Monthly Archives: May 2011

20% of my start weight is gone

I have gone from an AU size 24 to an AU size 18. I have gone from a 137cm waist to a 121cm waist. I have gone from 140.9 kg to 112.7 kg. That is a 20% loss.

I am thrilled with how I feel and look now. Today I am wearing a skirt that I loved a few years ago and a new pretty top I got as a bargain on ebay. I look good! I am walking with confidence and my face beams. It is just so good to know I am already so much healthier and stronger. I can play for longer with my little boy, and I actively play with him, not just watch him playing. He loves being chased 🙂

I am also looking to the next few months of this journey. It is so motivating to have done so well and my success is driving me forward. Having goals that fly up so quickly is also wonderful! It gives me something to celebrate every week or fortnight. With just one more kg I change BMI category!!! And then so close to 30kg lost, followed by 110 kg! Which is only 10kg away from 100. I can almost reach out and grab it. I can almost taste it.

When I started I set achievable goals and was hopeful that I could attain them. But I was also so scared of failing. I had put alot of thought into what I wanted to do but the actually doing was still unknown. I have come a long way from my start point and while I still have a long way to go I have a much clearer vision and plan of how to get there. I have refined my eating plan, I have built my exercise plan. I have the information, the tools, the structure and the flexibility to make this work in my life today and for the forseeable future.

This weeks stats:
Start weight (3 Jan 2011): 140.9 kg (310 lbs)
Current weight: 112.7 kg (248 lbs)
This weeks loss: 1.1 kg (2.4 lbs)
Total loss: 28.2 kg (62 lbs)
% loss: 20%

Last week, I averaged 8206 kJ a day, which was right on target. I did just over 5 hours of exercise and I have started strength training to complement my cardio exercise.

This week, I am back at work after a 2 week break and so I hope to have a normal week in front of me. I do have 2 days training on Wed and Thurs but I am going to bring my normal food and have that regardless of whether they supply food or not. The training may make my lunch time exercise a little difficult so I will need to play that by ear. On the weekend I have a 1 year old birthday party to go to but I can take a pack of cashews with me to snack on. This week I also really want to exercise every day again. It helps with my head and keeps metabolism ticking over.

I am so happy!

Kangaroo Vindaloo

I have cooked something new tonight! Yesterday I sat down and planned several meals for next week. I don’t usually plan several meals at once but I thought I would try it out. On my list for the coming week is Pasta with Prawns (and tomato, onion, peas, artichokes), some sort of curry, Pork Loin with Couscous salad and Lamb Meatloaf. I wanted a mix of things with somthing that can go in the freezer, a couple of fast meals and something that was new.

I found a Beef Vindaloo recipe in the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet (Book 2). I was going to make it with beef but decided to use Kangaroo instead. Kangaroo is available in the supermarkets now in Australia and it is a cheap and lean meat with a stronger flavour than beef. I have used kangaroo in stirfrys before (it goes wonderfully with teriyake marinade, garlic and beans) and in chilli con carne instead of beef. But Kangaroo Vindaloo??? I just love how the sounds flow 🙂 And it fulfils both my new and freezer food requirements.

I thought that the curry would benefit from slow cooking in the oven, and since I had the time, I cooked it earlier today. It gave the curry a chance to cool and meld before dinner time. It had 3 hours in the oven and when I checked the meat was falling apart and the liquid had reduced. I think that next time I will pop a layer of greasproof paper over the caserole dish and then put the lid on to reduce the amount of liquid loss. I am glad that I checked when I did.

I decided to serve the curry with rice and some steamed greens garnished with some crushed cashews. The curry was lovely. It had a good flavour balance and the kangaroo was delicious in it. I would have liked it a little hotter, it is a medium heat curry and vindaloo should be hot-hot. I will try increasing the chilli powder by half to start with next time. There will be a next time for this dish. I thought it was great and it was really easy as well. Once it was in the pan I left it there! I will try it again with beef and I would also consider doubling the recipe to get more into the freezer.

(adapted from CSIRO TWB Diet Book 2)
Serves 4

1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tbs olive oil
2 onions, chopped
800g lean beef or kangaroo, cut into 4 cm pieces
2 tbs minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
1 stick cinnamon
2 cups water
1 green chilli, finely sliced
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbs reduced fat natural yoghurt and coriander (cilantro) leaves to garnish

Mix the dry spices and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large heavy based saucepan or flame proof casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes or until soft and golden. Remove from the pan. Brown the beef or kangaroo in batches, removing the meat from the pan when browned. Return all the meat and onions to the pan. Add the dry spices, ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the water, cinnamon stick and chilli. Bring to the boil. Cook either on the stove top or in the oven.

