5:2 fasting day 6 – and my best dinner recipe yet

I’ve reached the end of my sixth fasting day (I didn’t blog on day five, oops). Today something weird happened – I didn’t eat all of the food I’d allocated myself. I’m yet to eat my allocated apple on any fasting day, so that’s not surprising, but today I found myself arrive at dinner time having not eaten my cherry tomatoes at lunch or my cottage cheese in the afternoon either. That, combined with the apple, left me with an uneaten 188 allocated calories. Yippee!!

I also decided to give a new dinner recipe a go tonight- I’d planned another stirfry, but decided I don’t want to eat that too much, lest I burn myself out and never want to eat it again. So tonight’s dinner experiment was a creamy lemon tuna pasta (zoodle pasta), and it was GOOD!!! Like really good. Not good for a fasting day- good for any day! It comes in at about 270 calories.

Creamy Lemon Tuna Zoodles

Ingredients

  • 250 grams zucchini, spiralised – 35 cal
  • 50 g onion, diced – 14 cal
  • 1 tsp garlic – 5 cal
  • Small can of tuna in springwater, drained – 78 cal
  • Juice of half a lemon – 13 cal (ish)
  • 1 tsp French mustard – 6 cal
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 50 g Jalna natural greek yoghurt – 65 cal
  • 1 tsp veggie stock paste (calories unknown)
  • edit: paprika, to taste

Method

  1. Fry the onion until soft. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes until soft
  2. Add tuna, mustard, lemon juice, water, stock and simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring well.
  3. Add yoghurt and stir through
  4. Add zoodles and stir through the sauce. Keep on a medium heat and cook, stirring, until the zoodles are softened and hot
  5. Taste, and add paprika and additional pepper to taste
  6. Serve!

fasting day 6

I forgot to take a photo – oops! So here’s my day’s calories instead 😛

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Food FOMO

food fomoOver the last week, I’ve been playing with the idea of food FOMO. I have it. I’ve got food FOMO. I’ve been thinking about what it is, why I have it, what it means for me, and how to get rid of it. Then it occurred to me that food FOMO might just be another name for ‘total lack of self control when it comes to food’. Having said, that, I think perhaps it isn’t. I think food FOMO is it’s own thing.

Food FOMO = fear of missing out on food.

Sometimes it’s a fear of missing out because there’s finite food available in that circumstance. That’s the most obvious version of food FOMO, and I also think it’s the easiest to deal with. I think though there’s some deeper food FOMO happening, and it (probably) relates to how I’ve thought about food for a very long time. Now, it seems to have morphed into a thought process where I think “well I’m going to get my eating back in line really soon, so I should/can/want to eat X (x = cookie, cake, burger, chips, etc etc) because I’ll miss out on it soon”. Similarly, “well I wasn’t allowed to eat this growing up, and I’m an adult now, so I’ll just treat myself to this today”. Or, “that person drinks wine every night and they don’t carry extra weight, and I don’t drink much, so I can have wine too”.

It’s funny, but I often have the conversation with myself that were I to give up the crap, and start committing to eating better quality food, I actually wouldn’t be missing out at all – I’d be gaining better taste, and most likely better health. But then, there’s that little chocolate bar that sits on my shoulder saying “but then you couldn’t eat me….” and the miniature packet of salt and vinegar chips that yells “me too”. And it’s not about junk food per se- it’s about refined carbs that I know make me feel lethargic and bloated, and sugar that makes my heart race, in plenty of forms. I’ve weaned myself off those things once, and I felt better, and I was enjoying the food and find there was plenty enough sugar in it without the extra added, and yet here I am having just eaten a cookie from a wrapper.

I was going to write a very large blog about this, and try and make some resolutions or find actions or conclusions. But the reality is that I’m finding it incredibly hard and confronting to write. I’m feeling ashamed, pretty fat, lumpy, embarrassed, and not able to take action and make some change. I know it needs to come from me- I’ve seen enough people try and fail without their own motivation to know. I know it’s time to change, I know I’m risking an awful lot by staying like this… but here I am. Food FOMO is in full fling, and not sure what to do next.

