29 April 2009

It's feeling a little warm in here......


"So hot in herre....."


So I had grand plans to put together some of the reading I've been doing and hit you with a well researched, insightful and entertaining cholesterol post today, but somehow it just didn't happen. Despite that I will endeavor to entertain.

Today I took some niacin, number 3 of B vitamins, reported to have the ability to lower LDL and increase HDL cholesterol. I tend to be an all or nothing kind of girl and looked at the little bottle, read the recommended dose and decided to double it, based on, well, nothing really. So 200mg of nicotinic acid went down the hatch and I didn't really think anything more of it.

Twenty minutes later I was catching up on some of my favorite blogs and I noticed a tingle in my forearms and felt a little warm. A few minutes later I was tearing off my jumper to find my arms and hands were bright pink, my face started to tingle and I rushed to the mirror to see it turn into what I can only explain as the color of a beet before my very eyes. Then it hit me, ahhh this is the niacin flush I'd read about.

A rather strange experience that lasted about an hour, my whole body went red and I had a weird prickly tingling sensation all over, as well as a slight itch. Apparently niacin also promotes the release of histamine which is what causes this itch.

All in all a pretty interesting day of The Great Cholesterol Challenge. I think I might drop the dose tomorrow and see what happens, report to follow.

Have you had any strange experiences taking supplements? Have you had the niacin flush and lived to tell the tale? See you in the comments.

Just a small reminder to read my disclaimer over there on the right. Always remember to consult your medical practitioner before trying anything new.

27 April 2009

Weight Loss Weekly

"Slow and steady finishes the race"
The Boyf

Weight Loss Weekly is an event where some other gals and I ask a question and answer it in our own styles each week.

This week Sunny asks:
"Right now, I'm focusing on losing some weight before our summer beach vacation (which means bathing suits and shorts EEK!!) which is 8 weeks away. When you're working hard towards a certain weight loss goal, what is your one unique secret weapon or trick that helps speed up your weight loss?"

Check out what the gals have to say.

Joie: "Secret weapons in the weight loss arsenal? Okay, I'll dish..." Read more at Joie de vivre: An amateur gourmet's guide.

Sunny: "Hmm, I think my most helpful secret weapon has to do with a delicious dessert that is actually not forbidden, not even when I’m trying to speed up my weight loss…" Keep reading at That Extra 20 Pounds

Nurit: "The last time I wore a bikini was 6 years ago when I was 4 months pregnant. We were in Hawaii. But I do have a little secret to share with you about wearing your bathing suit again. It all began 4 years ago…" Read more over at 1 Family Friendly Food

When I first read Sunny's question I thought "well this will be an easy post, short, a few words even" because I really don't have one. My attempts at speeding up weight loss have been sad sad affairs that usually last a whole 15min after my burst of motivation and planning. Or worse still they do work, and for a few weeks the weight flies off at an alarming rate only to congeal back around my thighs at an even more terrifying speed as soon as the momentum is lost and I can't maintain the deprivation or exercise regime any longer.

I'm trying more and more to look at weight loss as a very long term prospect. I've lost weight before, sometimes effortlessly and other times under strain and stress. Invariably I put it back on, my multisized wardrobe is a testament to this fact, as is my blog title.

So my answer to Sunny's question is simple. A sure fired way for me to speed up my weight loss, a trick, a secret weapon if you wish, is to stop caring so much. This doesn't mean I don't try, that I give up, sit on the couch surrounded by chips and chocolate and the occasional doughnut, rather it means I stop putting pressure on myself to achieve a certain weight goal by a certain date.

I've talked about how this is a curse for me here and I believe with all my heart that one of the keys to weight loss and maintenance for me lies in taking it slow, learning, adapting and finding my own healthy lifestyle groove.