Stove top: Reduce the heat to low and simmmer, covered, for 1 hour. Stir in the vinegar and sugar and cook for a further 20 minutes over a medium heat, uncovered.

Slow oven: Cover with a sheet of baking paper, then the lid and place in a preheated oven at 160’C. Cook for 3 hours. Stir in the vinegar and sugar. Depending on the liquid level, leave to sit for 15 minutes or cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes.

Serve with rice and steamed vegetables.

nutritional information
total – 5683 kJ, 58.2g fat, 169g protein, 38.5 g carb, 13.5 g fibre
per serve – 1421 kJ, 14.5g fat, 42.3 g protein, 7.7 g carb, 2.7 g fibre
total – 5035 kJ, 32.6 g fat, 186 g protein, 38.5 g carb, 13.5 g fibre
per serve – 1258 kJ, 8.2 g fat, 46.5 g protein, 7.7 g carb, 2.7 g fibre

Today’s food

55g Sultana Bran
125 mL fat reduced milk
1 30g slice multigrain bread
2 tsp (10g) almond butter – I made it and it is just almonds and a bit of cinnamon and vanilla
Latte made with 180mL fat reduced milk and 60mL espresso

30 min DVD work out + 10 min resistance

100g frozen blueberries
200g fat reduced natural yoghurt

48g multigrain tortilla
20g reduced fat cheddar cheese
60g ham
2 lettuce leaves, about 30g
1/2 lebanese cucumber, about 100g
capsicum slices (about 40g)
rainbow slaw (a mixture of shredded carrot, beetroot and broccoli), about 50g
Latte made with 180mL fat reduced milk and 60mL espresso

40g raw cashews
apple, about 300g

2*15 min walks with a friend. We walked to the park 15 mins away with our toddlers in the prams. Toddlers played for 90 mins and then we walked back.

Kangaroo roast (roast weighed 400g raw and I had a little under half of the cooked meat)
100g potato wedges
100g carrot
100g broccoli
1 tbs chilli tomato sauce that my man made

I measure some things on the scales but not others. Things that already come in portion sizes (lettuce leaves, carrots, cucumber, apples, bread) I guestimate based on an initial weighing. Other things (cashews, blueberries, wedges, cereal) I do weigh every time because it is so easy to over estimate. My scales live out on the bench and it is easy just to put my bowl on the scales, measure what I need and then measure the next thing in.

Today’s food brings me to about 7500 kJ after dinner. My daily target is 8200kJ, so I am down a bit today. Although, I do try and look at my daily target as being an average over a week. This means that if I am over on a particular day, or have a special event planned, I can manage that over a week.

On a normal work day I would have had a bit more salad for lunch with a little bit of salad dressing; and slightly different snacks including another half a serve of fruit. I was down about 500kJ before dinner and tonight’s dinner was a light one.

I could have had a drink of alcohol with dinner but I generally don’t like taking my kilojoules as alcohol. I would much rather eat them. I could have some dessert or chocolate. Or a hot drink of milk before bed. I really like hot milk with a tsp of golden syrup at the moment! It is delicious!

I checked out how much icecream I could have and it is not enough for me. So it is better for me to avoid it then be left craving more. I could have 20g chocolate and that much usually satisfies me. Funny, isn’t it, how different foods play on one’s mind.

I think probably the hot milk wins but I will make that call after dinner. Sometimes it is nice to share a little bit of chocolate with my man while we are watching something together 🙂 Hot milk would add 600kJ and chocolate would add 500kJ. Both options leave me a little under my target and that is ok. Yesterday I was about 100 over…

One thing I find with tracking food is that I am able to look at what I have had in a day and then adjust. And I like that I can be flexible in this way. The knoweldge of how a particular day is going gives me the information I need to make better choices in light of my daily target and overall goals. As soon as I leave the tracking to the end of the day I discover that I underestimated how much I ate at the time – or I don’t remember it all – and I am then left short. I have only tracked at the end of a day a couple times. It was when I was on the road and I had not thought things through all that well. I find that even when I don’t know the actual values it is better for me to make a guess, log it and then come back later to check the kJ value.

