Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Changes are a coming...

     Three quarters of my wardrobe refuses to fit since I have, err... blossomed since breaking my collar bone and the other quarter is as useful at suitable attiring me as a chocolate fireguard! My options were;- (A) spend a fortune on a new wardrobe of clothes, (B) lose a considerable amount of blubber via dieting or (C) change my lifestyle. So lets us consider the options...

     Option (A) spend money upon a completely new wardrobe of clothes. Not really a realistic option as being overweight is not good for my health, either mentally nor physically. I become more lethargic, get less done, feel guilty with myself for not achieving what I should. This leads to lows and eating crap food which piles on more weight making me more lethargic....you can see where this is going m'thinks. The excess weight is also playing havoc with my already knackered knees. Buying clothes that fit my expanded frame would only mask the problem and help for a minute amount of time. There is also the fact that since the 'Snap' on the fifth day of the month of November last year I have not earned a penny via honest labour so the purchase of new clothes is completely out of the question anyway.

     Option (B) lose a considerable amount of blubber via dieting. Mmmm sounds good in the short term does it not? I mean to say, just a few months of cutting out certain food groups and eating grass would be a walk in the park no?  Err No! you see my problem with 'dieting' is that again it is just a plaster for the problem. You go on the latest fad diet and the pounds fall away if you manage to stick with it. But you may get cravings for food groups that the diet prohibits causing you to want them even more, your whole being is focused upon food....when is the next meal, I am always hungry, how many calories is that?, god I miss bacon, when is the next meal, this green yogurt tastes bloody horrible, am I allowed that, when is the next meal and so on which is not very healthy for a nut job such as I. Also you may well have the will power to see the diet through but how many people fail once their target is met and the pounds start attaching themselves, limpet like, to your buttocks and waist once more. So no, I have tried dieting in the past and it sucks big time.

     Option (C) change my lifestyle. So this the option I am left with but actually it is not that hard to achieve m'thinks. 

     I am slowly returning to work and as a gardener my work is reasonably physical so no need to add exercise to my lifestyle you may think? Well in my case you would be wrong, yes my career is physical to a degree but my body quickly adjusts to the physicality of my work (yes, yes even at my age, cue rolling of eyes) so returning to work would indeed induce some weight loss but this loss will quickly level out as my body adjusts to it. So adding exercise to my life is going to be needed if long term gains are to made, but what exercise? Well I have tried gyms in the distant past and they bore the hell out of me, again there be a question of money and it means interacting with 'the beautiful people', so not going to happen. Running? what with my already  knackered joints? err once again a resounding no. Swimming? easy on the joints yes, cost money bugger and may be trapped in a pool with other people so no. Aha slow running, what you may have previously referred to as walking... tis free, we live in the countryside more or less, I can avoid people and it is very therapeutic for the mind I find. So walking err slow running it is for me and by calling it slow running it makes me sound almost athletic does it not? Another advantage of slow running is that you can vary terrain, distance of 'run' and each type of weather brings different physical challenges to the body which all help in preventing the body from fully getting use to it as it does in my work.

     Then there be the question of diet, not a diet but what I put in my mouth to fuel my engine until it ceases up and I exit this life (hopefully to the halls of Valhalla). One thing about diet that I have learnt is that to cut out all perceived 'bad' foods is not going to work long term. Also medical advice on certain foods can change over the years with what once was thought of as being good is now the Devil's own meal and what was once frowned upon now regarded as manor from Heaven (or Valhalla in my case). I firmly believe that maintaining a good balance of food groups is the best way to maintain a healthy diet for life. So for myself I will not be omitting anything that I like from my plate on a permanent basis but I will be reducing certain food groups, and yes that does include bacon, cue load audible sigh. Also there will more addition to my meals of foods such as fish, chicken, fruit, veg, nuts etc. As I explore food more deeply certain things will increase in intake and others may well be omitted permanently, it is a learning curve but the point is to eat a balanced diet. An example of some of my dietary changes are what I am eating now whilst typing away for your amusement compared to the norm of last month. Last month I would be munching on a sausage or bacon sandwich or cheese on white toast (lots of cheese and salt), whereas today I have a mixed plate of cheese, some cold polish sausage, walnuts, celery, olives and grapes the different flavours and textures of which make eating this a pleasure. Snacking is something that I am also cutting out, eating three large meals a day should negate the need to snack and eating does not occur after the hour of eight in the evening which I am finding slowly helping my sleep pattern in returning to the sporadic one that I have had for many years now to a more restful one.

    These are the two lifestyle changes that I have implemented so far over the last couple of weeks and, although not scientific, the results so far are that I am slowly getting back to a better sleep pattern, feeling more energy within, feeling better in my head and weight wise? well as of last Sunday my weight has reduced by four pounds, not a great percentage of my total but a start and in old measurements that would be two bags of sugar, just imagine having to walk around all day with two bags of sugar strapped to ya buttocks!. Hopefully by putting my progress out in the blogasphere it will help me feel more accountable and hence make this journey a tad easier. 

    So tell me folks, what has worked or failed for you in achieving a more balanced lifestyle? It would be good to hear new or old ideas that have worked for you.

