Starting my weight loss journey

Another type of journey! Way back in January I wrote that one of my non-financial goals was to lose two stones in weight. As well as aesthetic reasons, I set this goal because my Body Mass Index (BMI) had increased to 30.5 which puts me in the “Obese” category and is honestly pretty frightening. In addition, my dad has Type 2 diabetes and has always struggled with his weight. I want to tackle this now while I’m still in my early 30s and make the change to a healthier lifestyle for the long term.

In the last five months since setting this goal, I have made some progress, losing 9lbs in weight taking my BMI down to 28.8 safely out of the “Obese” category but firmly in the “Overweight” category. I’ve joined a low cost gym and I’ve been going twice per week for the last 8 weeks completing 30 minutes of strength training each time during my lunch hour. I’ve also been attending one yoga class per week and squeezing in at least one run of between 3.5km and 5km.

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My eating patterns have been less consistent; initially I found it quite easy to say no to treats at work, make healthy meals and keep my stress levels under control to minimise emotional eating. This has been more difficult lately due to a number of reasons – being outside of my regular routine because of holidays or other events where I’m not in control of the food, increased stress at work and trouble sleeping leaving me with some days where I feel exhausted and desperate for fatty, carb-laden junk.

To get myself back on track I will be monitoring my progress monthly here because as Peter Drucker says “what gets measured gets managed.” I’ve been reading a lot around the subject, most notably “Thinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body” by Michael Matthews and I’ve come up with some steps to take over the next 4 weeks.

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  1. Nutrition – track protein intake. Based on the calculations in Thinner Leaner Stronger I should be eating 126 grams of protein per day in servings of 30-40 grams each. I’m going to set up a Google spreadsheet that I can access anywhere listing out the protein content of my regular meals and including a tracker to see how many days I hit the mark. During this month I’m not going to worry about tracking calories or the other macronutrients – carbohydrates and fats – as I want to make tracking protein a habit before I extend it, rather than trying to do too much all at once and then giving up.
  2. Exercise – increase duration. I’ve been tracking around 4 hours of exercise per week including the strength training, running and yoga I mentioned above plus some light walking where I can fit it into my day. I want to increase this to 5 hours consistently by adding in another strength training session and more walking and/or running.
  3. Mindset – research how to deal with stress and tiredness without resorting to unhealthy food choices or portion sizes. I’ve read a lot of information on keeping up motivation but I want to dig a little deeper and come up with some strategies for dealing with these specific situations which affect me personally on a regular basis.

I’ll check in after 4 weeks to update progress on these goals and set new ones. What are your non-financial goals? What are you doing to achieve them?

 


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