3 months in…
So about a week ago I posted a transformation/progress type post on my Instagram (@mtrrch) of my the change in my physical appearance in the past 3 months and it was pretty poignant…
I don’t really track the changes in my body whether that’s weight loss or gain, muscle loss or gain, clothing size or my physical weight. It’s just never worked for me and I don’t think it works for a lot of people because, as usually really, it places us in categories and the moment you are slightly ‘out of the lines’ it can really play on your mind and be a dangerous thing to rely on for validation that you are ‘normal’ or ‘healthy’ by our continuously reinforced societal norms. Lol what a 2019 uni student phrase right there, power to the people amirite?
But taking pictures for me and using those as a point of reference and occasionally comparison is incredibly powerful, I’m a visual person. And in all honestly I didn’t realise actually how much my body had changed in the past three months from June – September. I don’t religiously follow and look at these photos but it’s at moments like these that I’m so glad I take them because it is such a motivation. And particularly that day when I actually compared the pictures, it’s fair to say I was getting to a bit of a trough in everything and I felt totally unmotivated. Images are powerful things, just make sure that you use them fairly to yourself for better or for worse.
So what exactly have I been doing to get that change, a change which by the way is positive for me. (Losing weight isn’t the be all and end all and it shouldn’t be glorified as the answer to everything and the positive and healthy way of living because it’s not, sometimes it is and in my current position it is, but not for everyone, not always.)
I changed my lifestyle.
Dramatic, right? But it is actually quite a serious thing. Being ‘healthy’ and taking whatever path you need to to get to where you want with your body is very much something you have to live and breathe, picking and choosing moments doesn’t work, believe me I’ve tried and tested it. It has to be at the forefront of decisions and the drive to your day, at least when you’re starting to make those changes. You can be easily practised in certain habits but they build up because of practice and time, so you have to build new ones in the same way. For me that was making better food choices, working out more, upping activity etc and it felt weird at first but it really was something that I had to start believing and living by. And I learnt a hell of a lot along the way…
3 meals a day doesn’t work for me
I get full really quickly and the idea of eating a full meal 3 times a day does not work for me. I need lots of little things but what that used to result in was the quickest, easiest and generally most unhealthy things. So realising and preparing for this ie preparing snacks that are better for me, more filling and generally more delicious in advance has been a huge change.
Implementing activity. Literally any activity.
I was genuinely one of the laziest most inactive people. And it can be pinned to a number of things whether it’s environmental influence or whatever but the point is, that completely changed. And I think a large part of it was just finding something I enjoyed. At school I never really enjoyed many sports for the actual activity part it was more because I was with my friends and that was fun. But I never came into my own in any sporting activity and this summer I finally figured it out. I had tried it all, walking, running, gym machines and nothing for me was motivating enough to get my arse out of bed and get on with it, there was not desire, no yearning to do it. And then I started using the rowing machine that we had at home. We’ve had it for 10 years it’s in no way new to me and I don’t know what clicked, but something did and I just fell in love with it. I wanted to and still want to get up every day and see how far and fast I can row, it’s got an infectious self competitivity to it. And then something else entered my atmosphere…
I haven’t misspelt anything I’m talking about Grace Beverly’s company, B_ND which makes completely sustainable resistance bands. I’d never really seen them being used before for exercise but I’d been looking at getting one. And then I did. And it was one of the most beneficial decisions I’ve made. It just opened up this vault of exercises and incredibly enjoyable exercises that I LOVED doing and still do. And when I use it, it genuinely makes me think, how were any of the exercises I was doing before actually making an impact – the burn is real. You wouldn’t think that something like that could make such a difference not just physically but also mentally – it made me want to exercise, it made me want o get up and be active and it’s kinda mind-blowing to think that such a small thing could have such a deep impact but I’m really glad it did. Would 100% recommend.
Finally and the most important thing out of all of these was my change in mindset. I’ve written a whole post about this but it can’t be reiterated enough. If you don’t want to do something even subconsciously it won’t happen. You don’t have that natural want and motivation to get going and not just that but to be consistent. Even now three months later there are peaks and troughs. I’d say right now this week I’m in a bit of a trough, feeling a bit rundown (gotta love freshers flu) being so busy and committed to so many things and I just haven’t had the desire to go to the gym – I could go, but if I did I wouldn’t have a great session it would be mediocre at best. Mindset isn’t set in stone it changes and develops so give yourself a break.
None of this was easy and guilt is another thing I’ve been dealing with – guilt of not working out, guilt of eating the “wrong” things. But it’s something I’ve really been conquering lately because guilt is a load of bull. It’s another classic societal influence where we’re told eating cake is bad for you and the guilt that’s advertised with it is arguable even unhealthier. But the truth is everything in moderation, as and when you feel it. Every person is different and has different circumstances but the guilt is a completely unnecessary mental health effect that can be dangerous. Be realistic.
All in all it’s been a good 3 months. Things go up and down but they’re all changing and I’m making the progress I want. But I’m keeping it real with you all because it’s not an easy thing.