    

21 comments:

  1. Walking.
    Eating sensibly rather than dieting.
    Walking (did I mention walking? No? Walking!)
    have a look here - https://www.walk1000miles.co.uk/
    This helped me - get fitter, helps my mental health and slimmer (don't weigh less but there is a fair bit less of me!)
    Sod buying a new wardrobe - you have one ready waiting for you!

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    1. Funny that you should mention walking Kj, in my past life I used to walk the hills upon the Clwydian range covering mile after mile using the less frequented trails. The benefits were huge and I was far healthier for the walking. Don't think that I shall ever return to the distances and sometimes difficult terrain as then but it would be nice to set it as a target.
      I whole heartedly agree with "Sod buying a new wardrobe" m'dear, could not have put it better myself.

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  2. I feel your pain! I am now not helped by eldest daughter coming home from Co-op with a bag of "reduced Christmas chocolate"... I am trying not to nibble and having smaller portions. I need to get back to walking regularly when the weather plays ball. Hopefully your getting back to calorie-burning work will help, and I note whenever I walk up steep hills I burn LOTS more calories. No shortage of hills in our neck of the woods.

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    1. I think strong words with eldest daughter may be required Bovey, perhaps after the next bag of "reduced Christmas chocolate"?
      No shortage of hills around here either ;-)

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  3. Our basic diet is chicken and salad with an occasional pork chop or some hamburger. Portions have a lot to do with diet too. I'm 6'2" and 255 lbs. Been that way since I was 25. The only variance to my diet is when my cat has to have her ice cream (drumsticks) every evening. I eat the chocolate (fulfills my chocolate craving) and the rest she doesn't eat. But, being laid up with the snap, will add the pounds in a hurry. Once back at work on a regular basis, you'll see the pounds drop.

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    1. Hey Mark, yes I agree that portion size is important, for me it is achieving the balance between eating enough to prevent snacking and not eating too much. I know once fully working x amount of poundage will drop but I know that my body will adjust to this at some point so exercise on top will be required to meet the target that I have in mind (two stone)

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  4. John - So against the grain, I am going to encourage resistance training (Weight training) when you are fully healed. It does any number of things for you, but being strong never hurt anyone. Yes, it is repetitive, but on the bright side it is a solitary activity (Which I like). If a gym is not in question, get some kettlebells.

    I am big fan of walking, mostly because I find it is easier on my knees and I see results. Also, I trow you live in a far more scenic part of the country - that always helps!

    I might recommend a martial art, if that is in the budget/interest. Mine helps me with flexibility/strength. If you want, pm me at Tbeucail@protonmail.com and give me a general location and I can see what I can find.

    Diet. Just eat sensibly. I bet you know what you are supposed to be eating (most of us do) and do not do it. I find a tracker like My Fitness Pal can be helpful.

    But good luck. And of course we are all rooting for you. We want a healthy John with years of blogging left in him.

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    1. Thanks for the advice TB,
      Resistance training at home or preferably within my garden could well be an option once I am up and running. I have thought of a martial art but again it is the 'people factor' that puts me off though a remember during a visit to Singapore a few years ago we came across an elderly gentleman (even by my standards) practising Tai Chi and since then it has crossed my mind on many occasion to have a look at this, perhaps now would indeed be as a good time as a any?

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    2. John, I am not expert but especially given "The Great Break", Tai Chi might be a very good entrance.

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    3. I tend to agree TB, some investigation may be afoot m’thinks.

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  5. Hello
    Love your posts.
    Cycling up and down hills on a cross country bike with good gears is what does it for me. Strangely addictive too. I know no better cure for bad moods/low spirits.

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    1. Hello Helen and thank you for dropping by. Cycling could well be an option though perhaps a more gentle start than the hills where we live, perhaps a start on the local canal paths would be good?

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  6. I think C is definitely the sensible option, as a balanced approach always works best.
    Would cycling be an option for you? It can be a great form of exercise if you have knee problems. Well done on your progress so far. X

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    1. Hi Jules, Thank you m'dear, as mentioned to Helen cycling could well be an option by starting off on canal paths (I am yet to find a circular route from my front door and back that is all downhill here ;-) )

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  7. Raaar wrote a very in-depth comment and blogger went t*ts up! Good luck with plan C love the slow runnimg

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    1. Happens to me all the bloody time Rach, yes I was rather proud of ‘slow running’

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  8. I follow someone on a weight loss journey and she said if you get discouraged about only losing a pound in a week imagine it as two packs of butter hanging from the end of your nose. I found this so funny but the visual stuck with me and really helps me.

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    1. A great analogy Jessica, tis always good m’thinks the be able to visualise the weight lose as it is not always easy to see the change within your body.

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  9. Good to hear you are getting back to your gardening work John. Option C - certainly the most sensible. A neighbour of mine swears by a cold water dip. Sea swimming / natural swimming is all the rage. Apparently just the process of immersing oneself in cold water burns a shed load of calories, even without actually doing the swimming bit. Problem is, I'd want a hot chocolate and plate of chips after that! ;)

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    1. Thank you Lulu, gawd cold water swimming? as if me nether regions have not suffered enough! I can understand how it would work but ermmm no.

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