Monthly Archives: February 2011

Hurray for non-scale victories


This morning my man said ‘I can see the weight you’ve lost’. He is the first one to comment and it made me happy and I walked taller. Yay! He is the best man 🙂

And, on my walk this morning, I made it up to the path that goes round the hill without stopping for a breather on the way. It is not really steep, but the first 10 minutes of the walk is uphill and up till now, I have needed one or two breathers. I felt really good this morning. My fitness levels have increased.

And, I had a call from my Get Healthy Coach* this morning and it was good to check in with her and talk about my stress of the last two weeks. She is very supportive and helps me see things from a slightly different perspective.

And, you know when you wear clothes that are snug and you move your arms and the fabric moves with you? Well, some of my work clothes are getting loose and when I move my arms they now move inside the fabric.

* I am doing something called the Get Healthy Program which is run by the state govts here in Australia. It is a 6 months program and I get a coach who calls me every 2-3 weeks in that time. She is there for support and motivation and ideas and I am happy I signed up.

7 weeks of the new routine

and these are my stats:
Start weight (3/1/2011) 140.9kg (310 lbs)
Current weight 127.9 kg (281.4 lbs)
This weeks loss 1kg (2.2 lbs)
Total lost 13.0kg (28.6 lbs)

Hurray for the loss! And Hurray for a loss of 1kg. I was starting to worry that I was losing weight too quickly. On the weekend I spent a couple of hours working out what my energy intake should be to maintain where I am and to lose at rates of 0.5kg and 1kg a week. Then I converted a ‘normal’ day from points to kilojoules to see how they compared. It took a while but in the end I was looking at the screen which said I was having the right amount of food for a 1kg loss a week. Which is what I wanted to see. I guess that I just needed the reassurance that I was doing the right thing because I don’t check in with anyone officially about what I am doing. I wanted to know that I was being sensible and healthy and that I should just stick to what I am doing.

I have this urge to tweak things at the moment. It is good that I am thinking and really conscious of what I am doing but I also need to be patient and consistent. I can’t change things every couple of weeks. I was reading one book last weekend which suggested when setting goals and making incremental changes that you should look at it over a one month period. Set a goal and make plans, implement and give it 21 days to see how the changes are going. Then review and set new goals, make plans and implement. I like this in theory but I am too impatient at the moment. It want to do it all now!!!

One of the changes I am thinking of making is shifting from the WW points system to simply counting kilojoules. I am not going to WW, I am not even using the current system in Australia (they changed in November). All the packaging of their products is going to change to the new ProPoints and I won’t be able to use it to count for my points. I don’t want to join to get the new material. I want to know what I am eating, I want to be able to manage my own intake. So, part of the calculations on the weekend were getting my head around what do I need in terms of food intake, how do I calculate it now and into the future. And if I do shift to something else, how am I going to record my food intake in an easy way. What I have now is *so* easy. I have an app on my phone and I think it is brilliant. I need something of a similar convenience to make it work for me. So, I am looking for phone apps and calorie counting spreadsheets on the internet and I am playing in excel with developing my own so that I can keep a file on my phone and update it where ever I am and then synch it to my computer at home. (Or use GoogleDocs but I there doesn’t seem to be a good GoogleDocs app for android systems? Why is that???) This is not a change I will be making soon, but it is something that I am looking into for the next few months.

The past week I went from having a cold, to having a light gastro bug, to having sinusitis. I was not a happy camper. I could not exercise, I wasn’t hungry some days but was emotional and frustrated and wanted to eat. But I had no sense of taste for most of the week. So, I did not have a great week and I was worried that I was not eating enough overall. And so, when I had the time I looked at what I was eating and am pleased I did that. I was able to go walking on the first day and the last day of the week. And overall, in the week, I kept within my food allocation. And in terms of my food, I was within my allocation when you look at the week as a whole.

A new week. I am not going to try and change what I am doing. I want to see that I get another steady loss at the end of this week. I need to be patient and consistent. It is the choices I make today about what I eat and how I move that will add up. And I am getting really close to a 10% loss from my start weight. I might make it next Monday – I will need a 1.1kg (2.6 lb) loss.

