Hello there!

Welcome to the confessions of this former fatty. If you’ve opened this blog expecting it to be a quick fix, answer to everything, all knowing guide to losing weight , then I think this blog will disappoint you, sorry! There is no quick fix, there is no holy grail and there is no magic to losing weight.

This blog is simply my story and the summation of the years of dieting, failing and researching that have finally got me back into shape and healthy. I have gone from amateur enthusiast to fitness professional during this journey. All advice here is my own from my own experiences, both amateur and professional, and where professional/journal/medical information is used I cite all references giving those who did the graft their due. Please feel free to have a look around and also check out the Official KrissieKirby.com blog

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Turn and face the strain...Ch..Ch..CH..Changes!

Today's blog is about two things, taking compliments and how the changes we're making are not just superficial.

Firstly taking compliments.  It sounds obvious and it seems a bit like telling my granny to suck eggs, but it's something that has taken me a while to learn to do, and that is to take the compiments when they are given with grace.

I know it does sound rather daft but how many of us (particularly us girls) just say 'thank you' when we receive a compliment and actually mean it?  More often than not we'll say, 'It's hard work, I'm in the gym four days a week' or 'I bought it at such and such for such a bargin'.  We never just say 'Thank you' and smile and accept the fact that someone out there has noticed the cut of the dress is flattering, or that the hard work in the gym is paying off or just that for that moment we are exuding an inner happiness that is shining through... I know that sounds all hippy and 'hug a tree' like but seriously.  Have you ever noticed on those days where you feel REALLY good is usually the day when most people will say 'wow you look great!'?  Take the compliment, smile, mean it when you say thank you, and absorb the good feeling.  You can use that good feeling when tomorrow feels a bit of a struggle and the negative voice tries to beat you down from all the good work you're doing.  You are worth the compliment.

The last time I was in the gym changing room, someone I have never seen before paid me a wonderful compliment.  This lady, someone who was just starting her weightloss journey, commented that I have a lovely figure.  Before I'd have said, 'Oh ummm thanks, I'm in the gym 6-10 hours a week and it's taking a lot of hard work but I'm getting there'.  Not this time, this time I smiled and simply said 'Thank you' and I meant it.  And what resulted was an interesting 20 minute conversation about how hard losing weight really is. Thinking back on the conversation last night, I empathised with the girl a lot.  I recall saying to someone at my first gym (who is now a very close friend) that I thought they had an amazing figure. I remember thinking that I'll never be that person with the figure people comment on. And that can be quite disheartening because you suddenly realise how long it's going to take and how much work it really is.

Which leads me on nicely to the next thing today's blog is about: Change!

Taking the first steps into the gym, and taking the decision to change your life in such a profound way, because let's face it it's a HUGE decision, it's down right scary.  It's not easy to get your head around how hard this change is.  And you're not only changing your body, you're changing everything about you inside and out.  That first step in to an area where you perceive everyone to be body beautiful, an area where you think everyone is going to be looking at you and judging you, is intimidating.  BUT, and this is the big but, everyone in that gym (and in many cases this includes the instructors) has been in the same boat at some point.  Even the most lithe and beautiful of those gym bunnies has thought 'oh god they're all going to judge me because I have no co-ordination' or an plethora of other inadequacies they feel they have that will be abundantly apparent.  And guess what?  No one notices, because everyone else is far to involved in their own insecurities to worry about the overweight girl who's just walked in to take part in Body Combat/ Fitball etc.

You are not just tackling your weight when you enter the fitness arena, you are tackling those things that normally would have you running scared. You're having to face up to you're shyness, or the amount of hiding you have done in the past that has got you to this point.  You've probably shied away from crowds, or even exposing your body in fitness attire for a very long time.  It's daunting but it's a step to a new and improved you and a step you HAVE to take.  You can work out at home, granted, but at some point you have to realise that you're not hiding from the bigger world, you're hiding from you and from the potential you have to be the best you that you can be.  It's not just that you're fighting the scales, you are fighting the scared you that doesn't want to admit that you're frustrated, unhappy or whatever emotion it is that you're clinging to because it justifies the outer you.

This all probably sounds like self help tosh, but it's something I'm slowly realising.  For a long time I hid behind a wall of fake confidence because if I was louder than everyone else, and exuded this image of  someone who could stick up for themselves, people wouldn't confront me about being a big girl. In reality I was scared in my own skin that I would be found out to be this fake and that I was in truth so desperately unhappy with myself, my bark was definitely bigger than my bite.  It takes guts to suck up the feeling of 'they'll all be looking at me' and don training leggings and top to enter that fitness studio and work up a sweat.  But trust me after that first class you'll wonder what all the fuss was about, be so full of endorphins that you'll want that feeling everyday and soon, as the pounds start to melt away, you'll find it all so much easier and a new found confidence that isn't false emerges.  You'll also find a whole new social network that will help and support you.

