Day 11 to 15 of 100 – A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That!

I am actually on Day 20 – falling behind with the daily posts due to life’s events and interruptions…. So I’ll try to catch up!

Day 11: What is your biggest weakness? That one thing you just cannot say no to?

Mine is ice cream. A diet that forbids indulging in that one thing you cannot say no to is no diet – it’s a torture programme.

This is my drug for PMS too. Ice cream makes evil bitch go away….. It just cannot be achieved with only one or two scoops. Even on those binge days, I try to balance the scales, so to speak, by having lettuce for lunch and lettuce for dinner so my entire day’s calories are made up of ice cream! Okay I lie about the lettuce, but the meals are seriously low calorie affairs and could be as simple as a few handfuls of popcorn. I understand that keeping ice cream in my diet will make it take even longer to lose the weight, same goes for the single glass of wine I have before dinner every night, but these are things I can live with in the long run, excluding them entirely will simply push me toward a binge…… And before you go thinking I’m a raging alcoholic – a wine binge for me would be 2 glasses instead of 1!

 

Day 12: Low Fat. Low Sugar. Low Salt = Low flavour. No appeal.

Compare ‘diet’ foods to the original foods. Compare then and now.

The variety of low fat, no fat, sugar-free diet foods is staggering, and yet, the world is getting fatter and fatter. I recently read somewhere that sugar-free products containing artificial sweeteners actually intensify cravings for real sugar and carbs. I switched from Coke to Tab a few years ago, and there definitely was not a sudden shift in my weight, despite a 2 litre a day Coke habit! So the next thing I am going to change in my diet, is my daily litre of Tab or Coke Light. I am going to replace that with a much healthier sparkling spring water instead. I am excited and curious to see what changes occur – whether it’s in my weight or general health.

For me, diet foods are not an option. It’s like an inedible variety of sawdust, cardboard and animal hooves. Revolting. It even looks like anaemic crap! We did not grow up on “diet” foods, and when I was a teenager the only low fat products I really knew (but did not consume) are milk and yoghurt!

I would rather have a smaller portion of the original non-diet version of any food, than a huge plate of its bland crappy low-everything cousin.

The cost of diet foods is also astronomical for a chemical concoction that contains far less natural original food and has to go through chemical processes to remove what are essentially natural ingredients in the original product.

 

Day 13 : Carbs, Low Carbs, No Carbs

Carbs are a part of my life and always will be.

Potatoes and bread were around long before Atkins & Co and long before a worldwide obesity epidemic. Blaming carbs is convenient because cutting it out does result in rapid and substantial weight loss. I have two friends who sing the praises of the high protein high fat club, because while they’re sticking to the regime, the weight drops off quickly and in impressive amounts. It’s when they decide to indulge in that slice of bread, or a roast potato with Sunday lunch, that their bodies rebel and hang onto those precious carbs like it’s a final meal. Without fail, they gain huge amounts of weight as soon as they revert to normal eating patterns again.

I would rather lose no weight at all than do something so drastic, because I might be happy with the weight-loss, but I’ll be miserable with the diet options. It also isn’t sustainable over the long term, so why even try to torture myself in the first place?

BUT, you can also lose weight just by eating smaller portions, less fat and sugar (LESS, not NONE!). Which option is more sustainable as a lifelong diet? Which option will result in more permanent weight-loss?

That said, I believe our choice of carbohydrate is important. The more natural and unaltered the ingredients, the better. Refined carbs are not the best choice, but they’re fine occasionally. What’s more natural than a potato? Straight out of the earth – nothing wrong with that!

There’s no room in my life for this no-carb low-carb nonsense.

 

Day 14 : How do friends influence our diet choices?

Mmmm my previous dedicated 3 month weight-loss commitment was fuelled by fury.

Well-meaning friends kept reminding me that I needed to lose weight, but what drove me batshit crazy is the fact that one of them is a tall skinny woman who does not know anything about fat, and the other is expanding exponentially each year, trying every diet under the sun, but still getting fatter and fatter! Both of them were pushing for me to adopt a no-carb lifestyle. I saw red.

The fat one did a no-carb programme, complete with weekly injections, and lost a whopping 14 kilos in 6 weeks. Wow. And then she had carbs again. And then she gained 20 kilos…… But she was still telling me how fantastic this diet is and that I needed to go on it!

So I got mad. I got mad enough to tell them that there are simpler, better, healthier ways to lose weight, and I would lose 10 kilos in three months to prove it. I did it. I did not cut out anything, I did pretty much what I’m doing again now, but the most profound thing is that I never regained a single kilo of the weight I lost by just making better choices everyday. I reached that goal, and then simply did not set another…… so I’ve been coasting along for over a year, and now I’m committed again. And instead of seeing this as starting again from scratch, I see it as a continuation of the good work I did last time, because I did not regain any of that weight.

Don’t tell me to go on a diet. Especially if you a) have no fat experience, or, b) can’t keep off the weight you lose on all your bullshit diets. Tell me to get healthy. Much better idea.

 

Day 15 : ADD Something Healthy!

So many diets tell you to cut things out, but few tell you to ADD things in! So I’m going to give it a try.

I will choose to add something to my daily routine that I will enjoy. Perhaps I will have one cup of green tea everyday. I find this more appealing than perhaps starting every day with a glass of warm water with lemon, and I’m not sure if acid on an empty stomach is the best thing anyway? Am I giving up my daily morning coffee? Hell no. Coffee stays!

