April 8

A month off

Head in the sand
Head in the sand

I’m not sure why I’ve taken a month off writing. I enjoy it, it’s a release, a score keeper, and a way for me to express myself, yet I don’t do it as often as I should.

Why is it that the things I know do me good, get put to the bottom of the pile? J meditates most days, it’s something which makes him feel good, something which puts his life in order and he is aware of the benefits, so he does it. So why when I know something makes me feel good, do I forget to do it? Or do I avoid doing it?

I’m sure i’m not alone in the neglect of myself. J says I use things like neglect and food for example to hurt myself. To step away from the ‘path’. I agree yet here I am again explaining the fact that I have not done something which makes me feel good.

I’ve been reading a book called the Monk who sold his ferrari for about 6 months now, and again that is something which was given to me as a tool to help me, yet I have watched it gather dust on my bedside table, then when the guilt of not reading it was so much I put it in the drawer of the same table. Why have I been avoiding helping myself? What am I scared of?

This weekend, knowing I would be on a train for a few hours, when J asked me if I had a book to read, I dug it out of my drawer and took it with me. I ignored it for the first train ride, instead messaging people or checking facebook. Then on the return journey I picked it out of my bag and started reading. I started at the point I had apparently left, yet it had been so long since I’d read it I had no idea what was going on. I continued and realised that this book wasn’t about the story but more about the lessons. Lessons which I need. So no matter where I pick up from, there will be a message for me.

The message this weekend was about my mind. The power of it. The torment it can create and the evil it brings with it. I have for too long allowed it to control me. To talk to me and tell me things which aren’t me, which change me into someone I shouldn’t be.

This journey of change in my life was brought about by a need, a desire. But are they the same thing or 2 completely different things? I knew I needed to change, to quieten my mind. But what was the desire? Was it to be healthier, to be fitter, to be slimmer, to know what I want to be ‘when I grow up’? To be happier? Was that the need also? Or was the need just for change in my mind? And with this the desire would come?

I think over the last 2 months – i’m now day 4 of month 3 – i’ve realised or am starting to realise that I could not go on being or doing as I had if I wanted any shot at happiness. I need to stop ignoring myself, and take responsibility for what I want to do. I have made the choice so I need to do it!

So the writing will continue, the healthy living will continue, the journey of self discovery will continue and hopefully one day I’ll be closer to reaching my goals. But I must be accountable. I will be accountable!

Be accountable
Be accountable

 

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March 7

Pancake day and giving up

Tuesday was pancake day. Any excuse for a binge, for something sweet and yummy. Or that was in the ‘old days’….

What I didn’t realise before was that most things can be made to be gluten free, dairy free, processed sugar free and grain free. All it takes is some preparation and effort. Actually just imagination and thought.

I have, since trying to be healthy, developed a real sweet tooth, needing to have something sweet after dinner in particular. So I have been testing as many naughty recipes as I can with Paleo friendly ingredients; chocolate chip cookies, sweet potato brownies, carrot cake….and pancakes. Pancakes are the only ones which turned out a bit of a disaster, they tasted delicious but were more like a scramble than a cake. However with only bananas, eggs, a little vanilla essense, some cinnamon and a little bit of coconut flour, i’m prepared to keep trying until they are just perfect. No giving up on this journey!

Pancake scramble YUM!
Pancake scramble YUM!

We have also discovered – only for special occassions – coconut milk ice cream. Topping off our scramble – YUM!

Following a number of blogs by amazing people who have been living the clean life for a while makes all this so much easier -http://paleogrubs.com/banana-pancake-recipes

Pancake day – shrove Tuesday – leads to Ash Wednesday which is for a lot of people, whether practicing or not, the start of lent and giving up something for 40 days. My sister has always given up something, or a couple of things – always foodwise – for the 40 days and 40 nights. I have always tried yet never successfully. So now is the question – what do I give up? Is changing my lifestyle enough? Is it necessary to give up one thing in particular for 40 days? I’m going to say i’m giving up processed sugar and dairy for lent. However I hope this to be a longer term change. I guess this will be the tester!

