Tag Archives: small steps

Jam

I am jamming again but this time I am doing it smart.

I am making spiced plum jam, the same as last week. The plums are Blood Plums and are from a tree at my boss’s house. I gave her a jar of last week’s batch and she offered me some more plums, the jam is that good. So, I am jamming again.

I make spiced plum jam by throwing in whole cloves, coriander seed, peppercorns, a couple bay leaves, a vanilla pod, a nutmeg, a cinnamon stick and some dried orange peel. Last week I threw all the spices into the pot with the fruit and then needed to get them out again before bottling. It was too hard to separate all the fruit from the spices (although I did try) so I ended up eating the fruit and spitting the spices out. Bad decision.

This week, all of the spices were tied up in some muslin and I could fish them out in one go. I also took out all of the plum stones before adding the sugar. It was much less appetising without the sugar!

The jam is almost ready for bottling. I know it is delicious, I have had maybe 2 teaspoons while checking to see if it has reached setting point. This is a huge difference to last week! I have several small jars and am giving some away to my colleagues. The rest I will keep to use throughout the year and to give away to friends when we visit or as thank you presents.

Hurrah for learning from past experiences! Hopefully I will remember next summer when I make spiced plum jam again.

Weekly wrap

The past week was really quite good now I look back. I had a great time doing the Up and Running workouts… I write that and I wonder at who this girl is who loves running!!! Anyway, the workouts this week were hard and pushed me and I saw myself improve in the week as my body got used to regularly exercising and eating well again. It was just so good to see. I did my longest workout yet in terms of distance with 7.3km in 57 minutes, which included a total of 5.8km of running. I was so proud of that workout and I was tired afterwards ๐Ÿ™‚ And I loved having the stats from my garmin to see how I did over the different segments. Overall last week I had 2 rest days and did 6 workouts with a total of 29.2 km. Yes, I did two on one day because I had my new toy and I was trying it out.

My eating was pretty much spot on all week as well after starting on Tuesday. I felt better for eating properly. My energy levels were good, I enjoyed the food and I wasn’t hungry or feeling like I was missing anything. It was like I slipped back into the way I was eating last year and that felt normal. It was a big relief to just fall back into it so easily. I was aiming for about 9000kJ a day and averaged (over 5 days) at 8830kJ. I was interested in how my running impacted my hunger and energy needs for the day and I felt I was listening to my body and making good choices. I ate a little more on the days I ran (up to 9300kJ) and a little less on the days I didn’t (about 8500kJ). And so it averaged out and I was really happy with that. But the best part of the week with food was the awareness of how much better I felt when I eat well, when I get hungry between meals, when I listen to my body when it needs a little more and then I give it a little more of healthy food. So it was a great start to the year. The other positive thing I did over the weekend was do a meal plan for the week, go shopping, prepare foods for lunch this week and cook one meal for the freezer. This week will be easier because I have a plan and am prepared.

I did have one slip up yesterday (hence not tracking for 6 days last week)… I had not planned an outing well. I really should have thought about this one a little better. Firstly, my period started yesterday and the first 24 hours are difficult with back ache, cramping and general moodiness; after that it is usually bearable. Secondly, the outing was not quite what I expected, I was disappointed and that threw me a little. I had taken food with me that I was not planning to track and that was a bad call. I was a little tense because of the company. And so I ate the foods I was not planning to track in amounts greater than I would have eaten had I not been where I was. When I am tense, I eat to help me relax because having a full belly means comfort and security. I know this is how my brain works. So, what do I do next time? Think about the outing/event and plan the food a little better. Take chewing gum so that I can trick my brain into getting the relief from a tense situation without the calories. Do some positive self talk prior to the event. Continue working on my issues around self acceptance. I can’t do much about the timing with hormones but I can have painkillers with me if I need them.

The slip up was half of one day. And in the scheme of a week it isn’t much, in the scheme of a month it is only a a moment. I was frustrated this morning when I stepped on the scales and did not see as large a loss as I would have liked. But now, looking at the whole week and knowing what happened yesterday, I can accept it and move on. I had a relly good week with food and exercise and I am happy. The number box on the floor was down 0.8kg (almost 2bs) from last week and I am satisfied with that. I feel that it is a pretty accurate reflection of how the week went.

I also decided what to read to help me in the area of self acceptance. I will read Karen Anderson’s “After: (the before and after)”. I chose this book because it is Karen who partly inspired me to look at self acceptance from her discussion with Shauna Reid and Carla Birnberg on the podcast Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone in episode 27. (Insert Plug for the podcast Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone: Love your work, Shauna and Carla!!!) Listening to that podcast again late last year made me first realise there was work I could do in this space. Without having something on the shelf that spoke to me on this issue, without knowing where else to go, not wanting to spend hours browsing book shelves in shops (although that can be fun), I decided to go back to the original prompt and start there. I have a starting point.

A new week awaits. New training plans, a food plan and a commitment to making healthy choices today.

Am here, it’s monday…

No weigh in today.

But I went running this morning. I went up the hill on the walk that I started going up at the beginning of the year. It was my hard walk. Today I walked up the hill to the track that runs around the crown of the hill. Then I ran about 3/4 of that back to my starting point and I walked back down. It was cool, the sun was rising. And it was very good.

Especially very good as the small one woke when I got up and was really awake – none of this snoozing nonsense! My man got up to look after him so that I could go out. I am very grateful.

As I was coming back I remembered a couple of things. I know who I am. I like who I am. I don’t always manage everything, some things are harder to process than others. Some things I deal with pretty badly. But there are lots of things I am good at, there are lots of things about me that I like. I know who I am. I like who I am. That doesn’t change because of some issues that were very much front of head for the last couple of weeks. I got through the last couple of week. And today I got up and I did some exercise. And I agreed to make healthy choices for the rest of the day.

I need to not weigh in for a little while. I need to remove that ongoing challange with the scale and focus on making healthy choices consistently. I need to think of how I want to go forward next year. Having a plan this year was brilliant. But next year I need a different kind of plan and some different goals. This will be my focus for the next couple of weeks – that and getting through each day.

many steps forward, a couple back

Tired today. I started my new job and it was a good day.

I also weighed in this morning and I have put on weight in the last two weeks. I was up 4 kg this morning from a fortnight ago. I know some is water, some is overeating and some is hormonal. But it is also not unexpected. While I did some exercise last week, my eating spiralled out as I made cake for my toddler’s birthday and decorated cake and planned party food. It was not a good week. And I didn’t check in here because that would mean I would have to face what I was doing.

A couple of times during the week I was aware of how I felt physically, having eaten too much sugar and too much food in general. I thought about how I felt in my body – It is important to notice the bloating, the trouble getting to sleep and the sluggishness when I don’t eat well. It is important to recognise that eating too much sugar leads to sugar cravings and it is so very hard to stop once I have given in. It is important to remember that I feel so much better when I eat well; I sleep better, my body moves more smoothly and I am confident in myself.

Here I am. I have taken some steps back. And I have learnt some things. I think that these are lessons it is going to take me some time to learn. My brain is still wired from decades of poor choices and it will take a long time for the rewiring to be the default.

But, I am going to start taking steps forward again. I am not yet done.

This morning I went out and did 50 minutes of walking/running, a total of 5.8km. I was at work today and I took my snacks and lunch. I have packed my food for tomorrow and have done some prep for dinner tomorrow night. I feel like I am in control.

I am not going to meet my goal for Christmas with regards to seeing numbers on the scale. That is ok. But I will aim to be at my lowest weight this year for Christmas – which means I am going to get the gain off and then some. I will work towards running a 5K between Christmas and New Year. That gives me time to train and I hope to see an improved time since my 5K. This is a good goal to set.

I wish that my emotional mind could take orders from my rational mind. My rational mind knows what to eat and how much. It has logic and evidence with regard to food choices. But eating/food is more than that for me. It is comfort and pleasure; it is part of how I interact with my friends, it is how I am generous with my friends; it is part of how I express my creativity. I am finding ways to be creative in a healthy way with food. I am finding ways to be social apart from food. I am finding ways to manage stress without food. But it is not easy. I don’t think it will ever be easy.

But I believe it is worth it.

I am already living so many benefits of my weightloss and improved fitness.

I will keep looking for new ways. I will keep taking small steps forward; in healthy food choices, in exercise, in stress management. I will be healthy, fit and strong. This I promise to myself. While I may take small steps back, that will not be the end. I will stop, look at what I am doing, look at where I want to go and then keep going. This I promise to myself.

An excellent week

I have had a really good week, an excellent week, so far. I have exercised every day and I took the stairs at work as well. I have not had any chocolate, I had 2 biscuits at a games night that I had planned into my day but other than that, I have had no sweet treats. Last night I really wanted some chocolate but instead had mango, yoghurt and some almonds. It was filling, there was some sweetness but also the crunchiness of the almond. Another good thing was that it took time to make and eat; much more so than grabbing the chocolate out of the cupboard. And I got to feel smug about it.

I have liked having very simple straightforward goals this week. I know what my plan is for the day, I follow the plan, I mentally tick the things on my list. I feel good in my body.

And because I was feeling good in myself yesterday, I went to the shops at lunch and popped into a clothes shop that I like. About 6 weeks ago I tried on a dress with them but didn’t buy it because I couldn’t justify the expense. Yesterday, the same dress was marked down by 75%. I bought it. It is a summer daytime dress and completely different to what I am used to wearing; it is fitted, sleeveless, bright colours, horizontal stripes. It fitted 6 weeks ago (just) and now it feels and looks fabulous.

This week it has been about one day at a time and today all I have to think about is making healthy choices today. That is achievable.

Two good – no great – days.

Buzzy headache is gone. Stairs have been climbed, exercise done, water drunk and planned food eaten. No alcohol, no choclate. Strategies have been prepared for party on the weekend.

I feel better in my skin. I need to remember that eating properly, exercising properly and getting enough sleep makes me feel good. This is important ๐Ÿ™‚

Healthy for Life

I decided I needed some simple goals for this week to help me get back on track.

