Always look on the bright side of life…

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Second week of the 12wbt challenge is done; the numbers on my scale have stayed the same which is quite disheartening, but there have been a few bright glimmers of hope so far:

1. I took 17 seconds of my time for the 1km run

2. Except for sleeping through my alarm this morning, I have followed the exercise plan

3. I got up at 5.30 in the morning to go to the gym three times during the week because I knew I had parent/teacher interviews and wouldn’t want to go after them

4. The fitness I’ve lost over the last four months is quickly coming back; I’m not as puffed on the netball court and while my muscles strength (particularly in my arms) still isn’t what it was, I can feel it returning.

5. Even though the numbers have stayed the same, my clothes are already fitting differently, and I feel much better about my body as it is.

6. Now that my oh so lovely and bloaty time of the month is finally over…hopefully the numbers will change.

 

Things I still need to work on include:

1. Giving in to my emotional eating issues (eating Hungry Jacks for tea…c’mon…will it really make me feel better?)

2. Recognising when I’m feeling bored and or emotional before I end up with snacks in front of me and finding another outlet instead of food.

3. Not becoming too despondent when the numbers on the scales don’t change at all or as much as I want them to and instead focusing on the above positive list.

 

Now I just need to continue making sure my positive list gets longer and the “things to work on” gets shorter, or includes different things.

Oops but Yay?!

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It’s almost the end of the first week of the 12 WBT (see my last post) and it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. For a start, I couldn’t afford to do the shopping as I’d already done a fortnightly shop before I actually joined up for the challenge and as a result, I had to continue with my normal eating habits. My normal eating habits are not too bad usually, but I do have a bit of a predisposition for eating fatty or salty foods (usually both at the same time) if I’m feeling at all upset or angry. I stepped up my exercise routine to basically what it used to be; I weighed in a couple of weeks ago at 68.4 and then suddenly bam, those numbers came back up for no apparent reason; judging by the responses on the 12wbt website I automatically thought those numbers would jump their way back down…of course I forgot to factor in that most of the people who lost 1-2 kilos in literally 3 days weighed over 100kgs.

So when I weighed in on Wednesday…(two days early for me because their weigh ins all have to be on the same day) to input my stats on the website, I was incredibly disheartened to see that I’d lost a meagre 100grams. 100 freakin’ grams!

By the way…does anyone else find that if they do a weight/cardio session in the evening…then the next morning they weigh quite a bit more? What is THAT about? Hellooooo…exercise equals less weight right? Right?

So today…being the incredibly balanced and logical person that I am, when I got to leave work to do some training and development, did I get a healthy lunch? Perhaps a Subway 6 grams of fat or less…or a wrap…or even a sushi roll? No, of course not! That would be a sane thing to do.

Instead I find myself pulling in to a Hungry Jacks of all places and trying to placate the nagging voice reminding me of my 100gram loss with the platitude that I was getting the ‘healthiest’ thing on the menu [ Grilled Chicken Burger – 374 calories and 18.5 grams of fat] and getting a bottle of water….

Yup…that’s awesome…because then at the P.D they also had scotch finger biscuits…I may have eaten 3.

I then had a single scone with jam and cream along with a skinny cappuccino when I caught up with a friend later on that night. Consider my daily calorie allowance completely blown out of the water.

That would be the oops!

The Yay part is a little bit of a personal break-through; I find it extremely easy to give myself a reason to not go to the gym, my muscles are sore…it’s too late…I’m too busy etc. Let me tell you…my muscles are KILLING me. I played netball on Monday and did a Body Pump class on Tuesday; after that pump class…my entire body is still sore.

I played netball again on Wednesday and managed to keep running even through screaming muscles; so tonight, after my coffee with my lovely gal pal, it would have been way too easy to say it was too late to work out and my leg muscles were yelling at me everytime I took a step (and still are) but as I got back in my car, the bright pink bag containing my gym clothes was quietly mocking me, reminding me what I’d eaten during the day and that I’d promised to JFDI.

Fast forward 5 minutes and I’m in the gym, changed into my gear and smashing 17 seconds of my time of a 1 km run. My muscles stopped screaming after the first minute or so and I found myself running along on the treadmill with a smile on my face.