So here goes, to lent, to giving up, to change and to living a healthier better life!

ps – I moved from the thick green band to the thin blue band for my chest to bar pull ups today :) handstand push ups are still very much a work in progress!!

Make a change a habit
Make a change a habit

 

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March 3

Day one of month two

It’s lunch time and I haven’t done any exercise today but the day isn’t over, and although I truly believe that getting it done early is the best way; not only do you have the rest of the day to do whatever you want, but also there’s less time to make excuses, it’s not the end of the day and I need to stop with the excuses!

Get it done early
Get it done early

The last month I have in general been very good about exercise. I get up in the morning and go to crossfit, then I either run or do pilates or yoga. I have made these my routine and what I base my day around. I believe it’s important to have a routine and to know not only when you are going to do exercise but also what you are going to eat and at what time. Month 2 I will make more of an effort with the food I eat and when I eat it.

We’ve been trying to follow a ‘not-fully-strict-but-nearly-there’ Paleo diet and have on the whole been very good with it. I have learnt to substitute noodles with zoodles, spaghetti with squash-ghetti and rice with cauliflower rice and honestly have enjoyed it. But the issue is that anything you want to make ‘healthy’ you can; chocolate chip cookies, brownies, carrot cake. However how ‘healthy’ are they? Yes the replacement of processed sugar with coconut nectar or raw honey is a step in the right direction, but am I substituting one addiction with another? I was never one to snack on sweet stuff but now that I am trying to be healthy I have all of a sudden got these ridiculous cravings for sweets and I have no idea why!

For the next 2 weeks I am going to try and cut out all sugar; so no more baking, cut out dairy; whaaaaa no cheese, cut out tomatoes; and this is a strange one but I think they are part of the cause of my tummy issues and gas…gross. So a 2 week experiment (I know my experiments often get forgotten and as with this writing, I get side tracked, but I am clearing my pantry and will try my hardest!)

At the end of the day I need to remember what I want to accomplish…do I want to continue seeing the flabby reflection in the mirror or do I want to see this…. ­čśë

Believe you can and you are half way there...
Believe you can and you are half way there…

Right i’m off to the gym for my (at least) 5km and some core work!!!

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February 18

Day 15 – the C day

I’ve been suffering with my tummy for years – a mild IBS i’ve been told and also several intolerance’s, wheat, gluten and dairy. Nothing which in the past has caused more than a runny tummy or cramping, but enough now to start doing something about it as I try and improve my health.

So 2 weeks in and less than 5 trips to the loo I thought it would be time to see someone about it, and not just take laxatives to help me. So off I went to a ‘Colon Hydrotheraphy’ centre a few miles away to try and hydrate my colon and see if things would get better.

The therapist was nice and talked me through the ‘procedure’ – all seemed fine, and actually easier and less invasive than I had imagined. We chatted throughout and although during the ‘procedure’ not much happened, I was assured that in the loo, the ‘glory room’, things would be better.

I scooted myself off the bed and went off to the loo where there was some movement, however when I thought I was done, all of a sudden I started sweating uncontrollably, my hearing went, my vision when blurry and I felt like I was going to be sick. I had no idea what was happening to me. I called out for the therapist and was so embarrassed when she came into the loo and found me drenched in sweat, still sitting on the loo unable to really say much. She gave me a lozenger and some water and within 5-10 minutes I was feeling much better.

What happened to me in that loo was apparently highly uncommon yet not unheard of. Typical.

Apparently going such I long time without movement, my body probably went into a nervous shock.

