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Or maybe I should call this post New Year, New Resolutions…

I have a lovely list of these. Not resolutions, exactly, more changes I’ve been planning for a while.  First up:
To do more than pay lip service to healthy eating, and exercise three times a week, regardless of where I am in the world.

Shockingly original, no?

However.

At the moment I am not just delightfully curvy, I’m fat. I am 5ft6, and weigh 11 stone & 2 lbs. (That’s 156lbs for my American readers.) A healthy BMI range for my height is 18.5-25, and I stand at 25.3 – the Overweight band. (Please do not rush to tell me that BMI is a blunt tool etc etc. I know all this, but the fact remains that I need to lose weight.) And no, I don’t want to be proud of my curves. They WILL kill me, eventually, directly or indirectly, and anyone who argues otherwise IS deluded.

I have great legs and I now know how to appear to my advantage in photographs, so I know some people won’t believe me when I say I am overweight. But I am an apple shape, which is easy to disguise, and that means my fat isn’t resting on my hips or thighs but around my stomach and breasts and, most worryingly, my vital organs.

As I don’t wish to end up with type 2 diabetes or blood pressure problems or blocked arteries or a shortened life span, or any of the myriad problems that eating thoughtlessly without exercising brings, I am on a mission to radically alter my lifestyle.

I want to be height weight proportionate. I certainly have no desire to be thin: I don’t take personal pleasure in having bony clavicles, or jutting hip bones. But my body is the machine that keeps my soul alive, and I have not been treating it with the respect that it deserves of late. You only have to talk to my sister, or read Melanie Reid’s column on paralysis in The Times (she broke her back in a riding accident), to stop taking for granted the ability to get out of bed, dressed and out the door each day.

The irony in my having piled on the pounds is not lost on me: I spent part of the summer training like a fiend, and have never felt healthier or happier. But, since I finished my first training stint at the beginning of August, I have been unable to commit to another gym-based regimen as I had planned, as I have been travelling (France, Yorkshire, Sweden, New York, New Jersey, Miami, Marrakech, and eating sensibly on planes & in hotels and with jetlag is a stretch), Fashion Week-ing, and just plain hard-working.

I also live on a street with excellent restaurants & a great food shop, and it’s been much, much easier to just dial up my supper or buy a loaf of bread and eat toast when the fridge is empty when I get home off a plane, or after a day of external meetings, and I can’t be bothered to cook. And when I am tired and stressed I don’t want to go to the gym and eat vegetables. I want to go retire to bed and eat carbs, carbs and more carbs. Of course, the irony in all of this, is that I really LIKE healthy foods and vegetables. I have just been tired & lazy to think about it all.

And, in the interests of complete honestly, I looked at the photos of me in Marrakch and I don’t love the moon face so much.

So the complete resolution is:

Exercise for at least an hour three times a week, and take my exercise kit to hotels and ALWAYS use the gym in them.
Walk up every stair or escalator, rather than taking lifts or just standing still pecking at my BlackBerry.
Get off the tube or bus a stop early, & no driving to local meetings or events.
No takeaways, ever, & no more toast.
A proper breakfast every day, and cook once a day. (Which I am supposed to be doing anyway for my food book)
Not allowing myself to get really hungry through busy-ness & then shoving everything in sight in my gob, which is my MO almost every day.
Stashing almonds, SoyJoy bars and protein snacks in my handbag, office & car to avoid grabbing sugary, carb-y snacks on the hoof when ravenous.
Eating AT LEAST my five a day and preferably double that.
No white food: mashed potatoes, pasta, sugar, white rice, white bread. Instead lots of lovely filling fibre and low GI carbs, all of which should stop the cravings, blood sugar peaks, and ravenous hunger.
No eating supper after 8pm.

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68 comments

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Sounds like a totally sensible plan. I’m not surprised you have challenges with eating because I am a disaster whenever I travel. I’m either in “vacation-mode” or I’m out of my element. Either way, it leads to some high-calorie choices.

