Is hitting a weight loss plateau something to get worked up about?

plateauI’ve hit one, 17lbs from my ultimate goal of being in a normal weight for my height. This is the first time I have not seen a decrease in weight on the scale or a downward shift in inches since I started out on my journey just over a year ago as an over 300lb unhappy lady.

I’m amazed that I’ve got this far for this long without having hit a plateau before and I really think that has been down to changing my activity and my diet a lot throughout the past year or so, experimenting with this and that and never really letting my body settle into a comfort zone. I don’t know if that would work for everyone but it seems to have worked for me.

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Even cave men chilled out

I also have to tell myself that as I lost weight just moving about was going to be using up less and less calories and it was impossible to imagine increasing my activity to accommodate for this. I was on pretty intensive activity quite early on and I don’t think I can fit more activity into my days if I tried. Besides I don’t want to try because there was a point where I became obsessed with activity and I was in danger of blowing myself out. Whilst the human body was made to move it was also made to rest and to know its limits, we were never designed to spend all of our waking hours thrashing ourselves into a sweaty breathless mess. Yes we were built to be able to do that if we really had to for a short time… think walking or running long distances now and then for food/water/shelter/communication or throwing ourselves into a physical challenge like climbing a tree/a battle/protecting children from lions by launching into hand to hand combat with one… but really we were made to take it easy now and then too.

Besides all of that, flippancy aside, I recently posted about the impact of exercise on fat loss and ultimately scientists and other professionals concur that  diet is the key to losing the fat and should be the real focus. Exercise is great for so many many reasons and should be engaged in but it’s not going to make you skinny alone… if skinny is what you want to be of course.

But anyway, all that aside, I have to tell myself that reaching a plateau is not a bad thing. It’s not something after all of the progress I’ve made to beat myself up over or to need to find an answer to. I’ve been the same now for about three weeks, after the second week I got angry with myself for weighing myself each week. I’d promised to only weigh once a month but as the end grew closer I got addicted to the scales. That was a big mistake and I have now learned from that. This week was my weigh in with my trainer and so I couldn’t avoid it and was disappointed to see that same figure staring back at me.

Then I thought about it in the whole scheme of things and realised I’m an absolute imbecile and got angry with myself for undoing in a couple of weeks all of that work I’ve done over the past year of gaining perspective, learning to look at things in positive ways, not getting down on myself, not having feelings of failure in my repertoire of emotions. I’d let myself down not by reaching a plateau but by allowing all of those horrid, fat person on a diet, negative emotions back in. In a way it was good, it reminded me of what I’d always feared, those feelings will always lurk around me, I may have expelled them but they’ve not gone far, they’re just waiting around for moments when I become weak stupid and then they pounce. So to some extent I’ve lost that complacency I was maybe beginning to feel and that’s a good thing that plateauing has taught me.

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I can live with this

I also got to thinking, I remembered when I really believed my ideal weight for me was around 15 stones, I thought this because I always had trouble getting below it, when I made a determined effort to lose weight I mean, not when I was starved by the psycho I lived with. I had done it but it had never been in a healthy way. So for me to be way below that now and to have achieved it in the most healthy way I can imagine is a huge achievement and maybe this is my real ideal for me weight. What if I am 17lbs overweight? It’s better than 180lbs isn’t it? Why can’t I be happy to be 17lbs over weight? So I started thinking like that and it made me feel better, I gained perspective as well as having realised I was an imbecile for even feeling bad about it in the first place and as well as having learned that I really would always struggle with the emotional and mental issues of a fat person or of a compulsive over eater or of an emotional eater… whichever label sticks best.

Then I started to think about time. I thought, what if I carry on doing what I enjoy in terms of my movement and exercise and fitness, what if I carry on eating healthily with a treat now and then but making good choices for myself and eating foods I’ve come to love, cooked in ways I’ve come to really enjoy and find easy to fit into my day… those 17lbs might gradually vanish and if they do that will be fabulous but there is no time frame for them to do so, they go or they don’t either way I’m safe in the knowledge that I’m healthy and fit and doing the best by me. I’m giving myself the best shot of a longer life, a healthier life, a more active life and a happier life, how could 17lbs threaten that? If those 17lbs want to stick along for the ride then so be it, if they want to slowly slip away then so be it but I’m not going to stress about them. I’m stupid if I do.

