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.

Something’s got to change…

Something’s got to change. I’m in my mid-20’s and in the last 12 months, several of my relatives have had significant health scares. These haven’t been wake-up calls for me in the sense that they’ve reminded me how short and precious life is blah blah blah- instead they’ve reminded me of exactly the genetic hand I’ve been dealt. They’ve reminded me that the female side of my family’s ‘big bum’ syndrome means more than just a big bum- it means that I have the genetic tendency to be a bit bigger than I should be, in areas that count. They’ve reminded me that everyone has an increased likelihood of experiencing these issues if they’re overweight- even just a little bit. They’ve reminded me that I have, more than the average person, an increased likelihood of experiencing these same health issues, because these are now part of my genetics.

I’m 26, and it’s safe to say that it has taken me every minute of my 26 years to come to terms with, accept and perhaps even like the body that I have. I’ve started to figure out what styles of clothing work best for me, and I’ve figured out that there’s some that I shouldn’t even try (and that’s ok!). It’s not because of my size- it’s because of my shape. And the thing is, I’m ok with all of it. It’s fine. It’s all good. The tough thing for me now is the recent discovery that, despite my body acceptance, I need to make some changes.

I have what is commonly called a ‘spare tire’ of fat around my middle. I wear somewhere between dress size 10-14 AU depending on the brand and style of the dress, so I don’t classify myself as particularly big, but as I’ve come to terms with my body shape I’ve realised there’s actually a bigger factor than how I look: how I feel. And I don’t feel healthy. When I sit down I can feel the bulge of my tummy, and the blergh of fat on my hips (yes, a blergh. I can’t describe it any other way). I don’t feel like I’m the best that I can be, and worse than that- I’m potentially making myself sick. It’s been proven that the bigger your waistline gets, the more increased your risk of developing a chronic disease- and my waistline has, over the course of the years, been growing. Right now it’s not too bad, but my body’s on an increasing trend. I need to stop that. The chronic diseases that are referred to in regards to an increasing waistline are some of the exact health scares my family members have experienced, so the increased genetic disposition + the increasing waistline means that it’s time for me to do something.

I’m not an inactive person. I go to the gym three times a week, with a personal trainer, and over the last year I’ve been kicking some really great goals there. My strength and stamina has improved, and I’m feeling great. Unfortunately the exercise really hasn’t had much influence on my body shape or weight, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to review what I’m putting in my mouth. And that’s the point of this blog. I’m not going on a diet- I’m going to be making some sustainable changes. I’m a creature of habit, so I’m going to need to do some drastic stuff in order to kick-start the process, but I’ll tell you some more about that next time I write.

For now, you just need to know that this blog exists to help me keep accountable. It’s a diary for myself that I’m making public for a couple of reasons. Firstly I hope that documenting the process will validate it. By putting my efforts down on paper (or on screen), those efforts exist- even if I can’t see the results. Secondly, making it public keeps me accountable. Maybe you’re reading this, maybe you’re not, but the thought that someone might follow the entire process seems to me like a good way to keep me motivated.

Perhaps this process will also connect me to other people who have been on similar journeys.