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Finding the right motivation

As most people who know me now know, I like to run.  I am not a motivated runner but one who is more of a social runner.  Running with others is great.  Running on my own is not as much fun unless I am in a race where I get a bit of Bling at the end.

Before lockdown I used to run with a wonderful non-competitive running group.  We would meet up and do long runs, the people like me who are turtle runners would be at the back and the faster runners would go ahead then loop back.  

No one would push us to go faster, we were allowed to run at our own pace.

Lockdown changed all that.  

Self motivation.

The keyword became self motivation. For running I am not so good at that.  I am motivated to stay a normal body weight but my runs became more walks and very short.  I made excuses not to go out.

Someone might look at me, worse they might get too close and I could get sick.

I needed to have something to help me.

I was reminded of Virtual medals.

They are amazing motivation tools!  You sign up to them and do your race on your own time.  You need to record the activity, once you have completed the activity send the proof to the virtual medal company and they send you your medal.

Not Just for Running!

They are for walking, running, cycling, swimming and more.  I get such a high opening the envelope and then adding it to my medals.

I feel even better knowing that the virtual medals that I sign up for all give some of the money to charity.  It is like doing a charity event.

So great.

Is there an activity you like to do that you could sign up for a virtual medal?

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Back, knees, and feet do not have to hurt.

A short walk leaves your knees achy and your back sore.  Being larger means that more pressure, weight is on your body.

I remember when I was starting out walking that my knees would hurt for a long time after I stopped.

I wanted to quit but I wanted to be a normal size more.

The hurt had to be good right?


I was walking in the wrong shoes.

My legs had no support or cushioning.  Walking straight n the had surface.

So many people said to put up with the pain and just continue but it just makes you want to give up.  Sit on the sofa instead.

There was a sale on walking shoes.  So I went in and tried what seemed like all of them on.

Would I ever find a pair that were comfortable?  Eventually a wide fitting pair were brought out and they were like walking on a cloud.

I purchased them quickly.  The clerk in the shop said I would have to break them in, even though they were comfortable in the shop to wear them in the house for a day or two before wearing them outside.  Then wearing them for longer trips.

I went home and wore them all evening.

They were great so I wore them to go to work the next day.

Too much and they rubbed a bit, I got a blister but I was used to those so I put on some compeed and continued.

After a week they were comfortable the whole time I wore them.  My knees were less painful, my back didn’t scream for me to stop.

The right shoes made a huge diffference!

What I have learned since is that sometimes shoes can seem great in the shop but you need to wear them in a bit to see if they are really any good.  Wear them around the house so there is no wear and tear and you can return them if they are not good, or buy on sale.

Some peoples feet prefer solid, inflexible shoes, other people prefer flexible sock like shoes.  I used to think that it was normal to get blisters every time I went for a walk.  Then one day I bought a new type of running shoes and only have blisters very rarely.  Do try other style of shoes out if you get blisters.

The right shoe is amazing!

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Ready to bloom

Let yourself bloom.

Hiding away and not letting the world see the real you.  How you really feel. Like a flower hidden behind a bush, not reaching for the sun but hiding.

Your smile is your armour rather than showing true joy. You deserve more.

I was like that.  I used my smile like a shield. Not showing how I really felt.  Not really experiencing much happiness.  Hiding the real me, even from myself.  Telling myself that work was everything, that someday I would live how I wanted to live.

Decide to be happy.

One day I made a decision to start doing things that made me happy.  Not to wait until that far off time when life was going to be perfect, but now.

I went out and did the activities I wanted to do, saw sites and had experiences.  

Started living, rather than existing,

Became happy.

That was when I started to bloom.  People made comments about how great I looked, had I lost weight, at that point, no. But the more I started living the life I wanted to live the happier I was and the weight started to come off.

I was not the flower hiding beside the bushes scared of the sun, but a flower reaching for the sun.

What can you do today to start living your life how you want to?

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Each day is a new start

Every day seems the same.  Get up, go to work, come home, bed, then repeat until the weekend.

Ah, the weekend.  Days when we can hibernate at home and not have to face the world.  Feel judged.

We feel out of control, like we cannot change.  Do we really want to?

Some days it can seem that we don’t.  The warm duvet wrapped around us while we are watching tv.  Eating on the sofa.

Life feels hopeless.

A lethargic body that does not like movement.  Easier to stay on the sofa.  Movement hurts, trying to use muscles that are not used to movement.  

Taking control back is too much effort, it is easier to let life pass by. 

Until one day you snap!  Why does life have to be this way.  I should be happy every day.  Have energy and do all the things I want.

Play with my children, go on adventure holidays and not be stuck on the bus, or watching everyone else, but out walking and seeing all the wonderful sites.

