Monthly Archives: July 2011

Introducing Kate, the jogger :D

This morning I went on my walk up the hill, round the top and back. This is the walk that took me 80 minutes when I first went on it in April. I used to avoid it because it has the steepest route up the hill. Now it is my 60 minute walk.

I did four jogging intervals this morning: 3.22, 1.15, 5.02 and 6.39 minutes! Over 5 minutes! And then a second time!!!!!

At some point I noticed in that third interval that my breathing had smoothed from that gaspy ‘jogging’ breath to just in and out. And I started looking up. And it was no longer a case of I will just try and make it to *pick landmark*. But I was thinking I will just keep going until I stop.

And in the fourth interval my breathing smoothed out again and I looked up and I stretched my legs a little more. And I was jogging.

I can no longer say that I am trying to jog. I have to own up to being a jogger.

Hurrah for weekends! Prawn and Spinach Chowder!

Another rough week and I am so happy it is the weekend. I have exercised every day this week; it is going to be the first week in a while I will have done something every day. That makes me happy.

Today I made orange scented almond butter. That also makes me happy.

Today I also made a light creamy chowder for lunch with prawns, potato and smokey bacon. It was very good. And I think the recipe deserves to be here.

I don’t know where I got the original recipe from. I found it during the week when I managed to save some files from a laptop that was briefly resurected. We have family staying for a little while and the weather is cold so soup is a good thing to have. It was very good. I have changed it a little from the original, I have increased the prawns, decreased the butter and potato and replaced the cream with light evaporated milk. It is still rich and creamy but much lighter than the original. You can make your own stock to go in the soup but I did not have time today. If you do, buy prawns that are still shelled and use the shells with a bit of carrot, celery, bay leaves to make the stock. Then the soup will be spectacular.

Prawn and Spinach Chowder
(Serves 4)

20 g butter
1 onion, finely sliced
50 g lean smokey bacon, trimmed of all visible fat and finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
2 tbs plain flour
300 mL light evaporated milk
3 cups fish stock
3 potatos, peeled and diced in 2 cm chunks
400g shelled green prawns
100g baby spinach
2 tsp worchestershire sauce

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and bacon. Cook over medium heat until the onion is soft. Add the paprika and the flour, stir to distribute evenly and cook for 1 minute. Add the light evaporated milk and stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat. Add the potatos and simmer for 30 minutes, covered. Add the prawns and spinach, increase the heat and cook until the prawns are cooked. Stir in the worchestershire sauce.

nutritional information
total: 5486 kJ, 7.2 g fat, 33.9g protein, 112.9 g carb, 9.2 g fibre
per serve: 1372 kJ, 7.2 g fat, 33.9 g protein, 28.2 g carb, 2.3 g fibre

Turkey Kofta Curry

*Edit: the original recipe in this post had some mistakes in it. Apologies. They have now been corrected*

I bought a new cookbook last week, the Woman’s Weekly Cook It Freeze It. I was wanting something new to flick through and it has the nutritional info in it so I get a better idea of the kJ than from just looking at the ingredients. I like being able to freeze meals because it helps so much with getting through the week and all of the recipes in this book have instructions regarding when to freeze it in relation to the method and how to continue after defrosting.

I made a Sulatana Butter Cake from this book last week and it was wonderful. It was also high in butter, sugar and flour so the recipe is not featuring here. But, I do have hopes for other recipes in the book. On the weekend I made the Kofta Curry. Kofta meatballs in a mildly spicey sauce is so wonderful on a winter’s night. I adapted the recipe (because I can’t resist doing that) to leave out the chilli so the toddler can eat it and I increased the mince because I bought pre-packaged mince and I would rather use it all than have a small amount left over. Frying the kofte was fiddly and time consuming. I had to be really gentle in moving them so the didn’t break apart. It got me thinking that baking the kofte might be an improvement, I might try that next time.

We had the Kofta Curry for dinner tonight. It was really nice. I thought the spices balanced really well together and maybe it was worth the fiddly and time consuming effort to brown them kofte after all. And the toddler loved it! This is something that I would happily make again. I was hungry tonight and completely forgot to take a photo of how it turned out. I might try to do that next time. I have another meal stored in the freezer.