This will mean that weight loss is speedy. If I graphed out all of my wonderful dieting years, the ups the downs, the plateaus and periods of nothingness it would be plain to see that my weight loss over time has been S.L.O.W. Well if you looked carefully at the data, you just might find, I haven't really lost any weight at all. Anything is faster than that.

Now this may not be something you could use in a pyramid selling scheme or sell e-books with, it isn't really even a concept you could design some over priced product on. But it is something you could try. It may not be for you, you may be one of those rare creatures that can put their head down and their glutes up and just do it. Or you may be like me, a little slower, but just as capable of getting there.

So do tell, are you more of a hare or a tortoise? Are you able to buckle down and get to it, shed the pounds and get on with life? Or are you taking your time? Do you have a secret weight loss weapon? Please do meet me in the comments for more chatter and thoughts.

23 April 2009

5 Things I'm Proud Of #13

Image: Maki_C30D

"From little things big things grow"

Paul Kelly

So these small things that I'm proud of, they happen every week and here they are again.

  1. Working 5 days this week, the first time in a long time.
  2. Reminding myself each and every day of what my goals are.
  3. Belting out some tunes with the gals.
  4. Picking up the extra weights at training and going hard.
  5. Continuing to eat when I'm hungry.
What are the little things you've done this week that make you proud?

21 April 2009

What is Cholesterol anyway?

Image: Mr Jaded

"I've been reckless, but I'm not a rebel without a cause"
Angelina Jolie

This being week one of
The Great Cholesterol Challenge I thought I'd have a look at what cholesterol actually is.

Who is Cholesterol and What Does He Do?

So there’s this group of lipids/fats in the body called sterols and cholesterol rolls with them. Cholesterol is like a pretty key gang member, he can be found anywhere at anytime, he’s part of our cell membranes, keeping things stable. It’s pretty important that our cell wall is kept good and strong, we need the goods to get in and out without any fuss and our buddy Cholesterol helps facilitate in his stylin smooth way.

Like I said Cholesterol is up in everywhere, he’s the main man, he helps make all kinds of hormones and bile salts, he even hangs out in the skin gettin some rays and makin some vitamin D for your enjoyment.

Cholesterol has got a bad rap for a while now but it’s not really his fault, like all good guys gone bad, it’s the dudes he hangs out with that are getting him into trouble.

The Other Guys

Let me introduce you to LDL. He’s a transporter, driving cholesterol around the body getting him into all sorts of trouble. Like everything in life nothing is cut and dried, LDL has a good heart and ultimately his intentions are good. He does want to help and does this by bringing Cholesterol to all the tissues in the body that need him to keep their thing going good. But he gets a bit wild sometimes and goes crazy, dropping our guy Cholesterol off all over the place, Cholesterol gets caught up in the chaos and together they start to cause the mayhem that we see as atherosclerosis.

Then we’ve got Triglyceride, he is part of the fat posse and well he’s kinda simple. He often just cruises in the blood with his transporter buddies and considers himself the storehouse, hoarding up the fat energy for when we might need it later. He’s just waiting patiently for his moment and then he really comes into his own. Triglyceride causes similar problems as LDL, together they rebel, party too much and get raucous, the neighbors call the cops with noise complaints and it gets messy.

The Girl

Lucky for Cholesterol he’s got a girl, and she keeps him in line most of the time. Her name is HDL and she’s smart and kind and she loves Cholesterol for what he truly is, an integral part of the body that we couldn’t live without. HDL has a sweet ride and she often picks Cholesterol up after he’s been hitting the sauce with his buddies. She drives him back to his Ma’s house at The Liver and together they sort him out. Sometimes he just rests and recoups at home, but most of the time he just has to get out. HDL and The Liver hook him up with the Bile Brothers and they sneak him out of the body via the back door.

So there you have it, part of Cholesterol’s story, it’s long and takes many twists and turns and like any complicated guy, mysterious and intriguing but ultimatly confusing.

Want to know more? Got questions? Please do ask.

