Planning for success – How to set goals and plan your weight-loss!

It’s been a while folks and although I haven’t been on here much I’ve been much more active on my instagram and snapchat accounts (insta username – @sarahjcoo & snap username- fat2fitsj if you’d like to follow) but when I have the time I’m always drawn back to writing and so here I am. So I’m going to give you all a little update on where I am with everything and then I’d like to talk to you about getting started with your weight-loss and some tips that can really make or break the success of your weight-loss journey, but first – The Update!

 

So I’m still alive and kicking over here, I’ve honestly been struggling sometimes on just what exactly to write about, I guess it’s probably just me second guessing myself as usual but now that I’m not trying to lose weight anymore sometimes I feel like I don’t know what you guys need or want to read about, but someone reminded me that regardless if I’m qualified or not I’ve achieved and it’s much better to speak to someone who’s walked the walk rather than someone who’s just selling the dream. So here I am, open and ready to any questions or requests that anyone has for me. The whole point of this blog for me was accountability & also to help other people believe that although it might seem like a daunting task, that anyone if they set there mind to it can lose the weight they need to lose. So I’m here! ready to help and I need your help too, so if there is anything in particular you’d like me to cover send me a message and let me know, because as I’m not losing weight anymore I sometimes need the question so I can give the answers and more than that, I want to be able to see what you need from me, so I can find a way to help best.

So anyway, where am I with all of my madness?? Well, I’ve been maintaining my weight loss quite well, currently sitting at 9 stone 8, which is a 101 pound loss. but I actually got down to 9 stone originally, but this phase of my health journey has been all about strength and so I’ve put on a lovely 8 pounds of muscle. Which I am delighted about, If you’ve been following me a while you know that I loved my strength training and coming from a sort of crossfit background all my core lifts where what I loved to do, so I stuck with that, back to basics, just me and the bar. Food-wise things have changed dramatically for me, As some of you know I was eating a high fat/low carb diet (keto) for the latter stages of my weightloss, which I then continued into my maintenance, but when my training started to get serious and the weights were getting heavier, I decided that I wanted to transition back into eating carbs for energy instead of fat and so I slowly started to reintroduce carbs, and week by week would increase calories by 100 and carbs by 30grams and after a couple of weeks of a bit of weight gain, everything levelled itself out and is back to normal now and I’m loving the freedom of having a balanced diet of all macronutrients as opposed to 2.

And on the training side of things I decided to do personal training for a month with a trainer called Paul Morgan (check him out on Instagram – paulmorgan007) . A lot of people questioned why I would do this when I do so well by myself anyway but the answer to that is knowledge, Paul is one of the best trainers in my gym and in the realm of bodybuilding and putting on muscle, so I figured that the information that I would learn from him throughout our workout sessions would be invaluable to my health for the rest of my life. I’m in my 3rd week with him now and am absolutely loving being pushed to my limits and learning more and more about myself and my thresholds each session. So although I know my stuff for weight-loss, building muscle is a different kettle of fish and so I’m arming myself with the knowledge and ability to sustain what I’m doing long after we finish our training.

So that’s really all that’s been going on with me, Like I said I have been quiet but I’m still here and would love for you guys to get in touch and let me know what you want to hear and read about. This blog post has been inspired by Bridget, a lovely girl who follows me on Snapchat and who sent me a message yesterday asking me how exactly did I get started with my weightloss, What prompted me to do it and how did i sustain it. So although I answered her privately I thought this is something that a lot of you might like to know and so here is my experience and my tips to getting you started on your journey.

First of all I’m going to tell you to sit down, open a notebook and write these questions down.

  1. Why do I want to lose weight?
  2. How do I feel at the weight that I’m at now?
  3. What would be different if I was at my ideal weight?
  4. Am I ready to make a real commitment to do this?
  5. Who is your biggest enabler/sabotager? (could be yourself)

I want you to answer all of those questions honestly, It’s funny how eye-opening some of your own answers can be to yourself when you read them out loud. The next thing that needs to be done are goals. Both short term & long term.

  1. What is my ideal weight? (long term)
  2. How much do I want to lose in the next month? (short term)
  3. How will I motivate myself towards that goal? (short term)
  4. Re-assess ongoing goals every few months.

The reason I want you to write down your goals is because I want you to know what you really really want out of this. This isn’t something that can be half-arsed so having a clear goal as to what you want to achieve is necessary to success. I’ve spoken about motivation before and how everytime I reached a short term goal, I rewarded myself with something non-food related like shoes or lipstick. So put aside something that you really want and aim to hit your goals in order to get them. As a side note, seeing the scales and inches drop is a motivator in itself and it will spur you on to continued success.