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@K-Line: oh hon you are SO right. I just get in a tizz and end up making the wrong choices.

LLGxx

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Whether or not you intended it as such, this post is rather inspirational! Too bad it’s easier said than done (although all the negatives/risks associated with overeating/not exercising are good motivation). I’ve gotten better about going to the gym, but I haven’t made any significant changes to my eating habits. I’ve been oversleeping a lot and so just grabbing a scone on my way to work, which isn’t a good idea. So, more sleep, more exercising, and fewer sweets for me. I really like your list of “the complete resolution” — there are some helpful tips in there that seem so obvious once I have them in front of me. Best of luck to you on sticking with it (not that you need my luck)!

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@CW: It really got hammered into me when I trained seriously this summer. I wad SO much healthier & fitter but I barely lost any weight at all, and it’s clear that that was because I didn’t alter my diet much at all. Diet AND exercise. Each is equally important. LLGxx

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Good luck Sasha. One thing I’ve found quite helpful is buying snack boxes from Graze (http://www.graze.com/ – I am not affiliated with them in any way). I get one delivered to work each week (but they would probably fit through most letter boxes) and it means that I am now much better at snacking on something healthy, rather than hitting the snack machine and wolfing down a bag of Quavers (and then feeling vile).

I am also planning on really committing to exercise this year… we’ll see how that goes!

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@Claire: I love Graze boxes too. I tried them on a Groupon this time last year, but the problem is that I have absolutely ZERO self-control. That’s why there are no yummy snacks or bread or anything unhealthy in my house whatsoever. I found myself eating all four snacks within hours of their arrival! I find the monotony of almonds works as I eat them merely to stop being hungry rather than out of snack-lust. LLGxx

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@LLG: Whe@LLG: When I get Graze boxes I end up eating everything at once, thus cancelling out any health benefits!

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Life Co in Bodrum…..life changing x

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@lulu: Well, you looked amazing when I saw you just afterwards! LLGxx

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oh thanks!I booked to go in march. Can hardly wait….and while at home I’m trying (not always succeeding) to eat mindfully. Good luck!!x

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Honest account of the battle to stay fit.
Nice to be talking diet in context of being healthy not just thin!
Good luck! Am doing the same myself!

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It seems like everyone I know over age 38 (just happens to be my friends group, not making any assumptions about age-of-blogger) is finally realizing that they can’t go on with a regime of no exercise and not thinking about what goes in their bellies…it’s just bad for maintaining a body that can literally carry their ambitions (who wants to be walking wounded shortly after hitting middle age? Which is what happens, unfortunately–sore backs and aching joints and all).

Good luck, it’s worth it, even though it can seem pretty tedious!

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Hi Sasha

M&S do a really good five a day box too which is great for nibbling through during a day at the computer. You don’t even notice you’re eating it but it’s all good stuff and really filling.

I think the only way to stay slim is to make it a priority, for it to be the most important thing in our life, and none of us want to live like that so it’s very hard to keep on track! And I know how disappointing it is to put weight on once you stop a regular exercise routine. Wouldn’t it be nice if the results lasted longer? I do think you’re right also, it’s all about how much time you have to concentrate on it and be organised and that can be very difficult to fit in to hectic lives. And the Y&A pizzas are a real temptation too!

Good luck, am sure you’ll fit into a healthy routine easily xx

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Very inspiring. My excess weight is in the same place and I most certainly need to do the same. I wish you luck and please keep us informed of your progress.

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I’m game for some fast-paced dog walking to supplement the 3-times / week exercise (which I’m trying to do, too).

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@Anne Fousse: Let’s do it! Pottles is looking VERY porky right now. Ahem. LLGxx

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So easy to get caught in the trap of convenience, especially living in London and travelling so much. Good luck and I’m sure you’ll feel amazing in no time 🙂

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@Hester: SO true, so very true. LLGxx

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