Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Weekly Weigh-In

Just a quick stop in to report my weigh-in for last Sunday. I'm sorry to say that I had yet another gain of 1 kg. Boo. Also, no colourful pie chart this week, as I just couldn't bring myself to make yet another one with a gain on it. I am weak, I know it.

I had a pretty good week, other than gaining. I stuck completely to Paleo (except for slip up on Sunday night) drank more water, and exercised a little. I even worked really hard on limiting any snacking or late night eating, in case that was causing my weight gains. Unfortunately, I still gained over the week.

I won't lie, seeing my weight go up from the previous week made me anxious. I took my measurements, to see if there were any changes there and saw a slight increase as well. I feel like I'm trying to do everything right to lose weight, and I've got so much to lose that realistically, my body shouldn't be resistant to losing. I started to even doubt if going Paleo was the right choice and if I should go back to diet shakes and low fat meals. I searched Paleo blogs, forums and any resource I could find for answers to why, after more than a month of eating Paleo, I had failed to lose any weight. I went into a bit of a tailspin.

Since actually weighing in on Sunday, I've had some time to let the crazy simmer down. I know that I still want to continue with Paleo, because I feel amazing and I can't just forget everything I've been learning. I still believe in it, even if I can't shake the concerned about my lack of weight loss. In an effort to continue and facilitate some weight loss, I've researched and decided on a couple of things to try before giving up.

Firstly, I'm going to go back to counting kilojoules, as although I might be eating lots of good foods, I still have to worry about overeating. After all, I still have disordered eating tendencies, including excessive mindless eating to stay mindful of, and counting kilojoules is the only thing I've found to help me overcome this in the past.

I'm also going to focus on maintaining a low carb intake. I'm starting out by limiting my carbs between the 30-50 gram ketosis range for a couple of days to a week, to hopefully kick start my body into fat burning/weight loss mode. After that, depending on how it works and how I feel, I will slowly increase my daily carbohydrate intake, to up to no more than 100 grams a day. From what I've read, somewhere below the 100 gram a day carb intake is the sweet spot for weight loss for most people.

I'm giving up the soft drink for good. This was the one area that I wasn't completely Paleo in. I was still having Pepsi Max, or some other form of diet soft drink, almost daily. Mentally, it was the hardest thing for me to give up, and I have no idea why. I've been soft drink free for only two days so far, and it's been ok. I still feel like it, but I've got myself a snazzy new drink bottle for water and am making sure there's no soft drink in the house. It's not nearly as horrible as I thought it would be!

Keep your fingers crossed for me this week. I really hope that putting in this extra effort will help. Whether I've been doing something wrong, or my body just needed time to adjust to the Paleo diet, I really hope I can get some weight loss happening soon. I am doing Paleo for my health first, but losing weight, at the size I am is going to be a fair component of that, and is something that I personally really want to see change.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Weekly Weigh-In

Lets rip this band-aid off shall we? I gained a kilo this past week. There, that wasn't so bad.

When I got on the scale and saw a gain, I won't lie, I felt disappointed. I'd done such a good job this week avoiding temptation, exercising 5 days and, hey, even drinking more water, so I did expect more. Some time has passed between weighing in and writing this post, and I'm feeling more realistic about it now, but just the feeling when you step on the scale full of hope (and maybe a little bravado) and then the little numbers flicker up and crush you, is horrible. Those numbers can be so mean!

Anyway, obviously there could be a number of reasons for a gain this week. Like the fact that I've been working out with kettlebells and could have put on some muscle. Or that I haven't quite figured out the right calorie intake for my body since switching to paleo. It could also be sleep (which I am only just starting to learn can significantly effect weight loss), considering I sleep between six and seven hours on average, but know I function best on closer to nine. Even though I've had such small losses the last couple of weeks, and a gain this week, I'm not going to stress myself over it. I know that I'm doing a lot of good for my health at the moment, and the weight will come off in it's own time.

Non-Weight Loss Stuff
This week I made the trek into Sydney to go to Costco. As sad as this is, it's probably one of my favourite places! Here in Australia we don't really have anything like it, and our options for shopping are very limited, so going to Costco is like a treat. I love seeing what random stuff they are selling and picking up some staples in bulk. A kg of smoked salmon is a staple right?

I even managed to find these two ginormous jars of coconut oil for very cheap (shown next to my regular size jar). I'm absolutely nuts for this stuff, so getting these alone made the trip worthwhile.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

A Very Late Weekly Weigh-In

Apparently I've been so slack that I haven't posted or weighed-in in more than two weeks! Lately almost all of my spare time has been dedicated to wedding planning and researching, so this little blog has suffered a bit.

The good news is, I have had a little loss over the last couple of weeks. The week before last I only lost 100 grams, which is nothing. My weight that week was all over the place, so any loss was a positive. Last week I lost another 400 grams, for a total of half a kilo over the two weeks. Not a significant loss, by any means, but still a step in the right direction.

The good news is I've been sticking with eating Paleo really well. It's getting easier to say no to foods I can't eat, and I'm feeling really good on it. I haven't started counting kilojoules on it, or focusing on really limiting my carbs on it yet, which might be something to look at doing to improve the slow weight loss I've had over the past couple of weeks.

I'm not sure if maybe I'm eating too many kilojoules, or not enough. Since going Paleo, I've been finding that I'm typically not as hungry, and so eat less frequently. Some days I will eat two meals and a snack, and I'm done. Other days, however, I've been lenient and let myself indulge a little more that I should, and eat more (still Paleo friendly foods). Either way, it could be affecting what I'm seeing on the scales, so will be something that I focus on for this week.

I've also been incredibly slack with drinking water and exercising. I don't know why I struggle so much with these. I go through patches where I'm really enjoying exercise and it's no effort at all, and then others when I'm just incapable of getting my butt into gear. Water seems to be a constant struggle for me. It probably doesn't help that I haven't yet tackled cutting out Pepsi Max yet. It's the one part of going Paleo that I'm yet to tackle, because I know it's going to be so difficult for me to do.

Non-Weight Loss Stuff
I thought I might start adding some more non-weight loss updates in my weigh-ins, when there's something interesting to talk about, or the mood strikes me. Obviously, weight loss is only a small part of my life and sometimes it feels like I fail to show much more of myself on here.

As I mentioned, apart from weight loss and work, lately I've been doing a whole lot of wedding planning. We're just over 12 months away from our wedding date. We our venue booked, and are at sort of a critical time for booking a whole lot of things for the wedding. We're in the process of narrowing down our choices of photographers, caterers and celebrants, and are very close to booking them. We're also starting to look into marquee and party hire, so it's all really starting to happen. We've been engaged for so long, that the fact that we've actually got a concrete date and are actively planning and booking things is scary and exciting at the same time.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Red Curry Mini Frittatas

High five for my first recipe on the blog! I've decided to share my recipe for delicious (vegetarian and Paleo-friendly) Red Curry Mini Frittatas. I make these bad boys for weeks when my schedule is going to be crazy, and I know that I won't have time to make breakfasts, snacks or lunches (they even make a tasty lazy dinner).

The coconut milk and red curry paste make these mini frittatas both tasty, and less of an eggy breakfast only food. They can be eaten fresh out of the oven, reheated or cold.

What you'll need:

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium onion
1 medium red capsicum
3 tablespoons red curry paste*
8 eggs
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon baking powder**
Pinch of salt

What you'll need to do:

Preheat oven to 200 C (about 400 F).

Slice onion into thin wedges, and capsicum into thin 1-2 inch strips. Heat coconut oil in a pan over medium heat, and add onion and capsicum. Saute until onion is translucent and capsicum has softened. Add red curry paste and cook off for 2 minutes, or until paste becomes aromatic. Set aside and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut flour, coconut milk and baking powder. Add cooled onion, capsicum and curry paste to egg mixture, a pinch of salt and give it a good mix.

