Day 7 of 100 – The “Start Monday” Plan

The ‘Start Monday’ Plan – how many “LAST BINGE” weekends is that?

This must be the single most prolific diet on earth! I am quite sure I have at my most enthusiastic, started this diet up to 52 times in 1 year. That adds up to just as many weekends of binge eating ‘before the diet starts on Monday’. This binge eating also meant gradually growing portion sizes to feel satisfied.

It was also because of the ‘Start Monday’ diet that my weight kept increasing and ballooning out of control.

The best time to start a healthy lifestyle is not Monday. It is right now. And if right now happens to be a Monday, then fine, but if you want a few last binge days before taking care of yourself, then you aren’t really committed or ready – so rather leave the ‘last binge’ and forget about being healthy until you are ready to commit to better choices completely.

The ‘all or nothing’ approach also makes a healthy lifestyle too daunting, so ease up a little and commit to simply making the best choice in that moment, every moment. If 4 blocks of chocolate will prevent a binge on five slabs of it later – then the 4 blocks will be the best choice now. Instead of cutting things out and lambasting yourself for veering off some unrealistic diet, just pick a habit to break or a habit to nurture. Choose something once a week, once a month, or whenever you feel like it, until you’re ready to do more or change more – you may just find that these small changes become the motivation you need to push your boundaries.

Whatever the choice…… have a glass of water with a slice of lemon upon waking, walk in place at your desk for 10 minutes or go for a walk during lunch, have one less glass of fizzy cooldrink a day – it is more than you’ve been doing up to now, and it will pay off in the end!

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Day 6 of 100 – Planning Ahead

A little bit of planning ahead is half the battle won!

I get up early on a Saturday morning, and plan a dinner menu for Monday to Friday the following week, and make a shopping list. This helps so much, because I don’t need to go shopping during the workweek, and end up getting tempted by everything on the shelves, and it saves oodles of time and stress deciding what’s for dinner every night, rushing around for ingredients and so on.

We have one rule – no planning on weekends! On weekends we eat something we really feel like on the day, and it helps that both my husband and I love cooking and trying out new recipes. Or we go to our favourite restaurants or try out new ones. I also limit my sweet treats to weekends, and it’ nice to think of it as a reward at the end of a week of good choices. This does not mean the weekend is an endless feast of sugar, oh contraire……. It is my opportunity to really savour every mouthful of a lovely piece of cake, tart or sweet

My weekly dinners are not ‘diet’ meals, they’re not low-fat or low-anything, we cut out no food groups and we really enjoy mealtimes. My healthier choices mean I have smaller portions, normal portions, not so little that you end up famished an hour later, and no more than I need to feel satisfied. Truth be told, I could eat even smaller portions still, and be satisfied after the meal. I keep breakfasts and lunches light and simple, and I have fruit everyday. It is working really well for me and I’m happy to be on a plan that doesn’t involve tearing the skin off all chicken!

Planning ahead for the 5 days also saves money as there are no extra sneak purchases during daily visits to the supermarket. I make sure I do my grocery shopping early, after I’ve had my breakfast at home, so I’m not tempted to listen to my screaming stomach to buy everything I can shovel down my throat.

I know this is all common sense, and these points have probably appeared in magazines countless times, but it really helps me stay on track! It also motivates because I feel chuffed that the week’s meals are planned and decided, ingredients are in the fridge and cupboard, and I don’t have to worry about temptation.

Depending on what we rustle up over weekends, I sometimes double the quantities of a meal and freeze one portion for another time. This is obviously much easier to do in winter with stews and curries, but also works with mac ‘n cheese, and I often make big pots of bolognaise sauce to freeze in single serving portions.

You know what’s great about planning Monday to Friday menus ahead? If you keep them you will have weeks and weeks’ worth of ideas for future menu plans, so you won’t even have to think too hard!

Day 5 of 100 – Declutter 101

It starts in the mind. Let go………

If it doesn’t fit or you haven’t worn it in 6 months or you haven’t used it….. get rid of it. Easier said than done. Purging clutter has to be one of the most difficult exercises, because of mental blocks. We are comfortable with the familiar, even if that means a wardrobe bulging with clothes that don’t fit. These clothes fall into two categories – too big, and too small.

