It’s October! Suddenly the summer has come crashing to an end and the year is starting to feel old without anyone really realising.
On one hand I am horrified at how fast the year is speeding past, on the other, the start of a new month means the opportunity to start afresh, to set targets and goals.
I set goals back in August, and then failed to do pretty much all of them except for the ones that involved setting up our new business. But that was pretty all-encompassing and now, with each passing day, there is less to do than there was, so I feel I am starting to get some time back during the day.
So here are my goals for October 2017, to be renewed and re-set in November.
Weight reduction, fitness and exercise goals…
And these are minimum gals, I am kinda hoping to smash ’em!
I am already looking forward to checking in on my progress at the start of November!
I didn’t want to say anything too early, but I’ve just completed my first week back on the fantastic Exante Diet.
As part of my Project to develop a Successful Life, I am determined to make achieving a healthy weight a big part of it. And at the grand old age of 44, I decided to set my target at a reduction of 44lbs.
I lost 22 of those lbs a few months ago, documenting my progress on my YouTube channel. And then I lost focus and decided I would maintain for a while – yeah right – and got back into eating my own body weight on a regular basis, gaining 10 of those lbs back.
Plus, I’ve been so busy recently getting the business ready that I’ve almost forgotten what exercise is. Literally, hours of sitting at the computer, writing copy for the website, writing contracts, writing blog posts – or not! Even dog walks have been down to the bear minimum.
Last Sunday I woke up and just decided it was just time to get back on the Exante diet wagon. One of those unexpected but agreeable decisions that come from the feeling ‘enough is enough’.
This time, I decided I would record not just my weekly progress but daily – every mealtime in fact. That’s quite a commitment, as I discovered!
It’s also quite a lot of footage! Too much for one film! So I split the week into two – this is the first film covering Days 1-3:
The week ended on a real high at my weigh-in this morning with 6.5lbs gone – half a lb off half a stone!
Needless to say I feel so much better already – my stomach is flat(tish), I have more energy and my clothes are fitting more loosely.
Returning to the Exante products has literally been like meeting old friends again! Why I didn’t keep it going while ‘maintaining’ I will never know – I really could have replaced one meal every day with a product and that would have helped. I know now that is what I need to do to maintain, once I achieve my healthy goal weight of 146 lbs (10 stone 6lbs).
It’s all relative, of course. Everyone is a high achiever to someone, the same way everyone is a lesser achiever to someone else (yet another reason why we should never judge ourselves against others).
Simply put, we’re all on our own journey, each with its own challenges and battles. What is easy to one person is tough to the next, and so on.
This is a great video for keeping you focused on your own journey.
Yes, it’s going to be tough. Yes there will be days you don’t want to get out of bed. Yes there will be jealousy along the way. Yes there will be people wanting to see you fall. Yes you will feel like stopping. Yes the world will assume things about you.
I say ‘you’ – but really, of course, I mean ‘me’. I totally, totally have areas of weakness, places where my inner high achiever struggles to beat the lazy scared person.
For one thing, I always find it so hard to get out of bed. Every. Fricking. Morning. And that’s one area I need to work on, to get up, earlier, get started faster, get off my phone go for the day harder.
As this video reminds me, just get out of bed. Just do it. Ignore the rest inside my own head and the heads of others, and DO IT.
Stepping above the rest is not easy. We must surround ourselves with people who also have vision and can see the possibilities for us all. Surround ourselves with other high achievers, and prepare to fight!
This is probably the most exciting two weeks of my life!
No, George Clooney hasn’t turned up asking me to forgive him for marrying Amal, nor have I have won the lottery.
But, exactly a week ago, Dean and I both closed down to the outside world and began working on our new business – a quality, bathroom and wetroom installation company.
And that’s about as exciting as anything could be! Sorry George!
After being a general building company, specialising is a HUGE relief. At last we can get really really good, we can hire people specifically, we can do the same thing over and over which means we can get really, REALLY good.
Best of all, we can now see some really exciting ways to market the business, so we can get even bigger and even better.
We are both SOOOO excited!
And we’re doing what we desperately needed to do – preparing the business before it begins, setting goals for the business and for us to achieve.
The new van is signwritten (it looks amazing!), the website is being built (we hired a professional photographer to take photos of a few of the bathrooms we’ve done over the past year) and I picked our new business cards up on Friday.
Tomorrow we are fixing our price list. Our systems will also be confirmed down in the next 24 hours. Then we will do 10 – yes, 10! – price ups using our new systems so that when clients come to the new business we will have set ways to handle each query.