Grease a 12 muffin pan with coconut oil, and spoon in mixture. Pop into the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Be sure to turn pan after 10 minutes, if your oven is not fan forced.

When frittatas are ready, the tops should be puffed and light browned, and a skewer or fork inserted through the middle should come out clean. Take the pan out of the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the pan, before removing (you may need to run a butter knife around the outside to loosen).

Makes 12.

* Some red curry pastes include non-paleo ingredients. If you're Paleo, be sure to check the label, and if all else fails, have a go at making your own!

** Store bought baking powders can often contain non-paleo ingredients. If you're strictly Paleo, you can make your own with 2 parts cream of tartar and 1 part baking soda, or simple leave it out (this will results in still tasty but slightly less fluffy frittatas).

Monday, 2 September 2013

Going Paleo: My First Week

I’ve conquered my first week (and a bit) of the transition to the Paleo way of life. I've cooked and eaten some delicious food, and am really enjoying exploring this new way of eating.

Lamb Chops and Baked Veggies - Just one of the delicious and simple Paleo dinners from this week.

I’ve heard that the first few weeks are the hardest. Getting used to eating differently, and letting your body adjust to such a significant dietary change. It’s been a tough, but incredibly positive experience, and I thought I would share some of the details of my brief experience so far, and the main things I’ve noticed.

I had a patch, a couple of days ago, when it was like my head and stomach were screaming at me for carbs and/or sugar. All I wanted was anything in the cupboard that I can’t eat (which there is still lots of because the Fiance isn’t going Paleo and I can’t bear to throw away good food). One morning, I woke up and the Fiance had left some chocolate on the kitchen counter that he bought his dad for Father’s Day and, I am not kidding, it nearly broke me.  Other than this short patch of intense cravings, they haven’t been to bad. Occasionally I think something along the lines of “Oooh, I could really go for –insert non-paleo friendly food here-“ and then realise that no, I can’t eat that. I’ve been keeping cravings at bay by allowing myself to snack on more fruit than would probably be acceptable.

The energy that I’ve had for the last week and a half has been insane. I feel like I’ve constantly got the energy to get up and do anything. I had 5 and a half hours sleep last night, worked with kids all day, didn’t have more than a chicken leg for lunch, am still going strong and on my walk this evening I felt the urge to run up a hill. What is that?!? I have never had that urge before in my life. I expected my energy levels to be bad and/or all over the shop while my body adjusts to the changes, but it’s been the opposite. I feel amazing, and I really hope it’s the diet that’s doing it, because I don’t want it to stop!

Sleep has been the one downside to all this energy. I’ve had a lot of trouble getting to sleep lately. I’ve found myself awake some mornings until 1am and still not tired. Then, the next morning, waking up is impossible. Once I’m up, I’m good, but waking up has been a big struggle.

I was expecting some weird mood swings coming off of carbs and sugar. I didn't think I was eating a lot of sugar, but I am amazed at just how much they manage to sneak into everything! Luckily, my mood has been mostly stable. I had a couple of cranky patches, where I was incredibly grumpy for no particular reason, but they were very short and nothing compared to good ol’ PMS.

There have also been a few lessons learned this week. Things that have been important for being successful so far, and that I need to keep in mind.

 Prepare and Plan Ahead
Not just my usual casual planning, but knowing and having on hand everything for every meal and snack is almost essential. If I run out of something, haven’t got something or don’t have something planned, it’s much too easy to revert back to eating poorly. Being prepared is also important mentally. Knowing that I always have food and meals on hand makes it so much easier to ride out cravings.

Cravings Will Pass
Despite the strong cravings I had, a day or two on and they are gone. I’m going good now. I know that they will come back, but they will also calm down if I DON’T feed them. On the flip side, if I do feed them, then I’m only going to have to fight them harder for longer.

Eat Fat
It helps keep you full and fuelled. This has been really hard to get my head around, because every part of my previous food experience tells me that fat is bad and should be avoided at all costs. It’s already becoming clear, however, how important fats are in keeping me satiated. Eating a lean Paleo meal means I’m hungry and snacking on sugary fruit about an hour after a meal, whereas a meal with some fat to it seems to keep me going for quite a while.

Start Slow and Go Easy On Yourself 
I feel like I’ve gone for a fair bit at once, cutting out grains, legumes, non-natural sugars and basically anything not 100% natural. It’s definitely been manageable, and encompasses some of the most major aspects of the diet, but switching to Paleo completely all at once would just not work for me (especially living with someone who’s not making the switch). From what I’ve heard and read, going cold turkey has worked wonders for some, but it’s ok if it doesn’t. Finding what works, and what is sustainable long term is more important than the pace.

So far, going Paleo has been a predominantly positive experience. I'm seeing changes that I would never have expected to see so soon, and overall I feel amazing. I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I continue to feel this good, because although this way of eating makes sense to me, I won't be able to say whether it is the right choice until I've given it time. For now, I'm excited to keep pushing onward.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Weekly Weigh-In

First real week of my slow transition to Paleo down, and I am happy to report a solid loss of 1.4 kilograms! This made me so excited when I jumped on the scales this morning, because I had no idea what to expect.

I stuck to my Paleo inspired eating goals of no whole foods, no grains or legumes and no non-naturally occurring sugars (i.e. anything other than natural sugars in fruit and honey) pretty well. The only real deviation I made was my daily Pepsi Max (which I am dreading giving up) and yesterday when I had a couple of dolmades as a snack. They contained what is safe to assume was bleached white rice (rice seems to be a bit of a Paleo grey area depending on who you talk to, with some people saying it's ok as long as it's polished white rice, not chemically treated white rice or any form of brown rice) and some sort of plant oil.

I haven't counted calories, at all. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most days I would have been over my daily intake, yet I had a really good loss. I had decided at the beginning of the week to let myself eat whenever I was hungry, to make the week easier (and more likely to be successful). That seemed to work really well, as I didn't feel trapped or stressed by the changes. I had a couple of night when I was ravenous and ate more than I would normally allow myself, but for the most part I found that I stayed really satiated after a meal for a long period of time.

Today's weigh in was really positive (the first positive one in a while), and it was really motivating to see such a good loss with the changes to my eating.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Going Paleo

I've waited for a little bit to write this post on my transition into the Paleo way of eating, because I wanted to be sure that it was something that I really want to do (the diet, not the post). The Paleo (A.K.A primal, caveman, ancestral, etc.) diet was something that I became introduced to in a very superficial way when I started reading a lot of health and weight loss blogs. I definitely wrote it off as a fad diet, which was something that I just wasn't interested in, in my efforts to get healthy. I didn't really explore it or endeavor to learn much about it, for that reason.

Then, in a comment on a recent post of mine, Josh from 700 Pounds is as Bad as it Sounds (check out his blog if you haven't read it) recommended that I watch the documentary Fat Head, made by comedian Tom Naughton. In short, it's a sort of response to the documentary Super Size Me that disproves a lot of the findings from the movie. More than that, it addresses some of the misinformation that we accept to be true in the modern diet. Some of the information in the documentary was absolutely mind blowing, and seemed to be backed up by at least some science. I decided to do a bit of research about the movie and to look into whether the claims in the movie were backed up by good science.

From what I could see, it had a pretty solid foundation of research behind it, which made me more and more intrigued. I looked more into Tom Naughton, and found out that he now followed and was a big advocate for the Paleo diet. From there, my interest in the Paleo diet was kind of piqued, and I slowly began actually looking into what it was and what it was based on. I spent quite a few weeks doing a lot of online research and finding out more. What I found really made sense to me.

