Has there ever been a time when it’s more important to watch your weight? I’ve had years of practice in trying to keep my weight to a healthy level and it’s not easy. But now, in the age of Covid, it’s more important than ever to try and keep the weight down. In my weight watching blogposts I’m going to share my strategies and my progress.
I like to think about weight management rather than dieting or slimming. I’m well aware that anything to do with body image causes many problems for a lot of people. And I know as well as anyone how difficult it is to reduce weight and then, even more difficult, to keep the weight off.
My approach to weight management is based on two core ideas:
Know what I weigh and ….
….know what I should weigh to be healthy.
I have a weekly weigh-in with a pair of reliable, digital bathroom scales. I’m old fashioned so I like to read my weight in stones and pounds but my scales can be switched to pounds or kilograms.
I try and have my weigh-in on the same day each week and as near to the same time as possible. So it’s usually about 7.30 am on a Saturday morning. I weigh myself before I’ve had anything to drink and that includes my early morning cuppa. I also make sure I’ve had a wee and if possible a d…… but that’s probably too much information! I also remove my pyjamas but if it’s really chilly and I need to keep them on I know they weigh approximately 1lb so I can deduct that from my weekly weight if necessary.
In other words, I ensure I’m as light as possible and that the context for my weigh-in is consistent.
To find out what my healthy weight is I use the Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator on the NHS website.
You need to enter your
and activity level. It’s useful to read the information about what constitutes brisk exercise.
The BMI Calculator gives you the weight range which is healthy in relation to your height, age and gender. And it tells you bluntly if you’re over weight or even obese. There’s advice as to the next steps you need to take which I think is on the modest side but, hey, it’s better to start with something that might be achievable.
The first time I used the BMI calculator I found that I was overweight.
This was several years ago and the result came as a bit of a shock! Although I knew I needed to lose a few pounds I hadn’t realised quite how much excess weight I’d piled on.
Now my BMI calculation is right in the middle of the healthy range for my height, age and gender. But it’s taken a long time to get there with many ups and downs along the way.
My challenge now is to maintain my healthy weight and that’s not easy either. Getting rid of the weight in the first place was hard; keeping it off is, for me, just as hard.
For a couple of years now the answers to the following questions have formed my weight management plan. First
where are you now?
As I’ve explained, using the BMI calculator provided the evidence I needed to convince myself I had to lose some weight. I continue to update it from time to time to check my progress and keep me on track.
At the moment, where I am is 9st 11lbs and that’s a healthy weight for a person of my height, age and gender according to the NHS BMI calculator.
where do you want to be?
I want to weigh a few pounds less than I do at the moment for two reasons. Right now I’m nicely in the middle of my healthy range but Easter is coming and I love chocolate. You can see where I’m going with this, can’t you? If I drop a few more pounds, when I put them back on with Easter Eggs I’ll still be in the healthy range and it won’t be so difficult to motivate myself back to my preferred weight.
Right, that’s one reason. Here’s my other reason for shifting a few more pounds. I have a beautiful dress hanging in the wardrobe that is very close fitting and figure hugging. For the dress to look right I need to be flatter on the tummy which is where, like most older people I carry a dollop of excess flab. I’d like to wear the dress in the summer when, Covid permitting, I’m planning on celebrating my birthday with family and friends. It’s one of those special birthdays with a zero at the end so I’m hoping to have a bit of an occasion.
Two good reasons to try and drop a couple more pounds, then. I’d like to get to 9st 8lbs but I’m going to be ambitious and aim for 9st. 7lbs. I haven’t weighed that since my wedding day over forty years ago but I’d rather like to get there again. And then see if I can get into my wedding dress! I’ve still got it shoved into a box in the back of a cupboard along with the silly little “Juliet” cap I wore on my head.
So, I know what I weigh now and what I’d like to weigh by Easter. Realistically I won’t achieve my target by Easter but so long as I’m going in the right direction I should be okay to indulge in chocolate.
Now, the third question:
how are you going to get there?
I weigh 9st 11lbs. I want to weigh 9st 7lbs. How am I going to make it happen or at least get on the way to making it happen.
My answer is simple. I shall continue to eat less and move more! If you google “eat less, move more” you will find a queue of diet, slimming and weight watching gurus advising you that this is a rubbish idea. They say it doesn’t mean anything and is of no help whatsoever in helping anyone to lose weight.
Well, all I can say is it’s helped me. When I write my next weight watching blogpost I’ll explain how the quote has helped me and what I do to implement it. I always thought it was Minnie Driver who made the saying popular. I thought if it works for her, it must be good and hopefully it will work for me. Whether it was her or not, I really don’t know any more but it doesn’t really matter, does it? Take what works for you and stick with it has always been my motto.
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