I've been in a weird spot lately. I was gearing up to take on a client project that was pulled at the last minute. My headspace went from being 'all-in, let's do this, yeah client work!' to being at a bit of a loose end. I went to one of General Assembly's talks on Legalise for Start Up courses, where I listened to an Australian with a mustache talk about what you need to be covered, legally (in short: write all your agreements and decisions down. Write them down. Write. Them. Down.) The rest of the week has been a mix of socialising and research and cold. It's cold. I've also been running these last few months. Three times a week at lunch with some guys from work. We started small, a 3k route with some strength training at the end thrown in. Slowly but surely I've been pushing it. Last week we changed up our route slightly, and ran 8k. 8k! It seems impossible that someone who has hated running for so long (literally only ran because it was the only exercise I was getting, and it was free) has managed to increase her stamina to run a whopping 8k. What the hell?
Don't get me wrong, it was still hard. The first part of my run I hate (I think I always hate that part) when my body protests and it's cold outside and I have to push through. The middle of the run I've settled into, which felt, dare I say it, good. It felt okay. I wasn't thinking about how sore my legs were or when I could next stop. Don't get me wrong, there was no endorphins are any kind of runners high, but I didn't feel like I wanted to stop and lie on the pavement. Progress! I'm calling that progress.
On that note, I'm also realising that small victories? Totally the way to success. Celebrating the small victories is enough motivation to keep going.
Surprisingly, with the regular running came weight loss. I didn't realise how 'big' I'd gotten. This feels like a tricky thing to talk about, so I'm just going to go all in and see how it goes. First, big is a relative term. When I say I didn't realise how big I'd gotten, I mean in comparison to my body shape a few years ago. I've talked about weight on the blog before, but this time last year I was training for climbing kili. I was running and doing rowing and walking two hours across London to work get my distance up. I was fit, yeah!
Then I climbed that giant mountain (hardest thing I've ever done, ever) and stopped all the training. Resumed London life, which if you've ever lived in London means socialising. And eating all of the amazing foods. And drinking, aaall the drinking. I went on holiday earlier in the year and for a week lay by the pool, barely moved and had the waiter bring me endless margaritas and pad thai. As in, I actually did that for a whole week. Lay really still and had people bring me food and cocktails.
That was eight months ago, and I was the biggest I've ever been, ever. Like, an extra 15kg (or 33 pounds, if that works better for your mental picture) heavier than I was at my 'normal' weight. I didn't fit my 'fat' jeans and had resorted to wearing maxi dresses because they made me feel less big. Like I could pretend that I didn't really have a small weight problem floating about my middle.
When we got back to London I lost some of the weight just by moving about more. London's a good city for walking and with regular moving I lost half a kg or so. But when my fat-fat jeans didn't fit and there was a throw-away comment from Zee, it was enough for me to buy scales and figure out *exactly* what was going on with my body. And woah buddy. The facts were disheartening. How could I have put on *that* much weight exactly? What? That can't be right… 15kg seemed like too big a number.
At first I was overwhelmed. How exactly was I going to lose 15kg? What the fuck, that's impossible. And then I realised that actually, I didn't have to lose the whole 15 in one go. Let's just try lose half a kg. Just a half. That seemed totally doable. I got Argus, which is an app that keeps track of how many steps you take, track your weight and has a feature that allows you to take photos of what you eat. I found that helpful, it meant that I was aware of how much I was eating and turns that me? I'm a snacker. I snack compulsively. If there is food out and I can see it, I'm probably going to eat it. At meals I can't stop eating until my plate is clear. That is the indicator to my stomach that I'm done, not that my stomach is full, but that my plate is empty and the table is clear of additional food (like, actually. Even Zee's plate, if Zee leaves something, I also must eat it. I actually steal food from his plate). I didn't know this about myself till I started taking photos of things I put in my mouth, and figuring out when I was done.
Sure enough, with moving more and being aware of what I was eating, that first half came pretty easily. The next half too. With each small victory I'd do a little dance, high five myself and purchase some kind of non-food reward. Side note: Food used to be a reward. I love eating, so it was a pretty effective. That was a hard habit to break. The hardest bit was setting a realistic and achievable goal. Sometimes my goal would be too big and I'd fall off. I've got graphs with all of the weight, and you can tell where I've fallen off because once the number went up I stopped weighing myself. I'd leave it for a few days and once I'd worked up the courage to tackle things, the next entry would be much higher.
Le sigh. Still, in the last eight months there has been regular but slow process to healthy weight loss. I eat better than I used to (more vegetables, that's for sure!), I drink more water, and run more. I track what I'm eating, not so much calorie counting but just so I'm aware of what I'm eating, so I can spot when I'm about to veer off course with the snacking and stop myself. Of that 15kg I've lost 6.5kg (14 pounds). Not quite halfway, but my fat jeans are loose now, and my fat fat jeans have been relegated to the donate pile. High five! I've got a pair of jeans that I wore from NZ to London that I've got my eye on next.
Here is what I looked like this morning. I tried some more self portrait posts but what do you know? Still awkward. I wonder if taking self portraits is ever going to get easier?
I was going to do a before and after, but in a true person-in-denial-about-her-weight-gain, I've deleted all the photos where I look anything other than slim. Any angle that wasn't flattering or showed me looking bigger than I was, poof. I'm not sure how exciting that would have been for you anyway.
So, that was another attempt at rambly posting 'heres where I am right now'. It feels weird to be posting without structure, but it happened and what you got was a lot of running and weight talk. I don't usually talk about that kind of thing, but meh, it's where I am right now. What do you think? Rambly or not rambly? Does it matter?