5:2 fasting day #9! Things that fasting is encouraging me to do

So, today is my ninth fasting day. Ninth! That means I’m in my fifth week of fasting. Woah. I haven’t weighed myself recently, so I don’t know whether it’s having big impact or little impact right now, but I’ll do that tomorrow morning and report back.

It’s funny, I’ve had three really great fasting days recently, but today’s feeling harder. I’ve drunk lots of water and tea, and I held off with lunch until reasonably late, but it’s 4 pm and I’m really hungry and my brain’s fading. The silly thing is that I haven’t had the apple or cottage cheese I’ve allocated myself for snacks, so I actually have food there, but I’ve been getting into the habit of eating less during the day so I can have a bit of protein with my dinner, and come in a tad under 500 calories. Tonight is an all-veg meal, so perhaps I should just eat the cheese now. Or, as I’ve just calculated, I could have two squares of lindt 70% chocolate after dinner. Decisions!!!

The last four weeks of fasting have not only given my body a break to start changing, but also given my mind a chance to start thinking and reflecting. As well as that, I’m seeing some small changes to my non-fasting days, without even intending to. They’re small, but they’re a start – and they’re sustainable. So without further ado, here’s three things that fasting’s encouraged me to do:

  • Consciously eat
    I think I suffer from a little bit of food fomo. No matter what I eat, I hurry through it lest I miss out on the next thing. Eating on fasting days, especially eating dinner on fasting days, has forced me to slow down. Once I realise that after this dinner is gone there is no more, I slow down my eating. I enjoy each mouthful, I take my time, I chew properly, and I savor the taste that lingers in my mouth after I’ve finished the meal. The same thought is starting to pop into my mind while I eat on non-fasting days now. Slow down, savor the food – you don’t need anything more than what is on your plate.
  • Drink more water
    On fasting days, I’ve started filling a waterbottle and having it on my desk. I sip it throughout the day, and it keeps the tummy rumbles away. I’m not normally great at drinking much water, so this is a big step for me. Having the bottle there on non-fasting days means I’ve started sipping throughout the day on those days as well, which can only be a good thing!
  • Question my hunger
    For the most part (excluding this afternoon) I rarely feel hungry on fasting days. I feel peckish by lunchtime, but I snack slowly across the afternoon. The only time I feel really hungry is the occasional morning after I have fasted, which is probably because of the lack of protein in my dinner. I often think I’m hungry while I’m cooking dinner, but when I really think about it I realise it’s just habit. Habit that I normally eat at this time, habit that I don’t have anything else to do right at that moment, habit that I should be hungry. Rarely am I actually hungry.

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 😛

A day in the life of a 5:2 faster – my third fasting day

A fasting day on a stressful and busy day at work is a funny thing. In some respects it’s  lot easier – the more time I spend thinking about my work, or stressing about deadlines, or muddling over what my manager’s email might have meant, the less time I spend thinking about the food I’m not eating. Equally, the busier I am, the quicker my morning goes which means I start the ‘eating’ portion of my day later. On the other hand, the things I’d normally turn to for stress relief or to break up a busy day (chocolate, coffee, anything from a vending machine) aren’t available to me on fasting days. But then again, I suppose that’s a good thing. So on the balance of things, fasting day + busy work day = positive.

I mentioned waiting until later in the day before I start eating- this is really, really important for me. Once I start eating, I think about eating a lot. I guess this goes for fasting and non-fasting days. And once I start thinking about eating, I eat more (duh). My fasting days so far have all looked pretty similar:

  • 9 am – small coffee (latte)
  • 1 pm(ish) – pull out my massive container of chopped veggies and start chomping
  • 3 pm (ish) – finish chomping through massive container of veggies
  • 3:10 pm – start thinking about eating. Tell self that I’ve just finished lunch, and don’t need food right now
  • 3:20 pm – tell self that I should hold off until 4 pm to eat my cottage cheese
  • 3:30 pm – decide that I CAN hold off until 4 pm to eat my cottage cheese
  • 3:40 pm – ponder that if I hold off eating my cottage cheese util 4 pm, then I won’t eat my apple at work – I can save it for dessert!
  • 4 pm – consider getting cottage cheese out of fridge
  • 4:10 pm – decide to hold off on the cottage cheese until 4:30 pm. I’ve got to be at work until 6, after all.
  • 4:30 pm – begin to eat cottage cheese, veeeeeery slowly
  • 5:15 pm – finish cottage cheese (yes, really. I can make 100g of cottage cheese last 45 minutes)
  • 6:30 pm – get home. Weigh and chop up veggies for dinner, so I know exactly how much food I can look forward to for dinner. Marvel over the amount.
  • 7:00 pm – consider cooking dinner, after tummy rumbles. Have a cup of tea. Muse that if I can hold off on dinner I might not need the apple, and that would save me 50 calories!
  • 7:15 pm – decide to cook at 7:30. After all, the later I cook the less time I have to try and resist food post-dinner
  • 7:30 pm – cook dinner, eat straight away
  • 7:45 pm – have second bowl of dinner (I told you there was a lot)
  • 8 pm – decide I definitely don’t need the apple. Feel awesome about not eating the apple, and therefore being closer to 500 cal than 600 cal in my day.

So there you go. You can probably see from that run-down why it’s important that I hold off eating lunch as long as possible, because it’s definitely all down-hill after that point! And that’s ok, it’s not supposed to be easier, and it could definitely be a lot harder too.

It’s 4:17 pm currently, so you can see what my inner dialogue’s got planned for the rest of the evening- a lot of self-negotiation! I’m trying a new low-cal dinner tonight- if it works, I’ll put it up here. Actually, I’ll put up my stirfry recipe at some stage too. Hopefully someone will find it useful!

What Eat like an Adult means

Alright. As referred to a couple of days ago, here’s what Eating like an Adult means to me:

  • Wine is for weekends (and so is any other alcohol)
  • Take breakfast and lunch to work every day
  • Cook dinner most nights
  • All baked goods consumed must be home made
  • If goods are going to be baked, a raw option must be seriously considered first
  • Food preparation and planning is essential. Bulk shopping and cooking will happen on Sundays or Monday nights
  • One coffee per day- two on weekends
  • Work towards the long black with milk. Work away from the latte.
  • Craving something sweet? Eat fruit
  • Craving something sweet? Eat some good fat
  • No bread, no rice
  • Eat as little sugar as possible. The WHO recommends 6 teaspoons a day- aim for that
  • Dessert is a sometimes food. So is chocolate.
  • Have Loving Earth or Pana Chocolate in the house at all times, and eat sparingly when required
  • Re-visit raw chocolate mousse
  • In times of Take-Away, there will be no rice and no roti consumed
  • No diet soft drink. No full-sugar soft drink. No juice.
  • Water and mineral water, lots of it
  • Focus on good protein and lots of vegetables at meal times
  • Protein doesn’t need to be meat
  • Make home made hommus
  • Love cooking. Invest time into cooking. Reinvigorate cooking as a hobby.
  • Figure out how to satisfy the 3 pm craving at work. Cook or bake accordingly.
  • Eating out? Soup is a good choice. You always enjoy it more than you think you will.
  • Eating out? Choose the most delicious looking meat-and-veg dish you can see on the menu. You might like the idea of the pasta, but you’ll like the taste of the other dish more.
  • Choice between salad and chips? Go the salad
  • Read the packets. Stick with the natural stuff. If you’re going to eat pre-made, then make sure the ingredient list looks like a recipe list.
  • Control the food fomo. When there’s lots of food on offer, take only what you need (not what you want)
  • Listen. Is your body hungry? Are you bored? Are you dehydrated?
  • Know what qualifies as a special occasion. Choose your moments to indulge/celebrate.
  • Do not indulge on a daily/weekly basis
  • If you’re going to eat like a kid, at least make it worth doing (don’t eat the really bad high-calorie food. Eat the really good high-calorie food. Choose the cheese over the chips)
  • The following foods are not to be eaten every single day, but nor are they to be associated with guilt when consumed:
    – Sweet potato
    – Cheese
    – Loving Earth or Pana Chocolate
    – Any ‘raw’ home-baked goods
    – Corn
    – Barley/Quinoa
  • Eat nothing from service stations. Eat nothing from fast food outlets.