We keep the too big stuff ‘just in case’, …. If that little voice convinces you to hang on to clothing that is too big in case you need it again one day, you are not really committed to the plan. You’re not really into this ‘getting healthy and slim’ thing at all……. you’re just humouring yourself for now.

We keep the too small stuff because we’re convinced we’ll fit into it soon. 3 Years later it still hangs in the cupboard, taunting us, reminding us of our long-term failure and lack of willpower. It makes us shout at ourselves for being weak and disgusting, but it will stay right there, for another year or two or twenty. Some of those items even still have price tags on, because when we bought those things, we also firmly believed we would lose the weight and fit into them in a matter of weeks. Riiiiight. We’ll justify not giving it away or getting rid of it because it would be a waste of our hard-earned money – trust me – we’ve eaten more than ten times the value of each item in less time than they’ve been hanging there, and what have we got to show for THAT?! Fat? There’s a good investment eh?!

Lighten your load! Lighten everything in your environment, get into this theme! It’s really hard at first, but once you get into the rhythm it is totally LIBERATING! Best part of it is that it becomes easier, and really exciting as you start losing weight, and get to donate or discard clothes because they are now getting too big and baggy!

Are you hanging onto a pair of jeans that ten years ago made you look amazing? What for? When you gain and then lose weight, your body shape changes, you’re never going to look the same in them again anyway. Get rid of the old, the stale, the too big the too small… let it be symbolic of the weight you want to lose – OUT OUT OUT!

You have to get rid of the old to make way for the new…… so how about decluttering to make way for the new YOU. Keep only what fits now, be present in the present and enjoy it, let go of the angst and the reminders staring you in the face everyday screaming “You will fail and need me again!” or “You have failed for three years already do you have no discipline?!”…. Kick it out!

By keeping what is here and now, and nothing that represents an expectation, you clear the way for your own complete reinvention. A whole new you that will unfold as you go along.

I cannot get to a new me through old things or ideas……

Day 4 of 100 – Waiting for Something Better to Come Along?

Uhmmmm, I’m not actually on Day 4 today, I’m on Day 7 – I’m just a tad behind getting my daily topical thoughts posted. I’ll try to catch up fully in the next couple of days.

Onto day 4 and the topic of the day. Waiting for something better to come along. Sneaky thought that….. because it’s a double-edged sword and it just doesn’t cut the fat, or does it?

I used to launch into the “All-or-Nothing” plans saying all the right things, telling myself I was totally committed, telling anyone who would listen that I was 100% committed to not straying from the plan, but in the back of my mind, I always knew I was saying the right words, cheerleading the right way, but not really believing or feeling it. A small voice in the deep recesses of my mind would constantly mumble that this is not the right plan, something better will come along soon, something easier – soon, so why torture myself in the meantime? By the end of the first week that little voice would be a bellowing roar, and because I was not truly committed in the first place, listening to the voice was easy.

They say that when you are hypnotised, you cannot be made to do something that goes against your beliefs or value system, so you cannot be made to take your clothes off in public if it’s not something you’d be comfortable doing if you weren’t in a hypnotic state. So it stands to reason that our bodies and minds won’t allow us to commit fully to diets that simply aren’t going to cut it in the long run, right? If you ‘cheat’ on a diet, it was not a good diet to begin with, because the right diet would not call anything you do ‘cheating’. I’m talking about having a few squares of chocolate or half a cup of ice cream here, not scoffing the entire sweet aisle in the supermarket – THAT would not be cheating, that would be the eating disorder ‘Gorgingfatass-Stuff-Me-itis (adding ‘itis to the end of any word makes it a legit disease/disorder).

Even when the plan is great, and our commitment sincere, as mine always was (laughed so hard I peed a little), there was also that other little familiar voice shouting “Yes I’m doing this! Yes I can! Except over Easter, Mother’s Day, my Birthday….. my kids’ birthdays…. Hubby and all my in-laws’ birthdays….. friends and neighbours’ birthdays…….. nieces, nephews, the anniversary of the invention of the radio, all anniversaries and my friends’ pets’ birthdays.

