If anyone can offer and moral support or help it would be great
If anyone can offer and moral support or help it would be great
If anyone can offer and moral support or help it would be great
I have written this in the hope it helps someone. Even just one person. Hoping it helps to show people that things can be better. Things can improve. It is possible to improve your life, even if it’s only a bit. Maybes its just enough to make things more comfortable, bearable and easier for you.
How I got back problems in the first place.
When I was about 21 ( about 1989 ), I was very slim and tall, and enjoyed playing football ( soccer to you Yanks ) and going out for a few beers now and then. I was a bus driver. A job I really enjoyed. I got to drive around all day and meet people and have good conversations with some of them. Now, some of the busses had drivers seats that were twisted. Not loads, but enough so after driving in it for 3 or 4 hours, you could feel it. As this was a daily thing, over time, it started giving me pains in the lower back. Yeah, there were reports submitted and seats changed, but some drivers were, how can I say this nicely, rather large, and used to just drop themselves into the seats, which resulted in them getting damaged. This treatment on my back over the years left me with a bit of a weak back, which was susceptible to back pain and aches. Moving forward a good few years to about 12-15 years ago, I was coming down stairs at home with socks on my feet, and slipped. I ended up bouncing down the stairs on my heels, which jarred my back really bad. This is the point where I did the damage and I got my prolapsed disk in my back.
Being a new starter to using Myfitnesspal in a serious way, I thought I would tell you about my experience so far.
Last November I had yet another flare up in my back. I suffer from an inoperable back condition which, over time, is getting worse. This is not helped in the slightest by me not bothering to look after my body and just basically eating anything I want and at whatever time I want, even if its 2am when I’m sitting up watching T.V while on yet another period of sickness from work.
At the beginning of December 2014,after the last major flare up in my back which left me screaming the house down in pain and bed ridden for about 6 weeks, and after that, pretty much struggling to even walk any distance, I decided enough is enough. I decided I had wasted enough time wallowing in pain and walking around, stooped over like an old man. I’m only 46. I shouldn’t be in this state. Life shouldn’t be as bad as this. I decided, thats it, I AM GOING TO CHANGE THIS. The only way I can describe it is like a switch being flicked in my head which suddenly changed my attitude. I went from being miserable, depressive, and wallowing in self pity, doubt and worry, to I can do this, the only person who can help me is me, and I don’t want to end up in a wheelchair ( which is the way it looks like my body is heading in reality ) I need to sort my stuff out and refocus and look ahead with a positive mindset and take charge of my own wellbeing and life.
I have never, ever had such a strong feeling of positiveness before. I have no idea why it hit me so hard like a bolt out of the blue like it did. Sure, I was sick of the pain, depressive feelings. Sick of being a useless invalid, and not being able to do normal Dad stuff with my daughter, like run around, play, all the normal stuff most people take for granted. I couldn’t do anything for the fear that my back could go so daily. Theres no two ways about it, the fear and pain, ran ( and ruined ) my life
I already had a Fitbit One sitting in a drawer doing nothing so I searched it out, found the charge cable and sleep wristband then went about logging into my Myfitnesspal account that I opened a couple of years back but didn’t bother using it. I read posts and blogs about peoples successes and stories. Many of which have been really inspiring, and I recommend anyone to go to the blogs if they are feeling a bit down about their progress. I set about adding friends on Myfitnesspal. People who, when reading their statuses, their bio’s and blog posts, really inspired me, or people who have health issues like myself and have done massively well. The more I read Myfitnesspal and got interacting with the new friends I have made, the more positive I was feeling. Its like having a virtual extended family, who’s sole goal is all the same. To lose weight, become fitter and healthier.
I have to tell you, when you have gone years of being totally unfit, not being able to see a bright future and feeling a total burden on your family, to suddenly having this massive burst of enthusiasm and hope, and then your extended virtual family on Myfitnesspal show you so much love and support, gee you on, pick you up, give you good advice and re-motivate when you have a bad day, the feeling is so so good. You get to realise, you are no longer alone. There are others out there, who are approachable and friendly who can help you in your times of need.
One of the other great things about Myfitnesspal is the food diary section. This shows the nutritional content of almost everything I eat or drink. I can see at a glance how many calories I have left for that day and also plan ahead for meals or treats if I want one.
I have done slimming clubs a few times before but only been successful once and lost 3 stone (42lbs), but put it all back on a lot quicker that I lost it. Over the years, I have started to view slimming clubs as nothing more than money making machines, that feed on peoples guilt and insecurities. I really have a problem with paying for the privilege of being put under pressure to conform to the clubs diet rules of what you can eat and what you cannot and heaven forbid you gain a pound. You near enough get made to explain in front of the class the reason you gained.
On MFP I am so much happier. I have so much more freedom to eat basically what I want to eat, as long as I plan my food and keep within the nutritional goal I have set. So far in the 6 weeks I have been managing my own intake and exercise, I have only gained twice. Bear in mind, I now weigh myself every day so that I can track my weight over a period of time and see if any times show where I might gain weight. Also just out of keen interest to watch my weight change. I feel so in control of my own destiny using Myfitnesspal. If I gain weight, I know exactly why I have and I know the next day is a new day. I don’t have to be made to feel guilty in a class of people. I have seen loads of people, including myself, offering encouragement to others on Myfitnesspal, when they have had a day where they went over their calories etc. Like I said, we are all in this together for all the same reasons. Families ( even virtual ) need to stick together.