I like the idea of whatever diet I am going to consume being heavily supported by research. Paleo really ticks this box for me. Although I initially assumed it to be simply copying what our primal ancestors consumed, it is actually supported up by quite a significant body and research and science. There seems to be a lot of consideration for what nutritional research is saying about eating for optimal health, and from what I've seen has a big role in the culture of the Paleo community. I'm way too green to explain more about Paleo, and won't presume to know basically anything about it, so for anyone who's interested I would recommend starting with Robb Wolf's website for a really simple explanation.

So, over the last couple of weeks, I've been letting everything I've learned sink in. I've weighed up whether or not I think that Paleo is something that I want to do, given that it will mean some really extreme dietary changes. I gave it time to see if my interest went away, but it really didn't. I've been really excited by the whole idea. So, in the last week and a half, I've decided to start attempting a slow transition into trialing Paleo eating for myself.

Right now, I'm working on eating almost completely whole foods and taking out some of the most commonly avoided foods in Paleo, like grains, legumes and non-natural sugars.  I'm barely dipping my toe in and I've already felt some improvements in my energy. I've also had some negative reactions, which I'm told are normal in the early stages as the body adjusts to fueling itself with a new fuel source (i.e. proteins and fats, rather than carbohydrates).

It hasn't been easy, especially when it comes to figuring out exactly what I can eat, but I feel really good about it. I feel like, given the current evidence base (which may and probably will change), I'm doing what makes most sense for my health right now. Absolutely not just for weight loss, but for my long term physiological health. I'm approaching this trial run with what I hope is a bit of healthy skepticism, but I'm excited to see if there really are any benefits to eating the Paleo way.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Weekly Weigh-In

Blergh. Just a quick update to say I've had another crazy up and down weight week. Today my scales said I've put on two kilograms in two days... I haven't been eating badly, or doing anything different. Even if I had that swing seems a bit extreme. I have no idea what my crazy body is up to. The only cause I can think of for all of the wacky weight changes is this very persistent cold I've been fighting.

It's been hanging around for more than two weeks now, but I'm finally feeling on the mend. Hopefully this week my weight will at least be somewhat consistent. If I'm lucky I may even be able to lose a little bit of weight!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Weekly Weigh-In

Eep, I meant to get this up on Sunday, and three days later I'm finally getting around to it! Better late than never I suppose! So, last week was ALL over the place weight wise. On Sunday, I weighed myself and had lost 0.3 kg since the Sunday before. Not bad, but strange seeing as on the Wednesday I had weighed myself and the scales seemed to think I had lost more than 2.5 kg...

I have no idea what that's all about, and I'm just going to put it down to the effects of this cold that I still cannot shake after 2 weeks, and the fact that I did treat myself more than a little for my birthday.

Regardless of weight loss, I'm pretty happy with last week. Yes, I could have done without a few dinners out and treats, but aside from the birthday celebrations, I was REALLY good. I ate very low carb pretty much all week, and kept my kilojoules down as well. Exercise wasn't quite so good, because I did none. I kept putting it off because I was worried that the freezing early morning walks might make me more sick and I couldn't risk that because of work. In the end I should have just gone, because this cold doesn't seem to want to get better regardless of what I do.

Probably the worst thing I did last week though, was visit my local San Churro Chocolateria with some friends AFTER a dinner out. We ordered a whole heap of naughty chocolaty food and drinks, and it was delicious. See the drink that looks like someone's melted a chocolate bar into a mug? That was my drink. It was so thick and rich I couldn't get through half of it (thank goodness) and while we ordered a lot, we didn't get through even a third of each dessert (which we all shared). Still doesn't make it a healthy choice, but I was surprised at the moderation I was able to use.

This week I'm focusing on eating low carb and whole foods as much as possible, and learning more about nutrition. I'm finding that knowing more about food and how foods interact with the body is really motivating me.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Weekly Weigh-In: Week... I Don't Even Know

This week has been all about taking the first steps to refocusing and eating better. It's been a good chance to reflect, but not so good for losing weight. In fact, my scales tell me that I've gained a whole kilogram since yesterday! I'm not too worried about not seeing a loss this week, as my focus was more on making mental changes, and the fact that I've had the flu since Thursday has probably had an impact too.

Regardless of the lack of a loss, I'm pretty happy with how I've been this week. I've been very mindful of my eating, making much better choices. I continued to exercise daily, until I became sick. Overall, I would count this week as a good week.

In the new week, my aim is to go a bit stricter, especially with my eating. I want to start slowly reducing the amount of carbs in my diet, planning my days food and counting kilojoules. I did my weekly planning and shopping today, and I've got some yummy and healthy meals planned, which should help. I'd also like to work on getting my water intake up, again. Without fail, it is the one thing that just slips my mind. If I can get all of these things happening, even a little bit, I should hopefully see a loss this week.

The one thing that could potentially screw up my grand plans is that it's my birthday on Thursday. This means at least two dinners out this week, and probably some going easy on myself, because, you know, it's my birthday. Damn getting older! In any case, I'm going to do my best to stick to my goals this week, because there are plenty of better ways to celebrate my 25th than with food.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

I'm Stuck

In terms of my weight loss, I'm completely stuck. I haven't put on weight in months and I haven't lost it either. Instead I've just hovered within a 2 kilogram window that I can't seem to break out of. Worst of all, this isn't a dreaded plateau, it's completely self inflicted. I haven't been doing enough. Especially for the last few weeks. I haven't been bad, but I haven't been paying much attention to my food, or water intake. The only thing I have been doing is exercising.

To be honest, I am a little surprised that I haven't at least seen a slow and gradual loss, given that I have been regularly exercising and my eating hasn't been anywhere near as bad as it used to be. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't counting on this being the case, that I could just give up and still lose weight. In hindsight though, I haven't been so bad that I shouldn't have seen some loss.

I don't know why is it that I'm so stuck right now. I have patches where I'm back to doing everything right, then all of a sudden it's gone. I'm only now starting to get frustrated with myself for it. I don't know if maybe my weight loss so far has sort of been enough to make me proud of myself that I'm not as highly motivated to keep going. Or maybe I've just had an off patch that I've been too lenient with and allowed to go on for too long. I can't make sense of it, and I want to know why I'm doing it. So I can kick it in the butt and keep going, and avoid it again in the future.

I'm trying not to get too down on myself, as making myself feel guilty has never helped me. All it does is make things harder. Instead, I'm working on finding positive ways to move forward and gain back the focus on my health that I had before. Things like learning about nutrition (which I REALLY enjoy, shockingly), and getting up early to do my morning walk. If I keep focusing on these things that I enjoy doing, and setting myself small goals, hopefully I will find my way back to losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle. I really want to. I'm not satisfied with going back to where I was, and it's such a slippery slope back to that. I want to keep moving forward, for my health and my future.

Has anyone else gotten stuck, be it for a short or long while? What did you do to get out of it?

Saturday, 6 July 2013

(Not So) Weekly Weigh-In: Week 23

It's been a while since I've weighed in weekly (5 weeks to be exact), but I'm back and have put in the work this week to start getting myself back on track. As I said in my last post, I'd gained about 2 kgs in the past two weeks, after hovering around the same weight for the month that I stopped blogging. It wasn't nearly as much as I had expected to put on, so that was good. Even better is that it's come all straight back off in the past week. How's that for proving to myself that I can do it!

Seeing that big blue chunk after being so many weeks of being unmotivated feels amazing. It helps to know that as soon as I put a few simple steps into practice I see results.

This week I ate with moderation and consideration, exercised 4 days of the week and drank water. I didn't even count kilojoules this week, which is usually the first thing I am sure to do when I want to have a good week. Instead I tried to eat mostly whole foods, and stick to three smaller meals and two snacks. When I could, I kept a mental tally of the kilojoules, but not every day.