Kofta Curry (Serves 5)

1 kg chicken or turkey mince (I used turkey mince)
1 tbs minced ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
2 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbs sweet paprika (or use 1 fresh long chilli, finely chopped)
2 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
4 medium tomatos, coarsly chopped
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup additional chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
1 tsp garam masala

Combine the mince, garlic, cinnamon, 1/3 cup chopped coriander leaves and half garlic and mix till well combined. Divide into 5 portions and then divide each portion into 5 kofta roughly 1 tbs in size to give 25 kofta meatballs. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Add 1/2 tbs olive oil into a large frying pan. Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, paprika, coriander seed, cumin and tumeric. Fry for another 5 minutes. Add the tomato and fry for 5 minutes until the tomato is soft. Add the stock and simmer for 15 minutes until slightly thickened.

Pour 1/2 tbs of the olive oil into another frying pan. Pan fry the kofta, in batches, until browned. Add the kofta to the sauce and simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes, or until the kofta are cooked through.

(If freezing, transfer the kofta and sauce into containers of 1 or 2 serves each and seal. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge. Reheat in a saucepan until hot and continue.)

Stir in the remaining coriander and garam masala.

Serve with rice or naan bread.

Serves 5

Nutritional info (for turkey mince)
total: 8593kJ, 119.1 g fat, 191.7 g protein, 57.9 g carb, 10.6 g fibre
per serve: 1718 kJ, 23.8 g fat, 38.3 g protein, 11.6 g carb, 2.1 g fibre


Stats this week are:
Starting weight: 140.9 kg (310 lbs)
Current weight: 104.6 kg (230 lbs)
This weeks loss: 1.7 kg (4 lbs)
Total lost: 36.3 kg (80 lbs)

I feel flat after yesterday. I feel flat and tired. And so I will concentrate today on the facts and not on how I feel.

The following things are true:
I have lost alot of weight. I have gone from a size 24 to a size 16. I have gone from no fitness to exercising, on average, 5 hours a week. I have done this on my own with the support of my family and friends. I have developed a plan that suits my lifestyle with my family and work. I have built a plan that is healthy and safe and can be maintained. I have been following my plan for 29 weeks – almost 8 months. I am a success.

These things are true and I won’t let my feelings get in the way of following my plan this week. I won’t focus on what has been, I won’t dwell on past choices (last week or the last decade). I will look to today and be healthy today. This is all I have to do today.

emotional eating

Usually where I have come from is not an issue but yesterday it was very much part of my day.

The things my head is trying to process:
– I have lost 25% of my start weight and am halfway to a healthy weight. That is simultaneously wonderful and difficult. I have come so far! I have so far to go! How did I get that overweight? I am doing so well!
– I found pictures of me at Christmas to put in an album to show where I started from. They were hard to look at. I remember at the time thinking they were realistic and that I looked terrible. I had already started working on a plan so it reinforced my motivations. But I felt ashamed looking at them.
– I had pictures taken of me yesterday and I look so good in comparison! I look thinner and happy. I put one on facebook and lots of friends commented about how well I am doing. And again, simultaneously wonderful and difficult. And I also felt vulnerable. I was letting people who didn’t really know what I was doing that I was doing something.

Last night we went out to dinner and that was nice. We had Indian and the food was fabulous. I found myself missing green vegetables even though we had one vegetarian dish. I ate more than I needed but I did not overeat. And we stopped at the Indian Grocer next door and I got one Galub Jamun for desert. I just wanted something a little bit sweet. But in the course of events, it never made it home. Which was frustrating.

My man was going out, I was staying home with the toddler. I had a little bit of the chocolate slice he was taking with him. And that did not ease my frustration. He left and I prowled the kitchen looking for … something. I deserved something. I had worked hard all week at tracking and exercise and had been spot on. I had such a stressful week at work as well. The scales were going down – quite quickly and so I was entitled! I was entitled!

And what did I do with the feelings of entitlement, frustration, vulnerability, loathing and success? I ate. I had one bottle of cider and a packet of choc finger biscuits; the whole packet. And while I was eating I felt relief and acceptance and comfort. I knew last night that it was a one off. I knew it was not the same as a couple of weeks ago where the compulsion stayed with me. I knew that I would be ok the next day. This morning I got up, did 60 minutes fast walking up the hill and back. I have eaten well and am tracking everything and I have had not problems with keeping to my plan or any desire to deviate.

