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Weekly Update: Week 1

Weigh in

Starting weight (13/06/11): 174.6lbs
Last week’s weight (13/06/11): 174.6lbs
Current weight (20/06/11): 170.2lbs

Loss this week: 4.4lbs
Loss to date: 4.4lbs

Food & drink

My eating for Monday to Saturday was great. I tended to have eggs for breakfast, some kind of salad for lunch, and then a meat with veg for dinner. Saturday night we had friends over for a BBQ, and I just had a chicken kebab and a burger (without the bun) with salad. I did have 3 glasses of wine and 2 beers though (oops).

I was naughty on Sunday – I met friends for a pub lunch and there were no low-carb options. I ordered the roast beef, which came with mixed veg, potatoes and gravy. I ate the beef, the cauliflower and treated myself to one potato – they looked so good. The rest of the day was good food-wise, but I am frustrated with myself for caving in so easily.

Overall, I am happy with my choices but definitely need to work on my discipline. Perhaps I need to avoid socialising (or at least socialising revolving around food and drink) until I have more self-control.

Exercise

I have been for three runs this week – Monday, Thursday and Sunday. I ran 4.1km, 3.4km and 4.6km respectively. I was able to run non-stop for the first two, but had to briefly walk for 30 seconds or so in Sunday’s run, which I think is because I was a bit hungover and dehydrated from the night before. It was really interesting to see how alcohol directly weakened my body. I will definitely be more conscious of the link between drinking and my health in the future (although with all the hangovers I’ve had in my life, you’d have thought I’d have learned by now!).

Reflections

I am happy with my loss this week. It’s not an earth-shattering loss, but it’s healthy. My experience has definitely been that the faster weight comes off, the faster and easier it comes back on again, so I will be taking it slow and steady – like my running style!

Next week is going to be tough, as from Friday morning to Sunday night I’m out of town to Margaret River, which is a wine region, filled with amazing gourmet restaurants. It’s a foodie paradise. I am going to need to stay focused, and be extra good for the start of the week so that I can afford to indulge a tiny bit when I’m away. Fortunately, when this weekend is finished, there will be no major distractions to my weight loss over the next couple of months.

Next week I am hoping to up the distance of my runs… I’ve got to be able to run 12km in 10 weeks time, eek!

I’m going to talk a little about what I’m doing for exercise. I have never been a fan of exercising, preferring to just try and be generally active e.g. walking everywhere, rather than specifically setting time aside to work out. Recently though, I have dabbled with Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD, but have never done it for more than 4 days in a row, due to sheer laziness and lack of drive.

However, since I have decided to turn my life around, I have come to terms with the fact that exercise is going to have to become part of my life. I am very goal-orientated, so my husband and I have signed up to do the 12km run in the City to Surf event, here in Perth, on Sunday 28 August 2011.

My first training session took place on Tuesday of this week, and it went surprisingly well. I set off, iPhone in hand, with my Couch to 10k app launched (I skipped to week 3 as I the event is only 10 weeks away and the Couch to 10k programme is 13 weeks long). If anyone is unfamiliar with this training regime, like its shorter 5k cousin, it aims to build up stamina each week by initially only making you run for short bursts, with long walks in between, gradually increasing the length of the running segments and decreasing the length of the walking parts, until you can run the whole distance.

Before I set off, I was quite nervous. My lifestyle has been increasingly sedentary recently, particularly with the onset of the Aussie winter. Was I even going to be able to run for the 1 and a half minutes that were required of me? Was the 3 and a half minutes walking in between enough time for me to recover before I had to start running again? I pictured myself on the day of the race, finishing last out of thousands of people, having had to walk 95% of the course. But then the most amazing and unexpected thing happened….

Not only did I manage the first 1.5 minutes, I actually did not want to stop when the time was up. So I decided to ignore the app, and just carry on for as long as I could, really just as an experiment to see what my stamina is currently like.

I kept on going.

And going.

And going.

The reason I eventually stopped was because I had to get home to by hubby to cook our dinner, not because I felt like I couldn’t carry on (quite the opposite, I felt like I still had a lot left in me).

I looked at my Nike GPS app (seriously, how did I ever manage to do anything before I got my iPhone?!) and saw that I had run just over 4km, non-stop, in a time of 34 minutes. I almost fell over. That might also have had something to do with the fact that my legs simultaneously somehow managed to feel like jelly and lead. It has been years since I have been so proud of myself.

Yes, I know my pace is really slow, but my new mantra is ‘slow and steady wins the race’! I’m going to gradually increase my distance week-on-week, and once I’m sure I can run the whole distance, I will work on picking up the pace a little bit.

Unfortunately, I got a bit carried away when I was running and didn’t think to turn around at any point, oops! So I had aa 4km walk home in the rain, ha! Next time I will plan ahead and turn around after 3km or so.

My eating plan

Like most overweight people, I have dabbled in multiple different ways of eating in an attempt to lose weight, from the more traditional calorie restriction, to the faddy (has anyone ever lasted more than one day eating only cabbage soup ?). The only eating plan – I’m deliberately not using the word ‘diet’ – that has ever suited me and worked for me is restricting my carbohydrate intake.

