Saturday, 29 December 2012

Motivating Amy Part 1

In response to my last post, Amy replied:

I have the motivation problem, I'm afraid. I managed to lose about 12lbs last year - which is about half what I aimed to lose - and then stalled. In the couple of weeks before Christmas I was down below 60kg after trying for a while to lose an extra bit, but now I have frustratingly gone just over 60 again even after thinking I'd try not to put weight back on over Christmas.

I think what made the difference when I did lose weight was keeping a food diary coupled with exercising a bit more (exercise bike at home), but when work got busier I found it harder to find the time and energy to exercise and plan food ahead.

... and without realising it, she's given me enough subject matter for the next few posts.

When you first start losing weight, it comes off quite quickly. Any change to diet and exercise gets you off to a great start, but mostly you're losing water not body fat. Seeing the scales changing every week keeps us going. But it doesn't last, for reasons I'll go into in Part 2.

Here are my top tips to keep going when you hit a plateau:

  • Try measuring yourself instead of relying on the scales. Chest/bust, waist and hips are good areas to measure. Don't get hung up on the numbers, just the difference between the previous measurements. Or, have a skirt/shirt/pair of trousers that you can try on each week. Your shape might keep changing even when your weight stabilises.
  • Look beyond just losing weight. If you've been exercising at the same time as dieting, then you're fitter than when you started. See how many times you can walk up and down the stairs until you're exhausted, and try to do more each week? If your exercise bike measures distance, try to go further in the same time, or do intervals - 1 minute normal cycling, 30 seconds very fast, and see if you can do more intervals every week.
  • Add more activity into every day life. Everyone says it, but it's true. If you can, walk or cycle to work. If you already do that, walk quicker! Get out and about at lunchtime. If you work in a tower block, walk up and down the stairs on wet days (great for your bum!) I'm not sure if I want to admit this, but I jump on the spot or do star-jumps when I'm waiting for the kettle to boil. Or I balance on one leg, which is great for activating your stomach muscles.

Please pop back for Part 2 tomorrow.


  1. I am definitely going to start standing on one leg waiting for the kettle! I used to jog on the spot a lot - I'll have to start that up again!

  2. I don't lose much when I start which affects my motivation & I do exercise daily but just maintain my size.,it's frustrating. Is it just a case of trying different exercise to see which one helps to lose?

    1. Different exercises, different times for eating, different foods - there are so many variables, even people I work with in the gym need to figure out what works best for their body. Also gradually increasing the amount of general activity you do is a good idea. If you walk 30 mins a day, try 40; if you live in a house, walk up and down the stairs while the kettle's boiling. Choose 2 chart songs and dance to them every time they come on the radio - even if you hate them!

      These suggestions might seem flippant, but they're really not - extra movement means extra calories over time.