Tonight, I told my man a short version of what happened last night with the biscuits. I guess I was testing myself. I did not want it to be secret eating. I wanted to say the words and make it real and have it known. But I had not worked out why I had eaten the way did last night, I thought it was just the frustration and did not link it to the photos and stuff from earlier in the day. And so I was left with feeling exposed and I wish I had said nothing. I just wanted to hide and I slipped quickly into control/freak out behaviour. I cleaned up in the kitchen, I got my food ready for tomorrow, I kept myself busy as my thoughts spun and spun and spun.

Not normal, not normal, what is normal anyway, it was normal for me, not good certainly but it was my normality, what do other people do anyway? Why would I want to be like other people? I like who I am, I am strong, I am clever, I am making my own way. This is my path. Not normal, what is normal?

I don’t know what normal eating is. I don’t know what the average person eats. I know what books tell me people should eat but I don’t know what people actually do. But I know that food is not just food to me. Food is acceptance and comfort. Cooking and eating is about sharing and love and family and acceptance. This is me. This is my struggle.

With all of those emotions last night – the self loathing at what I had let myself become, the vulnerability, the fear, the frustration and the sense of entitlement, is it any wonder that I ate? No, not really. Did I feel better? Yes, at the time. And tonight? I have worked through my reaction and understand why I wanted to say it out loud and why I then responded the way I did. And now? The spinning has slowed down and I feel like equilibrium is returning.

I don’t want to be normal. I want to be me – understanding where I have come from, where I want to go and be real along the way. My man supports me. He doesn’t understand my twisted relationship with food. I suspect he eats for hunger while my normal patterns for so long have been to eat for acceptance and comfort. I am trying to build new patterns and they are getting stronger every day I keep at it. I have a long way to go on this journey. Eating well and exercising is the easy part.

random tired musings

My work hours changed this week so that I am doing Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri. It feels like a Thursday night for me right now and I am exhausted. There won’t be new experimental foods on Friday anymore… but hopefully I will be able to do some cooking on Wednesdays and weekends. Being able to pull things from the freezer this week has been wonderful.

I have had a really good week so far. The scales this morning were down a good way from Monday. I am tracking and eating well. I am exercising. I haven’t done any resistance training this week but I will do some over the weekend.

We had a work morning tea on Thursday and I took in a sultana cake and a chocolate hedgehog roll. I knew how many kJ were in a piece of each and I really enjoyed both. I was asked for the recipes. I had my cup of tea in my hand to stop my fingers from wanting to pick up more food. It helped having really nice tea and my teapot. I stood away from the table with the food on it and talked to my colleagues. It was a nice morning tea and I managed to avoid the leftovers for the rest of the day. I went out for a brisk walk at lunch and I stayed within my kJ target for the day.

People are commenting regularly now about my weight loss or my exercise habits. I like that. Most days, I have a little strut in my step because I feel good in my clothes. I look in the mirror and I tell myself how well I am doing. The saying it out loud is a good thing.

I have won a soup maker in a magazine competition. It has not arrived yet but I am looking forward to it. I want to make soup: roast tomato and garlic, curried vegetable with lentil, zucchini and parmesan, chicken and sweet corn, roasted root vegetable soup, broccoli and blue cheese. So many soups! I am going to need to get some sturdy containers that are freezer and microwave safe.

This weekend we need to cook some things to stock the freezer. I think there is a party to go to, I need to relax. I want to spend some time with my family and enjoy that. I have some little jobs to do.

Life is good. I am getting closer to my goals while enjoying the journey.


I looked in the mirror this morning and thought I am not that fat girl anymore. I am not small, I am still big, but it is more average (on the large side) than fat. The fat girl is gone.

Dinner parties, cheese and champagne

It was a good weekend. We had friends over for dinner and there was cheese and champagne. I cooked Kangaroo Massaman and made the curry paste with a mortar and pestle. Not the lightest meal but you don’t take big servings and I also had a vegetable curry which did not use coconut milk. After our friends left, I guestimated how many kJ I had eaten and it was 2000 above my target for the day. The meal itself was not too bad. It was the cheese and crackers and champagne that put me over. But, you know, it was a great night. Overall last week, I averaged out at 8281kJ/day, and that is including the dinner party. I was aiming for 8200. I exercised for 6 and a half hours last week. I made sure that on Saturday I ate lightly to help with dinner and on Sunday I did the same. I did lose weight this week, not as much as I had hoped but that is ok. I had a good week being on plan and exercising and I had a great dinner party. And being able cook for my friends and enjoy good food is something that I need to be able to incorporate into my life.