I have learned so much already about the foods I eat, and the rubbish I used to pile into my body.
Add to that, my Fitbit. It is one of those little pedometers that measure your steps, distance, floors climbed etc, sleep quality and duration and even wake you in the morning with a silent alarm if need be. I have since moved to a Fitbit Charge wristband which I prefer as I can wear it on my wrist so that I can see it better, rather than the One, which clips to your waistband ( or bra if you are a woman ). The fitbit monitors all the activities you do during the day and syncs it automatically to the Fitbit website. One there you can set yourself daily goals to reach, and try and beat each day. There are also challenges you can do and invite your Fitbit friends to join in with and compete against for the pure fun of it. Again, I have found most of the Fitbit users I have come across are really friendly. I have a few who I am friends with on Fitbit and Myfitnesspal at the same time so we can support each other in all aspects of our health journey, whether it be the fitness side of Fitbit or the nutritional side on Myfitnesspal.
Its now the 18th January 2014. Nearly 6 weeks into this, and I have lost 21 pound already. I would recommend anyone, to try doing this. Just get yourself a fitness tracker like a Fitbit for example, and join the Myfitnesspal family
All in all, having the support of my virtual families on Myfitnesspal and Fitbit, I have come along on this journey and not felt alone at all. My enthusiasm has paid off as my wife and daughter have also decided to join me on this journey to discover our new slimmer, fitter selves. This is a journey I know I will succeed in. I look forward to reaching the finishing line and shaking hands with the new smiling, healthier me.
I’m buzzing at the moment. The reason being is that I’ve hit one of those little personal milestone goals yesterday. One of those goals that urge you on and give you motivation, and make you realise that you hard work is paying off. My personal little milestone is that I am now in the 15 stone bracket. I’ve not been in that for a few years now. Also its pleasing as I seemed to platau around the low 16’s for a while, or at least it felt like it. going to 16st 3, to 16 st 1, then to 16 st 4, back to 16 st 3, then to 16 st 1, then back to 16st 3 and seemed to hang around that mark. Then this week I went back to work for the first time in 2 years. I have always got to work about an hour early. I like to get there, have a coffee, get set up, pc loaded etc, then go for a smoke. But as I don’t smoke now, apart from an ecigarette, I go for a walk around the car park and building. I didnt walk at my normal slow, lazy, relaxed way. I kept up a pace that was not slow, but not power walking speed. It was a nice comfortable fast walk for me. All the time, I was paying attention in what my body was telling me, and in particular, what my back what telling me, and at the same time, keeping up a pace that would keep my heart rate up and start a sweat. Apart from the weather being icy cold and windy, I really enjoyed it. It was refreshing, and peaceful, being by myself.
This week I even had my first ever session on an aerobic step. I only did 12 minutes following a beginners session on YouTube, but that certainly got the heart rate going and legs aching.
This extra stamina work seems to have paid off, as my weight dropped to 15 st 12. What a feeling that was, seeing that 15 on the screen of my Aria scales.
A lot of my clothes are already starting to seem a bit looser fitting.
I still feel so motivated and focussed at the moment. Its a feeling I intend to keep going.
As the New year looms, and a lot of us are thinking about how much food and drink we have consumed over the festive period, and are considering our New Years resolutions. A lot of people decide to diet and become healthier. To a lot us, it is these resolutions that, sadly, we also break after only a short time. Others have other more personal reasons to lose weight and get healthier. I am one of the people in this second group.
My own personal journey started back in 2012, in a failed attempt to better myself. It was smack bang in the middle of what turned out to be a really bad 2 years in my life and couldn’t of come at a worse time to make a decision like losing weight and getting fitter. It was in this period that I bought my first ever fitbit. I went out and bought a Fitbit One. A small electronic device that you clip onto your waistband or bra. Its surprising how much you become sort of attached to an inanimate object like the fitbit and enjoy having it watch and log your every move 24 hours a day. It even watches over you while you sleep like some sort of electronic stalker. Like I mentioned, this was back in 2012 and because of other issues, my Fitbit got suspended from its duties through no fault of its own for an indefinite period. Shut away in my drawer, only seeing the light of day when I went to get socks or underwear, only to be ignored and locked away again, day after day.
Moving forward in time to the present. Things are much better. My head is a lot clearer, and after a rather nasty flare up of a chronic back problem that I have, I decided, that I have had enough. I am sick of being a slave to my back injury and because or it, being unable to do any keep fit. Not even swimming was recommended by my doctor. As is typical in the vicious circle of life, this not being able to get fit meant I was putting loads of weight on and at one point I was heavier than I have ever been. Not by much but still the heaviest. That extra weight, and having a sedentary lifestyle only led to me starting to think negatively about my weight. Not being able to do any activities with my daughter, being worried about every single thing I do, ( even down to brushing my teeth ) in case it flared my back up again, being mindful that there is a strong family history of diabetes, and to top it all off, also feeling like some sort of overweight lump and having to buy XL clothes.
