28 May 2009

Guest Post: So you want to lose weight and keep it of?

Image: kharied

Let me introduce you to the fabulous Rebecca of
Chow and Chatter. Rebecca is a a dietitian, personal trainer, writer, mother, wife, cook and blogging extraordinaire. She's taken some time out of her day to share with us some of her tips on losing weight and the elusive keeping it off.

On the surface it seems simple to lose weight eat less and be more active however the number of overweight and obese people continues to rise. People try many strategies in an attempt to lose weight often the latest Hollywood diet or fad. How often do you hear the words I am on a diet or I’ll eat what I want before I start my diet, many times losing weight while on the so called diet only to re-gain it and some when they return to their usual eating habits. This yo yo cycle isn’t healthy for mind or body. Thats my Bernie's Blog yo yo no more caught my eye as she understands. She blogs with Sunny of that extra 20 lb and Joie of Joie de Vivre who inspire each other and folks around the globe with great tips and their personal stories.

The best approach is to work towards a healthy lifestyle and make long –term changes, also be patient with yourself it won't happen over night, there will be good and bad days along the way but you can do it one step at a time. It's also of great benefit to work with a dietitian to give you that much needed support, or consider using the services of a personal trainer.

Consider these questions before beginning

  • How ready am I to change? if you are thinking about it but still not all that motivated brainstorm the health benefits and focus on how much better you would feel
  • Break down your barriers to change-write a list and work through them, develop good time management and prioritize time for you to cook and be active
  • Do you eat when hungry or for other reasons such as emotions, habit or boredom. Try keeping a food diary and recording when and what you eat and how you were feeling, or write a blog. Work towards a regular meal schedule and listen to your bodies cues to eat when hungry
  • Do you perceive certain foods as good and bad and follow dieting rules? Re-program your mind and have a healthy relationship with food there’s no good or bad foods you just need to get the balance right
  • Eat slowly – it takes time for the brain to get the message that your full
  • Develop effective emotional coping strategies try not to use food for comfort, break the cycle of eating when stressed then feeling guilty. Call a friend, take a walk, pray, have a hot bath and try yoga.
  • Increase physical activity try to find activities that can be worked into your daily life you don’t have to join a gym. Take the stairs, walk on your breaks, try pilates and yoga at home or take a class, get some weights and lift at home, try tennis with friends and family or get a bike, find lots of activities you enjoy and have fun!

Overtime as you work towards a healthy lifestyle and face each challenge in a positive way you’ll slowly start to feel stronger more in control and enjoy better health.

27 May 2009

A fork in the road......

Image: webmink

"Do or don't do..... there is no try"

I have had an interesting experience this past week, a glimpse into my future if you like. My dearest Ma has been in hospital twice in the last two weeks, her blood pressure through the roof. I've come to stay with The Folks to give support, translate the Dr speech and maybe just maybe give Ma a gentle nudge in a healthier direction.

It got me thinking about me. What I do in life that keeps me from being my healthiest, what choices I make which mean that true change is kept out of reach, and I can see that I'm not that different to my wonderful Ma.

I remember when I was still nursing I often wondered about the road my patients had walked before they got to me. When, if ever, they got an early warning sign of their impending demise, what they did at this time, what choices they made, what areas of their lives they prioritsed. If, given that time again, would they do anything differently, would they stop eating the junk, start exercising, give up the smokes? I often imagined them at a fork in the road, much like the fork in the road my Ma is standing at now.

This morning I went for a long muddy walk out into the bush, it really is paradise here, the green that stretches on for as far as the eyes can see, the streams and rivers, the animals, the calm. There amongst the tree ferns and the still of the morning air I realised I too am at a fork in the road.

I can continue on with my half-assed attempts to get my cholesterol down, my inconsistent eating habits, my sporadic exercise and I will more than probably end up somewhere right about where my Mum is when I'm her age, or possibly even younger. I could take a left, walking down that muddy path into the green, the peace, the calm and alter my destiny, reach that true state of change. I know which way I need to go, which way I will go. Do you?

25 May 2009

Weight Loss Weekly

Image: Earthwatcher

"The most important thing about having goals is having one"
Abert F. Geoffrey

So I did it. I exercised every day last week. Yippee! The whole plan thing actually worked really well. I wasn't able to stick to it to the letter but I think having the intention is what really counts for me.

Weight Loss Weekly is a collaborative blogging adventure where Sunny, Joie and little old me set some healthy lifestyle goals each week and document our progress together.

Check out how the other gals went this week with their mission to get things moving.

Sunny: "I guess I don't hate exercising as much as I thought I did. I did pretty darn well this week, for me..." more at ThatExtra20Pounds

Joie: "Monday's inner monologue: "Uggh! Six o'clock already? What was I thinking?" Did I achieve my exercise goal? Find out at Joie de vivre: An amateur gourmet's guide

Rain seemed to be the big issue but I managed to negotiate the weather and get things done. My favorite exercise moment this week was a long muddy bush walk with the Soul Sistah yesterday after getting flooded out from The Folks' place and finally making it here amongst the mist and the trees.

Here are a few things I found helped me reach my goal this week:
  • Planning when I would fit in my exercise for the next day.
  • Realising that something is better than nothing
  • Exercising in the morning, gets it done, gets me moving and gets me feeling good all day long
  • Making the plan, I felt it set me up for the week with a clear goal in mind
So this week the daily exercise goal continues and this is my general aim for the week:
  • Today 30min on stationary bike and Day 1 week 2 onehundredpushups
  • Tuesday bush walk
  • Wednesday bush walk and Day 2 week 2 pushups
  • Thursday 30min stationary bike
  • Friday 30min elliptical trainer Day 3 week 2 pushups
  • Saturday 1hr walk
  • Sunday 1 hr walk
Share away in the comments, are you setting some new goals and working towards reaching them? Let's cheer each other on and make those changes we know we really want.

24 May 2009

Guest Post Gallivanting

If you feel you need to read more of my ramblings at a different address, wander on over to Rebecca's fab blog Chow and Chatter, stay a while look around, I'm sure you'll enjoy.

22 May 2009

5 Things I'm Proud Of #17

Image: taivasalla

Oh no! I should do something..... but I'm already in my pajamas"
Prof Farnsworth. Futurama

If you'd like a double dose of my ramblings today, check out my musings on exercising at home over at the baby incubating, wonder woman that is Fit Fig.

Friday is the day I like to reflect on my week and think of 5 things I've done that I can be proud of. This exercise has really helped me to get out of my self doubting rut, recognise the small achievements I make in my day and generally become an annoying Positive Polly, I ain't apologising one bit!

So here are my five things. What about yours? I'm sure you did something this week that made you smile. Dare to share below?

  1. So far sticking with my exercise everyday goal that I set this week.
  2. Not letting the rain and my lack of motivation to go walking stop me, long live the elliptical trainer and being able to wear my PJ's whilst exercising.
  3. Literally kicking my way through training this week, despite being given the option to cancel.
  4. Living it up spontaneous style and booking a ticket to London, leaving in 2 weeks, wooo hooo!
  5. Drinking less caffeinated beverages and drinking more herbal tea.

19 May 2009

My New Shoes

Image: ericsnels

"There's nothing like putting your bare feet into fresh cow dung on a cold day, it's great"
Makhaya Ntini

I really should be writing something about cholesterol but I'm just so excited about my new shoes. They're called Vibram FiveFingers® and they totally rock.

I'd read about these shoes a while back and admired them on a few feet but alas alack they weren't available in Oz at the time. Fast forward to not long ago when I saw them in a shop window and haven't been able to stop thinking about them since. I love being barefoot, a stilleto shod lady I am not, so the idea of being able to get around, protected from the ground, but feeling like I'm shoeless is like heaven to me.

Vibram FiveFingers® have a flexible vibram sole and individual toe sections that keep your toes separated and able to move independently. It's an unusual yet logical concept. There are a variety of styles to chose from, ranging from a neat slip on to a cold weather enclosed shoe.

The theory is, as it turns out, that our feet are designed to carry us. A lifetime of shoe wearing not only weakens the muscles in our feet causing problems such as plantar fasciitis but has ramifications the whole body over resulting in postural imbalances and back problems. Everyone has seen and been shocked at the old lady foot, her strange misshapen toes, bunions and corns often the result of tight shoes.

I have the makings of some of these problems, and wonder if it's my sore feet that have lead to my dodgy knee. That's part of the reason I finally forked over the cash and got myself a pair. I'm hoping after a few months, my feet will feel stronger and less stiff, time will tell.

As soon as I put them on I was amazed at how comfortable they were. I feel like I have more balance and more control, and feeling the ground under my feet is fantastic. I haven't done any long distance walking in them yet, but general getting around and about has been no trouble at all.

Check out some reviews at:
The Four Hour Work Week
A Passion For Running

birthday shoes, a site dedicated to Vibram FiveFingers® and bare feet.

What do you think? Interested in getting back to nature with some high tech rubber between you and the world? Happy with your faithful trainers? Let me know, comment down below.

18 May 2009

Weight Loss Weekly

The gals and I are shaking things up a bit with Weight Loss Weekly. While we love hearing each others take's on different issues, we felt it wasn't especially action based blogging, and we're all about the action!

In order for us to get up and get doing we thought we'd pick a theme and then set our own individual goals within that theme and talk strategy and such.

This week's idea is scintillating, it's sassy and of course it's supersonic, it's exercise, yippeee!

Don't forget to check out what the gals have got to say on this one.

"My goal this week is to walk for 20 minutes for 4 days this week. It doesn't seem like a huge goal, but considering it's been a month (or longer) since I've accomplished this feat, I'm a little nervous!" read more at Joie de vivre: a amateur gourmet's guide

Sunny "If you read last week's WLW post, you probably know how much of a slacker I've been when it comes to exercise! But I've set two goals this week..." Keep reading at That Extra 20 Pounds

For me exercise comes and goes, I go through stages where I feel like I've got it all worked out, and then for no obvious reason I hit a wall and just can't seem to get into it. I've smashed up against said wall these last few weeks and I'm determined to get out of my rut and back on the wagon. You know that feeling, when you pull on your jeans and think "hmmm something's not right here......" Well I'm getting that vibe and I need to snap out of it. An upcoming trip to the UK is the motivation, I do not want to get on that plane feeling flabby and disappointed.

My goal this week is to do some kind of exercise each day. It doesn't have to be formal sweatercise but just something, movement, action, doing.

In some areas of my life I am a crazy planner, but I've never tried to apply this to exercise so this week I am going to plan out my exercise and see if that helps. Fig of fitfig does this and I've often admired her plans and wondered if that would work for me, well wonder no more here we go.

Monday: Elliptical trainer 30min
Tuesday: Personal training with the girlies
Wednesday: 1hr walk with the Luscious L
Thursday: Yoga
Friday: Walk to work 1hr
Saturday: Elliptical trainer 30min
Sunday: Bush walk

So there you have it the happy plan. With it all written down so neatly like that, I feel like I'm sure to get it done, let's see.

How do you make sure you get your exercise done and dusted week to week? Have you got it all planned out? Or do you just let it flow?

16 May 2009

5 Things I'm Proud of #16

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be"
Lao Tzu

Running late with this post, seems to be a theme I've had going all week. Nevertheless there are things I'm proud of. I feel like I've strayed off course a bit lately but jumping back on as of today and keeping on keeping on.

  1. Remembering that I don't like working weekends, and keeping it that way.
  2. Finally writing a post on fat and cholesterol
  3. Meeting the Luscious L for an early morning walk
  4. Restarting the 100 push-up challenge
  5. Getting back on the elliptical trainer after a few weeks of absence
What about you, climbed any mountains this week?

14 May 2009

Fat and Cholesterol

"It's a scientific fact your body will not absorb cholesterol if you take it from another person's plate"

Dave Barry

Hey hey, today I'm also guesting over at the fantabulous, the funtastic, the free thinking, MizFit Online. Check it out here.

As I continue along the road of The Great Cholesterol Challenge, I find my self tripping over, falling down and getting up again, confused. Where did that hole in the road come from and why is it full of Ferrero Rocher chocolate?

Nevertheless, onward I go, Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was the perfect diet.

So, the whole cholesterol and fat thing. Not so simple. As many of you know there's fat and then there's fat and then there's transfat just to make things interesting. Some people say avoid all fats, some say it's just saturated fat that is bad, then there's those that believe that saturated fat isn't the culprit at all.

Mary Enig PhD is a big advocate for the conscious inclusion of saturated fats in our diets and has written extensively on the topic. If you're interested, her article, written with Sally Fallon, The Skinny on Fats, is well worth the read.

Another great read is from Harvard School of Public Health and talks more about eating the right kinds of fats.

Enough of that, on to practicalities.

Saturated Fat

Saturated fats are found in a variety of foods, and the general consensus is that these fats contribute to elevated cholesterol levels and should be enjoyed occasionally. These foods include:
  • Beef
  • Chicken with the skin on
  • Processed Meats
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Lard
  • Chocolate
  • Ice cream
  • Pastries, biscuits and cakes
  • Fried foods
  • Full fat dairy products-milk, cheese, yogurt
  • Coconut oil

Trans fat

Trans fat or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, was once considered the bees knees. Not so any more. This oil is used in many processed foods and should be avoided at all costs. Denmark is leading the way in banning the use of these oils in Danish food. Hopefully other countries will follow suit. Darya at the wonderful Summertomato directed me to this recent study that further indicates the role of trans fat in cardiovascular disease. Read your labels and ditch the trans.
Foods likely to contain trans fat include:
  • Biscuits, cakes and pastries
  • Fast food
  • Fried food
  • Margarines and spreads
  • Donuts
  • Check your labels, it can be hiding anywhere

Dietary Cholesterol

To eat eggs or not to eat eggs? That is the question. While the concept that foods that contain cholesterol will raise blood cholesterol makes some sense, this idea is no longer considered the rule. It appears that the effect dietary cholesterol has on blood levels is not as great as once speculated.

The folks over at Harvard recommend enjoying eggs as part of a heart healthy diet, while of course exercising that wonderful notion, moderation. Although eggs and other cholesterol containing foods are now considered off the "bad" list it seems that there are some of us who need to continue being vigilant. It appears some individuals blood cholesterol levels do increase when they consume cholesterol containing foods, which include:
  • Eggs
  • Organ meat-liver, heart, brain, kidney
  • Butter
  • Prawns
  • Caviar

Good Fats

Just as fat can be bad, fat can also be good. Monopolyomegapaloooza so many goodies to be had.

Omega 3 fat, a type of polyunsaturated fat, is considered a goody, found commonly in:
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Anchovies
  • Sardines
  • For those not interest in the fishes, try flax seed, chia seed and walnuts for your omega 3
Polyunsaturated fats. The word from the American as well as Australian Heart Foundations is that these fats are considered heart friendly and can be found in:
  • Canola oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Nuts and seeds
Monounsaturated fats can also be considered good and you'll find them in:
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Avocado

Final Word

There is much talk about fat and while there are all sorts of lists, guidelines and recommendations, I tend to stick to the principles of whole foods. For me this means, I do eat chicken skin, I do eat full fat dairy and the occasional serve of golden butter from grass fed cows, and I also value the many health benefits of the humble coconut and the misunderstood egg. I make a pretty serious attempt at moderation most of the time, and I also include plenty of foods that help to lower cholesterol.

The verdict seems to be that we need fat in our diets, it's about making the right choices and not over doing it.

What do you think? Are you a fat free devotee? Or, like me, is fat something you feel you need?

12 May 2009

I got an award!!!!

I got an award! I love awards. The fabulous Rebecca of Chow and Chatter gave me this Awe-Summmm award. Rebecca is a Registered Dietitian in the UK and USA and has a wealth of experience and knowledge that she shares very generously on her blog. She also posts some damn delicious looking recipes for you to try if you dare. Be sure to check out her blog, you won't be disappointed that you did.

As part of this award I am meant to share 7 awesome thing about myself so here goes *blush*

  1. I once ate a fish eye ball to impress The Boyf. I think that's pretty awesome.
  2. I'm interested in people and their stories
  3. Always up for adventure
  4. Positive
  5. Easy going
  6. I once won a challenge at the gym on the rowing machine.... I was pretty pleased with my awesomeness that day.
  7. I LOVE dogs, I know that's not amazingly awesome, but I bet all the dogs I pat or say hello to in the street think I'm awesome!

In return I am passing this award on to some wonderful bloggers that keep me laughing and inspired all the day long.

Joie, Sunny and Nurit, my Weight Loss Weekly buddies, who so kindly invited me to join them on their fantastic collaborative blogging adventure. Their blogs are delicious, inspiring and they themselves are pretty darn cool too.

Spring Girl a fellow Aussie blogger who writes wonderfully about weight loss and all the amazing self discovery she's having along the way.

11 May 2009

Weight Loss Weekly

Image: kevindooley

"I don't exercise. If God had wanted me to bend over he would have put diamonds on the floor"
Joan Rivers

Weight Loss Weekly is a collaborative blogging effort between the fantabulous Joie,Sunny and myself. As Nurit explained last week she's decided to leave us for WLW. Be sure to watch out for her delicious and insightful posts at 1 Family Friendly Food as well as Good Food Bad Food.

This week I asked this:
Exercise is something everyone should be doing for general health and fitness. Do you have any tips for keeping your exercise routine fun and most importantly sustainable?

Check out the gals and what they've got to say.

Sunny: "Exercise... that is a subject I've been trying to avoid and not think since I began my weight loss journey a few months ago..." keep reading at www.ThatExtra20Pounds.blogspot.com

Joie: "It seems that no matter how fun I make exercise, I have trouble with the sustainability part. Is it a momentum thing?" Read more at Joie de vivre: An amateur gourmet's guide

Friends, flexibility and reality are the three things I try to keep in mind when exercising. I don't really have a routine to speak of, and this, I am learning, is actually my exercise style. Change is what keeps me going and the more I build exercise into everyday activities the more likely it is that it will be something I can maintain.

Exercising with friends is not only fun but sets up a scenario where you have a responsibility to turn up. For the last month or so a group of friends and I have been meeting with a trainer in a local park. We sweat, cheer each other on and laugh through the 45min of 'fun' and then it's done. This is something I can keep doing week after week, mainly because I'm doing it with the girls, it's like we're a team, and I would never want to let this team down.

Flexibility is a must when it comes to exercise for me. Rigid timetables and routines just don't work. I exercise when I can and when I want to. For the last 2 weeks this hasn't been all that often, a mix of not the right time and not really wanting to. But I feel like it's just been a phase to go through and after yesterday's hot yoga class I'm ready to get back into it. It's taken me a long time to realise there are ebbs and flows in all areas of my life, including exercise and sometimes you just have to go with it to find your groove.

Reality is important. For me this means, realistic exercise with realistic goals. At the moment a gym bunny I am not, so to pay the ridiculous joining fees and rock up in my most clean of workout wear would not be realistic at all. So I walk, I walk to work, I walk to the shops, I walk for fun, I walk to clear my head. This is absolutely realistic for me.

I can't talk about fun, sustainable exercise without mentioning The Wonderfully Fandangled Exercise Machine, or the elliptical trainer as it's known in the real world. This piece of engineering genius has been the best investment I've made in years. I have it set up in my lounge room and The Boyf has rigged up a laptop stand on it so I can watch all my favorite geeky DVDs as I sweat myself into oblivion. The best bit is I can do all this in my pyjamas/underpants/apron/dressing gown. I LOVE it.

I think in the past I've had an idea of what exercise "should" look like, I thought it involved lycra and group classes and all things pump and body blast. When I couldn't do that I thought I was failling. Now I'm trying to find the me in exercise, what is my exercise groove, my style, my fun.

What's your exercise groove? Do you have any tips or tricks that keep you on the straight and narrow. I'd love to learn more, this exercise newbie needs all the help she can get!

08 May 2009

5 Things I'm Proud Of #15

"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all"
Harriet Van Horne

This week I have a theme of which I am proud of, and that theme is cooking. To know the men in my life is to know brilliant cooks, cooking for them is a daunting, nerve wracking experience, but I have vowed to overcome it and join in on the fun. So this week I am super proud of the dishes I created all on my own.

  1. Buddha's Delight, a Chinese vegetarian dish that traditionally includes 18 varieties of vegetable to represent the 18 Buddhas.
  2. Steamed whole Barramundi with ginger and shallots. A whole fish seems such a treat, but it's actually really easy, especially if you leave the gutting and scaling to your local fish monger.
  3. Cooking a traditional Vietnamese stock for the almighty Phố from scratch. Three days of boiling and toiling paid off with a deliciously aromatic stock, the perfect background for the fresh herbs and powerful flavours of the offal.
  4. Creating juicy juicy Thai style Gai Yang (ไก่ย่าง). BBQ chicken wings, which were cooked outdoors over the coals as part of the Phố extravaganza.
  5. Making Thai style fish cakes from scratch as part of the Phố feast.

How bout you? Cook anything exciting this week? What about other steps you've taken that mean you are living the life you want? Time to get proud.

05 May 2009

What foods help in lowering cholesterol?

"Let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be food"

Back to The Great Cholesterol Challenge. I thought I'd leave it up to the National Cholesterol Education Program, The Mayo Clinic and for some Australian figures, The Heart and Diabetes Institute to explain what healthy cholesterol levels are. This is also a good thing to talk to your Doctor about because there are different reference ranges related to your risk of cardiovascular disease.

On to the exciting stuff, food. I am constantly surprised at how powerful food has been in my life. Be it cutting back on sugar and loosing the crazy mood swings or eating more protein and having more energy, the relationship between what we eat and how we feel both physically and emotionally isn't something to be sneezed at. The case of cholesterol and food is no different.

The Lipid Management Guidelines for Australians and New Zealanders recommends that dietary management of elevated cholesterol levels be tried before any drug treatment. Unfortunately, as Darya at Summer Tomato points out, most GPs as well as cardiologists aren't well versed in nutrition and most can't offer us much more advice than; eat less meat and eat more veges, as my Dr told me.

There's much more to it than that and this is what some of it looks like.

Foods to enjoy

This list is far from exhaustive, but it's a start. Not only are these foods specifically heart healthy they are also packed with nutrients that can benefit all of us no matter what our state of health. How many of these foods did you eat today?

Avocado on Foodista

04 May 2009

Weight Loss Weekly

Image: heather

"How easy for those who do not bulge to not overindulge"

Ogden Nash

Hello Monday! Monday is when the WLW gals and I get together and share thoughts about weight loss.

This week Nurit asks:
You’re about to go to an event - party, wedding, potluck, etc - where there’s going to be lots of (free) food. What are you doing about it? What is your strategy?

This is such a great question, I can't wait to hear what the gals have to say, be sure to check their musings out, no doubt there will be some tips and ideas that will get us all into action.

Joie: "I wish I could tell you that I always behave well at potlucks or buffets, but sadly, I can't. There is a reason why I am overweight! But I do have some tricks to help my best intentions along." Read more at Joie de vivre: An amateur gourmet's guide

Nurit: "An imaginary scenario: you go to a party, you see all the wonderful food, you either decide “I’ll only try just one bite of some dishes that look good”, or you don’t even think about it and just go with the flow. The result – you feel over-stuffed, you think “I ate too much. Why did I do that?” Does this sound familiar?" Read more on 1 Family Friendly Food

Sunny: "When it comes to free food, forget it! My strategy? Unfortunately it's Eat, Eat, Eat..." keep reading at www.ThatExtra20Pounds.blogspot.com

Now here's what I'm thinking about this one:

Lots of free food did you say? I'm there. That about sums up my love of the event/party/wedding/potluck food related scenario. Lots of free food is like, well, lots of free food, does it get any better? But is it really free? (see where I'm going with that.... ohhh the witty intelligence is too much). My answer to this question is a very loud NO!

You know how it goes, the food is laid out, you pick up your plate, determined to sample a tiny bit of everything, you go in with the best of intentions, and sit down to find your plate groaning from all that is piled atop it. Then out comes more food and more and more and more and you find yourself thinking, "well I did say I was going to try a little bit of everything, it's a party after all, time to celebrate." And what do you do? You eat more.

Finally once the last drop of sticky delight has been squeezed out of the bottle of dessert wine and the plates and glasses are clinking, sink bound, you gather up your bloated self and start to waddle out the door. This is what I've always done, each and every time there was some kind of food related socialising going on, which is very often in my world.

But no more, I have strategies and surprise surprise they work!

  • Don't go to said food feast hungry, have a snack before you leave, arrive feeling neutral in the hunger stakes, not stuffed nor frothing at the mouth like a rabid animal on the look out for the first morsel
  • Position your self away from the food, or if possible in front of the healthy options, you know the ones, the salads, maybe even the vege sticks
  • If you're worried about there being no healthy options to get positioned in front of, and it's appropriate, bring your own
  • Be mindful of how you're feeling and remember you don't need to try everything on offer, you will get a chance to eat some of these foods again one day
  • Most importantly, have fun, these times are usually about some great celebration, so celebrate. Catch up with old friends, make new ones, enjoy and savor the food
So there you have it, my ways to survive the free food without having to undo the top button of my pants half way through the event. How about you? Any ideas, tips or tricks?

03 May 2009

The Don't Go Hungry Diet Update

Image: val'sphotos'

"The pleasure of eating is not in the costly flavor, but in yourself"

A big HELLOOO to anyone who's wandered on over from Dr Amanda's newsletter. I hope my little stories help, inspire or at the least entertain you.

I've consistently been following the principles in Dr Amanda's amazing book The Don't Go Hungry Diet for a month or so now and I've noticed some nice changes around here. If you'd like to find out more about Dr Amanda and her research you can read what I think about it all right here.

The Don't Go Hungry Diet isn't really a diet in the traditional sense of the word, rather it is what our bodies do naturally and if we listen to them we may just find they've got something to say that is well worth hearing.

Here are some of the changes I've noticed since I've tried to eat when I'm actually hungry and eat enough so that I'm satisfied.

  • I don't really have any mad cravings
  • I don't feel as though I have to exert will power of steel to resist temptations
  • My most hungriest times of the day are 1130am and 4pm
  • There are many types of hunger, some for a meal and some for a snack
  • It doesn't take that much to fill me up
  • I can lose weight without feeling deprived and deranged, even when I'm faced with a month of celebrations and chocolate!

Like anything, this is a process, and I am far from having it all worked out. I still let myself get too hungry sometimes, and yes, I still overeat every now and then, but not as often and I don't have all the guilt and failure with it. I really feel like this is a missing part of the "lifestyle change" puzzle and if I can master this who knows what will happen, maybe I really will yo-yo no more.

01 May 2009

5 Things I'm Proud Of #14

Image: rwangsa

"Excuse me while I kiss the sky"
Jimi Hendrix

Well it's that time of the week again, time to remember all the little steps you are taking towards your bigger goals, or even the steps you are taking everyday to make your life what it is right now. Today I realised how far I have come in my thinking about weight loss and health and I believe it has a lot to do with these posts. Taking some time at the end of my week to think about the things I have done that have been positive is, well pretty neat if I may say so myself.

I've spent many years of dieting focusing on the negative, all the things I didn't do, all the things I should do, the "bad" food, the lack of will-power. I'm thinking this may have just been the bigger thorn in my side. I guess I never truly believed that changing the chatter going on in my head could have such a big impact. But it has, I'm totally loving proving myself wrong for once!

So here it is people 5 Things I'm proud of this week. Don't forget to think about yours, you can even share them in the comments if you like!

  1. Finally taking myself off to try a "hot" yoga class. I've been reading it can be beneficial if you have joint injuries and so far so good.
  2. Enrolling in two more subjects for my Herbal Medicine course
  3. Eating at home more than eating out
  4. Taking The Beasts for a walk despite the torrential rain
  5. Last but not least, jumping on the scales for my monthly weigh-in this morning. I've lost 0.4kg this month.

This last thing I'm proud of is one of the things I am most proud of ever. For the first time in my life, a small loss didn't send me in a downward spiral into the great black hole of despair. I was happy, pleased, proud. I didn't force these feelings, they just came. I can't begin to describe what an achievement this is for me, my normal, and not so long ago, reaction to losses like this has usually been pretty bleak. I guess this is what you'd call an NSV (Non-scale victory), for me it's the most humongous, amazing, supersonic victory ever. Yipppeeee!!!!!