I write this a week later and I am still not ‘regular’. Very annoying. I guess these things don’t get resolved in one go so I am biting the bullet and going again – a week later mind you, where as most are asked to come back 2 days later…. Let’s see what happens this time, although i’m not sure I could go through that loo ordeal again…

Exercise was good that day – I went to cross fit and then did my run. Ate light more than 2 hours before the ‘procedure’ and then for dinner I was told to have nurturing food like a baked sweet potato which I had with some cottage cheese. I felt very drained but determined!

I will get easier and better
I will get easier and better

 

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February 13

A new start – Monday, day 14

New week, new start
New week, new start

MONDAY MORNING – when the scales looked at me – poked me in the face, the gut, and told me ‘what have you done when you’ve been going so well??!!!!’ I knew I had just 2 options – give up, like i’d done so many times before, or get back into it. And really option 1 was NOT an option.

So I got myself dressed after my little sulk to J about being north of start yet south of 66kg (the heaviest i’d been since I started my weight loss adventure in May 2012 – i’ll show you evidence of what’s happened)

Fat loss adventure TAKE ONE
Fat loss adventure TAKE ONE

I can talk about that later.

AND I went to cross fit. AND as soon as I’d finished cross fit I went to the gym and ran my 5km. I can’t tell you how awesome I felt having done all the exercise i’d wanted to do for the day and it wasn’t even 11am.

I hadn’t eaten breakfast – I know that’s bad, will get better – so got home and made a smoothie. I put a banana, a couple strawberries, a few blueberries, ground flaxseed, a few almonds and a glug of almond milk. It was DEEEELISH!

I had a couple of eggs with tomato and mushrooms and a sprinkle of feta for lunch – a late lunch and dinner was a disaster! Well it was healthy just didn’t taste too good.

Chicken with asparagus and broccoli, just that the chicken I tried to cover in coconut flakes, coriander and chilli flakes all held together by a beaten egg. I’ll get this recipe right and share it, right now it’s worthy of the bin!

I’m happy with my ‘first day back’ – it WILL continue!!

We will continue and be better
We will continue and be better

 

 

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February 13

One of those weeks we all know too well…disaster

The second week of my ‘new life’ was a disaster start to end. There is nothing to say you can’t make the most of a bad situation, but I didn’t. Whether that was because my WILLPOWER failed me or I just didn’t engage or care…I’m still trying to figure it out.

We had a power cut from Tuesday til Saturday – it was -10 degrees outside and there was no light, no heat, we spent 2 nights at home in those conditions and 2 in a hotel. All of our meals were eaten out and I did not chose the ‘healthiest’ options on the menu, ever.

Up til Wednesday morning we ate quite well. I did my runs and also went to yoga. Wednesday it started to get bad….Although I went to cross fit, I ate badly. I had pasta on Wednesday night and probably a few cookies. I definitely had desert and red wine was high on the menu.

It’s these times which test you. Which whittle down the weak and make the strong surface. I embraced the fact I had been bad and carried on that trend. I consoled myself of the bad weather, the unfortunate situation of being ‘homeless’, with food.

So even though I believed in BALANCE, I don’t think I can anymore. I don’t think I can say ‘well i’ve been to cross fit now I can eat a cookie or a bowl of pasta’. It’s just not possible and not healthy, physically or mentally.

How many times have I been told, if you want to lose weight, or SHIFT FAT in fact because I’ve come to terms with the fact that if I am lifting weights then I hope to build muscle and that is heavier than fat, then its 70% in the KITCHEN, 30% in the gym…. I need to start hearing that and implementing it in my daily life.

The weekend was disastrous in terms of alcohol consumption and rice, chocolate. And the SCALES on Monday said so. I weighed myself and walked into the bathroom (we keep the scales in the kitchen so there’s no hiding from them) where J was and sulked. I was north of my beginning weight – south of 66kg. I was MORTIFIED. There was no denying that eating -within reason- whatever I wanted and exercising, is going to get me anywhere other than UP on the scales.

So what did I learn?

