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Be a calorie counter. Be a gym bunny.

The sort-of-but-not-really-a-diet diet diary, entry 1:

I have pondered a while over whether I should write a post like this. One about bodies and dress sizes and diets, as a) I don’t think I am really qualified to talk about any of that stuff (having no professional qualifications or experience, or indeed having never even dieted successfully), and also b) cos I don’t know if I want to write a blog about diets. This was meant to be a fun place for pictures of expensive candles, reviews of cool restaurants who specialised in mac and cheese, my life milestones reimagined in Beyonce GIFs. Nonetheless here I am and I have decided to write this post, and commit to a couple more in this series, for three reasons:

1. I am very sleep deprived (well for me of 9 hour optimum sleeping time) with sub 6 hours last night, due to staying up to watch the Eurovision (still not sure my feelings on the result, Australia back in the competition or the UK’s entry) and getting up at 6:15 to catch an early train to Manchester, which I am now on. As a result, I am having trouble summoning any other creative juices and this idea is just rotating in my head like a rotisserie chicken.

2.  With the exception of my vows for a healthier and fitter July last year, as a general rule, when I tend to talk about things I am planning on doing on the internet I actually follow through, so in this case that would be good.

3. I sort of think it might be useful - actually, this is the kinda of blog post I would find quite handy if I stumbled across it, so I hope someone out there finds this helpful.

So now I’ve practically written a post about why I should write a post, guess I better crack on with it.

My dilemma is this: Since stumbling into puberty, I’ve not been a skinny girl. I’ve always felt like the more booby and belly-y and hippy of my friends, always dreamed after washboard abs, always been a swimming costume rather than bikini kinda girl. However, actually looking back at photos of myself up until about 2-3 years ago, I look healthy, and I am pretty sure my BMI, my waist height ratio, my waist hip ratio would all have been a-ok. I am not saying that nowadays I look unhealthy, but I reckon on those 3 aforementioned how fat are you measures, I am looking not so squeaky clean on the BMI front, maybe not on the waist height ratio too…

As I’ve entered my later twenties, my metabolism seems to have puttered out and I’ve adopted a far more sedentary lifestyle of sitting at a computer all day err day, so no matter how much I commit to drinking green juices and cooking up deliciously ella for dinner, no matter the number of salads I eat for lunch or the bowls of almond milk bircher I have for breakfast, the pounds just seem to be creeping on. Now I could diet it all away, but I know unless I was to continue on the ducan or the atkins or whatever American “doctor”’s diet forever, it would all come back on again eventually. So I’ve decided to change my lifestyle. Tweak things which will start the pounds falling off slowly, and I’ll find that healthy weight again. I have no plans to rediscover the washboard abs I’ve never had, just fit in all my old clothes properly and feel a bit better when I see photos of myself.

So here is my plan, I’ve scoured the internet far and wide, and had a good think about lifestyle tweaks I’d be comfortable making, which I think will help me drop the pounds. I am trialling each of them for 3 weeks, to work out how effective they are at losing weight, but  also to see whether I really could do them forever or whether they’d make me hate my life and the world a little bit. So far I’ve thought of a potential 8 changes to trial, and I thought I’d write them up here and let y’all know how they go. Here are the first 6 weeks:

Lifestyle change: Be a calorie counter
Pounds lost: 2.4 (0.6lbs per week on average)
I’ve used my fitness pal in the past, and it is actually the closest I’ve ever come to successful weight loss in the past - 7lbs lost over 2-3 months, not groundbreaking, but something. This time I was a little less strict on myself, not beating myself up for going over my 1200 allotted net calories a day, but being conscious about every biscuit I grabbed. It was pretty effective, and I probably would have managed 3lbs had it not been for the Easter holidays. Those damn Lindt bunnies. I think it is a contender, but it does make me feel a little miserable to think, if you did it for life you’d probably find out you’d spent the equivalent of 2 weeks across your years looking up food and logging it…

Lifestyle change: Be a gym bunny
Pounds lost: 0.6 (0.2lbs per week on average)
I sorta mentioned in 9 nice things about how I’ve got out of the exercise hibernation I accidentally found myself in in the winter months, and how I’ve actually remembered - big surprise - exercise makes you feel really good about yourself. You can see in terms of weight loss this trial wasn’t very dramatic, but it made me kick myself for not doing things like taking waist measurements because I am sure partly the lbs loss is slowed down as you build muscle at the same time no? And I just think, no one who goes to the gym and tries pretty hard 5 x a week is that big right? It must be a step in the right direction, and it is definitely something I think I can and should keep up for life. As I went to a gym near my work, it was actually pretty easy to exercise every working day - I just popped to Pilates classes on my lunch break, went for a swim and steam before work, squeezed in a kettlebells class before cocktails. Although the effects aren’t dramatic now, I just think I wonder if I keep it  up, what sort of size I’ll be and how my clothes will fit summer next year, it is all about the long game.

PS. Inspired to maybe go for a run now?

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