Monthly Archives: June 2011

25 weeks, 175 days, 525 meals

I am not surprised that after all this time I am still committed and positive about the healthy lifestyle path that I have chosen because I have clear short term and long term goals and a plan that I have built and fits my day-to-day life. But, then again, I am a little surprised that I am still committed and positive! There have been alot of changes to my food, my exercise and my self talk. I have been tracking my food and exercise for 175 days and it is not a chore (most of the time). Perhaps one of the reasons for my continued commitment is that I am really focussed on today and this week rather than trying to focus on this year. This year is too big, I can’t jump that far at once but each day is a small step and I can manage this day, this next meal.

In the week just past, I focussed on bringing my food back down to about 8200kJ a day and I averaged out at 8212kJ so I am really happy with that. A couple of days were over, a couple spot on and a couple under. I dropped the extras that had crept back in – like a hot milky drink before going to bed and/or some chocolate. There were a couple of nights where I did brush my teeth earlier as a tactic to not have anything else before bed. I also made sure that I checked how I was going before I snacked in the afternoon; that way I was ahead rather than trying to catch up. And I cooked some new things in the last week; it was good to do. I like food and cooking and I start craving treats if I don’t try new new things regularly.

Exercise wise I was also more consistent, getting in just under 5 hours over six days with two lots of resistance training. I had hoped to do more resistance training yesterday but I needed to do some housework because it was starting to bug me but I did get 30 mins cardio in. We all went on an afternoon walk. I think that I made a good call on that.

And so, this weeks stats are:
Starting weight (3/1/2011): 140.9 kg (310 lbs)
Todays weight (27/6/2011) 107.4 kg (236.3 lbs)
Loss this week: 1.6 kg (3.5 lbs)
Total loss: 33.5 kg (73.7 lbs)

This week brings me up to 26 weeks. Half a year! This week also brings me to 2/3 of the way through my 40 week commitment. I will do a wrap of the middle third of the plan next week.

Challenges? I want to get in exercise every day. Even with another possible day trip this weekend I am going to get in at least 10 minutes every day, aiming for 5 hours in total. To quote someone: ‘JUST DO IT’. I have a lunch date on Wednesday with some friends. I don’t know where we are going so I have not yet planned ahead but I will find out and I will exercise early morning as I won’t be able to at lunch. And I am expecting some hormonal challenges this week. I hope to ride through them better than last month.

Life is good. I feel stronger and healthier than I did this time last year. And I am going to keep moving towards a healthier and stronger me.

Blueberry Muffins

I made a variation of Vanilla Pear Muffins on Friday night. At the time I thought the muffin mixture would be a goood base for other fruit muffins and so I tried it out with Blueberries.

I also used a white sugar blended with Stevia which I have been wanting to test. About a decade ago, I used splenda in my baking but was left with a odd bitterness. To avoid this I used half sugar and half splenda and that was ok. Now with Stevia sweeteners on the market I thought is would be good to try an alternative natural sweetener.

One concern I have when using sweeteners is that the texture of the baked good will be different. When creaming butter and sugar, air is incorporated and an emulsion forms which traps the air and helps the baked good to rise. When butter and sugar is not creamed for long enough, the emulsion is not stable. You can see this when incorporating eggs and the mixture curdles.

See, I like my baking. And I like the science of baking. Why mess with a good thing?

In my muffin recipe, the butter is melted and mixed with the wet ingredients and sugar… so it is less important. But still πŸ™‚

There were two main changes to the Vanilla Pear Muffin recipe – swapping the pear for the blueberries and brown sugar for a white sugar/stevia blend which meant using half the amount of sugar.

The kJ dropped from 880 to 790 per serve. Not bad for these couple changes πŸ™‚

Again, the lemon and vanilla added to the flavour of the muffin. I think the nutmeg is important as it adds another layer of flavour but it is barely noticeable. I was very happy with these πŸ™‚ They were good warm, they were good the next day. They were sweet enough with no obvious aftertaste and the texture was good. I like the sugar blend and will use it again. I have had a request for raspberry muffins. And I still need to test the sugar blend in a recipe where the butter and sugar is creamed…

Blueberry Muffins

230g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch salt
2 eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
zest of one lemon, finely grated
80g white sugar blended with Stevia (There is a blend called Smart White Sugar blend in Australia by CSR which is 99.6% sugar and 0.4% Stevia)
4 tbs unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup unsweetened apple puree
150g frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 200’C (400’F). Prepare 14 muffin cases (I have a 12 muffin tin and then use 2 ramekins to put the other 2 muffin cases in so that I can bake all of the muffins at once.)

