In July, I had a whinge at a friend of mine via Facebook about how I was putting a shit ton of work into this fitness lark and seeing no obvious returns and then blogged my frustration too. I was beginning to feel demotivated and was ready to give up. Two things were said to me that gave me the kick up the arse I needed me to keep going. The first, from Claire on Facebook:
You’re starting at the place where most people stop, the place where your body wants to stay and every little change becomes a major achievement.
and the second from MrsB on that blog post:
remember this – what comes easy won’t last and what lasts won’t come easy!
With renewed determination, I took some pictures of myself in my underpants so that I could see my natural / relaxed body shape and buckled down with the workouts. I started doing a fairly intense bodyweight workout at least once a week with some weightlifting to improve my upper body strength (in place of the 30 day shred which I found a bit meh). I am still running, although not always twice a week as I would like. I’m doing a walking circuit of the work building at lunch (most days) which is approx 0.8 miles and find opportunities to fit squats and stretches into my day too.
Having weighed myself yesterday and realised I am now 5lbs heavier than I was at the beginning of July, I decided to take another set of photos of me in my underwear to prove that I was doing all this work for nothing: that it was making no difference whatsoever (if nothing else but to give me that excuse to give up). Except, I got a bit of a shock, because by putting the pictures side by side I realised I have lost fat. My stomach is noticebly flatter, my thighs are smaller and I have a butt! A BUTT!
So, you ask me, what’s this got to do with Sugar Free September?
When I decided in March that I’d retry giving up sugar for a month, my main motivation was to beat my record of 3 weeks last year. However, having sat there in my pants last night with the realisation that now I’m pushing myself I don’t WANT to fill my body with crap, and that this effort IS making a difference, Sugar Free September suddenly becomes more… relevant? Less a challenge of my willpower, and more just a continuation — an upgrade — of the effort I’ve put in so far.
So my rules for the month will be as follows (from last year):
- No sugar (white/brown) in coffee; no cake; only sugar-free bread; no pastries, cereals or sauces sweetened with sugar; no squashes or ‘fake’ juices
- No more than two pieces/portions of fruit a day
- No replacing everything with honey / agave syrup / sweeteners etc
As well as a couple of new/updated new rules:
- No fruit juices or smoothies (I’ve stopped drinking these anyway)
- Avoid the wine!
And I will get through the whole month without sugar this time.