How is everyone faring this week? Hope you are managing to keep your collective peckers up. I had a message from someone today saying she wants to begin the Midlife Method but it just feels like there's too much to deal with mentally to commit to any more changes and I TOTALLY get that. There is a lot to cope with at the moment, so please don't put any pressure on yourself, wait until you have the headspace and motivation to begin.
My Midlife Method guinea pig Jodi (we need a more flattering description Jodi!) on the other hand, has found lockdown an ideal time to get to grips with her weight and health. Here she explains why …
Week 2 on the Midlife Method was easier than Week 1, which surprised me. I did Monday to Friday Light Days [recap - there are 5 Light Days in Week 2] which was fine as I was busy with work. Also, it helps being locked down, so no going out to contend with!! [Yes, that’s a good point Jodi, I often hear that it is people’s social lives that derail their efforts to be healthy, so lockdown restrictions certainly do get rid of that particular temptation! – Sam]
The best recipes this week were the Quickest Ever Spinach & Chickpea Curry (p206). So tasty! And we really enjoyed the Flaky Curried Fish (p172). The Fast Fish Pie (p186) with filo on top is so easy and looks as impressive as it tastes. I made it with Tesco frozen fish pie mix which made it even easier. Oh, and the Sriracha Chicken Tray Bake with Charred Lemons (p213) was a triumph. [Definitely some of our family favourites in there too Jodi. – Sam]
AND I've lost 4lb this week!!! I was about 8st 12 when I started two weeks ago and 8st 6 today [remember Jodi is only 5’0” people] so that's brilliant. I expect it'll slow down a bit now but it’s very encouraging! [That is absolutely excellent Jodi. A 6lb loss in two weeks is incredible so you have obviously really stuck to it and I’m so glad you have found Week 2 easier. I designed The Midlife Method that way, it gets easier each week as the number of Light Days reduces. - Sam]
I also asked Jodi about the other elements of The Midlife Method, what I call The Midlife Method Healthy Habits - Exercise, Stress, Sleep and Alcohol.
In terms of exercise, since the first lockdown in March, I've been doing 3-4 exercise classes online a week. This frequency isn't something I've ever done in my life before, so a surprising upside of lockdown. I need the discipline of a scheduled class, or I'll just put it off. I do three online classes a week with personal trainer Jane Rich (for £10 you get to join as many as 6 classes live, plus recorded sessions). Jane is so motivating and energising. She makes us feel like a community, using social media groups and having chats with us all before and after class. They are hard work but so much fun. There's no way I'd keep it up if it felt like a miserable punishment. This is why I don't run. I hate it!! Saturday morning I do online Pilates with Victoria at the Richmond Pilates Studio. [I knew you exercised a lot Jodi and glad you have found some great online options. Just wondering if you do any weight-based strength training as that would be a great thing to add in if you don’t already do it?]
To manage stress and the monotony of the same four walls, I have a short, brisk morning walk before I disappear into Zoom meetings all day. But during these dark mornings, I've been doing it after lunch when the diary permits. I've been going for longer walks at the weekend, around 10k. It's the only way I can see a friend. So, what else can you do but walk and talk? [That’s fantastic. Really great to do one longer exercise session per week – 10K is a decent leg stretch! Sounds like you are on it with the physical activity Jodi and walking is very good for stress-busting. – Sam]
I got into very bad sleeping habits over Christmas, going to bed late and getting up late. I never felt properly rested and was waking several times a night and struggling to get back to sleep. At the start of the Midlife Method I began making my way to bed at 9:30 on a school night and aiming for lights off at 11 after reading. I have cut down to 2 cups of tea and two espressos and have no caffeine drinks after 1pm. I think not drinking alcohol is also helping with my sleep. I am now sleeping much better. [I talk a lot in the book about how getting into a good routine at night can really pay off sleep-wise and it sounds like that's exactly what you've done. Of course, reducing caffeine and alcohol are key too. - Sam]
On the topic of booze, I’m not missing it yet. Because no-one else in the family drinks, and I'm not going out, there's no temptation. I have had one single G&T since I started the Midlife Method and I didn't LOVE it... not that much more than the Seedlip I’ve been drinking anyway! [Amazing. I know how much you love your gin tons!! But seriously well done, alcohol is many people’s downfall when it comes to weight loss. I have a glass of red on a Regular Day but nothing on Light Days and that works fine for me – Sam]
Thanks so much to Jodi for sharing her thoughts on all things Midlife Method. It’s clearly working for her but as I said at the beginning, you do have to be in the right headspace to be able to prioritise your own health and weight goals. It’s going to be harder for some people in lockdown, particularly with young kids in the mix (Jodi has two boys aged 19 & 16 so they don't require much in the way of physical supervision, it's more psychological warfare with older ones!!!).
So, now might not be the right time for you. But, when it is just open the book and get cracking. And remember, you can still make all the lovely, low-cal recipes even if you aren’t quite able to stick to the 4-Week Plan.
Keep safe out there and we’ll check in with Jodi again next week.
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