Personal | Can I Get Lean in 15 (Again?)

I first started trying to lose weight back in 2014 when I wrote this post. I had reached my highest ever weight, my BMI was awful and my doctor had gently informed me that it may cause a problem to continue prescribing my contraceptive pill in the future. I wouldn't call it a wake up call but after moving out from my parents home and having a bit more control over meal planning, as well as seeing some photos of myself, I knew it was time to do something about it. And I did. I lost a stone quickly by eating better and moving more, that's really all there was to it but I used the NHS Plan and Tracking charts and My Fitness Pal to keep track and for motivation. I later joined a gym (which, surprisingly I enjoyed) and monitored my exercise with some other fitness apps and within a year I'd steadily lost nearly two and a half stone. Following that initial weight loss my weight plateaued for a long time and I sort of learnt that this was the weight my body was comfortable with as it never deviated by more than a pound or two either way. 

Lean in 15 Cookbooks on window ledge with herbs in mason jars

Early last year though I bought the first Lean in 15 book and was inspired by the concept. By the end of May, just after coming back from Menorca, I hit my lowest weight and felt great. I let myself relax a bit, got a bit more comfortable and then life got in the way with more important things to worry about and I went right back up to my plateau. Here's the thing though - I didn't really care. Getting my BMI down to healthy (albeit not my goal weight) meant that I knew I could do it, and at this point I'd learnt to really love my body. Ok 'love' is probably too strong a word and 'accept' is more honest. I wore bikinis on holiday, shorts and little play suits and so what if I have a bit of a tummy and wobbly thighs? The more I stopped caring about whether I was a pound under or over my 'average' the more I started to get frustrated at 'you look like you've lost weight' comments; when in reality I'd likely gained a pound or two and really it was just that I was wearing a flattering outfit for a change. It makes it all the more noticeable when the people that are usually very forthcoming with those comments keep quiet when you're having a particularly frumpy day. Usually my weight has nothing to do with it it's actually just my outfit, makeup or mood that affects how I look.

Fitbit Weight Graph

" what if I have a bit of a tummy and wobbly thighs?"

What the difference in accepting my body shape doesn't change though is my level of fitness. Weight loss isn't just about appearances and what I'm more concerned with now is making my self feel better physically. I still struggle with making good choices for my body. I've heard self-control is like a muscle you need to exercise and the more you use it the easier it will get. I assume the opposite is probably also true and the more I indulge in takeaways and treats from supermarkets the harder it is to turn them down. As someone who spends 99% of the day sitting down I'm also concerned about my heart rate, blood pressure, levels of fat etc. I very much want to lose weight to feel better but feeling more comfortable in my skin is making it difficult to stay motivated. 

Lean in 15 Chicken Tikka Masala

I've decided to turn once again to Lean in 15 in the hopes of getting back on track. I gave it a go last month and while the first week went well (I stuck the meal plan and exercise) once the heat wave struck it all went out the window. Since then I've also joined the Lean in 15 Facebook Support group to seek tips and inspiration and I've also created an epic meal-planning spreadsheet to make shopping that bit easier. The concept of the first book (low carb meals, with a carb-refuel meal after a HIIT workout) worked well for me last year but I'm apprehensive about the book 2 & 3 plans (in book two you eat three carb-refuel meals on a workout day/three low-carb meals on a rest day instead and in both books the exercises get more intense), if all goes well I'll do an update on how I get on with these. Having bought all 3 books last year and the new 'Cooking for Family and Friends' one there's a ton of meals to keep us going and the resistance workout with dumbells is one of my favourites to do. My aim is to improve my overall fitness and gain muscle tone to feel healthier, fitter and stronger.



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