Six-pack, where are you?

I hope you won’t be disappointed in me, but I have to break the news to you that I haven’t got a six-pack yet. I mean seriously, I drink wine and eat Green and Black’s, I just don’t understand.

I have, however, been sticking to my exercise programme – I promise! My goal is four circuit training style sessions a week (with the scary Jillian Michaels on DVD – they are 30-45 minutes long), and one yoga class. I have generally hit my target every week since I started this new regime in April. This is an achievement for my health and not my motivation – my motivation has been with me every step of the way in the last seven years, but as we all know my health hasn’t always been so reliable.

It’s amazing exercising consistently; I never gave up exercising – even at my worst I would sneak in what I could manage, but it was intercepted with huge periods of inactivity. My body feels strong again and that is such a huge part of feeling well. And when I put my trainers on I feel alive: I love the sheer action of having enough energy to do star jumps, or burpees, or whatever other ridiculous energetic move Jillian has me doing. (And this is how hard I have worked people: I’ve got a sporting injury. Ha ha. Don’t get those lying around.)

And I HAVE toned up, maybe not as much as I would like but hey. My arms are less baggy – not as toned as Jennifer Anniston’s – but good enough to carry off a vest top; my legs are stronger and less wobbly – my chubby knees haven’t miraculously disappeared, but that would require some type of fat sucking operation. No thank you. I accept my chubby knees as being part of how God made me (and know that I am in good company – even Kylie has chubby knees. Trust me, she does); my butt is slightly higher – I think; my tummy is less flabby – and for all I know there is a six-pack in there somewhere but it is still hidden by a muffin-top, but it is definitely a smaller muffin.

So here it is, I have to face up to the fact, if I want so shift any more wobbly bits, I am going to have to review my diet. I am wary of doing this, as in my experience as soon as I try to eat less I end up eating more and spend my days dreaming about food.

And my current diet is lovely. I am careful about what I eat (protein with every meal, hardly any wheat, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, no dairy and so on), I eat regularly, but if I fancy Green and Black’s or a glass of wine I have it. And who wants to go without treats? I mean, as amazing as Jennifer looks she must be soooo bored with grilled salmon and broccoli.

I stood in front of the mirror yesterday with a critical eye to make a proper assessment. I look alright, I decided. I have a size 10, slightly flabby but not that bad, can easily be disguised with clever dressing, body.  If you took a random sample, most people would say I was slim. And the routine I follow to maintain this is something I can follow easily. So if this is where I stay, I could live with that, I declare to myself.

I walked away from the mirror and realised I was being kind to – and about – myself. That’s weird, I thought. I have spent so much of my life in the beating myself up camp.

But this doesn’t mean I don’t want to carry on my quest for a six-pack (or at least a smaller muffin-top; oh to bend over without my belly joining me) but I am just not going to hate myself along the way. Is this more of The Peaceful Warrior’s impact? Who knows?

So, as of today I am going to try to eat slightly less chocolate, be strict on no wine during the week (I have been a bit of a lush the last few weeks – bad girl) and stay away from the high fat parts of my diet, like goats cheese.

And that is it, I am not making any severe changes – just the thought turns my stomach and sends me running to the Green and Black’s aisle – but I am going to keep a beady eye on the treats.

I read last week that being slim is 80% diet and 20% exercise. It has been an interesting experiment to see if I could reinvent my body through exercise alone but it’s time to accept I haven’t achieved the results I want.

So, the experiment continues. Stage two: tweaking the diet. Please let it work as the thought of stage three is too much to bear. God, imagine doing something awful like meal replacement shakes, or one of my worst fears in life, imagine being hungry. But for now I am going to celebrate that my body is strong enough to don pink shorts and jump round the living room like a mad woman four times a week. Well done body.

Looking to be more popular on Facebook and Twitter – if you are a social media whore, or just feel sorry for me, please follow… xx

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13 thoughts on “Six-pack, where are you?