So there you go. I might come back to this list and add stuff- I might decided some of it’s not so adult after all. I might call this list The Rules- or I might find that restrictive, and not. We’ll see!

Eating like and Adult

Recently J and I have been considering and discussing each of our respective gym, food and body goals. He wants to bulk up, and I want to slim down. By which I mean he wants to gain muscle, and I want to lose fat. While both of us are reasonably (reeeeasonably) happy with our exercise regimes, we both know our food needs to change in order to see the results we want. The question is- can we eat the same things, and still achieve our (very different) goals? We’re going to give it a shot.

We’ve got a window of opportunity coming up which provides us with a neat two months to makes some changes. It’s not a deadline, nor will life particularly change in any other way during this time- it’s just an opportunity to measure some time in ways other than setting deadlines. So yesterday J suggested we use this time to really bunker down and commit to some new habits. The question was, is there a set of new habits we can both commit to, that will help us achieve our respective goals?

I’ve played with the idea of Paleo for a while. Pete Evans’ The Paleo Way certainly seems appealing, with its many positive Facebook testimonials and its daily meal planners and recipes. But J isn’t sold on paleo as a way to bulk, and I’m not sold on the idea of ridding my life of dairy. I’ve also played with the idea of Cyndi O’Meara’s Hunter Gatherer Elimination Protocol. I like the idea of elimination foods then slowly reintroducing them to see how my body feels when I consume them. But even Cyndi admits that this protocol is, at its heart, a paleo diet. Then there’s Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar. I’m coming around to this one, although I haven’t read terribly much about it yet. But I do think there’s elements in there I could adopt. Then of course there’s Low Carb High Fat, which is the lifestyle of choice for some in my household at the moment. I could write a lot about LCHF, but I’m not going to. It will turn into a rant, and I’ll start arguing for and against it at the same time.

I’ve written before about how I’m confused about what I should or shouldn’t be eating, and which diet is best, so when J suggested we start down this path I was worried that I was heading towards another slippery slide of confusion. Then he suggested that we eat like adults. We. Eat. Like. Adults. At first I thought this wouldn’t work for me. It’s too broad, there’s no parametres, and I can talk myself out of/around it too easily. Who knows- maybe I will. But I’m going to attempt a list of what eating like an adult means to me, and once I’ve got that then J and I can figure out what it means for us. For this to work we both need to be doing similar stuff. Really similar stuff. Preparing two different types of meals won’t work, and handing him a big plate of processed carbs while I suck up the green veg won’t work either. My Eat Like An Adult list will come later (maybe later today). This will be interesting.

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.

Mt Bogong Conquestathon: up the Staircase Spur

bogong medal

As I mentioned last week, my friends and I were off to climb Mt Bogong. Well, we did it. It took a (very) long time, but it was a team effort and not only did we make it up the mountain, but we made it down too- which is no mean feat, when you consider that you reach the summit just 8 km into the 22 km round trip! This was my third ascent of the mountain in five months, having camped overnight on the summit the first time and done the full loop in one day the second, and each ascent (and descent!) has presented its own challenges and obstacles. In the lead-up to each of my climbs I’ve tried to do some research about the climb to share with others, but there’s not a whole lot out there for walkers doing the Staircase Spur – Eskdale Spur loop, so I thought I’d do a bit of a write-up here.

As a way of background, the Mt Bogong Conquestathon is an annual event run by the Mt Beauty Lions Club over the Labour Day long weekend. I’d love to link you to a website, but unfortunately that particular Lions Club is somewhat behind the times. To register to participate you simply turn up on the morning of the event, $20 in hand, and they’ll register you on the spot.

We started our walk just after 6:30 am, when light was only just beginning to emerge. The first 2 km of the walk are an easy undulating path along a 4WD track, with the occasional walking path diverging to cross footbridges. It’s a great warm-up, and you can power along it in about 20 minutes. The 2 km is over before you know it, and you find yourself at the start of the 6 km Staircase Spur. This spur is names the Staircase not for the hundreds (thousands?) of steps you walk up on your way to the summit, but rather the ‘stairs’ that make up the topography of the spur. The first half of the Staircase is nasty. It starts off ok, and you find yourself lulled into a false sense of security. Sure it’s steep, but it’s not too bad! Oh, did I mention that along the 6 km of the staircase spur you’ll be rising 1.5 km in height?!!

