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That's a wrap...

One of the weird things about being a teacher in the northern hemisphere is that your year ends in the middle! I grew up in Australia (where schools years line up with calendar years) and even though the majority of my teaching career has been in the northern hemisphere I still get a little kick out of that fact.

Tomorrow is the last day of the school year, my first year at this school and my first as part time admin, part time teacher. It's been a great year in a lot of ways but also a very steep learning curve. I'm not sorry that it's coming to an end, I get to take a break and then when I come back in August I'll no longer be "new".

In my last post I admitted that in terms of healthy eating and fitness this year has been pretty much a wash. While I would have been happy to report otherwise I'm not really surprised. I've never managed to move countries without gaining weight (and I've moved countries quite a lot so I've definitely put this to the test) and so the fact that I finished the year at the same weight I started it (even though it's a few kg above my lowest weight which was still a few kgs above what I want to weigh) is somewhat of a victory.

My hopes now are that I don't do too much damage over the summer and that when I come back next year I can have a stronger focus on fitness/healthy eating. I'm going to be spending the summer doing a massive road trip in the U.S. Hopefully the ridiculous portion sizes will be offset by all the hiking I'm planning to do. Traveling with my skinny vegan boyfriend will help out too with any luck.


It's been a year!

No, not since I started on MFP. A year since I stopped taking this weight loss/healthy living thing seriously.

So not exactly a date to celebrate. 

Actually probably more than a year. This time last year I'd just wrapped up living in Japan (after 5 years) and was back in Australia for the summer (or for the winter since it was Australia). I'm pretty sure my slide into mediocrity began at least a few weeks before I left Japan.

I left Japan weighing about 56.6 kg. By the time I arrived in Bulgaria 2 months later I was 60.6 kg. Quite a gain over a few months (actually it was more like 3 months because I didn't weigh myself until my scales had arrived and I'd settled).

Last Saturday when I weighed myself I was 60.6 kg! Quite a coincidence given that the past 10 months look like a rollercoaster. I've been up as high as 62kg and down as low as 58kg. This Saturday will be my last weigh in for a few months. I have to be at the airport by 5am the following Saturday so chances are I won't think of weighing first. Then I'll be having adventures for a few months so no weighing while that's happening either.

The Bad - Obviously that I didn't lose weight, didn't log, didn't get down to the weight I think would be best for me.

The Good - I didn't pile all the weight back on.

There's no excuse (she says then types out her excuses) but it has been quite a year. I moved countries (and to a totally different way of life, Eastern Europe after a decade in Asia), started a new job (at a level I'd never done before), fell in love (awwwww) and managed to keep my sanity. While it would have been ideal to have kept a decent focus on my eating and exercise as well I don't feel like I'm in a horrible place. Hopefully once I return after the summer I'll be able to regain my focus. 

And at least I'm still here... if nothing else I haven't stopped paying attention entirely.

This just isn't my focus anymore

Hmmm this poor neglected blog.

I feel like I should at least write occasionally just so I haven't abandoned it entirely. But then I have nothing in particular to say because it's pretty much just more of the same. My weight continues to bounce up and down with a slight upwards trend. I continue to know that's a bad thing but not to have the discipline/motivation/mental strength to get back on track.

I'm not eating horribly. I'm still exercising (although no where near what I once was). I'm just not being diligent enough to lose weight.

I think that really sums up the entire problem. For me to lose weight experience (years and years and years of it - a lifetime in fact) shows that losing weight has to be the main focus of my existance. I just can't seem to multi-task on this.  And right now there's just so much else that I need/want to focus on.

Now I realise this is to some extent just an excuse. Many (possibly most) have more going on that they need to focus on than me (family, illness, job stress etc). I know I'm pretty lucky. But I'm not sure how to get my brain to lose weight when it can't be the primary thing in my life.

So for now I'll just keep hanging on in here. Trying to log in most days, even if it's been almost a year since I logged properly. Weighing in once a week, even if it's an upwards trend at least I'm not ignoring it entirely. Hoping that at some point I either master the art of losing weight withough having to make it my entire focus or that I get back to a point where I'm prepared to focus on it.

In areas apart from weight loss life is going great. I'm 6 weeks away from the end of the school year. That means I'm only 6 weeks away from (hopefully) having survived a complete cycle in my new job. While many of the stresses will be the same next year knowing that I've done it once before will be a huge confidence boost. Next year I'll no longer be the new person and I'll start the school year with so much more idea of what's going on, My personal life is going wonderfully too. I met someone special, I'm very happy. Visa issues means he can't always be around but in a few hours I'm off to the airport to pick him up and he can stay 4 weeks. Happy!

What's gone wrong?