  • Even though i’m in a restaurant, I don’t need to chose the ‘yummy’ looking option, I can chose healthy and I CAN keep within my regime.
  • Preparation is key. My snacks could have been healthy, I could have asked for teas in coffee shops, I could have eaten nuts instead of chocolate. All supermarkets sell prepared and cut up vegetables and a tub of hummus – I don’t need a fridge for these when a bottle of water freezes in my car.
  • I didn’t need to open that second bottle of wine or drink the 4th cocktail….
  • Even though there’s no power, it’s possible to do exercise. NO EXCUSES
  • Don’t use a bad situation as an excuse – who is more important – me or the cookie??
  • Remember the end goal – GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL
So I continue and look forward to it
So I continue and look forward to it

 

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February 13

Days 5 & 6 – the first weekend…

This journey will be long and there will be ups and downs, there will be times when I am ‘well behaved’ and others when I just have to embrace the situation and enjoy what’s there to try….this weekend was that.

Saturday started very well, we went to Cross Fit – I hadn’t been to cross fit since I was last here and I loved it, will be returning! The work out was –

10-9-8-7-6-5-6-7-8-9-10

  • Bent over rows @ 55pounds
  • OH Lunges w/25pounds
  • Hollow rocks

AND complete 300m farmer carries before the end of the WOD w/ 25pounds in each hand….

I completed it in 18m31secs – yay!!

Breakfast was yuuummy and true paleo!

Yuuumm
Yuuumm

Then here’s where being good came in. We went to the cinema and one of my most favourite things of all time..popcorn..did not cross my lips! BUT I have found that if I don’t eat for a while I get light headed, apparently this is normal and one should eat to relieve this feeling – PROBLEM is when there aren’t any healthy options, does one eat what one can get hold of, try the healthiest option (I’m in America sometimes that is just HARD) or just eat and then try and be as good as possible for the rest of the day…? I had a frozen yoghurt, plain flavour, small size. NOW writing this up now, would I have been better satisfying my massive cravings with pop corn at 236 calories or eating for the sake of it, the frozen yoghurt at 159 calories?? Obviously the difference is there but mentally, does that have anything to do with it?

The rest of the day was also up in arms with dinner with friends at a ‘spanish / mexican’ tapas restaurant.

The popcorn would not have been so bad in hindsight!!

SUNDAY – was much of the same….a 5.5km run along a snowy track which was LOVELY, first time out in the fresh air for some exercise, can’t wait for the spring, hurry up already!!

Loved running outdoors for the first time in a month
Loved running outdoors for the first time in a month

But then this is where it got bad…it was superbowl night and although we tried to take ‘healthy’ snacks to our friends house –┬áhomemade┬álean meatballs in tomato salsa and freshly made guacamole – there was so much delicious temptation from others… How could we but EMBRACE what is nearly a national holiday here and tuck into dishes specially (and I’m told only) made for that one day?? Needless to say we went home feeling full, sluggish and no where near as healthy as we had been for the week prior.

EEEUUURGHHH!!

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January 31

Day 4…

Baaaaahhhh!!!

So i’ve weighed myself lots today and none have been the same, 63kg, 63.6kg, 63.2kg, 64kg..63.7kg….ok whats going on??!!

I have always said that I believe in a balanced life, then I binge, and it’s not balanced. But this time I said I wanted a balanced life with lots of exercise to get to where I want to be. But is that possible?? Do I need to go full Paleo to see the results I want?

Last night I met a guy who said he was Paleo and did cross fit and felt amazing, he also said the minute he came off Paleo he put on weight – so what to do? Is balance actually possible?

I’m starting back at cross fit tomorrow and will continue to eat well – let’s see!

ps – I ate a sandwich for lunch, took one of the slices of bread off…it had chicken and veg and was delicious. I’m not going to feel guilty because I went to a circuits class and am off to Bikram in an hour – Oh and I still have my 5km this evening to run.

Stuff should be happening right??

