I finally had the conversation with my personal trainer last week… telling him I wasn’t going to count calories or get weighed. I’d felt incredibly guilty the previous week when he weighed me as he was so disappointed with the result. I – on the other hand – am really happy with how my new exercise regime is going. I’ve started pushing myself a little more on the cardiovascular sections of the twice-weekly circuit AND I’m increasing my weights whenever possible. As I said recently I already feel more agile and supple. (And yes, I do – however – still feel fat.)
I tried to explain my iterative approach to my PT: the fact that I hope by feeling fitter and better about myself I make healthier food choices and ‘inadvertently’ lose weight. #osmosis #orsomething
And because I’m not completely stupid (despite evidence to the contrary) I also realise I will need to make some changes.
I was fortunate at Christmas to win a book by Australian blogger, graphic designer and writer Kelly Exeter. Released in 2014, Your Best Year Yet is recommended for those feeling overwhelmed and directionless. HELLO?!
It’s a quick and easy read and very very practical. Unaccustomed to non-fiction I found some little post-it-note strips in case there was anything I needed or wanted to remember, and found myself sticking them on page after page – highlighting quotes or sentences which ‘spoke’ to me.
Kelly talks about her own experiences with perfectionist behaviour, control, decision-making, envy and offers sensible approaches to each.
I’m a self-confessed control freak. It’s generally seen as a bad thing – I can’t imagine why?! – so I really appreciated Kelly’s take.
When we go looking for ‘control’ what we’re really after is the feeling that we’re able to roll with life’s ebbs and flows.
I realise what I really yearn for – and need to practise – is resilience.
Superiority & Inferiority
I was also struck by Kelly’s honesty when it came to having a sense of superiority. I tend to have an inferiority complex and assume I suffer in comparison to others.
However… Kelly talked about the fact that she was prone to judge others on occasion and feel slightly smug; confident she’s ‘right’.
I cringed. Oh shit! I SO do this. I don’t think of myself as arrogant and say I’m not judgmental. And I’m not when it comes to many things (sexuality etc).
However… I do sometimes cast my eye at those around me and feel quite smug in a horrid and arrogant way. Unlike Kelly it’s little to do with weight or fitness or anything physical, but perhaps it’s based on assumptions I make about others and their education or financial situation and the like. It’s something I dislike about myself – though I think many (if not all) of us do it. However, seeing my behaviour reflected back at me in black and white, was a little confronting – and a timely reminder that it’s something I need to rein in.
I need to stop thinking I’m better or worse than anyone else. Cos I am. And I’m not. And it depends on who you ask. 😉
Motivation & Habits
And finally – the thing which really hit home in Kelly’s book – the issue of motivation. Making changes, she suggests, is less about motivation than it is about breaking old habits and building new ones. And like Zen Habits guru Leo Babatua, Kelly recommends small steps.
My first habit-changer
So… it’s taken a while but thanks for hanging in there. We’re back to me and some of the changes I would like to make.
On the getting-healthier front, something I’d like to work on is my late dinner-time habit. I bathe and read until 7.30, sometimes 8pm or later. This means I start cooking dinner after this, which often means a 9-10pm dinner. I overeat at dinner and go to bed full and uncomfortable.
The logical answer is to eat earlier (and less, but that’s a whole other matter). #nobrainer
I’ve talked a lot before about my bath time ritual. The time between 5pm-7.30pm is the only time of day I feel tetchy. Many years ago I saw a shrink who talked about the fact I ‘needed’ the transition time – from arriving home at 6-6.30pm and before ‘being’ home. The time I spent in the bath literally washed away my day and allowed me to start my evening – fresh and free.
However, now I only work part-time I realise it’s possibly the only time of day I feel alone and vulnerable. I’m not ready to plant myself in front of the TV but I’m ready to leave my desk.
The bath and book routine provides me a nourishment I don’t get elsewhere and I find myself clinging to this routine like a baby blanket.
So – conscious of that resistance – I’m looking at a few options and will try each, or a combination, to see if any of them work:
1. The most sensible approach (and my long-term goal) is to cook, taped watch TV and eat early in the evening. I can then head to the bath with my book AFTER dinner for as long as required. (Resisting any temptation to remain in there all night!)
2. I’ll try to be more conscious about time spent in the bath and attempt to force myself out earlier.
3. I’ll consider dinner options which take less time to cook and have meals on hand which can be heated quickly for those occasions when I still get out of the bath at / after 8pm.
I don’t know (and hopefully don’t care?!) if this makes any difference to my weight, but it will feel better not to go to bed with a full stomach for a change and hopefully help my insomnia. Of course, any other positive side effects will be greatly appreciated.
Any other eating-earlier suggestions?
Where do you stand on the motivation vs habit thing?
I’m (belatedly) flogging my blog With Some Grace today.
** This post is not sponsored, but if you’re interested in Your Best Year Yet it’s available in various formats. **