Twitter. Paula's post is quite different to the usual because she only a few weeks into a diet and fitness programme. Here she tells us what motivated her to start her new regime, the approach she's taking and her progress so far. So, without further ado, Paula takes up her story, which she has chosen to call...
Going it alone
I blame Facebook.
I've always been big. I lived my life, I kept fairly active and felt OK about myself. But that all changed with the invention of FACEBOOK!! It's the photo thing, y'see. When I look in the mirror, I see an twenty-three-year old with a smooth, wrinkle-free face who could stand to lose a few pounds. In reality, what's staring back at me is an almost-forty, "homely" mum, with love-shelves instead of handles and an ass that turns tides instead of heads! When we used to take photos, they were lovingly stored on the PC with the exception of the vast amounts of cute pictures of the lads and the odd flattering one of me, which were printed, framed and hung for all to see. But Facebook hates me... It allows ANYONE who takes a photo of me to upload it and tag it! And, like a Magic Eye picture coming into clarity, I could see what was really there. And so I decided I needed a change.
I'm quite an extreme person, I never dip my toe in - just jump and suffer the consequences. I gave up smoking four years ago, cold turkey. No patches, no gum and not a cigarette since. So once I made the decision to lose weight and become fitter, I knew it was all or nothing. I stopped drinking, I gave up bread and vowed to exercise 5 and a half hours a week. I wasn't going to take on a faddy diet that I couldn't stick to. I needed a lifestyle change, I needed to rethink how I was living my life and make positive, healthier alternatives. However, I'm a big, middle-aged woman, not exactly at her physical peak! I think it's so much harder to take the first step when you have a bigger hill to climb. I envy people who tweet about a 5km run or 20 lengths of the pool. I'm not ready for that yet and it's going to be a while before I am. So it's baby steps till then.
And so for the last six weeks, this has been my life. Once the men are off to work and school, I do my Wii Fit workout. I try not to weigh myself every day because it gets me down when I haven't lost anything. I do a combination of Yoga, Muscle and Aerobic exercises. Three or four times a week, my other half and I will also walk in the evenings. I'm still not able to manage a jog yet, but I'm surprising myself with how quickly my body is adapting to exercise. When we started, I could just about manage two circuits of the park walking. Now I can do some short jogging bursts in between the walking strides. We're lucky enough to live close to some beautiful spots to walk, with some steep inclines to get the heart pumping! I eat so much better than I used to. Ryvita instead of bread. No butter, no sauces. Plenty of fruit and vegetables. Skimmed milk with everything. I eat little and often in an effort to stop myself feeling hungry. I did originally set out not to waiver from the plan for at least a year, but I've found that this is unrealistic and treating myself isn't the end of the world.
So no Zumba classes, no personal trainer and no Weightwatchers for me. So far, it's working - I've lost 16lb since I started. I know that seems a lot, but I have a LOT to lose and I know the weight loss will slow down. I've set myself a goal of my 40th birthday, which gives me 15 months. I need to do this for me and no-one cares more about me succeeding than I do.
Wish me luck!
Good luck indeed to Paula, and thanks go to her for telling her story so far today. Losing more than a stone in 6 weeks is a great start. I think she generally has the right approach - build up slowly and try to stick to the plan as much as possible, but be realistic and not fuss about the tweets. If I could pass on any advice to Paula, it would be this: don't get hung up on the scale. Weighing yourself is such an unreliable indicator of your progress sometimes as it's affected by so many things (drink a pint of water, and you'll gain a pound, for example) and you're unlikely to see a change from day to day. At the very most, weigh yourself no more than once a week.
Feel free to share experiences, as always, in the comments below. My guest posters really do appreciate the messages of support they get from readers.
If you would like to share your fitness story, then please contact me on Twitter or email me on the address on the About Me page. All contributions are really appreciated so do get in touch, even if you feel yours is not a worthwhile story. If it's a personal experience, it is. I am particularly short of posts at the moment. Do please join in - or ask your friends if you know someone has a story to tell, even if they don't blog.
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