One day early this month, I woke up and thought to myself, I have my fitbit lying patiently to be allowed out of the drawer and be reunited with me and also I have a Myfitnesspal account doing nothing. I am going to start getting my life back. I think I have spoke about it that much that Marc ( www.marccorn.co.uk ) has gone and got himself a Fitbit Flex and is doing the same sort of thing as me now. I wish him the best of luck.
My little Fitbit was brought out and charged up, and straight away I got the ‘Hi Steve’ message on the screen. My Fitbit holds no grudges thankfully. It even gives messages of support every now and then.
I logged back into my Fitbit account and myfitnesspal and input all the current details like weight etc and set about planning the new me. I spoke to Dee about it and she too was onboard with the idea so I charged her fitbit up and updated her accounts as well. I makes a lot of sense to do this together. We can both encourage each other and give support and advice. ( and I’m sure my Fitbit is happy its got a work mate to help keep us motivated and to log Dee’s data as well as mine.
One thing I have bought, which I’ve considered for a while and now have bought are the Fitbit Aria scales. The measure your weight ( obviously ) as well as BMI and body fat percentage. I managed to get a good deal on these at the local supermarket.
I will do reviews of the Fitbit One, Fitbit Aria Scales, and possibly myfitnesspal on separate posts.
So far, in about 3 weeks I have managed to lose a couple of ounces short of a stone in weight. I am chuffed. I am more focused and in the zone about this getting healthier, than I have ever been. Its normally myself that buckles first in our house, if we do diets. Not this time.
You will see updates on my twitter ( @wrighttimesblog ) and on The Wright Times Facebook page and on Google+ about how I’m doing.
The more I read about this and learn from other myfitnesspal users, the more clearer it gets. For some reason, I don’t see this diet as something bad, or a chore. I am actually enjoying it. I have never really enjoyed a diet before.
If anyone has any questions about any of this just ask. I am not a health guru or a dietician so don’t ask what foods to eat. I can only tell you about what I’m eating and doing.
Take care everyone and have a fantastic New Year.
The last couple of weeks I have not been on my diet as planned for whatever reasons, and last week I didn’t do any Nutribullet drinks at all due to lack of ingredients. I now have stuff in so fingers crossed I can get in the right frame of mind and start blasting ( as Nutribullet users call making drinks ).
I weight myself this morning and I’m still around the same weight. Maybes put on a couple of pounds due to the rubbish I ate last week. I am currently 17st 3lb. I must start losing weight. Have to stay positive.
Todays drink is as follows:
From now on, the scoop I will use is one of those cone shaped scoops for using with ground coffee. The seem like a good size for this purpose.
1 x Kiwi fruit
2 x small plums
50% baby spinach
1 x Handful of blueberries
1 x cored red apple
4 bits of walnut
1 x scoop of flaxseed
2 x scoop of Goji berries
1 x scoop of pumpkin seed
Result: Nice and creamy texture but not brilliant on tast. I is still drinkable but only a mild fruity taste. Its not as sweet as I expected. With this one, its worth blasting it as normal, then pulsing a few times.
Well I did my Monday weigh in today expecting maybes to of at least lost one pound. I wasn’t expecting much as we had a few takeaways last week for different reasons but every day bar one, I had Nutribullet drinks at least once a day. So I was hoping for a pound. Nope, it wasn’t to be. Since my last weigh in which was about 2 weeks ago, I had gained 3 pounds. I’m now 17st 7lbs. I’m not too disappointed, as tomorrow we ALL start our diet. Yesterday and Saturday I bought more fresh fruit and veg. The fruit bowl is a bit on the full side. So much so, I am also using our old fruit bowl as well so thats 2 full bowls so no excuse for not having fruit.
The reason we are starting the diet tomorrow and not today is because today is Gee’s 14th birthday and we are planning on going out for a meal tonight. So after that indulgence, its all hands to the pumps and eating healthily.
Todays experimental recipe was lovely. Sweet, but not too sweet, just nice. This one goes down as my best yet. I like it so much I think I’m gonna call this Fruit and veg delight ( unless someone else can think of a better name for me to call it ). I think next time I might make it colder but adding an ice cube or make sure the fresh berries are chilled
1 pitted plum
1/2 a handful Frozen mixed berries
1x large strawberry
2 x small plum tomatoes
1 x banana
If you enjoy eating healthily and / or like smoothies, this post is full of useful information about your greens
After working in the shed giving it a well needed tidy up after a summer of just dumping stuff in there, I decided I need a nice, cold, refreshing drink so I blended together a concoction in the Nutribullet. I’m still experimenting with ingredients so at the moment I’m taking my chances.
Todays recipe was
1 x cored medium apple
2 tbl spoons of Goji berries
1 x handful frozen mixed berries
Was a bit tangy. Quite a strong apple flavour. Still on a nice hot day like today while I’m clearing out the shed, it was nice and refreshing as I hoped. I think next time, this could do with something a bit sweet to take the tanginess away a bit.