good-girl-march-jenthered

In June 2014 I promised my readers a post for every stone I lost as I bravely marched forward with my plan to lose a whopping 7.5 stone. By December I had lost 2 stone 6lbs and since? Well, I have pretty much maintained that loss but also seem to have lost determination to continue on my mission.

The solution? Towards the end of the year I began self-sabotaging my plan on a weekly basis (usually the day after weigh in). So, my first step is going to be breaking that weekly habit by committing to my healthy living mission in one month stints. To kick this off I am going to be a good girl for the whole of March. This could be strictly following step 2 of the Cambridge weight loss plan or simply eating better and avoiding alcohol or cakes! The core point here is being ‘good’ and I am calling it… #GoodGirlMarch.

You were doing so well, where did it go wrong?

I was. I was focused and loved waking up every day feeling a little lighter. The turning point was yet another negative turn in my job situation in mid-November 2014. My confidence took a dip and being unemployed, or should I say ‘freelance’ over Christmas sucked big time. It is very difficult to be positive about the ‘new year’ when you have no idea how you are going to make rent.

Of course, Christmas was the perfect excuse to indulge, so I just let the mince pies, mulled wine, cheese, crackers and pigs in blankets roll on in. The indulging just wouldn’t stop after that. Despite trying to get back on plan, I just didn’t want too!

Here is a little timeline of my fluctuating weight so far this year…

  • 6lb gain over Christmas lost by 1st week of Jan in time for Isle of Wight weekend away
  • Early-Jan weekend away indulging in booze and food led to another 7lb gain, which I lost using the Cambridge packets I had left by mid-January.
  • Up and down along the same 6-10lbs – I then continued to waver between 6-10lbs until I finally realised I need to review my approach in early Feb

The ‘excuse’ snowball effect…

The excuses that I chanted defiantly at friends and loved ones throughout this period included:

“It’s the new year, I am allowed to celebrate”
“I am stressed about finding a job”
“Healthy food is more expensive and we need to save money”
“It’s harder to cook for two when only one of us is on a diet”
“I have a new job! I don’t want to tell them I’m on the diet.”
“I can’t walk to work anymore because it’s cold and I don’t have a decent coat”

And so on…

I had become so erratic with my eating habits. Cambridge packets were now my panic ‘go to’ every time I messed up. The only way I could stop this snowball effect long enough to get a moment to think was to just stop all together.

Time for a break…

So earlier this month I finally accepted that I was just bored of thinking about my weight all of the time and just wanted to live again! Be normal… in dietary terms at least. After a chat with my Cambridge consultant, I decided to take break. Not an all-out rebellious binge but a period of time when I would just eat healthily and maintain my loss while I found balance in my life. A balance that I hoped would help light the way back to being the focused woman on a mission I was when I started my weightloss journey last year. And I think it has worked…

I want to make it clear that I don’t feel like I have failed at all. I may not have made my 3 stone target by Christmas but I did publish my two posts for 2 stones last year and, despite my continued skip up and down the same 10lbs on the scales, I mastered maintaining my 2 stone loss through February consistently weighing the same with a small 1-3lbs difference along the way

I am the ‘maintenance’ master!

Maintenance is difficult and diets like Cambridge are often criticised for the pounds that dieters pile back on. Once I had made the decision to take a break and regained a feeling of control over my diet – my eating habits calmed down through February. A typical ‘maintenance’ day for me this month has been:

  • Breakfast: Protein shake with coffee added or cereal with skimmed milk
  • Lunch: Jacket Potato with dinner leftovers (i.e. Quorn Bolognese & low fat cheese)
  • Snacks / Drinks: Large skinny latte and dipping into work treats here and there
  • Dinner: Slimming World inspired meal, i.e Quorn Korma or pasta with well-balanced protein / veg / carb ratios
  • Evening treats: The odd alcoholic drink (spirit based) or chocolate treat i.e. rolo dessert

Maintaining my loss this month has helped me rebuild my confidence and feel prepared for a long term weightloss when I make it to the top of my metaphorical mountain. I am now confident that the healthy cooking skills I picked up following Slimming World for several years will put me in good stead for maintaining throughout my life.

That said – I still plan to use the Cambridge plan to lose most of the weight with a possible to switch to Slimming World and increased exercise later down the line.

I haven’t forgotten about exercise!

Speaking of exercise – If you are screaming ‘just move more than you eat man!’ then keep your pants on. I used to be a qualified aerobics instructor and very much can’t wait to get physical in my life again – in more ways than one. Sadly, the aches and pains I get at the moment with the extra weight make the whole experience pretty disheartening and quite frankly, scary. I now get injuries quite easily.
Walking to work and back are as much as I can do for now but as I drop more pounds I will be increasing exercise gradually through my journey. I also have my eye on a local Zumba class and plans to get out my Wii Fit again at some point (watch this space).

Being Social Makes me Sad When I am on Plan…

An additional reason for this one month mission #GoodGirlMarch, is that I hate socialising when I have to restrict my eating or drinking so dramatically. It’s not that I ‘need’ those things, it is that I like feeling like I have the choice and hate the reminder that I am insecure about my body when I am trying to have a good time. It sucks. This way, by only committing one month steps, I can schedule social occasions around my plan. Easier said than done I expect, so wish me luck on that one!

Your weightloss journey, is a personal journey…

The main reason I am blogging about my experience so openly is to help encourage anyone like me to continue – even if just one plan doesn’t work for them. You may find one that works, you may like a few. You may even find that just regular exercise and small portions works for you. Whatever plan you decide to take in your healthy eating, the journey is yours and how you get there, is up to you.

And this is mine. Even though I know that others have lost a huge amount of weight fast on a diet like Cambridge, what the last few months has taught me is that I am unlikely to do it in one big swoop because I just get bored. I get frustrated and I miss my vices. By making a considered decision to have strict periods of time where I follow the plan properly with maintenance breaks in between – I feel that I can get back on track, even if my train is a little slower.

The hot tub is still on the cards!

I promised myself a hot tub last year if I made my 3 stone loss by December. Sadly this didn’t happen. I am resetting the target for 2 more stone, which I hope to do before my weightloss journey’iversay in July 2015. The visualisation of a 4 stone lighter me sipping sparkling wine and enjoying the hot bubbles before the year is out is good enough for me!

Marching the March for #GoodGirlMarch

So here it is… my promise to you, with the digital universe as my witness, that I will be strictly a good girl throughout March. No alcohol, no cakes, and the big one, low carbs! While I will be kicking off by following step 2 of the Cambridge weight loss plan, in hope that I can regain my momentum – the commitment for March is high protein no treats!

My boyfriend is also keen to lose weight and will be joining the cause by having a #GoodBoyMarch with a high protein plan. He has agreed to blog about his journey as a guest contributer, so I look forward to sharing his posts very soon.

I would love to hear about anyone’s success stories or answer any questions if you have similar struggles @jenniferthered or www.facebook.com/jenthered.music

Please click here to read more posts from my Weightloss Journey series.

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