Let's tackle that one first, shall we? I find myself opening up to people about this whole weight loss and health thing I've started more and more, and I like talking about all the stuff I learn (mostly from Pinterest), but the one thing I seem to have problems with, is actually giving the beast a name! What is it I am doing, exactly? Am I on a diet? Because really, it sounds like a bad thing to just call this a diet. Apart from that, calling it a diet also raises expectations and more questions about what kind of diet, whether there's a book they can buy, whether there's a program to follow, or a blog to read or video to watch. But I don't have any examples, since I'm doing this by myself and through my own program, my own recipes, my own 'handbook'. It's making talking about it difficult, because it is apparently hard for people to grasp the concept without resorting to asking me 'why'.
Talking about it like it's a diet also brings out the less than kind comments ("You don't need that! Are you nuts?!") and unwanted advice, and even though most of them are not meant as such, it makes me very insecure. I made this image in the first week, when I felt that the only one fit to reassure me that this was a good decision, was me.
So I'm not liking calling it a diet. It's far more than that, obviously, since I am also working on my health, on getting fit, on building up muscle instead of fat. But to call it a change in lifestyle also doesn't suit me. It sounds fine enough in English (albeit a bit fancy), but it sounds downright pretentious and, quite frankly, ridiculous when I call it that in Dutch. I'm still not certain what to call it. A change of habits, is what comes closest without raising eyebrows and questions.
Anyway. This... change of habits. Four weeks in and boy am I feeling the changes! No, not really, to be honest. I think the biggest change I am actually 'feeling' is that my body seems to have become far more sensitive to sudden changes in daily diet, because, and I'll spare you the details, there have been some periods of.. less than regular toilet visits. I suspect it has something to do with this being the 'Summer' (I use this term lightly because we have had torrential showers and storms for weeks now) and, as a result, there have been several barbecues after which I felt less than stellar. As in, my stomach felt like it was out to kill me. Am I becoming more sensitive to badly cooked barbecued meat? (I hope not, that would mean I can't ever cook meat for dinner by myself again.)
Whatever it is that causes my stomach to get upset, it has put a few dents in my regular weight loss and it fluctuated heavily through the week, but it always ended up resolving itself after a few days and if I put my loss from week to week together in a graph, it's still a nice, fluent line!
People are beginning to notice some change in my appearance, friends that I hadn't seen for a long time who noticed immediately, or my brother's girlfriend. Since I don't see any difference, having them tell me they do (unsolicited, I must add) felt pretty good!
This weekend, I came to a realisation about my struggle with my weight and why it feels as though this whole lifestyle change is coming quite natural to me. It has been one year since I first went to the gym and I remember crying after I made the first appointment with a trainer for a training schedule. My first steps into that gym were tentative and slow, and I felt like it wasn't doing anything for me for the first months at least. But now that I look back on how this year has gone by, I can only say that I think it was all just ramping up to this decision I made a month ago. I think by the time I was ready to make that decision, I had built up quite a bit of mental strength along with the physical muscles. I am now in a position where I feel comfortable enough to ask my trainers for more exercises, exercises that target specific muscle groups or areas, or that help me with specific problems. I am aware of my shortcomings and know that I have miles yet to go, but I am feeling comfortable enough with the process. I think it's a bit of an understatement when I say that this realisation was quite liberating!
All in all, these first four weeks have been very interesting. In the next four weeks, I want to:
- Focus on expanding my healthy dinner options. I am doing excellent in the breakfast and lunch division, but my dinner-options are still quite lacking in variety. It's mostly chicken. And salad. Not that I'd have trouble with only eating chicken and salad, but there's a certain BF that would like some variation in his daily hot meals.
-Keep a better weightlog. I like making notes and the app I use to track my calorie intake does allow for comments, but I want to start keeping it in a notebook. I still have one I have barely used that's a lovely little size and perfect for the job, since that's not the only thing I want to keep track of...
- Start weekly measurements. I took measurements a few weeks ago, but I lost the piece of paper! I want to keep track of both weight and sizes since muscle and fat aren't interchangeable in size, after all. This would be far easier to do in something like a notebook or an excel sheet. But since I like jotting things down in notebooks... I'm going to make a weekly log of weight and measurements.
- Keep visual track of my progress. I have taken a few pictures, but I am so severely self-concious about my physical appearance that I won't post them online. However, I do want to keep taking those pictures so I can keep track of my progress in the easiest way I can: by looking at those pictures. I love the Tumblr Before and After Pictures of Weight Loss because it shows what those people were capable of. It's impressive! Whether they have lost 5 or 50 pounds, or even over 100, I love looking at those pictures and hope to one day have one of those pictures of my own progress.
This list may not contain an awful lot of changes compared to the last four weeks, but for now I simply intend to keep up the good work I have been doing so far.