The first moment is hard, aching muscles that shout to stop because you have listened in the past. Walking for a few minutes more than you ever has is painful, difficult.  You keep telling yourself to stop.

Keep going!

Slow and steady.

Each day a little more each day, maybe one minute more.

It adds up and weeks later you can walk double the time you did before.

Less pain. Muscles are stronger.

Every day is a new start, a chance to change a little bit more. 

To Live!

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Keeping motivation

It is really easy to keep with a diet and exercise routine when things are going great.  What about when times are tough?

That is when we need something to help us keep going.

I remember being on diet after diet.  I would start each diet with enthusiasm and stick with it, even when I was hungry or tired, until it just got too much.  I would rather be big than be hungry all the time.  

One night it was after work drinks, a few more drinks than I should have had, then shots, then dinner out.

I tried to get back on the diet but never lost anything after that. What changed?

My reason for losing weight changed.  Became powerful, stronger than all my excuses.

Remembering my reason was not always easy, especially when faced with temptation, like a lovely piece of chocolate cake.  All that moist chocolate and icing is so hard to say no to.

Remembering my reason to keep going became so hard some moments that I shortened it into a mantra.  A small saying that I could repeat to remind me of my reason. 

My mantra changes as I need it to for a time it was Live my weight loss!

Now it is I am worthy.

I am worthy to be a normal weight.

I am worthy to do activities I love to do.

I am worthy to eat healthy food that I love.

I sometimes print my mantras off and place them so I can see them often.

What mantra can you use?

You are worthy.

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That was how I felt.  Stuck in place and not able to move forward, like I was stuck in ice.

Looking out at people who were a normal size, they were living their lives, being happy.

That was what I wanted but no matter what diets I went on, how hard I worked out, I returned to the same size.

It was like there was a huge chasm between where I was and where I wanted to be.  Everything I tried failed.  I kept trying the same thing, diet and exercise, diet and exercise.

Any time I thought about it, it felt hard to breath, like there was no hope.

Breaking free was difficult.  I tried but it was like chipping at an iceberg, you only see a small amount above the water.

It was all me, though, my thoughts were what held me encased in ice.  Frozen and not able to lose weight.

Instead of chipping at the weight, I started to change my thoughts.

It was like the ice was melting, the weight went with it.

The more my thoughts changed.  The more the weight came off.  So quickly at times that I could not believe the change.

The thoughts were what kept me going back to large, now that the thoughts are different, there is no struggle.  I am one of the ones living my life, not watching from afar.

To learn the techniques I used to stop struggling join me on this FREE 5 day program.

Learn more at…/free-5-days-chan…/

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Instant Gratification

Instant success

We live in a world where instant gratification is the norm.  Buy the latest gear and you will look cool.  Fashion changes yearly so you must buy the latest designs or everyone will know you bought that outfit last season, or worse, last year!

Weight loss can be the same.

Why wait to eat what you want, eat everything now!

I want to lose weight, I will take a pill and magically wake up thin.

We know that that is not true but some people convince themselves that there is a quick way to lose weight and if they just find it they will get off the weight loss rollercoaster and become thin forever.

In reality they are trapped in the yo-yo diet, losing weight they ballooning back up.

I was one of the few that didn’t even get to do that, I became large and stayed that way, the smallest I could get was a size 20. I know many people who could get down to a 14 or 12.  They live on those moments.

But why can they not maintain?

They return to their normal habits and eat what they want to feel great, because instant gratification is ok when you are a normal size, right?

At any size we need to look at how we think about food.  Why do we have bad habits.  

We all have bad habits

I have some bad habits but by looking at the why I started to change how I look at food.

Food is no longer just something to enjoy but much more.  I can enjoy food but need to remember that it is fuel for my body.  If I eat foods that do not give me the energy to do all the activity I need or want to do each day then I cannot get everything I want done.  I feel exhausted by the end of the day.

If I eat foods that give my body energy, not instant energy but consistent, long term energy then I can do more activity.  I feel great in the evening instead of ready to climb into bed and go to sleep when I get in the door.

It all starts with our thoughts.  Changing how we think of food changes food habits.

It is not always easy but it is worth it.

Imagine, not struggling to be your body’s ideal weight.

You are worth it!

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Instant Energy then Crash and Burn

Have you been in an office where they changed your software?  You could work without thinking one day, then the next nothing was easy.  You forgot everything that was said on the training, the manuals were too long to find what you needed.

I was on the other end.

I was one of those on the other end. The one who had to walk the floors of the office answering any questions about how to use it, and point people in the right direction when there was an issue.  Sometimes having to solve issues on the fly.