Moving forward, I've set myself a short term goal of losing 2 kgs in the next 2 weeks. I've been hovering just under the 20 kgs lost mark for nearly 3 months now, and I think it's about time I reached it. At the moment, I'm at 18.3 kgs lost, so losing 2 kgs will push me definitively beyond that point. If I can do it in 2 weeks, it will also mean that I will achieve it before heading off to Melbourne for a holiday on the 24th of this month.

I'm really happy with how I've done this week, getting myself back into good habits. After more than a month of my brain telling me it was just too hard, it was an incredible relief to see this week how easily I could get back into them. I just need to remember for next time it feels hard, that it really isn't. It's probably just my negativity and food addiction getting the better of me.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

I'm Back!

Eek... It's been over a month since my last post. To be honest, I wasn't really doing much, weight loss wise, and really had nothing to write about. The good news is, I haven't completely fallen off the wagon, but the bad news is I haven't completely stayed on. I've mostly hovered around the same weight, with a 2 kg gain over the past 2 weeks. Nothing too major, for which I am thankful.

My eating habits over the past month have been very lax. While I've tried to keep good food habits in my mind, I haven't been very strict about what food and how much of it I am eating. In fact, it's starting to get to a point where my eating habits are getting worse the longer I'm not keeping myself in check.

Exercise has been minimal, but actually better than when I last posted. I bought some new workout a few weeks ago gear (always a good motivator), and have been trying to get outside to walk as often as I can. I usually go 3 or so times a week (up until this last week, when it has rained every single day). I'm really enjoying the walks, and am managing to stay motivated even though I have to get up at 6am to do them.

I am wanting to get back to concentrating on losing weight, and have been struggling in my attempts to find the discipline to do it over the past month. I'm finally getting back some of my resolve though, so I think this is the perfect time to get back to blogging and the added motivation and reflection that it gives me. I'm also heading to Melbourne at the end of the month, which should help to keep me motivated.

In other news, this month I'll be joining in on Fat Mum Slim's July Photo A Day Challenge. Lets see how far I get. You can follow along by following me on instagram (link to the right) or check out the action using the hashtag #FMSphotoaday. If you're joining in, be sure to let me know so I can follow you.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 17

Last week I posted my first gain since I started losing weight back at the end of November. I knew gains were inevitable, but it was definitely a chance to reflect. It made me realise how important it was to me that I didn't go backwards. That's why this week it was time to get back to eating right and being good. I wasn't nearly as good as I should have been, but I must have done something right because I lost 2 kilos!

I was pretty amazed when I stepped on the scales this morning. I've done much more and lost less, so I wasn't expecting quite as big a loss. As you can see, I've still got a little chunk of last weeks gain to make back, but I can't believe I've lost nearly all of it in one week.

In terms of my short term goals to get myself back on the right track, I did ok. I recorded my kilojoules all but one day, and stayed under my kilojoule limit every day. I didn't do so well on my goal to eat no takeaway. Actually, I had it two nights in a row. I tried to make the healthiest decision I could, and avoided the types of (naughty) takeaway that are usually my weakness, so this one's a bit of a wash.

This week, I want to keep going with counting my kilojoules, and avoid takeaway all together. I would also like to start drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, and get back to reading my favourite weight loss blogs more consistently. I will report back of my progress next week!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Trigger Foods

The further I get into my weight loss, the more self-control I'm developing, but there are still some foods that I have to avoid overdoing. I like to call them trigger foods. The foods that I still have a lot of difficulty with. When I'm presented with the opportunity to eat these foods, I have a very hard time saying no, and when I do eat them, I have an even harder time stopping once I'm good and full. I've also found that the more I have them, the more I crave them, and it becomes harder to listen to the rational part of my brain that tells me I don't need it.

When I've been successful with staying away from my trigger foods, keeping to my meal plans and daily kilojoule intake is significantly easier. But, if they're around, it's almost like I revert straight back to the eating habits I had 5 months ago. Over the past couple of weeks while I wasn't really watching my eating as much, I indulged in some of these trigger foods, and I found it really hard to give them up again. It reinforced to me that this is a long and slow process, and that weight loss isn't the only measure of how far I've come. If I want to reach a place where I'm truly healthy and happy, I need to focus on changing my mind, as well as my shape. I may always have compulsive feelings towards food, but I want to work towards breaking that down as much as I can, while building on my ability to counteract it.

Here are some of my biggest triggers:

Dinner with Lourdie Szechuan Garden February 16, 2012 5

Chinese food. I love chinese food. Specifically Chow Mein and fried Dim Sims, but almost any will do.

Mmmmm Chocolate [274/366]

Chocolate. The darker the better. A little chocolate is ok, but I just cannot have any in the house. It never lasts more than a day or two between the fiance and I.


Pizza. It's just too easy to eat WAY too many slices of pizza. Doesn't help that it's usually covered in delicious cheese.

Right now my plan of attack is to abstain from my trigger foods for a while. Let myself dry out a little. I have no doubt that I will eat them again, and I really do believe that it's fine to have them in moderation. I'm not at the point where moderation with these foods is easy, but I'm working on it.

Do you have any trigger foods? If so, what are they and how do you stop them from becoming a problem?

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 16 (AKA my first gain)

So it turns out that for the past few weeks I haven't just been slack about posting on this here blog, I've also been slack on my weight loss. As a result, I've had my first gain of 2.5 kg over the past two weeks. Yikes!

Gains happen, and this one is probably overdue, but it's still not a nice feeling to slide so quickly backwards. Probably worse than knowing that I've gained weight, however, is knowing that I've made some really bad decisions and indulged in terrible habits that I was fighting so hard to break. It was getting easier to say no to the bad habits, and I still let them creep back in during a time of weakness. Now, I have to go back to the beginning and almost start again. But, if that's what I have to do, then that's what I will do.

I've seen versions of this quote posted on many blogs and pinterest boards over the last few months, and it couldn't be more relevant to me right now. I have a choice to make, and at the end of the day, neither option is easy. But there is one option that will make me happy, and I have to keep reminding myself of this.

To help me get back to it, I've broken down all of the little things that I need to do to help me stay on track:

  1. Count kilojoules - I haven't recorded kilojoules or even kept track in my head for weeks. I've spoken before about how invaluable recording my intake has been, and it's a fundamental part of getting back on track.
  2. Drinking water - I was abysmal at this before I lost the plot, but it really is important in helping me to lose weight and keep my body running well.
  3. Exercising - I have not exercised in nearly a month (eep!), and I really need to just kick myself up the butt and do it. The cold weather and end of Daylight Savings has meant that my walks on the beach have stopped, so I need to decide on a new way to get moving that will keep me motivated.
  4. Blogging more - blogging keeps me focused. Putting my thoughts down in writing helps me to better understand myself and my struggles, which in turn makes it easier to push on. Writing and talking about losing weight on a regular basis also motivates me no end, and keeps it at the forefront of my mind. Not to mention, I'm incredibly motivated and cheered on by the amazing people who stop by this space every now and then and even leave comments. We may be strangers but you've already done so much to help me along my way, so thank you.
  5. Reading weight loss blogs - I've found some amazing weight loss blogs over the past few months, whose writers inspire and delight me. Unfortunately, I've been neglecting them too over the past month, and it's high time to get back to reading them regularly.
  6. Organising my weekly meals - this is something that I was pretty fantastic at until very recently (if I to say so myself) and it helped to keep me on track. This week I will get back into the habit of creating a weekly meal plan and doing my regular once a week shop.
  7. Say no to takeaway - I will not eat takeaway this week. I will not eat takeaway this week. I will not eat takeaway this week. I will not eat takeaway this week. Takeaway food is a big downfall for me. It's rarely healthy and is one of those trigger foods that I tend to lose control over. I am more likely to binge on takeaway food that anything I make at home. Unfortunately we've recently found a new Chinese restaurant that does a yummy chow mein with the most delicious crunchy noodles. I could eat those crunchy noodles by the kilo. But I will not, no matter how delicious those crunchy little bastards are.
  8. Set time aside for me - I need time to be selfish. Work has been really picking up lately, which is amazing, but it's left me a little time poor. Taking even a little chunk of time and only doing something I feel like doing will help me to feel less busy and out of control.
There are a lot of steps to take, and I could probably even add some more, but I will take my time and do what I can. I would love to jump straight back to doing all of these things simultaneously, but it's definitely more realistic to look at it as a gradual thing. If nothing else, this week I would like to count my kilojoules and not eat takeaway. These two things are pretty achievable, yet important. I will let you know how I go!

