Saturday, 16 September 2017

Weightloss Re-Boot, Really? The Dread of Stepping on the Scale-Again.

I have been secretly dreading this moment since August 1st.  How can I admit to feeling anxious when my own core belief is to live life enjoying it robustly with Voluptuous ferocity?  But, I am about to get on the scale for the first time in well over six weeks.  My last post ended with my excitement about an upcoming Women's Wellness event in Monterey where I gave a talk, How to Live a Voluptuous Life No Matter Where You Are On Your Weightloss Journey; it was a magical, awe inspiring, humbling a joyous day of sisterhood.  Then, I went on vacation to Vietnam.  With a wild abandon I soaked up the local lifestyle and cuisine.  I felt my jeans tighten... I responded with a happy sigh and another Vietnamese bowl of piping hot and delicious Pho.  I wasn't worried, I was  at peace, knowing that once I return to the North West of England, I will re-boot and reclaim my control.  
It didn't happen.  Instead, I became consumed with new responsibilities at work, opportunities that I had willingly and ecstatically embraced.  As my desire rose to make more of an impact in my life at work, so too, did my old friend.  My OCD.  Obsessively and Compulsively, I threw all of my efforts and time the past several weeks focusing on fear of failure.  In doing so, my eating as gone out the window-so much so, that my stomach has finally revolted-in both senses of the word: rebellious and with nausea.  It (my stomach) has been growling angrily for over a week.  It is actually punctuating every key stroke with a cacophony of gurgles, grunts, tuts.  This past week at least, has included some vegetable matter; and, last night, I had a birthday meal of a healthy Lebanese mezza.  I think it knows something is about to finally happen.  It is.  In the words of Cher from Moonstruck, I am ready to Snap Out Of It!
My OCD and I had a talk.  I reminded it that I am okay if I am not perfect.  I don't need to ruminate hours into the night, keeping me from the precious sleep that I need to function at my best.  I used my pal, Mindful Beditation.  As for my fixed minded fear of failure, I reminded it about Dr. Carol Dweck, and that failure is an opportunity to learn and grow. Rarely is there success without failure and I am not defined by my failure.  Whatever the weight.  I am still okay.  Whatever our weight.  We are all still okay.
Just a reminder from my last post:
I suppose it is time to wrap up this post-just to finish by saying that my current weight is 155 pounds-or, 11 Stone 1 pound.  
Bear in mind, I didn't beat myself up after I didn't lose the extra seven pounds; but, I did weigh 151 pounds before I left for the summer. 
I will be right back with my weight.  Big breath. 
165.5 pounds.  11 Stone 11.5
Okay, I am fine.  I own it.  
I have a plan.  I have Weight Watchers.
Until next week.
I am Voluptuous.
Volup Vavoom

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Where Have I Been All My Life? Losing 151 Pounds and A #WomensWellness Seminar

Prague Roof Top Bar May 2017
I have been on a self imposed hiatus since my last post as I focused on both my career and health. For some time now, I have been trialing a new medicine, not new to those with Lupus, but new to me of hydroxychloroquine.  With gratitude, I am able to say that it has had a positive impact on reducing my symptoms; and, as a result, I have more energy.*    My last post was also when I had hit a plateau in my weightloss journey and I just had decided to challenge myself career wise and apply for a secondment as a senior leader in my school.  So, with all these balls in my hyper-extending hands, I needed to push the pause button!  I do firmly believe that this is okay. Making ourselves a priority at times when we feel overwhelmed is a gift that we alone are able to offer and accept. Many with chronic illness' often find it difficult to give ourselves this permission unconditionally and without guilt; and I vowed to myself, never again will I apologize in any manner for taking care of me.  I know that in doing so, I am more able to give of myself to others. Finally, at 51, I am asking myself, 'Where have I been all my life?'  Meaning, 'What took you so long to understand this most important formula for a rich, fulfilling life?'  Well, actually, I think deep down I got it in half truths, but now-watch out world.
As part of my focus over the last half year, I have been working on reaching my goal weight.  Again, as a voluptuous woman of 22 stone (308 pounds), I rarely let my weight affect my self-esteem.  I would speaking without authenticity if I said my weight NEVER affected me; but, in terms of my sense of feeling beautiful, it rarely did.  In fact, it was due to limits culturally  and practically (seat-belt extensions!) that I struggled.  Admittedly, I have always been into fashion ever since my babysitting jobs at 11 gave me cash to buy my own clothes-as well as a make-up, shoes and accessories mag pie!  And (I say this with possible retaliation), I never wanted to be labelled by my sense of style as a 'Secondary School Teacher'!   My weightloss has been for my health-mostly.  Diabetes runs in my family and I could not discount the research (one example) into the positive effects of losing just 5% of your body weight.  In fact, initially, my goal weight was 12 Stone or 168 pounds at the top end of a 'normal weight' range.  I am aiming for 10 Stone 8 pounds (148 pounds)-I like even numbers!  
 April, 2010, Hawaii. April, 2017, Vietnam
As always, I continue to Bio-hack for my weightloss.  I have found that  intermittent fasting is a key to my personal success, and I make sure I do this at least three days a week in combination with an eating plan.  After Slimming World, and in March, I moved over to Weight Watchers-at first it was because I was at a stand still with weight-but, now-I have to say, the Weight Watcher's App is AWESOME!  I can recommend it 100% if you are looking for a new plan to restart your own journey.  Since I began my weightloss journey with Weight Watchers, I have been on again/off again; but, they have clearly taken into account the benefits of technology and connection via social media.  I love it!  Definitely much more to blog about on how this App is supporting members of my family to achieve their own health goals.  
Since my last post, my husband and I have traveled a great deal with every school break already planned up until the summer of 2018.  TravellingVolup is my user name on TripAdvisor and I regularly review the places we have visited-another App, I have grown to appreciate.  Especially the ability to plan trips and save your things to do and restaurant options-it made our recent Prague trip that much better.  
This July my sister, Soraya Knight Doherty at Raqisa and I will be hosting our first annual Women's Wellness Event at the Asilomar in Monterey, California.  Soraya has developed a highly effective, results driven and fun Belly Barre Workout .  Her Raqisa Lifestyle brand is the sponsor of our event and I promise you will feel like a Phoenician Queen during the day and long after! 
I will facilitate a workshop in development and the working title is:
How to Live a Voluptuous Life No Matter Where You Are On Your Weightloss Journey.   I am very excited about this upcoming event!  I am the eldest of five siblings, one handsome brother and three stunning sisters.  My sister Sidonia is a  Perfectly Posh Consultant (her link) and she will be on hand with a table of samples and a raffle basket full of products.  Our overall hope is to honor our own Phoenician Queen, our mom.  
I suppose it is time to wrap up this post-just to finish by saying that my current weight is 155 pounds-or, 11 Stone 1 pound.  I'd like to have the final half stone-7 pounds off before my trip to California on the 21st of July-but, I won't beat myself up if I don't reach that goal. I have a lot of weekend events between now and then-I just know that I am here know in my life and it feels good.