Watch this space for the next instalment where we’ll look at how to interpret your test results and what all those numbers mean for you and your body.

20 April 2009

Weight Loss Weekly

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else"
Judy Garland

Weight Loss Weekly is a collaborative blogging effort between the fantabulous Joie, Sunny, Nurit and myself. We each take turns asking a question and each week we answer these questions on our blogs. I've been handed the baton by Giyen over at her inspirational blog, baconismyenemy.

This week Joie asks:

"How do your family and friends support you or hinder you in your weight loss efforts? Do they adapt easily to your changing habits and help you along, or do they confront your new habits with skepticism?"

Here's a taste of what the girls had to say this week:

Joie: "The place? Applebees. The dessert? Cheesecake shooter...eew. After a bite, I put my fork down not wanting to waste the calories. My friends (well, not so much anymore) look over at me and sneer, "Oh, is this the new thing you're doing now?" Fortunately, the comment makes me think about our friendship rather than my weight loss goals and efforts, but there is always that nagging doubt..." read more at Joie de vivre: An amateur gourmet's guide.

Sunny: "My husband has been really good. Like when I was first trying to change my eating habits and was cranky and starving, ready to give up and chow down on a whole bag of potato chips..." keep reading at www.ThatExtra20Pounds.blogspot.com

Nurit: Nurit has some serious blogging commitments this week and is having a break from WLW. She is taking part in Hunger Action Week and is sure to be posting some fantastic ways to spend less on food but still enjoy delicious meals, be sure to visit her at 1 family. friendly. food.

I think the most amazing way in which my friends and family support me is by loving me no matter what. I can be in "crazed diet" mode or in "don't give a stuff" mode and they just accept me for me, and carry on being the best family and friends a girl could ask for.

Ways in which I feel supported besides the love include:

The Folks always ask, before I come to visit, if there are any special foods I'd like them to buy, never once have they criticized or laughed at my crazy diet attempts, whether it be low carb, low fat or juicing. They often get on the band wagon and join in.

The Soul Sistah has ears of gold, she has listened to me whine and rant about my weight and insecurities for nigh on 20 years now, she never wavers, listening and nodding. She gives advice and pulls me into line when I'm being indulgent or drowning in a pool of self pity.

The Posse, my wonderful friends, most of whom I've known since I was a kid, share delicious meals with me, laugh with me, exercise with me and are always encouraging. Many of them read this blog and even comment sometimes. Best of all each and everyone of them make me smile in their own special way and that is reason enough to be the best version of me I can be.

Last but not least, The Boyf, the person who has probably endured the most torture of all. He adapts his incredible cooking skills to whatever latest idea I've got going, has joined me on detoxes, held my hand when I've cried, been as disappointed as me when the scale hasn't budged, walked with me, talked with me and always been the most encouraging and supportive person in my life.

Reading over this I feel a renewed sense of determination. I have such beautiful people in my life, and I want to live my most bestest life with them for as long as I can.

How about you? Do you have a super support team? Or are you a lone wolf?

18 April 2009

5 Things I'm Proud Of #12

Image: john w

"Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action"
Peter F Ducker

I'm running a bit late this week, but better late than never. Remember to focus on the little things, it is those little things that make up the big things we are reaching for.
  1. Letting myself have a nap rather than reach for the coffee
  2. Commencing the epic task that is tidying up the disaster zone that is our house
  3. Dragging myself onto the Wonderfully Fandangled Exercise Machine and getting that cardio DONE
  4. Publicly broadcasting The Great Cholesterol Challenge. Nothing like potential humiliation to get me going
  5. Booking tickets to Japan..... yippeeee!!
Have you got any moments you are proud of this week?

14 April 2009

The Great Cholesterol Challenge

So it seems my cholesterol is on the higher side of normal and my Dear Dr would like me to get the numbers looking a bit better. Huh…cholesterol? Isn’t that something old people complain about, having to eat rabbit food and take pills? Apparently not.