I thought about what I could do to make those 17lbs shift. I realised very quickly thankfully that I can’t do any more and remain healthy. Yes I could go on a liquid only ridiculously low calorie fad diet for a month and probably see those 17lbs off especially if I upped my PT sessions from 3 a week to 5 but would that be healthy? Would that be sustainable? Not in a million years. I’m doing the best for me now and that’s that. Those 17lbs are not significant to me and I’m not changing for them. I’ve spent a life time letting fat dictate who I am and what I do and don’t do and those days are gone, I’m free from being dictated to by invisible layers of gloop under my skin.

downloadThen I thought about goals and I spoke to Nick about it and he said to me “You’re at your goal honey” and I said “I’m not, my ultimate goal was to be a normal weight” and he said “No, your absolute ultimate goal was to be happy and healthy, you were there ages ago”.

17lbs? What 17lbs? He’s right, I’ve already done it, I have what I wanted and those 17lbs are not going to take it away from me, they are insignificant, just numbers and stay or go they are not going to take away my joy at having done this, at having made it to where I wanted to be.

I’ve transformed my life, everything about my life screams happy and new and free… my career, the way I dress, the colour of my  hair, the design of my home, the way I have fun, the way I love, the way I parent, the type of friend I am, my role in my community and so much more, it’s all better and it suits who I am, who I always was under that fat. It really has been a total and complete unwrapping process, not a transformation but an unveiling of who I was always supposed to be before fat took a hold, before I used food as my go to healer, food as my shield, food as my comfort. I’m never going back again and this plateau is pretty cool, I can see for miles from up here and it’s all looking bright.

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Organic farming in a tiny space. Freebie!

I’ve posted on this before because so often I hear people say they’d love to grow some of their own organic produce but they don’t have space or time or the skills to do so. Here’s another fab little book to help you available free at the moment for Kindle on Amazon it’s called Mini Farming: Fast and Easy Guide to Mini Farming For Your Own Organic Fruits and Vegetables and is by Raiden Steven. Just click somewhere on the title of the book to go straight to the download page.

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Image from here

I know some people really do have no space at all but have a scout around and see if there are any communal gardens or allotments you can get involved with in your area. Around here there are a few parks which have volunteer groups which have started communal gardens in a corner of a local park with the permission of the local authority and with input from local colleges and even sponsorships from local businesses. They encourage people to get involved with tending the area and then they share produce when it’s ready. If there isn’t one in your area and your really have no room not even for a planter on a balcony or some pots on a sunny windowsill then think about getting together with some like minded local people and starting your own.

Everyone knows that I’m seriously into growing my own produce now, not just at home for us to eat but also taking an active role in a communal allotment for the GP surgery’s over eaters self help group. I have to say that right now we’re very busy with the garden and allotment projects and so grateful that everyone is taking their turn to get involved and that our number in the group is swelling as more members join and get involved. It’s great to see a few teens joining us too and to see everyone losing weight is an absolute joy. I’ll have to update on the group progress as soon as I have time to do it justice.

It’s a good time to set a group up as more and more people are looking to take more control of what they eat and looking for ways to do do trusted organic on a budget.

What’s With Wearing No Clothes?

Am I a prude, or just getting old but what’s with all of these celebs wearing no clothes and having full frontal naked shots taken of themselves and splattered across media like everyone wants to see it?

I always associate dressing well with class and I don’t mean class as in social standing I mean class as in the kind that money doesn’t buy, decency, respect, restraint I guess. I also remember the days when celebs maybe were haunted by some dodgy photos they did when they were young attention seekers and unwisely took their top off for a photographer or did a stint as a stripper while waiting for their big break or even paid the rent with some soft porn. I remember when they used to reach a level of fame due to respect for their talent of acting, singing or whatever and they no longer had to rely on their bodies to pay the bills, at least not in an exploitative manner.

Nowadays it seems it’s all been put into reverse, women prove themselves through their talent, triumph against the odds in fiercely competitive worlds of acting and singing and sport even and then once they are revered they start showing us everything they have, laying it out on a plate… is that to keep them where they are? Is it to shock and create headlines? Is it because they feel empowered and they can do whatever they like now? Is it body shaming to wish they’d put it away and to call them classless for hanging it all out? Am I a body shamer?

I don’t know anymore, I just wish they’d cover up a bit and maybe explain the real reason they’re doing what they are doing. Do they have a need to be admired? Are they simply proud of their bodies and just want people to enjoy looking at them? Are they setting examples, are they good empowering examples for young girls or poor examples of exploitation and need? Does their management force them into these displays? Are they as exploited as they were when they were kids starting out?

Are they sending out messages to their partner’s armies of fans, young girls at every port of call, screaming out, ready to throw themselves at their mercy and with a potential to steal them away or at least cause a scandal, are they saying “look a my amazing body, look how sexy I am, he ain’t never going to want you” ?

Do men do it? I guess so, but to the same extreme? When did I last see a famous guy’s todger plastered all over my magazine? Maybe I read the wrong right magazines. What would happen if a famous guy turned up at an awards ceremony with a sheer suit on with a few jewels covering his meat and two veg? Would we be appalled, see it as a joke? What would we make of it? Why don’t men do it?

Is it feminist to be able to strut around naked and not give a damn? Is it saying “I am strong, I don’t care, I am empowered to do what I like and you can’t judge me”? I don’t know. Is it weakness, is it a need to be admired, put on a pedestal, revered, told they are beautiful born of something lacking as a child or something parents made them feel was all important… the way they look?

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Image from here

Do we want our daughters going out dressed like this? Do we wish we could go out dressed like it? What are we supposed to think when someone like Beyonce turns out dressed like this? Are we supposed to admire her shape? Are we supposed to want to be her? Are we supposed to keep watching all eyes on her in case a bit slips? Are we supposed to think she’s amazing? The dress is amazing? Are we supposed to want her? Are we supposed to rush out and buy the dress? Are we supposed to respect her? Are we supposed to admire her? What does she want when she puts that dress on? Is it simply that she feels great about her self and her body and wants to show everyone it? Is there anything wrong with that?

I don’t want to care, but I do, I’m the mother of a young lady and if she turned up to a party dressed like this because she’d seen Beyonce, one of her idols, a role model in it, I’d be horrified. Would I be right to be horrified or should I accept that my daughter feels strong enough and empowered enough in these times to wear that dress and still be classy, decent and respectable? Should I be worried that my daughter is an exhibitionist? Why should I be worried if that’s what she is?  I’m confused, I just don’t get it.

Yet I get naturism, I get the feeling of carefree abandon from swimming naked, lying naked on  beach, feeling released from clothes, I get wearing sexy clothes, I get being slightly risque but I also get that there’s a time and a place. Am I just out of touch? Any thoughts?

By the way, I know my title says no clothes and yet my post refers to the picture of Beyonce who is clothed but I didn’t want to inflict the full frontal Kim on anyone.

Just a spoonful of sugar…

… in almost everything we eat.

Or so it would seem. In my quest to reduce my sugar consumption I have discovered some very interesting and some startling facts about sugar. I’m working on putting together a post which compares the foods I did eat with the foods I now eat and looks at fat and sugar contents.

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Even carrots contain sugar! Image from www.sugarstacks.com

In the meantime I found this fab site which is an American one so some of the brands may be specific to the US but still many are not and many are not branded items, such as the fruits. What it does is list lots of products, processed and fresh, by category and shows how much sugar there is in a serving, not only by weight but it stacks up a little pile of sugar cubes to illustrate just how much that is. It kind of made me feel sick thinking of how I would feel eating all of those sugar cubes and that for years, before I began my latest crusade I have shovelled that stuff down my throat in total ignorance (my fault) or in the belief that low fat was the way to go and that a no-added sugar philosophy was healthiest. What’s more I’ve also put this stuff into my kids.

