I am giving myself 18 weeks to finish the year on a high...


Well I had big plans fitness wise for the year but it is safe to say none of that has gone to plan and I am actually back at my starting weight which was definitely not planned. I am determined to change that around though and make the last few months of the year count, that is why I am started an 18 week challenge that will take me up to Christmas day, where I will do my final weigh in of the year. I am really hoping that by doing this 18 week challenge I can get back to where I once was and get to momentum moving in the right direction, the challenge should help me create some great habits for my journey and help me change my mindset back into the mindset I need to achieve my end goal on this fitness journey. If I do manage to stick to this I should be in a great starting point for 2024, with a mindset and habits that are going to make the new year go as I wished 2023 went.

If things go to plan I have the potential to lose over a stone, if I manage to lose 1lb a week that is a massive 18lbs potentially but I know full well things don't go to plan and anything can happen on the scales. I will be happy with 14lb over all but any extra will be a massive bonus. The big focus is going to be nutrition and moving more as I know that the nutrition is a big downfall for me and I haven't been moving & working out as much I should have been doing. Luckily for me during the new season is going to be starting not long into this challenge so I will be able to get moving through football training and matches a lot more often which is going to be a massive help for me. So here is the plan for those habits I am going to do daily for the next 18 weeks...

Stick to my daily calories

I am back to calorie counting and I know this is going to be a huge help for me as I know exactly what I am eating and it will stop me binge eating which I have definitely been doing lately. I won't say the exact number of calories I am aiming for on here as everyone is different and these calories are based on my specific lifestyle. The target each day is certainly realistic though and I am sure it is going to help me make progress throughout the rest of the year.

Spin bike daily

Doing this is definitely going to be easier when the gym is built but I am hoping that I can do 5k everyday on the bike for the next 18 weeks, this will get me moving a whole lot more and will also give me an extra bit of a push. It will also keep my legs moving for the new season and a post match recovery ride sounds perfect. Let's just hope the dog can stay entertained long enough for me to get through the 5k everyday. 

10 minutes of stretching

I have fallen out of this habit and my body is really feeling it especially my lower back and legs. I really want to set aside 10 minutes a day just to stretch and get my body a bit more mobile as I know it will stop the pain whilst also helping me in the long run when the new football season starts up again. No more tight aching legs or aching back, 10 minutes a day is going to be dedicated to getting rid of those. I know I will feel so much better for doing this.

45 minutes of exercise daily

As part of my plan I am aiming for a minimum of 45 minutes of exercise a day, this could be anything from a strength session to a long dog walk. Just dedicating 45 minutes a day will certainly get my body moving a whole lot more and will help me out mentally especially if the days exercise is a long dog walk in the fresh air. This will probably be the most challenging habit but I am looking forward to seeing how well I get on with it.

2 ltrs of water daily

I used to be so good at this one but have fallen off track with it in recent months and slipped back into those fizzy drinks. I am determined to switch those back out though and add plenty more water into my days. I know that this will help those headaches that creep into my days once more and also help clear up my skin which desperately needs to happen.

So as with any challenge there are goals that I am working towards and I am hoping that when I do my finished challenge post that these 3 goals I have set myself will have been hit and that I might have achieved even more than I have set out for myself. So here are the 3 goals I am hoping to achieve...

Lose 1 stone

I know that the weight is never going to be a consistent loss over the next 18 weeks as that is just how my body goes however, I am hoping that in the space of 18 weeks I can drop a stone. This means 14lb off those scales so I can afford for the scale to fluctuate a little. Granted though I believe if I stick to all the habits above I could possibly see a bit more of a loss. 2 lb a week consistently would be 36lb down, which is just over 2 stone I highly doubt this will be the case though so I will be happy with a 1 stone loss but if I do get more than this I will be super happy.

Feel fitter for football

This is a big one for me as my fitness is really letting my performances down at the moment and I know if I got the fitness levels up I could see a huge improvement over the course of the season. I am really hoping that all those daily actions above will help me increase those levels due to the loss of the weight and the increased activity. It is going to be fun to see just how much difference I can make in 18 weeks. 

Have clothes fitting better

At the moment I am 100% in between sizes as larges are a bit too tight still but XL is hanging off me. I am hoping that by Christmas day those large clothes are getting too big for me and that I am on the way to wearing a medium which would be absolutely fantastic. But for now I am more than happy for those larges just to fit better.

It is not just the daily habits I will be trying to stick to over the next 18 weeks, I will also be trying to reduce a few other things in the hopes of them helping me on my journey. One big thing is reducing the amount of takeaways I have weekly, this is just due to me being lazy but I know half hour in the kitchen on an evening is going to help me on my journey and also help me save some money, again something else I need to work on. I will also be planning on meal prepping more often too, with the football season back for both watching and playing I need to cut down on the pies and meals out after games so the plan is to eat before I go or take something with me on car journeys, especially for those trips to watch Man Utd Women, this should help me stay on track that bit more and help me work towards my goals. Alongside sorting out the food I eat I am also going to be cutting out the alcohol again and the only time I am planning on drinking is possibly on my birthday but even that isn't guaranteed yet. When I went alcohol free in the past I noticed a huge difference so I am hoping to see the same again. I am also planning on getting back to football a lot more frequently as training days should be changing making it easier for me to get to weekly and fingers crossed there wont be too many clashing games for watching and playing. The aim is also to go to as many Wednesday night boxing sessions as possible for the rest of the year, I know that getting back into these sessions will do me the world of good.

Of course if all goes to plan I will be rewarding myself as things go along. I already have a plan in place to reward my whole journey at every 7lb lost so I will be keeping up to this and hopefully over the 18 weeks we will see a few of those rewards being achieved. However, I have decided that if at Christmas any of the above goals have been achieved I will be giving myself the chance to head out in the Boxing day sales to buy some new workout clothing to hopefully help keep me in the mindset I have created in these 18 weeks and also help me feel a bit more comfortable as I am hoping my current workout clothing will be a bit too big at this point.

For a change I am actually feeling hopeful and believe that this challenge is going to help me get back on track and actually make some pretty good progress throughout the rest of the year. I am really looking forward to seeing how this goes and lets hope that Christmas weigh in will be a good one.

But for now let's get started...

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