When I saw a poster 16 (ish) weeks ago advertising a ’10 week weight loss course’ at my gym (for no extra cost) I jumped at the chance so emailed my details off to the guy who runs it.Still carrying on with my own weight loss challenge anyway but was a bit happy when I was one of the 6 picked for the weekly group, I mean what a great way to keep the momentum going having an expert guide you!All the delegates had an email to ask us all to attend the week before the first week so he could take accurate readings of our measurements (oooh er), he warned that he would be taking pre and post readings. So we all turned up and got measured, and it was also a chance to meet the group to see what I was up against! Although it’s not competitive with others I couldn’t help but wonder how we would all do, I was surely not the only one who thought that?
I liked it because we were all different and Mark ‘PT’ Baker managed to pick people that were different ages and we all had different lifestyles which I was personally quite pleased about, and I was also pleased that there weren’t any ambiguous fitness fanatics giving the impression they were overweight when in fact they weren’t (you always get one!!)
I was diagnosed with an under-active thyroid 12 years ago, and although it’s generally been stable I was also last year diagnosed with polycystic ovaries which is a condition that because of hormonal imbalance I struggle with any sort of weight loss. Because of this I have struggled with my weight for years, and have been dieting and exercising for years only to manage to maintain it. For these weeks we had discussions about the best foods to eat, and having my head moulded to ‘Slimming World’ I started to find it hard. Having someone say to me that it was better to have nuts to snack on than a fat free yoghurt was a bit alien, he was basically saying that nuts are a natural ingredient and will fill you more than a yoghurt that has chemicals in it to make it fat free. Having said that, you try and go to a supermarket to get full fat yoghurts…..it’s harder than it sounds!!!
I was also in communication with a dietician Annabel Boys and as a book reviewer she asked me if I would review her new book PCOS eating friendly. I jumped at the chance, because it would be the first time I’d review an information book rather than a novel and it would hopefully help me to understand what I was doing wrong.Because of my PCOS, apparently it’s better to eat slow release foods. So it turned out that because of my PCOS, apparently it’s better to eat slow release foods. Which I kind of already knew, but also being told slightly opposing information from Mark had my head in a spin.
From both sides it all basically boiled down to one main thing (which was pretty much common sense), to cook fresh food and be organised with the preparation. Mark quite rightly said, although in this day and age it’s easy to buy convenience food but it’s not the most healthy diet in the long run. And not only that, it’s not to be looked at as a diet, but more of a change of lifestyle. But there was always part of me that was thinking can I change everything I do?
To be completely honest with you, both Mark and Annabel (they have degrees for a reason) has not only re-educated me, but this time it seems to have sunk in. It was never going to stick being told it when I was younger, knowing my friends were going out and eating takeaway and drinking beer. There was no way I would have been able to stay in and not have a social life, maybe now is different because my lifestyle has changed but I’m not going to become some sort of hermit and stay in and never go out BUT I’m more mature now (hey I can hear you!) and hopefully have more understanding of what I can and cannot eat.
The things that I’ve found valuable from the last 10 weeks (for me personally, may not be for everyone) is that….
Make sure I have my lunch either done, or partially organised before I go to bed the night before work. THAT way I don’t get the opportunity to rush off to the sandwich shop and buy something that will sit in my stomach and not digest properly. Either soup, or pasta?
Protein keeps me alert? Well ok, maybe not completely and it does make me really thirsty but water is good for you anyway so it’s all good! My favourite breakfast (when I have time) is scrambled egg, ham and beans. This keeps me going till lunch time at least!!
Check you’re not dehydrated before you snack, because when I’m sat at the desk it maybe easy to pick at those nuts (which are healthy, but as we all know full of calories which is not good for my condition.)
When going out (yes I do have a bit of a social life) then pick things that could be freshly made, like meat or fish with salad or vegetables….stay away from chips, although sweet potato chips are the healthier option if you HAVE to!
So see, it’s not all about dieting it’s about changing your habits….sound familiar? I know what you’re thinking, but don’t think about it just do it…..decide right now (or after Christmas if you’re anything like me) what you’re going to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can plan!!!
Unfortunately there was only two of us left out of the group there for the last week (due to sickness) and we both got measured and lost a few inches so pleased with what we achieved!
Mark Baker, Conditioning Coach and Personal Trainer
Annabel Boys, Health Coach and Body Stress Release Practitioner and PCOS expert!!
The Club at Chilworth