Have you ever had a gain and/or fallen off track? If so, what helped you to get back on track?

Friday, 10 May 2013

3 Month Progress Pictures!

It's time for my three month progress pictures! I took my before pictures when I started this blog, which was two months (and nine kilograms) into my actual weight loss. So, it's been three months since then and I've been a bit anxious about taking the progress pictures, if I'm honest. In my mind I know I've lost a lot of weight, but there's something different about seeing it in pictures. Anyway, check them out below.

The top picture is my before photo, and the bottom ones I took just over a week ago. I think I see a bit of a difference, which is exciting. It's hard to tell because of the slight difference in scale and poor quality (for which I apologise, I am definitely not talented when it comes to arranging or scaling pictures), but I definitely think that it's there.

It looks like my general shape has changed and shrunk a bit, and my butt seems to be smaller. The main point of difference that I've noticed in the mirror, which you can't really tell from the before picture because my arm is in the way, is in my back. In the second picture, the curve of my back comes in quite far, which it never used to.

I wasn't expecting to see an enormous difference in these progress photos, but I'm really happy with the changes I can see. It's very hard for me to look at myself objectively, so I'm not really sure just how much of a difference I notice in these pictures, but there definitely IS a difference. There's no doubt that my body is slowly shrinking, and my clothes and measurements are confirming that at the moment.

Now that these progress photos are done, I can't wait to take my six month progress photos to compare to my befores. I definitely think I will see some good changes in those!

If you're on a weight loss mission too, let me know in the comments below if you've taken any before and during/after photos, and the biggest changes you've noticed since starting to drop the weight.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 14

I'm back! I apologise for my lack of posts over the past two weeks, I've been so very slack. Because I didn't weigh in last week, this weeks post is a bit of a two-for-one. I'm happy to report a loss of 0.7 kg over the last two weeks.

I was pretty happy when I finally stepped back on the scales today and saw a loss. The last two weeks haven't been my best. Some bad news has made it a stressful time, and I've let myself slide. I've been mindful not to gorge myself like I would have pre-fresh start, but I have had more naughty meals than I should have.

To be completely honest, I'm feeling frustrated at the moment. I feel like I'm constantly trying to get back on the wagon, and every time I do something goes wrong to knock me off. Though I'm proud of myself for not going back to old habits when this happens, I'm frustrated that I haven't been able to keep up any sort of momentum. I'm hoping that the ability to maintain focus and good habits even through bad times is something that comes with time, and at the end of the day all that matters is that I'm still here willing to do what it takes to get back to it. Here's hoping that I get back to a place where I feel more consistent.

This week, it's time for my 3 months progress photos, so be sure to check back for those soon! I'm anxious but excited to see if there's a noticible difference.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Some Unwanted Perspective

Losing weight takes a certain level of selfishness. It's a difficult time that takes an incredible degree of focus placed firmly on yourself. I've been keenly aware of how hard it is. I think about it a lot. I pat myself on the back when I overcome all of my little hurdles, and I occasionally feel overwhelmed by the difficulty of what I'm trying to achieve. Sometimes I get sad or mad, because I've got so much hard work in front of me. And I do have a lot of work in front of me, but that's it. It's just hard work. It's only weight loss. It's only food. If this is the hardest thing that I have to do this year, then I am lucky.

Apart from my weight, I am a happy and healthy person. I can and am changing the worst thing in my life. Regardless of how crap this whole thing can be, I have the power to do something about it. I have the freedom of choice. I should be incredibly grateful to have that.

I'm sad to say that this realisation has come because someone I love very much going through something horrible and beyond their control. Life has been incredibly unfair to them, and has been generous enough to make my biggest care in the world something that lies in my hands. I feel like the worlds biggest jerk for ever feeling down for what I've gone through. It's not right how much thought I've given to how difficult my journey was going to be, when I should have been thanking the universe that I have choice on my side.

Right now, I'm feeling very sadly humbled by this new perspective. I know that it makes no difference to the person to whom I owe it. I really wish it did. The only thing I can take from it is the resolve to use the opportunities I am given and to not take them for granted. 

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 12

Time to welcome back the pie chart this week, because I had a loss! I'm absolutely stoked to report losing 0.8 kgs.

I haven't been anywhere near perfect this week. The only thing I've REALLY done is eat right, so I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I'd shed for the week.

There is definitely something to be said for being organised. In my mind I was expecting to have a lot of difficulty this week and only a small loss, knowing how busy I was expecting to be, coupled with how unfocused I was the week before. Instead, eating well was fairly easy, as I'd organised my meals well before hand. In the end, I've had a couple of nights where I didn't make my planned meals, because the boy wasn't going to be home for dinner. But, having fresh food there ready to go meant I didn't fall into the trap of buying or making something bad.

This week I'm hoping to find a bit more motivation and time to get out and get some exercise. If I can do that, and keep up my good food habits then I should be in for another good week. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Guess Who Didn't Count Their Kilojoules Last Week...

...and remembered why it is so important! If you saw my weigh in from last week, you probably also saw that I had a bit of a naughty week. I got busy, lost some focus, and as a result I skipped a lot of things I shouldn't have, including recording my intake. While a bad week isn't really fun, it really helped to reinforce for me that I NEED to count kilojoules. It really works for me, and when I don't I tend to over-eat, under-eat, forget things that I've eaten and eat bad, bad foods. Basically I go a bit crazy and all over the place.

I did much better than I thought I would have. I didn't resort to my old eating habits, and I still tried to eat really good nutritious foods, but I did see a lot of issues that I don't really have when I'm on top of my kilojoules. It helps in so many little ways, like:

It keeps me accountable. What gets measured gets done. 'Tis true. Having an accurate account of all of the food that I've eaten somehow keeps me responsible and making better choices. I think that knowing my kilojoule happy zone, and have a running tally to compare it to makes me step back and really think if more food is worth it. I know that if I step over the happy zone, that I'm doing myself a disservice and taking away from the progress that I'm working so hard to keep going.

It stops me from overlooking foods. If one good thing came out of not counting kilojoules for the last week, it's that I'm now more confident in my ability to keep a mental count. I did pretty well. Despite that, though, there were sometimes foods I'd consumed that I would overlook or forget later in the day (seriously I have a mind like a sieve). Most of the time this probably isn't/wasn't a big deal, but keeping a record prevents it from becoming an issue.

It helps me to tell when I'm trying to eat for non-hunger reasons. Sometimes I just want food because I want food. When this happens, I don't always have very good reasoning skills and having a record of my food that day can help me to see quite clearly when I'm wanting to eat just for the sake of it.

It makes me think about my choices every day. If I have to log my foods into my records every day, then everyday I am forced to think about my weight loss and what I'm doing to get healthy. If I think about it daily, then it's easier to stay on track and motivated. I won't let it slip as easily.