So this was the scene on our kitchen table last Monday morning:
I’m pleased to say that some of those tasks are now ticked ‘done’ and others have morphed as conversations have evolved, but we are still working our way through them.
When the Planets Align…
Have you ever felt like the universe shifted to help you?
I had one of those wonderful moments a week or two ago. I was lucky enough to see a post on a Facebook builders group in which someone recommended this book:
The post was about pricing up and how people decided on what to charge. The person who posted warned that this book isn’t cheap (it isn’t – I paid over £40!) but said the information is gives will be invaluable.
O. M. Geeeeeeepers he was right!
We’re a third of the way in and already Mark Up and Profit is changing how we think and feel. If only we had known of this book years ago! But anyway, we have it now.
Reading Mark Up and Profit is literally like having the author, Michael C Stone, turn up at your home and go through your business with you. He really knows his stuff and even though it is an American book, it works pretty much 100% for a UK business (just a few pieces of US-jargon re taxes, banking etc).
This book is specifically aimed at the world of construction but really there is useful information in there for any business, especially a business that creates things – houses, bathrooms, websites, clothing, whatever. I will definitely use the formula for mark up on jobs when I come to grow my website/video business, Little Red Horse.
If you have ever wondered about how to work out pricing or when to know if your price is too high or too low, I really recommend getting your hands on a copy. It really has changed everything for us.
If you don’t mind me collecting a very small percentage of the cost of the book, you can buy it through this link here.
I cannot describe how grateful I am that as I scrolled along my Facebook timeline on that day, I decided to click on that post and see that comment. Sooo grateful!
New Energy – Setting Goals
As often happens, once energy starts flowing freely in one part of your life, it soon spreads to other areas.
My YouTube channel has been a bit stuck recently, I haven’t uploaded any videos for a while, not quite knowing what to say.
Today I found my diaries for 2014 anbd 2015 and looked back to July 30th on both years. It was interesting to think about what I was doing then, and how much has now changed. (I haven’t kept a diary properly for almost two years and I know I’ll regret it – this blog is partly an attempt to diarise how the journey goes).
Then on tonight’s dog walk I had the idea of posting regular, monthly goal videos – I read constantly that setting goals is one sure way to help yourself towards success, measuring your progress along the way. Also I wrote about it here.
So I grabbed Dean when he got back from golf and pinned him down to some goals for August. Here they are (for both of us):
Go running with the dogs at least 8 times – so twice a week
Complete two bathrooms as part of our bathroom business
Get three subcontractors signed up and part of our team
Go to bed by 10.30 pm three times a week (yeah right!)
Finish fire safety improvement works to all our rental properties
Get our dog recall up to 99.9999%
Do three Youtube videos – ‘how to’ sharing tips I’ve learned along the way
Do two Tony Horton golf workouts every week (Dean)
Eat some fruit and vegetables every day (Dean)
Get our new bathroom business completely set up
And here they are in glorious technicolour! (Trust me, there’s nothing like posting your secrets on YouTube for creating some accountability!)
The rain has not stopped all day today, giving the perfect excuse to spend the afternoon inside and clear the pile of ironing.
As usual, I took the opportunity to jump on to YouTube and gain some education and inspiration.
This film of a presentation by the amazing Bob Proctor was so good I just had to share it!
Like many people I first came across Bob Proctor from his appearance in the film The Secret (which if you haven’t seen, you must!) and he is a really inspirational and likeable guy.
At almost two hours’ long this film is well-worth listening to.
If you don’t have that long to spare right now, join him at 37 minutes in. He explains how most people (96% of all people) do M1 – working for a living – which will forever keep them poor and limited. We will only ever get so far if we only ever trade time for money. Sad to say, I am guilty as charged – or at least I was up until a year ago.
M2 is a definite improvement (3%) which is investing money to earn money. I’m glad to say I have done this, still only in a small way, and I’ll be increasing my property portfolio in the future.
M3 is where we should all be aiming for. This group set up multiple sources of income, and they get others to do the work for them.
I am definitely guilty of this! Right now, we are growing the business and I can feel myself struggling within my own limitations.
I know I am probably holding the business back right now, through my own weaknesses, but am I just thinking like an M1?
Surely an M3 person wouldn’t even need to think twice on this. They would just hire someone to do what they can’t.
As usual Bob has got me thinking. We don’t have the disposable income that a successful M3er might have, but by clinging on to M1 status I could be pushing that income further and further away with my own indecision.