And today I am wearing a size 16 shirt that I bought years ago for when I could fit into it. That attempt, I did not get there. I am wearing it today and I look good.

Starting weight; 140.9kg (310lbs)
Today’s weight: 106.4 (234lbs)
This week’s loss: 0.7 kg (1.5 lbs)
Total lost: 34.5 kg (76lbs)

This week I want to do resistance training at least twice. I have not yet made it a habit and I am more likely to do cardio than resistance. But I want to incorporate it into my routine.

I am also baking for work on Thursday but I will factor that in and that is ok.

Other than that, I now have a teapot at work to help me out with stress management there.

That is all.

stress management list

I am a list girl. I like making lists and having action plans that I can call on when my mind stalls in indecision. I am working on a list of stress management options.

– tea: the process of making a pot of tea is a ritual that is soothing. Get the teapot, rinse it out, select the tea of choice, put the tea leaves in the infuser, boil the kettle, light the tea light candle that sits under the teapot, pour the water over the leaves and watch the tea infusing. Even at work, without the glass teapot, I still have two or three different kinds of loose leaf tea. And I think I might get a teapot just for work because it will help me manage stress during the day. And then there is the drinking of the tea! Making tea gives me a chance to take a break when I stop and take time for the whole process.

– exercise: exercise that is physically draining can get me quickly to a place where my conscious mind steps back and my unconscious mind takes over, it is all about one foot in front of another, breathing, checking the path ahead, breathing and expending the excess energy. At the moment I use power walking to get me to this place, I think jogging and running will also do it. And walking/jogging outside in the fresh air with the sun is an important factor for me, too. But regualar exercise has also helped me…

– journaling: when I am working through an issue, it helps me to write about it. I can vent my frustration, disappointment, anger in a safe place. Sometimes what I write is private, sometimes I make it available to friends or publically, depending on the situation that I am working through.

– talking: for the same reasons as journaling, talking about what is going on helps me manage stress. But I need to pick my person to talk to. And I usually don’t start talking until I have high stress levels or I have already put some thought into what is going on.

– relaxing baths: for the same reason as tea and exercise, taking a bath is about taking time out from what ever else is going on.

– crocheting: I like to crochet, it gives me things to do with my hands (which is not eating) and I can make something at the same time. And it is an activity which allows my conscious mind to step back and the routine take over.

– change of activity: at work if there is something getting to me about a particular activity/task, one way to manage is to put is aside and focus on something else. That means I can do little bits of the stressful task but keep my stress levels from not getting too high.

At work I have the following options: tea, change of activity/task and exercise (during my lunch break). I try to take a good lunch break every day and 3 of my 4 lunch breaks I go walking. This helps with the ongoing stressful environment. When I need to manage the stress of an immediate situation, I will go walking on my own and really push myself hard to help clear my head.

Hmmm… there are 3 different strategies I use: process, time out and general ongoing maintenance. That is really interesting – I hadn’t realised it till I started writing. For flare ups I need to take a break from it and allow the energy to dissipate. When I am living with a stressful ongoing situation/environment and my stress baseline is raised above normal I need to manage the underlying stress levels by processing the issue with journaling and talking. And then there is the general ongoing maintenance of healthy heating, getting enough sleep and regular exercise which helps me keep my stress baseline low.

I like this. I can use this! I have ways of managing different kinds of stress. It gives me options. I have some ideas for flare ups which require immediate action. I have some ideas for situational or ongoing stress which require processing. I will keep thinking about other ways I can manage my stress. And the only place food features is in the day to day and that is about healthy eating.

Three things today

Three things today that were initiated outside me:

A colleague said that I had inspired him to get out his exercise mat and do some exercise on it.

A friend said that I was looking good and that what I was doing was obviously working.

I was asked by another friend about how I keep motivation going with regards to exercise and, not dwelling on last week, I said that I have made it fit into my life and I enjoy it. That makes it easy to do and there is an immediate pay off.

And three things that I have accomplished/initiated:

I am tracking my food and eating within my kJ target and am feeling better for it.

The alarm did not go off this morning but I woke up anyway, got up and chose to do my exercise.

I started thinking about how my core value of respect relates to my healthy journey goals. And that made me feel strong and empowered.