Monday, April 9, 2012

Fist Pumpiness is Not My Style



As I sit here, wondering what to write, I eat another chocolate.  It has truly been an Easter blow out, starting with the baking of Brownies on Friday.  Admittedly I have not eaten a single Easter egg, but have had a few chocolates and at least half my body weight in hot cross buns.

Those who know me will know I'm on the Michelle Bridges 12WBT (12 Weeks Body Transformation) program and I've been going okay with it over the past 8 weeks.   I've had a few slip ups and bad days, but generally I've been eating well and exercising, which in itself is a huge improvement on my non existent prior health and fitness regime.

However, I've not been able to fully embrace this program, just as I've never been able to fully embrace any weight loss, healthy living program in the past.  And believe me, I've tried a few!    I've listened to all the motivation video's Michelle sends us, I've read the blog posts and forum discussions.  I've seen photos of people who have lost some amazing amounts of weight and have transformed their lives.  But still, I'm not inspired enough to fully embrace it.   By "fully embrace it" I mean living and breathing everything about it.  I follow the food plans, somewhat and I follow the exercise guidelines, albeit loosely.  I think about what I'm going to eat and I make sure I do some exercise everyday, but I am not fanatical about the program.  Not like many of the others who are on it.

Why?  That's exactly what I've been wondering.  Why?  Do I lack willpower?  Probably.   Do I eat for comfort?  Yes.  Do I love food?  Yes.  Do I believe I should give up my favourite things and become obsessed with what I put into my body?  No.   I think that last question is the key for me.   I've never been a fanatical type person and I don't think I ever will be.  And as I've come to realise lately, nor do I want to be.

I don't really like the "fist pumpiness" that comes with these programs.  I feel like it is all or nothing, and if you can't give your all you are somehow failing.  There is no middle ground, no grey area.   You either want to lose weight and get fit and you commit to follow the rules religiously or you will fail.  Simple as that.  This doesn't sit well with me.  When I watch shows like biggest loser and the trainers yell at the participants and make them feel bad because they are giving up, it bothers me, a lot. I know why they do this and I know it is meant to keep the participant going, but to me it feels like the trainers have the power, the answers and the fat person must obey them or forever stay fat.  Like I said, the "fist pumpiness" of it all it is a bit too much for me, if I don't follow the leader, I will not be saved.   This is not my style.  

I'm definitely feeling better and I've lost 6 kilos since I started this particular program.  I would ideally like to lose 4 more kilos and I'm sure if I was focussed and disciplined I could do it easily.  I also know, when I finish losing the 4 kilos and I go back to my old habits they will creep on again very quickly.

I don't want to be obsessive about my weight and I don't want to be the one who is always saying, "no I can't eat that, I'm on a program".   I want to be fit and healthy and I also want to enjoy good food on my terms.   Whilst I'm not sticking religiously to this program, I'm using elements of it and adapting them to fit into my life.  I have found an exercise routine that I enjoy and for the first time ever I'm making exercise part of my daily routine.  I am not prescriptive about it though - I do whatever I feel like on that particular day.  The difference now is I do something every day.

Clean food is definitely appealing and I try not to buy things that are processed or pre made.  I am learning to only eat when I'm hungry and for the most part I only want to eat healthy things.  However there are times when I really feel like a chocolate brownie or a hot cross bun and I want to be able to eat these without feeling like I am "bad" or a "failure".  I'm noticing more than ever how often I say "I've been bad" or "today has been a food fail" and I'm increasingly becoming uncomfortable with this.  I'm measuring my worth by what I've put in my mouth - this is wrong.  Am I really bad because I ate something delicious?

Life is too short to spend the rest of it eating low fat, low carb, no sugar all the time.  When I want to eat chocolate, I shall eat good quality dark chocolate.  When I want a brownie, I will either make them myself or buy one from my favourite organic shop.  I definitely don't want to put rubbish into my body, but I certainly want to be able to eat foods I love without feeling like I've failed.

If I was to measure my success on this program by my stats and my ability to follow the rules, it would appear that I have failed.   This is not true.  Whilst I may not be "fist pumping", I am happy that I have learnt a lot about myself and it is more important to focus on how I'm feeling as opposed to how much I weigh.

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15 comments:

  1. Love this! Bad is kicking kittens or stealing cars or charging transaction fees when your bank makes $6 billion profit a year- it's not eating a hot cross bun. Reliable, refereed studies show that losing a significant amount of weight and keeping it off forever is well nigh impossible- the rebound rate is something like 98%. Does that make everyone who relapses bad or a failure? What about if you don't lose weight but you *do* eat better and get fitter and lower your blood pressure?
    We need to move the goalposts. We need to stop giving food such emotional power over our lives. We need more blogs like this. :)

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  2. "applauds" thank you Annie. I've lost and gained so many times. I am not my weight. I am me. I eat healthy most times. I sometimes comfort eat. I no longer beat myself up about food nor it's effects. Over more than 20 years of judgements (mostly mine!) I've eased off, and am loving the living more.it distresses me to hear and see women (notice its rarely men) hating themselves, calling themselves bad and naughty.
    I just keep a check on my health. Yes I fall into an obese weight range but my doctors have no issues with that. All of me is in a good state including heart. My life has enough troubles in it without more stress! Be kind.to me is my motto.
    Congratulations Annie on not joining the fist pumpers
    Denyse xx

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  3. Oh Annie. There is SO much I could say on this. Fist pumpiness is not my style either. Nor is, dare I day it, groupiness.

    Find a groove, Annie, and follow YOUR groove.