I’m not beating myself up, things have changed, I’m aware and fully conscious of how to go forward now and I’m seriously reaping the benefits of a super low sugar diet… not to mention enjoying not feeling guilty about consuming a bit of full fat dairy to brighten the day.

I have lost tons of weight with a low fat approach but a read back will show that I did include dairy in my diet, full fat cheese, the odd bit of cream and butter in moderation. I was also following a low carb eating plan just because carbs don’t go down well with me, I know many processed carbs such as bread and pasta and baked goods give me chronic heatburn, indigestion and trigger IBS so they were off the menu anyway. I’ve also never eaten a lot of sugar as an add on to my food, so I don’t include it in drinks or on cereal, I don’t add sugar to anything, I actually never used to buy sugar unless I was baking and then I’d use what I thought were ‘healthier sugars’ such as unrefined, brown, muscavado, demerrera, organic products. I always bought sugar free drinks and juices too. But my sugar was coming from somewhere else…it was in sauces and dressings and low fat yoghurts and cream cheeses and spreads and frozen yoghurts and fruit.

Due to dietary changes my sugar consumption was low or so I thought. I was eating an enormous amount of fruit a day either as whole pieces, chopped up into a salad, blended into a smoothie or passed through the juicer as a drink and zero fat yoghurt/cheese spread/fromage frais etc were a daily feature and these contained tons of sugar.

I looked at labels on foods but I only looked at the Fat content, never at calories and never at sugars. I’ve changed and since I’ve changed I feel like I’ve overcome an addiction I didn’t know I had… an addiction to sugar.

Anyway take a look at this website, if you missed the link above this first link is directly to the fruits section and this is to the home page of Sugar Stacks.

11156121_10202687009695507_8067538654673327754_nI came across this on Facebook and there was no credit for the source of the photo unfortunately but there was a description which said this was put in a school dining hall to help children choose water as their go to drink (I’d argue why they were selling the products anyway but that’s another matter, freedom of choice and all that) but I thought it was a good idea, I love visual aids and teaching has shown me that they are powerful when educating children. If those quantities are accurate then this is startling.

Healthy Chocolate

If you’re going to be naughty, make it as nice as possible. Now chocolate is a special treat when I do have it I make sure it’s good stuff and lately I’ve been testing out not only the good tasting stuff but the healthiest good tasting stuff I can find.

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I have no idea how to share an Instagram post to a blog so I did a screen shot. The credit for the info and picture is contained within

I stumbled upon the info in the picture to the left on Instagram today while taking care of my business social media and it reminded me to blog and share my fave ‘good’ choc.

I can recommend Wilkie’s Organic Amazonas as a really nice tasting and ‘healthy’ chocolate and you can buy it here from the Chocolate Trading Co who also sell recently out of date bars at around half price. I’ve bought them in the past and they were just fine. You can buy cheaper from Wilkie’s direct on their website and check out their amazing range (perfect for a luxury gift treat) and see what goes into their award winning chocolate. I defy anyone to visit this website and not be drooling and gasping for chocolate at the end of it. What I love about this, which is perhaps the top of the heap when it comes to chocolate is the little chunks of raw cocoa it contains which not only give it crunch and texture but also is a fab way to get raw cocoa into your body. It has a very slight liquorice taste and is quite bitter but I like that and you can always push the boat out like I do and take the edge off that bitterness with a nice glass of rich red wine. Wilkies do a version without the ‘nibs’ as they call them too, so that doesn’t have the crunch. They do a milk choc variety, gift packs, a hot chocolate variety and also bags of nibs.

What I find is that the more rich in terms of cocoa content the chocolate is the less I can eat of it anyway due to its richness… the mass produced deliciousness of confectionery is clearly made to make you want more and more. This kind of balances out the cost for me as nearly seven quid for a bar of choc is a tad excessive but really you can only eat a little and so it lasts a long time. Nobody else in the house likes chocolate so I’m lucky that nobody shares it either.