Lamb Tagine

I didn’t feel much like cooking yesteday and I didn’t want to make something new and not be able to taste it. So, I made something new that I could also freeze and have again next week. My man said that it tasted good and I thought it had a really good mouthfeel. The other benefit of this dish was that I got it all ready in the afternoon when my little boy was happy to play on his own and popped it in the oven for 3 hours. It turned out to be a very good meal to cook when sick.

I adapted the recipe from the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Book 2.

Lamb Tagine
(Serves 4)

1 onion, roughly chopped
2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 cup roughly chopped parsely
1/2 cup roughly chopped coriander (cilantro) leaf
1 green chilli, roughly chopped
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
1 lemon
800 g lean lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into 2 cm pieces
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup water
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 cup couscous
1 cup boiling water
Additional fresh coriander, chopped

Preheat the oven to 160’C.

Blend the onion, garlic, parsley, coriander, chilli, cinnamon, dates and the zest of the lemon in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.

Heat a cast iron casserole dish over high heat. Coat the lamb with oil and cook, in small batches, for 5 minutes, or until browned. Return all of the lamb pieces to the dish, add the paste and stir to coat the lamb with the paste. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until aromatic. Add the water and tomatoes and mix well. Bring to a boil, cover and place in the oven for 2 and a half hours. Stir and return uncovered to the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover to keep warm.

Place the couscous in a a bowl and pour over boiling water and the juice of the lemon. Cover and sit for 5 minutes. Fluff up with a fork. Stir through the additional fresh coriander.

Serve the tagine with couscous and steamed vegetables.

The Honeymoon is Over

I really quite enjoyed the first 5 weeks of the new routine. It was easy to make healthy choices. I wanted to go walking. And I lost weight. I felt good about what I was doing and it was *totally* achievable.

I don’t know if it was getting sick that ended this phase or whether it was just time but now it’s harder. I have to choose the healthy snack rather than automatically turning to it. I have to choose to exercise, although, this one is still a little tricky as I am not yet well. I have to plan and I have to remind myself of the big picture so that I can focus on the little things.

And I think that some of the angst in the last couple of weeks is me simply not recognising the honeymoon is over. This is life. If I really want this to happen now it is up to me to make it happen. From here, the hard work starts.

That doesn’t mean the hard work can’t be fun. Healthy eating and regular exercise are going to have to be part of my life from now on so if I don’t enjoy it or it doesn’t work with my routine that is going to be a problem.

But I think it will work with my routine. I don’t have any major lifestyle changes forecast this year so I should have stability on that front. My exercise is planned to fit into my weekly routine and I think I can maintain and build on that.

And I think I can keep interested in healthy food. We have had a few special breakfast options in the last couple months that I can manage within my food allocation. Trying to cook a new recipe every friday will keep me looking for options and I enjoy trying out new things. The other exciting foodie thing that is going to start soon is that my man and I are going out for a date night every 2 months (without the little one) and the first one is going out to dinner at a swanky restaurant. This is not going to be great diet wise for that week but will keep me interested in food and I can use it as a motivation and a reward which is going to be good for my attitude overall.

I need to keep working on my positive self talk. It was also so effortless in the first weeks. I know my goal for this year; it is challenging but realistic and achievable. I know this because I have managed similar goals in a similar timeframe twice already in the last decade. I need to move my butt because exercise helps me keep the positive frame of mind in place.

My challenge is to be committed for 40 weeks and to lose 40kg by Christmas. The 40 weeks ends in October but the process doesn’t end there. For my health, for my family and for my sanity I need to make this a lifelong change. I can do this. I know there will be set backs and surprises and things that change my routine and plans. That is life. And I want to live. I will need to learn to roll with the punches and start again when I lose my way.

It is achievable.

Today I am having a grey day

I used to call days like these grey days, where it seems that all the colour has been sucked out of my view. I don’t want to get up, have a shower or move. I am down and I feel fat.

I am not a good sick person – have I said that already? Last week I had a bad cold. I started getting better on the weekend and then I got gastro. That was only a 24 hour thing but my cold regathered in my sinuses and yesterday it felt my head was about to explode. It has only been 10 days but I feel miserable.

I have been sitting at the ‘puter all morning trying to find some inspiration and motivation. I have been looking at weightloss blogs and fitness blogs. But I can’t find any that ring a chord with me.

Maybe today nothing will stand out.

Or maybe that is just bullshit.

I can choose to sit here and mope and whine and feel pathetic. Or I can choose to go and have a shower and get ready to go out this afternoon and catch up with some friends. See what I am trying to do, I am trying to break the grey cloud that is before my eyes and let some sunlight in.

Why do I feel so down? It is more than just being sick. I don’t know. It is about being fat and not liking who I am. It is about my man not being a mind reader and knowing what to do when I am sick (he doesn’t get pathetic, he just is sick and gets over it. How does he do that?) and then getting impatient with me because I am not coping well. I feel so alone in everything. And I am putting out ‘stay away from me vibes’ when all I really want is some TLC.

I want to be fit and healthy. I want to be thin. I want to be attractive. I don’t want my fat in the way. I don’t want to die from being fat. I don’t want to screw up my little boy’s attitude to food.

Everything is all mixed up in my head and I can’t sort it. So I am clinging to my food counting. I can’t exercise because I am not well but I can write down everything I eat and stay within my allocation. I feel like I am losing control in parts of my life so I am going to be a control freak in this little aspect.

So do I chose to stay in today and hide from people? Probably not. I will go and have a shower, then prepare my lunch and my little boy’s lunch and then we will go out. Today’s challenge is to get out of the house.

Edit: I had a shower and got out of the house. Things are still subdued but not grey. I was not going to bother with an interesting meal tonight because I still don’t have my sense of taste back but I will cook something new that can also be frozen for later. I need to remember that all I need to do is make choices for today.

Culling Clothes

Today, I tackled the clean clothes that had been dumped on the bed of the spare room. It is just so easy to put clean clothes there and not actually put them away. But is was getting difficult to find clothes at all so, today I decided to sort, fold and put the clothes away.

And then I took the clothes out of the wardrobe that I don’t like and haven’t worn in *forever*. And there are a couple of items that are baggy. It is exciting that there a few things which are getting loose. I sorted the clothes into suitable to go to charity and only suitable for the bin.

I also have a few suitcases of clothes in the spare room cupboard. I got out my size 22 clothes and put on a pair of black pants 🙂 They fit and I haven’t taken them off yet. I got out anything else that I liked and is suitable for the season.

And going through the clothes I have made the decision to get rid of clothes as I lose weight. Well at least the size 24 and 22 clothes 🙂 Last time I lost weight the plan was to get pregnant and so I kept the clothes in case I needed them. I did need them and I am still in them! But this time, I am going to lose weight and if I get pregnant again I am going to monitor my food intake and not put the weight back on. I won’t need these clothes again so they are going out 🙂

Clothes sizes are different in different countries! How confusing. I started out a AUS 24 (UK 22, US 20) and I am moving back into my AUS 22 clothes (UK 20, US 18).

6 weeks completed

Today is weigh in day 🙂

Last week I did get a bad cold and was only able to exercise on Monday and then again yesterday. But I was really careful with my food and I am happy that I did pay close attention to it.

Start weight (3/1/11): 140.9kg (310 lbs)
Today’s weight: 128.9kg (283.6 lbs)
This week: -1.8kg (4 lbs)
Total Lost: 12kg (26.4 lbs)
That is an average loss of 2kg a week.

A couple things happened this week that were interesting, challenging and very thought provoking

I am now starting to think the weight loss needs to slow down. I am enjoying seeing the numbers go down and my clothes are starting to feel looser. But 2kg a week is alot and it is not sustainable. I have worked out a way to manage this. With the points system for food allocation, as you lose weight you also decrease the food allocation. So, for every 10kg I lose, I am supposed to drop a point’s worth of allocation. I was going to drop that point at about 125kg but have decided not to. To sensibly slow my weight loss I need to eat a little more. And this seems an easy way to manage it.

And while I was sick I started thinking about incorporating some resistance training. I have a couple of handweights that I could use. But I need a plan, I need a goal. So I started looking for ideas. I think I will give it a little longer while I build on the start I have made. I will get some equipment and work out a routine so that when I am ready to go, I will have all the tools in place.

And then.

My man wanted to have some friends over for lunch on Sunday and started suggesting things like fried haloumi burgers. I just started putting up road blocks. With my lack of exercise and feeling sick I just could not let go. He didn’t understand and I did not communicate very well because I was getting stressed about food I had not planned for. He gave in and told them lunch was not on offer that day and then, after about 30 minutes, I was able to explain the fear and the mental confusion that his simple suggestion had made. And it was ok, he might not understand exactly how I feel but he does support me and could follow my twisted logic.

And then, just because I was curious, I decided to work out what the healthy weight range is for my height. And with that I just melted into a puddle. It is so very far away. The very top of my healthy weight range for my height is 69.5 kg (153 lbs). Over half. Over half of my start weight. I thought if I got to 80 that would be ok, and 75 would be amazing. And both 80 and 75kgs would be so much better than where I am. But to be in the ‘healthy’ weight range… I would need to lose 71.4kg in total. I melted. I started freaking out. I went into uber-control mode and calculated all my food for the next day and worked out when I could exercise even though I had not fully recovered from the cold. My positive self talk kicked in but I just ended up cycling from despair to control freak.

I brushed my teeth and went to bed. My man came in and said he loved me and I just cried. How? How could someone find me attractive, desirable when I am this size. And I explained to him what I had been thinking. It was hard and I almost turned the light off so I could tell him in the dark and he would not be able to see my face but I left the light on and I gathered my thoughts and he held me as I cried. He did not try and solve things or really make suggestions. He just held me and tried to understand. I did not sleep well that night.

I am somewhat relieved that hormones played a part in my little melt down. I am also proud that I did not turn to chocolate to ease my tight chest and sooth my aching body. And this morning, my positive self talk was back and I was able to talk through what happened. See, my plan for this year is a 40 week plan. I have committed to 40 weeks and am aiming for a 35kg loss in that time. And then for the 10 weeks before Christmas I would like to lose another 6kg to make it to 100kg. My plan never included reaching my healthy weight range this year, so I don’t really need to worry about it. I just keep saying ’40 weeks and 40 by Christmas’. Down the track I will come back to the BMI guides but that is not part of this years plan. I need to let go of the number and focus on today’s choices. And the reason I like my plan is because it is challenging but achievable. I know what I look like at about 100kg and I have a photo of my on the fridge at about that size to remind me. I have lost 30kg in 6 months on a past attempt, so I know I can I have a plan that is achievable and realistic, I am eating food I enjoy, have the tools to track, the support to help and next year is another challenge. I don’t forget but I can’t let it overwhelm me.

A crazy up and down week. But I finished it with a commitment to moving forward, staying focussed and shifting weight.

General Updatery for today

I just had my catch up with my health coach from the Get Healthy Program*. It was nice to be able to report in and say what the challenges were in the last couple of weeks and how I had met them; that I am thinking about incorporating a little more exercise into my week and planning how to do so; that I am thinking about why I got this way so that I can look at making changes which are not superficial. (There will be an entry about this when I have thought it through a bit more). It is really nice to get the affirmation that I am doing things well, that I am making progress. It is nice to be asked about how the changes already implemented are going and whether they are sustainable. The next call is in 2 weeks and I look forward to it.

I don’t think that today will be ‘New Food Friday’ or whatever I called it last week. I am just not well enough to get adventurous with dinner tonight. And I don’t have much of a sense of taste at the moment and that really sucks. I think I will make a light version of Chilli Con Carne and work out how it fits into my food allowance. It is always good to have some Chilli in the freezer for a quick, lazy, healthy meal. Chilli with 1 tortilla and salad on the side sounds fantastic. And if I make a non-spicey version then my little boy can eat it too. Would it still be called Chilli if it is not???

* The Get Healthy Program is being run by the New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmanian governments in Australia and you need to live in one of these areas to participate. It is a free service which gives you a health coach with up to 10 phone calls over a 6 month period. It is about support, motivation, accountability and advice around making changes and moving to a healthier lifestyle. This was my second call today.

Repeat after me

Just because I am sick doesn’t mean I can eat crap.

Just because I am sick doesn’t mean I can eat crap.

Just because I am sick doesn’t mean I can eat crap.


Thing the first: I don’t like it when people leave left over morning tea in the communal tea room for people to help themselves.

Thing the second: I think I might need to find a belt 🙂 My jeans are just slipping a little.

Thing the third: Head colds in high summer suck big time. There will be no exercise tomorrow. I am going to eat under my points to compensate.