Next thing I’d like you to do is make a plan. It’s all well and good answering all the questions above but here’s the hard part, Making the plan to success and DOING IT! I remember the feeling of dread knowing that I had over 100pounds to lose, It seemed well out of my limits to be able to achieve these things and it was only when I began my routines and broke my bad habits that I realised that I was more than capable of hitting my targets and so are you. So write down these questions, do some research and get planning. I’m going to write the questions and then tell you what I did, but that might not suit your lifestyle so make sure and do some homework so your plan will be specific to you.

  1. What method of dieting will I use (keto, iifym, calorie counting, paleo, etc)
  2. How will I track my food? (myfitnesspal and other apps similar)
  3. How will I workout? (where, when etc.)
  4. When will I prep my food?
  5. When will I do the shopping?
  6. How will I stay consistent?
  7. Can I have a cheat meal occasionally?
  8. How will I track my progress.

Okay so I’m going to answer these one by one with what I did so you get a better idea of what you’re looking to do here.

  1. I did a lot of research online and decided that in order for me to feel less restricted that I would start out calorie counting, this way I would get used to eating less without necessarily having to cut out all bad foods. As long as they were accounted for in my daily calories, it was allowed. Gradually though this evolved into clean eating and cutting out all processed foods and then eventually the low carb/high fat keto diet that I did.
  2. I downloaded myfitnesspal 3 years ago and I still use it to this day to track my food, It’s an invaluable tool to your weightloss and show you which foods are calorie dense but not nutrition dense and so help you to make better choices. I would recommend this to anyone and there are other apps like it, but this is my favourite.
  3. If you don’t have access to a gym, maybe you have a few kiddos running around well don’t worry. Exercise can be done anywhere not just in the gym. If you can’t get to a gym then just look up some HIIT classes on youtube and you can do them in your own house or if you’d prefer to get out then you can go for a brisk walk or running. If you do have access to a gym, ask the trainer in your introduction session to show you what to do and make sure he has some weight training in there. Make a plan of how often you are going to exercise each week and for how long and hit your targets.
  4. Make a plan as to when to prep your food for example prep your lunches and dinners on Sundays for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday and on Wednesday prep for the rest of the week. This way there is always healthier food to hand and you’re not tempted to go to the shops or order in.
  5. Make sure and do your shop in advance of your meal prep days, Have a list and don’t deviate from it whatsoever. Choose a few of you and your familys favourite meals for the week and get the ingredients for everything. When you’re cooking things like lasagne, shepherds pie etc. in bulk most of the ingredients are the same and it won’t be too time consuming to do on your Sunday and Wednesday evenings when you’re prepping most of the same things. So if Sunday and Wednesday are your food prep days try do the shopping on Saturday, this way it won’t feel like such a trial to do both shopping and prep on Sunday.
  6. Staying consistent is all about keeping on top of things and being prepared, don’t be caught on the hop with no food prepped and starving because you’ll end up drooling over jambons in the deli of Spar before you know it. Prep your food, Have your water bottle with you always, If you have something on after work bring healthy snacks. If you’re calling to someones house for a catch up and you’re offered biscuits or whatever, politely decline and tell them you’re trying to lose weight so you have your own snacks. I know it sounds weird now but most people find it admirable that you’re so determined to keep it up and really who cares if people think it’s weird, they’re not going to be the ones losing the weight for you, you have to do it yourself! Re-assess your goals after every short term goal is hit, make more goals not just scale related but things like climbing a mountain or fitting into certain jeans. Things like that are great for perseverance and motivation.
  7. I would only recommend a cheat meal a couple of months into weightloss when you know that if you have it you’re not going to be derailed for good. And even then only if you were very strict and only maybe once every month or 2 weeks from then on. As long as you’re honest with yourself and not going to turn around and say that because you’ve had a cheat meal then everything is ruined and keep on eating crap for the days that follow then I don’t see any harm.
  8. Track your progress through the scales and through measurements. Scales can fluctuate up and down day to day depending on hormones and other bodily factors, so sometimes it’s not always the most accurate of results. However pairing that with measurements can really help you see the progress you’ve made and definitely take progress pictures if not for anyone but yourself these are key to be able to see the difference in yourself and show you how far you’ve come and of course you’ll have loads of NSV (non scale victories) to be happy about too! One of mine was having the bath towel actually wrap around me the whole way and the other was seeing collarbones!! Keep a record of all of these as they’re definitely mood boosters when you’re having a bad day.

So this is how you get started, now all you have to do is do it….. are you ready to embark on a journey that will change your life forever?? Because this is exactly what this does ❤ believe me I know.

Don’t forget I want to hear from you, so get in touch via insta, snapchat, facebook or email and let me know what you’d like me to write about and which topics could help you out specifically!

SJ xX

 

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