I'm still working all this inner change stuff out myself and I don't have all the answers but I'm looking and I'm finding there are parts of me, mentally, I don't like.  I take too much to heart, I over analyse everything and I'm hyper sensitive so when something is said about something I've done, I go immediately on the defensive and perceive what's being said (and in most cases quite wrongly) as an attack.  I'm also terrible for being of the 'don't rock the boat' mindset even when it's something I believe strongly in.  I also struggle in verbalising my opinion in such a way so that it doesn't offend - but sometimes I think honesty is offensive and you can't really get away from that.  These are all things that will change as my weightloss journey goes on, because no matter how much people think they aren't related, they are.  My emotional attachment to food is based on inner insecurities and hang ups I have about myself that for many years I didn't want to admit.  So I'm changing them.  I owe it to me.

I'm currently re-reading Jillian Michaels' Unlimited: How to Build and Exceptional Life.  Again she's a lady who understands that it's not just the weight and losing weight that is important but that the whole mindset and inner demons have to be dealt with.  It's a fascinating read and I heartily recommend it and take the time to do the tasks and quizzes, they throw up a lot of things you didn't really want to deal with but to be honest you're going to have to at some point so why not now?  Remember, no excuses ;)

Something I thought of today - Past actions only dictate where you are at present, not where or who you will be in the future. Make changes for a positive, healthy you!

Thanks to David Bowie, for the lyric that makes up the header for the blog.  It sums it all up nicely, there is strain so face it, deal with it, learn from it and move on.  And accept those compliments. Be kind to yourself, always.

Much love


Jillian Michaels website and book
Change4Life initiative from the NHS

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Saturday, 16 July 2011

Getting it off your chest and a declaration of WAR!

Hello, I've been lax again in blogging. It's been a stressful couple of months with almost 3 weeks of 13 hour days and lots of weekend work, which is unusual for a university quality administrator. And I've entered a funk again.... It's getting to the point that I'm fed up of my own whinging so can only imagine how frustrated it makes my nearest and dearest. But I digress... so...on with my weightless journey.

Well Insanity is exactly what it says on the tin.  It's nuts!  I sweat a lot when I work out but Insanity is bonkers crazy and is on a par with doing BodyCombat in 40 mins and getting the same burn..... it's awesome!  I have fallen utterly in love with it.  And as work has continued to go nuts (well it is silly season as anyone who works in Higher Education will attest) it means I've not made the gym at all in the last 6 weeks.  So the working out at home has paid dividends.  It's also paid on the scale.  I'm back down to 12stone 8 lbs.   I did the Day 15 fit test last week and surprised myself.  My cardio fitness has increased by 41.6%.... BLIMEY!  The bit I'm most impressed with is that for someone who freely admits a lack of upper body strength, I increased my jack push ups from 10 to 18, considering they are the last but one test movement!

Something that has been narking me a little this week though, are those people who are keeping a food diary (online and viewable by the public - just as I am doing) and after eating nought but sugary rubbish all day, complain about why the weight isn't coming off even though they are under their calorie alotment for the day.  I shake my head in despair.

 It's not just how much you eat but WHAT you eat that is so important.  The amount of sugar we throw in our faces through fast food, crisps, sweets and chocolates on a daily basis is astonishing, I do it myself. Yet people will still praise the person who freely admits to eating crap all day with no vegetables in sight.  And why were these people praising this diary? Because they were 30cals under their 1700 or whatever a day target. The mind boggles.

If you eat it, even if it is the smallest thing like a stick of chewing gum, write it in your diary especially when you are first starting to lose weight.  The most important part of this journey is being brutally honest with yourself and if you aren't prepared to do that then you may as well quit.  Half of the problem with gaining weight is that we aren't mindful of what we are eating.  We think we are able to eat whatever it is we want and that it will have no effect on ourselves whatsoever.  Unfortunately that's not the case.  I scoffed for years at the idea of keeping a food diary now I get anxious if I miss a day of entering what I've eaten.  And yes it's ok to miss a day just go back and add it in.  It's like everything else in life, it's a habit and for those few minutes of updating your diary your fingers aren't wandering to the sweet tin.

Sorry needed to get that off my chest.  I think what narked me about it the post most is that they had asked for advice from lots of people on the site and it had been given, yet two months later they were asking the same question. But I suppose it's the old adage of you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink and doing something is better than doing nothing.

For those who haven't gone back through previous blog posts, I heartily recommend My Fitness Pal as an online diary.  It has applications that are available on all smart phones and is easily accessible online.  The community pages are also superb and inspirational to read when you feel like packing it all in. I have many friends on MyFitnessPal who are all going great guns, even CJ has joined and is doing fabulously well having dropped half a stone already, which is awesome. She looks fantastic anyway but I know only too well it's not what other people think, it's about how the person feels about themselves.

