Thursday, 12 December 2013

Introducing The Weight Loss Pyramid

So I realised that I haven't written in my blog for a while. I think a big reason for that was because I found myself emotionally affected by how much I weighed. If I woke up after spending the day before being good and having exercised only to find my weight had increased, it would upset me. "Get a grip of yourself!" right? I know, I feel that way too, I would be the first to say that a number does not define effort, determination and hard work. But, alas, my brain works in mysterious ways and I ignored my own sage advice.

For the past *checks when last blog post was* 3 weeks I have been re-evaluating my plan to lose weight. Since entering a new stage in my life last year upon moving to Japan, living on my own and having my first full time job, I have found it a great struggle to lose weight. Before my move across the pond I worked part time, which worked wonders for my health and fitness as it gave me ample time to workout. Working full time, however, has completely taken over my life. "Don't be such a drama llama, just make the time!" Well, I wish I could have that strength and will power to feel energised to workout when all I want to do after work is eat and rest.

I suppose what I've been learning recently is that not everyone is going to be amazing at losing weight. Some people will be able to summon the strength and focus that it takes to MAKE the time, to be in control of what they eat and see the results quickly. I think I am someone who struggles.

I have to use the same method every day to teach English to Japanese kids. Some kids can grasp the work quite easily and excel, others struggle extremely so just to pronounce a simple word. Everyone is different, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses and we all must find our own path to success. I am starting to understand that I am not someone who can just throw themselves into a workout plan nor to a clean eating scheme...I struggle to adapt to big changes that I thrust upon myself in a bid to lose weight.

Recently my co-worker, who is a trained hypnotherapist, told me to imagine myself in 2 months time at my goal. My goal being in a good routine that would ultimately help lead to weight loss. He then told me to write a list of the things that I did to achieve this goal in my mind. I could see where he was going, so off I went and wrote that list. That's when I came up with the weight loss pyramid idea.

I thought about my recent experiences in the past year, the reasons why I have basically sucked at losing weight. I also combined this with my revelations that I shouldn't feel like I am "failing" if I can't stick to some ambitious plan I set for myself that incorporates too many changes at once. The result was what I am now calling my very own weight loss pyramid.

The idea is very simple. But it will take time to see if this bitch actually works. I will make it my mission to test out this plan and hopefully I will see some results. I wondered with my break from the scales what I would fill this blog with, well now I know - my ramblings from this crazy weight loss experiment that may or may not work. Declaring this to the world will hopefully let me stay accountable.

I think if this pyramid DOES work, that it could help a lot of people who struggle to lose weight achieve their goals.

Ok, so here goes.


Step 1
Write a list of weight loss goals. I wrote 16. 8 nutritional goals and 8 exercise goals.

Step 2
Order them in order of difficulty i.e. which goals will be the easiest to achieve (for me it was drinking 8 glasses of water a day) to the hardest (entering and training for a half marathon).

Step 3
CREATE YOUR MAGICAL PYRAMID! Draw a pyramid and at the bottom write the easiest goal and continue to write the goals above the other in order of easiest-hardest. Either create one pyramid combining both nutritional and exercise goals or 2 pyramids for each type of goal.

Step 4
Starting from the bottom, number your nutritional and exercise goals 1-however many goals you have. For me it was 1-8 nutritional and the same for exercise.

Step 5
Marvel at your weight loss pyramid.

Here are a list of my goals as an example:

Nutritional goals 

  • Drink 8 glasses of water a day (1)
  • Make meal plans, no eating out solo (2)
  • Don't buy junk food (3)
  • Start counting calories and stick to a number (4)
  • Stick to a calorie limit 6 days a week (5)
  • No more Coke (6)
  • Eat more vegetables (7)
  • Eat recommended daily amount of each food group (8)

Exercise goals:

  • Run once a week (1)
  • Strength train once a week (2)
  • Cross train once a week (3)
  • Run twice a week (4)
  • Strength train twice a week (5)
  • Cross train twice a week (6)
  • Run 3 times a week (7)
  • Enter and train for a Half Marathon (8)
These are my goals listed from easiest - hardest, the number in brackets is how many weeks I have to stay accountable for each goal before I move on and add the next goal into my routine. 

So how does it work? Well. The idea is to introduce new goals into your life slowly so you will have time to adapt instead of shocking yourself with an influx of different workout and meal plans. So the first goals you will try to achieve are at the bottom of the pyramid, 1 nutritional and 1 exercise goal. The number you have marked them with is the number of weeks you have to be on plan for to move onto the next stage. For example, my first 2 goals are "Drink 8 glasses of water a day" (nutritional) and "Workout once a week" (exercise). The number next to those goals is 1. So I have to drink 8 glasses of water a day for 1 straight week and workout once a week. When I am done - huzzah! I will continue to do these goals as I advance to my next goal, which is "Make a meal plan 2 weeks in advance, no eating out solo" (nutritional) and "Strength train once a week" (exercise). The number next to these goals is 2, so I have to be successful in both goals for 2 weeks before I move onto the next set of goals. Currently I have to drink 8 glasses of water a week, workout once a week, make a meal plan 2 weeks in advance and strength train once a week.

If you slip up and don't complete your goal then you have to reset the time for that goal and ONLY that goal. You don't go back to the very bottom of the pyramid nor do you reset your other category of goal (so if you didn't workout you continue your nutrition goal). Doing it this way allows you to achieve the goals slowly and naturally without compromising your other goals. You build on the foundation and achieve more success. If you excel at exercise but struggle with nutrition then it's no problem, just take more time working on your nutritional goals while you kick ass exercising.

It sounds a bit confusing, but I'm actually really positive about the outcome of this. It's probably the best plan I've come up with, the easiest plan I've given myself, yet by the end I should be in a routine that I can be proud of. It will take a while, but that's exactly what I need. I can't just throw myself in the deep end or go cold turkey, that's not how I am going to be successful. 

Here is a picture of my first draft of the pyramid. 

And that's it! I hope that I can practice what I've preached and see results. I'm going to make this as official as possible, take starting pictures, measurements and even weigh myself (gulp) and then see the transformation at the end of the pyramid.

In other news, I did a 5 mile run last weekend. I did it the day after I had spent the night dry heaving for no apparent reason and had taken the day off work, so I was really proud of myself for going despite being sick the day before. It also made me realise hey, I might not be fast, but I can DEFINITELY do this 10K race in 2 weeks!


  1. I love the fact that you have created a plan for yourself. Each of us have to customize our days to what works well and so is the same for weight loss. I lost weight by introducing one or two changes at a time. I found it was a lot easier to accept the fact that I did not even like what I was eating. After a while I began to enjoy the 'tasteless', 'butterless' foods.

    I learned a few years ago that I like binge eating and to avoid that, I had to be sure to eat with others as well. Good times! LOL

    Anyway, there are a few things that you are planning for yourself that were a huge help to me. I know we are all different so what worked for me may not work for anyone else. I am encouraged that your plan will work!!

    PS, how long have you lived in Japan? That is really cool!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! Eating with others is a good thing, I live on my own and it's SO easy to just eat and eat and eat when no one is watching! I've been in Japan for just over a year, it's been quite an experience!

  2. Until I few years ago I could not understand the eating and eating.....until I did it - and I was a closet eater. I realized I have an addictive personality so I had to trade eating for something else. That is blogging!


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