Last week was strange. I had the excitement and emotion of reaching a goal I had worked so long for. Part of my head says ‘Done! Now you can stop paying attention to it all.’ I need to get over that. I was not well and so my eating got screwed as I tried to listen to my body and adapt but I overcompensated. On Saturday night I went to a party and had some alcohol and I ate food that wasn’t good for me. Then I got home and kept eating. Sunday was not that much better. While my exercise was a little down because I had been unwell, I did get some good exercise in Thursday-Sunday.

It will take a couple days for my body to clean out from the excess sugar and fat on the weekend and I know that I will have some cravings and headaches until it does. So, this week, I need some straightforward simple goals to focus on.

1. Exercise every day
2. Drink enough water
3. Walk up the stairs at work at least twice a day
4. Stick to my food plan
5. No alcohol this week

‘Healthy for life’ is a mentality or personality aspect I am trying to develop to replace ‘Fat Girl’. When I think about what it means, it is not about what happened last week or what happens next week. It is about a decade from now. It is about living with my family into the future. But it is also about today – the choices I make today with regard to food and exercise. If I make healthy choices today then that is success. It is about every day and ensuring most of my choices are healthy ones. It is about each individual choice. This will become the backdrop to my life now that 40 weeks is up.

Today will be a good day. I have done my Up and Running workout, I parked 20 min walk from work this morning and so I know I have another 20 min walk this afternoon. I have my food sorted for today. I will drink water. I will make healthy choices today and tomorrow will be easier.

Move it on out, girl… you will feel better for it

Lower back ache and general discomfort and grumpiness. I hate this time of the month. The best thing I have found to help with the pain is exercise. The thing I want to do least right now is exercise. I will fit it in today, even if it is a walk to the shops with my boy. The sun is out, it is a beautiful day. I will go to the shops soon. And tomorrow morning I have my Up and Running workout planned. I will do that one.

On Monday at work I was at a morning tea for a colleague who is going on leave. There was a little speech by her boss. I was sitting on a 2 seater couch with 2 other people. There were three of us and we were sitting comfortably!!! That absolutely thrilled me ๐Ÿ™‚ I got good comments on what I was wearing as well. And it might be my imagination but I am starting to get appreciative looks. Actually I don’t care if it is my imagination ๐Ÿ™‚ I am enjoying the idea of it.

My special dress arrived last night, the one I bought at the craft fair, that helps me celebrate my 40 week commitment and my success so far. (See Celebrating Success) I tried it on and it is beautiful. I love that it is the style that I can keep wearing as I lose weight – it is a wrap it up, tie it up dress. So, do I wear it to a picnic this weekend or do I wait till I complete my 40 weeks?

Post party wrap

The party was a lot of fun. We had a lot of people here and my man had a wonderful time.

And I did ok. At some point in the afternoon I got my chewing gum out. I wanted to eat – there were so many yummy things about but I could feel I was full. Chewing gum helped trick my brain for an hour. I did something different to the weekend before! I didn’t have any alcohol during in the afternoon, I know that I find it harder to focus when I have had a few drinks. But I also don’t like feeling deprived. So, I made some iced strawberry tea and mixed it with soda water and it tasted great and looked fab and it did not matter that I was not drinking alcohol.

After the party, it had been arranged that some of the girls with small ones would go out and have some cocktails. It was fun to dress up and go out and have some very pretty drinks. I had the fruity drinks rather than the creamy ones. And I looked very good ๐Ÿ™‚ I wore a black fitted velvet sleeveless top with flattering pants. I felt good.

Today I am doing well. I did not sleep all that well, a sure sign that I had too much rich food yesterday. But this morning I am in a good place. I stepped on the scales and they are up but I have kept it below the three digits. I have had a light breakfast and I have been for a 60 minute walk up the hill. I am drinking plenty of water and now I have had my coffee my brain is working again. I will plan lunch and dinner soon to make sure there are fresh vegetables, some protein and carbs; simple and healthy. My man actually did most of the putting away last night when I was out. And he is amazing, there is actually very little food in the house that I would want to snack on today and take me off track. He is the best man.

I want to sleep well tonight, I have my Up and Running workout tomorrow morning ๐Ÿ™‚

Grr

The last ten days I have been very keen to jump on the scales and see the numbers go down. More so, then usual. But the numbers aren’t going down as fast as I would like. And that is frustrating.

So, I have decided to have a ban on the scales for the rest of the week and do what I know works. Exercise consistently, watch my food intake, drink water, get good sleep. I am not going to fret over the number anymore this week. It will happen if the decisions I make are consistently healthy.

Today, I did a resistance work out for the first time in a couple of months. Resistance workouts never made it into my routine and so I struggle to get them in. But today I did. And then I did some cardio and I feel good.

It is my man’s birthday on the weekend. We have a couple of events already this weekend and a party next weekend. There is going to be cake and party foods. I am going to make sure there are healthy options at all the events I go to. We will see how it all goes. I need to remember at special occasions that it is the overall effort not the individual choices that count in the long run.

And speaking of running… the warm-up week for my Up and Running online course has started this week and the workouts start next week. I am loving it so far ๐Ÿ™‚