if she can do it...
Two years after we were married, my husband Scott and I finally booked our honeymoon. Three weeks of winter sun - pure bliss.
One of the great things about going away in winter is all the shops are selling off their summer clothes and there are bargains to be had!
During my hunting I came across this really cute swimsuit. I ordered it. It came. It was very nice. I tried it on. And nearly cried. It didn't fit...
It seems that in the two years since my wedding I have fallen into the age old (and a little sexist) cliche - and let myself go a bit.
Before the wedding, like all brides, you worry about your weight, fitting into the dress, looking good in the pictures, and because we were getting married abroad there was the added pressure of looking good on the beach. Whilst I have always tried to be healthy, I've never been a good dieter and I was never that into exercise either. Luckily for me I have always been able to eat what I want and get away with it. Well, I could, before. I'm 32 now and the body I always relied on to stay trim no matter what I did is fighting back and demanding some attention!
Knowing what I know now, I'm ashamed to say I did a crash diet to get to the weight I wanted for the wedding. It was hard work, but for all the restraint and discipline I put in - it worked. The dress fit perfectly, I felt great and the job was done.
However, as we know - diets don't work! - so as soon as the wedding was over I was eating for four. I felt like I was entitled to relax a bit since I had worked so hard for so long to get slim for the wedding. And I did - for two years!
Before I knew it I was eating way more than I needed and snacking all the time. Crisps had become my vice and I ate a lot of them. And without me even realizing it, having a glass of wine or beer with dinner had become an almost daily thing.
(Did you know, that if you drink with a meal, your body will work off the alcohol first, and then if it has the energy will start to burn off the food? So every drink you have not only adds its own calories but means you keep more from your food as well ?)
I realize now I was addicted to carbs. Having not had any at all during the crash diet, now I had to have them at every meal. Whether it was bread, crisps, rice or pasta - if I didn't have something my meal felt incomplete, I felt unsatisfied and would eat more.
On top of that my portion sizes were getting bigger and bigger, an evening meal consisted of two cups of rice, meat, salad and vegetables. It was more like a daily allowance than one meal. After dinner I was always completely stuffed.
So there I am in front of the mirror looking at myself thinking: 'I can't wear this, I'm too old and too fat!', back it goes to the store. But then, a light went on. Lucia, what are you doing? It's not the swimsuit, it's you! If you can't fit into it then do something about it'.
So I did. I decided I would make it my aim to fit into that swimsuit by the time we went on holiday in 11 weeks. But this time I didn't want to crash diet, lose the weight for the holiday and then put it all on again, I wanted to introduce a new way of life for myself that I could sustain. Something that was doable, that wouldn't fill me with dread and make me miserable.
I weighed myself; 9 stone 13 ounces (140lbs). My ideal weight is around 9 stone (126lbs) I think. (I was 8.5 (119lbs) when I got married) so I had almost a stone (14lbs) to lose in 11 weeks.
Here's what I did:
Have a good breakfast
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and eating well in the morning means I don't need to snack before lunch.
I stopped eating refined carbs altogether, no white bread, rice or pasta. Now I only eat wholemeal bread, rice and pasta and I have a more balanced plate, so instead of carbohydrates taking up half of my plate they take up around a quarter.
Every morning I do Shane's core workout, Shane's leg workout and his arm exercises, which takes about 20 minutes. And once a week I go for a jog and do a half hour spin class. I could do more but in the beginning I didn't want to start doing something that I found really hard because I knew I would make excuses as to why I couldn't do it. Half an hour a week is doable and enjoyable.
Rather than sitting down to eat a big plate and not even realising how full I am, I eat more slowly and pay attention to what I'm eating, this way I notice when I am full and I eat a lot less this way.
More water, less alcohol
Drink more water
Water helps with digestion and is needed to keep every organ functioning properly, so it can't hurt to drink more. I started by taking a litre bottle to work with me and set myself the goal of drinking it all by the end of the day. At first it seems like a chore but your body soon gets used to it and now I drink because I'm thirsty and I'm drinking about 1.5 litres a day. I also stopped drinking alcohol with my meals during the week. There is just no need for it.
And then I decided that I could have as much time off from this as I like. So if we go out for dinner I'll order what I like and have dessert if I feel like it. And if there is a special occasion I will have a drink or two. I wasn't going to create a new life that limited me, I didn't want to ever say 'no I can't have that'. This is a lifestyle, not something I'm doing for a few weeks - so I can have whatever I want, when I want. The funny thing is, now that I have been doing this for 10 weeks I don't want those things as much any more!
After the first 4-5 weeks I felt a little low. I felt better in myself and had more energy, but according to the scales I hadn't lost any weight at all. I was a little demotivated but I kept at it and thank goodness I did, because in the eighth week I suddenly realised that I looked and felt slimmer, and I was starting to get abs, just a little definition but more than I have ever had before. I weighed in at 9.8 (137lbs) - it was working!
So my holiday is one week away and my current weight is 9.6 (134lbs), I'm half way there but I'm excited because I know this is going to continue and things can only get better.
Oh and I'm taking the swim suit with me!
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