Around a quarter of the way (45 minutes at a reasonable trudging pace) there’s a giant log that’s fallen down and been cut into several pieces in a relatively flat small clearing. If you’re hiking in a group that’s split in two, this is a good place to re-group and catch your breathe. It’s also a good place to remind yourself to eat something, and drink more water. From this point the track gets harder. There’s very steep sections that are also slippery with dust and dry leaf cover, and it’s here that your legs will start to feel the burn a little (if they haven’t already!!). After an hour or so of this, you’ll reach the halfway point of the climb- Bivouac Hut.

I know some people camp at Bivouac Hut, but I can’t see the point- you’re only a few hours into the climb, and you’re asked not to camp in the hut itself anyway. Even if you’re not camping there, though, the hut makes a great rest point. There’s plenty of shade and flat ground, and a very well maintained drop-toilet (carry your own toilet paper!). Walking into the clearing on Sunday was a lovely experience- there would have been 60 or so people all resting and preparing to continue on their walk, but there was no more than a quiet murmur in the air. Although we were sharing the mountain with 240 other people, there was still plenty of space to enjoy the environment in which we were hiking. Everyone was super respectful.

After the hut, you enter what I think is the most beautiful part of the hike. Immediately after leaving the hut you find yourself surrounded my snowgums, and the terrain changes dramatically- we’ve now entered the ‘staircase’ section of Staircase spur. There are four ‘stairs’ altogether (I reckon, anyway). The first I would class as medium difficulty- you’re walking up well formed stairs of varying sizes most of the way, so it’s a constant uphill, but the length is not too long. At the top of each ‘stair’ the terrain flattens out for 10 or so metres, so you’ve got time to catch your breath. These are often the places with the best views, too. ‘Stair’ number 2 is what I would call the ‘arsehole stair’ (excuse my language). It’s not massively steep, but it just keeps going and going and going. You think you’re at the top- but you’re not!!! Stair 3 is much like Stair 1, but Stair 4 is where the magic happens- you can see the ridge you’re about to climb, but magically halfway up you round a corner and realise that the path is actually going to take you around the rest of the hill, not over it. It’s here that you get wonderful views of Eskdale Spur, which you’ll be walking down, and you can also see Michel Hut.

From this point you walk for about a kilometre on a relatively flat track through above-the-snowline terrain. It’s beautiful here, especially in summer when the flowers are out. Enjoy it while you can though, because the final climb before the summit’s a bit of a killer. Whether it be genuinely physically hard, or whether it’s just the fact that you’ve been climbing for four or so hours and your brain’s getting tired, I’m not sure. But either way, the combination of mental and physical toughness means many people call this the toughest part of the climb. I’m not sure I agree with them- if you take your time, pause for breath and a look at the view often, and remember to truly appreciate where you are, then the final 20-30 minutes fly by. From there it’s an easy 200 metre stroll along the ridge to the top.

bogong summitThe summit of Mt Bogong’s not exactly what you’d expect. Instead of the top of the tallest mountain in Victoria, it just kind of feels like you’re in the middle of a very highly elevated field. That’s not to say there’s not a great view though- on a clear day you can see all the way to Mt Kosciuzko (I had to google how to spell that).

The walk down Eskdale Spur starts out well. The terrain is rocky and reasonably steep but the views are spectacular. Once you hit Michel’s Hut and the treeline, however, it goes downhill somewhat. By this stage you’ll have been walking for approximately 45 minutes (if you stopped to take some photos along the way), and you’ve got somewhere between 45 – 70 minutes left of downhill depending on how confident you are on your feet. And believe me, you need to be confident. The Eskdale Spur is steep, slippery, and the surroundings can become monotonous after a while. Take care to stay mentally alert- it’s when you forget to concentrate that you find yourself flat on your backside!!