Oops, I screwed up my eating, but I’ve done my shopping now and pre packaged tomorrow’s lunch as well as the snacks, and Yay I got my ass to the gym everyday so far this week even though I’m tired and sore.

Body Balance tomorrow or perhaps a Yoga video if I finish at work too late for my class. Either way…my fitness routine is awesome again and my eating will soon join the awesome parade.

JFDI right? Right.

12 WBT – A Challenge

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So my sister was raving about Michelle Bridges’ 12 Week Body Transformation: I sussed out the website and I signed up. Here’s my problem….

hate starting new things! I am quite comfortable in my little niche thankyou! I freak out whenever I start something, or try something I’ve never tried before. I eat the same foods, do the same exercise routines, go to the same places etc. The idea of finding a new hairdresser makes me uncomfortable and heaven forbid I go to a new chiropractor or optometrist or find a gym closer to home…

Imagine my reaction when I realise that as part of the 12wbt I need to

1) Eat a whole bunch of foods I’ve never eaten before…or eaten together…

2) Do a different exercise routine (you mean that walking to the local deli isn’t counted? WTF?)

3) Follow a shopping list and exercise routine.

 

Cue anxiety: now my sister has been amazing so far and calmed my stupid issues about running outside (what if someone I know sees me?) and giving me positive reinforcement about my times on the fitness test.

This challenge will hopefully do a number of things for me:

1) Get me over this plateau and closer to my end goal which is now 62-64 kilos.

2) Get me back into exercising again – have you seen The Biggest Loser? Have you seen Michelle Bridges lose her mind at people who are slack? I don’t care that I won’t see her in person…I’ll do whatever she tells me to do!

3) Make me more aware about the quantity and quality of the food I put into my body (Elle’s Last Post)

4) Help me to embrace new challenges without the needless anxiety about change!

I’ll keep you updated with how I’m going! [If you want to join the challenge as well…click the image at the top!]

 

 

 

Plateaus are the pits!

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One of the most annoying weight loss cliches in the world is that (supposedly) comforting adage that plateaus are “only temporary” and you just have to “be patient”; another one is that if you hit a plateau it’s because you’ve strayed from your plan, your body has reached the weight you’re truly supposed to be at or that you need to step up your exercise.

If I’m truly honest..I have been quite the slacker and procrastinator when it comes to hitting the gym ever since I got back from Bali (January). Actually, slacker isn’t even a strong enough word for what I’ve become. To compensate for the laziness in the exercise department I’ve been eating less calories instead.

I still play netball twice a week, but compared to the amount of exercise I was doing before, it is nothing! I can also feel that I’ve lost a lot of fitness which is quite depressing…

But I’ve managed to distract myself from my main point yet again; plateaus SUCK!

My plateau is a tiny bit bumpy – I hovered around 72kgs for months before I managed to get down to 70; I was stuck at that weight for a few more months and then all of a sudden I lost a miniscule 600 odd grams and then BAM I was magically in the 60s for the first time in over 10 years! So it was 69.4 kgs…but that didn’t matter; since then I’ve managed to get down to 68.4 even without the extra exercising and I’ve managed to grind to a halt here.

Danii…just do more exercise again I hear you cry! Well, sure…easy enough to say, but I have a bit of an issue with getting a tad bit obsessive about things and to be honest I’ve quite enjoyed not being completely obsessed with the amount of calories I’ve burned or the burn in my muscles and how long it lasts OR how long my workout lasted for.

So while I plan to get back to the gym at least a couple of times this week [one of my netball teams has a week off because we made the finals – yay – and the other has a bye] to replace the two games I would normally play, I don’t want to go back to the girl who was more interested in the gym than having a skinny cappucino with her friends.

And exercising doesn’t always conquer a plateau; so while my plateau problem may very well be solved by simply hitting the gym again, I wanted to counter the annoying, condescending websites and people who tell you to just wait patiently to get past a plateau.

I get it. That annoying..irritating…depressing…COMPLETELY INFURIATING feeling when the DAMN NUMBERS ON THE SCALES stay the same week after week, after week, after week….

You get the picture.

Anyway…I get it. I appreciate your pain.

I’m just gonna go hit the gym.

And plateau some more…

 

Fall Back Plans

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Since my sister asked me ever so nicely if I had a detox plan or something similar that I follow…I thought I’d upload a few little tricks that I keep up my sleeve. I use these ideas when I’m really stuck at my current weight, feeling like I’ve gone REALLY off track or simply want to feel a bit refreshed an energised; be mindful that these work for me, but might not work for anybody else.