Which leads me to my next rant of sorts.

I get frustrated when people continuously say I have nothing more to lose weightwise, or I look fine etc. If you remember in my 'My Fat Story' blog I was quite rude about the whole 'it doesn't matter what you think about the person who is trying to lose the weight' issue and I'm still very sorry to be so blunt about it but really it doesn't.  Unfortunately if you've never been fat (and I don't mean a stone overweight here, I'm talking fat as in clinically obese) you really won't really understand it.  You'll understand to a point, which is your point of how you felt if you were/have been/are slightly overweight and uncomfortable in your own skin for a little while.  But unless you can multiply that feeling of being a stone overweight by 5,6 or in my case 7 times and unless you have been 250lbs at five foot eight at the age of 30, then you won't get it...and that's fine but please stop saying I don't need to lose anymore.  It's counter productive and it's actually quite negative.

The only thing that matters to those of us going through the whole process is how I/WE/THEY feel.  I see videos of myself that fans have taken at our gigs and I get upset (with myself) that right in the middle of the screen is this very overweight (because believe it or not I am still almost 2 and half stone overweight and according to the medical profession seriously overweight, although no longer clinically obese), this very overweight girl with a tyre around her mid drift that bounces around in time with her boobs...although it can be quite hypnotic.  You the viewer probably don't see it, but I do and THAT'S what matters.  It's my image of me that I have to deal with, and Pandora will have me believe that I am going to be that person for life.  I refuse to believe that and that's why I'm also declaring war on my own fat. I have got back into the rut of giving in to my sweet tooth too often.  A little chocolate is good for you but 'a little' are the important words here.
So I've thought that a change of attack with the old sweet tooth is called for.  Instead of caving in with chocolate all the time and forcing my blood sugar to spike, adding insulin into my system that I don't need and then giving me one heck of a sugar headace a few hours later, I've opted for the fruit option.  Amazingly 100grams of Strawberries only contains 28 calories and are rich in Vitamin C and Flavonoids so it's an all round good fruit. I've gone back to my carrot, celery and pepper sticks with hummous for snacks and the soya mousses are not finding their way into the basket anymore.  15grams of sugar in one pot of those delicious things, and yes I could eat the whole four pack in one sitting.  That's actually quite disgusting when you think of it... eww!

It is all out war on this midrift fat.  The reason it's upsetting is that feeling of 'how could I do this to myself?'  We are a self destructive species on times, and overly self critical.  Tied in with this is that I still haven't got my head around the 'it's only me that makes me feel how I feel'.  Instead of worrying about what others think of me, I should only really concern myself with what I think of myself.  And so what if there are times it feels like no one cares, these people have their own worries and lives to live.  Can you tell I've given myself a stern talking to today?

Just reading back through this post I'm noticing that it's not you I'm trying to convince here, it's me.

So with the declaration of war has come the new tactic of ensuring I feel good at all times.  I've got a game plan, you see:
  • I've had a hair cut - this in itself has lifted the ole spirit no end.  A new 'do' has tidied up the dry split ends, addition of a fringe and 'tada' I feel like a new person. The new fringe also means that I have to take a little time to do the new 'do' in the mornings.
  • I've contacted a seamstress to take in my jeans.  Now I have a massive bugbear in that I can't find any jeans I like and though in trousers I am now back in a 14 (for the first time in 12 years - yes I am very happy about that), with jeans I appear to still be just a little too big to be comfortable. Never really satisfied are we? ;)
  • I will be getting up earlier to get the face on.  As vain as it seems, just the 10 mins of putting a little eyeshadow on on the morning, is a little me time and gives me a moment to just concentrate on getting my headspace right.  It's not just a 'I want to look pretty' mechanism, the act of painting the old face gives me 10 minutes to centre, calm and put Pandora back in her box.
  • Smiling before getting out of bed.  I am going to concentrate on finding something from the day before that made me laugh/smile/feel positive.  Once I find that one thing (and it needs to be different each day), I try to remember the feeling and smile.  Then I"ll allow myself to get up. 
If these things help me face every day with a more positive frame of mind, then the voice that matters should start to be positive and then my hangups with my weight/inadequacies/failings should disipate and the focus return to just maintaining the amazing shape that it will be in.

Anyway, enough of me wibbling on today.  I'm off to do my Plyometric Cardio Circuit and start the final week of month one of Insanity.  And Great Gods of Olympus is it amazing.

As always be kind to yourself, give yourself a huge hug, a stern talking to if needed, and get back on track.  You are awesome and deserve to feel that way always.

Much love

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