  1. I am *so* jealous of your exercise routine .. I tried to include a little yoga at the start of every day, but have lapsed dreadfully 😦

    I like the fact that you are not beating yourself up about things; this is great, as being hard on yourself is always counter-productive. I hadn’t heard about that version of the 80/20 rule, btw; the one I know says that as long as you are ‘good’ with your diet 80% of the time, 20% is allowed for treats .. hmm .. might need to check I’m sticking to that (BMI <18.5 but still have a touch of the muffins, too…)

    Keep up the great work!

    xx

  2. Hey Lovely.

    Yes, I remember very clearly how frustrating it is to not even be able to do gentle yoga. I hear your jealousy, I really do.

    Your 80/20 rule is the one I’ve been living by – but it’s easy to go over the 20 isn’t it?! And get you with your low BMI – there must only be a very small, child size muffin there 🙂

    Hope things are okay with you (you know what I mean by okay…) Thank you for coming by…xxx

  3. Hey,
    It all starts (and continues) with ‘attitude’. With the correct one, you can achieve anything. Don’t beat yourself up, I’m sure you are doing fine. Step by step, build your momentum and that marvellous body will appear.
    be good to yourself
    David

  4. For health fitness is more important than fatness. (Of course thinking about this while sitting on the couch doesn’t get you fit.) Weight has been targeted because it is a good approximation of fitness but when you distinguish them fitness is more important.

    Can you replace current treats with ones you enjoy just as much but are slightly healthier? This may not be possible.

    • I couldn’t agreee more – although my post has a tongue and cheek element about vanity, after all those years of illness, just being strong and fit again is the most important thing.

      I will let you know how I get on with swapping treats 😦

      Hope things are good with you Evan, thank you as ever for taking the time to comment…x

  5. This should help..

    next time you reach for a glass of wine imagine a minced, mashed up raw hamburger jammed into the glass.

    Someone once told me that there are as many calories in a glass of wine (sigh) as in a hamburger. I don’t know if it’s true and am too lazy right now to google it, but picturing the raw mushed up meat in my glass used to help me refrain from indulging excessively back in my ‘working days’.

    I love reading about your new adventures on the path to wellness. I hope you do keep up some of the loving commentary to yourself and your body, you’ve both been through a lot and surely deserve a kind word and the occasional chocolate.

    Cheers
    Sarah.B

    Now ….back to resting and day dreaming… about a doing an aerobic exercise routine rather than my 10mins of daily pilates. …one day.

    • Hi Sarah

      I am loving – or rather hating! – that image. Good idea. Yes, there are too many calories in wine. It’s a shame really, as I fancy myself as a writing lush.

      I think I will keep up being kind to myself; some of the changes in my attitude towards my self are quite subtle but I truly believe they are all part of my continued recovery and part of keeping me well.

      Yes, one day. Even just keeping your body moving in that small way is more than a lot of well, lazy people do! I used to keep things ticking over with gentle yoga – I think as well as movement just being fantastic for the body it keeps the routine of exercise in your life, so that when you – and your body – are ready it will be a natural progression.

      Here’s to your one day Sarah. And thank you for being so lovely about my recovery…xxx

  6. Hi Karen been reading your blogs for a while with interest but never commented. I am recovered from CFS and I can see how easy it is for the “achiever” personality to trick you. Even if your being kind to yourself inside, if your still doing the things to yourself (exercise, restricting diet) you’ve just switched from achieving at one thing to another. I think if your serious about the peaceful warrior stuff you have to let this go. Six pack (especially at 40) really doesn’t matter more than health. Be more relaxed about things!

    • Oh Jim. That word balance – it haunts me!

      Thank you for sharing your perspective and for what it’s worth, I suspect you are right. Letting go, being more relaxed and so on is the biggest challenge for me, without a doubt. I’ll keep working on it!

      So what was your secret to recovery? (And I know how hard it is to achieve so well done you…)

      Thank you for the comment.

      Karen

      • No one secret to recovery. Time pacing being more relaxed not pushing myself, and, once recovery began working out of the house a bit so i didn’t feel i had to ‘fill my time’ & having endless time to become obsessive about things.

        • Thank you for coming back and sharing Jim.

          Yes, all good advice. I definitely find that now I have so many other things to focus on (blogging, writing, refurbishment), I am taking more and more steps towards a ‘normal’ life – baby steps, of course!

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