‘Want’ and ‘Need’ – Hella Post-Holiday fitness challenge, Week 2

‘Want’ and ‘Need’ – Hella Post-Holiday fitness challenge, Week 2

Starting weight: 71.6kg

Weight Week 2: 71.3kg

As a woman, in my experience - unless you are morbidly obese (and possibly even then) - friends and family tend to respond to announcements of fitness challenges with “Oh but you don’t NEED to lose weight!”

My mother was the first to say this when I told her of my plans to drop my summer fat-roll (“you are beautiful as you are” – easy for her to say, she’s just turned 58, and as well as a completely flat stomach, she has an ass that gives me serious glutes envy).

Then friends and acquaintances followed (to be fair, I set myself up for these ones: there’s no need tell people about fitness challenges, but in every aesthetic gym-goer lives a wee narcissist).

The most recent male addition to my life wisely avoided falling into a potentially dangerous trap by simply stating “well, your tits are bigger now”.

They say this because they love you. They say this because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. In my case they also say it because it’s totally true.

I don’t need to lose weight. I know I don’t. 

I don’t ‘need’ to lose weight, in the same way that I don’t ‘need’ the perfect job, a dreamy flat, a boyfriend or another gin. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want all of those things – preferably all at once if I can.

The danger is of course when the ‘wants’ become ‘needs’ (with the exception of gin – there are definitely times when one ‘needs’ a gin) and I felt a twinge of that when I stepped onto the scales to weigh myself this morning.

71.4. My heart dropped to my feet and I ran to the bathroom to try to ‘force pee’-myself lighter. It seems like such a silly thing in hindsight, but I was desperate for those scales not to show me 71.4.

It settled for 71.3.

I have set a goal of 0.5kg per week, and I had thought I would drop a bit more than that in my first seven days. After reducing carbs and going back to gym after my holidays, I was pretty much expecting more of a result than a measly 0.3kg loss. I felt like I had failed. because I ‘needed’ to lose weight.

When I saw the 71.3 on the scales, I felt like there wasn’t even a point in trying any more, and I started to see flaws in the mirror that hadn’t been there when I woke up.

What had been a perfectly fine stomach 30 seconds earlier, was suddenly an un-evenly tanned mountain of molten lard. Because that is how much the number on the scales can mess with my head.

However, this week I also spent five days in Dubai, which included a day at an ‘all-you-can-consume’ brunch. To any sane person, this is the explanation for why I have not lost more weight.

But the devil on my shoulder ain’t interested.

So this week, to pacify said devil, I am slightly increasing focus on pre-fasted cardio. As well as my daily 30-minute walk to work(a godsend this week when there is going to be not one, but TWO, tube strikes in London) I am forcing myself out of bed early to get an additional 30-minutes of cardio.

Nothing hectic, still low resistance, but I hope that it will calm my feelings of disappointment towards the end of the week.

Other than a planned night out at the end of the week, which will inevitably end in hangover gorging, I should be able to stay on the straight and narrow. Both when it comes to my body confidence and my fitness goals.

Follow my journey back to fit on my Instagram @saradmalm and keep your eyes peeled for my weekly updates here on the BodyFire blog.

– Entry was posted on September 15th, 2015 by James Haskell

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