Weight loss journey: How being less hard on myself became a positive

Last time out I broached the topic of how I am finally making a bit of progress on my weight loss and a lot of it was to do with the fact that I was able to structure myself better and that I was being less hard on myself if I did have that snack or didn’t reach my goal. We all make those goals that we will most likely not reach and I knew to structure those goals differently to limit the likelihood of feeling down afterwards when I failed. I mean look at my plan at the beginning of this year, 8 months in and I am only at the weight I was last October, progress yes, but small progress. I was very hard on myself during this year when I would inevitably fail. But, you have to learn not to be and even when you are your own worst critic you have to take yourself to the side and give yourself a good talking to.

Reducing those monthly targets

By shrinking my grandiose plans to a much more manageable target I feel a lot more confident in what I can do. I had thought it was possible for me to be super strict and aggressive with the weight loss and try to lose 20 pounds a month. While that is possible, I just do not think I would be able to maintain that level of weight loss and to then also maintain that type of lifestyle required to keep the weight off. I have seen a TV and radio presenter here in Northern Ireland go through a dramatic weight loss and he looks terrific, but now he is struggling as it is plainly obvious that his body isn’t happy with what he is still doing.

Your body can only go through so much pressure and restriction before it gives out and I think that I had that in a minor way and that really I never adapted to other things happening in my life so my body went back to what it knew best to do. You may have read how obsessed I was/am with the scales and I would always put that type of pressure on myself. Days, where I did not lose or looked like I might gain a little bit, were unacceptable. I would go out for 10/11pm runs to just make sure there was progress. That could have been a 0.01 of an lb of loss, it didn’t matter. It just had to be a loss day. I see now how unwise living a life like that is.

For example, I made great progress in a healthy way in July. I lost 8lbs! It may not seem much, but it was a healthy amount to lose and if I can do the same this month then I will be chuffed. I want to make sure this is the last time I see these levels of bodyweight and to do that I need to be a bit more considerate to my mental health. In August so far I have not lost anything because it was Victoria’s birthday and we are still eating little treats from that (be a shame if she did it alone… you know?). Before I would have been stressing the hell out that I was not counteracting the cupcakes etc enough and that they were not as big a minus day as I would like. But, if I am treating myself and my time is limited for a certain type of exercise then I need to make do. I gained a little over the weekend, but by Sunday and Monday, I had reduced it to where I was beforehand and that was because I was exercising. Now I wasn’t doing my late-night runs, but I was doing something else…

Just be active whatever active you can do

Whenever we think of exercise we think of running, swimming, time in the gym, and I also think along those lines. The main way I lost weight was by running and spending countless hours in the gym. I gained the weight back on by not doing those things. So when I wouldn’t go to the gym or go for a run I would get cranky and frustrated, as it felt as if I was sabotaging my own weight loss journey. I would get the bus into town and walk the mile there and the same again on the way home. It was a very sedentary life and one where I used to be proud of always knocking out 20,000 steps a day to the point where I would only get to around 5,000 and I would feel rubbish about it.

So as it is the summer and I wanted to get back into things I decided that that I would save money by not getting that bus ticket (day ticket is £4.20 now so £20 a week or £16 if with a bus card) and I would just walk it in and out. My work is only an hours walk away and I felt that it was just a wise decision to make for my fitness. That hours walk usually gave me 7,000 steps one way. So you can see how walking more would help! Walking is so easy and fun for me as I get to think and listen to music or podcasts. But I digress, I will chat about walking another time. I wanted to point out that although running and other exercises that require a lot of energy and output may be very good for you. If those just are not possible then what is the harm in having a walk somewhere. The main thing is to be active and if I am walking I am burning calories, yes slower than ideally required but getting there.

One of the most important things for me was to realise that although the weight may not be dropping at a fast rate, by drinking far more water (over 5 litres should be my average) and by being active, that I am changing my body. I just can’t see it yet. Would I love if it all went away as fast as before? Sure, but it won’t and that is a good thing. Losing weight isn’t a race, it is a journey and I need to know that although I did it once pretty well, that I need to learn from past mistakes and make sure that I will not do them again.

If you want to read a little more about my posts on weight loss check out a few of the posts below!

Regular fit or slim fit? What should an overweight guy wear?

Saying Goodbye to the larger clothes sizes

Being okay with not being body positive with yourself: Clothing

Weight loss Journey: Why I regained weight

Weight loss Journey: The 5 ways I am going to lose weight

Understanding Body Dysmorphic Disorder from a male perspective

Weight loss journey: The battle with the scales

If you want to chat more about any of my posts, please follow me on TwitterInstagramand Facebook to also receive updates. Until next time, thanks for reading and I hope to see you again soon!

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