Make it to the bottom of the spur and you’ll find yourself at Camp Creek car park. I think this car park is closed off most of the year, and is only accessible by 4WD track, so chances are at this point you’ve got somewhere around 7 km to go (the definite distance is debatable). First up is a solid 700 m or so of downhill through tree fern-laden bush. It’s a nice change in scenery, but there’s a lot of scrub over the track so keep looking down. Once you’ve hit the bottom of that hill you’re on the home stretch- it’s all undulating 4WD track from now on. Personally, the first time I did this loop in a day, I found this stretch the hardest part. I concentrated so hard on the climb and the ascent that I left practically nothing in the tank, and that was a mistake.

Speaking of the tank, make sure you carry plenty of food and water. I got through 5.5 litres of water on Sunday, and that included refilling in the creek somewhere on the final stretch.

This walk is spectacular, and if you’re a bushwalker you’ve got to give it a go. If you’re not, then the Conquestathon’s a great place to start- but make sure you get plenty of practice km under your feet first!!!

bogong view

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 café 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.

Getting my body and my bank balance into shape [raw Thai salad with ginger lime chicken]

thai salad 1

Raw Thai salad with ginger lime chicken

 

Happy New Year!!

I just had a sudden thought. I know I want to be better at blogging, I know I gain satisfaction from writing it, and I enjoy reading other people’s blogs. So this year I will commit to writing at least one blog post a week. I just had a little panic when I decided I wanted to do this and realised it’s the 7th of January, but I guess that counts as being in the first week of the year. Having said that, I’m going to go by calendar weeks (Sunday – Saturday) so I guess I’m behind… whatever. We’ll all deal with it, I’m sure!!!

Well, the holiday season has come and the holiday season has gone. Yesterday was my birthday, which I tend to count as the official end of my annual food and drink overload, which means it’s time to start the discipline again. The wine and cheese has been wonderful, but it’s time to return to reality. Over the season I’ve gained some weight, which is unsurprising, but really the collateral damage is a lot less than it could  have been. I’m up about 1.5 kg, which puts me 7.5 kg (ish) above my goal weight. Blegh. But it’s ok- that goal weight is not exactly a “I must hit this weight!!!” goal- realistically I want to get about 5 kg off in the next few months to feel healthy again. I definitely don’t feel healthy right now. I feel a bit bloated, my clothes are tighter, and I don’t feel as strong as I did. thai salad 2My energy is down, but I know that’s all food related. I actually stayed relatively active across the break, doing plenty of hiking and getting lots of km under my feet, but it’s just not the same as doing the hard weights-based workouts.

I’ve also found that over the holidays my bank account’s got a bit unhealthy too- which is also not surprising. But when I think about it, there’s several things I can do that will improve both my own body’s health, and my bank account’s health at the same time. At the moment it’s not so much a “I could do this” as a I must do this”. So here’s what I’m going to be doing:

  • Cut back from 3 PT sessions a week to 2
    Having said that, I will not do this if it is going to compromise the exercise I do each week. Part of this action is learning how to self-direct and self-motivate in the gym, particularly on the weights floor. I still want to be doing weights 3 times a week at the gym and doing a bodyweight/cardio workout twice a week at work as an absolute minimum.
  • Cook/prepare more food
    I was getting really good at this for a while last year. It was saving me money, and it was helping me eat the kind of food I wanted in my body. But life got busy, and it all slipped, and next thing I knew I was spending upwards of $22 just on breakfast and lunch, and eating out way more than was reasonable for dinner. So that’s going to stop. I’m going to pre-prepare breakfasts and lunches again, and think ahead for dinners. If I don’t have the time to cook, I’ll make sure I’ve got food in the freezer.
    I’ve never done week-ahead meal planning before- I tend to be an on-the-day buyer and cook, but I can see how much that will help save money and food wastage.

On Monday night I cooked my first proper dinner for a long time. When I say ‘proper’, I mean a meal that I though about ahead of time, looked up a recipe for and didn’t just slap together. I think there’s a big difference between cooking to eat and cooking to nourish (both body and soul). I really enjoy cooking when I have the time and space to do it, and that’s what I mean by cooking to nourish. It’s cooking with some love in it (nawww, that’s a bit corny!!).

