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I’ve given myself a couple of weeks into the New Year to have a think about what my blog is going to look like this year, and made some changes to my other commitments to allow the evolution of the site to really get underway. I’ve also signed up to Jo Gifford’s ‘Idea Generation and Creativity for Bloggers’ e-course, to actually bring some structure to my creativity (you can find out more here), and hopefully the fruits of these endeavours will start to show soon, but I actually wanted to talk about something else today, so here we go.

To be blunt, and to save a lengthy introduction, I’m just going to put it out there: I struggle with my weight. Don’t get me wrong, my issue is not so extreme that I can’t buy clothes in regular stores, nor is it that I constantly field comments along the lines of, “have you been ill? You look so thin”. No, I define myself solidly as a moderately overweight person, who has made her relationship with food more complex than it needs to be and could do with getting her act together.

If you’ve been reading this blog for some time, you may remember that I was a Slimming World devotee in 2010 and 2011, and I got my weight to a level that I was happy with, and felt great. But ultimately I didn’t like the meetings, and the weigh-ins and the feeling that this was a ‘diet’, and I guess that didn’t agree with me. So (you’ll be surprised to learn… Not), I rebelled, and put it all back on again. Plus a bit more. I flirted with Weight Watchers, and even made a half-arsed attempt at calorie-counting, but here I sit at the end of twelve months where I’ve been heavier than ever with no real progress to speak of.

Are we building up to a turnaround here? If this were a film, hopefully this would be the bit where I put down the cake, and we cut to a montage of me eating salad, taking part in step aerobic classes in 1980’s Spandex and running along a beach with the wind in my hair. Maybe then there’d be me stepping on the scales and punching the air with delight as the numbers keep dropping, and possibly even trying on an old pair of trousers and holding the waistband out, a bit like this:

As awesome as all of this sounds, I think the key to success this time around is to be realistic. I’ve learned that I can’t really be trusted to snack sensibly, so I’m going to focus on three solid, nutritionally-balanced meals a day, and some form of treat to keep me sane. I’m also seriously cutting down on the number of diet sodas I drink in a week (I’ve been on at least a can a day for a loooong time), switching to water and squash instead. I’ve never been much of a drinker anyway, but I’m also going to try and go for 5/6 alcohol-free days a week to keep me focused on my goal!

Exercise-wise, I’m looking to reintroduce regular running into my life again. It’s hard to believe with the shape I’m in now, that I’ve completed a couple of 10k’s and a half-marathon in my time, but I’ll let my previous achievements inspire me rather than overwhelm me. I’m going to build myself back up slowly, but I’ve got my first race of the year booked for early May to give me something to work towards. The key to success in all of this is going to be establishing a routine and sticking to it, reducing the chances of me getting lazy and failing again. The amazing personal trainer Tim Weeks explained the logic behind this very succinctly on Twitter the other day:

At this time, I haven’t set myself an ultimate goal weight and/or dress size, although if I were to be completely honest, there is a number at the back of my mind. My concern is that if I don’t reach this goal in time for my wedding in September, I’ll feel as though I’ve failed, when really, a change this substantial is something to be proud of from day one. Whatever happens, I’ll be standing at the altar in a white dress on September 4th, and I should love how I look on that day, whatever the size on its label. For now though, I’m just going to take this one pound at a time, one day at a time, and I hope to document this journey on here to help me stay on track.