Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Leslie’s on the up!

Leslie’s on the up!  Not her weight you understand, that’s going down.  But her attitude.  Very upbeat, positive and back in charge.

Leslie has come up with a healthy eating plan and is giving it a go.  She knows that there will be challenges – but she’s ready for them.  Weight management can be full of struggles .  Often we eat for reasons other than hunger and dealing with those thoughts can take time and effort.  Its really easy for people who don’t battle with their weight to wonder why someone who is fat doesn’t just eat less and move more.  If it were that simple that is what would happen – but its far more complex (and painful) than that.  So, if you see someone in the gym who could do with losing a few pounds (or a few stone) please give them a positive smile, we need all the help we can get !

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Leslie - a great week

Leslie has had a great week (I did have a photo – but my phone has decided not to work at all – so I can’t retrieve it!) 

And do you know the most exciting thing?  Leslie needs new trainers!  That might not seem much to you – but to Leslie its huge – it means that she has been to the gym enough times to wear them down. I have completely lost count of the number of times I have seen people come into the gym with sparkly new trainers at the beginning of the year and for the trainers (and their owner’s body) to look exactly the same six months later.  Leslie is doing blood sweat and  tears.  Whatever you think of overweight people – we have heard it all before.  We have heard ‘eat less and move more’, ‘how can she let herself get like that?’   We know all about ‘why doesn’t she …….’ And ‘doesn’t she realise what she looks like?’  There are many reasons for being overweight and many many ways to lose all the extra weight.  But none of it is easy.  However you decide to do it takes courage and patience.  Courage because you have to trust your body to let you know when it is really hungry – and patience because it isn’t quick.  Putting on extra stones can be done very easily – taking it off (and leaving it off) is not a quick fix. 

Leslie is sticking to her food plan and any lapses are programmed in – they are not reactions to boredom or stress.  She is very aware of her physical activity and is disciplined about allocating time to exercise and to looking after herself.

She didn’t want to be weighed this week – and that is just fine.  Weighing isn’t always the best thing to do – sometimes it is better to feel how well your clothes are fitting.

Its very much a ‘keep on keeping on ‘ week this week – and your support and encouragement is really helping

Friday, 13 May 2016

Leslie - Back on track

Leslie’s back on track!  Keeping to a food plan isn’t always easy – regardless of what the plan is – ‘stuff’ gets in the way and its easy to go back to old habits – in fact it’s the easiest thing in the world – if you have always had a Mars bar if its been a tough day – or an odd glass of wine (or two) – then its really hard not to go back to that habit when the day hasn’t gone well.   Whatever message you have routinely given your brain soon slips in again – ‘I deserve it’ , it doesn’t matter’,  ‘I’ve messed up today already – might as well stop altogether’. 

Well, Leslie has been there.  Her tooth has been playing up and there’s been a ‘high sod it factor’ – but she’s back.  She has stopped using food for comfort and is eating to fuel her body.  And do you know what – her workout on Wednesday was one of the best for a very long time.  We are back in business!

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Because not despite

Have you ever felt the need to apologise for your age?  Or excuse yourself because of your age?  Or felt the need to try to ‘look younger’? 

I am 62; nothing can alter that – I was born in 1953 (yes, I have to scroll down quite a long way when I am filling in a form with ‘date of birth’ on it).  I have had 4 children, my body has lived through all that with me and has been changed by the experience.  My brain has learnt a huge amount of facts and wisdom.  My heart has beaten millions of times (and its been broken and been touched by events that my 20 year old self couldn’t even have imagined).  My legs have walked thousands of miles and my arms lifted tons of weight of one sort or another. 
Why should I apologise for that?  Why should I try to disguise that?  Of course I want to be as fit and healthy as I can be and want to look good, because that matters to me.  But that has always mattered to me. Of course I get my hair cut regularly – I always have done and I get it coloured, because I like my hair this colour.  It might be grey ‘naturally’ – I have no idea but right now it’s the colour I have chosen.  And of course I wear face cream – I always have.  I put moisturiser on my face every night and morning because I always have done – if I don’t it feels all dry and horrible.  It might be the same cream that my mother used or it might be something new I am trying – but I use it because I like it.  I don’t expect (or want) it to ‘roll back the years’, why would I be less than I am? 

Sometimes I look at my body and wonder if I would like it to be different – but that’s good – I have always done that.  I am five feet tall (and getting shorter) – I want to keep in the best shape I can because I want to stay fit.  If I carry extra body weight my knees will hurt, my ankles will get sore.  If I put on weight my clothes will be tight (I have no idea how much I weigh by the way) and I don’t want to spend my money on new clothes right now.  If I let my BMI creep up my risk of diseases such as diabetes, stroke and cardiac disease increases.  This is my responsibility – but it always has been.  If I am heavier then going for a walk will become an effort. And I don’t want it to be an effort – I really like walking (and running) and want to  keep this as an easy thing that takes little thought. 
I lift weights in the gym because it makes me feel strong and in control – but it does that for younger women too.  I lift weights because I am 62, not despite.  Research tells us that resistance work is valuable for older muscles as well as young muscles.  I run because I am 62and its great for my bones. 

I continually look out for interesting courses and new skills to learn.  I always have done.  It might take a while to get the information to stick (but it always has done) – and I no longer panic if its complicated to begin with, I know, because I am 62, that I will be able to master it all sooner or later.
So, could we please stop the language of the old person?  If we tell ourselves that we can’t do something because we are old I can guarantee that we won’t be able to do it.  OK – let’s be realistic – I am not going to run a sub 3hours 30 marathon – but the great thing about being 62 is that I don’t want to!  But I can run, I can run as far and as fast as I want to because I am 62. 

I can greet each day as an opportunity to be as kind as I can to those around me, to do what I can to help others and to enjoy myself.    I am confident because I am older, more relaxed and more experienced.  I know that things usually work out OK eventually so I fret less.  I have learnt how to live in the moment.
So don’t expect me to want to look younger, roll back the years, or recapture my youth.  I am very happy because I am 62, not despite.  I am just going to carry on being the best I can,  it works however old you are!