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A few months into my WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers, diet plan and now several pounds down (20, to be exact! 😊), I’ve been reflecting on all those diet myths that had been holding me back from weight loss success over the past few years.
It’s almost embarrassing to admit that I’d allowed myself to fall prey to a whole host of weight loss assumptions, especially taking into account the fact that I considered myself well-informed on all things diet related.
But like a wide-eyed Alice in Wonderland, down the rabbit hole of diet fantasy I fell, deeper and deeper, until one day I woke up and realised that all was not as I had naively assumed.
While working towards a seemingly unattainable goal, it is all too easy to play the victim…
‘I’m trying so hard to lose weight, but I’m failing miserably and that must be because of all these factors outside of my control… Right?’
The harsh, cold reality is that if we are struggling to shift the pounds, we are absolutely doing something wrong…
As well as falling, hook, line and sinker, for the following top 3 diet myths…
1. The gym cancels out the calories
Some people love the gym. It releases their endorphins, takes them to a ‘happy place’, gives them boundless energy, a certain joie de vivre…
Not me! I am two things; a morning grouch and a gym grump! (And thinking about it now, I realise that those two things are quite possibly related since a lot of gym work seems to have to happen early in the morning!💡)
In spite of this, I tried oh so hard in the last few years to transform my increasingly flabby body through regular gym sessions. Though these came to an abrupt end – as I explained in Mostly Mum’s Fitness Files – Part 1. – when the hubby bluntly pointed out that my expensive trips to the gym didn’t seem to be working! 😐
Harsh but true!
I had fallen into the trap of believing that a gym subscription and turning up on a semi-regular basis would somehow magically melt away my weight issues.
I thought I was eating healthily, but I really wasn’t.
It was less of this…
And more seriously calorific takeaways than I would like to count, as I was just too exhausted from my gym exertions to cook from scratch.
Then, there was also the fact that instead of walking to my ‘so close, it’s practically on my doorstep’ gym, I was driving! I know! The shame! 😳
I think my rationale might have been along the lines of:
’I need to conserve all the energy I can for that high-intensity spin class…’
An excuse that simply does not cut it when you give more than two minutes thought to the fact that I needed to be working towards a calorie deficit, and that means upping those exercise levels, not keeping them comfortably stable. 😐
Luckily, I have realised the error of my (lazy) ways and, these days, make my way to the gym on foot!
Gym gear paired with Ugg boots equals great casual style! Who knew?! ❤️
On the plus side, extra exercise has given me an excuse to splash out on extra gym gear in the form of the fabulous Just Strong leggings pictured above, and the ultra-sleek Asuno mesh mix leggings pictured below.
Still not quite there, but 20 pounds down means I’m happy to forgo the bulge-concealing layers ☺️
Extra effort at the gym is now rewarded with a great new motivational outfit, as opposed to a calorific meal – which effectively cancelled out all the gym work and kept me on the deflating weight loss merry-go-round. 😫
So simple in theory, yet quite a feat to put into practice, I assure you! 😬
2. Over 40 means overweight
When you’re young, 40 is one of those milestone ages that is to be dreaded. While a 30th birthday might propel us into serious adulthood; homeownership, marriage, babies, 40 propels us into… gulp… middle-age territory, a no-man’s-land of ever-increasing decay, with the foreboding shadow of death looming ever closer on the horizon… Double gulp! 😮
Or so it might seem, to some, at least! 😳
In other words, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that all weight loss efforts post-forty are effectively doomed. The body’s metabolism is winding down, we’re past peak fitness… Is there even a point in fighting nature?
It is so easy to become a victim of those circumstances beyond our control, our age, as we dramatically wail:
’It’s not my fault I’m packing on the pounds! I’m getting old! It’s all over! I give up!’
Or is that just me?!
But, then, I look around and see that quite a few of my celebrity peers are not falling to pieces! Quite the opposite, in fact! They look sensational!
Reese, six months older than me, and looking better than ever! 💖
Isla Fisher, (Shannon from Home And Away, anyone?), a year older than me (I’ll let you Google it… 😉), and she could still pass for a fresh-faced 17-year-old ❤️
And as for Kylie… Beyond fabulous at fifty!!! 💗
‘But these are celebrities…’ goes the wheedling voice of negativity in your head.
’They are exceptional people with exceptional resources at their disposal!’
’They are just not like us!!!’
’We can’t EVER expect to compare!’
Until I looked around at my non-celeb peers and realised that they too were looking quite fabulous post-forty. No falling to pieces, no ballooning weight issues to be seen, not even post-late-life baby!
That was my Eureka moment!
The moment I realised that instead of making lazy victimhood excuses, my energy would be better spent doing something positive, like actually committing completely and totally to a diet plan.
And so I enrolled at WW shortly after taking the photo below…
Taken from my Instagram account, @edel_curran1
Since that decisive moment, there have been definite ups and downs, and juggling a weight loss programme with a young family and a newly launched blog is not easy, when all I want to do is dive into a box of Lindt Lindor truffles (at 4 points per velvety chocolate ball out of a 23 point daily budget, I won’t be doing that anytime soon again! 😳) at the end of a stressful day!
But dogged persistence does pay off, and it is such a confidence boost to realise that my goals are finally within sniffing distance…
Not quite in the league of Reese, Isla or Kylie, but maybe one day… soon 😊🤞
And, yes, we can all be totally, fabulously, fit after forty! 🙌
3. Dieting equals deprivation
In addition to the diet delusions mentioned above, I had somehow managed to convince myself that completely committing to a diet programme would be impossible as I would have to give up all my favourite edible treats…
And that fact alone could kill me!
Or, make me feel like death, at the very least…
I just didn’t want to have to deprive myself to the point that I turned into a food-obsessed I’m A Celebrity… contestant…
You know, at the point where their discussions revolve around the treats they miss most in the jungle?
For me, that would have to be milky cappuccinos and chocolate snacks…
Or, at this time of year, my seasonal toffee nut or gingerbread latte from Starbucks!
Just too good to give up!
But, luckily, if you’re on the flexible WW plan, you don’t have to!
You see, as long as you stick within your daily points budget of 23 points (with WW all foods are given a set number of points ranging from zero upwards, where healthy foods like vegetables, most fruit and lean proteins are zero points to consume), weight loss will be achieved.
Even better, if you have an extra healthy day, filled with lots of fresh, low point produce, you can then roll over as many as 4 points per day to store up for a celebratory end of week splurge.
In practice, that means that I can have a little of what I like every day…
5 points spent on that Pret latte, a manageable daily treat ❤️
Or a lot of what I like once a week or so! 😋
At around 10 points, this delish Patisserie Valerie deluxe hot chocolate isn’t even off the menu! Hurray! 😍
In this more mindful way of approaching dieting, the weight simply melts always without you ever feeling depressed and deprived!
So, there you have it, folks!
A tale of dieting delusions, which I hope will help you if you feel stuck in an end of year weight loss rut!
I have almost reached my 2018 weight loss goals, so 2019 will be all about maintaining that success.
Let’s hope those dismal days of yo-yo-dieting are firmly in the past!
Until next time,
💋 Mostly Mum
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