Volup Vavoom.



* A disclaimer and reminder that I am not a doctor or health provider of any kind. I am not providing medical advice and the views are my own.   Please consult the appropriate professional when making your own health decisions. 

Monday, 19 September 2016

Weight Loss Plateau? Can A Month of Working Out Be The Cause?

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and confused.  I have read about and had anecdotal conversations with others about the last ten pounds-in my case fourteen.  They are supposed to be the toughest and right now, I totally agree.  I can't get over how that number on the scale tries to and has often ruled my emotions.  You know, when it goes down you feel awesome, when it goes up you feel dreadful.  I have come to grips with this slowly, aiming to remind myself that it is only a number and does not define ME.  But, darn it, sometimes it is so hard to keep this positive mantra only in your thoughts-and today is one of those days.
I just crept off of the scale and for the third week running, I have maintained.  I even went to the bathroom and came back-maintained.  Pushed the scale around, maintained.  Screamed at it to be honest-maintained.  I know, I know-obsession, much?  But the thing is, I gave myself a goal to lose the fourteen pounds by Christmas and I factored in a few weekend city breaks and half term vacation. I should have dropped two pounds by now, at least.  I know, I know as well that the body doesn't know it's duty sometimes, like it has a mind of its own.  But even Slimming World on line keeps asking me if I want to start over?!  I don't that is for sure, 132 pounds to go back, but even though I know I should pat myself on the back-and I am.  They seemed much easier to lose (not in reality it was tough) but, boy do I feel for us who are nearly there-a place I have never been to might be why I am so frustrated?
I want to blame working out-is this right though?  I started a month ago and have been keeping it up each week attending two Pilates sessions-one is fat burning and uses HIT techniques-I never thought I would love burpies!  Well, my current version anyway.  A kettlercise class-which I am hooked on.  I even purchased two for at home.  Plus gym sessions on my own.  I do look a little leaner, but that might be the exercise tights?  I have researched a lot on line, one Denis Faye-Science Director for Beach Body makes sense when stating that muscle is being built faster than fat is burning.  But in only a month?  One key theme everyone seems to write is to be patient.  I get that, I just haven't got it yet!
So what to do?  I am going to really stay in step with my combination of intermittent fasting and the Slimming World eating plan.  I have to admit, I am in my 50's now so recovering from a few days of indulgence will take longer.  I also have to admit that I have not been drinking enough water-so I'll step that up.  I know that I have lost all of my weight so far without any real form of exercise-apart from trying to do 10,000 steps a day, and even then, I was never consistent.  I need to develop muscle to sustain my weight loss, feel better and be healthier.
I am not sure the plateau is due to exercising, but I do now I am not about to stop.  I just love the way I feel after a session-I love that I, in my maturity, realize that I am only in competition with myself.   So 'self' keep it up and revisit your progress in another month.  In the mean time-relax and know that this plateau will pass-just don't give up.

Volup Vavoom,