Today has been a good day 🙂

Just quietly

I did jump on the scales again and I am back to my last official weigh in number. That’s a relief 🙂 And it has been interesting to go through a day of excess carbs, some salt, little protein and no movement and see what it does to my body and my head. Head wise, it just makes me crave more carbs! And I was lethargic. So, back to eating properly and exercising for me 🙂

Home again

I did weigh in this morning, the scales went up and I was not surprised given yesterday. I was in the car for 7 hours yesterday and things did not go so well food wise. Which after my mindset on Sunday is a little disappointing but it was an unusual day. There was a distinct lack of thought with regards to what I ate, what I should eat to keep me going and when I should eat. I also didn’t get any exercise yesterday. Some of the scale increase is due to water, some was due to changes in fibre content which had slowed down my system. It will all even out in the end. But I don’t think I will post the stats today. I will wait till next Monday for next week’s stats…

Today I am back on track, I had a normal day and am right on target. I did my 30 min cardio DVD again, with much more coordination and I started my resistance tube workout. The resistance tube workout builds up over a couple of months. There are 9 exercises (including squats, lunges and crunches) and I started out with 1 set of 10 reps for each exercise. This week I will do the workout twice, next week three times and then I will look at doing 2 sets of maybe 8 reps in the third week. I did the resistance tube workout after the warmup on the DVD but before the cardio section. I thought it worked well together. I am glad that I am starting slow because my thighs are aching now.

I have the rest of the week off work. I will do some cooking to stock the freezer back up with healthy dinner options. I will exercise every day. I will relax. I might try to get to a few second hand clothes shops or do some window shopping in normal clothes shops. I am even trying to get in that massage I owe myself for completing one third of my 40 week commitment. It is good to be home after being away 🙂

My choices, my actions: finding my centre

Today I have been reflecting on the last 20 weeks as tonight marks the end of 20 weeks since I started this journey. Being away from home for the last few days and really having to plan exercise and food has reminded me how far I have come.

I have done so well this weekend. I planned my food; I brought some things with me and bought some things here. I ate the food I had planned and I was happy with that. Part of my satisfaction has come from eating food that is filling and tasty, and having some options. I have not felt deprived. I am very grateful to my friends who have supported me this weekend. I am sharing the hotel suite with three friends and there has been no issue with regards to me having organised my food independently. I have planned for one dinner out with them and I am looking forward to that tonight. And last night, I stayed last after the final concert and celebrated with champagne and much singing. I had not planned the alcohol into my food plan for the weekend but that is ok. Finding balance with life is part of journeying to a lighter plane of being.

I am also really thrilled that I have been active every day since I arrived. I had wanted to exercise and I had packed all my exercise gear. But I did have to get out there and do it. And I did. The time out walking gave me space; a chance to clear my head of convention and the time to reflect on my choices (food and exercise wise) of the weekend and the first 20 weeks.

I was asked to go to High Tea this afternoon. I once loved High Tea with the cakes and desserts and chocolates and the all you can eat aspect. But not today. I chose to have a few drinks last night and I chose not to go to High Tea today. Both choices make me feel empowered. The reason I gave for not going is that I am watching what I eat and did not want to go because of my commitment to that. After a condescending remark, my friend apologised, explained the context of her comment and asked if I was happy. I realised that I am. I am happy not going with them. I am happy that I am getting healthy and strong. I am happy that my life is my priority. I am happy that I can know what I want and stand in that and be confident in my choices.

I am on holiday and I don’t feel like a holiday from home means time off from eating well and exercising. It is as much a part of my day as it is any day.

I am so proud of what I have done this weekend and what I have achieved in my first 20 weeks of being a healthier and stronger person.

I won’t be able to weigh in tomorrow but I will on Tuesday morning. I want to see the scales go down but they might not. And honestly, I am ok with what I get because this weekend has really shown me how far I have come.

On the road to nowhere

Today I bought an exercise DVD so I can work out inside. It is too cold in the mornings now and yesterday it was foggy as well. I don’t like going out in the dark when it is foggy and cold. So, now I have a back up plan.

I chose a walking DVD with 3 30 minute work outs on it. I have just completed the cardio work out. I got surprisingly sweaty 🙂 It was cheesy and I started off making snide comments. But I stopped talking once I got going because I needed to breathe. And I need to concentrate. Some of the footwork was a little tricky for the first time. I will try and coordinate legs and arms next time. At the end my comments were not snide at all.