Here’s how I’m looking at the moment (all results in mmol/L)
Chol: 5.8
Trigs: 1.6
HDL: 1.3
LDL: 3.8

The Doc has given me 6 weeks to make a difference on them there numbers, and I’m taking her up on it. I love nothing more than a good challenge and having such a measurable result is really something to get excited about, dorky I know.

The goal is to reduce LDL and increase HDL, and get my total cholesterol down as well. To spur me on and keep the challenge at the front of my mind, I’ve set myself a little blogging task. For the next 6 weeks, once a week, for your viewing pleasure, I will be providing some scintillating reading on cholesterol, what it is, how to manage it, controversy surrounding it and anything else I stumble across on the way.

If you feel I’m missing something or there is a burning question you have about cholesterol fire away and I’ll do my best to answer it.

If you’re really brave, join me. You can email me at yoyonomore(at)gmail(dot)com or comment right here. I’d love some support along the way. Do you have high cholesterol? Want some crazy Aussie gal to cheer you on for the next 6 weeks and surprise your Dr with the results? Not sure? Get a test and lets get going, we've got arteries to rescue.

13 April 2009

Weight Loss Weekly

Image: pasotraspaso

"We work in the dark-we do what we can-we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is out task. The rest is the madness of art"
Henry James

Welcome once again to Weight Loss Weekly, a collaborative blogging effort between Joie, Sunny, Nurit and myself. Each week one of us asks a question related to weight loss and we all post our thoughts. This week was my turn, and this is what I had to ask the girls.....

You've got a big event coming up, and your still not at a "happy weight", how do you combat those feelings of self doubt and have a good time without getting caught up in the "I'm so fat, I look so bad" crazy talk running around in your head?

This is a tricky one for me, something I have yet to conquer. It's a battle from the moment I find out about an upcoming event or occasion, I instantly calculate how much weight I could lose between now and then.

It's obsessive, it's unhealthy and it's bloody boring.

I have been fighting this very situation for the last few weeks, anticipating the the wedding of my dearest darling friend K Anne, in which I was part of the bridal party. This is why I suggested the question to my fellow Weight Loss Weekly bloggers. I need help with this one.

K Anne had a fabulous wedding, and I had a ball, all I can say is thank the Gods for control top underwear and champagne.

It's really the time leading up to the event that's most fraught with self doubt and the much loved crazy talk that I need help with. The shopping trip to find the outfit, torturous and panic stricken. I seem to be in this no-mans land of sizes, just too small for the plus sizes and way out of range for the sizes deemed "normal". While I'm on that topic, what's up with plus sized formal wear, who designs that stuff? Why, just because you are of the wider thighs, would any woman want to be seen frolicking around in the elasticized waisted, sequined soaked , batwing sleeved creations that seem to dominate the racks? Why I ask you, why?

Moving on to the crucial weeks preceding the big day, the ones when I should be on the latest "Hollywood" diet, one that has broiled chicken breast featured quite heavily and a few steamed veges tossed in for effect. I should also probably be getting acquainted with my local beauty salon, getting some stinky seaweed body wrap type treatments that promise to melt away the inches. Do I do this? No. It seems I don't have this celebrityesque type determination nor vision, I carry on meandering around with no sense of urgency spurring me on.

Finally it gets to peak preparation time and I go back to my calculations of miraculous weight loss and find I am in much the same state as before. I panic, freak-out, break down and start to lose myself in my own head.

Now all of this definitely went on leading up to my darling K Anne's big wedding day. Finally the day came and I arrived, caught up with old friends and K's adorable family and the feelings of craziness ebbed away. I still tried to stuff myself into two pairs of control top underwear in a last minute attempt to appear svelte, and I still teetered on the brink of self loathing but I must say I held up OK.