    Find what works for YOU and do that.

    And whilst losing weight is all abouot eating less and moving more, the ability to do that every day for the rest of our lives is very much more to do with our heads, rather than any "program".

    And being truly comfortable with our bodies, irrespective of the number on the scale or the dress size is all about our minds too...

    xx

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  4. I'm fist pumping you for writing this Annie. Truly. Just about to write a post about it too, at 6am! I'm feeling very much the same way. xx

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  5. Our bodies are just like cars that we top up with fuel all the time....when we don't need to.As we get older the car doesn't get driven so much,but we keep on filling it up just as regular.When I was younger I drove my car on empty all the time and only filled up when I absolutely had to to.Ah! the good 'ol slim days.
    I tried a diet a friend suggested by giving up all the "B's" ie.beer,biscuits and bread.well it didn't work just made me feel "peckish" all the time.I've come to the conclusion that no matter what you eat you end up getting a little soft in the middle,it's a force like trying to hold back the tide.
    And by the way that car I used to drive is now a truck !!

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  6. Totally agree! While some people have found this program (and others) to work for them, I've always been uncomfortable with how much pressure they place on people to have their whole life become about food and exercise. We are more than what we eat!

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  7. Thankyou for making me see just how many times I also say "Ive been bad today".Such negative thoughts to myself.Yes it has to stop.It IS wrong.I can now see when I say those words in my head,it brings my whole day down into a low.I am worth more than that.I will now start to be kinder to myself thanks to your words x

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  8. I read this late last night in bed - and I wanted to comment this morning, because I think that you have such a healthy attitude! Good on you - for finding your groove, for refusing to be totally consumed almost obsessive, to fitting in health how it works for you. Life doesn't fit so well with rules - and I'm so glad that you are being kind to yourself and celebrating yourself, and the success you have achieved in your own way x

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  9. I was going to write a post about Why I dont like the 12wbt but I was too scared of the reaction I would get from the thousands that do. I am currently doing it too, but I find my wagon, well it has crashed and burned. But really it hasn't. I just feel that I way because I am not burning 1000 cals every Saturday or sticking to the plans so well.

    I can't live like that full time.

    But I can take check of what I eat and increase my exercise which is what I have done.

    There are lots of things I really hated about this program. It would be nice to see it in Australian measurements for a start - we don't use Calories or Ounces. Lets try grams, cups, and kilojoules for starters.

    There were also so many extra things to buy, a DVD here, a heart rate monitor there, some scales, how about some new gym gear etc etc.

    Ok, I need to let it rest....

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  10. Hello Annie, I really don't believe in sticking to low calorie plans for days and days and weeks and weeks, it ain't natural. Works for some people, not for me. I'm all go slow to get low and build a lifestyle to last a lifetime... is the plan, but I need to keep my consciousness high not to fall back to old ways.

    Have you read 'The Good Enough Diet' by Tara Diversi and ???, I read it on Kindle and found it really helpful, also the balanced approach of Amanda Sainsbury-Salis is great.

    Some things I have read by Michelle B are great and I think there's a lot to be said for the JFDI attitude... a few days a week but not every day for me! Also her idea that will power if a muscle you can exercise is true... but need to leave space for treats and feasts.

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  11. So well said Annie. I am all for food being food, we eat to for fuel, to celebrate, to console. It is food. It is not good or bad. Just food.
    Exercise comes and goes for me. It is something I need for emotional, physical and mental wellbeing. But I will not beat myself up if I don't do it every day.

    I am more than the sum of what i eat and how much I exercise. And so, lovely one, are you.

    Fist pumping is not my style either. My things my way is much better. Slow and steady does it. x

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  12. Agree a billion percent. Life should NOT be about restriction and self-flagellation. It should be about nurturing ourselves, by eating well, exercising a little, and treating ourselves when we need it. And six kilos is a hell of a lot. How can that possibly be a fail???? x

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  13. Hang on, hang on, hang on. Six kilos? Did you say six kilos? That's amazing! But I also totally agree with you and the other comments here. Life is for living. As my gorgeous mum always says, 'everything in moderation...apart from wine and chocolate.'Such a wonderfully honest post Annie - that sooooooo many of us can relate to. xo

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  14. Leonie (@propinqua)April 11, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    Annie I read your post yesterday and have been mulling over it since. I'm doing the 12wbt as well, and I feel very much the same way as you - about 'fist-pumping' and certain other aspects which quite turn me off. I've lost weight and become much more fit, both of which I really needed to do, so I'm happy. But I've also been thinking a lot about how to make it sustainable for *me*, which means ignoring or modifying many things about the program. I'm completely comfortable with that, and you should be too. I don't think you have failed by *any* measure.

    One thing I would add, though, is that reading the 12wbt forum has been a stark reminder for me about how advantage/disadvantage operates in our community, in relation to education, knowledge and ultimately health. You can see people who are desperately clinging on to (what I consider) the most basic snippets of information that, for whatever reason, they have not been able to access before. That forum seems to have created a kind of virtual community with its own strong values and norms. I get the impression that's really important for many people who are surrounded in their real lives by very different attitudes towards health and nutrition. And for all its critics, I have found the actual info provided throughout the 12wbt to be pretty sound (except for the accelerator day, which seems a bit of a mixed message to me). So I think maybe some of the things that are really uncomfortable for me, might literally be life-saving for some others.

    I don't know exactly how many people are doing the program, but its thousands. No-one should expect that every aspect would suit everybody. You are very wise to take what works for you and ignore the rest.

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  15. This is my first time here and I LOVE this post. Fantastic!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me x

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