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To prioritise myself in making health related changes, and ask how you did so?

(8 Posts)
Kinnen Mon 27-Mar-17 19:33:00

First ever post, so please be gentle!

I was recently diagnosed with an illness that will affect me for the rest of my life. I'm broadly ok with the news; I have very mild symptoms, and it means I can now get proper treatment (after thinking I might be imagining it for years) hmm

However, I've been told I should make some changes to my lifestyle; if I manage to do them all and get as healthy as possible, I might be able to control my illness with fewer medications (some of them have unpleasant side effects, so I'm keen to do this).

I've already kicked my occasional smoking habit since I found out it can exacerbate it, but I really need to sort out my weight (I need to lose at least 2.5 stone blush ) and exercise (currently almost non-existent). I'm a total comfort eater, with a love of anything bread and cream based, so this feels like a bit of an impossible task! I'm a decent cook, but mainly in French and Italian cuisines - aka, carb, cheese, and pudding heaven! cake

I know that any changes I make will impact on my partner and friends - I'm imagining more boring food, less time for fun because I'll be food prepping or exercising, fewer nights out wine - and I'm worried about how to keep some sort of balance. I'm really keen to make bigger changes rather than slowly-slowly; I know not to crash diet, but I'd like to be able to show decent improvement in my overall lifestyle by July, when I next have a hospital appointment.

AIBU to prioritise trying to sort out my health - even though it's not critical for me to make big changes, as it could be managed with medication?

If not, AIBU to ask for personal success stories, tips for big lifestyle changes, or warnings for what to avoid when doing so?

Screwinthetuna Mon 27-Mar-17 19:44:14

Obviously YANBU to prioritise your health! It doesn't mean boring food and it doesn't mean not socialising either.
You could start with seeing if any friends want to join an exercise class; see if you can find a fun one and this turns into a social thing in itself.
Do you do much walking? This can be a great form of exercise and can also be fun for your partner. Plan a hike somewhere, I don't know where you are but if you are in the UK, the national trust have so many great places on their website for inspiration. Make it a whole day thing with a picnic and do it regularly.
Do you have an exercise bike? Watch any soaps/series on tv? Half an hour a day (start with 10 mins and go up gradually) while you watch your programme is an easy way to get some exercise in.
There are so many lovely recipes that aren't unhealthy and remember to not be extreme...you can still have cheese and cream, just limit it. Meal plan, stick to it, but treat yourself. Good luck flowers

Dearlittleflo Mon 27-Mar-17 19:50:07

Of course YANBU!

My top tip for healthy comfort food is soup- you can make wonderful vegetable soups which are healthy and filling and, if you're missing cream, finish with a teaspoon of cream- the whole thing tastes creamy but it doesn't add many cals.

When i am dieting but my OH isn't, I often make pasta for him and courgetti for me, with whatever sauce. Or just do the same thing for us both (chicken or whatever) and he has potatoes while i have extra green veg.

Trifleorbust Mon 27-Mar-17 19:51:39

I need to make similar changes after having my baby. Am starting with a variety of exercise types because there is no way I will stick to, say, running x 4 a week. I'm going to try to fit in swimming, yoga and a run to begin with. I would rejoin the gym but I know in reality the baby will stop me spending much time there so it doesn't seem worth the money, but I enjoyed going on the way home from work before I got pregnant.

jimijack Mon 27-Mar-17 19:52:49

Good luck, it is achievable.

Firstly I didn't look at the small snapshot, I looked at the weight loss as a long term thing, so within the first year I got 1 stone 7lbs off, for the second year I'm planning on getting the next stone off.

I've joined slimming world, I have gently become more active, no formal exercise because I detest exercise, so I park further away at the supermarket, blah blah blah.

I'm trying to get my blood pressure down, avoid diabetes, heart disease.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Mon 27-Mar-17 19:54:38

Healthy food is not boring! When you start eating more veg, more fish and less stodge, your culinary world will open not close.

You will make exercise friends. It will be great. The bonding from joint effort is powerful, you also always have something to talk about and a reason to meet up.

Food prep doesn't have to take hours! What are you planning to eat?!

The energy you get from being fit and strong will power you through things that would have drained you before.

I am rather offended by your suggestion that it is not possible to be healthy and have fun and be sociable.

Emphasise Mon 27-Mar-17 19:56:53

First, I'd say you need to make sure it's not less time for fun but different fun.

For example this weekend I shall be going to parkrun in the morning, which is a fun sociable event for all abilities, then taking dc swimming. On Sunday DH and I are going on a bike ride with a group of friends which I know will be loads of fun.

Food wise I'd highly recommend giving up refined sugar. It's hard for a week or so but after that you genuinely stop wanting it, in fact a lot if the commercially made chocolate bars etc look positively revolting. I find if I'm not having the empty calories in sugar that I used to and I get a reasonable amount of exercise, I can pretty much eat anything else I want (no snacking though!)

Kinnen Mon 27-Mar-17 20:35:48

@Screwinthetuna You know, I hadn't thought of hiking; we both really enjoy it, but usually wait until we are on holiday rather than working it into our week, so that's definitely going on the list. I'm based in London, with friends scattered across the city rather than nearby, which makes meeting up for an exercise class or run a bit awkward, but might see if anyone would be up for it smile

@Dearlittleflo I missed out on the courgetti thing when it first happened; does it work for absorbing sauce like pasta does, or is a thicker sauce better? And do you have any opinion on homemade vs shop bought (before I invest in a spiralizer thing)?

@jimijack Well done on your progress! Is slimmingworld any good? There are a couple nearby, but I get oddly intimidated by things like that.

@RunRabbitRunRabbit Errr. No offense was intended? hmm I work full time, and my illness causes fatigue, which means that I worry about the impact on my social life while making the transition to prioritise my health. I'm a good cook, but it's primarily around less healthy cuisines, as I mentioned, so my cooking would be more basic as I make these changes - though I'm sure that as I get to experiment more, it will get more enjoyable.

@Emphasise Luckily, I really don't like chocolate, so this option might work well for me; will look into it a bit more!

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