[L]ets come together as a city to change the way we live, work and play, and help make Newcastle the healthiest, happiest city it can be.
Its six weeks since I joined the Newcastle Can campaign, which seems like a good time to reflect on how its going. So, in no particular order, so far I have:
- Tried to eat healthily rather than dieting.
- Upped the vegetables in most of the meals I prepare, increasing the number of portions and reducing the number of calories per portion.
- Saved money on lunches because I’ve had leftovers to eat instead.
- Pushed myself physically by increasing the amount of steps I take per day and adding as many hills and stairs as I could.
- Overcome my anxiety to attend an organised exercise event.
- Turned the fruit bowl into something functional rather than decorative.
- Stopped buying biscuits, meaning the whole family is eating more fruit.
- Realised I was having too many treats and that recording what I eat helps me manage this.
- Learned more about the number of calories in what I’m eating.
- Drastically reduced the amount of cheese I eat.
- Managed not to order takeaway after a bad day.
- Lost a total of 6 pounds.
That looks good, it is good, but I want to record the pitfalls as well as the successes. It hasn’t always been easy. I’ve:
- Binge eaten half a box of fudge because I hadn’t had any sweets for weeks and just couldn’t stop myself.
- Had several weeks with several portions of cake, and needed to impose stricted limits on myself.
- Had 2 weeks where I lost just one pound, followed by 2 weeks where my weight stayed the same, before I gave myself a metaphorical kick up the backside and began taking it more seriously.
- Had several days where a busy life intervened and I didn’t do as much physical activity as I’d wanted.
- Really struggled with my anxiety, because I’m forcing myself out of my comfort zone.
So, not always easy, but going well. Which makes me wonder why I’m sticking to this better than previous fitness attempts? Six weeks, for me, is a long time!
I think its because its part of an organised campaign. I’ve committed to doing this, I’ve stated so publicly. And that means I’m not alone. The emails and updates from the campaign team motivate me if I’m finding it a struggle. The articles on the website give me ideas of how to make positive changes. People ask me how its going and if they’re taking part too we share what’s worked and what hasn’t.
Physically I feel there hasn’t been a dramatic change yet. But dramatic change isn’t necessarily sustainable, so maybe that’s a good thing. Mentally its been a challenge. I feel less depressed but more anxious. One of my major anxiety triggers is change, and this whole campaign is about making changes. I know I can get through the anxiety, and each time I do the next time becomes a bit easier, but that doesn’t make it any the less unpleasant at the time.
I’m doing this for me, and it means facing up to my anxiety and getting through it. I can do that. Six weeks is nothing compared to the year I’ve signed up for, but if I break the year into months, the months into weeks, the weeks into day and the days into hours I can do this. One hour at a time.