It helps to control my portions. While eating healthy food is a great thing, it doesn't help me if I'm eating too much. Calculating kilojoules and recording them gives me a really good idea of how much of anything I should eat, and makes me stick to it. Especially because I can easily see how quickly eating that little bit extra adds up.

I know this post has turned into a bit of an ode to kilojoule counting, but it really does help me so very much. Out of any of the many tools and strategies I am using to lose weight, it is by far the most valuable. Last week helped me to learn a really good lesson, and I'm keen to keep going.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 11

Where has this week gone? I apologise for being so MIA here on the blog and on twitter this week. Life has been so unexpectedly hectic and it's meant that I've let this space slide a little. Unfortunately it's also meant that I've let my good weight loss habits slide, and as a result I've lost a big fat nothing.

I'm not surprised by my lack of a loss at all this week. I have had the most atrocious week, where my focus was nowhere to be found. I'm a little surprised I didn't see my first gain, actually. In terms of food, I've been all over the shop. Some days I've eaten almost nothing and been far, far to low on kilojoules. Others, I've just sort of eaten what I wanted without keeping track of kilojoules and ended up way over what I budgeted for. Either way, I haven't given enough attention to my food and eating, and my body probably doesn't know which way is up at the moment.

This week will probably be a bit crazy again, but my aim is to be more organised and remember to prioritise my food habits. The week just gone had kind of caught me by surprise, and if I can plan to be busy, then hopefully I'll be more successful and be able to get myself back on track.

If you have any tips or advice for maintaining good habits while busy, please leave let me know in the comments. I'll take any help I can get!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 10

Only another itty bitty loss of 0.5 kg this week. I say itty bitty, but really it's a decent loss and I'm not unhappy with it at all.

This week I've had a lot of trouble with my appetite. I've had none. It's meant that a lot of days this week I've struggled to eat enough to get to my absolute minimum necessary energy intake, and when that happens my weight loss slows down significantly. I'm not exactly sure why this happens, but it's definitely a sign that eating that little is not good. The problem is, I've never really had this problem before, so I don't know what to do. I really don't want to resort to eating junk foods loaded with sugars and fats, just to bulk up my intake. Hopefully my appetite will right itself soon, because I'm keen for a really good week.

In more exciting news, the fiancé and I booked a trip to Melbourne for the end of July to see the Liverpool game while they're here. I've never been to Melbourne before and am so, so excited. It's also a bit of extra motivation to keep going strong with my weight loss. Especially considering it will mean a little bit of shopping beforehand to ensure I don't freeze my butt of while I'm there.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Cracker Youtube Exercise and Fitness Channels

Confession time. I'm a bit of a Youtube junkie. I watch Youtube daily and am absolutely addicted to watching beauty, comedy and nutrition videos. My latest obsession, on the 'tube, however, has been exercise videos, and I thought I'd share some of my favourite channels and workouts today.

Youtube has done a lot of growing up in the last few years, and now has a lot of really decent and professionally presented content. While you'll still find a whole host of dodgy iPhone shot amateur workouts or illegally uploaded rips of copyrighted material, there are also a great deal of high quality fitness and exercise channels by fitness professionals and enthusiasts. The best thing about it to, is that it's free!

The first channel that I've been loving is Yoga Vidya. It's videos are mostly yoga and meditation related, and they have an awesome range of beginners videos. Probably not surprisingly my favourite at the moment is their 20 minute class for complete beginners.

My next favourites are the Lean Machine boys. The fellas have a heap of home workout videos, tips, tricks and useful information. They are also phenomenal eye candy.

Finally, for their whole host of different aerobic style videos I've been using Fitness Blender. Their videos are really easy to follow and each movement is well explained. They also have a range of intensities, target areas and workout lengths. The one I've really been liking is their Beginner Boot Camp Workout.

The ability to access free and good quality exercise videos on Youtube makes working out so easy. If the channels and workouts in the post aren't up your street, then with a bit of a look around I'm almost certain you will be able to find something that you will enjoy too.

Let me know in the comments if you've used workout videos from Youtube before, and definitely leave any recommendations from channels or videos I should take a look at!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 9

Firstly, I apologise for being so MIA here on the blog this week. To tell the truth I just didn't have anything to write about. I've had a pretty solid week, but nothing special has happened and so I've not had a lot to share.

I do today, though, due to having had such a good week I've lost one full kg! Just look at that gorgeous big chunk of blue pie chart!

This weeks loss also means that I've pushed past the quarter mark on my way to my major weight loss goal, which is incredibly exciting. At times the thought of how far I have to go can be overwhelming, but it only took four short months to hit this quarter mark. In my mind I'm still only just starting out, and I keep thinking of myself as if I'm still at my starting weight.

This week coming I want to continue my good food and exercise habits. The only thing I want/need to work on is my water intake. I had a few good days at the beginning of the week, but by the end have kinda lost it. In general my water intake is slowly getting better, though, and with a bit of work I'm sure it will turn into a habit soon enough.

Lastly, Happy Easter! I'm celebrating by eating no chocolate and doing my weekly shopping as usual. How exciting my life is! How are you celebrating?

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 8

Another week, another weigh-in. Only a little one of half a kilo this week. Check out the teeny tiny blue slice below (you may need a magnifying glass).

I would have liked a bigger loss this week, but can only blame myself. I had an amazing week up until Friday, when I was much too naughty on a night out with my fabulous girlfriends and our men. It also didn't help that I've been incapacitated after a bit of a fall on Tuesday at work, when I took some big chunks out of my foot. As a result, I've been unable to walk, let alone exercise. The good news is my foot is healing nicely and I've been able to get back to regular exercising. I'm also back to being focused and am ready for the week ahead.

One great thing that happened this week (today in fact), is that I HAD to go shopping for some new clothes. I've gotten to the point that most of my clothes are too big! I've gone down a full clothing size, which was a really amazing feeling. Maybe even more impressive, I had nothing but positive thoughts when I was in the change rooms trying them on. Definitely a weight loss highlight of the week!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

The World's Fattest Cat and Other Things That Weigh As Much As I've Lost

The week before last I wrote about struggling to see changes despite having lost quite a lot of weight. I've lost a shade over 15 kg so far, which I feel is quite a significant amount. I've also worked incredibly hard to lose every fraction of those 15 kgs (roughly 34 pounds), and was growing impatient to be rewarded with changes I could notice.

To give myself some perspective, I decided to do a bit of research. What I found was pretty mind boggling! Check out my list of things that weigh as much as I've lost:

  • An average 4 year old
  • A cinder block
  • A slightly above average beagle (or 3 to 4 dachshunds)
  • The leg of an average adult
  • The world's fattest cat
  • Adele's dress at this years Oscars

I think that list accurately demonstrates just how much I've achieved over the last 3 and a half months. In my mind, I know that I need to be a little bit more patient. The changes that I'm looking for will come with time, and I'm quite a sizeable chunk of the way towards getting there. I just can't believe I've lost a chubby beagle!

For fun, I challenge all of you reading this to find something that weighs what you've lost so far, and tell me in the comments below!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

My BIG Weight Loss Motivation

For me, there are a million and one reasons to lose weight. They range from the trivial to the serious, but none were enough to get me to lose weight and stick to it. Not until I got engaged. Not until I began thinking about and planning my wedding to my amazing fiancé.

Every bride wants to look beautiful on their wedding day. I'm no different, of course, but it goes so much deeper than that. I want to be able to stand in front of all my family and friends, and celebrate our love without a second thought about my weight. I want to look back on photos and see nothing but happiness and love. If I get married, feeling the way that I feel about myself now, I will always have my weight and the way I look in the back of my head. I owe my fiancé and myself more than that.