Wow. My last entry was way back in January and here we are almost half way through April. Where does the time go?

Unfortuntely I haven't been using the time between then and now in any productive sense (when it comes to health/weight loss) and I've continued to lose/gain with the gains being a little bigger than the losses. So overall my weight is up a couple of kgs. Not good.

Work has been busy and stressful and unfortunately I stress eat. It's not that the job is bad at all, I knew when I took this job that there would be a huge learning curve and that the first year in particular would be full of challenges. It certainly has been but I'm not complaining. The job is great, the people I work with supportive and I'm learning loads. The stress is just a natural consequence of me taking on a completely new role in a new country at a new (to me) school.

And really it's not about stress. It's about me just not caring enough, slacking off, not logging, not exercising regularly. Part of that is due to business/stress but if I'm honest that's not the real reason, it's just that somewhere inside I've lost my motivation. Weight loss is always going to require a big effort on my part and unless I'm willing to focus on it and make it a real priority then it's just not going to happen.

I'd like to be here claiming that I'm back in a position where I'm ready to work to make that happen but honestly I'm not. I'm about to fly off to Cardiff for a few days for meetings and then that will back on to Easter holidays so a week spent traveling around in Wales (since someone else was paying for the flights it seemed crazy not to take advantage). Then once I get back I've got friends planning to visit and then it's almost the summer and... you get the picture, I've got excuses.

So I'm sort of checking in, not in the promise that I'm about to mend my ways, but rather as an admission that I'm way off track at the moment. 

And I do keep trying to log in every day so that I'm at least keeping the whole weight/eating thing somewhere in my mind. It's a poor consolation but I figure it's better than disappearing altogether (which of course is what I'm tempted to do when I have nothing positive to report).

Failing - and not giving up

A few weeks ago I wrote about my New Year's Resolution.

I chose to give up chocolate for the year and detailed my reasons why on that blog entry.

I lasted 17 days. Yesterday, Jan 18th I broke my resolution. Why you ask? A really stupid reason.

I was at a quiz night. One of the rounds was called "Sweet and Salty". You had to eat a whole bunch of stuff and figure out the flavour. It was all good fun. In the salty category other people were trying things first and the ones they identified as meat flavoured (bacon, chicken etc) I didn't try (I'm vegetarian). When it got to the sweet category there were two samples of chocolate. We broke it up, each ate a piece and figured out what the flavours were (chilli and orange as it turns out). I thought both were gross so I actually only ate a very small amount of each.

All fun and games. Then about 5 minutes later it hit me what I'd done. DAMN IT!! I ate stupid chocolate and I didn't even like it!

So that's my sad story of the broken resolution. Of course I'm not giving up. I feel like I broke the letter of the law but not the spirit. And, if I make it through the rest of the year without eating any more chocolate (or even with a few more forgetful slips) it will still be quite an achievement.

On other news I've started a group (on here) and am going to try and get 9 other people to join and be super focused for the next 3 weeks. In the past I've found that helpful and I'm hoping that I will again. I'll keep you posted!

I lost a little (very little) weight last week and I'm hovering not to far off getting back under 60kg which I'd really like to see happen. 

Finally, some good news.

January 12th...only a few days until we're half way through the month. At this time of year I tell myself things like that constantly, it's a reassurance that long days and warmth will eventually be coming back.

For the first time in months and months I'm going to say I've just had a good week. That makes a nice change! I logged every day (not weekends, I still don't do those) and although I was over calories every single day (by around 1000 calories most days!) I felt like I was being healthy and making good progress. I exercised every day (during the week, not weekends) and several days managed to exercise twice (swim in the morning and then a run or Jillian in the evening).

End result, 1.2kg loss. Now it has to be said I've been losing and gaining the same 1.5 kg for a long time now. And I knew last week's weigh in was probably high because it was the day after a flight and i always seem to weigh in high then. So I'm taking that number with a grain of salt, the true test will be whether I can continue on with this for a few weeks in a row. Keep logging, keep exercising and keep losing.

Still, it's the most positive I've felt about MFP in a very long time - lets hope I'm actually back on the wagon. 

Endings and Beginnings

Goodbye 2013.

In Italy (where I'm staying with friends for the last few days of my holidays) we've still got a few hours left of 2013 but 2014 has already started for all my friends and family in Australia, NZ and Japan.

There's something satisfying about completing another year. Weight wise 2013 hasn't been anything like the success of 2012 but looking back there have been some positives.

I did lose about 6kg. Then I put it all back on.

I ran my longest ever race (14km) and did a lot of running in the first 6 months.

