Monday, August 6, 2012

Losing weight, getting fit, staying healthy

I told you about my plans to get fit a little while ago. (Actually more like a year ago. *Sheepish blush.)

Well, my ambition kinda fizzled out after a few runs. A year went past and I'm still the same unfit and overweight girl I was last August.

Except for one thing. I've been running ten out of the last eleven days.

You see, I pondered where I went wrong last time and realised something. Making vague plans to go running two or three times a week when I have the energy and can fit it in doesn't work.

Not with two pre-schoolers who usually don't sleep through the night.

I never have energy. I wake up tired every day - and stay tired for the rest of it.

So, I've decided to make time for exercise no matter what.

To get started, before I actually started, I did some research. This series on habitual mastery was awesome, because it gave me my basic plan of attack.

30-day habit forming period
I want to get into the habit of running, so I need to go running every day for 30 days to form the habit. Thinking that it's only for 30 days helps me keep at it, and after that I should be so used to it that it's easier to keep going than stop.

On weekdays I aim to head out the door at 7.30am. That time works because Paul is still home and can watch the girls, but I've had time to give them bottles, nappy changes, and fruit platters etc.

On the weekends I run during the middle of the day when the girls (and Paul) are having their naps. It means Paul and I can alternate having a sleep-in one day of the weekend each. An important luxury in life.

To give my body a break, I've decided not to go running on Fridays. That's my busiest morning so it's nice to have the extra time to get organised for the day.

My actual "runs" are more like - run for a bit, walk for a bit, run for a bit, walk for a bit, sprint for a bit, walk until I can breathe again, etc. I've got a loop that I'm sticking to at the moment. It takes about 20-30 minutes depending on how fast I go. I'm hoping that as I get fitter, I'll be able to go faster and extend the distance I run.

After this 30-day habit forming period is up, I want to continue running six days a week and also start a new 30-day trial to incorporate strength-building exercises like pilates into my evening.

I've done this YouTube Pop Pilates for Beginners class a couple of times now and it's brilliant. Oh my goodness, the legs section is killer. There are a whole bunch of different POP Pilates classes I want to try when I start my strength-building trial.

Tracking my progress
My goal is to lose 23KG in one year, at a rate of about 1.5 - 2kg per month.
  • Scales: To keep track of whether I'm actually losing weight, I finally bought some bathroom scales. I took a risk and bought $10 Warehouse ones. My risk didn't pay off. The scales are not accurate, fluctuating as much as 10kg in the same minute. I'm going to take them back and buy a more expensive set that I hope will work. *UPDATE: I took my scales back to The Warehouse and they gave me a refund. Then I went to Briscoes and bought the pair I was originally eyeing up. Luckily for me that had a half-price sale on scales today so I got them for $45 instead of $90. Much friendlier on the budget!
  • Photos: Paul is also taking photos of my front, side and back each week so I have visual proof of whether my exercise regime is changing the way I look. One day I might get bold enough to share some of these photos with you. (Don't worry, I'm wearing plenty of clothes in them.)
  • Journaling: I'm supposed to be writing notes in a daily journal about what exercise I've done, what I've eaten, how I feel energy wise, etc. I did that for three days and stopped. Must pick it up again. *UPDATE: I'm all up-to-date with my journaling now. Yay!
  • Measurements: I'm planning to measure myself with a tape measure once a month.

Keeping motivated
In the evenings I love perusing other weight loss and fitness blogs to keep me inspired. Some faves so far:
  • Can you stay for dinner? Andie Mitchell is a beautiful, thoughtful writer who lost 135 pounds (61.24kg) six years ago and has kept it off. 
  • Fit to the finish. Diane Carbonell lost 158 pounds (71.7kg) 14 years ago and has kept it off, despite having seven children.

This isn't my main focus at the moment (maybe it will be in one of my future 30-day plans), but here are the general guidelines I'm trying to stick to:
  • Eat a good breakfast with lots of healthy fats and protein, eg. eggs, soaked oatmeal or blender oat pancakes
  • Have a salad or smoothie for lunch if I'm not eating dinner leftovers
  • Consume some fermented food every day
  • Consume less than 30g fructose per day (including fruit) 
  • Only eat when I'm hungry (which is a lot less often now that I'm running)
  • Eat more vegetables
  • Keep nourishing myself with plenty of good fats like butter, dripping, coconut oil, olive oil and fermented cod liver oil.
So that's my plan. If you want to send me good vibes and encouragement, feel free. Thanks lovelies.


