Following on from January, the month that never ended, we had February - the month that flew by in what felt like days. Seriously. Where did it go?!
You may remember back in this post I talked about how January went, and how my total loss for that month was 2lbs. This month was a little better - I had one gain, but overall my loss for February was 7lbs. As usual, I'm thinking that should have been more, but it's a half a stone, it's gone, and it will be joined by more this month. I'm delighted with it.
I still need to get my food in check, failing to plan is continually my downfall - something as easy as forgetting to take soup out of the freezer at night can send the next day to hell. In order to keep things running as smoothly as possible, I need motivation. I'm incredibly visual, I like to see goals and see progress, so all the apps and charts really do suit me.
In this post, I wanted to talk about some of the things that have motivated me over the past month.
WEIGHT LOSS CHART
Stay with me. I promise this isn't school-like. I have a lot of weight to lose - 77lbs to be exact (68lbs now actually). I made a little table with 77 boxes on it, and I printed it out and stuck it to my notebook. Every time I lose, I shade a half box or box in. I start at 77 and work backwards, it's really motivating and so rewarding to be able to shade one in.
Some of my biggest motivation comes from other people. In particular, three bloggers I follow who I find incredibly inspirational. I'm sure most of you know them already! I have a very small support network in "the real world" - I don't really have anyone who can give me advice or who I can chat about weight issues or improving health with. I always come away from these blogs feeling like I've had a chat with a friend, like I can do this, and I can achieve something. So THANK YOU to:
Look, you don't need new things to lose weight. You just need to get out and move, and that costs nothing. You don't need to pay a weekly fee to a slimming club, you don't need to sign up to anything, you don't need to buy an array of keep fit equipment. I just really like new things and I find that they make me so excited that I ache to use them, which in turn gets me moving, and it's not something I can shovel into my gob. Win all around.
I genuinely did need new walking trainers, and after asking around, the Skechers Go Walk 2 seemed to be the ones that cropped up most often. They are fantastic - I would never wear a pair of trainers all day, but I wear these from morning to night. Very comfortable, brilliant to walk in, and they fit great. Some of the reviews say to go a size up, but I'm a 6 in everything else and I'm a 6 in these too. I got mine on Littlewoods - also available at Schuh, Debenhams, Elverys - and pretty much everywhere else you can buy shoes.
The second thing I bought from Littlewoods (I say bought - I put it on my credit account, I'm not shitting money, I pay the stuff off - I know there's no need to share that but I will anyway) was the Fitbit Flex. This is a band with a little tracker in it that connects wirelessly to a receiver that you plug into your computer via USB, or via bluetooth/wi-fi to your phone and the corresponding free app. I have wanted one of these for a long time - I was super interested to see the sleep results, seeing as I'm always giving out about Edward not sleeping. Imagine my surprise when I realised I'm actually only awake with him at night for an average of 11 minutes and the rest is sleep with a few restless periods. I'm getting over 7 hours! This tracks your steps, your "very active" minutes, and your sleep. You can use the app to track your weight, calories, etc - you can even link it to My Fitness Pal if you use that. I just tend to check in with it every so often to see where I am in my daily goal of 10,000 steps - it's amazing how competitive it can get, sometimes I just pace until I get it if I'm only a couple of hundred steps off.
There are two other apps that I downloaded last month that I use a lot.
My Fitness Pal gives you a daily calorie goal based on the kind of lifestyle you lead. Then you can log in your food and drink for the day to see if you're under or over in lots of areas. You can look at your overall intake of stuff like sugar, salt, protein, etc. It's very handy because there's a barcode scanner on it that lets you scan in food rather than go looking for it. It's a total novelty but I did use this a lot for a good week straight until I kinda got a handle on how much I was eating. I cut down my portion sizes and I'm usually always on or slightly under goal - I'm never going to be a calorie counter long term but it's good to keep an eye on it.
Couch to 5k is something I've been meaning to get for a long time, but the thought of jogging makes me feel sick. I bit the bullet today and I AM STILL ALIVE. No, I didn't jog the full minute every time. No, I didn't make anywhere near 5k. Yes, I felt self conscious and massive and looked behind me about ten times to make sure nobody could see me but I bloody well did it and I am delighted! I'm looking forward to being able to increase my fitness and stamina. The little blue line on that map is around the lake near my house - there was a car at the lake so I didn't go near it, I just did the same part of the road over and over until I had the half hour done. God forbid someone should see me, like. Anyway - I DID IT. This is my doing it face.
The biggest drive for me while out walking is music. One crap song and it wrecks my pace, so I put together a playlist. I used it today for C25K (one day in and I'm using abbreviations, lord save us) and when I heard Stronger by Britney Spears it totally spurred me on for my jogging minute. That was possibly the only full minute I did jog, during that song. I'd also like to thank the Foo Fighters for bringing me home after the cool down, trying to walk to the pace of......well, Walk, wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Here's my playlist, should you need an injection of pop/cheese/TUUUNES.
I am a size 18 in clothes. This usually applies right across the board (except Penneys, where I have size 16 clothes that are too big and size 20 things that don't close) - apart from one pair of jeans I picked up in Tesco a while ago and for whatever reason, they're an 18 and they don't close. The other day, I picked up a pair of jeans that were slightly tight, put them on, and rejoice! They closed! I was on a high all day with my NSV (Non-Scale Victory) until I realised that they weren't the Tesco ones, they were just my regular New Look ones that had been in the dryer. Gutted.
Anyway - a while ago, a lovely Irish beauty blogger was looking for a particular style of top. I was certain I'd seen one on the House of Fraser website so I went to look - and saw this.
I fell in love with it instantly but didn't want to buy it in an 18 or a 20 so I waited. You know how those ads follow you around the internet? The bloody top stalked me. I decided that for €24, I was going to buy it - two sizes smaller. It arrived today, and it's beautiful, and I want to wear it comfortably on Christmas Day. I've hung it up in the bedroom - I should hang it up in the fecking fridge.
So - that's it for this month, I'll be going through March sticking to the Slimming World Extra Easy plan and keeping an eye on portions with My Fitness Pal if I feel I'm getting too piggy with food. I'll be tracking my steps and I'll be jogging.