What I hate in the fitness and weight loss world this week…

It’s the photos doing the rounds of super ‘fit’ pregnant ladies who are at various stages of pregnancy, usually close to the end with barely a bump showing between their still toned abs. (I put fit in speech marks because we all know that looking fit, is not always indicative of being fit or healthy for that matter.)

I worry so much that this is the next big thing, for pregnant women to feel pressured to gain as little weight as possible during pregnancy and to lose as little of their pre-baby figure as possible while they are still pregnant.  I worry that women are going to feel that the only way to keep the bump small and the weight gain low is to near starve themselves and exercise themselves to an  unhealthy level and actually do some harm to the growing baby or themselves.

I feel sorry that those who try and fail to keep their bump under control feel like a fat failure and they get depressed about the baby and pregnancy when they should be enjoying that special time.

Babies grow inside of us, they need space, they make a bump and sometimes that can be a big bump or a small bump, we can’t control the size or shape of our bump, we have to leave it to nature. If we starve or over exercise, guess what happens? Our body let’s us know it. The body does this neat little thing when you’re pregnant, it keeps you alive and then puts the baby’s nutritional needs above yours, the good stuff will go to the baby so if you stop eating enough, your body will put your baby first and if there is nothing to give the baby bad things may happen. If you don’t eat enough to nourish yourself and sustain the life that’s growing inside of you, you will fast become unwell and you will not be able to sustain it. Your body will not let  you work out to extremes with no food to fuel your body or to grow your baby. Your body hopes that you will care enough about your baby to put the fuel in that you need to grow and develop him or her, but if you don’t do that it takes over, does the best with what you’ve given it and gives you a telling off in the process.

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Keeping fit and healthy during pregnancy is good, going to extremes to keep your bump small is not

If we have good posture and strong muscle tone in our core then our bump may look smaller OR bigger as we hold ourselves differently to those with poorer posture. Good posture and a strong core will help reduce or lessen the severity of back pain and hip pain but there are some conditions which cause pain which nothing is going to prevent, no posture, no exercise, no diet nothing.

Also when we are pregnant we lay down FAT, this fat is vital in milk production and is typically laid down around the hips, waist and shoulder/chest area and our boobs get bigger as milk ducts go through changes. We can’t stop this happening, some people get bigger than others, some put lots of fat down on their thighs, some on their bum and lower back. Breast feeding helps to use up this fat and so some people appear to regain their figure more quickly if they breast feed but I know people who bottle fed and were back in size 10 jeans 10 days after birth.

Nearly every pregnant woman i have ever known has had some form of swelling during pregnancy to some degree or another at some point or another, in the legs, feet, hands. Faces get rounder and plumper and there really is nothing you can do to stop it other than I guess, starve yourself, but then you’re starving your baby, which is not good. Your baby is supposed to be born with a bit of fat on it, it’s nature, we don’t want to be birthing skinny babies they have a whole lifetime to feel crap about their bodies, let them be chubby once in their life and not care.

So I just hope this doesn’t become a new craze, these women don’t have small bumps because they are super women they have small bumps because of the way nature deals with their body during pregnancy or because they are starving themselves, or because they are photoshopping, or because they are lying. I saw one picture where it said that the woman was due any day next to a photo of her naked with a neat tiny bump nestled between abs but in smaller print in the rest of the story it said that the photo above was taken at 6 months and further down the article was a picture of her now and that bump was a whopper, not surprisingly covered by a huge tee shirt and leggings and not on display at all. Pregnant women looking at the article and not bothering to read it all or not scrolling down would believe that the naked photo was taken at 9 months. Some women are huge at 6 months, some don’t even start to show until then. We’re all different.

What isn’t different is that babies need to be well nourished so a pregnant woman needs to be well nourished, well hydrated and to take exercise during pregnancy to keep her healthy, to keep her energised, to keep her mentally well, to resist avoidable painful postural conditions and to adjust better to ligament softening and other physical changes to her body. The extent and nature of that exercise is a personal choice, some women might still feel like running 10 miles a morning before work up to the day they give birth, some might prefer to drop cross fit and go for something non weight bearing like swimming, some might switch running for a fast walk, some might stop cycling later on and take up yoga, it’s up to you just don’t go bat shit crazy trying to stop your bump from growing because you will not do it.