  1. You can do it Emma!! I lost 15kgs since Jan, pretty much doing the same thing as you... and I am running! (Remember how much I struggled running with you when we lived at Albert Street). Now I go crazy if i dont go for my afterwork run- so helps with stress too! I have complete faith in you. Tashie xx

    1. Thanks Tashie! You do look amazing. That's so encouraging to hear. Maybe next time we meet up I'll be as fit as you!

  2. I remember when I ran my 1st 10km and a vowed and declared that I would never run further than that in my life, it shattered me. I ran three half marathons last year. It's all about baby steps and it certainly helps if you can get a running partner who is at the same level or slightly faster to motivate you and push you that bit further. My sister has just had her third child and was struggling to get out and do some decent exercise so she purchased a treadmill and absolutely loves it.....and now she can run in the rain, hail or snow. Once you get going, you will so feel the benefits, it's that whole body, mind, soul experience of taking time out for yourself and that's important when you have kids, no matter how much you love them. Remember to have your biggest meal in the morning and your smallest one at night and keep away from too many naughty sweet treats...good luck with your goal : ) P.S I've been cooking a lot of recipes out of the Revive Cafe cookbook, it's amazing : )

    1. Thanks Sarah. Wow! Three half marathons. Could I do that? Hmmm. Things to ponder.

  3. That is so exciting! You can do it Emma! This year I am going to run a half marathon in November to raise money for a World Vision vegetable garden project in Niger. Have you ever thought about working towards some kind of event and getting sponsored? I really need to lose about the same amount of weight, it is really daunting :(
    But one day at a time I guess. Thanks for your blog, it's great. You are great actually.

    1. Go Emma! I was actually just looking at your post about this on Facebook. Such a cool goal! I would be much more into doing a big run for a cause than just for myself I think.
      You are also great. More than great actually. xx

  4. If you or anyone else is interested here's my page about peeps choosing an event to do to raise money for Niger

  5. Go Emma! That's interesting about the habit forming thing, can be useful in many areas of life :)

  6. Go Emma! Nutrition and fitness is totally my passion in life (after God and my family!). Have you tried using MyFitnessPal? (Google it or look up on Android or iPhone apps)It's a food diary & exercise journal that you can use online or on an iPod Touch or iPhone. I use it on my iPod which is brilliant. If you sign up, you can add friends for encouragement. My user name is angtheflyingkiwi if you want to look me up! I find it very helpful and informative as it gives you the nutritional breakdown of everything and it's pretty much all done for you (and you can add recipes to work things out too). Keep up the good work, and remember it's all about progress, not perfection! As for me, I'm putting my HOUSE on a diet and tried to get decluttered a little each day! That's MY real problem area!! x

    1. Thanks Ang! I've just signed up for MyFitnessPal. Now gotta figure out how it all works. Good luck with the decluttering! That's one of my continual projects too.

  7. I'm trying to get into the habit of running too! I'm finding it really tough to stay motivated. The link to the habitual mastery series was good! Have you heard of the couch to 5k program? It's what I'm doing and it makes it easier to build up to longer distances.

  8. Good on you Emma you can do it.

  9. You can do it Emma! Thank you for the post - excellent plans and info and you've inspired me to do the same. I'd like to lose 10kg and so have decided on three goals for 30 days: 1) to exercise for 20-30 mins every morning (found that I'm more unfit than I thought!) 2) no alcohol and 3) no chocolate (so hard). My leverage is money, as I'm a little short of it at the mo, so I'm to pay my partner $10 each day I mess up so I could be up for $30/day if I'm naughty, eek! Two days in and all is going well... so far.

  10. good for you! I'll definitely be needing some tips from you next year to help lose this baby weight. Keep up the great work!

  11. Wish you all the lucks! :) Glad to hear your story.
    I can relate to this, my ozeri scale also awaken me to have a healthy lifestyle.
    And I'm very thankful for bathroom scale.

  12. I was put on veg, meat, fish, poultry and eggs by my herbalist. I eat lots of good oils and fats, but no sugar, no carbs and no dairy. You would be amazed at how quickly the weight drops off and how energetic you feel in the process.


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