Motivation – of 40, and the perfect 12
Approaching 40. It’s not that bad. If most days life is too frantic to remember my age, then being forty is no less likely to break me than the chaos of my mind. What this milestone is delivering on is a motivation. A motivation to think, at 40 I should have a vague idea of the person I want to be and more so, the person I am.
And it is an odd one. I went out and bought a new wardrobe of clothes, thinking of the person I wanted to be. After going to a new outfit it was pointed out how unlike me this choice was. Best summed up by my boss – “I always describe you as indie, a bit of a goth”. And with that came the realisation. Aspirations are great, staying true to you is probably more important.
So I’ve been reflecting, who am I? And whilst I’ve never been happy with my body image, size 8 or size 16, there is a desire to be healthy. To try to return to the size I was before children, but to do it in a way which is healthy.
I know when I lose weight I have found it achievable to keep it off. Through illness I lost half a stone, and it never reappeared. But I also know in losing the other half through more effort that I have bad habits. Snacking and wine probably neatly sum that up. And dare I mention my lack of exercise?I’ve now started a journey with XLS-Nutrition to lose the weight, keep it off, and get healthy. I have never followed a diet regime and I’ve not bought into fad approaches. And I guess it would be ok to assume the same of any weight-loss plan which uses shakes. I probably won’t convince you any differently if you are in the same mind-set. But I will explain what it is and how I’m finding it.
XLS-Nutrition meal replacement shakes do encourage weight loss. And that’s it really.
Honestly, I didn’t think a shake would every constitute a meal. When I received my trial shakes I couldn’t get out of my mind that I wouldn’t be eating breakfast. I drank my shake and when my husband offered me brunch I said “yes”. I needed to eat, to chew food. Three bites into the scrambled egg he prepared, I admitted defeat. I couldn’t believe it was possible.
Whilst XLS-Nutrition shakes are ‘simply’ 200mls of semi-skimmed milk and four scoops of powder, you get a lot. With fewer than 250 calories, it actually has 31g of protein and B-vitamins for energy release.
Hand on heart, I’m not a fan of the chocolate or strawberry flavours. I tried these first and honestly questioned whether I could incorporate shakes into my diet when they tasted to me the way they did. On the flipside, Mr J is a massive fan of the chocolate flavour.
I was a little put off that the vanilla flavour mentioned incorporating 1/2 tsp oil, until I found out I could use peanut butter. The vanilla to me is great, I can’t go as far as to call it delicious, but I don’t down it in a hurry to drink it. It’s a pleasant shake.At the moment I’m doing two shakes a day as meal replacements and a healthy and balanced third meal. Or something like that.
It is difficult. I’ve realised I do far better when I’m working away. And the things which I thought I’d find difficult (the snacking) is easier than the reality of picking at the kids food before my meal.
It’s got easier when eating out to pick healthy food options, but two evenings out with work last week saw more than a couple of pints consumed. Not good.
Thinking about exercise
Exercise is a bit more of a challenge. At the moment I feel exhausted at the end of the day- and I know exercise would stop that feeling, but it’s easier to pick up a book to de-stress.
For now, I’m trying little changes- in the morning after a good night’s sleep. I’m walking to work – which is usually around 2 miles, and when I do get the underground to meetings, I’m trying to get off a stop earlier.
The good thing about this programme is I’m not alone. There are twenty of us on this journey. As well as supporting each other, we have the support of a dietitian to make sure we’re on the right track, we’ve had the support of a personal trainer, and we’re being encouraged to make realistic changes- no big bang, but instead better decisions.
It’s not gone as well as expected. Despite knowing this wasn’t the big bang of a diet, I wanted the big dip in my weight. It didn’t happen. I lost a lb in my first week.
My second week saw too many blips. Between drinking on nights out and having a complete stall over the weekend. There are of course reasons- ‘collective consultation’ probably neatly summarising it.
But, if this doesn’t sound mad, I feel different. I feel more ‘flabby’ in my stomach and I think my clothes are fitting ‘ok’.
But it’s also making me feel a little different, in a negative sense. I feel more tired in the evening than usual, and in a TMI I’ve found the lack of fibre in the shakes to be a problem.
Neither of these are a particular barrier when I’m feeling in the right mindset. Which has fortunately returned.
I know I can’t be too tough on myself- I have cut so many calories out of my diet and my body needs to adjust to this. Jodie (the dietitian) has offered me advice on improving my meal choices so I’m getting what my body needs across my three meals. I have to increase my water intake- my body is telling me that.
And I’m going to increase my exercise gently. In a fortnight I want to feel in a place where I’m really for a bit more vigour. For now, whilst I adjust, increasing my steps when my body feels at its best is going to be my goal.
So, despite a rocky introduction to the programme, I think I needed this, to show that it’s worth being completely committed.
Disclosure: I am participating in the XLS-Nutrition Boost Buddies programme, receiving products and support as part of an 8-week weight loss plan.