Big milestones also have a way of making you think about your life and the future. I started to ask myself what I wanted for my future, for our future together. What did I want it to look like? One definite answer was that I didn't want to keep living like I was. I didn't want to hide because I was ashamed of my weight. I wanted to be able to have fun and enjoy life with Sean. We have have been gifted with an amazing life and relationship, and I realised that I hadn't been making the most of it.

Each day I work towards losing weight I'm working towards our future. We're going to have a beautiful wedding in which I am able to celebrate, no holds barred, the love that Sean and I share.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Weekly Weigh-In Week 7

Another week, another weigh-in! I upped my game this week and lost myself a whole kilo.

One kg isn't a big loss, but it's definitely a good loss. Especially when there are *ahem* reasons *ahem* that mean I'm holding a bit of water at the moment.

Anywho... I've had another great week on plan this week. I've been eating well, drinking water and exercising regularly. Lots of back patting has been administered. I joke, obviously, but I am truly proud of the determination and follow-through I've been showing for the past couple of weeks. I know there will be bad weeks to come, but this week was one of those where what I'm striving for has been clear in my mind and I've been motivated to work towards it.

The only "bad" day I've had this week was yesterday, for my fiance, Sean's birthday. Because it was a special day, we both decided to have the day off from kilojoule counting and eating strictly. We did eat a few things that we wouldn't have otherwise (like my home made key lime pie), but overall I was still good. Usually, when I'm trying to lose weight and have a day off for a special occasion, I go straight back to binge eating and I make sure that I make up for lost time with the worst foods I can find. Something has changed this time, and though there was a little part of me that wanted to revert back to my old ways, the majority of me was just not interested. I've worked so hard to get to where I am now, attitude wise, that I'm not willing to take a step back. For me this was huge!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Getting Moving!

This week I'm trying to knuckle down and get serious about exercising. Up until now I've been focusing a lot on food and battling compulsive eating behaviours, so exercise hasn't been a huge priority. Now that healthy eating is becoming easier and more routine, though, it's time to get to my fitness!

I'm not going to lie, I hate exercising. I find it so difficult to just get off of my butt and get moving. In the past, a lot of this has stemmed from worrying about people seeing me and judging. Writing that now doesn't make a whole lot of sense, as I know that almost no one would judge someone for exercising, and anyone who did is just an arsehole. But it really stopped me from even considering doing something as simple as going for a walk. To overcome this I would tell myself that I would do fitness tapes at home where no one would see me, and I would be comfortable. The problem was, I just didn't find them motivating. I've never stuck to them.

This time around, I'm getting over my fear of getting out there because... I just don't care. Something has changed this time and I'm not worried about any of the things that would usually prevent me from going for it. Maybe I'm more motivated or have stopped making excuses for myself, but I'm actually looking forward to exercising and am finding things that I enjoy.

I'm starting out slow by going for a walk on the beach each day. I live in a coastal town and am literally just down the road from one of the most beautiful beaches.

A Hunger for Happiness | Getting Moving

Technically it's two bays joined together and to walk them both and back is around 30 minutes, which is perfect to start me off.

I'm absolutely loving going for these walks. I spent my childhood at the beach with my surfer Dad, so I have a huge love for the beach. The smell of the salt air  the sand, the waves. I adore everything about the beach and hate that I've avoided it for so long because of my weight. Being there also makes me really excited to lose the weight and feel comfortable to go for a swim.

Just for fun, here are a couple of the photos I took of the rock pools.

A Hunger for Happiness | Getting Moving

A Hunger for Happiness | Getting Moving

I'm so glad that I've found something that I'm enjoying. It makes getting started so much easier. I'm looking forward to getting out and doing some more exploring while getting fit as well!

Let me know what you've found, that works to keep you motivated and working out in the comments!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 6

Only a small loss of 0.5 kg this week. It's not a particularly great loss, but I've had a good week on plan. I know there will be weeks where I do everything perfectly and see little or no loss, so I'm not unhappy with the loss.

I am really happy with how disciplined I've been this week. Sticking to everything has been simpler than ever, and it feels like each week is becoming easier. This coming week I hope to keep up my good work, and hopefully I'll be rewarded with a bigger loss.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Tiny (Imagined?) Changes

I once heard someone compare weight loss to a roll of paper towel (no really, stay with me). When you start a new roll, taking off five or so sheets doesn't appear to change the size of the roll. As the roll gets smaller, however, taking off the same number of sheets starts to make a more noticeable different to the rolls size. Still with me?

So far I'm down nearly 15 kgs, which I'm sure anyone would agree is a lot of weight. The problem is, because I've got so much to lose, the changes I think that I'm seeing are almost imperceptible. They're so small that I almost feel like I'm imagining things.

The one place I'm almost sure I'm starting to see a difference is in my face. My cherub cheeks are a little less plump and my spare chins are shrinking away. I'm also fairly sure that my clothes are getting looser. I haven't shrunk out of anything yet, but it feels like most of my clothes are sitting a lot better on me. Other than that though, it's impossible to tell.

I've been working hard for three months now, and I really can't wait to see some concrete physical changes to be excited about. I'm not getting down about it, but I really want to be able to look in the mirror and see that all of the good things I have been doing are showing.

Has anyone else felt the same at some point? And when did you first notice that you could see a difference?

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Weekly Weigh-In: Week Five

I've been working hard to get back on track after no loss last week, and have been rewarded with a 1.2 kg loss!

I've still got more to work on, after last week. I haven't really exercised at all this week, and my water intake has been a bit hit and miss. On the plus side, I have been really good with my eating and my motivation is definitely back.

Even though it hasn't been a perfect week, I've been able to prove to myself that I can come back from a really bad one. 

Thursday, 28 February 2013

One Month In!

I've just realised that I've been blogging for a whole month! When I started I was so nervous about putting myself out there and the response I would get. I needn't have been, because it's been such a positive experience so far. It's been both motivating and cathartic.

Without a doubt, though, the best part of this whole thing has been connecting with some inspiring and wonderfully encouraging people. I love following the journeys of others who are themselves working on losing weight and/or improving their health, as well as hearing their thoughts and encouragement on my own experiences. To anyone who has been reading and following this blog, and to anyone who does so in the future, thank you. Just having you here is motivating me to make the positive changes I want to in my life.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Food Fight

I've said it before and I'll no doubt say it an inordinate number of times again, that for me weight loss begins and ends with food. In today's post, I wanted to share what I'm doing, food-wise, to battle the fat.

1. Kilojoule Counting
Years of horrific eating have left me with almost no sense of how good or bad foods are, nor how much of them I should eat. Having a daily kilojoule limit of between 5000 and 6000 kilojoules (roughly 1200 to 1430 calories), and keeping a record of everything I eat helps enormously to correct for this lack of knowledge. Doing it religiously also keeps me accountable and firmly planted in reality about what I'm eating. It makes seeing mistakes in my eating a breeze and takes away the ability for me to fall into denial about what I've eaten.

At the moment I'm using a free version of the Shape Up app on my phone. It's a decent enough app (although the features are a little limited with the free version) and it's handy to be able to input my foods on the go. The only reason I use this over MyFitnessPal is because it has the option to use kilojoules. Here in Australia pretty much all food labelling uses kilojoules, rather than calories, to measure energy. MyFitnessPal looks to be the better app, but unfortunately they still don't have the option to record or measure in kilojoules.

2. Meal Replacement Shakes
Meal replacements have always been something that I looked down on and had no interest in. When my partner started on a meal replacement scheme to lose weight last year, I repeatedly voiced my concerns about how healthy they were. In the end, I struggled so much trying to lose weight with food, because I couldn't curb my compulsive and binge eating behaviours, that I caved and gave it a go. I'm glad I did because I've really benefited from the structure it provides. Sustaining myself with something other than typical foods has also allowed me to start addressing my compulsive food habits and building willpower.