After 5 years in Tokyo I made the move to Bulgaria. New job, more responsibility (part admin, part teaching), new challenges.  This hasn't been good for my weight/fitness but otherwise I've loved it.

Here's hoping in 2014 I can continue to enjoy the job and life but also get myself back on track with fitness and eating.

New Year's Resolution: I know making these is asking for trouble but hey! So this year I'm resolving to go 365 days without eating chocolate. Why you ask? Well I've never been a big chocolate eater but in the last 12 months for some reason I've started craving it. And when I start eating it I can't stop. Not good.

I'm not good with moderation so I'm aiming for none. I figure this is a simple, measurable goal. Let's hope it is one small step on the road to getting back on track. 





Same old same old...

I just looked back over my posts from this time last year (one of the reasons it's nice to blog).

At that point I was feeling pretty optimistic. My weight was down about 20kg and I'd been on the site about 9 months.

This year I'm still down about 20kg... unfortunately though it's not quite the success story it was 12 months ago. Rather it's about 5 or 6kg up from my lowest weight. My eating has been less healthy, I've struggled to get into a good exercise routine, I've pretty much given up on running.

The problems started when I took a long holiday between moving countries (well honestly they started a month or two before that when I started to focus largely on the upcoming move). That was a good excuse for a while but I've been here 4 months now! It's kind of like blaming "baby weight" while your youngest is going off to high school.

The upside is that I'm still here. Still checking in regularly. I've even managed to log occasionally although I think about 4 days in a row has been my longest streak. I'm also still in a healthy weight range for my height (although honestly for me it's definitely a few kgs too many - I'm small). I know what I have to do to get back on track I just don't know how to convince myself to do it!

So like a few million other people I'm going to hope that the new year brings a new batch of self discipline and inspiration. In just under a week I'm off to Italy for a two week holiday, by the time I get back it will be early January. I know I'm not miraculously going to get it together while I'm traveling (in Italy! home of gelato!) but I really hope that once I'm back I can somehow get myself back on track.


November already?

Well it's now been over 3 months since I moved to Bulgaria. That's a quarter of a year gone already and I'm still making excuses!

Last weekend I had a long weekend and I went away so I didn't weigh in. Today I weighed and I'm exactly the same as I was 2 weeks ago. That's not so terrible. I also made it to 20 days logging which is the highest I've been since about early June before I left Japan. So there are small positives. The negative is that I didn't manage to log my food even once in the last 2 weeks.

Actually this past week I've been really happy with my eating and I even managed to do at least a little exercise every day so I feel it was the most positive week I've had in terms of those things.

This weekend I've got no major plans (just a whole heap of small stuff that needs taking care of) which will make it the most relaxing weekend I've had in a very long time. Hopefully I can get myself set up for a successful week including some logging.

It's not all bad news

When I re-read this in the future (which is really the point of posting such boring stuff) I'm hoping that I really remember just how hard I found it to get myself back on track. I'm also hoping by that point that I will be back on track and I'll be thinking of this as a large glitch, not the beginning of the end.

It's been 2 weeks since I last weighed in. I always weigh on Saturday mornings and last Saturday I was in Berlin. That trip was fun but involved a lot of eating, mainly of breads and delicious pasteries. Considering I spent every day sitting on my butt at a calculator conference (and pushing buttons isn't exactly cardio) I think it's safe to say that I was not exactly burning off the calories.

I got back last Sunday evening and forced myself to stop at the supermarket on the way home and buy a heap of vegetables. Considering all I felt like doing was collapsing into bed and going to sleep I was quite proud of myself. When I got home I whipped up an absolutely delicious caulliflower soup (which is super healthy and super fast to make and I can't recommend it enough, the only ingredients I put in are cauliflower, stock and chia seeds) and got my swimming gear ready before hitting the sack.

From there the week actually went quite well. I have figured out that if I am at the door of the pool when it opens at 6:30am I can fit in a swim before getting to work, it's rushed but it works. I managed to swim all 5 days. I had good intentions of doing some afternoon exercise but it didn't happen. Maybe next week. I took my lunch every day (my soup) and in the evenings ate either vegetables or toast. I must admit that I also gave in and ended up eating quite a bit of sugary snacks every day too. So not fantastic but certainly an improvement.

I'm not willing to say I'm back on the wagon yet, maybe I've managed to grab at it with one hand and I'm at least being dragged along in the right direction! However I do feel like I'm slowly starting to pull some routines together.

The scale this morning shows a loss (compared to 2 weeks ago) so that's encouraging but I'm not reading too much into it. As I mentioned before my weight has been up and down like a yo-yo over the last few months but the general trend has been up so I'll need a few sustained weeks of seeing the scale go down before I really feel like things are headed in the right direction.

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