Finding motivation: counting down to Spartan

Spartan-Race-Spartan-Logo2

I’ve lost some motivation recently. Not only with my eating (which didn’t surprise me at all), but also in my training (which did). Losing training motivation snuck up on me and yes, it surprised me a bit, because for the majority of the last 18 months my motivation’s been strong. While I’ve not enjoyed specific exercises, or had down days in the gym, for the most part I’ve wanted to be there and I’ve wanted the results. But over the past couple of months I’ve found myself consistently thinking about skipping-out on PT sessions, and dragging my way through them when they do happen. My PT’s noticed it too. At the start of the year I set a couple of goals for myself- weight loss (not specific), to be able to deadlift my own body weight, and to do a pull-up.

Turns out I’m very motivated by an end-point, but when I set that end-point myself I don’t work so well. This isn’t new to me- I’m constantly dealing with this exact same thing in the workplace when it comes to deadlines- but it’s a new concept for me in the gym. Needless to say, with no ‘other-imposed’ due date on those goals, they weren’t pushing me very hard.

Late last year I completed The Stampede, a 10 km obstacle event. It’s not a race- it’s supposed to be fun, supportive and non-competitive. My partner couldn’t do that event, so we’ve been keeping tabs on the obstacle race calender for a similar event to do together ever since. There’s been plenty happening across the first half of the year, but none of them at a convenient time. Anyway, Spartan Race recently announced their next Melbourne dates and races – on September 12 their running a 7 km, 21 km, and completely insane 42 km. So we signed up for the 7 km.

It’s crazy, but the day after I paid my cash and signed up, my motivation in the gym shot through the roof. Suddenly I had a six month time frame in which to achieve some fresh goals, and my mind was really really happy with that. Spartan seems to have a lot of monkey-bar style challenges (although it’s hard to tell, because they don’t release a map of the course), so my first goal is to improve my grip and upper body strength enough to be able to complete at least one of those obstacles. And if I can do one, hopefully I can do more.

We’ve signed up for the 7 km, because let’s face it, 21 km is just a bit nuts. The furthest I’ve ever run non-stop is about 3.5 km, and I’m definitely not up to running that right now, so my second goal is to get my running back up to a fairly decent standard. I’d like to be able to run 5 km of the 7- which should be doable, seeing as there’ll be obstacles breaking up the running. So it’s back to the Couch to 5km running app for me- and with six months, I know that’s realistic. I think the time-frame is the best bit about all of this. Not only do I have my motivation back, but I also have goals that I can actually achieve in the time frame. Run 5 km, do one monkey bar obstacle, and of course generally kick the rest of the course’s bum.

I know Spartan is a tougher, more competitive course and environment than the very family-friendly Stampede, but I’m really looking forward to giving it a go- and giving my body a go at pushing hard.

Panic, procrastination and food

Do you know that feeling, way down in the pit of your stomach? That feeling you get when you put off doing a piece of work, then you put it off some more, and some more again, until finally it’s due tomorrow (or yesterday)? And because you put it off you now have to rush it through, right at the last moment? It’s that feeling of panic, that seems to attack your brain and your stomach at the same time. You kind of feel sick, and you feel anxious, and panic sets in.

I’m a procrastinator, and this feeling’s not unusual to me. I felt it throughout high school, I felt it throughout uni, and I feel it at work. For me, it’s about finding that sweet spot between last minute and overdue. It’s about balancing the adrenaline of the last minute, without hitting full-blown panic mode. When I hit that sweet spot I’m really productive, and I produce my best work. When I go too far into the panic zone, I procrastinate more because I get myself worked up to the point that I don’t even know where to start.

As I said, this is not a new phenomenon to me. What is new, though, is the situation in which I’ve recently felt the panic set in. I knew my eating wasn’t going to be great over Christmas. I accepted that, and honestly, I embraced it a bit too much. Christmas came and went, and the start of the year was busy. It was hard for me to put in the time for food preparation, so I stuck with convenient eating. And because I was eating ‘conveniently’, my brain justified that it was ok to eat the crap. The chocolate, the cheese, the soft drinks, the junk food- they were all ok, because I was eating for convenience. As soon as I ‘started eating right’ again, all that stuff would go.

The problem is, it’s nearly March and I’m still eating ‘conveniently’. Not because I need to in terms of a busy life, in most cases, but because I’ve hit the panic zone. I’ve passed the sweet spot- I kept saying “next week I’ll start again. Next week…” but there was always a reason not to start next week. I was busy on Sunday and couldn’t make lunches for the week, and Monday morning would role around and I didn’t have breakfasts ready for the week either. Oh well, back to the convenient eating (read: buy all meals from the cafĂ© downstairs at work)- I’d start next Monday.

This morning I realised that I’ve had that sinking, sick feeling in my stomach recently. Part of it’s to do with work (where I’m struggling to find motivation), but some of it’s also to do with my continual putting-off of getting my food back on track. And as if to justify the fact that I’m not eating the right foods, I’m eating more of the wrong foods. I’m pushing my body into a worse and worse state, because it’s easier to keep saying “this is my last binge” than “say no this time, and say no next time, and things will get easier”. As well as eating bad foods when I have no choice, I’m making poor choices when I do have a choice.

There’s no answer or solution to this post. If you’re reading this and you know the feeling, I’d love to hear about it. I guess I’ll self-resolve, although I’m concerned that this is the start of a bad ongoing cycle. I’ve got to give myself a wake-up call. Problem is, just thinking about trying to find that wake-up call sets off that panicked feeling inside me- I’m in so deep, and I don’t know how to find it.

Hiking, bikinis, and… what should I eat?

The Cathedral Range- looking south along the ridge towards The Farmyard

The Cathedral Range- looking south along the ridge towards The Farmyard

I’ve had a lot of thoughts about what I was going to write about here this week. I want to tell you that I went hiking last weekend, and I want to tell you that I wore two-piece bathers (swimsuit? togs?) and felt comfortable in them for the first time in my life. I want to tell you about a discussion I had with my colleague about growing up as a ‘not very active’ kid, and about my idea to just smash out the clean eating for one week. Just one week- baby steps!! I guess I’ll talk about it all, at least for a little bit.

cathedrals1

View from the top

Last weekend had the Australia Day public holiday tacked onto the end of it, so after only a week back at work I got a long weekend. With some friends I headed out to the Cathedral Range State Park to do a day hike- and what a day hike it was. The hike was part of our training in preparation to climb Mt Bogong in March, so we knew the day would be a tough slog, but it turned out to be a tougher slog than expected. For a variety of reasons, the walk that we’d estimated to take 4-5 hours ultimately ended up taking 8. You know what though? Physically I was fine – in fact I was great. It was a long day of walking across 12km and very varied terrain, but I pulled up really well at the end of it all. About 2 km from the end we faced a huge staircase uphill, and for some unknown reason I ran up the entire thing. I guess I had energy to spare!! Ultimately a full day hiking through beautiful countryside is definitely not a bad thing at all, as long as everyone’s safe and happy. Which we were!! I’ve put a map of our hike further down in this post, in case any of you care to follow in our footsteps (perhaps next long weekend!).

The long weekend was warm, so as well as hiking I ended up at the beach. It was just an afternoon trip to take a dip in the ocean to cool down, but I still managed to pack two sets of bathers. When my friend and I parked the car a decision had to be made: should I wear the one-piece with the built in support that hides my podgy tummy, or should I accept the fact that the only person I was going to see that I knew was my very non-judgemental friend, and therefore wear the halter neck bikini? I thought about it for a bit. I put sunscreen on. Then I sucked it up, put on the bikini and a huge hat and sunglasses, went swimming, and promptly forgot to care about how I looked. Lesson learned.

I think I might save my discussion on growing up ‘not very active’ for another day- there’s probably a lot more than half a post’s worth of musings and discussions in me on that topic, I reckon!

So, on to the week’s worth of eating clean. I was doing great last year. I cut out the refined carbs and refined sugars, was limiting the amount of unrefined carbs I was eating, and once I got through the week 3 withdrawal craziness I felt really good (and I was losing weight). Then stuff got busy, Christmas happened, and suddenly I can barely remember the last time I brought my own breakfast or lunch to work. It’s time to get back on it. I find it a bit overwhelming thinking about getting back into it all- I still feel like I don’t have much time, and honestly my habits have slipped badly. I’m back on a freddo-a-day habit. So in an attempt to #SayNoToFreddo I’m thinking I might start out with a week of hard line healthy eating, and go from there. Plan it all out, do some cooking, make no excuses- just for a week. I can handle that. I hope! I really do hope, because I’m really not sure. Except I’ve done it before, for longer than a week, so I can do it again 🙂

I’m not starting today, or tomorrow, so watch this space- and in the mean time I’ll attempt to be kind to myself by easing my way into it all.

cathedrals3

Our hiking route at the Cathedral Range State Park- starting at Ned’s Gully car park, and ending at Cook’s Mill car park (click for enlarged view)

 

The Challenge is over… and a new countdown!!

Well, my 12 weeks challenge is officially over, as of today. I’ll be weighing myself tonight to find out how I’ve done, although I suspect my final number may not reflect the true amount of change that’s taken place. I know I’ve lost more fat than the scales will indicate, because I know I’ve gained a whole heap of muscle and strength over the past few weeks. Despite that, I think my total weightloss for the 12 weeks will be somewhere around the 6 kg mark which I’m really happy with. I had great weeks and I had weeks where I didn’t do so well, but overall I feel like I’ve lost weight at a safe and sustainable pace, in a safe and sustainable way.

My real challenge now is keeping focused when it comes to eating. I’ve been slipping a bit recently, and letting any old excuse do. That can’t keep happening- I know I’ve changed some habits, but I’ve got some more to go, and I don’t want to let the hard work be undone. This is permanent.

I’ll update with the final numbers in a couple of days but in the mean time I’m about to remove the Challenge countdown and put up a new one, counting down the days until The Stampede. I’m 6 weeks out, and I’ve signed up to do the 10km event (eep!!). I think the thing I need to work on the most right now is my running (blegh), but 6 weeks is enough time to get that up a bit. I’ve found the Stampede’s recommended pre-training, so I’ll start doing that once a week when I can. There’s a few things I’ll need to alter in there, but I always knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it all. The great thing is that I feel like I have that capability and know-how (and confidence!) to alter a training program myself now, so I can get out there and just do it.

Some lessons hard learned (but learned none the less)

fruit and veg

My dinner for the last fortnight

The last fortnight has been busy for me. Super busy. I’ve been away from home a lot, and I haven’t had a lot of time to prepare meals. In fact, for a few days there everything I ate was completely out of my control.

For the most part I’ve been really good- what could have easily turned into an excuse to eat McDonalds every night for dinner for a fortnight instead became a love-fest for apples, carrots and capsicums. In the last two weeks I’ve consumed a minimum of 14 apples, 7 raw carrots and 7 raw capsicums- and that’s just been the contents of my dinner. My protein intake’s been a little bit low as a result, but overall I’m much happier for having eaten huge amounts of raw veggies than I would have been if I’d eaten maccas.

For the first half of last week I was on a campsite. Like, the kind you go on for school camp. The site I was at does pretty good food by campsite standards, it’s not entirely gross, but unfortunately it didn’t fit in very well with my current diet at all. I’ve been going to this place for years, but I’d never quite realised just how many wheat-based carbs they pump into their visitors. Cereal and toast for breakfast, sandwiches and wraps for lunch, pasta and pizza for dinner, and scones, cakes and biscuits for morning tea and supper. On top of that I was incredibly tired and gave out to some nasty old snacking habits.

I just hadn’t had time to mentally prepare myself for my time away, so I hadn’t psyched myself up to pass on the morning teas and suppers, or to say no to the copious amounts of lollies and chips that were being passed around. I did fine at breakfast, eating fruit and coffee instead of the wheat-based carbs, but by morning tea I was on the bandwagon and eating the sweet stuff. Lunchtimes were fine- I passed on the rolls and wraps and chose to have the salad and proteins by themselves, but that’s as good as I got. Lolly snakes were my major downfall, as was a late afternoon box of TeeVee Snacks chocolate biscuits.

Couple all of that eating with a grand total of zero exercise, and by the end of day three I’d put on a whopping two kilograms. Wow. Not only was I heavier, but I was feeling revolting. For the first time I truly understood the meaning of the word ‘bloated’- my tummy felt bloated, as did my arms, legs, face, feet….. I just felt really blown out. Without going into too much detail my bowel was seriously confused, and I was letting off some pretty foul smells. For the first time I realised just what a huge impact my dietary change is having on my body.

Upon returning home on Wednesday I was immediately back into my preferred eating habits- lots of fruit and veg, enough protein, minimal carbs, and no wheat. Within half a day I was feeling better. Despite being tired I hit the gym three days in a row, and by Saturday morning (just 48 hours after I’d weighed in at 2 kg heavier) I’d dropped 1.25kg again.

What a freaky lesson in, well, everything. The importance of listening to my body, the importance of exercise, and the impact that refined carbs and refined sugar has on my body. I’m back on track again, and with only 2 weeks until the conclusion of The Challenge I’m hoping to be very close to having lost 8 kg by the time it’s over.

 

P.S- a few blogs ago I wrote that I was aiming to deadlift 60 kg soon. On Saturday I managed to do just that- and do a set of 10!! Pretty stoked, and looking forward to smashing some more PBs in that area 🙂

Time to step up the exercise

day 21

day 21

Well, weekend #2 is down and I’m officially heading into week three- I’m up to day 15!! Time’s kind of flown and it makes me worried that I’m not trying hard enough, not pushing myself hard enough. My food’s been pretty great- the only thing I wasn’t completely happy with over the weekend was dinner last night- Indian takeaway. Having said that, I didn’t have any rice or bread- curries only- which means I was consuming veg and meat (all good) and a bit too much oil (not so good). As far as ‘bad’ meals go, that’s not too bad. Especially when the rest of my weekend was very good- I even said no to garlic bread on Saturday night. Garlic bread!!!! I was so so so tempted to just have on small piece with my pea and ham soup, but J was great and kind of talked me through it. His support has been so awesome over the past two weeks, I wouldn’t have got this far without it.

On Thursday night my trainer weighed me, and told me I’d lost 800 grams since Monday night. What!? 800 grams in three days?! That was pretty exciting. I’ll weigh in again tonight, so it will be interesting to see where I’m at post-weekend. I’m feeling a bit frumpy, and I’m a bit worried that nothing will have fallen off over the last couple of days (then again, I was feeling this exact same way last Monday and ended up having lost 500 g across the weekend).

So why am I feeling like this? The answer = exercise. I normally have a PT session on Friday night, but last week he couldn’t make it. He left me with exercises to do, but life got in the way and I didn’t make it to the gym (I would have had to cancel my session with him even if he’d been around). That meant I’d done three days of training in the week so far, my old benchmark, so I definitely needed to do some moving and shaking over the weekend to make sure my days were up from 3 to 4 or 5. Needless to say, it didn’t happen. It’s not like I sat on my bum for two days- I was busy the entire time, doing ‘weekendy’ stuff. Visiting a market, spending time with the family, all those kinds of things.

But three workouts in a week is not enough any more. One of the habits I want to kill is thinking that three in a week is enough, and one of the habits I want to kickstart is getting at least four workouts happening per week. For the duration of the challenge, it should really be a minimum of five.

I’ve been reading the forum on the Challenge website. Some people have shed more than 7 kg in the last two weeks. That seems pretty dramatic weight loss in a quick time to me, and I’m wondering whether some of them are becoming truly active for the first time at the same time as changing their diet, which is leading to such dramatic weigh loss? For my own part, last time I weighed in I’d lost upwards of 2.5 kg in less than the two weeks, and I was stoked. I guess I’m just at the point where I actually know I’m capable of more than that, and if the scales don’t show me what I want to see this afternoon then I’ll be really disappointed in myself. Honestly, whatever they show I’ll be disappointed in myself- because I know I could have done more to get a better result.

But I didn’t, and the lesson is learned. I’m heading into week 3, and it’s time to stop making excuses. Food’s doing really well- time for the exercise to match it.

My first weekend

Well here I am, on day six of my 12 week challenge. My first five days actually went really really well- and I suspect that’s because they were weekdays. On weekdays I have near complete control of what goes into my mouth, and the exercise I do. Breakfast, lunch and snacks all happen at my desk, and dinner is pre-planned, as is exercise. When I have my gym gear sitting underneath my desk, it would be silly to carry it home rather than heading to the gym if I’ve planned a workout.

But on weekends, things change. I wake up later, which means I don’t want to eat as big a breakfast (after all, lunch is just around the corner). Another factor for me on weekends is that I spend a fair bit of time with my family. By no means do my family eat unhealthy (in fact they eat really healthily)- they just eat differently to how I’m trying to at the moment. Today for instance, my mum made a delicious vegetarian cauliflower crust pizza for lunch. I was pretty excited about the prospect of this (lots of veg to be had here!!) but it turns out my mum’s recipe contains quinoa and chia seeds- both things which, honestly, I have no idea if I’m supposed to be eating right now. Given that I’m trying to make a complete break from most carbs right now, the pizza base combined with some fetta cheese on the top of it made me feel like I was eating a massive cheat meal, without really wanting to.

How crazy is that?!?! I’m sitting there eating a delicious cauliflower base pizza, and I’m feeling kind of like I’m eating a huge hamburger with fries, and I’m feeling that guilty about it. Cauliflower pizza. All veg.

If I reflect on today, my logic tells me I’ve had a really good day of eating. A long black with a dash of  milk, a few mouthfuls of a couple of raw vegan desserts my mum was trialling (mostly nuts, dates and fruit in these), the pizza, and some cherry tomatoes (dinner’s still to come). It’s a day lacking in protein, but besides that it doesn’t look too bad at all. Except that I feel like I’ve had a ‘bad’ day.

I think it’s all a matter of perspective. I’ve had six days of (dare I say it) ‘clean’ eating, and that’s a huge achievement for me. I’ve lost weight- a lot more than I’d hoped I would in my first week. This time two weeks ago, my idea of an unhealthy lunch was a pile of lasagne with some chips on the side, and today it’s a meal that contains anything other than meat, veg, herbs and spices.

I’ve had a really good week, and next week’s going to be just as good. If I can just get through tomorrow (which I will), it’s all downhill until Saturday rolls around next week. At least that’s what I hope. And intend.

Two small days of achieving big

Good morning!

Before I head into a couple of big meetings for the day, I want to share with you two small days of big achievements. It’s Wednesday today- three days since the challenge started- and for the first time in my life I can say that for two days straight I have eaten exactly what I intended to eat. No cheating, no blow-out snacking, nothing ‘bad’, just healthy food.

I have met the challenge for two days. 82 left to go.

I also started my new gym habit last night, with a self-guided gym workout (no PT involved). It was cardio night so I did some time on a bike, then spent the rest on the rowing machine. Probably not as long a workout as it could have been, but I had to get home in time to make it to the fruit and veg shop before it closed. That’s compromise for you. I’m going to take a rest day today- it is not my intention to rest on Wednesdays, but if i’m adding two cardio workouts to my week that weren’t there before (on top of the pre-existing 3 days of weights training), then I need to work into it. I really don’t want to burn out on week one.

For that reason I’m also going to allow myself a piece of raw vegan cheesecake tonight. Not that there’s anything bad in it- some fruit and nuts really! The worst is some coconut oil and a little bit of golden syrup, but per slice it’s really not bad. If it tastes any good I’ll share the recipe here soon.

So that’s it- I have achieved big in the last two days, by my standards, and I’m proud of myself. Oh, and I’ve lost some weight! (a little bit. Not much, not enough to share numbers, but still- I’m moving in the negative direction)

It feels unnecessary sharing this on here, but then, that’s why I started this blog- to share my difficulties and to celebrate my successes.