As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently had a relapse which meant that I put on quite a bit of weight, as I usually do when I’ve been sick. Notwithstanding this, I was determined to get back into it and continue with my weight loss journey. If you have suffered a set-back and are looking for some tips on how to get back on the horse again, you might want to read my previous blog post on this subject. Starting over is never easy but sometimes you just need to hang in there and ride out the rough patches. To start with, it helps if you can identify what you are particularly struggling with.
Here are some of the difficulties I have encountered thus far on my journey:
o Always feeling hungry
o Continually dreaming about foods that I shouldn’t be eating
o Looking at “forbidden foods” while shopping at the supermarket
o Finding it hard to stay within my daily allowance on My Fitness Pal, the app which I use to track my eating and exercise
o Not always weighing and measuring what I’m eating, making it hard to correctly gauge amounts and calories
After about a month, I have had a breakthrough. These are challenges I will always face but they are no longer such a struggle. There wasn’t anything in particular that I did to help with this; it just happened organically. What I have learnt is that sometimes your body just needs time to adjust to eating less food and of course eating different kinds of foods when you are watching your weight. I did reform my diet rather radically so it’s no wonder that my body was protesting so much!
Remember that this is a journey. There is no quick fix. To improve your health, lose weight and gain fitness you need to implement lifestyle changes gradually, which are on-going in nature. This means that there will be ups and downs. You just have to learn to accept the bad with the good and stick with your programme in the long term.
Here are some additional pointers:
o It might help if you re-define your fitness goals. Set some new and interesting challenges to work towards, such as entering an event
o Sometimes you can get stuck in an exercise rut. Try a new fitness activity. I have recently started incorporating swimming into my fitness regime and find that it’s great. It’s low impact, refreshing and helps me sleep well
o Revamp where and how you exercise. A change of scenery can be a good way to kick-start your fitness regime again. Try a new gym (even just for a session or two), set up a home gym which you can use occasionally (see my last post for advice on this subject) or try Les Mills on Demand, which gives you a huge range of workouts that you can do at home at your convenience
o Make eating interesting by trying a new recipe for variety, so you don’t end up eating the same foods again and again
o Layer up and head outdoors to exercise. In winter, we tend to hibernate but you’ll feel so much better getting some fresh air. I find being outdoors in winter really refreshing, especially in the early mornings when it isn’t usually windy
o Buy some new exercise gear – wearing something new can make you look forward to exercising and feel good while doing it. It can be tempting to wait until you lose weight before purchasing a new outfit but I’m a firm believer in celebrating the journey, not just the final destination
Over the years, I amassed a number of different pieces of gym equipment and set up a small home gym to use at times when I’ve been unwell enough to exercise at my regular gym. I have even tried to do away with my gym membership and exercise at home, but I always inevitably end up back at a gym. In other words, for me, a home gym is no substitute for a gym membership. Having said that, I do think that having a home gym can be very worthwhile and it is something that I use in conjunction with a gym membership. I thought it might be helpful to others if I set out the advantages and disadvantages to home gyms, as well as some tips for those who are considering setting one up.
Still keen to set up a home gym? To give you an idea of what pieces of equipment may be helpful, here’s a list of what’s in mine:
You may also find the following equipment useful: