Sunday, 30 January 2011

Stress And Losing It

OK, I've never had a lot of time for this theory but now I'm living it! And even though I feel like I'm making excuses, I think I can confidently say that stress makes losing very very hard and makes gaining way too easy!

We got the news at the end of December that my dad was unwell and facing major surgery and since then I've gained 7 kilos effortlessly - yes, I know, that's more than a kilo a week! How can that be? Its not as if I'm bingeing on junk food or anything.

Despite the incentive of wanting to look great when I go back to Scotland to act as family chauffeur while he recovers, despite wanting to impress my mother with my efforts, despite the fact that Christmas is over and all, well OK most, temptation is gone. Some of it is comfort eating, some is total inertia where exercise is concerned. I have good intentions that evaporate like the dew by mid afternoon. I'm not eating anything particularly bad but it seems like everything I do eat is sticking like glue.

So I guess the first step is awareness. Knowing that stress is not helping is a good start, not beating myself up about it is also good. What's the point? That will only create more stress. I know my danger period for food is about 4pm, its too long till tea time and too long since lunch and that packet of oatcakes is looking too tempting! Yes, I admit it, I binge on oatcakes! OK I'm weird! So my plan for the next week before I go back to Scotland is to be as far away from anything tempting at 4pm as possible - probably walking the dog would be a good thing! Oh, and to do lots of swimming, because I sure as anything won't be doing a lot of that in the frozen wastes of Glasgow!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Post festive Panic!

OK I'm back after far too long away from being good! The festive season was far too good and as most of my friends and family are great cooks there were one or two too many calories consumed and not nearly enough spent. Wrestling with the Christmas tree was about the only exercise I've had in weeks so from tomorrow I'm getting back into the swing of 50 lengths of the pool every day, walking the legs off the dog (who also had far too much turkey at Christmas and could do with losing a couple of pounds!), and maybe even taking the bike round the block.

With all that bad behaviour its quite remarkable that I only put on 4 kilos but they have to go! NOW!!

There's a reason for my panic - I'm headed back to Scotland in a couple of weeks and that means two things - One - being nagged by my eagle eyed mother if I haven't lost anything - actually the poor old dear is as blind as a bat but she seems to have a sixth sense when it comes to me losing weight, and she remembers every single pound I've told her that I've lost (of course I don't tell her about the ones that came back!) so she's expecting a waiflike anorexic to turn up!! The other is that healthy eating there is well nigh impossible, on the one hand my mother worries if I haven't lost weight, and on the other, her maternal instinct to feed me up kicks in before I even arrive so I have to arrive with the expectation that I will add at least 3 kilos... a week!!!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Diet aids...

Not sure about these. I guess I was brought up with the old fashioned Scots attitude that anything worth doing should be hard work and probably painful, if it tastes good its probably not good for you, if its fun its not work etc etc - all of that baggage we carry around that says life is really hard and then we die and go to heaven and its all wonderful. I've never really bought into that part of it but I'm not going there today!!

So anyway, as a result of these boring subconscious beliefs, I've never really believed in any of the millions of things that promise to make you lose kilos with zero effort - as far as I can see the only thing they make lighter is your bank account!

I tried hoodia when the local health food shop gave me a free sample but didn't notice any effect though I know some people swear by it. I tried a friend's Slendertone machine once as well but I found it so tickly I couldn't stop laughing, though I guess laughing does use up calories so maybe it does work. I've done a few faddy diets in my time but my boredom threshhold is set pretty low so a diet of bananas or grapefruit might well work but I've never stuck to it long enough to find out! Cabbage soup - now there's a good one, I actually quite like vegetable soup but the other inhabitants of my office asked me to stop and even the dog wouldn't sit near me!

The other day I was clearing out a cupboard and found a pair of "slim shorts" (Slim Shorts - Black, Size SM ok one thing - if you need a size small why do you need slim shorts at all??? ) - I have no memory of buying them, no idea where they came from but they are made of neoprene and a quick search of the Oracle told me they were to encourage sweating which would increase fat loss around the hips and thighs. I wasn't convinced but hey, they're here, no harm in giving them a try.

Well I can tell you that they certainly encourage sweating! Just putting them on was a major exercise and probably at least as good as a yoga class! So full marks for doing what it says on the tin and extra points for the extra calories burned trying to get into them! They're a bit noisy, so I threw on a pair of leggings over the top and took the dog out for a brisk walk (OK a brisk walk with my dog consists of a quick jog, stop to sniff, quick march in the opposite direction, flat out after next door's cat, another long sniff..... repeated as many times as she can get away with) but we went round three lakes reasonably fast.

So my verdict after one use is if sweating makes you have thinner thighs then they certainly work - I'm not entirely convinced but if it works for thighs maybe I should just go for the whole body effect and walk the dog in my wetsuit - that would give the neighbours a laugh!!

BTW if any of you have any other diet aids you think I should try out, let me know and I'll report back - I probably won't take photos though!

Monday, 27 September 2010

An incentive to focus!

Oh well, so much for losing it! I'm not, well not in any sense that matters. Losing the rag on the roads in Dubai now everyone's back from summer holidays - yup, totally. Losing the will to live while on the phone to the rocket scientists at Etishite's customer disservice line - too many times. Losing my sanity - well nothing new there....

