Where creative writing and general rambling go hand in hand :)

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Oh for the love of books!

I love reading, have done for as long as I can remember.
Books are amazing, they teach you things; new words that you didn't know, a snippet of history, maybe even give you a trip down memory lane. Your own imagination brings the story out of the book the way you see it, coupled with the brilliant imagination of the author and you can lose yourself in a whole different world. You fall in love with characters, hate others, cry for them, laugh with them and if it's a really good book you get to the end and really wish you knew what happened next.
I get sad when I see an unread book in a charity shop, which is why there are quite a few on my bookshelves because I can't leave them behind.
Since I finished studying I have really struggled with reading, perhaps having the option to choose any book for the first time in a few years was too overwhelming. Whatever the reason though, I had several books around my home that I had started and just couldn't get in to, different genres so I wasn't limiting myself. I didn't want to force myself through a book and was quite disappointed to not be getting anywhere, at least 6 months have passed since I finished a book which for me is unheard of. I usually get through 2 or 3 on my holiday and with that coming up I knew I needed to get reading again.
Maybe I'm back in the right frame of mind now because I have successfully finished a book within a few days. It was by no means a hard going book, very enjoyable to read in fact. It felt great to get to the point where you can't put it down and even better to get to the end. It may not seem like that big a deal but to me it was. Happy to report that I'm now half way through a second book too, definitely back in the zone and it feels good.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Gaining from losing

When you're dieting you generally focus on what you're losing, the pounds, the inches, the will to live (joking), what about what you're gaining from it though?
Confidence is what you're gaining and self-belief along with a more positive outlook on things.
I've always swayed more to the negative side of things even when it's something positive I'm usually full of what-if's. Thankfully I'm getting away from that now. As of this week my weight loss stands at 5 stone 10 1/2lb which happens to be how much my goddaughter weighs so clearly this means a photo opportunity.

There is a year between these two photo's. While I still think the first photo is awful I am now more focused on the positive side, that's not who I am now or particularly it's not what I look like.
I've noticed the change in confidence myself as have others, while I've always been a fairly loud person (around people I know) I've never been overly confident in my abilities whether it be study related, work or even meeting new people. This week though I have been confident enough to do several things that I never would have done a few months ago and it feels great.
When I posted this photo on facebook today I got quite a few likes and comments, all of which adds to the confidence boost; knowing that your friends and in some cases people you've never even met, are proud of you and pleased for you keeps that confidence growing. 

Monday, 9 March 2015

Why is this time different?

A couple of weeks ago my Cambridge Consultant asked me that very question. As I'm not weighing in this week I thought I would focus on the answer.
Like I've said before, I'm no stranger to diets and I've always been that person that loses weight and then gets bored and puts it all back on again and more.
I've cheated on all of the previous diets I've been on, having a 'treat' after weigh in because calories don't count after weigh in! Or deciding a little naughty meal won't hurt (which ultimately turns in to a naughty week).
So while discussing cheating/falling off the wagon (which I haven't) Andy asked me why I thought I was getting on better on Cambridge than any of my previous attempts.
Before I get in to my answer I would like to point out that I am not saying anything against any other diet plan, different things work for different people. This is just my opinion.

Cambridge is a low calorie diet (or very low if you start on step 1)
          On most of my previous attempts I've chosen diets that let me eat lot's of food, as long as it's in a certain category you can eat as much as you like. For someone who has always loved quantity when it comes to food this seems like a dream, eat loads and lose weight. Yes you can lose weight I managed 4 and 1/2 stone on one such diet, however it wasn't teaching me anything. The current step I'm on with Cambridge though (and from what I've read of the next stages) restricts what you can have but in a good way. I've eaten Curly Kale this week (never had it before) I have a new found love for cauliflower, neither of which I would have tried if I was just allowed to eat whatever veg I wanted. The smaller number of options makes people more inventive when it comes to making a meal and the smaller portion (I think) makes you appreciate it more when you're eating. Even though the list is small compared to other diets there are so many variations of things you can have for a meal and the Cambridge products come in lot's of different flavours. Personally I am yet to get bored with any of it.
One to One Consultations
          Group support is important when losing weight, but I have that with my friends and family and the small facebook group with some of Andy's other clients. I'm all for celebrating people's success, believe me recent compliments are making me really happy. However I also think there is a downside to the group consultations. It's hard to bring up any issues you have in front of other people, it's also really hard when you've maintained for a week or gained when you know you've been really good; this becomes even harder when someone else in group has lost weight despite not sticking to plan, not getting at anybody here, I have been that person who felt a sigh of relief at 'getting away' with the pizza/crisps/pudding (delete as appropriate) but it's difficult to be on the other side of that too. If I've got questions I'll send a text or ask on facebook (it usually involves tea), I'm never made to feel like I'm bothering anyone and have never had to wait long for a reply. It's not just about the diet though, Andy asks about other aspects of your life and is supportive when I'm grumpy (which is a lot). Plus who doesn't want to wake up on a Monday morning to a message telling you you're amazing accompanied by your latest progress picture?
State of mind
          This is obviously a big thing for any diet, your mind has to be in the right place for it to work otherwise there is no point. Before I graduated I wanted to be slim for my graduation photos which didn't happen. In fact I struggled to diet through the whole of my degree making excuses for needing sugar while essay writing, getting takeaways as had no time to cook or shoving a pizza in the oven as it was quick and easy, not forgetting the McDonalds breakfast before most of my tutorials! Now though I have nothing in particular to lose the weight for other than myself so there is no pressure. I have set a target to reach before I go on holiday but if I'm not quite there I'm not worried. The diet has completely changed my way of thinking, so much so that when I started I planned on having two 'naughty' days while on holiday, now though I don't want to. I want to be able to get to my target weight by sticking to plan 100% (so far so good). I don't foresee anything getting in my way but you never know. For now though I make no plans to go off track because each time I get into smaller clothes I feel better about myself and can only imagine how good I will feel at target.
When I get there I want to be proud of how I got there.

Monday, 2 March 2015

After 4 comes 5

I've done it! I've actually managed to stick to a diet 100% and lost over 5 stone.
I'm now almost halfway to my target and nothing is going to get in the way of getting there. I've also dropped 10 points off of my BMI which I'm sure my doctor would be pleased with too.
My treat for 5 stone is a full body massage followed by a full facial, which I am very much looking forward to. I also need to have a think about the next couple of treats, while I have 6 stone sorted I think I need to make a new list now for the remaining few stone.
I don't want this to sound like an Oscar speech but I do know that I would never have got this far if my friends and family weren't supportive and of course my fantastic consultant.
So here's to the next 5 stone, I'm off to celebrate with a mug of fruit tea.