It Started With A Dress: Hitting My One Month Target 6 years ago

It Started With A Dress: Hitting My One Month Target

In a new weekly feature, Her.ie's Liz is going to share her weight loss journey. She’ll be filling you in on fighting temptation, her willpower struggles with the cocktail menu and taking painfully slow steps towards regular exercise. All in the name of a dress.

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Hanging on the wall at the end of my bed is the constant reminder I plan on shedding nearly two stone this year. I also plan on marking the trials and tribulations of ‘trying to be good’ – the favourite saying we all tout, and quickly replace when a cake is put in front of us.

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Week 63: That’s one thing ticked off the list

So starting into week three I had the best intentions to keep up with my fitness plan.

I had told myself, that no matter what happened on the scales, I wouldn’t be demotivated.

I went into my Weight Watchers class with a slight apprehension.

I might have stopped off for breakfast first that morning, and let’s just say I didn’t hold back. I’d had a week of eating porridge oats soaked in water with raisins.

I wanted bacon, eggs and sausages. I needed a pot of tea. It was Saturday morning.

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So when I stepped onto the weighing scales, I was mentally working out how many calories I ate minus how many calories I’d walked off.

Walking just 15 minutes into town, I somehow doubted I’d undone the damage but I liked to lie to myself.

Giving myself a case of The Fear pre weigh-in was just going to give me the shakes and it wasn’t going to bring down that number.

So needless to say, my mouth dropped in awe when she told me I was down a pound.

I was feeling pretty good about life right then...

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My silky new physique (ok, maybe not silky or new) was ridiculously excited.

I had just reached my first goal, and it hadn’t put me through too much pain or heartache.

Yes, I was trying my best, and heading to the gym.

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But my life hadn’t turned into a constant spin of treadmills, carrots and water.

I was still having my glass of wine and enjoying it too…

Don’t worry – I haven’t turned into one of those preachy gym types. I have no exercise selfies, and I don’t update my Facebook status with the 5km run I managed before my kale smoothie breakfast that only took me 10 minutes.

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I’m still struggling with early morning starts and I’m finding that despite my best efforts, eating ‘clean’ is always going to be more difficult in reality.

I will promise myself a week of early starts, freshly prepared salads and workout cheer, and in reality I’ll get an email that a new season has been added to my Netflix addiction and I’ll fall into bed…

So now that I’ve hit goal 1, (to lose 4-5 lbs in month one), I’ve learned some hacks to help me through the longer weeks.

The weeks where you could use matchsticks to keep your eyes open and your idea of healthy eating is adding a vegetable to your pizza topping.

Here are my seven simple steps to helping you try fight the flab when you’re pure exhausted:

Pack the night before

I’m a terrible morning person. I’ve ended up heading to the gym without a change of bra and neon racer backs poking under your work clothes is not a good look. Take the hassle out of the morning struggle and just pack your change of clothes the night before.

Plan your meals

Realistically, if you’re having a tired week, you don’t intend on batch cooking your dinners. Chances are you’re lucky if you make it to the supermarket for a food shop. In these weeks I spend 15minutes one evening bagging up porridge and raisins into little snack bags. It means I’m starting my day with a solid breakfast.

For lunch, I’ll go for a salad bowl. Granted, if you’re standing at a deli, it’s going to be hard to resist the bread, but there tends to be a lot of meats, fish, salads and dressings on offer. Lunch doesn’t have to mean bread.

If you want a little flavour, a tbsp. of pesto will pack a whole lot of punch to that bowl, rather than layers of salad cream/ mayo/ Caesar sauce which can pile on the calories to an otherwise healthy option.

I tend to find that if you manage these two options, a dinner splurge probably won’t be too bad. Yes, you might eat cheese, or have some unplanned carbs, but you’ve had a balanced meal two out of three times that day and that itself is an accomplishment.

Smart snacking

It sounds boring, but stop off in the shop on the way to work or on your lunch break and grab a bunch of bananas or a bag of popcorn/ corn snack crisps. It means you’re not as likely* to munch of the cakes/ biscuits/ office sweet tin at eleven o’clock.

*Yes, it can still happen.

Tell someone else your exercise plans

If, like me, you struggle to stay motivated when exercising, tell someone your plans. Whether it’s your colleagues, your roommate or even the trainer in your gym. Otherwise you will start telling yourself a list of pretty horrendous excuses...

You need to be accountable to someone. If I’m having a bad week, I’m more likely to go to the gym if I know I have to otherwise try explain to someone how my willpower was overtaken by a jar of Nutella and repeat episodes of Peep Show.

Warning: They won’t understand. You will feel guilt.

Sleep

Feeling exhausted? Go to bed on time. It sounds obvious, but how many people are actually heading to bed and going to sleep? It doesn’t count if you’ve got your phone/ ipad/ laptop open. I’m the worst culprit of using my phone in bed, so now I’ve started charging it in a different room.

Sounds strange, but my own inability to pull myself from my bed overcomes my need to know what hilariously thing just got tweeted that I really didn’t need to know.

The weeks where I’m tired, I want chocolate, I want buckets of tea and I definitely DON’T want to head to the gym. It’s a double edged sword.

Have a reward

Now I’m going to admit that I’m an absolute child. I like to reward myself after particularly long weeks. Whether it’s heading to the cinema to see the latest flick, or buying the dress online that I really can’t afford but can’t live without. (Just don’t check your bank account ‘til after payday).

Jokes - do not buy diamonds.

If you’re having a bad week, pick a treat that you’ll only gift yourself if you’ve done your three workouts/ cooked two healthy dinners etc.

It sounds stupid, but hey, it works for me.

(This week I bought my first red lipstick. And I spent the weekend working out how to keep it OFF my teeth)

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Remember to have fun. I’m all about enjoying life. I think it’s pretty easy to get wrapped up in this whole ‘clean lifestyle’ but I also want to have a glass of wine with friends, head to dinner with himself or lie in bed without judgement on a Sunday morning.

If you’re having a bad week, pushing your body past its limit will just put you off the following week.

So there. It’s not scientific, and it’s not going to magically transform you into a Victoria’s Secret model, but it does mean you’ve a chance of losing weight pretty easily.

I’m down a pound despite feeling pretty worn out this week, which is a pretty good feeling in itself.