Since deciding to embark on my 52 kg journey more than a week ago, I have constantly been at work either trying to prepare myself for a change that is to come, or implementing an actual change. While I am now currently in the first week of the Healing Phase of my challenge, I promised to share with you all how I spent the previous week preparing myself for the diet, lifestyle and mental changes that I wanted to see. So buckle up, ’cause here it is!
‘A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish.’
This phase is called Preparation, because it was during this phase that I prepared myself for the changes that I hope to achieve. Although I’m pretty sure that this was the easiest phase, it did come with a lot of homework. It may have lasted less than one week, but I think it will turn out to be the most important week of all.
The purpose of the week I spent in preparation was to gain a clear understanding of my current dietary habits and state of health, while identifying the elements of my lifestyle that could be contributing to my poor health and obese state. I also focused on preparing my mind for the changes that are to come, and worked to clear my mind, to make it a blank slate, in order to re-educate, re-train and re-condition it so as to achieve sustainable weight loss over the long term.
The goal of this phase was to know and understand exactly what my starting point is, to know exactly how bad my health and dietary habits are. And now that the results are in… I can honestly proclaim that I am aghast at just how terrible they really are!
This phase worked in two ways. It acted as my rock-bottom snapshot, a harsh reality check, thus making it an incredible motivator in the weeks to come. It also set me up and helped me prepare for the drastic lifestyle changes that are to come in the next few months.
During this week I tried to begin eliminating gluten and sugar – all the while keeping track of it all!
I also tracked and reported just how bad things really are when it came to my weight, health and diet. And by the end of the week I had a detailed picture of my lifestyle, health and eating habits. I now have a complete overview of everything I am doing right, what I can improve and where I can do better.
This Preparation told me exactly what I do with my time, what I eat, how active I am and what the health implications of my current lifestyle are.
‘Every Day Is Another Chance To Change Your Life.’
On the first day of this challenge, I made my goal clear:
‘My goal is simple… When my 23rd birthday comes along on the 4th of August 2018, I want to be able to dance the night away with my loved ones, not once needing to stop and catch my breath, wearing a killer dress that did not come from the plus-sized department, comfortable and confident in my body and myself, healthy, happy and content with the life I have and what I’m doing with it.’
But in case that wasn’t explicit or clear enough, I have re-written my goals to be more specific (using the SMART principle) and hope to share them with you all sometime this week.
Weight And Measurements
If you’ve read My 52 Kg Journey – Day 1 (19 November 2017) then will already have seen my initial weight and measurements. I measured my chest, waist, hips and both sides of my upper arms and thighs. Using those measurements, I then calculated my Body Mass Index (BMI) and hip-to-waist ratio.
Both my weight and measurements, I recorded in my journal for future use. I plan to weigh myself on a weekly basis and hope to report my progress to you all every four weeks, along with the changes in my measurements.
In my My 52 Kg Journey – Day 1 (19 November 2017), I also shared my ‘BEFORE’ photos, taken from the front, the side and behind. It was not a fun experience…
Journaling forces you to pay attention to your daily routine and makes you realize what and how much you eat, how much you work out and where you can cut back. For 5 days I took note of absolutely EVERYTHING I ate.. every bite, slice, sip and mouthful. Yes, I wrote it all down!
I wrote in my journal before and after I ate, giving special consideration to the reason for my eating. Most of the time I wasn’t even genuinely hungry. I usually ate as a way of surpassing boredom or procrastinating and frustration of feeling tired.
Reading over my journal entries at the end of the week and reflecting on the negative entries I made when I ate poorly, I disliked the thoughts I recorded – thoughts like ‘I regret eating like that’ or ‘I’m so fat’. I aim to make only positive entries from now on, such as ‘that meal made me feel amazing’ or ‘I love nourishing my body’.
It required some work and at times the chore was really irritating, but because of the insight it gave me, I am really glad that I did it!
Using the above-mentioned food journal, weights and measurements, and photos along with a variety of books and other sources, and having some blood work done, I was able to establish the exact status of my health and lifestyle. I reviewed it and took it all in.
In analysing all this information I have been able to identify exactly what it is that needs to change and be addressed over the next year(s) of my life. I filed away all this data as I’m sure it will come in handy with reminding me just how far I have come a few weeks or months into my journey.
Once the results were in, it was time to start changing things…
‘It’s Not About Perfect. It’s About Effort. And When You Bring Effort Every Single Day, That’s Where Transformation Happens. That’s How Change Occurs.’
Throughout the entire Preparation week, and even now, I am constantly at work educating myself about living a low-carb lifestyle, and what being healthy means. I hope to share some of my favourite reads with all of you soon!
On Day 5 of this challenge, I overhauled my kitchen and cupboards. Everything that contained sugar, gluten, grains, soy, etc. I chucked out, aiming for my carb-loving family. Checking the ingredient label of every food item made it really hard to lie to myself.
When it all added up… I was shocked to discover how many teaspoons of sugar I was eating a day. On my cornflakes alone, I added an average of 6 teaspoons of white sugar daily. In that moment, realising how much havoc and destruction I’ve wreaked on my health… gaaaaaaaaah! I could’ve kicked myself…
Once I had educated myself on what to eat (and how much), I could finally begin planning my low-carb meals for the next phase of my plan – the Healing phase.
Using the research I had done on beginner fitness and drawing on my own past experiences, I drew up an exercise programme for the next 12 weeks. Next week I embark on my first proper workout after more than a year of being inactive and downright lazy. I will begin with 4 workouts a week, each of them lasting no more than 30 minutes, and will build from there.
When I first announced that I was embarking on this challenge in the My 52 Kg Journey – Day 1 (19 November 2017) post, I explained my belief that when one’s weight gain results from an inability to deal with psychological issues, sustainable weight loss will be an impossible goal while those deeper issues remain unsolved.
For me, this means facing my insecurities and fears head-on, while identifying and addressing their origins. But fixing what is wrong is not enough, so I will also endeavour to improve my body image and self-esteem. As part of my Preparation, I therefore did research and came up with a plan to address these goals.
You can expect updates on this as I move forward in my journey!
‘Your Present Circumstances Don’t Determine Where You Can Go. They Merely Determine Where You Start.’
– Nido Qubein
Now that my week of preparation is complete, I have a snapshot of myself at ground zero and take the next step in my journey – Healing.
If you have already progressed past this point of your own weight loss transformation and have any suggestions, tips or ideas for me, please don’t hesitate to comment!
As for everyone still walking the path towards becoming their best selves, keep your head up! You are so much stronger than you know. You can do this. I promise! Xxx
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