Picture the scene, I’ve just been lying at the pool on a particularly quiet rest day on holiday. It’s a sunny 20’C and I’m lying at the adult only pool of the resort, with only my audiobook ‘Diet Cults’ by Matt Fitzgerald for audio company.
In the book he tells me that in a study of many people who lost lots of weight and kept it off, there were 4 things they all had in common –
1. Motivation – having a reason to lose the weight and keep it off, be it health, a shock diagnosis or athleticism.
2. Weighing in regularly – you can’t manage something if you don’t measure it. Measure it regularly and you’ll be able to manage it.
3. Eating the same way regularly – eating the same foods over and over helps you keep a control over how much and what you consume. This includes eating the same way across the week (ie not gorging or increasing calorie intake at the weekend) and month in month out (ie not gorging during the festive season / holidays).
4. Being active – moving regularly and making movement an everyday part of your life. Do what you enjoy. Do what fits into your life. Do it daily. Set goals and chart your activity using trackers if that works for you.
I thought to myself, ‘That’s what I do and did to lose the weight and keep it off. Great.’
Now fast forward an hour and I’m sitting at the outdoor lunch area, about to have my lunch. A woman who is maybe 5-10 years younger than me, but maybe 2-3 times my size, orders a (full fat) coke and her lunch.
Now I will admit before I start, I know NOTHING of this woman, except what I observe and perceive. I only saw a few small snapshots of her day, and I didn’t see what she did with the rest of her day. And she IS on holiday, and I’m not judging her, but I can’t help but notice a few things – that maybe she doesn’t notice or realise (or maybe she does and doesn’t care).
Before her lunch arrives, she Facetimes home in the UK and she loudly tells the woman (let’s say it’s her Mum) on the other end of the phone that she’s having a salad for lunch. Her Mum proclaims ‘my my, you are a changed woman!’
But what her Mum doesn’t realise is that this overweight woman had 8 platefuls of breakfast at the buffet breakfast, has laid about all morning, and is now tucking into a coke, a large salad and an ice cream for afters. Perhaps the woman herself doesn’t realise?
Perhaps she doesn’t realise that maybe the reason she’s 2-3 times my size, is because she’s got the balance all wrong:
– Too much energy being consumed, not enough energy being spent. –
The can of coke alone is 140 calories and 40g of sugar. And she thinks she ‘being good’ because she is having a salad? (Remember, it’s a really big salad too). Then an ice cream to finish it off.
Now here’s what I did today, on my holiday:
– Breakfast – 2 small plates, one of fruit and yoghurt, one of eggs, tomatoes and potatoes. A litre of water and some black coffee.
– A long lie by the pool (rest day / no exercise / training) – a long listen to ‘Diet Cults’.
– Plenty water to drink.
– A dip in the pool (to cool me down).
– A 2 scoop ice cream (to cool me down). 🙂
– Lunch – a large vegetable salad, with a litre of water. It kept me full most of the day.
– A nap. (by that point I’d only clicked up 3,000 steps).
– A walk to a restaurant which was just under 2 miles away, and back. (I nearly reached 10,000 steps by the end of the day).
– a chicken burger and fries, and more water.
Since we got here, we’ve enjoyed getting up early and heading out for pre breakfast run – and we’ve had plenty sleep to allow us to get up early to do it. It’s been great – setting us up for the day.
(I have to be honest with the walk tonight, that Fit Girl suggested it as the sun set, but I was up for it after a lazy day by the pool.)
Sure, the ice cream and the chicken burger and fries could have probably been replaced with better choices. I’m no saint, and never claim to being one – I eat not so healthy sometimes, and I love my ice cream. But in the majority I try to do what’s healthy.
Or maybe I know I can eat whatever I want because I burn it off with regular exercise. Even today, my rest day, I ended up waking almost 5 miles / 10,000 steps. But I also got some down time at the pool too.
It’s just who I am, who we are. And I guess for coke and salad lady, it’s who she is. Each to our own.
I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of my ‘Diet Cults’ audiobook… and maybe some more time in the sun by the pool (and some more naps. I am on holiday after all). 😉