I am happier with myself, as a whole than I have ever been in my 35 years of life.
I am not the fittest or lightest or even the youngest (well obviously!) that I have ever been. According to pop culture, I should not be as happy as I am right now.
I’m heavier now than I was this time last year. And less fit and strong.
I’m actually suffering the repeated attacks from the cold virus, and have been for weeks. It’s the joy of starting a new healthcare job in a new state. It will pass eventually. And so will my current knee injury.
But you see, I got myself really fit, strong and healthy over a period of nearly 2 years after Master 4 was born. I slowly recovered from a dislocated pelvis (more to follow on that later) and dropped over 15 kilograms. I had to as I wasn’t functioning well, I was in chronic pain and things weren’t right.
I started slow. I was looking for a permanent change. Diets don’t work as they are temporary only. I looked for cheeky calories to exclude. I am a coffee lover, and at work in the Emergency Department I lived on ‘crap in a cup’, styrofoam coffee. In each coffee I would have 2 sugars. On some shifts I could have 8 cups. So, it took one week of drinking coffee without sugar to cut that out. No I would never go back.
No butter on sandwiches. Easy. I brought quick easy to eat food to snack on at work, as meal breaks were unpredictable and then you would find yourself eating biscuits, chips, Tim Tams.
Drinking water, lots of it.
Alcohol. I still wanted to drink the occasional times I did, but my preferred mixer was coke. Switch to non sugared coke, or ginger beer.
The family ate good food, but I started decreasing portions. I was still eating our normal food, just less of it. I made sure, where possible, to eat regularly. And picked well when eating out.
Initially, I couldn’t do any meaningful exercise with a pelvic stabiliser belt on, but i could increase the incidental exercise i was doing. I could park the car further away and walk. I could take 2 trips up the stairs instead of 1.
And I made myself accountable. I kept a food diary. I downloaded a great app, which you can use on the computer as well. It keeps track of your food intake and exercise.
I weighed myself for the first time in my life. Once a week, at the same time every week, on the same scales, in the same clothes. And the loss was agonisingly slow. 100gms a week is not a lot, but that was a good week at the start.
As the weight shifted, the chronic pain I had decreased and the exercise increased.
I started to try and exercise intentionally 3 times a week. Trading muscle for fat kept the numbers on the scale ticking over only slowly, but my size and shape was improving.
I got fit and fabulous. I felt great.
Then my world tilted on its axis, and I found myself caught in a whirlwind. When it stopped our whole life and family had shifted some 1000kms away.
Throughout the turmoil, exercise fell away and my food choices were less disciplined.
9 kilos crept back on.
So why am I happy anyway?
Because I know what to do. I know how simple it is. Slow, sure. But simple.
So, now that the whirlwind is over, back to the basics I go.
Portion watch. No more grazing. Back to exercising more regularly.
Because its a lifestyle change, not a diet, so the fundamentals are already there, I just need to fall back into the habit.