Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Secrets to Being Fit and Fab: Two Years of maintainance

A little over two years ago, I had a minor meltdown (okay it was fairly major and involved crying) and resolved that I was not going to regain the weight I’d lost. The net result was that I started the Tracy Anderson Method with a 30 Day bootcamp and then went on to do her metamorphosis.

I initially followed her diet plan and the weight melted. I then found I could ease up as long as I held true to the principle of eating healthy 80% of the time. I also have to eat things which are not processed and try to eat everything homemade. Luckily I like food.

And I’ve kept the weight off and my size down to a US 4 (UK size 8). When I first lost I was slightly smaller (between a size 2 and a size 4) but I looked boney up top.

Something like 90% of the people who have lost over 50 lbs regain it within 2 years. I haven’t so I have passed the first milestone. Over those people who don’t regain, 90% of those exercise at least an hour a day. I am part of that group. Every morning I do my TAM – sweating and occasionally swearing, sometimes feeling like a baby hippo as I’m still no dancer but always feeling better after it is done.

I started exercising for shallow reasons but continue to exercise because of the way it makes me feel about me.

I have learnt the hard way that exercising before breakfast ultimately makes you exhausted in the evening.  For me eating something easily digestible such as a banana before I exercise is essential. I don’t get as hungry during the day and I am no longer falling asleep at 9 pm.

Exercising  has significantly diminished my colds and other illnesses. I think it has to do with sweating things out. But I have not had the colds that I once did. I also take a magnesium/calcium and zinc tablet every morning so this could also be a contributing factor. But it helps not to be sniffling.

Eating less sugar has meant my sweet tooth has significantly decreased. Lots of store bought products are just too sweet. Sugar is not a substitute for flavour. I like cakes, pies and cookies are much as the next person but I can’t have them all the time, nor do I want them all the time. It does take a long time to completely eradicate a sweet tooth, up to 18 months without sugar. I simply strive for a balance in my life rather than complete avoidance. I have noticed that avoiding sugar means my taste buds really wake up.

Last month, I also happened to catch the Men Who Made Us Thin on the BBC which is a four part expose of the diet and fitness industries.  Part social history, and part investigative journalism, it was interesting to see. There is no magic pill which you can just take once and be magically thin forever. It takes a lot of hard work and consistent effort.  There were several parts which totally put me off food – some of the extreme ways people lose weight (tubes in various places). I was also surprised to learn how the media works with celebrities to provide a soap opera of  weight loss.  It can be highly lucrative to all concerned. It apparently starts after Christmas with pictures of the celeb looking unhappy on the beach, then she sheds some pounds doing a sponsored diet plan, cue for new wardrobe and possibly new squeeze and lots of PR which enables her to more sponsorship etc. The whole soap opera of weight loss.  If it happens to be on, it is worth taping and watching.

Maintaining my weight has proven to be hard work as I do actually have to sweat. But it is worth it.
Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romance in a wide range of time periods. Paying the Viking's Price will be released in November 2013 and is dedicated to Tracy Anderson who taught her that exercise was something to be embraced rather than to be avoided.  you can learn more about Michelle and her books on her website



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