You see the thing I realised as I walked down the aisle clutching my bouquet, holding back the tears, is that there are much better and bigger things to be thinking about in life, and most people are thinking them. No one was looking at me, pointing and thinking "oooh she looks fat" as I feared. Most people in that chapel where waiting for K to walk through the doors in all her bridal splendor, some people were thinking, "My baby girl is getting married", others were thinking "My son has met the girl of his dreams" and a few, perhaps even my own wonderful Boyf, were thinking "hmmmm I wonder what the food will be like".

As I sat at the bridal table, listening to the speeches, and watched my oldest friend look into her husbands eyes, I silenced that voice in my head, and reminded myself, that this was my life, right now, this was to be one of my treasured memories, and I wanted to remember it for what it was.

Am I cured of the crazy talk? Am I to never ponder my appearance again, live in a Zen like state of empty vesselness? I doubt it, but I will try to be less fearful and more positive, and if all else fails, I will always wear ridiculous shoes, because concentrating on not falling over is a great way to keep my mind still.

Now over to my girls and their wise words....

Sunny: The problem for me isn't so much that I can't have a good time because I'm so worried about how I look. The hardest part is actually before... when I'm trying to pick out what to wear! Keep reading at www.ThatExtra20Pounds.blogspot.com

Nurit: Every time I need to dress up before date night, get out of my usual T-shirt and jeans and put on something nicer looking, I find that I have nothing to wear. Sound familiar? Read more on 1 family. friendly. food.

Joie: Fortunately, I have always had pretty healthy self-esteem. Unfortunately, this is probably why I allowed myself to gain so much weight!" Read more at Joie de vivre: An amateur gourmet's guide

And you? Any tips or thoughts? Any sure fired cures to the crazy talk? Are you too plagued by the pre-event blues? Comment away, I'll be there listening and learning.

09 April 2009

5 Things I'm Proud of #11

Image: mdezemery

"All that we are is a result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become"

I'm finding more and more that the whole positive thinking thing really does work. Things just seem to flow on from each other and while life itself often doesn't change all that much, the way we look at it can make all the difference. So here I am again making this list of the little things that I'm proud of this week.

  1. Making every meal a home cooked one this week

  2. Keeping up the walking and the thinking

  3. Making time to catch up with old friends

  4. Reacquainting myself with myself and eating when I'm hungry

  5. Joining the girls for Weight Loss Weekly, what fun!

What are you proud of this week? Be it big or small be proud of them all.

08 April 2009

5 Reasons You Should Eat More Fish


"Chance is always powerful. Let your hook always be cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be fish"

I have a new found love of fish, having grown up hating it with a passion, it was difficult for The Boy to get me interested, but he eventually succeeded. I now proudly get it, the flavor, the texture the freshness. I'll eat it raw, dried, fried, grilled, poached you name it, the only problem is, I forget. Maybe it's because it's not part of my hardwired food repertoire, maybe because it's not as easy to get as a chicken breast or a lamb chop. Whatever the excuse, it's time to get over it and start getting into it, and here's why:

  1. Consumption of fish reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.

  2. Eating fish regularly has shown to reduce inflammation.

  3. Essential fatty acids found in fish improve cholesterol levels, decreasing triglycerides and increasing HDL (the good cholesterol)

  4. The addition of fish to your diet could assist in weight loss and blood sugar control

  5. It's been shown that eating fish on a weekly basis reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease

Most of the studies done on the benefits of fish in the diet relate to the consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids. These fats are found in highest amounts in certain fish such as:
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Anchovies
  • Sardines
Sustainable fishing techniques as well as endangered species may be things you want to take in to consideration when buying fish. Check out the Australian Marine Conservation Society for more info. This article also gives you a good snap shot at types of fishing and what species to avoid. Passionfish is an organisation based in the US, committed to providing up to date information on sustainable fishing and aquaculture. They have a great blog over at Ocean Commotion with more news and happenings.