The meal replacement plan I use is by Herbalife. Their weight loss plan involves replacing two meals a day with shakes and taking nutritional supplements with all meals to ensure adequate nutrient intake. The shakes are made from Herbalife's powder formula and your milk of choice. Depending on what milk you use, the shakes are fairly low in kilojoules. Currently, I use the shakes dependent on my mood. If I just can't do a shake, then I'm pretty happy to change it with a healthy meal.

3. Eating Lots of Vegetables, Fruits and Whole Foods
Bodies love that stuff. I partake in the school of thinking that our bodies are made to consume this stuff and so probably benefit from a diet high in foods that are natural. While I haven't eliminated processed foods from my diet (see point 2 above), I try to focus on adding and substituting in lots whole foods, especially vegetables. It helps to keep my kilojoules down, while making sure my body is getting lots of nutrients.

4. Drinking Water
I know water is not a food, but maintaining adequate hydration helps me to feel less hungry. The body has difficulty distinguishing between hunger and thirst signals, and often when I'm underhydrated I tend to feel hungry more often and end up eating more. This was part of the difficulties I had last week. Proper hydration is no doubt also important in helping the digestive system do it's job.

Although not all of these things will work for everyone, they have been really working for me so far. I think the key is to find out what makes sense to you and what you can reasonably stick to. Let me know what food based plans you're using and having success with!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Weekly Weigh-In: Week Four

No loss for me this week. If I'm completely honest with myself I kind of expected it. I've been BAD this week. Especially the last few days, when I've almost let myself eat whatever I want.

Even though it was expected, getting on the scales and seeing that those numbers haven't changed made me feel pretty discouraged. I've been going so well so far and I knowingly blew my diet. I let myself fall back into my old mindset about food. For almost three months I've been fighting so hard to escape it, that I'm disappointed in myself for giving in.

Despite my disappointment, I'm going to try not to beat myself up. Instead, I need to focus getting back on track. Starting this whole weight loss attempt, I knew there would be days and weeks like this where I would falter. I made a deal with myself that when it happened, big or small, I would pick myself up and keep going. That's what I intend to do.

                                                                        Source: Uploaded by user via Rylie on Pinterest

For clarity's sake, here is what I did wrong this past week and what I need to address for the next:

  • Let myself eat for eating sake, and not because of hunger
  • Gave in to food cravings, resulting in poor food choices
  • Didn't make my usual weekly meal plan and go shopping to stock up for it all at once
  • Barely drank water
  • Did not get up and moving, even once!
  • Forgot why I was doing all of this and how far I've come

Starting today I'm back on track and whether I lose weight next week or not, I am going to be able to say that I gave my best and didn't let a hurdle overcome me!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Weight Loss Bucket List

Since I’ve started losing weight, I’ve been thinking so much about the future and the things I want to achieve and do. Some are directly weight related, some I physically can’t do because of my weight and a lot are things I won’t do because of how I feel about myself.  I’ve been trying to write them down as I’ve thought of them, and have compiled a heap of them into a sort of weight loss bucket list. As well as this post, I’ll be adding the list to a permanent page, which you can find in the menu just under the blog header. This way I can add to it and (more excitingly) mark them off as I do them.
  • Get under 100 kgs
  • Get under 80 kgs
  • Buy a pair of swimmers
  • Feel comfortable enough to go to the beach
  • Feel comfortable enough to go for walks outside
  • Find a fun outdoor activity to enjoy
  • Host a party
  • Dance at a party
  • Go overseas
  • Shop in regular sizes
  • Ride a horse
  • Go skiing or snowboarding
  • Learn to run
  • Go camping
  • Be more adventurous
  • Buy (and wear) a dress that sits above my knees

My progress so far, both weight and mentally, has made me feel so positive and excited for the future. I can’t wait to see some of these checked off!

Let me know in the comments below if you have any weight loss goals and what they are. Also, feel free to leave a link if you have a list like mine. I’d love to have a look!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Weekly Weigh-In: Week Three

So it's week three! Time is flying since I started this blog, and this is really only my second weigh-in after my scales carked it last week.

I've kept up my momentum and dropped 2.5 kg's in the last two weeks, for a total of 13 kg's lost.

I'm really happy with the loss. After feeling really unmotivated with my eating just a week ago, this past week has felt very easy and settled. Sticking to eating right has been almost effortless. After two and a half months, eating better and eating less is becoming more and more habitual. I know there will be hard patches again, but right now I feel so encouraged by the feeling that my body is starting to relearn how to eat.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A Look At My History as a Fatty

I’ve always been “bigger”. This freaked my Mum (who I now realise had some body issues of her own) out no end when I was a kid. When I was two, I was a bit of a chubbette. My Mum was so concerned about my weight, she took me to a doctor for testing. I don’t really recall any instances where my weight was mentioned or talked about, but I do remember knowing that I was big and that my parents thought of me as big.

As you probably can imagine, I grew up very conscious of my body and weight. I can remember being eleven and feeling embarrassed because I couldn’t wear cool clothes, like my nine year old sister, because I would look bad in them. Around the same time, in the late 90’s, when midriff tops were all the rage, I decided to wear one, one day. I sucked my stomach in so hard and for so long that I gave myself a horrific stomach ache.

Looking back, I realise how overly conscious I was of my body at such a young age. I took this with me into high school and added to it with the typical body issues that happen for most during puberty. In my mind I labelled myself as the fat kid and had some seriously rock bottom self-esteem. Throughout high school I often felt severely socially inept and at times overly defensive, because I let my weight and feelings about it get me down. The dumb thing is, I was never really bullied at school, and I had some really great friends who never did anything to make me feel like I was different. It was all in me that made me feel that way.

High School was also pretty tough for family reasons as well. I won’t go into detail here, but looking back, it was when food really turned into a coping mechanism for me. I would eat to feel better, and I would eat A LOT.

In Year 11, I met a wonderful boy and started dating him. Nearly 8 years on, we are still together and are engaged. This man loves me harder than I ever imagined possible, and I him. Unfortunately for both of us, over the years we have not only grown up together, but also out. We've bonded over food, shown love with food, comforted each other with food, and generally fed (pun intended) each other’s abnormal relationship with food, without even realising it.

The more I really look at myself, the more I feel that my issues with food and weight go so much deeper than just some bad choices. It’s developed over many years and has become almost like an emotional aide. There isn't a single person who I can or want to blame for that. Not my parents, certainly not my fiancé, and sometimes I think that this whole thing was beyond even my control. I take responsibility for it, and I take responsibility for changing it, but I’m trying not to blame myself. What’s happened has passed, and no good can come from punishing myself because I didn’t realise what was happening. It took so much time, knowledge, and introspection for the light bulb to finally come on, and the fact that it has is all that matters now.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Week Two: A Weigh In Of Sorts

So this week won't be a normal weigh in because my scales broke! If anything will make you feel like a fatty, it's breaking your scales.

I'm especially bummed that I can't weigh myself this week, because I haven't had a great week. On Friday I posted about how I've been feeling less resolve. I haven't completely gone off of the rails with my diet, but I would have liked to see how the week of slightly higher daily kilojoules and being a little too lenient on myself affected my progress. It would also probably be good for me to see the effect of the boozy night I had last night at my best friends engagement party and subsequent drunk Macca's run (the first fast food I've had so far).

There is an upside to this post though, because as well as weighing myself each Sunday, I also take measurements. I was very surprised to see this week that I had lost 1.5 cm from my waist and 3 cm from my hips! These are very decent losses compared with those in previous weeks, so I can't wait to go get a new set of scales and see how much my weight has changed.