And Christmas.

It seems pointless starting the diet so early in the New Year, it is clearly far better to start next year, on 1 January….

So I’d give up on the diet plan, and that little voice would assure me that something better is around the corner – something better is coming along soon, something marginally easier, like a subliminal weight-loss series you listen to in your sleep and magically one week later you’ll lose 40 kilos. True story. Everybody has that friend who did this or that diet and lost a gazillion kilos in their sleep in 4 days and didn’t even end up with any loose flabby skin!

A conditional commitment to being healthy is simply not good enough, it’s worth nothing.

Here’s how I’m making it work for me now………. I am committed to better choices for my health, because I am worth it. As for something better coming along? It might, but UNTIL then, I am going to do this my way, making choices that suit ME, and if something better does come along – well then I’ll be well ahead and on my way already and I would have shed some kilos. I’ve decided to treat it like the whining child wanting attention, wanting mommy to “LOOK AT ME JUMP INTO THE POOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLL” with a sly “Yes dear I will be there in a minute I’m just going to finish what I’m doing, won’t be a minute”…………. *GRIN*… mommy is so not going to look at the kid jumping in the pool…… and from the child’s perspective, the kid will jump into the pool a dozen times anyway, who wants to wait for mommy to come and look and not have a great time splashing around until she does?

So if you’re waiting for that perfect diet, why not pass the time in the interim with better healthier choices, an occasional stretch…… so when better does come along, you’ll realise that the better is in fact YOU……

 

(I think this is exactly how I’d write and explain things if I was a stoner, some of this is going to make sense to nobody but me!)

Day 3 of 100 – You’re Such a Rebel!

Rebel much? I think rebellion also played a role in my weight-gain. I’m not talking about teenaged rebellion, like eating all the neighbours’ pets and posting selfies about deviance. Bad example, one doesn’t gain in excess of 40 kilos from eating the occasional poodle or cockatoo…..

My imperfections and ‘fat parts’, which only I noticed, were magnified in my mind by the unrealistic airbrushed perfection shoved in our faces by various media every day. A small part of me, ‘scuse the pun, wanted to give a chubby middle finger to this overload of fake! So that was me, the rebel with the 2 litre bottle of Coke always within easy reach, enjoying the righteousness of giving the finger to diets and health gurus.

I cannot count how many times in the past I decided to ‘be good’, resolving never to touch sugar or salami again and to do an hour of cardio daily…………. And I would always end up a few days later wanting to throw myself on the floor and screaming like an unhinged Rosemary’s Baby that the diet is STUPID, and too damn hard!!!

Before long I would storm off to the supermarket to “SHOW YOU ALL!!!! STUFF YOU DIET!! WATCH ME!” The binge shop will cover crisps, chocolates, biscuits, ice cream (naturally!), and if it was possible, I’d have bought deep-fried chicken skin on principle.

Take THAT stupid diet, dumb-ass doctors and countless dieticians, nutritionists, health gurus and anybody else who dares criticise ice cream!

So now I am going to approach my better ways and healthier choices with the same rebellion, just flipped on its head. Stuff you cravings! I will show you! I will bring out my BDSM bitch and make you wait until the weekend for that bar of chocolate. Try me saboteur! I must admit that I feel much calmer knowing I am not cutting anything out, I shall have ice cream when the craving comes, but half a cup, savoured slowly, not half a bathtub full, and I shall have a piece of chocolate. Until my weight is under control, I will satisfy my wants on weekends, just a little bit, that way I always have that treat to look forward to in exchange for a week of MY best choices. And if I simply cannot wait until Saturday, I’ll indulge my inner child, only a little bit, because that brat needs to be taught that she can’t just have everything she wants all the time because she appreciates none of it in the end!

…………. It has taken all these years for me to realise that – I may be THINKING “Stuff YOU”, but what I’m really doing is “Stuff ME”………….