1. The Bodytrim System: now contrary to what Geoff [the owner] of the program says, I didn’t lose 5kgs in 7 days, but I do always lose a couple and it feels like it reboots my system a little. Basically the idea is that you eat only protein for 3 days; 150 grams of any protein for 3 main meals a day. I don’t eat eggs and don’t like red meat very much so it sucks a little for me. I eat 150 grams of chicken each main meal, or perhaps some bacon with the fat cut off. You can eat every 1-2 hours if you’re hungry, but then it’s only 50grams of protein for snacks for women or 100grams for men. I either ate a handful of nuts, a little tin of tuna or some ham or something.  You’re supposed to only drink water for those three days as well, but realistically…not gonna happen in my world. I tried to limit my drinking to mainly water with a glass or two of diet coke so I didn’t go bat crap crazy.

After the first three, quite frankly, painful days of only protein you can reintroduce salad and vegetables to your lunch and dinner, but absolutely NO carbohyrdrates!! That needs to continue for 5 more days after the original 3. You can still keep having your 50-100grams of protein for snacks every hour or so if you like.

After that you can reintroduce carbohydrates but only in the mornings with your breakfast and you still must continue to have protein with that meal. I simply brought some protein powder and sprinkled it on my cornflakes or oats. You could have toast with a protein shake if you like.  You can also have protein shakes for some of your snacks from the very first 3 days if you like.

Along with this eating, you also need to take a 30 minute minimum walk each day; this does not mean a work out…simply a brisk walk for at least 30 minutes each day. In fact, the literature tells you that you should NOT undertake any strenuous exercise unless you already take part in such a program before you start the Bodytrim system.

The first three days suck in all kinds of nasty ways, but by the end of the 8 days I feel more energised AND the little bit of extra weight loss always makes me feel better.

 

2. Meal Replacement Shakes: I prefer the Rapid Loss shakes as I find they actually have some taste rather than tasting like cardboard. I don’t have them for every meal, but replace my lunch with them. You can make them either with water or skim milk; if you really want to skimp on calories then make them with water…but if you’re going to replace more than one meal a day…use the skim milk…the water makes you feel like you’re drinking some weird kind of muddy residue.

3. The Soup Diet: a bit dodgy, but good for quick weight loss if you don’t mind some of it coming back on when you start eating regular food again. Best for if you’re going to a special function and just want to drop a couple of kilos in a hurry. Basically it is having soup for lunch and dinner for 3-5 days; it’s not a great idea because it sucks when the weight comes back on.

However, if you temper it to be like the Meal Replacement Shakes, then although the weight loss is a little less, it won’t come back on unless you binge afterwards.

 

Of these options Number #1 is the best option as you can keep going with the long lasting program (carbs only in the morning, 150g protein and salad/vegetables lunch and dinner) for as long as you want and repeat the first 3 days whenever you feel like it. The other two are almost impossible to keep up for any length of time.

 

Check In and Mini Goal!

I weighed myself on Sunday morning for some reason this week instead of my usual Friday; I have to remind myself that weighing myself every day is not actually helpful or reliable for tracking weight loss. I was reminded of this fact when I sneakily snuck in an extra weigh in on Thursday morning and was subsequently annoyed for the rest of the day when the scales mocked me with a meagre loss of 100grams. I ignored the little meanie on Friday morning, but on Sunday I finally (and reluctantly) stepped back onto them and waited to see if 100 grams was indeed the total of my weight loss for the week: instead of seeing 69.4 kgs which would have been the 100grams, the red numbers that flashed up said 68.4! I haven’t seen 68kgs for a very VERY long time, now my problem is that I’m not sure which of my weights is the more accurate. I’m going with the 68.4 because hello…it’s better than 69.4, but who knows!

Besides the numbers 6 and 8 being put together…my other achievement is reaching one of my mini goals. I purchased a black cocktail dress from Target about 6 months ago, maybe even longer;  I could do the zip up…just and it was such a good dress that I told myself I would definitely lose enough weight to fit in to it someday.

