If there’s one thing I consider myself an ‘expert in’ it’s losing and gaining weight! Getting fitter then getting fatter and being a Yoyo dieter/exerciser. Seriously, I’m good at it! I’ve lost a lot of weight, I’ve gained a lot of weight. I’ve exercised hard, I’ve not exercised at all. So far, my exercise and weight journey seems to have been a journey of extremes and not balance. And as we all know a life of extremes is not sustainable in the long term.
When I’m ‘on it’ I’m 100% committed to whatever “it” is. I become focussed on “it” almost to the extreme and perhaps to the exclusion of other things. I say perhaps, but almost always I mean definitely to the exclusion of everything else.
A few years back I even took ‘extreme measures’ and had weight loss surgery and lost 72kgs in just over fourteen months. You can read about the reasons for my surgery and my weight loss journey here My Transformation. You can also about how I struggled to get my mind to catch up with what was happening with my body in this post When does the Head Catch Up With the Body ?. Want to know about how I got super fit and ran two half marathons and 10’ks? Then read these posts as well How did I get Fit?. And this one about reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro which had been a long-standing dream of mine. The mountain that inspired me: Mount Kilimanjaro
Apologies for the lack of clothes!
After losing all the weight and having some reconstructive surgeries too I also gained weight and lost some of my shape. Or should I say I regained some curves and lost the ruler type of shape that my extreme weight loss gave me.
To be honest, whilst I loved being a thinner person in some respects, I struggled with knowing how to dress the new shape I now had. I’d always had curves and shape and now my body shape was literally straight up and straight down. I had to find clothes that gave the illusion of a shape which was a new thing for me. I also struggled to figure out who the “new me” was.
What went wrong?
I focused on the end point and not the journey itself
I had lost weight extremely quickly, 72kgs was literally half of me! Yes an average person! and it happened very quickly. Whilst I had done lots of research on all of this, somewhere along the way I lost sight of the process and how I was feeling along the way. Instead my sole focus was on a goal weight and dress size. An idea in my head of what the ‘perfect me’ would be and look like.
I achieved both my weight goal and dress size goal but along the way became a very different person in terms of my activity levels and interests. I was no longer exhausted and happy to slouch on the sofa each evening or spend long weekend afternoons catching up on movies and naps. Instead I wanted to be active, was full of energy and wanted to be and keep busy.
Such a drastic change in who I was unfortunately meant that my personal relationship really suffered. You see whilst I was changing my world, my partner had not changed his and sadly the relationship ended, at my request as I wasn’t prepared to be unhappy for the rest of my life. It was totally a case of “it’s not you’ – “it’s me”. I had failed to bring my partner along with me in the journey and so whilst I transformed, they didn’t and by the time I reached my goal we were two very different people with different interests and goals. The relationship ended, on good terms, but with two people who were hurt and upset and both of whom needed time to recover.
A new lease of life?
You might think the new body, and unexpected new life as a ‘singleton’ would have been a new lease of life for me. And in some ways it was. It was fun, it was exhilarating, it was liberating, and it was scary! Yes Scary! I hadn’t been single for over twenty years and so this was new to me. I had never ever been thin in my life so the attention I got from other people was also new to me. Girl friends who it seemed had taken comfort in knowing me as their reliable ‘fat friend’ didn’t feel so comfortable with me as a thinner lady. Some adjusted, some moved on with their lives without me. Regarding guys, yes it’s liberating to feel comfortable in virtually anything you were, being able to teeter along in super high heels and not worry you will break them. Being able to wear gorgeous lingerie and a swimsuit, dare I say, a bikini – with ease! Yes, that was fun!
But also it’s strange how people’s perception of you changes too. I wasn’t usually the one who grabbed peoples attention when out, now I was – it felt scary and I felt vulnerable. Standing in line at a pharmacy, the pharmacist looked over the plumper lady who was waiting in the queue ahead of me and tried to serve me first. It made me very uncomfordable both for me and for her, I insisted she was served ahead of me and she gave me a thankful smile. But the combination of all of the above also made me realise how I had transformed from the safety of being ‘invisible’ to what felt like being in the spotlight and highly visible. I’m sure some/most of this was in my head, but no amount of reading I had done prior to my surgery and transformation had prepared me for this. To some extent my discomfort made me rebel and gain some weight, possibly my ‘safety factor’ was kicking in and I felt comfortable being a bit more invisible, I don’t know.
Time for a change
Moving on a few years, after I slowly gained weight, I figured it was time to make a change and late one night whilst idly scrolling through Facebook I came across a competition for a place on a challenge which I knew was for me! The post felt like it had jumped out and without sounding cheesy, it felt like it was calling to me, yes! me! More on Switch below.
Two years ago I took part in a twelve week challenge with Switch DXB and once again I committed to a program. I lost weight, got fitter and felt better about myself and my health. I did all the above for a whole twelve weeks and after that my enthusiasm waned, I didn‘t have budget to train at the level I had been or at the expensive facilities I had grown to love and unfortunately over time my enthusiasm waned and my focus changed. After the twelve weeks were over, I slowly regained the weight I had lost and lost my fitness levels too.