Last but not least there has been much concern about the inadvertent consumption of mercury when eating fish, especially for pregnant women. The Food Standards Australia and New Zealand suggest eating 2-3 serves of most types of fish per week as safe.

Certain species of fish tend to have higher levels of mercury due to their position in the food chain, size and age, and should be eaten less frequently. It is suggest that the following fish should only be eaten once a week, and if consumed, no other fish should be eaten that week.

  • Shark/Flake
  • Orange Roughy- Deep Sea Perch/Sea Perch (identified as an over fished species)
  • Billfish- swordfish, marlin and broadbill (identified as an over fished species)
  • Catfish
So there you have it, why to eat fish and some issues that might be of interest when you are standing at the fish market wondering what to get.

How do you enjoy fish on a regular basis? Do you love it/hate it? Any good recipes? Please do share in the comments.......

An Update of Sorts

Accountability is said to be one of the corner stones of weight loss. I'm all about having corner stones, especially if it means I'll be happily strolling down the beach in my swimmers this summer, rather than wrapped up in a towel lying on the sand, as low profile as possible so as to avoid freaking the kids out.

So with that in mind, I thought I better fill you in on my C25K progress and my abandoning of the Push Up Challenge.

I was so super keen to start the Couch to 5K, even teamed up with a buddy, but didn't get any further than the first training session. It's the long standing thorn in my side that's holding me back from this one; The Dodgy Knee. Turns out, after finding a super cool physiotherapist, I have an old injury to my meniscus which has resolved but left some scar tissue around the knee joint. As well as that my quads have lost a lot of strength and my knee cap isn't gliding the way it should be.

After some pretty hellish massage and really exciting knee exercises, the Physio suggested I try running again. I, with the enthusiasm of a puppy, raced out to the park and did as she said. For 10 min, on nice soft grass, with no hills, I felt the wind in my hair and imagined what outfit I would wear at my first race. Then the pain hit, slowly at first, but increased over the days. Turns out my knee is not up to it yet, and I'm totally bummed. So fear not, I am not a slacker, I have the best of intentions, and the C25K is still on my list.

Funny I should mention slack, because that's exactly how I would describe my efforts at the push up challenge. Oh so much fervor at first, so proud of my developing form and progress.... then what happened? I met up with the excuse making machine: "oh my arms are too sore today" "I'm not getting anywhere, maybe I need a rest" "It's too hard" blah blah blah blah

Need I say more? Well last night at training session number 3 we did push ups and I was astounded at myself, I managed 10 without much trouble at all (yes the girly on you knees ones, let's not get carried away with the imagery here). I couldn't have done this without my attempts at the 100 push ups, so maybe it wasn't time wasted after all, maybe it's time to return, maybe even today?

Speaking of training, The Terrier has handed over the reins to one of her much trusted employees, apparently we are the best group to work with due to our crude jokes, constant laughter, singing of Eye of the Tiger and high fiving of each other. So we now have The Kelpie as our devoted trainer and he is, as The Terrier put it, quite easy on the eye.

So there you have it. Everything accounted for, so like, that's the accountability thing done..... I wonder if I've lost any weight yet?????

"Good taste is the excuse I've always given for leading such a bad life"
Oscar Wilde

06 April 2009

Weight Loss Weekly

Have you been reading the fabulous collaborative blog post by Joie, Sunny, Nurit and previously Giyen? Well you are about to, because the girls have asked me to join them. Weight Loss Weekly is, as the name suggests, a weekly occurrence and delves into the world of weight loss from 4 different perspectives. We each take turns asking a question and all answer suggested question. I've loved reading the different view points and approaches each week and am pretty darn excited to be part of it, I hope you like it.

This week Nurit from Family Friendly Food asks:

You’re trying to lose weight and eat good food, but there is a type of food or drink that you love so much. It could be junk food, it could be loaded with calories but you just got to have it. You might be able to avoid it in the short-term for the sake of your diet, but not all your life. It’s your weak-spot-food. What is it and why do you love it or crave it so much? And what do you do about it?

Be sure to check out the other posts on this topic, here's what the girls have to say

Nurit: “There are a few weak spots for me, but I can narrow it down to two, heavy cream and baked goods. Since I can remember myself, I was fascinated by heavy cream... Read more at 1 family. friendly. food.

Sunny: "I'm still not sure the right way to deal with all my favorite bad-for-you foods. Should I limit myself to eating some of my favorite things only 1 day a week? Like an "eat whatever you want day"?" keep reading at www.ThatExtra20Pounds.blogspot.com

Joie: "Weaknesses? Yeah, I can name a few dozen. Weaknesses can be shored up, however the irrational frenzy I feel when around a pepperoni pizza is another thing entirely!" read more at Joie de vivre: An amateur gourmet's guide

Now, *ahem*, my turn.......

In this, my attempt at weight loss #982 736 001, I am determined to succeed like never before. Gone are the days of fad diets, restrictive food lists, obsessive weighing and the torturous feelings of deprivation and despair. So with that in mind there really are no foods that are completely off limits to me. I am trying to exercise moderation in all things.

Having said that, there is one thing that I dream about, one dish that I could eat at any time anywhere. It's light and flaky the perfect balance of sweet and savory, definitely not a diet food and makes my heart soar with joy and desire even at the slightest mention.

Let me introduce you to the almighty, the supreme, the incomparable....... Roti Canai.
Image: Nicole Lee

I love Roti because it's like a ghee infused pastry, comes with curry, is eaten with your hands and is made like this. I first discovered it on my travels around Malaysia, we ordered it randomly and felt as if we had been given the answer to the meaning of life, such is the power of The Roti.

I've found a few places back home that do roti justice, but there really is no comparison to the real deal, the smells the sounds, the hot out of the hands of the roti master onto your plate and swiftly into your mouth, all washed down with some limau ais or teh tarik *drool*

So how do I manage my roti love while trying to lose weight? Well I don't eat it for breakfast everyday that's for sure. When I do eat it, I enjoy, savor and delight in each and every mouthful, it's food for my soul. I'm learning that I don't need that experience everyday, it's almost better to have it on rare occasions, when the stars align and I can sit with the universe and just be, me and my roti.

What about you? What food do you dream of? Is it a hindrance to your weight loss that you just can't live without? Or are you waiting patiently for the day you can indulge again? Comment away........

"There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened"
Douglas Adams

04 April 2009

The Don't Go Hungry Diet

Image: fab4chiky

Update: Hi to everyone who's come on over from Dr Amanda's newsletter, welcome to my blog, take a look around, stay for a chat, there's lots of fun to be had, as well as support and info on weight loss and healthy living. For my latest update on The Don't Go Hungry Diet have a look over here.

Dr Amanda Sainsbury-Salis has a story we can all relate to. As a healthy vibrant teen she thinks she could do with losing a few kilos and takes her first ride on the diet funship. As the years pass by her weight steadily increases until she can take it no longer.

So what does she do? Does she throw herself headlong into a binge that will surpass all binges? Does she join the gym? Start another diet, the one that promises she'll lose 20kgs in one month? Does she give-up and think well nothing works, why bother? No she does not. This is where Dr Amanda's story gets really interesting, she decides to start a career in medical research, so she can really, really understand what is going on with her body.

What follows in her tale is a close to 30kg (66 lbs) weight loss that she has kept off with ease and joy for 9 years. Not to mention an enviable career as a weight regulation expert, researcher, lecturer and author of the fabulous book The Don't Go Hungry Diet

Last week I had the pleasure of attending one of Dr Amanda's advanced weight loss workshop's. Amanda is extremely positive and encouraging, she brings alive the overwhelmingly large body of research that is being done on weight management. One of the most compelling little factoids that I came away with was that:

The average weight loss experienced by participants of clinical trials, with support, scientifically designed diets and exercise programs, is 12kgs (26.4 lbs) per year.

This amazes me. So many times I've given up, feeling like a failure because I've only lost a couple of hundred grams, when all along this has been a healthy sustainable weight loss. These figures rock my world! Sure you can lose weight faster, other factors, such as motivation, consistency, exercise, all play a part, but the bottom line is Biggest Loser style loss is near impossible to replicate, even in controlled studies.

The joy of Dr Amanda's research and the way she presents it, both in her book and during her workshop, is that it's simple. It does not rely on counting points or calories or excluding any food groups, and is all about getting back in touch with the wisdom of our own bodies, they know what they are doing people, all we have to do is pay attention.

The two main concepts in The Don't Go Hungry Diet are the Famine Reaction and the Fat Brake.

The Famine Reaction
The famine reaction is the body's way of protecting us from life threatening weight loss. It's what we encounter when we reach that much beloved state, the plateau. We get HUNGRY beyond belief and we stop losing weight. Some of us push through, being more restrictive and deprived, others give in to our body's survival instincts and we eat and eat and eat and gain that weight right back. Neither response usually results in healthy sustainable weight loss.

The Fat Brake
The fat brake is the body's way of protecting us from life threatening weight gain. It increases our metabolism and decreases our appetite in an attempt to regulate our weight and get us back to the weight most suited to our body. You might have felt, after all the holiday indulgences, that you just aren't as hungry as usual, or you feel a bit restless and want to get moving. That's your body saying..... wooooah nelly, that roast chicken with gravy, that pudding with cream, that chocolate for breakfast and that glass *cough* or two of wine was waaaaay to much, put on the fat brake lady time to get lean.

So what do we do to use these natural weight managers we have sitting inside us, trying so desperately to do what they can to keep us lean and healthy?


Deep down inside, behind what the peddlers of the diet machine have convinced you of, your body is saying something, and it may be the most important thing you will ever hear.

Eat when you are hungry, until you are satisfied, not left wanting, not overstuffed, satisfied. It's that simple. The tricky thing is getting back in touch with that old friend, hunger. After years and years of dieting, I've found that feeling of hunger as well as satiety quite elusive. But it is a work in progress and what better thing to strive for than to be able to eat when I'm hungry!!

I could go on and on and on about the research and the implications, but I'll leave that to the book, it couldn't be said better.

If you want to get off the rollercoaster, give up on the yo-yo, stop counting points and calories, and get back to living life in harmony with your body, this may be for you. I'm in. It sits pretty well with my current plan and I want to trust myself, to know that no matter what the situation I can rely on me, and it will all be alright.

You can read more about Dr Amanda, her story, the book and her coaching sessions here.

Any thoughts? Got all this worked out already? Questions? Fire away below in the comments.

"Free your mind and your ass will follow"
George Clinton, Funkadelic

03 April 2009

5 Things I'm Proud of #10

I can't believe I've had 10 "5 Things I'm Proud of". That's 50 things I've been consciously proud of this year, it's a funny concept, a big change. I'm so used to always listing the negatives, what a difference a shift in focus makes. Last night I had a lapse, caught a reflection of myself in the mirror zoned in on my thighs and started down the path of doom of gloom. But I stopped before the words escaped. There's power in this being proud thing, so onwards......

1. Sticking at these lists, it's working, and life is looking a hell of a lot better for it.

2. Not bailing on The Terrier or Team Absolute Abs, despite the torrential rain

3. Walking, walking , walking which really helps the thinking, thinking, thinking.

4. Continuing to eat slowly, and maybe even getting a little better at it.

5. Officially being part of the D-man's life, I hope I can teach him half as much as what I'm sure he'll teach me.

"Bart, having never received any words of encouragement myself, I'm not sure how they're supposed to sound. But here goes: I believe in you."
Lisa Simpson