Mix the flour, baking powder, nutemeg and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Mix the butter, oil, eggs, lemon zest, apple, vanilla, sugar in a second large bowl. Combine the wet and dry and mix to combine. Fold in the frozen blueberries. Spoon into the muffin cases.

Bake for 25 minutes (I had them in for 28) or until the tops of the muffins spring back when you press them lightly with your finger.

Makes 14 muffins
nutitional info per muffin:
788kJ, 9.9 g fat. 2.91 g protein, 21 g carb, 1.1 g fibre

Three things today and Thai Fish Curry

Today there are three things worth mentioning:
– this morning, after my shower, I wrapped the towel around me and there was no gape!
– during my lunch time walk I did 3 x 90 second jogging intervals! I can jog for 90 seconds without dying! It was actually further than I thought I would be able to mangage. And I was able to calculate how far one of the intervals was afterwards. It was 300m! I was so excited that…
– I shared my jogging success with my boss! My boss runs and before I started jogging I asked her how one runs because I did not know where to start. It was very exciting to share my little victory with her today πŸ™‚

My legs are tired now πŸ™‚ And I am happy πŸ™‚

On Tuesday night my man cooked something new and it was really good. I thought I would share it here as what I cooked last night needs some more work.

My man wanted to make a coconut fish curry. My one request was that he get light coconut milk. And the wonderful man checked the tins of coconut milk so he could get the brand with the least kilojoules. I really appreciated it. And looking at the recipe today and calculating the nutritional info, there can be a really big difference with the kilojoules in different brands of light coconut milk. It is worthwhile checking the lables for this item.

The curry was hot and so it might be good to cut the chilli down a little. I also think that you could increase the fish and the mushrooms, perhaps add some eggplant but without increasing the sauce. This would allow you to serve more people and would drop the kJ per serve as the majority of the kJ are in the sauce. There was alot of sauce and we did not have all of the sauce even though we went back for seconds to fish out the rest of the … fish πŸ™‚

Something to try for next time perhaps. There will be a next time for this dish πŸ™‚

Thai Fish Curry
adapted from http://thaifood.about.com/od/thaiseafoodrecipes/r/easyfishcurry.htm

Curry Sauce Ingredients
1/2 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves and stems, chopped
250mL Lite Coconut Milk (we used Trident brand)
2 onions
1 tbs minced ginger
1 tbs minced garlic
2 tbs fish sauce
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp shrimp paste
1/2 tsp ground cayenne
Curry Ingredients
350g firm white fish fillets (we used basa), cut into inch cubes
100g mushrooms, sliced
1 red capsicum (pepper), deseeded and diced
1 medium tomato, diced
fresh coriander to garnish
lemon or lime wedges to garnish

Place all of the Curry Sauce Ingredients in a food processor or blender and process to form a smooth curry paste. Pour the sauce into a large frying pan or wok and place over medium heat. Bring to the boil.

Add the fish, mushrooms and capsicum. Stir well, reduce heat so that the sauce is simmering gently. Cover and cook for 6 minutes. Add the tomato and gently stir in. Cover and simmer for a further 3 minutes.

Adjust the seasoning – add more fish sauce instead of salt, add a little sugar if it is too sour, add lime or lemon juice if it is too salty or sweet.

Serve the curry over rice, garnish with fresh coriander sprigs and the lemon or lime wedges.

Nurtitional Information (not including the rice):
total: 3480 kJ, 26.5 g fat, 76 g protein, 49.5 g carb, 11.8 g fibre
per serve: 1740 kJ, 13.3 g fat, 38.1 g protein, 24.8 g carb, 5.9 g fibre

new week updatery

I stayed the same! Well, I went up 0.1 kg (0.2 lbs) so I am claiming that as staying the same!