I think one of the reasons for this is that I have a serious addiction to carbs – pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, not to mention sugary treats. I’m like a drug addict – I can’t just have a couple of mouthfuls of pasta, cook and eat the entire packet. To break this addiction, I need to go cold turkey (incidentally, cold turkey will be making up a substantial part of my eating plan, heh). Furthermore, when I have eaten low-carb in the past, almost immediately I feel a real boost in my health. I feel full of energy and my skins clears up. It’s a bit like the first flutters of love. Oh yeah… and I lose lots of weight on it. That helps.

My eating/drinking rules are as follows:

  • Eat only ‘real’ foods – meat, veg, fruit. Nothing that comes in a packet or has to be ‘made’.
  • Zero sugar and wheat
  • Drink lots of water (2-3 litres per day)

Simple, yes? So what will be different this time compared to previous times I have gone low carb? Well, I am so motivated to make a change for life, not just to be able to fit into a dress. I have no time-orientated goals e.g. ‘I must lose 5lbs by next Monday’. I want to get down to 140lbs, and if it takes 3 months great, if it takes 9 months that great too.

I am hereby committing to abide by the above rules. For me, this is the only way I will be able to maintain a healthy weight for life.

Greed vs. Vanity

Something I touched upon in my last post is the battle between being greedy and being vain. As in, when someone has become overweight through overeating/making unhealthy choices, each time they encounter, let’s say, a delicious slice of chocolate gateaux, they have to decide which is more important to them:

 1. To satisfy the urge to eat the delicious cake (instant gratification); or

 2. To satisfy the urge to have an attractive body, thus rejecting the cake (deferred gratification).

 This has been a lifelong struggle for me. I think my problem is that I am very impulsive, and hate waiting for things, hence the instant gratification that comes via being greedy suits me perfectly. As you’ll gave gathered,  greed has definitely been winning the battle recently.

 By coincidence, I came across an article yesterday about the domestic goddess herself, Nigella Lawson, where she mentioned having the exact same problem:

 ‘There are times when I want to lose weight. I suppose the difference is I don’t want to be as thin. Greed always outweighs my vanity.’

Here’s one of the things I’m trying to do to make sure that my vanity always beats my greed: taking fortnightly weight loss progress pictures really appeals to my sense of vanity. I can’t look at my current pictures without feeling appalled with how I have let myself go. Each time I look at them, it renews my motivation. There is also something brutally honest about photos. I can’t suck my stomach in like I might do in front of the mirror (I would only be kidding myself), and the flash of the camera is merciless. Not to mention that I got a glimpse of my back-fat for the very first time. I hadn’t appreciated that I have the back/ass equivalent of ‘cankles’, which is where a person’s calves merge into their ankles. I hereby dub this problem ‘bass’…. hopefully I won’t have bass for much longer!

Just a few of the many reasons why I am embarking upon my weight loss journey:

For the sake of my health
I know the health risks associated with being overweight, as well as having a high belly to hip ratio (which I do… I am the textbook apple shape, I carry my weight mainly in my stomach and have been mistaken as pregnant before – talk about humiliating).

To have a baby
Speaking of being pregnant… my husband and I are aiming to start trying to conceive in early 2012. It would be so beneficial to my health and that of the baby for me to start the pregnancy at a healthy weight, with a healthy body. I also feel like by being overweight at the start, then adding all the weight I would gain whilst pregnant, once I had the baby I would feel like I was a ‘lost cause’, like I had an impossible amount of weight to lose, so I just wouldn’t even bother trying. I also want to establish healthy habits for life, to be a good example to our future children.

To make the most of my life
So many times I have found myself saying ‘no’ to opportunities because my self-confidence is so low, largely linked to my weight. For example, we are paying a ridiculous amount of rent to have a house right on the beach during our time here in Australia. However, I rarely venture the 30 second walk to the beach and when I do, I would never dream of doing so in a bikini. I want my weight to stop holding me back.

To be the wife that my husband deserves
Cheese alert ahead, sorry! I am sure I will talk about it this repeatedly in the future, but I am so in love with the man that I married. He is so amazing and there has not been a day that has passed since we met that I haven’t felt incredibly lucky that he has picked me to spend his life with. He deserves a wife who is incredible, and I don’t feel that me being overweight is consistent with this.

For my own vanity
I’ll happily admit it – I am vain. I’m the type of person who, when I get a notification on my iPhone that I have been tagged in a photo, I will literally drop whatever it is I am doing, to view it and untag myself if the photo is unflattered. These days, more often than not, the photos ARE unflattering, because of my weight. Being vain and being fat are so at odds with each other. I feel like by being overweight, all the time and effort (not to mention money) I put into making myself attractive is wasted – I cannot be attractive and fat. Therefore something has to give, and I will NOT stop taking care with my appearance.

The ‘before’ photos

These are my ‘before’ photos, taken this morning. It wasn’t until I saw them that I realised how big my weight problem was. I am full of shame seeing them – how could I let myself get like this? I am almost spherical. Even my feet look fat! Ah well. Each journey has a beginning, and this is mine…

Week 1: Monday 13 June 2011

Weight: 173.6 lbs
Height: 5′ 6″

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