I’ve been struggling with my weight for quite some time. I never really realised where I stood in the fit-unfit scale. When I was, by any standard, thin, I kept wishing I’d lose more weight. Whenever I gained weight and got dangerously close to having an unhealthy BMI, I’d just scare myself into getting into better shape.
For the past couple of years, I have become more relaxed about weight issues. On the one hand, it helped me take a more mature approach to eating and accept my body as it is. On the other hand, I started putting more weight and ended up breaking my own personal barrier and hitting a number on the scale that made me extremely unhappy. I wasn’t overweight (yet), but I wasn’t anywhere near fit or healthy either.
Ever since I quite my job and became a freelancer full-time I have spent a lot of time at home, either working, studying or just procrastinating. Food is always available in some form or another, and my calorie intake increased as my anxiety and the amount of work/study increased as well. This is how I ended up gaining 5 kilos (approximately 11 pounds) in six months and hitting that dreadful number on the scale (my lips are sealed on this one).
When I was younger, whenever I tried to lose weight I’d look up to models or actresses whose bodies made me so envious/inspired I just had to try my hardest to look a little bit like them. It usually worked, and I’d lose a considerable amount of weight (though never enough to look like a model), but the change would not be long enough to become permanent. I’d keep my weight down for a year or so, and then the kilos would start piling up again, fast and furious. Losing weight was always easy (I never had to starve myself or exercise compulsively in order to achieve my weight goals), but the means to doing so were never truly effective in the long run.
As I’ve been struggling with my weight again, and now that I’m in my thirties and the idea of looking like a model scares the hell out of me, I’ve chosen a different approach. I want to lose weight because I want to be in better shape, but doing in it a healthy, long-lasting way is what matters most to me. And the difference between now and 10 or 15 years ago is that I’m not looking at models for inspiration. I’m looking at real women, women who are also struggling to lose weight. Women who may have let themselves go for too long before realising that crucial changes had to be done in order to get them on the track towards a healthy lifestyle, and consequently a healthy weight.
I’ve found a couple of incredibly inspiring websites and I realised that I’m not alone in this. Inspiration alone is not enough, though. I’m way more mindful of what I eat now, and I’m trying to exercise everyday (or at least every other day) for about 10 minutes. I chose calisthenics and high intensity exercises that I can do at home, for just a few minutes, because I want to get my body used to being active before I take bolder steps.
I’m not looking to become a marathon runner or an athlete in any capacity. I just want to slowly, gradually, mindfully become a better version of myself, and that includes taking good care of my body and eating healthfully. It is still a (kind of) long way to go, so I’ve set a couple of goals to keep me motivated, but this is how long-lasting habits in the making are: they demand work and dedication.
Here are a few of my go-to resources to help me stay focused, motivated and inspired:
K’s Perfect Fitness TV – this is my favourite Youtube fitness channel, led by Kristen W. There, you’ll find amazing, quick, effective high intensity exercises, and Kristen is a kick-ass trainer.
happy life, RUNNER wife – this is the Tumblr diary of Jess, who transformed her body (and her life) in 3 years by eating healthfully and exercising. Go all the way through to her first posts and see the amazing transformation she’s gone through. Her story is highly motivational.
Tabata Pro – a timer app for interval training. It lets you set the amount of intervals you are going to do and the number of cycles, as well as the time for each exercise, for resting and preparing between intervals. You can buy it on iTunes (works on iPhone, iPod and iPad).