A couple of decades ago we were told how horrid coffee is, how bad it is for our health…….. and now? Coffee is apparently good for many things! It was the same story with butter – pure butter / pure evil, and then suddenly butter is made of pure sunshine! So, I’ll keep my coffee thanks, and instead of the chemical Teflon-like margarines I will stick to butter. I will add green tea to each day, to balance the scales a little bit. It works for me.

 

Day 10 of 100 – Shrinking

Shrinking portions that is!

I have found the easiest way for me to control my portion sizes – fish plates!

Side plates are way too small, and dinner plates tend to be rather large, to the extent that they can make normal sized portions look tiny and lost on a great ceramic expanse. I have bought myself a set of fish plates, and it takes all the guess work out of portioning. I allocate a quarter of the plate for my meat or protein, another quarter for starch – potatoes or pumpkin or rice etc, and finally the remaining half of the plate for vegetables or salad. And because I use all the plate space it looks like I have a loaded plate of food, when in fact it is a normal portion of everything.

Also, there is something to be said for having a meal on beautiful crockery. It elevates the mood and the perception of the value of the food served on it. It makes me feel special to have my meals on special crockery, and it ‘activates’ my restaurant manners! I eat more slowly, appreciating and savouring every bite. Make yourself a VIP at every meal! Haul out the “good” plates and glasses, and make every meal an occasion….

We spend so much time preparing our meals, and then we spend mere minutes shovelling it down our throats. Respect the cook in you! Thank yourself for making you such a lovely meal, and then enjoy every bite!

I find that when I eat more slowly, I am perfectly satisfied long before I finish everything on my plate.

So how about treating yourself to some gorgeous new plates, and appreciating your inner chef!

Day 9 of 100 – Having my Cake

Love cakes and loaves and tarts? I do!

I love baking and have a very sweet tooth. Only a cruel world would have diets that absolutely disallowed such wonderful treats.

A healthy lifestyle is not about avoiding the cake, it’s about having your cake…….. just a little at a time. Sometimes though, a little is just not enough. Sometimes I want much more than just a little nibble. It happens occasionally. Get over it and get back on track. Giving up on being healthy completely because of one binge is just idiotic.

Perhaps instead of blaming the cake for us tossing all our good intentions, simply because it was there tempting us, the cake should blame us for using it as a convenient cop-out, just an excuse to stop being healthy and revert to our worst habits on a fulltime basis again.

What to do? I love baking, and love sweet things, and you can’t exactly bake ONE cupcake……..

I have set aside Saturdays as my bake days. Early on Saturday mornings I decide what I want to make or bake on that day, and because I only bake once a week it can be difficult to decide what to make…….. a cake, a tart, a biscuit, something fruity, something creamy, something crunchy…… oh, so many choices. Then, instead of baking a big cake, or a big loaf, I make the normal recipe, but instead I split it and bake two small cakes, or tarts, or whatever it is – I make sure I have a small amount for home, for my hubby and I to enjoy over the weekend, and the other I take to visitors on Sunday, or give to someone else to enjoy. You’re welcome sugar!

The same rule applies if I am really not in the mood to bake and end up buying a cake or loaf or tart – halve it immediately and give half away, or, how about freezing the other half? Most cakes and tarts freeze quite well, and if nobody wants your gift, why not freeze it? Sure beats having a whole cake sitting on the counter tempting you every time you walk into the kitchen! And it is not so easy to binge on frozen cake!

This works very well for me. I can have my cake and eat it every weekend, I can treat someone else to something nice as well every weekend, and I’m not at risk of a big binge.

Baking Madeleines this weekend!

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!

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!

 

 

Doing it My Weigh

This blog is about my journey to FABULOSITY! Yep, it’s a word now.

Diets are toxic, and anyone who suggests cutting out chocolate and wine, just pure evil. I have not tried many diets, fad or otherwise, but among my entire group of family and friends, just about every diet and potion available has been tried and tested, all with rather disappointing results it appears.

I am obese. I did not wake up one morning and realise I was twice the woman I used to be, oh no; it was a gradual process that required years of shovelling fantastic things down my throat, developing a love affair with sweets and cakes and all kinds of bakes! At some stage, treats were no longer treats, I was feeding on autopilot, loading up the sugar and processed foods and velvety smooth saturated fats, but there was no longer any real enjoyment in it. Eating became a habit, a monster that needed to be fed all the time.

Whether a monster or inner child, somebody needs to take control and say “NO”. Even inner children and monsters need guidance and discipline.

However, I don’t believe diets are the answer. Let’s be honest, if even one diet really did work, not one new programme or potion would show up on the market again! Not one! And yet, every day, there is a new eating plan, diet, miracle pill or injection on the market promising to trim the fat! In my opinion, the more diets and potions there are the fatter the world gets. Perhaps that is precisely the problem.

Instead, I have committed to four months of better choices. Not cutting out any foods, adding a bit of exercise to my days, and simply making better choices, healthier choices than before. I am paying attention to portion sizes, and my daily mantra is “UNDER A HUNDRED!” On 3 October, when my four months finish, I want to weigh less than 100 kilograms (220 pounds). I believe I can lose 13 kilos (28 pounds) in 4 months by simply eating less and choosing better!

With just over a hundred days of my journey left, I’ve decided to create this blog and add daily random posts about anything from personal insights, ups and downs (‘scuse the pun) and my progress along the way, and whether trying new or different things work or not.

Join me! Let’s try something different for four months to stop the insanity of the diet rollercoaster and impossible goals that just make us feel bad about ourselves. What do you have to lose?

Let’s pour a glass of wine and get started!