This may be the last time I write about this challenge. Scratch that, it’s the last time. Why? Because a lot has changed and also nothing has changed. I have written and rewritten this post because I like Beatrice’s channel. She is so human, so relatable, that I had a hard time being able to give my unbiased opinion of my experience. In the end, I have written what I hope is helpful to someone out there. I am not a doctor or medical practitioner, and I always advise you to consult with one before starting any changes to your diet.
The past two months have been enlightening for me with regards to my relationship with food and exercise, and also my mental health. I am now clearer on what I want and need to do going forward. Will I slip up occasionally? Yes. However, having a game plan helps and most importantly taking the time out to learn from my mistakes, woo hah, yup that helps. Did I lose any weight? No. Neither did I gain any weight. I maintained. Figuring out that I have been in maintenance all this time was the biggest learning point for me. I have so much more to learn and to heal from, and that for me has been my biggest takeaway from this journey. Not that I have to be the best, I just have to try my best and be open to the lessons and answers I receive.
So where do I begin? Exercise. Since I no longer work at the airport and instead now ride a desk it means I’ve been less physically active for the past almost 18 months thanks to the pandemic. This has played a major role in my weight gain, so for me trying to correct that now has been a bit difficult as I’ve fallen into the lazy side of the lifestyle. If you have been following me for a while, you would know that I have made a few sad attempts at exercising, especially workout challenges. I have discovered that I neither like, nor does it mesh with my personality. The only one that I even remotely partially completed these past few months would have been the step challenge a few months ago.
Coincidentally, that was the biggest indicator of my being in maintenance. As opposed to a couple years ago when I averaged anywhere between 9000 to 12000 steps a day without even trying, I have instead been eating like normal but with way less activity. Meaning, I was no longer in a caloric deficit.
Therefore, for the past few weeks, I have been doing my best to find ways to up my step count. I would love to go walking in the mornings but at the moment my anxiety makes it difficult to even venture out of my house to go exercise. I feel incredibly self-conscious which is weird because years ago getting up at 5 am and going for a walk would have been nothing to me, but now with so many people doing it I just feel self-conscious. So, I’ve been trying to do walking workouts at home with the help of YouTube. Special mention goes out to Reps to the Rhythm. I found his videos to be quite helpful and motivational mainly because he uses visual cues as opposed to talking throughout the workout and his foster cats are a joy to watch. Hopefully, the confidence to work outdoors will come but for now, one step at a time. Joining a gym will be a no-no since I have friends who have that equipment and I would feel far more comfortable hanging out in their home gyms doing what I need to do. Cue my social anxiety’s sigh of relief.
Now while I don’t entirely have an unhealthy relationship with food, there is room for improvement. Apart from the obvious, drinking more water, adding more fruits and vegetables, as well as meal prepping and reducing fast-food consumption has been showing some small benefits so far. In addition, I have officially switched to lactose-free dairy products, my tummy’s turn to sigh with relief.
For a few weeks, I tried intermittent fasting, and while I have no doubt it a great option for some, for me I was not a great fit. After a bit of trial and error, my current eating schedule is just that, a schedule. Breakfast, lunch and dinner with two snacks. Reduced portion sizes and mindful eating are the most important tools at mealtime. Eating when I’m hungry and stopping when I am full. No more rushed lunch breaks. I am still struggling with tracking my meals and water intake, so, let’s just consider this a work in progress.
Lastly, reading has been a hit or miss. Either I am too tired or too distracted but again I am working on improving this as reading has always been one of my favourite methods of stress relief. So, even if it’s just 10 mins a day, I have to read something at least three days a week. I completed three books, two of which I am will be writing short reviews for and I am slowly working my way through the 2000 books on my kindle.
Overall, I would say the “The 67 Try Your Best B*tch Challenge” is a good idea. It lets you tweak the guidelines to suit your lifestyle and gives you room to learn what best works for you. Granted the lack of hard structure can be a major con for some, which is why I say do what makes you feel most comfortable. The key is to take the lessons learned and incorporate them into your life. Create the lifestyle you want.