I was getting ready for a friend’s engagement party and, after my little weigh in surprise on Sunday morning, I thought I’d see if the dress would fit…as soon as I stepped into it I could tell it was already looser. When I did up the zip and turned to the mirror and it fit…and fit well I immediately exploded into what can only be described as a completely insane dance of celebration. The compliments from my friends, both male and female were great, but the best compliment is the one I gave myself in that first second when I turned to my reflection; that tiny little spark of pride, that grin at realising that I did this, I finally accomplished something and in that second…I was happy with myself.

So all up…this week = Winning!

 

My Motivation

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I admit it…I’ve been watching this season of the Biggest Loser and I’m pissed! [Uh…but Danii… that’s Amy Lee in the picture not a contestant from TBL! I’ll get to her, I swear] It really pisses me off when they do their little vignettes at the beginning of each season and they talk about why they need/want to lose weight. Don’t get me wrong, I respect their courage to put themselves on a national television show where they must know that people will be watching them, judging them and criticising them; however it makes me FURIOUS that some of these contestants say that they are only there to “support” their father/mother/sister/brother whoever. No! You should be changing your life because YOU want to, because YOU need your life to be different.

Your life needs to yours. If you aren’t happy with your life, change it. If you hate your job, stop making excuses and change it. Go back to school, send out resumes…do whatever needs to be done. If you’re not happy in your relationship, fight to fix it. If that’s not possible then know when it’s time to walk away. The same goes for losing weight and getting fitter.

Anyway, my point is (in case you haven’t realised, I tend to get a little bit distracted) that your motivation has to be internal not external. What motivates me? To be honest my original motivation was similar to TBL contestants that annoy me so much now…

  1. I thought that I would be more attractive to my partner
  2. It would solve ALL of my life problems
  3. I would magically gain confidence and love everything about myself

* Note – there is nothing in there about being healthy and fit? Right…because that would just be a cool side effect.

It’s now two and a half years since I first started dropping the weight and over that period of time my motivation has changed dramatically. I realise that I will never, old issues and all, look into the mirror and miraculously be 100% satisfied with what I see. I wanted to achieve a weight within the healthy range for my height and age, I wanted to have a BMI that’s healthy and I wanted to be able to pose for a photo without being absolutely terrified at the pictures I would see. I wanted to be able to look into the eyes of that girl in a photograph and see confidence and happiness shining through. Someone who is happy with themselves.

I have managed to finally achieve the first two things in the last few weeks: my weight is in a healthy range  and my BMI is 26 on the dot. I still don’t particularly love having my picture taken, but as long as I get to review them afterwards I don’t hide from the lens in fear…as much. I haven’t managed to see that confident girl yet…but I think she’s finally starting to emerge.

A lot of people have a celebrity or someone they look up to…someone they think has a great body or whatever…my inspiration is a little different. I have a celebrity I admire; I admire her because she is purely herself. When I see a picture of her, it’s right there in her eyes, that look that says ‘this is me…this is my body…this is my life…’ and I want that look. I want it so badly I can almost taste it. I want to smile at my reflection in the mirror and walk out of my front door satisfied with who I am. To walk into work, or the gym, or the shops, to have a night out in town with my friends and not spend the entire time worrying about how I look…are there fat rolls over top of my jeans? Are my arms too flabby to wear this? I want that look. I am going to get it. It’s mine.

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Emotional Eating – damn you!

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I don’t particularly like chocolate, and the above picture uses doughnuts which I don’t particularly find THAT tempting, but the idea is there. I read an article called “Stressed is Desserts” Spelled Backwards which looks at the reasons why we, especially women, tend to eat when feeling emotional.

“Emotional eating is using your emotions as a driver for eating, as opposed to listening to your hunger cues.” This quote really hits home for me because it’s exactly what I do! When I’m marking terrible, terrible essays from the students at school, or sitting in front of the television bored out of my mind, or, more commonly, when I’m upset…damn you blokes!

I have recognised this quality and flaw in my dieting/healthy living plan and yet I continue to do it! Why? Why, if I recognise this as an issue, do I still do it anyway? I have no answers for you. Of course, if you’re emotionally eating grapes or apples or something….the issue, while needing to be addressed (why do you want to eat because you’re upset?) won’t negatively effect your diet too much…but when your fridge and cupboard is like mine (no junk food) and I have to make a special trip down to the corner deli, or to a fast food place…you know you’ve got a problem.

