Wednesday 26 July 2017

'It's amazing the difference a dress size or two can make to how you greet the advent of fine weather'

Two months in and I am rapidly running out of clothes that fit. I have a couple of dresses and one pair of jeans that I can wear and I have bought one or two tops, but I am putting off buying anything significant until I know what size I will eventually settle on.

There are two items of clothing, however, that I did have to buy out of necessity. The first being a new pair of tracksuit pants, following a rather embarrassing incident in the gym three weeks ago when the pants I was wearing literally fell down while I was on the running machine.

Thank God for the emergency stop button.

The second, a bra. I was measured at the weekend and I have gone down two cup sizes. I am now roughly around the same size as I was when I was 17. I am not sure how I feel about that and I have become obsessed with the size of other women's bosoms.

I think I might be suffering from boob envy.

That aside, I feel absolutely great. It is amazing the difference a dress size or two can make to how you greet the advent of fine weather.

When you are fat, discarding the winter garb is something that you really don't look forward to.

There is that awkward couple of days before you have plucked up the courage to ditch the tights and bare the arms and you end up spending the day all hot and bothered.

While everyone else is enthusiastically pulling on the shorts and flashing the flesh, you are endlessly putting together outfits in your head, analysing what would be most flattering.

This year, I am very grateful that I don't have that problem.

The first month saw me drop about 13lbs in fat. During the second month, though my body was changing shape and getting smaller every week, the figures changed a lot more slowly.

I have lost five-and-a-half lbs of fat this month, which seems a little underwhelming in relation to 13lbs and I find myself getting a bit impatient but, as Damien keeps telling me, I have to be patient.

I have stayed very disciplined when it comes to food, having a protein breakfast every morning, bringing my chicken breast or fish and salad to work every day for lunch and, if I know I am going to be late, for dinner also.

In the first month I didn't have any cheat meal, as I was intending to have some treats when I visited Vienna for Easter. I enjoyed this weekend away immensely and feel like I got a lot more out of it than previous weekends away because it didn't revolve around eating and drinking.

Vienna is amazing -- if you ever get the chance to visit, take it -- but I must say that I did find the food a little tricky.

Breakfast was fine, I had scrambled egg one morning, an omelette the next and some smoked fish on the last day of our visit.

The snacks were easy too -- I bought a bag of cashew nuts and some apples and kept them in my bag, but lunch and dinner were more difficult.

It wasn't so much the food, all of the restaurants we visited had fish, meat and vegetables of some sort on the menu, but the logistics of eating at regular intervals when you are not in your normal routine.

We were out sightseeing all day and went to shows, which started at 7.30pm at night, so we didn't have dinner until about 10pm. I got really cranky.

I had decided that Saturday was to be the night for my treat. I was going to have wine with my dinner.

We went to a lovely restaurant and ordered the ox steak and a nice bottle of red wine. I had three glasses and was quite tipsy.

I think I might have built it all up a bit too much. Though the wine was delicious, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would and the whole thing was a bit of an anti-climax.

And I had a hangover the next morning, as well as a huge sense of guilt that was only slightly alleviated by a session on the running machine at the hotel gym.

If I could do it again, I would go for a nice slice of apple strudel instead.

When I got home, I enjoyed getting back into my routine of going to the gym five or six times a week.

The weight training, which I do three times a week with Damien, is still very intense and painful, but I find that I can endure it better as the weeks go on and I always feel great afterwards.

The other two or three times I exercise, I go to my local gym, usually in the morning before breakfast, and do sprint intervals on the treadmill.

This involves running ridiculously fast for a period, say 50 seconds, and then resting at a walking/jogging pace for a period, say two minutes, for a number of repetitions.

My fitness has really improved, as has my general mood and my ability to deal with stress. I can't wait to see what the next month will bring.

Irish Independent

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