I wrote about completing my first month of 5:2 with my mum at the beginning of February, and now that I'm in my third month of the diet I'd like to talk more about motivation as opposed to just how I was getting on with it.
In the first month, I was really enthusiastic. 500 calories was a lot more than I had thought it was, and I was barely struggling with these days at all. Only my mum knew I was doing it, so often I'd be offered food that I found hard to turn down, but I knew that it would help me and I could go back to eating whatever I wanted tomorrow.February was a bit more difficult. We stuck to the same kind of meals of fast days because we knew that that was the correct number of calories. Let me tell you, Ryvita really starts to make you want to cry every time you see it when you never really liked it to begin with and now use it on days when you're restricting your calorie intake. I associate it with fast days now! I told more of my friends hoping for words of encouragement, but ended up with the usual "Oh, you don't need to diet, you're gorgeous!" Of course, complimenting your friends and helping their body image is never the wrong thing to do, but I'm 163cm and started the year at 12 st 11 lbs. That's about 50 lbs overweight at 16 years old. I needed to lose weight.
A few days ago, when in the PE changing rooms, a friend of mine commented that I looked as though I'd lost weight. Instantly, I felt proud of myself. Who wouldn't? Battling food cravings was paying off - someone had noticed my progress! I told her that in two months, I'd lost a stone, but after congratulating me she pointed out that it would slow down. Obviously, I knew that. I've been researching weight loss and knew that it would take a bit more effort to maintain that rate of weight loss in the coming months as I try to reach my goal weight of 8 st 7 lbs, as well as keeping that off. However, for some reason, the comment upset me. It felt almost like she was willing it to slow down.
I ended up wondering if I should just call off the diet now. I've lost a stone, that's good, right?
Yes, it's good, but it's not good enough.
I've set myself a goal weight and I'm a quarter of the way there. If I keep going then I know that I can get there. I'm aware that it's not going to be easy, and I'm aware that this past week is going to be one of many tricky weeks. However, I know that losing weight in the long run will be beneficial for my health and for my confidence, so I am more determined than ever to keep going.
In the past week, my mum found a website which lists recipes specifically for 5:2 dieters' low calorie days (I'm trying to refer to them as 'low-calorie' days as opposed to 'fast' days because if you say "I'm on a fast day today," loud enough in the form room you end up with a lot of concerned looks!) Today we tried out one of the dishes and it was delicious! Mum got different Ryvita and I much prefer it. It actually tastes of something other than cardboard! Hopefully, with this website, the meals that we try won't be as bland and repetitive, so it'll be easier for me to feel satisfied on low calorie days.
As well as changing up our meals a bit, I want to try to do more exercise. With the weather improving (incrementally, but it is) it will be easier for me to get out of the house and do the NHS Couch to 5k programme, which should prevent my weight loss from slowing down as much as it would with solely a diet. I've been putting in more effort with my dancing, so hopefully I'm burning a couple more calories in those classes than I have in the past. I also want to start doing pilates more. I enjoyed doing the DVD but for some reason I just stopped so I'd love to get back into it.
I'm starting my third month of 5:2 with a lot of hope. If I keep up this rate of weight loss then I could be at my goal in the next six months! Of course, I am expecting it to slow down even with increased exercise, but it's definitely possible that I could reach my goal weight by the end of the year.
If you started off the year with the intention of losing weight and you're still at it, well done! I'm proud of myself for getting here and you should be proud of yourself too.
If anyone has any tips for staying motivated then please share them in the comments!