Cutting the crap: kicking some goals

cut the crap

I haven’t posted on here for a while. The 5:2 kind of faded away – there were a couple of weeks where it just wasn’t possible, and without the gains (aka: losses) happening that I’d hoped to see, the inspiration to get back onto it was sparse. I intend to come back to it, but with some alterations to the 5 part of the 5:2. I was getting my two days right, but the rest of my week was letting me down.

A couple of weeks ago something clicked, and I started acting. I was going to write ‘I decided to change’, but that’s not right- all I did was starting acting the way I need to. Put simply, I cut the crap. To elaborate, I cut the refined sugars and refined carbs. Non-refined carbs and sugars are fine – I’m eating the sweet potato and corn, and I’ve actually upped my fruit intake, but the processed stuff is (mostly) gone. There’s been a few days in there where stuff has slipped through, but it’s been a conscious (and planned) decision. The result? I’m down 1.6 kg since 5th October, and down 3.5 kg since the start of August (around when I started 5:2. This ‘eating real food’ thing seems to work for my body, and I think that once I get the 5:2 happening again it’ll kick start it even more.

I’ve also kicked some goals in the gym lately – I’ve leg pressed 180 kg, and deadlifted 85 kg for three reps. I’m super happy with that, and now I’m aiming to lift 100kg by Christmas. My trainer thinks it’s possible, as does J who’s been planning out a bit of a training strategy to get me there. I don’t know why 100kg is so momentous, but it is. And it’s only 15 kg away.

In other news – I’m heading to Bali in a couple of weeks. I absolutely cannot wait, but I’m also starting to do some mental prep. Do NOT eat all the rice. Do NOT drink all the cocktails. Some rice, some cocktails. Moderation is the name of the game 🙂

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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!

Food confusion. Seriously, what should we eat?

help!

Whole foods. Paleo. No sugar. Low Sugar. No carbs. No processed carbs. No fat. High Fat. Low carb, high fat (LCHF).

I literally have no idea what I should be eating.

I think I’ve managed to flood my brain with concepts, theories, science, ideas, and talk from very passionate and committed people. I didn’t set out looking for a ‘new’ or ‘better’ way to eat, it kind of fell into my lap, but regardless of how it happened I now find myself mightily confused. Cut out sugar? Makes sense. Cut out refined carbs? Makes sense. Cut carbs completely and eat large quantities of fat? Listen to enough science, hear enough anecdotes, and it makes sense. Once you get your head around it.

So then, Paleo. Cut the carbs, cut the sugar, eat lots of good fats but not crazy high amounts (as opposed to LCHF, where you really up the Fat content), don’t have dairy, etc… So do you go with Paleo or LCHF? Or just go with cutting sugar like Sarah Wilson did? But then, where do you draw the line with the sugar cutting? It is ultimately removing processed sugars only? Natural sugars too? Removing carbs too, because they convert to sugars? And if that’s the case, are we back at Paleo? But if LCHF is right, then aren’t you better going that step further than Paleo, cutting carbs completely, upping fats, and letting your body enter Ketosis and burn fats for fuel? Is LCHF right, or is Ketosis damaging the body?

And, the biggest question of all – how do you do whatever it is you do that works for you, and keep a healthy and sustainable weight, while keeping your sanity? How to do you it without obsessing over it? Without spending every spare moment thinking about? Without becoming a nutritional evangelist? Clearly you have to spend time on food preparation to succeed on any of these ways of eating – how do you do that without it becoming all you think about? Without it becoming part of your identity? What if you just want to keep being you, keep your normal identity, without being the person that’s Paleo/LCHF/Sugar-free, etc etc?

I’m confused. Quite confused.

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!!

Measuring Success

Text: it takes four weeks for you to see your body changing. It takes 8 weeks for friends and family, and it takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world. Keep going.So, I’m more than half way through week four of the challenge. The image I’ve posted is one that’s been floating around Pinterest and Facebook for years, and I’m not entirely sure of how true it is, but it’s something that’s stuck with me. Given that four weeks is nearly up, I’ve started to reflect on my own change. Is it really there? Am I imagining it? What changes am I actually noticing?

Over the past week I’ve started to consider how I’m actually measuring success in relation to this challenge. At the start of the challenge I weighed myself and had a (very confronting!) photo taken of me, but I didn’t take my measurements. Perhaps I should have, because I suspect that’s where I’m going to see the biggest change given that I’m continuing to build muscle. This morning J took a second photo of me- a ‘week 4 progress shot’ (it was required of me by the Challenge organisers). I don’t think a random person would see the differences between the two photos, but I did.

So, having had the photo taken and done a bit of self reflection, here’s how I know I’m succeeding at the four-week mark:

  • I have lost approximately 4 kg
  • My jeans are feeling looser
  • I have gone down three belt notches at my waist
  • My friends commented on how tiny (ha!) my waist is getting over the weekend
  • I can no longer feel the skin/fat folds on my back rubbing against other skin- the folds are shrinking
  • The bulge on my hips is no longer an easy handful- it’s shrunk
  • Looking at the photo, while my shape hasn’t changed much at all my skin’ s looking different. A little less ‘flubby’ on my stomach and legs perhaps?

And of course this challenge is not all about losing weight for me- it’s about changing habits too. I’ve been successful in that so far- but I’m definitely still in the stage where I have to work hard to continue the behaviours I want to set as new habits, and I still have to fight hard against the old habits. Here’s some recent successes I’ve had in terms of all of that:

  • I haven’t had refined sugar since I started. The closest I’ve had has been honey and fruit
  • I’ve had practically no wheat. There’s been a couple of bowls of minestrone that’s had a spoonful of pasta in it, but that’s it. Wheat’s gone (for now at least)
  • I’ve maintained a healthy relationship with starchy vegetables- if someone else has cooked me something with potato/sweet potato etc I’ve not felt bad about eating it, but at the same time I’ve not actively cooked it for myself
  • I didn’t eat any cheese in a social situation filled with cheese (cheese, of course, being my favourite food. It’s not gone forever- just for now)
  • Having said that- I’ve also maintained a healthy relationship with cheese. If a salad comes with some fetta or goats cheese, well heck, I’d better eat it!!
  • I’ve turned down delicious looking cakes and slices at an afternoon tea- because I knew they weren’t good for me, and I was still full from lunch!
  • I’ve made the right choice when it comes to quick lunch on-the-go. Where I would have had McDonalds in the past, in the last week I’ve had two in-car lunches consisting of cut up fruit, veg, a little bit of cheese and one occasion a bag of shredded chicken from the local deli

So, I’ve got a long way to go. there’s 8 weeks left in the challenge, and it doesn’t stop once I get to that point. The real goal here continues to be the squashing of some bad habits and the introduction of some new habits, and I think that it’s going to take some work once I finish this challenge to maintain them. But that’s a hurdle for another day- for now I continue to focus on exercising at least four times a week, and as much as possible eating food made from fresh meat, veg and fruit. Baby steps.