I remember a day when I had to start work early.  New software was going live and I was the first call support. I had a few hundred to see that day.

No time for lunch, usually no time for breakfast. 

A very stressful time for everyone.

I had to help the end users and I had to pop into the help desk to answer their questions, the software was new to them as well.  I was the only one who had used it before, well trained and supported it.

I needed to be able to keep going, so I did the only thing I new how.  I ate sugary food all day.  

Quick, almost instant energy.  Sometimes I would do that for an entire week, until the go live rush ended.

Then each evening, or night because I stayed late answering questions, I would get home and crash.

No energy left, then have to pull myself out of bed and drag myself back to work and start all over again.

Perpetually tired.

Eat more sugar!

This is not a healthy way to live.  It is certainly not sustainable but as a contractor I could do it for a while then leave the company and sleep for a week.

Once I started to lose the weight I looked at food differently, It is a fuel for my body, what I eat makes a huge difference to how much energy I have.  Sweets are a treat eaten in moderation, they do not make me feel the same as they did before.

A consistent balanced diet is what I try to have, eating breakfast every day.  Even if it is just my small glass of orange juice with my iron supplement.  Then I eat something solid later.  Not much later.  Like when I arrive at the office or if I am working at home 9am.

I have more energy, for longer.  I do not crash when I get home.  When I do get home I do some laundry, tidy up.  Things I had no energy for before.

Change what you eat to fuel your body, it really does name a difference. This is long term not for a couple of days but over months, try it to see.

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Do you remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? It is really easy to try to be the hare.

Start something new. Jumping in with both feet, not looking past today. Go too fast, trying to keep up with the people who have been doing it for years.

Whatever activity it is you feel exhausted after and go home to collapse.  

The next day you are sore and feel terrible.

How long does that go until you give up?

Why do something that makes you feel really terrible?

If you are more like the tortious then you might stick with things longer, and improve at them, and find an activity that you Love!

Let’s take swimming as an example.

You have not been swimming for years.  So you can show up to the pool and swim the fastest you can for as long as you can, then get disappointed that you are not doing as well as the person your senior who was here before you and still swimming.

Your body is not used to the movement, you are using muscles you have never used before.

When you are finished you could just curl up and go to sleep.  In fact you go home and sleep. Then the next day your muscles are sore and it is difficult to move.

People will tell you that if there is no pain there is no gain.

Oh so wrong.

Be slow and steady, ok it is less instant gratification but longer lasting. If you are going to do a new activity you can find out what muscle groups it uses and work on those a bit before.  Stretch bands are great for that.

Starting the activity slow is so much better. Feel good but a little tired when finished.  The next day you may have the soreness of muscles that have not been used like that but it should not be really painful to move.

So to start swimming the tortoise way is to start a few days or weeks before by using stretch bands to work on the muscles for the type of stroke you are going to use in the pool.

Then going to the pool for a short session, maybe only 10 minutes at first, then the next it could be 12, then 14 et cetera.  At the end you should feel a little tired but not exhausted.  You certainly should not be in pain or have problems moving.

If that is not the case, and you are sore after you work out then try to reduce the time or go slower.

Find your speed.

Then keep with it for a while, like a week or two.  Before increasing a small amount.

Over time you may catch up or even pass the hare.  But even if you don’t at least you are out there and exercising!

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Clear out those clothes

When you are large a lot of people want to give you advice on how to lose weight, but for me a lot of it was not practical.  Some plain odd.

A friend did give me some great advice and it was because she had lost weight, but it was not how to lose weight.  Or what exercise to try, it was something that stuck with me and really helped.

She said that as you lose weight get rid of all your big clothes.  Then it is more of an incentive to keep the weight off.

I was travelling a lot as I was losing the weight so I started off well.  Clearing my wardrobe every month.

I had kept 9 large boxes of clothes of all different sizes and over the years had organised them into sizes, so each month I would open the largest size clothes box and try on clothes.

It was such a high!

Then I would go through my wardrobe and put in a bag (or 3, or more) clothes that were too big.

Many trips to the charity shop was made and I still have bags of clothes to go out.

The feeling you get the day you can shop in a normal sized clothes shop is amazing.  You end up starting to shop, shop, shop.  Picking something off the rack and buying it without trying it on is not a gamble anymore.  

It can be difficult to pull back especially when you buy something you really love but then only get to wear it twice before it is too big.

For clothes that you really love, getting them altered to fit your new size allows you to keep them and get more use from them.  Anything that is too big, remove from your closet as soon as you can.  It can be useful to keep one outfit in your largest size but you don’t have to keep it all.

Celebrate being your new shape and size, wear clothes that fit and that you love!