Somehow, despite the struggles, the weak moments and the “I’m never going to do this” pitholes, I’ve managed hit the halfway to goal mark.
Twenty-two glorious pounds of fat gone forever.
Yup. A whole twenty and two wobble-a-thons are no longer wobbling around my person.
No longer hugging my inner organs, gripping my inner thighs or hanging heavily around my jawbone.
So to celebrate, and even though it is only Monday, I decided it was time for my first ever #fatfacefriday – here goes:
(How funny, that there are 22 lbs of flesh between these two photos, about 6 inches of hair, and yet I have still managed to wear a really dodgy fleece?! Some things never change!)
Pros to losing 22 pounds:
Clothes are looser (a lot looser!)
I look so much better
I feel amazing – streamlined and slim
I don’t hate looking in the mirror so much
It makes exercise easier (although I’ve not been very good at that recently)
It makes me feel that if I’ve got this far, I just might make it to the end of the weight loss journey!
Cons to losing 22 pounds:
I can’t think of too many, but I’ll be sure to post when I do!
So what is 22 pounds? One and a half stones, plus a pound, for the Brits. Just under 10 kilograms for the Europeans (9.97903 grams for the precision mathematicians). And, according to google, a toddler! (Exact age of toddler to be confirmed).
Frustratingly, I could have done it much quicker. If I stayed 100% on the Exante Diet plan, on its Total Solution plan, I could be losing 2-3 pounds a week, not just the 1 lb average I’ve been seeing. But, I guess I’m just never going to be that person, the one who gets on a diet and sticks to it religiously. Hey, I didn’t get into this position by being strict with my diet in the first place!
This week I’ve been pretty good (ie, 3 Exante Diet products per day) for about 3 days out of the week. The other days I have failed, either miserably or joyously, depending.
I still live in hope that I will suddenly turn a corner and find inner strength to keep me 100% longer than 72 hours, blasting myself into longterm ketosis and losing weight in a delirious fury of bad breath and a great relationship with my scales.
But I’m realistic. This is me, after all!
Anyway, who cares? I’m seeing results! Now that our business is starting to build momentum we have three networking events this month, and I will be able to wear a dress I could only have dreamed of wearing, with a confidence I wouldn’t have dared to imagine, just a very few weeks ago.
So I’ll take this victory! I’m so bloody grateful I found the Exante Diet and all its delicious, affordable food choices! I’ll take that weight loss, baby!
So it’s Week Five of my Exante Diet 2017 Weight Loss Extravaganza… and I’m hanging on in there.
Week 3 – April 2 – down 3lbs – new weight 12 stone 4 lbs (172lbs)
Week 4 – April 9 – down 1lb – new weight 12 stone 3 lbs (171 lbs)
Ok, I’m going to be honest now, I have cheated at times.
And ‘cheat’ is the word to use, because I’m so annoyed at myself!
It really was all going so well. I even joined the Exante Diet Facebook Group’s 30-day April Challenge – 30 days of nothing but Exante products – just one measly month of self-control – and so far I’ve barely managed more than a couple of days.
Must get back in focus.
MUST GET BACK IN FOCUS!!
Ok, I heard ya.
Today has gone pretty well, but as the Easter weekend approaches I just know the village will be full of tourists eating ice creams (the weather is forecast to be warm) and omitting that general relaxed, hey-let’s-get-some-food holiday vibe from their pores. You know, the kind of vibe that makes you think, ooh, I’ll have some holiday food too… I mean, I deserve a break…
And then there’s the Easter eggs… (nooooooo please, for the love of God, don’t mention the chocolate Easter eggs!)
Oh, you did. You mentioned the chocolate Easter eggs…! 🙁
(I am sooo hoping that I don’t fall victim to the curse of Easter Eggs, and that I don’t have to admit you next week that something terrible has happened. Like I was cast under a spell forcing me to gorge my own body weight in chocolate, but forever cursed never to be satisfied. Oh, wait, that’s pretty much real life. Yikes!)
Anyway, I’ve done some soul searching these past couple of weeks and I’ve realised one reason why I am letting myself fail – ie, succumb to ‘proper food’.
I love love LOVE the Exante Diet Indian Daal curry pot, right? And what’s not to love – they’re filling, so tasty, just like a really good Indian meal, and amazingly convenient, just add hot water and they cook in their pot. This is the bad boy himself:
I ran out of them a couple of weeks ago, so I’m trying to eat all the other foods in my special Exante Diet drawer of delights, but not everything is hitting the right spot…
So last night came my epiphany: if not having my favourite things means I’m struggling to stick to Exante, then I need to ensure I have my favourite things. Easy!
I immediately logged on to the Exante website, hit an order for 10 Indian Daals (and ok yes, a few more products as well) and pressed Pay Now…
The new Indian Daals and friends should be joining the delights already in my Exante Diet Drawer within the next few days*.
And then I will have NO excuses!
(*Seriously this is why I love Exante. No consultant to weigh me, no appointment to book, just the freedom of late night shopping and knowing that whatever I order will arrive pretty soon after. LOVE EXANTE!)
On a brighter note, I have been doing some serious exercise recently. The lighter nights have been perfect for getting out further and further with the dogs. I haven’t run this week, but Sunday and Wednesday we did some monster walls, climbing steep fells and clocking up a few good miles each time. Plus some pretty wobbly legs.
Here’s my latest video of my week 4 weigh in, filmed on location… at the top of a fell, obvs:
Good luck for Easter wherever you are! Here’s hoping the chocolate monster doesn’t attack any of us!
I’ve done it – managed two whole weeks on the Exante Diet.
AND survived a second weigh in – just!
It’s been a week of two halves for my weight loss. Sunday through Wednesday were great, so easy, no hunger! (Except for an overdose of coconut almond butter on Tuesday night, ahem).
Then on Thursday it was time for time of the month (always a great party) and so I felt a little allowance was in order. Oh, flaky fool that I am!
So Thursday plodded on by, albeit brightened up by a chicken sandwich and a hot chocolate, and Friday promised to be a brighter affair.
The scales, however, didn’t agree. Following my weigh in at 12 stone 9lbs last Sunday (187lbs) I was delighted to see a 2 lb weight loss on the scale on Wednesday.
After Wednesday though, the scales rocketed – even as high as 12 stone 12 on Saturday. I could have wept.
The second week is notorious for delivering poor losses, and especially once I came on I knew my hopes of losing 3lbs this week were looking unlikely.
But seeing the scales creep up so high really knocked me, and Saturday I fought hard to keep cravings at bay (not that hard – I did succumb to a couple of bananas and three handfuls of peanuts). Then I padded out my red bean chilli with some broccoli and chicken which seemed to finally satisy me.
So I was completely dreading stepping on the scales this morning… and relief flooded the entire room when I saw 12 stones 7 lbs again! (and 5/8ths)
It made me realise just how important it is to me to see the scales dropping. Not seeing a loss gives a reason for that little voice to creep in, the one that tells me the weight doesn’t matter, I’m happy as I am, and reminds me how good certain foods are.
When I lost weight two years ago I was away on long filming trips so didn’t get chance to weigh in regularly, so I’ve never really tracked my weight through my cycle.
Well, hopefully that has cycled off for a few weeks and I am hoping for a good third weigh-in in a week’s time.
Despite a major wobble on day 4, and minor weak moments on days 5 and 6 (sliced banana with coconut and almond butter – my lifesaver!) I gathered strength for the end of the week and stormed day 7 – giving me, on the morning of day 8…
I’m delighted. I now weigh just over half a stone less than I did a week ago!
So now I know I can do it – I just have to do it!
Obviously I’m not going to lose like that every week, but a big drop at the start does give such a boost. This week, I’m going to aim to lose 3 lbs (week 2 can be notoriously tough).
Don’t get me wrong, this is no walk in the park. The temptations of food are so strong, and I am concerned that day 4 of this week – Wednesday, when I work from home alone – could be just as tough or even tougher than last week. Honestly, that day I could think of nothing except food and how much I wanted to eat pretty much everything in the fridge.
But, everyday is a new day and sometimes you just have to accept some days you will be It does help that the products are mostly really delicious, and the choice really helps prevent boredom. PLUS – and this is HUGE – you can literally visit the Exante website, order what you want, and it arrives THE NEXT DAY. This is a gamechanger, folks!
As the weight starts to fall, that’s the thing I need to concentrate on. Already I feel so much better – my stomach smaller and flatter, my clothes not so tight – so definitely a case of focusing on the positive.
And anyway, all the food I am not eating now will still be around (albeit in small quantities) when I’m thin and looking amazing.
Here’s how I got on:
Overall, I am now down 13 lbs from my original weight in January – despite a two-month break. I’m not quite sure what happened, but working on our house definitely helped keep the weight from going back on.
So, onwards for Week 2! Let me know how your weight loss journey is going either here or on YouTube! Happy to provide support/inspiration/kicks up backside!!