Post virus and snot-fest OBB (Operation Bikini Bod) is still on track – I’m down another dress size which means that the charity shops are getting an influx of donations, and the credit card is taking a serious hit.
This, of course, makes me very happy indeed. But my work-wear wardrobe is shrinking at an alarming rate. It was already pretty much a capsule wardrobe, and it’s getting more compact and bijoux by the day. I’m so close to my end goal that I could almost strip off and dance around in the itsy bitsy teeny weeny pistol panties bikini that has been my nemesis for a year now.
I’m not body dysmorphic, I did a victory lap around the flat with my t-shirt over my head and arms in the air premier league footballer style when I zipped myself into a fitted UK size 10 shift dress. It was a truly epic moment and has taken me many many cardio miles, pyramids of doom, and body-quivering planking sessions to get this far. The end is nigh – but I still need to shift a few pounds of fat and tone up the peary bits of my pear shaped body.
I look and feel better than I have for years – and I want to keep that up. I’ll soon be moving from my ‘losing’ phase to a maintenance based one. In a way I’ll miss the slow but steady sense of achievement on losing those unwanted inches. I like the way I feel now, I feel healthy. I still have the odd splurge, I don’t deny myself anything major, but I do keep a daily eye on my calorie intake and exercise a minimum of 3 days a week.
I didn’t think that I’d stick with it, it seemed insurmountable in the beginning, but like the hare and the tortoise, slow and steady wins the day.
It’s been a challenging week so far and today has gone beyond, way beyond taking the Michael.
And thus I wandered home, looked longingly at the box of wine, decided “later my pretty, later” and put the OBB kit on instead. It’s been a good night – I’ve lunged my way through the pyramid of doom, spinned my way through the women’s curling bronze medal match (go Team GB), and successfully planked for the designated 150 seconds (thank you Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits for the Metallica playlist). I now feel better about this week – it’s amazing how much life goes back into perspective when you’re wheezing for dear life whilst the little endomorphins rush around your body.
But today was a tough one – my default fantasy when office life is getting me down is to run away and join the circus. I have it all figured out – I’m the bombshell who gets fired out of a cannon wearing spandex outfits emblazoned with The Titanium Tempest. Hey, a girl’s gotta dream.
Anyway, my day started off with puddle avoidance, deteriorated into broken wifi routers, faulty laptops, disobedient developers, a depressing amount of yet-to-be-written policies and anarchy. I also have two members of staff on compassionate leave, another about to go on paternity leave and an alarming office plague that’s turning lovely people into feverish phlegm-spouters. I bought cookies and wasabi-flavoured crisps – it was the only sensible thing to do.
Now, where’s that spandex?
Today (as it is 4-5 times a week) was all about working out. Luckily, Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits was around to help. I’m a pear shape with hour glass aspirations – my upper body has snapped back into shape quite well and I can be persuaded to get my lady guns out without too much trouble, but my lower body always has been and always will be my nemesis.
I always find that my lower body workout is so much harder than my upper body one – the extra effort does work though – my butt is lifting, my thighs are getting thinner and my cankles are separating out into calves and ankles once again.
Operation Bikini Bod (OBB) has been a long hard slog, but I can almost see the end in sight. My confidence is up, my weight is down and my energy levels are on the rise. Not bad for a middle-aged leftie.
Operation Shop Til I Drop (OSTID) will soon begin – well, I will need some new clothes when all that blood, sweat and tears pays off. And if that doesn’t motivate me, then nothing will. Better start saving.
This has been a truly unproductive week on a personal front. I have only managed to make one post since last weekend and I’ve only completed a couple of workouts.
Bugger – that’s a pretty epic fail on all levels. There’s been combination of factors (isn’t there always) that stops you achieving what you set out to do.
A film that I really wanted to see, an unexpectedly late night at work, a friend’s birthday drinks, a bout of insomnia, and a vomit-inducing virus are this week’s excuses all rolled into one. I got my cardio levels up enough on Friday morning whilst being chased by a bee – but otherwise, it’s been a lazy week all round.
So I’m half way through this weekend with a grand master plan about working off the birthday cake and trying to make everything I want to achieve, fit into my life. Will I succeed, who knows, but I’m going to have a damn good try. Now, off to the treadmill for a caffeine-charged workout.
Now, we all know that exercise is good for us.
But it can be hard to seamlessly incorporate it into everyday life. There’s usually something else a lot more fun to do. I’ve struggled with my weight for over 15 years (cheese, wine, curries and crisps are a few of my favourite things) and I hadn’t exercised seriously since my school days.
But something had to change & for me that was Boxing Day last year. Enough. No more wibbles, no more dressing around my size. Now, for some people, their goal is to be thin. Mine is different, I want to be strong and toned (not a body builder physique, but definition and strength). Thinner is the bonus that comes with both of those things. At school I used to swim, a lot. And I was strong, ridiculously strong for my size. I hanker back to those days – so I asked Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits to help devise a good programme for me, part cardio weight loss, part help me get the body that could monkey bar my way out of trouble. 7 months later I’m doing well, there have been a few slips (read these as nights out) and maybe one too many packets of crisps along the way, but I am in much better shape and am so much happier in myself than I was 7 months ago.
There have been laughs, and if I’m honest, tears and tantrums along the way. I can exercise easily enough by myself, but it’s hard and it’s boring – so for me, it’s so much more fun to have my gym buddy helping me. He reminds me to breathe, corrects my position when I’m doing something wrong and is a constant source of either encouragement or motivation.
My body shape is changing, I have muscle tone (which I love) – but by far the best aspect is spending time on improving your wellbeing with the person that you love. It may be corny, it may be twee, but I treasure these times. I only wish that I had started 10 years ago, but it’s good to know that I have a better body at 40 than I did at 30. It’s all about balance and I’m starting to get that balance right.
I’ll admit it, I don’t always have a fully formed life plan. I’m just not that ambitious. I’m driven, which is different, but most people feel more comfortable having a bit of a life plan mapped out, so that they can check how they’re getting on in life. I often like not knowing, and whilst I’ve planted seeds, have moved on before they get a chance to spread their roots.
I love my job, I’ve pretty much loved most of the jobs I’ve done in life, but I’ve never once awoken thinking, “Yes, that’s the job I want to do for the rest of my life”. My motto is to do the best job I can – that’s what I do. That’s all I’ve ever wanted – to be the best that I can be.
It’s the honest answer, but it confuses people. They need to believe that I had a game plan all along, that I categorically went through each career choice with a focus on gaining each new skill to make a better life for myself. I didn’t. I’ve changed jobs when I’ve needed a change, I’ve moved into new roles when I’ve needed new challenges and along the way, I’ve found that this approach works for me. I adapt to new situations and want to try new things, it’s as simple as that.
This is a core aspect of my personality – I want to try new things – although, I rarely stick at one thing long term. At this very moment, I’m supposed to be doing a 16 mile exercise extravaganza, instead I’m choosing to write this blog.
I will start that 16 mile extravaganza within the next few minutes because I do have a long term goal in mind, to be bikini-fit in my 40’s, but a couple of decades worth of decadence is harder to get rid of than it was to put on.
Anyway, it’s ok not to have a plan, and it’s ok to change your mind as you go through life. Just stay true to yourself, be kind to others and believe that you can be best you can be. You just have to get off your backside and do it.