Consistency actually works
After a few ups and downs recently, I’ve had a bit of a surprise this month. You know that old line about “consistency is the key to success”, well it turns out that it is actually true, I have seen it, an it feels great. But even when you believe it, it can still be easily forgotten.
I’ve lost weight every week for over a month, which is pretty unusual for me. In fact it is outright unheard of. I’ve always struggled with being consistency. Generally when I am trying to lose weight it is a downward trend but it’s usually a long old road of ups and downs.
So what’s changed that’s made me lose every week? Well, a while ago I had a bit of a revelation about how I use food as a reward. Which I have been working on, and in doing so it has led to another recognition; if I strictly restrict what I eat to only “healthy” foods I go a bit bonkers. If I restrict myself from eating foods I want, I start craving them more. Then consistency goes out the window and I start binging. And that is why I am not seeing consistency in my weight loss. If you want consistency in your results, you need consistency in your diet. And if I want to be consistent in my diet, then it has to be realistic! No eating any treats ever is not realistic. I have finally realised that the stricter I am with what I’m eating, the bigger and longer the splurge will be when it does happen.
Putting consistency in to practice
So I’ve relaxed a bit, I’m trying to remember that food isn’t good or bad, it is just food. If I want some chips I can have some chips, but rather than insisting I clear my plate, maybe I’ll leave a few if I’ve had my fill. And just because I enjoyed some chips doesn’t mean I have failed, and should therefore wash them down with a chocolate milkshake and a burger.
I can’t believe how thinking like that is making me feel. It sounds like a cheesy cliché but I really do feel like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I can feel myself getting a bit less obsessed with food, which is the most fantastic feeling. And the added bonus is that it works from a weight loss point of view too. I had 5 weeks in a row where I lost, it was only half a pound or a pound, nothing earth shattering but consistent and healthy. I must admit it was little disheartening having such small losses, but you can’t complain when you’e still enjoying chips (note; not just eating chips- enjoying them guilt free). Then out the blue one week I lost 4lb! I guess consistency is the key but patience is her twin sister.
Looking at my food diary I can see see that my “splurges” are starting to get smaller and less frequent. I’m pretty sure that’s because I’m not obsessing about food quite so much. So consistency really does make sense. Regularly allowing myself treats gives me a regular, healthy weight loss that turns out to be much more enjoyable than falling into an endless cycle of restrict and binge.
Taking consistency back out of practice
So great, problem solved, I know the secret now is consistency, I am unstoppable!!!! Well, until I got the flu. I was struck down with a horrible virus that pretty much wiped me out for two weeks. I didn’t really eat much at all for six days. Then I was put on two different antibiotics, which at first made me feel worse. Then I ate all the things, and really struggled to stop. Feeling rubbish and sorry for myself meant I forget all the progress I had made. Then, surprise, my winning weight loss streak came to an end and I put on a pound.
At first I gave myself a bit of a hard time about it, but thinking about it, I’ve decided it’s actually a positive. I realised what I did, and didn’t wollow in pity or punish myself further. The big win is that as soon as I started feeling better, I started eating better again and it wasn’t as big an effort as I thought it would be. So, I know the secret of consistency, I just need to be consistent in doing it.
And then the wetsuit arrived
Triathlon training took a bit of a hit when I was ill. Though I can confirm an excellent method for clearing a path when you’re out running is to have a horrible phlegmy cough – everyone gives you a very wide berth indeed. Scarily, things are getting real now, no more so than when my wetsuit arrived. I’ve never worn a wetsuit before, and if my experiences so far are anything to go by then I won’t be doing it again after the race. OWS* wetsuits are slightly different to ones you wear for scuba or surfing. The shoulders are constructed differently (all that front crawl) and they tend to be thinner (ie tighter!)
My first attempt at getting in to it took 25 minutes, pus somewhat brutal assistance of the husband plus liberal applications of ‘trilube‘ (yes, wetsuit lubricant is a real thing, and I can confirm it’s pretty unpleasant). Getting out of the wetsuit wasn’t much better, it involved much swearing, and our cat narrowly escaping a horrible fate when I fell on top of him. I’ve yet to venture into the water wearing it. I hope that the ‘added buoyancy’ everyone claims it gives you is true, as I’m not entirely sure I can move my arms enough to actually swim in it. I think I’ll just have to put up with the fact that I’ll be looking like a deranged, neoprene clad oompa loompa for far longer than I expected, as it might take me quite a while to get round if I can’t move my arms!
OWS = open water swimming (get me, I’m picking up all the lingo!)
If you want to stay up to date with Maria’s ongoing weight loss journey then subscribe to the blog. You wont get any junk ever, just updates when new blog posts are published. If you enjoy reading Maria’s blog and would like to send feedback you can email her on email@example.com
If you want to kick start your own weight loss journey, and are interested in becoming part of the set U free crew, then check out the ways we can help.