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 fiancĂ© 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!