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Monday, 24 November 2014

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Where there's willpower, there's a way

This week has been one when I could easily have fallen off the boot-camp regime equivalent of the wagon.

It has brought two challenges to my new-found nutrition and exercise plan: a trip to visit family, with the temptations of Mum’s home cooking and eating out, and my birthday.

I’ve kept my resolve, though, and have stuck pretty well to my nutrition plan and done my exercise homework.

I think some of the incentive to keep up the effort has come from some recent discoveries I have made.

In the past few days, when looking in the mirror, I have discovered that I have both a collarbone and a rib cage.

I can’t remember when it last was that they weren’t masked by excess weight but by the way they greeted me like long lost friends I believe it may have been more than a decade.

So, spurred on by the thought that, if I carried on, I might just discover some other bone structure long since forgotten, I emailed my mum before my arrival to inform her of the sorts of things I was now eating and, more importantly, what I couldn’t eat.

Sunday brought a family meal and Mum’s roast dinner.

Deciding to be good and not wanting to undo the hard work I’d put in to reducing my waistline I opted to forego the usual roast potatoes and opted instead for some mashed sweet potato and swede.

As everyone else tucked into a Yorkshire pudding or two, I quelled my feelings of sadness that I didn’t have one by thinking of all the calories that wouldn’t be heading for my hips.

My only downfall was eating a cupcake but my niece made it for me so I couldn’t say no.

It was only little, though, and I had been for a long, brisk walk so I'd kind of earned it.

On Monday we decided to hit the shops.

Amazingly, in doing so, we apparently walked almost 10 miles.

As an added bonus I found a superfood salad on the menu when we stopped for lunch.

The rest of my trip proved successful and I think the chilli con carne recipe provided by John in my nutrition plan could become a favourite with my mum.

The next hurdle, however, was the birthday and its celebration through a Chinese meal with Gary.

Before looking at the menu I had a glass of water to make sure I wasn’t hiding a thirst disguised as hunger.

Then I opted for chicken and sweetcorn soup (better than any fried starters, I thought), followed by sautéed chicken and cashew nuts with boiled rice.

When the waitress brought over a tray of prawn crackers it was hard to resist the temptation to just have one then oh okay, just another one, but I thought of them sizzling away in the deep fat fryer and suddenly it wasn’t so hard.

Gary was very supportive as he broke each on in half in front of me, dipped it in sauce then grinned as he put it in his mouth and said “yum”.

The hardest part of the dinner was stopping when I was full.

The trouble with restaurants is so often they pile your dishes full of far more food than any human being needs and most of us are predisposed to detest wastefulness.

So, when you’ve got a massive dish of rice and a plateful of chicken and cashew nuts in front of you you don’t like to leave too much.

I've come to realise, though, that whether I finish all my food or throw some away has more effect on my waistline than it does on world hunger or the Earth's ecology.

What I do now is eat until I feel full (it sounds so obvious but it's not always as easy as it seems).

If there are leftovers, I see if they can be saved for another day.

If they can’t I put them in the bin or the compost and make a mental note to make less next time.

Oh, and my birthday brought some good news for the fitness regime.

It heralded the arrival of a 4kg kettle bell and my own resistance band from my beloved (don’t worry, I had asked him to get them; there could have been trouble otherwise) and a Wii dance game each from my mum and mother-in-law-to-be.

I just hope it all pays off when I have the next round of measurements on Tuesday.

By Sarah Nicholls
Published: February 24, 2012

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Have your say

I spoke to the Armathwaite staff today at their wedding fair about the Bridal boot camp as I too have invested in a wedding dress too small for me with the intention of losing weight! So far I haven't even started and even though my wedding isn't until December, I feel like if I don't start now I never will! I am like you and would much rather sit on the sofa with the fire roaring and my dogs snuggling up to me than go out into the cold to get out of breath and sweaty. Your blog has spurred me on and as a treat to myself on my 30th birthday next week, I am going to sign up!!

Posted by Emily on 26 February 2012 at 16:59

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