Apparently I walked 1 1/2 miles. I don’t even know how far that is! Ok – I do now 🙂 1 mile is 1.6 km, so 1 1/2 miles is 2.4 km. The dog got a bit excited, especially with the little jumps that we had to do. She wanted to go outside for a walk… But I was going nowhere tonight.

I feel good. It was fun. I will do the cardio one again before looking at doing the accelerated workout (with intervals) or the toning workout (with weights).

I think I will take it away with me on for this weekend. I am not sure if I would feel comfortable doing the exercise with my room mates about but I might be able to fit it in 🙂 And they might want to join in.

Not a manic monday

I have two weeks leave. And it is delicious! I hope to relax a little and I am going away for a few days too. I really am going to try and exercise every day – even when I am away, because while I am taking my food for the trip away there are going to be a few occasions where I will need to forget about counting.

But it is Monday and I got up early to weigh in. I am pleased with the outcome today.
Starting weight: 140.9kg (310 lbs)
Current weight: 113.8 kg (250.4 lbs)
This week’s loss: 1.1kg (2.4 lbs)
Total lost: 27.1 kg (59.6 lbs)

I exercised on 6 days with an average of 49 minutes, which is just under 5 hours in the week. I ate well all week – except for a little deviation last night.

So, this week, my resistance bands should arrive and I can start looking at how to use them. I need to plan for my trip, how to fit the exercise in and what I am going to take with me. I get back next Monday so for next week, I am going to weigh in on Tuesday. I am hoping not to gain.

This is my 20th week. I have done more than I thought possible in that time 🙂

Exercise thwarted by toddler tantrum

I wanted to go walking this morning. And I tried, I really did. I got up, got dressed, got my little boy ready, we had breakfast, we put more layers on and got the pram ready. And he did not want to go. We set off anyway; sometimes he will settle down once we are moving. And he did, for the first 5 minutes. Then he started crying and arching his back. I gave it another minute and he did not settle. I jogged 2/3 of the way home and once inside he escalated to a tantrum.

It took another 15 minutes to settle him. It required some time on the floor thrashing abhout, some time being held between the two of us and some time on my lap being rocked, with me singing the songs he knows. And when I asked for a kiss, and he gave me one, I knew it was ok again. He slipped off my lap and went over to his dad for more cuddles.

We often go for walks after breakfast. But it was about 0’C when we went out – that would have been the coldest he had been exposed to. I thought it would have been ok with gloves and hat and several layers and in a sleeping bag in the pram.


My plan now is to stay home for a few hours with my little boy and just make sure he is ok. Then we will go to the shops and I will buy an exercise mat and skipping rope for home. (I have ordered resistance bands but they are not here yet otherwise I would get some of them, too.) We will walk around the shops and possibly venture outside if my little boy is up to it. We might go to a park and we could play chasing games.

I might need to rethink my early morning walks through the winter. Having some basic equipment at home is a good start for backup plans.

Edit: I did get out this afternoon with my little boy in the pram. I also got my exercise mat and skipping rope. I am tired and feel a little flat. I am very glad that I have a couple of easy days ahead.

Progress with exercise

I have been looking back through my posts from Jan and Feb. It is already May and I am still going strong! It is so exciting.

I have been thinking again about tweaking my exercise. I started with walking. About a month ago I started adding in small sections of jogging on some walks. I am talking about small sections. I started with 20 meters a couple times a walk. I am building on it, though. Sometimes I jog with the pram, which sends my little boy to sleep. Sometimes I jog with the dog, which she does not enjoy. I don’t often get to jog on my own but I am jogging.

On average, for the last 4 weeks I have been doing about 5 hours of exercise a week over 6 or 7 days. And I find that I really miss it when I have not been out walking for a few days. It is such a great time to think, to reaffirm what I am doing, to have some space from work. I really like getting out on my lunch break and going for a 40 or 50 minute walk. It means I then eat at my desk but I have been out in the air and the light and feel so much better for it.

I have also been wanting to introduce some resistance training and I am getting my plans together. I have some workout plans from and they look great. I found them through – I have to say I think Carla is pretty amazing and when I saw that she had something like this out I jumped on them. I have not started yet, my plan is to get my gear together and start in June. I have a couple weeks holiday in May and I will start doing the individual exercises so that I get the feel of them and work on the mind-muscle connection. Then in June, I will start. It will be a good work out to get me through the winter. I am getting resistance bands and want to get some free weights as well. It is exciting to be working on something new.