This past week my exercise was down (I got in 3 1/2 hours and most of that was on the weekend) and my eating was higher than it has been since I started counting kJ, averaging at 9200kJ. Looking purely at the numbers, I was still on track for losing about a pound but with last weeks mega loss my body was not going to let that happen.

What I want to do this week is bring the kilojoules back down again, averaging at about 8200kJ for the week. In the last couple weeks I was having a hot milky drink or a little bit of chocolate after dinner and that was where (some of) the increased kJ were coming from. I will nip that in the bud! One tactic that usually works is brushing my teeth a little while after dinner. I don’t get the munchies if I have clean teeth… I also want to exercise every day, with 3 sessions of strength training. The strength training is not yet a habit and I need to keep it up so that the habit starts to form. The weather forecast for this week predicts mainly dry days so I should be able to meet my exercise targets.

Other challenges this week include a day trip to visit my sister. Long drives in the car have always led to snacking for me so I will plan the day trip quite carefully to try and limit bad snacking…

When my work days went from 3 to 4 I stopped blogging mid week and I miss that. It is also a little trickier to cook new things and I miss that too. I am planning to cook something on Wednesday night for dinner. It will be something easy, something fast and hopefully, something really tasty!

This is my 25th week of healthy eating and exercise. It was around 6 months in my previous attempts when I got a little complacent and lost my way. I really wanted to avoid this and so the plan I developed included a 40 week commitment. Not that the healthy living ends after 40 weeks; not at all. But 40 weeks brings me well over the 6 month mark and has given me a real focus. And in the next fortnight I complete two thirds of my 40 weeks and I want to make these two weeks really positive, self affirming weeks. It is my future I am preparing for, it is my present that I am living and celebrating with good healthy food and fun activities.

Missing exercise? That’s new!

It has been an interesting week. My exercise has been derailed fore the last 4 days and I am missing it. I am missing the physical exertion and I am missing the mental space I get when I go walking on my own. I feel overstretched and I am reacting to little things. And I also want to eat more. I am looking forward to this morning. I am going to do some cardio, some resistance training and wrap it all up with an hour of housecleaning. I get a clean house and exercise! Win – Win!

My eating this week has been on the higher side all week. I don’t know if my body is reacting to a large loss last week, the cold, the lack of exercise or all of the above and more. But, I am on target for losing about 0.5kg (1 lb) considering my food intake and exercise so I am still pleased with that. Who knows what the scales will read on Monday. And speaking of scales…

I have bought a new set of scales. The battery in my old ones is getting low and I decided to get some new scales in the sales to replace it rather than just changing the battery. I bought a set that do body fat, body water as well as weight. I tested it out the other night and weigh the same on it as I do the old ones πŸ™‚ The only thing it doesn’t do is play back the last readings for me, which means if I want to record all the readins I need to write them down while standing on the scale. As I will only be recording weight regularly it should not bug me too much…

[4 hours later]

I feel much better for having done some exercise. I need to remember this πŸ™‚

Long weekend weigh-in

We had a public holiday, today. I have been looking after the toddler as my man has been busy all weekend. Today it was non-stop and I am exhausted. My legs are aching and I will be in bed early. I am looking forward to the peace and quiet of work tomorrow.

I did weigh in this morning. My brain is also hurting and I am not going to think to hard about it. Another big loss this week, I was on target with my food (except one evening) and I stuck to my exercise plan. I am really pleased with how I managed this weekend. For dinners the last few nights I have had ‘food from the freezer’ and it has been such a help to be able to pull three different healthy meals out to just heat up.

To stats:
Starting weight: 140.9kg (310 lbs)
Current weight: 108.9 kg (240 lbs)
This weeks loss: 2.2 kg (4.8 lbs)
Total loss: 32 kg (70 lbs)

With this weeks weigh-in I met two little goals I had in place – loss of 30kg and less than 110kg. Last time I was less than 110kg was in 2003. I did not get much further that attempt because life derailed for me during the winter of 2003. But this time, I am in a really good space in my personal life and I am focussed and want to keep going. There will be set backs and slip ups (as in earlier this week) but on the whole, the majority of my choices are right on target.

