there shocked I really started to think about what I had eaten over the holidays. My problem with food was that I binged on it – one biscuit was one packet of biscuits, a packet of crisps was a multibag of crisps and so on, but I’ve spent a year teaching myself not to do that, that moderation is key and even though I let loose at Christmas, I didn’t binge. I did eat a lot of foods that were off plan, but I didn’t eat ’til I was sick. It could have been so much worse.Makes me wonder if anyone else is surprised by how little, or even how much, they gained over Christmas week. Still need to read my new book to find out what this Extra Easy SP plan involves. Which brings me to another topic…

There’s a new book at Slimming World, and while that’s good news because syn values have been updated and they have branded food in the book now, I am honestly gutted. I’m gutted because of my sticker collection. Yes I know, that’s pathetic, but seriously – those stickers became my motivation! I worked hard for those! And now they’re on a book that’s out of date! I could be really petty and ask for new stickers for my new book, but I have 2 on there that can’t be replaced. My Greatest Loser and my Miss Slinky stickers come with the certificate and sash and so I can’t get new ones. I’ll get over it I’m sure… or I’ll be a rebel and just use my old book for weigh ins! Will stop whining now!

Rachel x

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Quick fixes and negative attitudes…

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned through trying to lose weight is that there is no quick fix. I see the advertisements on social media for skinny wraps, miracle weight loss plans and the like and yeah, they sound great! Wouldn’t it be awesome to wave a magic wand and have the inches disappear? It just doesn’t work like that. These things maybe useful to some who wants to lose a few pounds quickly for an event or something, but for long term weight loss, they’re just too hard to stick to and maintain. And what happens when you start to eat normally again… The weight tends to go back on. I’ve tried starving myself thin, I tried running 2 miles every day and I’ve tried counting every calorie I eat and trying to stick to under 1000 per day. I could just never sustain it and usually ended up neck deep in the biscuit tin having a binge. Imagine the Cookie Monster, except worse.

So no, no miracle cure I’m afraid. A change in attitude towards the way you eat in general needs to take place. It takes a while to train your brain into making better choices, it takes a while for the sugar cravings to stop, but once those changes take place it gets easier. Mind over matter.

I pretty much spent the majority of last year telling myself lies. (Actually I’ve spent my life lying to myself but that’s another matter!) Every time I went out and temptation was in my face, or someone offered me something I knew I shouldn’t have, I lied to myself. I told myself I didn’t want a biscuit. I didn’t want a chocolate, a slice of cake or a takeaway. Of course I did! I’ve spent my life gorging on fatty foods and nice tasting things, but to keep myself on track I lied to myself and told myself I didn’t really want it. And of course, what happens when you continue to lie to yourself? You start to believe it, and after a while I really didn’t want full fat coke or sugar in my coffee. I really really didn’t! I actually began to love losing weight more than those things! Do I have to mention the stickers you get from Slimming World for every half stone you lose? I got quite addicted to collecting them! I wanted stickers more than chocolate, I think that’s when I realised I was “cured”!

Weight loss isn’t going to happen overnight, but it will happen if you stick to your plan. It’s slow and sometimes hard, but it’s awesome too! It’s fun to take comparison pictures of yourself to see how far you’ve come, it’s great to notice how loose your jeans are, and it’s fantastic when someone notices you’ve lost weight. Those feelings are better than chocolate any day.

My weight loss journey

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A few weeks ago a journalist got in touch with me wanting to write my story. Since then my weight loss journey has been in The Daily Record, Daily Mail and the Daily Star. It somehow also made it onto some online news sites including The Mirror and The Metro as well as the newspapers that published the article in their papers… completely overwhelming! I’ve recently done some interviews for a few womens lifestyle magazines, so they might end up published in a few weeks or so!

if you’re interested in my story, you can find it on one of the links below:

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/health-fitness/scots-woman-sheds-seven-stone-4888511

http://metro.co.uk/2014/12/29/woman-told-she-was-too-big-for-a-waterbirth-loses-7st-in-a-year-and-documents-it-all-with-selfies-5002339/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2889821/A-pregnant-woman-overweight-nurses-feared-d-STUCK-birthing-pool-loses-seven-stone-year.html

http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2014/12/30/too-fat-for-a-water-birth-mum-drops-seven-stone-in-a-year/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/mum-loses-seven-stone-after-4892664

Rachel x

New Year, New Start

517d1617c4212e5926e8848282607c5dIt’s January and that has me thinking about where I was this time last year. Confidence at an all time low, hiding from mirrors and completely fed up – all because of my weight. I was about 17 stone, overweight and hating it. I also made a promise to myself that I would take 2014 as MY year to get back to myself, and to do that I was joining Slimming World. From messages I’ve received on twitter and facebook, I think a lot of people are in this position this year. So maybe reading my ramblings will help you see that it can be done. I lost 7 stone last year. I was full of hope and determination last January, but I never really thought I would do it!

Making the decision to embark on a weight loss journey is a hard one. Maybe you have a stone to lose, but maybe you have 5 or 10. It seems really daunting because you know its not a quick fix, you know it’s going to be hard work, and you know fine well you’re going to miss your treats. Looking at it that way it can be off-putting, but I swear, it might not be easy but it’s certainly worth it.

If I could give any advice at all it would be this:

  1.  Find a support network that works for you. Join a slimming club if you want to (I highly recommend Slimming World!) or if you have a super bunch of family and friends then talk to them about it, keep them updated on your progress, get them involved. There are also a lot of online forums you can sign up to that provide good tips and motivation.
  2.  Have a goal in mind. It doesn’t have to be a number, it can be a dress size, or fitness level… just something to aim for.
  3.  Find a way to reward yourself for every half stone you lose (just not with chocolate!) but maybe buy yourself a small present for every milestone you meet. That’s why I loved Slimming World, those half stone awards and stickers became something to aim for… the child in me loves a good sticker collection!

And remember, a bad day doesn’t mean it needs to be a bad week. If you slip up, give in or can’t resist the crisps just get right back on track straight away. Think about the bigger picture. What do you want more; the ice cream or the body you’ve always dreamed of.

Good luck!