Anyway, I made the most incredible Thai salad/raw pad Thai that I found over at elsaswholesomelife. I’ve included some photos of my version here, but seriously go check out hers- they are much much prettier! Thanks Ellie for this great dish- I’ve just finished eating it for lunch, and I’ll be making some more tonight. This stuff is addictive.

Raw Thai salad with ginger chicken

For the raw thai salad check out the original recipe– I pretty much followed it to a T, although I used rapadura sugar instead of coconut sugar, and omitted the edamame beans in favour of ginger lime chicken.

Ginger Lime Chicken

  • 400g chicken
  • 1 heaped tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 heaped tsp crushed ginger
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Add chicken and stir, then allow to marinate for as long as you can (half an hour minimum). Place chicken on a lined baking tray and discard marinade. Bake for 20-25 mins at 180 degrees.

Leftovers for lunch! Yum!

Leftovers for lunch! Yum!

12 week Challenge- results and goals

Well, the official results are in: since I started the 12 week challenge on 28th June, I’ve lost 6 kg. I’m super happy with that result- I set out to start a journey of weight loss and changing habits, and that’s what I’ve done. I never said it out loud or wrote it down, but it was an assumed for me that I wanted to do this in a healthy, sustainable way. I’ve lost an average of half a kilo a week, and I feel like that’s a healthy rate of weight loss. There were weeks when I lost a lot more than that, and there were a couple of weeks were I definitely didn’t lose 500 g at all. In fact, if you take into account the week I was sick and maintained the weight I was at, and the week that I put on 2 kg, I reckon I’ve done pretty well.

That 2 kg week is a giant bugger, really. Imagine what I might have done without it?! Then again, without that I probably wouldn’t have learned some lessons that I really needed to learn. My ‘2kg week’ as I’ll call it provided me with a huge lesson in triggers. It showed me that unless I’ve really mentally prepared myself, if I got into a situation that holds one of my triggers then I’m likely to fold and eat the food I shouldn’t. It also showed me that one bad week does not a Challenge make. It was 2 kg, it’s taken me nearly a month to shake it again, but it’s not the end of the world. My 2 kg week also reminded me of exactly why I’m choosing not to eat certain foods. It proved to me what happens to my body when I eat processed carbs and sugar, and it was an amazing reminder of how far I’ve come in terms of how I feel, not just how I look or weigh.

So the 12 weeks is over, and it’s my intent to continue on this path. Over the last few weeks I’ve had ‘slips’ with my food- a sneaky few chips here, a piece of cake there. Nothing earth shattering, and nothing of huge impact, but enough to prove what a slippery slope it could be if I don’t stay focused. To keep myself of track I’ve set some new goals- I think timelines and finish lines are what keep me going.

  • I want to deadlift my own body weight. That means I’ve got to increase my deadlifting weight by about 10 kg, and decrease my body weight by about 7 kg, both of which are perfectly doable. I’ve played with the idea of aiming for doing it before the end of the year- I suspect that mightn’t be entirely achievable, but maybe I’ll be close
  • The Stampede. I’ve signed up to do the 10km Stampede in Melbourne on the 29th of November, and you’ll notice that that’s my new countdown on the side bar of my blog. I want to have a go at all obstacles, and I do not want to reflect on that event thinking that I didn’t give it my all. You can walk around any obstacle you want at Stampede- I don’t want to do that.
  • Eureka Climb. I only heard about this event today- it’s like a fun run, but instead of running for a distance you run/walk up the entire Eureka Tower. All 88 floors. I reckon I could do that- but the catch is, it’s in 3 and a half weeks time on the 16th of November. Can I train hard enough to do that? I think I could get some decent stair climbs in at work on my lunch breaks- my building is 16 stories tall, so building up to doing that building 5.5 times would be the goal. I won’t register yet, but I’ll start training and see how it goes.

Meanwhile, 12 months ago there’s no way I would have even considered tackling the Eureka Climb, let along The Stampede. That’s pretty exciting progress, I reckon!!