So back to my intro, I’m a pro. A pro gainer, a Pro loser and a pro getter fitter and surfer, of the sofa kind!
It would be all too easy to sit here now and beat myself up. Dig up a whole bunch of excuses or be hard upon myself but I will not do that. It’s not helpful and doesn’t lead me anywhere, except perhaps, to reach for the biscuit tin, or nearest bar of chocolate as I have done in the past far too often. Don’t worry, I don’t have either in the house so instead I’m writing this post, it’s far more thereupeutic. And see the photo below, the challenges of writing about food, loving food and getting fat! *sighs
Five weeks ago I committed to a Keto lifestyle. Not because it now seems to be the ‘trendy’ diet, but because I’ve spent a lot of time researching Keto and it makes a lot of sense to me. I was a huge fan of The Atkins diet (back in the day) and despite all of the positives and negatives written about both ways of eating, both made me feel good in body and mind. I’m a firm believer that there’s a suitable eating plan for everyone and since we are not all the same, it stands to reason that the plan that works for me might not be the best plan for you and vice versa.
I did Keto for a couple of months last year and I felt amazing on it. Unfortunateley I didn’t carry it on, a few back to back press trips, the lure of some great food and drink and lots of tastings put pay to that. It’s tough because I sometimes can’t resist temptation. Chefs like feeding people who write about food, and that’s my job! Also I have a sweet tooth and love a nice glass, or two, of wine or champagne as well as chocolate. Unfortunately the white sugary Milky Bar stuff, thanks mum! and not the 90% ‘good for you’ dark chocolate.
So back to 2019
This year I‘ve decided to change and to change for good. So I‘ve been back on keto for about five weeks or so and am focussing on eating moderate protein, high fat and low carb. I’m following sensible advice from a few different sources and so far have lost 7kg and feel great.
Don’t worry I’m not following a super extreme version of Keto, typically I’m eating two meals a day, but three if I want. I’m also Intermittent Fasting usually 18/6 or 16/8 meaning I fast for 16-18 hours a day (just drink water and coffee and tea) and have a six or eight hour period during which I eat my meals. Meals comprise of a portion of protein, some low carb veggies and some good fats. And I’m feeling good on it.
More on Keto in another post perhaps, as this wasn’t really the focus of this post. And so here’s where Precision Nutrition, kicks in.
At the same time as I committed to Keto I also signed up for a Precision Nutrition Coaching Course (PN Level 1) which focuses on the Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition.
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At the age of 52, I’m fed up of being the yoyo diet person. The person who can lose weight but gains it back too. The person who has a flexible wardrobe from fitted sexy dresses (that don’t fit) to stretchy and generous sized lounge wear! I’m fed up of feeling tired and lacking in energy. Of dreading the day when the Metro escalator doesn’t work and I have to walk up the stairs trying to breath normally rather than pant! The person who wears a swimming costume with a kaftan coverall. The person who celebrates and commiserates with food, of the wrong kind. The person who has an out of control sweet tooth. The person who says “yes” to a second portion of cake, chocolate or dessert or who tastes “just a little” of something to satisfy someone else. I’m fed up of being that person. It’s time to change, for good! By gradually changing the habits of a lifetime into better nutrition and exercise habits over time which are sustainable, fun and give me the opportunity to improve my health, improve my fitness and most importantly to improve me.
The PN Way
I have been stalking Precision Nutrition for a good year or so and love the way that they tackle nutrition, exercise and health by slowly changing habits whilst working towards a realistic goal. Their methods are tried, tested and proven and successful. They are suitable for anyone, at any stage of their life, across the world and regardless of starting point. The coaches (of which I will become) are agnostic in terms of recommending one way of eating over another, they work with clients to slowly make better changes one step at a time. The Precision Nutrition training approach really resonates with me and I am going to use the course firstly to make improvements for myself and secondly to help others make improvements for themselves.
As for Me
Without blowing my own trumpet too much, or too hard, because actually I’m not great at that. I know I can be and am a good listener, I’m practical, resourceful, resilient, and patient. I’m someone who can and has been inspirational. I’m calm, methodical, a great listener and equally as important not scared to deliver hard truths when required. I’m a great cheerleader, an encourager and an occasional pusher when it’s right to do so. I’m determined, passionate and dedicated to learning for me and helping you in your journey too.
To Feel Fabulous, Fit, Fun & Healthy at Fifty Plus and to inspire you to be the best version of you too (and yes to eat the occasional High Joint Burger if it makes you feel good!)
And for you?
Once I got a few more of the heavy to digest chapters of my learning underway, I’ll be looking out for some volunteers who want to make some changes to their lives. I’ll be offering some PN coaching sessions with me (for free) so that you can start putting in practice some of the new skills that I’ve learned. So if my post has in some way resonated with you, inspired you or just made you curious, do get in touch.
Until then I’m back to studying and passing my exams and heading towards my Precision NutritionCertification PN – Level 1 . Onwards and Upwards without looking Backwards.
Wish me Luck
Here’s a short video showing the ‘art of the possible’ for some real clients who went through a 12 month period of Precision Nutrition coaching directly with Precision Nutrition.