This coming week I have a few social things next weekend. I need to think about how to manage that. And I want to exercise every day this week, that is always a challange…

How? Why? Trying to make sense of my size

140kg is alot. It’s 310lbs.

How did I get there? Why did I get there? It is important to try and make sense of it if I want to move away from it.

I am about the size I am today as I was when I left school about 18 years ago. Today I am a size 18 (AU) which is a 16UK or a 14US. In January 2011 when I started out I was a size 24. I know that the clothes I wore to school in my last year were about an 18 or 20. So, my weight is not a new problem.

I have a few memories that I think are relevant. Once when I was 5 or 6 our family went out to dinner at a friend’s house. They were Italian. I remember the ricotta in pastry. I remember eating several of them. I remember that I was physically ill after eating so much that night. I remember Dad saying something in the car about that. Already at that age I had lost the ability to know when to stop eating.

I was in WW with mum when I was 11 or 12. I know that I wasn’t allowed any lollies or chocolate at that time. I would get them, though. Nan bought up lolly bags for us three girls every week when she visited. When I stopped getting them I would sneak something from both of my sisters bags so they would not notice. And then I started shoplifting chocolate. I was never able to explain to mum why I did it when I was caught. But looking back, it was the deprivation that drove me to it.

And I remember my Grandpa asking for a slice of the fat when we had baked dinners, because ‘that was the good bit’.

I knew that I was bigger then most girls my age. I don’t remember when it started bothering me. I do know that I was always told I was loved just the way I was, that God had made me just the way I was and that I was made with purpose and design. The message my brain got was to accept my size because that was the way I was made and was supposed to be. But somewhere in my head I did not feel comfortable in my skin. I remember feeling misunderstood and I have several memories of specific situations where people did not listen, or I was laughed at for not understanding something. I did not know I could stand up for myself. I was lonely. I felt unloved. I know my family loved me then and love me now. Knowing something in your head is different to knowing it in your heart. Maybe this was all normal for a teenage girl? I don’t know. But I ate for comfort, for acceptance and fulfilment and I ate in secret.

In my last year of school, I got some award for being the nicest person in the year. I don’t remember what the award was for but that was what I joked about at the time. I was super nice and helpful and considerate. I was the fat girl and that was the only way I knew to fit in. Being fat was ok, because I was loved and accepted for who I was. And by that time I was not the only overweight one in my extended family. There were several of us cousins who had put on weight, who carried it well, who enjoyed food and alcohol, who were loved and accepted and it was never an issue.

Fitness was not a priority growing up. I played netball but as a family we did not do any health/fitness/exercise things really together. I remember mum riding on the exercise bike, night after night, going nowhere. But exercise was something I was happy not to do. So I didn’t.

So many mixed messages! So much confusion and insecurity. And I ate because I did not know any other way to cope.

I am very fortunate that I don’t have a terrible story in my past which drove me to eat. It makes it hard to understand why I did. It was just life.

So, what can I learn? That accepting myself is different from wanting to be healthy. I have done alot of work on understanding myself in the last 7 years and for the last 5 I have been happy to be me. I like who I am. This is a big change from the 18-28 year old girl that I once was. I want to respect the person that I am. I want to live long life. I want to know that I can run if I want to. I want to look after myself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. And part of that is losing weight.

Food is not a source of comfort or acceptance. Food is just food. It can be delicious. I can enjoy it, the cooking and the sharing of it. But if I need comfort then I need to look elsewhere. If I am stressed, I need to work on resolving that stress, not just eating it away. And if I need reassurance from my man, from my family, I need to ask them and not turn to food.

Having thought about it has made it easier. I can understand how and why. But I can’t continue on that path. It would kill me. So, I am changing. I am no longer that scared, confused girl. I am a strong woman and I will make the changes I need to make. I won’t stop when I get to a healthy weight because then the focus shifts to maintaining a healthy weight. This journey needs to be about so much more than just losing weight; it is about having a healthy body, a healthy mind and being active as I grow older.