So let’s face it, a Wellness Journal with me in charge was never going to be a straightfoward matter now was it? I do wish I was the kind of blogger who could inspire you with massive change and reliable output, but heckity-pie I’m just not. For heaven’s sake, do as I say and not as I do won’t you?
Anyways. As you know I began with good intentions, I joined WeightWatchers, gathered all the resources I needed to start my Wellness Journey and threw myself heart and soul into creating a more acceptable bottom and bosom. You know the kind that mean that I don’t have to cross the threshold of a room while my bum lingers in the last one and my boobs get the party started in the next?
It went rather spectacularly well. In the first week I lost an astonishing nine inches from around my person and in the weeks following another couple here and there. For I am nothing if not utterly excellent, at losing weight, once I put my mind to it. I once managed to lose NINE STONE. And yep, you read that right: NINE STONE.
The problem is keeping my mind on it. Because this is a mind that likes to go a-wandering and rather despises having to think about food all the time, mostly because I’m really not wild about food at all, and could happily live on an evening meal of cheese and crackers with the odd violet creme thrown in for puttery joy. (Preferably for breakfast). You see, I am not a foodie person. Mark BrocanteHome through the years and you will see that recipes are few and far between, not because I can’t cook, but mostly because food almost isn’t on my radar beyond providing sustenance for my family a few times a day. Ask me what food I like and I will tell you cheese. And kale roasted in fistfuls of garlic and olive oil.
I chose to do Weightwatchers because it forced me not only to consider what I am putting in my mouth, but also how often I remember to eat, while allowing me free reign with the diet choices I make and the “framework” for wellness I set myself.
So I created a printable to set my own “rules” (and shared it in the Salon Life Less Ordinary Planner so you too can create your own rules) based on the advice I read in The AutoImmune Wellness Handbook, with a bit of feta thrown in for good measure (because cheese), listing all the supplements I was taking and the self-care rituals I am using to support my journey, and hey ho I was good to go.
And go I did. At first with the kind of enthusiasm it would have been impossible to maintain because I am a person with a life and even losing a few inches of my substantial hips isn’t enough to have me obsessing, and then with a gentler, kinder approach that allowed for off days and sad days, while still operating as often as possible within the framework I had created for myself.
I don’t talk about the diet. Don’t make a fuss about how “good” I am being (for I never would have made a similar fuss about how “bad” I was being before, and I have long thought those women who waffle on about how much ironing they have got to do and mutter “I’m being good” while salivating over a slice of cake, need stringing up for over-serving martyrdom). I don’t lecture others about my dieting discoveries or bash myself about the head with a set of scales when I eat something I shouldn’t.
I simply do, as I do in all area’s of my life, what I set out to do. I do what I can. When I can. And when I fall off the bandwagon, I quietly climb back on and carry on. Observing where the temptation lay, or what emotion had me eating my weight in cheddar, and trying to find the lesson there, with no ludicrous expectation that it will never happen again, for as sure as eggs are scrambled: I will no doubt find myself standing Nigella Lawson style, by the light of the fridge,snaffling something cheesy in the middle of the night, because I can’t sleep, or the world feels upside down, or you know, because I am pre-menstrual and if you challenge me I will slap you around your cheeky chops. And then cry.
What has made the difference then is having a framework for my own Wellness Journey. A contract with myself. Each day I spend fifteen minutes plotting out my day in my journal, planning meals and factoring in my yoga and (hilarious) exercise sessions, my aromatherapy showers and meditations and then I get on with it. Sometimes everything gets done and sometimes it doesn’t but I keep on coming back to my framework: checking in with myself. Measuring myself weekly, doing diddy naked happy dances in my bedroom (not something for public consumption), and generally reminding myself daily that this isn’t a flash in the pan diet I can set aside but a lifestyle for always, I need to remain committed to if I want to stay alive for as long as possible.
For isn’t that ultimately what it is about: not vanity, but survival?
Things That Have Worked For Me Recently.
- Upping my Vitamin D again. It has banished the debilitating aches and pains and given me more energy.
- Wearing my Fitbit Versa daily (with this strap) as it bleeps every hour to remind me to stand up and move about when I’m engrossed in my work.
- Reading “Intuitive Eating” because so very much of my relationship with food needs to be addressed and this book as recommended by a number of my readers is really helping me to do so.
Saving Grace: A Memoir of Weight Loss
This is the book that inspired me to try again: to believe that weight loss really is about DECIDING and then committing to a process we may or may not like, but need to do in order to save ourselves.
Funny, easy to read and packed with motivation, this is one middle-aged woman's story of coming to terms with the need to save herself.
WW. Weight Watchers Reimagined.
I think WeightWatchers re-branding to include a heavier focus on wellbeing rather than weightloss has been timely for me as I both address my diet and try to remind myself that looking after me matters.
The plan is so flexible and I have been able to incorporate the principles for eating set out in The AutoImmune Wellness Handbook, while also addressing my own issues with portion size and emotional eating.
The Perfect Body Tape Measure
As my weight fluctuates rather dramatically with my hormones, I am tracking my weight loss with a tape measure rather than scales because to my mind it gives a more accurate picture of how my body is changing. Using a measure designed for the body means snugger, more flexible readings.
The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook: A DIY Guide to Living Well with Chronic Illness
Battling weight-loss as a Hashimoto's patient was always going to be an uphill battle, but this book has set out a set of principles for me to follow that have helped me to understand where I have been sabotaging myself.
The Daily Greatness Wellness Journal
I rely on the Daily Greatness Journals in my home and business life, so it made sense to me to use their Wellness journal as a means of tracking my wellbeing journey and so far it has been an incredibly inspirational addition to my program.
Bare: A Seven-Week Program
As a long-time believer that weight issues are about so much more than just over-eating, this book has been a revelation. Though Hyatt doesnt hold with WW, this book has helped me to truly question WHY I am eating and to start to set in place some of the suggestions within it.
USDA Organic Hemp Oil
Though I'm rarely one to jump on the proverbial bandwagon, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't tell you that 10% Hemp Oil has been a life-changer for me because it truly does help me to sleep and waking feeling refreshed has been such a help when I'm trying to raise my energy levels.
The Edited Woman
My own clutter-busting program for each and every aspect of our lives: from weight-loss to your underwear drawer, the pantry and everywhere inbetween...
Live Infinitely Exercise Ball
Along with my yoga routine and daily walking I have brought out my old faithful, my exercise ball simply because rolling about on it while watching TV in the evening helps me to stay in touch with my body, rather than slumping on the sofa...
Yoga For Life: How to Stay Strong, Flexible and Balanced Over 40
And finally this excellent, demystifying guide to both yoga and establishing a more balanced way of being after forty. Basic, sensible and inspiring.