Did you know that Emotional Eating is actually recognised as a mild Eating Disorder? “Emotional eating can help temporarily fulfill a need.” That need could be stress, anger, sadness, or fatigue, among others. In the short-term, eating provides sensory pleasure and gives us an energy boost, which is why it makes us feel better. Okay, so I know why I eat emotionally, now I just need to be able to stop myself from doing it. I have photos of the way I want to look up on my fridge, but since there’s never bad food in there…it doesn’t help. I need to come up with a strategy to stop myself going out and getting ‘naughty’ food when it’s not my day/meal to be naughty.

If anyone has a strategy to stop this…please, please let me know…

[ I just checked with Elle and we would both love to get the answer to this!]

So until then, I will either have to keep myself from being bored or stop being/getting emotional. Hmmmm……

http://www.hercampus.com/health/mental-health/stressed-desserts-spelled-backwards-coping-emotional-eating

A little bit more about Danii…

If you’ve read the ‘about’ section, you already know a little bit about me anyway, but I’ll give everyone a bit more info so you can see where I’m coming from in terms of diet and exercise. The easy stuff is my age and what I like to do, the harder stuff to talk about is why I have found it necessary to worry about my diet and exercise in the first place.

The first time I remember worrying about my weight is Yr 3; I looked in the mirror, burst into tears and told Mum that I wasn’t going to school because I looked fat in my school uniform. This obsession with my weight continued throughout the rest of my childhood and became even more of an issue when I was a teenager. In Yr 12 I managed to lose about 6 kgs, unfortunately I did it by restricting my calorie intake to a pretty stupid level, I also looked a bit ridiculous because I was completely out of proportion.

I really screwed it up when I started going out with my mates while studying at uni and working part-time at Kmart; I started drinking, A LOT, stopped watching what I was eating and I met someone. But that’s great I hear you cry! Sure it was, but he was (and is still) a lovely guy and even as I continued to pack on weight, eventually I stacked on 32 and a bit kilos, he continued to tell me I wasn’t fat and that I was still a good size. Even as the numbers on my clothing tags continued to creep upwards and skywards, I told myself it wasn’t my fault, it was the clothing shops, and every store that I had to buy a size bigger than size 14, was a store that was stocking clothes made by tiny, tiny women.

I only really realised how big I had actually become when I saw a photo of myself at a friend’s Hen’s Day; I couldn’t blame it on a clothing store, I couldn’t blame it on an unflattering camera angle – the truth was…I was fat. I had become the thing I most feared.  {The photo that woke me up is at the bottom of this post!}

The rest is a story for another day, but basically, I got my ass into gear. My diet changed radically, I sorted out (kinda sorted out) some serious medical issues that were affecting my ability to lose weight and I got into exercise in a serious way. {See photo at the bottom – that was at the end of last year I think} My diet, until the last month or so is as follows:

I count calories – I used to write them all down, along with my fat grams, carbohydrates, sugar and sodium, I’ve been a bit lazy lately as I’ve memorised most of the calories in the foods I eat the most. This is going to get me back in my groove…

Food:

Breakfast:

I’m very, very naughty and don’t eat breakfast – I’m not a morning person and the thought of food at 6, or even before 9am in the morning, makes me feel physically ill; I have a glass of Feel Good Iced Coffee each morning instead

250mls Feel Good Iced Coffee – 105 calories 1.2g fat

Snack:

170g Dairy Farmers Fat Free Yoghurt – 168 calories 2.7g fat or 200g Fruit Salad in natural juices – 74 calories 0.4g fat

Lunch:

Chicken and Salad Sandwich (or something similar) with 97% Fat Free Mayo – approx. 150-160 calories approx. 3.5g fat

Tea:

150g Grilled Chicken Breast – 142 calories 3.1g fat

100g Steamed Vegies – 96 calories 0.7g fat

Total:

On most days (very good days!): 671 calories 11.2 g fat

Exercise:

Monday and Wednesday: 40 minutes of netball

Tuesday and Thursday: weights at the gym

Saturday morning: short cardio and weights session at the gym

Friday and Sunday: Nothing!

I think that’s about it for now!

92.7 or maybe more

92.7 or maybe more

Approx 71kgs (middle)

Approx 71kgs (middle){