I’m just back from seeing the nurse, and it’s official – I’ve lost 1 stone and 5 pounds since my last health check. That was back in November, but I know I’ve lost most of that since I signed up to #NewcastleCan, 1 stone 1 pound since late January.
I knew I’d lost weight, my clothes feel bigger, and my scales at home were telling me my weight was dropping, but having it confirmed feels good. A small paranoid part of me wondered about faulty scales or stretched fabric. In fact the official scales had me 3lbs lower than my scales at home!
My blood pressure is down. I don’t get the cholesterol results until next week but I’m hopeful that’s also moving in the right direction. While I was there I also had a smear test, which I only mention because I know lots of women either don’t go at all or put it off, so I’m reminding you it’s a normal thing to do and it’s important.
So how have I made and stuck to healthy changes?
- Cutting unhealthy snacks, first at work and then completely. If I’m hungry now I have fruit or nuts.
- Limiting treats, e.g. one cake a week and one take away a month.
- Cooking from scratch as often as possible rather than buying heavily processed food.
- Upping the vegetables in recipes and reducing the other ingredients.
- Reducing dairy, a maximum of one milk based drink a week and much less cheese.
- Walking as much as possible and pushing myself with stairs and hills.
- Telling people, so I feel more compelled to stick to my new rules.
- Recording what I eat, honestly including all snacks, and understanding better how many calories are in my food.
- Allowing myself exceptions, but being mindful about them, e.g. It’s fine to eat out with friends but I try to pick something small, or salady, or I exercise more that week to work off the extra calories.
- Reminding myself of my success and not stressing out of the scales don’t move one week.
I feel physically healthier, and I want to celebrate that and keep improving.
As today is World Health Day 2017 with a focus on depression and mental health I’ll be honest and say that despite my physical improvement I am still very up and down with my mental health. In general I think I’m better than I was, but the lows are very low when they come. I do recognise them now, and try my best to give myself some space and time to myself to recover, which is movement in the right direction. I wonder if the lows seem so low because my general mood is better? I’m not sure.
What I am sure of is that physical health and mental health are linked. So I’m hopeful that the more I improve physically the less frequent the lows will be.
A like this video from MIND recognising the importance of exercise to mental health: