Every self respecting butterfly will have headed for warmer climes by now, I am sure. In the UK, it is cold, damp and pretty miserable today, and I am not sure about everyone else, but my summer wardrobe has been retired until sometime next year. My autumn/winter “Let’s wear layers” wardrobe is out and now heavily in use. Yet I am still thinking about butterflies.
Here’s why. After my self administered bahookie kicking on Friday, I took a critical look at my eating of late and I was not that impressed. In fact, it would be safe to say that I was much less than impressed and I know my eating habits need an overhaul. This is not unusual. Every 6 to 7 months, I need to check out what I am eating, appraise it and then tweak it to make sure I am getting the nutrients I need and I am not snarfing too much. Also, I don’t know about you, but after holidays, I find the relaxed eating patterns often stay around a little too often. I need to get back on track.
Then I looked at the amount of exercise I take. I am much, much better now than I was when I was stranded in an office for 10 hours a day… but I know I can squeeze more exercise into my life somewhere, somehow.
And then, in the shower this morning, the idea came unbidden into my head. Operation Chrysalis.
You know that the life cycle of the caterpillar culminates in the Chrysalis, right before it transforms into a butterfly? Well, that is what I want to do over autumn and winter. After being wrapped up in layers and woollies for 6 or 7 months, I want to reveal myself in spring/summer as a butterfly. Rather than the big hungry caterpillar. Again.
So how am I going to do it? Faddy diets? No. They wind me up and are rarely effective. Never eating anything? No. Not sustainable, and very, very bad for you, plus I am not good at depriving myself of food. In fact I suck at it. So, the only way is to be sensible.
I hereby commit to eating only food my grandmother and great grandmother would recognise. I also commit to eating slightly less of them, because I need to retrain my body to recognise when I have had enough. Also, I am going to let myself eat what I want on Sundays. This has to be sustainable, and being incredibly virtuous for 7 days a week is not just impossible, it is impractical. I am also going to avoid artificial sweeteners and lots of fats. I will still use fats, because you need them for proper nutrition, but not loads of them, because that is bad for you. If I want biscuits, or ice cream, or cake, then I will make some. If I go off the idea because I have to expend the energy of actually going and making it then I wasn’t that committed to the cause in the first place, was I?
I also commit to drinking no diet soft drinks. If I really want a soft drink then I will drink the full sugar variety. As I don’t like the taste of most full sugar varieties, it will mean I will drink more water, which has to be a good thing. Despite my protestations to the contrary, I do not drink vast quantities of coffee, so I will keep my coffee intake the same, and instead drink more fruit and spice infusions and proper tea. I would say I will drink green tea, but I can’t stand the taste, so I am not going to do that. This is about enjoyment as well.
And finally, I commit to doing more exercise. I have MASSES to do in the garden over the winter to get it ready for the growing season next year, so that will definitely add to the exercise regime. Add to that the housework and all the painting and stuff I want to do in the house and that is quite a bit already. But if this caterpillar wants to be a butterfly then I am going to need to step it up a bit more. So, I have exercise DVDs that need to be used. There is also the Wii Fit Plus. I need to work out a plan of using them.
Of course, one thing I haven’t mentioned is how I am going to track my progress. Generally speaking I am anti scales and weighing, though that is a handy way of doing things. So, instead, I am going to measure my body as well as weigh it. I think weigh in day will be Wednesday and I shall measure myself at the same time.
Who else wants to play along?