Baby bumps are wonderful and the size of the bump used to be seen as a thing of pride, the bigger the better, just like somehow if you have a big baby you have achieved a feat worthy of a higher position in the realms of motherhood hall of fame than if you have a small baby. Ridiculous of course but one of those things.

Those who naturally see little change in their body during pregnancy… well good on them but I pity them in a way, I loved watching my body change and my belly grow (my bum as well with my daughter but not with my son), I loved (like most women do) having nice big firm boobs and a great cleavage for a while, I loved the opportunity to rest my hands on my belly and feel my little ones moving around all cocooned in there, I loved getting given seats and the way people would spark up conversation in public when they normally sat on the tube looking into space all because of my massive baby lumps. It was a fabulous time and I loved what was happening to my body, it fascinated me and reminded me how much was going on to make me ready to have a healthy baby.

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A healthy balance with diet and exercise is good all of the time especially when pregnant

However, I did lose weight during both of my pregnancies. I gained weight while I was pregnant but a week after the births I was 28lbs lighter with the first one and 21lbs lighter with the second than when I’d fallen pregnant but that was simply down to me finding it so much easier to make healthy choices when pregnant and my diet being filled with only things which would do my babies good. Breastfeeding the two hungriest babies in the world probably helped too.

I just hope people don’t forget that’s their baby growing in there and no matter what it does to their body it’s beautiful, the body that made another person is just as perfect as the body that didn’t. In time, nature helps to get you back to normal if you eat sensibly and move. Eating sensibly and moving during pregnancy is best for you and your baby and stops you piling on unnecessary unhealthy weight and after the baby is born eating sensibly and moving helps your body to get back to normal gradually and helps you cope with the stresses of motherhood. Extremes are never good, no matter if you’re pregnant or not but especially when you are pregnant. Just as living off mars bars is no good for you and your baby, living off lettuce isn’t either. Balance and capacity, it’s all about balance and capacity, always. If you can still lift weights and plank when you are 9 months pregnant and you feel comfortable do it but don’t force yourself to do something you’re not used to hoping that it will keep your bump small.. it won’t. Keep your mind on your health and your baby’s health not the size of your belly.

Your baby bump is not FAT it is a LIFE.

Following on from this is another thing, the pressure to get back into shape within minutes after having a baby… that pisses me off too, I’ll talk about that some other time.

Exercise won’t make you slim

At least not if you are fat, obese, very overweight or whatever. It may tone, sculpt and shape, increase flexibility, endurance and strength, improve cardio vascular performance and release wonderful things in your brain that make you feel amazing… happy, lively, sexy, alert and it will increase the number of calories you use… physics tells us that but it won’t make you slim.

Gratuitous photo of ripped guy

This article in the Guardian based on some medical study or other (I’m not a technical blogger academics was my job I can’t make it my fun) states that exercise will not make you lose weight or stop being obese. Lack of exercise is not the cause of obesity, too much sugar and the wrong types of fat are to blame for that and it accuses governments and health bodies of over emphasising the need to exercise in order to reduce obesity and not putting enough emphasis on the need to have a healthy diet.

Well who would have thought it?

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I don’t know about you but every time I use one of these balls I near break my face

I know personally from my own efforts that exercise of one type or another has had various effects on my body, inch loss is more of a feature than weight loss when I step up certain types of exercise such as strength training, a more toned appearance is more of a feature with the stretchy types of exercise such as pilates, increased stamina is more a feature of cardio such as walking or cycling, a greater sense of well being, tone and improved posture (which can show as inch loss) are more evident from exercise such as Tai Chi and Yoga, with all types of exercise, my sense of mental well being is enhanced as it reduces stress levels, makes me feel happier and energises me… the more fun exercise like swimming, playing tennis, really has an even more enhanced effect on me mentally.

Does my exercise make me lose masses of weight? I don’t think so, I know that dietary changes have massive impacts on my weight loss but without the feel good of exercise I would not have the mental wherewithal to fend off stress and misery and the associated lack of resistance to bad food temptations. Exercise helps me work off my frustrations, my anxieties and at times I punch out my sadness and residual effects of bad life experiences.