Here here sister!!!
Here here sister!!!

 

Ended up at the gym this evening, ran my 5km and felt great! Even if the running isn’t doing as much as I want it to, the feeling it produces are worth it!

Chicken salad and quiet friday night in, what has become of me?? Good change though!

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January 30

Cooking – Thai red chicken and veg curry with cauliflower rice

My favourite foods are saucy; spag bol, curry, stews…and guess what comes with them – yup carbs! Pasta, rice, potatoes. And although I know that I can eat rice – wild, red and brown are obviously better than white – and I can substitute pasta for rice noodles or something but that’s not the point, I need to during this little adventure try and eat better but find food which are still yummy.

So last night I cooked cauliflower rice with chicken and veg Thai red curry and it was yum! I will definitely cook it again and experiment other cauliflower rice recipes.

The Curry

(for 2 people)

  • 2 chicken breast – chopped up into cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons of thai red curry paste (make sure buy the one which only has herbs and spices in the ingredients, nothing you can’t pronounce!)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (I used lite)
  • loads of veggies, whichever you like (I used red pepper, mushrooms, courgette, broccoli, snow peas)

I got everything chopped and ready

Veggies ready to go
Veggies ready to go

 

Chopped the chicken and seasoned it with freshly ground salt and pepper

Tasty chook
Tasty chook

Get the coconut oil in a big heavy based frying pan on medium heat and once its nice and shimmery add the chicken and brown it

Getting your tan on chook
Getting your tan on chook

Once the chicken is brown (so dont worry if its not cooked all the way through) take it out the pan, on to a plate and put the onion in to the same pan and get it nice and cooked (when it goes kind of transparent). Then add the chicken back in and add the curry paste

 

The flavouring is ready
The flavouring is ready

And give it all a good stir so that the chicken is completely coated

All covered up with yummy paste
All covered up with yummy paste

Then add the coconut milk and stir so everything is covered

Curry coming along
Curry coming along

Then you’re ready to add the veggies. Stir and cover and put on looooow heat for at least 20 mins.

The rice

  • A medium cauliflower head – florets roughly chopped up
  • small onion – chopped up small (you can put it in the food processor to make it tiny)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put the chopped up cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until it gets to a rice consistency

Get the cauli in the processor
Get the cauli in the processor
Fake rice!
Fake rice!

Fry up the onion in the coconut oil and once its translucent add the ‘rice’ and season (you can even add some paprika or chilly flakes)

Cooking up the fake rice
Cooking up the fake rice

Cover the cooking ‘rice’ and leave for 10-15 mins on lowish heat with the occasional stir. Then you are ready to serve!

Ready to munch!
Ready to munch!

Hey and guess what it was yuuumy!

 

 

 

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January 30

Fitness challenge – Day 2..

Pahh to anything that tries to get in the way!
Pahh to anything that tries to get in the way!

Day 2 – 63.7kg. Appreciate this could go up and down through water but i’m happy with it for now!!

So i’ve added loads more water to my daily intake – and so have my loo visits. I’ve felt good though (even though it woke me up in the middle of the night..)

No real food cravings just yet. The smell of chocolate stopped me in my tracks though….

Exercise consisted of a body pump class at 9:30am and a 5km run at 6pm. Pushed through and know I will be sore tomorrow!

Lunch was left over salmon from last night and dinner a yum chicken and veg thai red curry with cauliflower rice – hey hey no white carbs and was super delish! Breakfast was perhaps not the best option, but I took advantage of it being post work out and had greek yoghurt with gluten free granola and ground flaxseed…loved it. Might see how I go this week with yoghurt as a breakfast and then next week with more of a protein breakie and compare the 2.

I’ve been wearing a nike fuel band since Christmas now, setting the ‘fuel points’ to 3300 and since moving over to the States a week ago, where there is no pedestrian life, today was the first day I reached my point goal. MUST WALK MORE!

And we continue x

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