But losing weight has just not been happening. On the plus side I have not gained any either, and that's despite some fairly good efforts (for efforts read parties) and the only thing I can put that down to is the vegetarian diet I've been following. Not only that, but its really good on the wallet as well, my groceries bill is almost half! Now if only I had the excuse that I needed to buy new (smaller) clothes I could put it to good use!

But now the weather is better I'm running out of excuses not to take the dog for long walks, get out on the bike and even swim more.

And as a big incentive we've got the Mother-in-Law coming to stay early November so I need to focus focus focus! I need to lose at least 5 kg before she gets here for two reasons - one is that at least half of them will inevitabley come back on as we do the tourist thing and lots of lunches!! And the other is that she will report back to my mother the minute she gets home and any porkies I have been telling about how much I'm losing will be instantly found out - oooops! There will be hell to pay!

So its back out with the old faithful The Low-GL Diet Made Easy and this time it will be interesting to try out more of the veggie recipes. Watch this space, I'm going to be taking up much less of it soon!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Oh no, it works!

So I've been having this on/off thing with raw food over the past couple of months but I'd pretty much fallen out of the habit until last week. The vegetarian thing is going well. OK, pescatarian really, but that's only because I'm not organised enough to work out the correct nutrition for being totally veggie and anyway I do love fish. Maybe I should do some more scuba diving - every time I come back from diving I feel guilty about eating fish - its hard to eat someone when you've just been swimming with their cousins!

Anyway, back to raw - I'd been feeling a bit creaky - well, OK feeling my age would possibly be more accurate, although some days I felt more like my mother's age!

One day, I kid you not, one day back on raw and I woke up the next morning feeling like a 15 year old! I had so much energy I didn't think I would sleep that night but in fact I had the best sleep I've had in ages! Last week was about 70% raw and I feel fantastic and lost two kg! Effortlessly!! This raw thing really works! The trick is to keep it going, not fall off the wagon at every possible excuse and remember that it is actually less complicated than cooking - there's about the same amount of preparation involved but then you can eat it immediately! And I'm pretty sure wine is raw!

I found a great website called Wild Health and they have this fantastic recipe for beetroot coleslaw which is so delicious I ate it all last week. The great thing is you can keep it in the fridge and it matures and actually gets better, and better for you, as the week goes on. It makes a fantastic base for all sorts of tasty salads and salting the cabbage means its not so noisy to eat!
Here's some other great books on raw "cooking"! I'm hooked!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

The weekend

So the weekend is almost here and as usual I have a plan! Not sure I'm going to stick to it but hey, rules are made to be broken! It's been a reasonably good week - about a kilo down so I'm happy. So here's the danger, happy = excuse to slack off!! I'm going to see if I can get through a weekend without pissing off all my friends and be accused of being boring and still either lose or maintain! Wheat free AND meat free! Wish me luck!

The big change in my life is that a couple of weeks ago I was challenged by my coach to do something new and challenging for the next 100 days, I had all sorts of good intentions commit to exercise every day but guess where they went....? I even thought I would commit to getting up one hour earlier every day - ha ha ha, not a chance, 6am is for the birds! And I didn't even think of giving up wine!

But I did commit to giving up meat for 100 days and now, 20 days in, to my surprise I'm actually enjoying it. Giving up bacon is the hardest, but other than that I'm surprised how easy it is to make meat free choices and even more surprised that my weight is dropping with much less effort than usual. I'm not sure I will ever be able to give up meat completely - a meat free barbecue doesn't sound that appealing, but I'm open to seeing what happens.

But PLEASE don't wave a bacon buttie under my nose or you just might lose your hand!

Monday, 2 August 2010

The ONLY way to lose weight... to completely ignore people who tell you that the ONLY way to lose weight is to do EXACTLY what they tell you!

In reality these people will keep you fat and unhealthy forever, and I'm beginning to think maybe they like it that way - because then they can keep on selling you books, CDs, magazines and really crappy food that perpetuate their myths. Maybe the last thing they want is for people to actually succeed in their efforts because then their market will disappear!

I'm fed up of well meaning (and not so well meaning) people telling me I should eat this and NEVER eat that. What do they know? Have they lived in my body?

I've lost 40kg so far. I think I'm entitled to call myself an expert! And I can tell you what works for me, but I have no earthly idea if it will work for you! But I'm happy to share ideas in the spirit of awareness.

I know what works for me is building in flexibility. Its never making something totally forbidden, its being able to make conscious decisions about what I want to eat with full awareness of the consequences. Its knowing that Kathy's chocolate cake will probably add a kilo over the weekend but knowing its worth it! Its knowing that raw vegetables are delicious and energising so I don't need to choose a pizza but if I really really want that pizza that's ok too... but there will be consequences. Its about knowing that I do actually prefer More Cafe's pumpkin and feta salad to their burger or fish and chips and I don't need to have fish and chips just because I can. In fact the reason I don't need them is because I can! Its about taking total responsibility for my health.

Losing weight has almost nothing to do with what you put in your mouth and everything to do with what you put in your mind!