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Posture matters if you want to feel fabulous

Exercise also makes the impact of my weight loss more visibly obvious as my posture improves, my muscle and skin tone, my strength, my awareness of my physiology, it all helps to make me look slimmer and that makes me feel slimmer and that inspires me to not eat crap and continue to lose weight. Take a fat person sit them slouched on a stool, hunched back, spread legs, belly flopping between and then sit that person up straight, put their legs together (or as close together as you can), straighten the back, pull in the tummy, open and press the shoulders down, extend the neck and they’ve lost 10 pounds…. well they haven’t but you know they look like they have.

Do you know I’ve got an inch taller since I started this journey of mine? I’ve regained the inch I lost during my late 30s and that is purely due to having pulled my body back into a posture more befitting a lady and less that of a potato.

So yes I believe that exercise alone is not enough and diet really is the big magic key to weight loss and the better the diet, the more it suits you and the more healthy it is (depending on what you believe, organic ultra low carb has by far had the biggest impact on weight loss for me and my family AND best equips us with energy for our active lifestyles) then the more effective it will be in terms of helping you lose weight more quickly. BUT do not abandon the thought of exercise because it has its place in your success and is important.

And please don’t let that word exercise put you off, think of it just as moving more. To exercise you really do not have to don a lycra one piece and leg warmers and contort your body into strange shapes and lie gasping for breath by the end of the first half of a step class warm up. It doesn’t mean buying expensive equipment and paying for personal trainers. It doesn’t mean sweating your fat ass off in a gym infront of perfect bodies. It just means moving more today than you did yesterday and getting a groove on with that. That can mean cleaning out a spare room or the kitchen cupboards,   it can mean using your upstairs loo rather than your downstairs one, it can mean walking to a bus stop or train station and taking public transport rather than your car, it can mean strolling around a park during your lunch hour rather than sitting in the

Even this is better than total immobility
Even this is better than total immobility

canteen, taking the stairs rather than the lift even if for just one floor, it can mean walking the kids to school rather than driving them, it can mean you taking the dog for a walk with the kids rather than leaving it to them, it can mean standing up in your living room and stepping from one foot to the other during your favourite soap opera, or going for a five minute walk around your neighbourhood at 11pm when it’s dark and no one can see you. People exercise in chairs and in beds, there are videos to follow on You Tube of exercising lying down and sitting down, there is no excuse not to move more. Trust me you will be AMAZED by how fast your fitness levels increase, it happens in a matter of days and your capacity to exercise only increases the more you do it.

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Animal fat… do your research

But yes, I agree for real results and weight loss, to change from obese to normal you really do need to address that diet first and foremost. Read about food and what it does to your body, read about how your body deals with food, how it processes it and how it gets the best out of it and what it does with the rest and develop an eating plan to suit you. Include what you like to eat (the healthy things that is), find ways to adapt what you like into a healthier version so you do not feel deprived, treat yourself now and then, cut right back on sugar including the naturally occurring kind, cut out unhealthy fats (research animal and dairy fats before you make assumptions about them), think organic, think green and leafy, think minimal cooking, think naturally occurring, research your health issues and your health concerns ie hereditary conditions you want to fend off and see which nutrients and foods might help with that, read the pros and the cons and youno-matter-how-slow-you-go won’t go far wrong. Also, if you know your over eating or eating of the wrong foods is linked to something else and has become a habit or a boredom fix or something to do with your hands (ex smokers take heed) then change those habits. This should be a lifestyle change not just diet and not just exercise but often the thing that prevents us from getting in shape is a really bad habit.

Don’t think that if you can’t exercise you can’t lose weight because if that was the case how do we explain people in comas or incarcerated getting real thin and we all know that being bed bound with an illness and unable to eat results in dramatic weight loss… so whilst I wouldn’t advocate any of those methods of losing weight they prove that you can lose weight without moving much, but moving much makes losing weight so much more fun and you won’t run the risk of ending up a skinny weak saggy miserable mess at the end of your efforts.