I think it is important that people find their own way when it comes to living a healthy life. I am not a health professional. I don’t advocate that anyone do what I do. Everyone’s circumstances are their own and there are different factors which are important for different people.
I do advocate that people seek professional help, whether it relates to food, exercise or the mental side of getting healthy.
Some important things about my way are that I have looked at past attempts to try to work out what went right and what went wrong. I planned this time based on that information. I have only tried twice before to lose weight. I knew that either low fat or mod carb/mod protein worked for me but that I preferred a little bit more protein than a low fat diet. I knew that I liked walking. I knew that both previous attempts were derailed by life events but that I really only made it 6 months of concentrated effort. I found not having an end point in time difficult – the end was somewhere so far away that I could not visualise it. And so I also knew that having clear goals and motivations were so important to me. And it had to be easy. I had to find ways to make the healthy option the easiest option. If it’s not easy, I won’t do it.
And so I decided to use the WW points system but have larger serves of protein and less carb. I had the WW material from 2010 when I had a brief fling with them but I chose not to join up. I decided to commit to a 40 week plan (any woman who has had a child appreciates how long 40 weeks is) which would get me through the 6 month mark but it had a defined end point. I decided to build exercise in to my day. I knew that I needed something that fitted my life as it is rather than trying to rebuild my life to fit.
3 months in, I decided to change to counting kJ. I was not a member of WW, I found the points inflexible to my life overall (what happens when I lose weight/get to goal/get pregnant/exercise more) and I wanted more control. And so I built a spreadsheet to help me calculate the kJ intake I required. I can play with the numbers and see the intake go up and down based on weight and exercise. I was aiming for an intake that would give me about a 1kg a week loss. I then looked at my macronutrient breakdown and was happy with those numbers, I roughly get 50% of my energy from carbohydrate, 26% from protein and 24% from fat. And looking at the food groups, I get 2 serves of fruit, 4-5 serves vegetables, 3 serves dairy, 3 serves protein and 4 serves carbohydrate aday. This is what works for me. I track my kJ intake every day (well 95% of days since I started) on an app on my phone. I use a kJ counter book to look up values, or the packets of foods, or the internet. I don’t find it that difficult, if I did I would find something easier to do.
I like to cook and most of the meals we eat are home cooked. I share the cooking with my man and he is very supportive and will tell me what ingredients and how much he has used so I can work out the kJ in a meal. Recipes from both of us will feature in these pages. I drink some tea, one or two coffees a day and plenty of water. I don’t drink much alcohol; I prefer to eat my kJ.
I am starting to like exercise. I started with walking 3 times a week. After 8 weeks I went up to 4 times, then after another month up to 5 times. I now look for ways to increase incidental exercise. I usually get in 5 hours of exercise a week and it is a mix of cardio and resistance training.
As I write this I am heading towards the end of the 40 week plan. This is what I have been doing consistently for the last 4 months and it has worked for me. But it might not work in the future and I have to be open to new ideas and new challenges. As long as I keep an eye on what I am doing, stay informed and keep making healthy choices I am going in the right direction.