 

 

 

Day 2 of 100 – Leisure ACTIVE-ity?

Does my weight impact on my choice of leisure activity? Of course it does.

My idea of fun is not donning tight shiny black things with lumo pink stripes and jumping on a bicycle for a 10km ‘fun’ ride….. There is a fine line between torture and exercise, and similarly, between exercise and fun. Sex is fun, a 10km bike ride is exercise (and the kit is kinky!)…. Decoupage is fun, walking the dog is exercise. You get my drift…

My choice of leisure activity leans towards tranquil sedentary pursuits, like decoupage, reading magazines – no sweat, no breathlessness. I don’t have to engage in conversation with anyone and most importantly, I don’t have to break into a sweat figuring out what to wear to conceal the extra woman I’m carrying around with me. The inconsiderate skank has been around for years and she needs to go! It’s a good thing I’ve decided to start eviction proceedings.

So why don’t I just choose to do something more physical, that will burn some calories whilst I engage in leisurely fun? Because I’m lazy. I am fat and it’s easier to sit on my fat than to get off my arse and jiggle the fat. I don’t like gardening – all that huffing and puffing so a few insects can bite you; and no thanks to exercise disguised as leisure activities. I don’t have pets to play with (heeere kitty kitty kitty!), and our kids are all grown up and living on their own.

Watching TV has to be the worst pastime, because that’s literally all you’re doing – passing time, staring at a rectangle on the wall. What’s at the end of this ‘passed time’? Should I do something to earn this idle time instead? Make it a reward at the end of the day, for a day well and energetically spent? Na…. it sounds like a great idea, but it’s not exactly practical.

What I AM going to do, is change my leisure (IN)activity to leisure ACTIVE-ity. The big mistake we make is trying to do it all at 110% from the outset, only to end up feeling like a failure a week later because we did not do 7 hours of weight-bearing exercise, 50kms of cycling, 3 days of jogging and 28 minutes of Zumba.

So here’s what I CAN do – finish my decoupage project standing up, and walking in place with every stroke of the modge-podge brush. I can do 5 calf raises every time I get up from my office chair / the couch / the toilet (hey why not?). When relaxing with my magazines, I will select an article or two to read standing up, maybe whilst gently walking in place again. The choice will be mine, it could be an article just 10 lines long, or 10 pages, no rules about minimum lines, because even 5 paces in place while reading will be 5 paces more than I used to do before. I will stretch while waiting for the kettle to boil in the mornings, and on my office chair I can lift and hold my thighs up for a few seconds, one at a time, throughout the day.

Bingo wings? Use the book you’re reading, or a magazine, or best of all, files at work to do short arm and shoulder workouts…. Get up and pace during phone calls. No need to be a strict matron about it – do it during just one phone call a day, or all phone calls – ONE IS MORE THAN NONE! And that applies to every bit of activity added to otherwise sedentary activities. Every little bit adds up. And instead of feeling despondent because I didn’t manage an hour of intense exercise, I’m going to feel good about having done something.

Aaaand ACTION!

 

 

Day 1 of 100 – My Commitment

With 100 days left to reach my goal, I want to take this seriously and be 100% committed. Not committed to some crazy diet, or cutting things out entirely, but committed to making the best choices every day, in the moment.

I lost 12 kilograms in three months more than a year ago, doing the exact same thing. The best part of it is that I have not regained any of that weight so I know I was on the right track, which is why I know I will be able to again achieve this goal this time around.

I am not merely interested in the idea of reaching my goal, I am COMMITTED to reaching my goal!

It won’t be easy all the time, but I will keep the end goal in mind, and the prospect of starting Spring, the next season, a little lighter and a little smaller!

I commit to enjoying every step of this challenge and will remind myself of my goals every single day! My mantra will be “UNDER A HUNDRED!”. I will weigh under 100 kilograms in 100 days. It’s not a long time at all, and at the end of it comes a new me, new wardrobe, new attitude! I will celebrate the small achievements along the way too, because I am totally worth it!

Join me, let’s share our ideas, what works and what doesn’t…..

One bite at a time!