Alone, but not

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Some days, when you’re on this eating regime (see how I didn’t call it a diet), you feel alone.  All alone, but supported at the same time.  This photo I took reminded me of how I am feeling today.

I am down about 6kgs on and off and that is really good, but I expect way too much of myself. I need to take the time.  Enjoy. Read. Recover and rediscover the love I have for my body and all it gives me every day.

A change of mind (and heart)

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I don’t know how many times on this blog I have said the words “it’s finally time.  I am taking responsibility for my health and happiness”.  Well my friends I am going to say it again.

I’ve had quite a hard time of it lately. I was not looking after my health, I was drinking way too much, I was eating about three times the average amount of food a normal person should eat, sometimes secretly.  All of this ended up with me gaining not only weight but also questioning who I want to be for the rest of my life.

On July 11th this month I turned 47.  Now I’m not big on the age thing.  It is what it is, but this time I could actually notice myself aging. I could see my skin getting that little bit thinner and dry.  My period, which was as reliable as Big Ben, was now all over the place, sometimes not coming for months at a time.  Gravity was beginning to really come calling and I was feeling VERY sorry for myself.

Knowing that I hadn’t had proper ‘get on a plane with a passport vacation’ for years, my oldest and dearest friend talked me into going to Phuket to a luxurious villa.  Needless to say from the picture above it was amazing.

Unfortunately the second night I fell over and badly sprained my ankle leaving it incredibly difficult to walk for the rest of the holiday.  For me this was a real wake up call.  If I don’t start doing something about my health, my weight and my work/life balance the rest of my life is not going to get any better.  If anything, worse.

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Our private infinity pool.

We talked a lot on that vacation about health and our lives and where we wanted to be.  He had a good friend who passed away some years ago now.  She tried for years and years to give up smoking but couldn’t. During her career she worked incredibly hard for all they had. She was the hardest of workers.  It came to her one day, a little too late, that if she is such a hard worker, then giving up smoking is just hard work and I know I can do that.

Now I am sure I‘m not doing this story any justice but it rang true with me.  I work bloody hard, so this is just another something I need to work hard at, and to me it makes total sense. I have worked hard all my life in my career; surely I can work hard at something that is going to keep me alive and feeling good.

Yes, it does sound way too easy but it’s put my head into a totally different space and that’s a good thing. So here I go.

But, just a little bit differently this time.

Going Paleo

 

I’m thinking of going Paleo – I have been contemplating it for a long time.  I have bought most of the books on this subject and I’m set. I found the illustration above on Cave Girl Eats and it really rang true for me.  I love being able to source and cook fresh food.  I love going to the markets on the weekend and buying what’s in season.

I’m lucky enough that I can afford to support local producers and ethically I do feel as if I have some responsibility to do it as well.  So let the Paleo games begin.

There are a number of great sites for support, recipes and Q&A.  My favourite is Nom Nom Paleo.  You should check out her wonderful site and amazing iPad ap.  It’s the bomb.

Summer Tomato

I really really love Darya Pino’s website called Summer Tomato.  She’s a smart, young cookie who really is making a difference in the world with her blog and her passion for eating right.  It’s well worth checking out.  I loved this post and had to share it with you.  Some fantastic lessons for all of us.  Read about the top 10 food facts that everyone should know.
  1. “Vitamins” are not the same as whole foods. Instant ramen and a multivitamin is not a healthy meal. There is no substitute for a diet of whole foods rich in vegetables, beans, grains and fish.
  2. A healthy diet can prevent or even reverse four out of the six leading causes of death in the US. Evidence indicates that diet ismore important than genetics in the vast majority of heart disease, stroke, cancer and type 2 diabetes cases.
  3. The thinnest, healthiest people in the world eat “high carb” diets. But they definitely do not eat the processed, refined carbohydrates that flood Western culture. If you want to lose weight and live longer without disease, eat more vegetables and whole grains.
  4. You get plenty of calcium. Americans consume more calcium than most countries on earth, yet still sport some of the highest rates of osteoporosis. This debilitating disease is more likely caused by insufficient vitamin D, not enough exercise and/or too much protein. Also, excess calcium is linked to prostate cancer and milk to ovarian cancer. Calcium does not support weight loss either.
  5. “Fiber” is not the same as vegetables and grains. Fiber supplements do not offer the same benefits as fiber-filled foods, and do not help with weight loss or protect against disease.
  6. The best sources of protein are plants and fish. It is relatively easy to get complete protein (i.e., all the essential amino acids) from a diverse diet. Protein from red meat offers more risk than reward. (Yes, pork is red meat.)
  7. Fruits and vegetables protect your vision. Both cataracts and macular degeneration are strongly tied to diet.
  8. Fats from factories are dangerous. Processed oils and trans fats (not total dietary fat) are associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and obesity. Replacing them with natural oils could save your life.
  9. Fats from plants and fish are essential. Mono- and polyunsaturated fats protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes and memory loss. In moderation they can also aid in weight loss, since they increase the satiety you feel after a meal.
  10. You can lose weight on any short-term diet, but you will probably gain back more than you ultimately lose. This is often true even if you stay on the diet. Focusing on long-term health is the best strategy for sustained weight loss, but it requires patience.

If you subscribe to her food blog, you get a great book to download called ‘How to get started eating healthy‘.  I loved it.

Yes, breakfast is very important – the internet told me

I had to share this wonderful article I came across just now about eating breakfast.  From Fast Company (one of my favourite work blogs) they say:

Did you skip breakfast today? If you did, you are probably already thinking about lunch. You’re probably pretty hungry. And so you’re going to eat a lot. In fact, you’re going to eat 4.9% more food at lunch. The longer you wait, the more you’re going to eat. Do that every day and it starts to add up:

And what will that food be? Probably something not so good for you. Eatery found that, regardless of whether or not you eat breakfast, you eat worse and worse throughout the day. Lunch is worse than breakfast, and dinner is worse than lunch (and don’t even ask about snacking). But breakfast is a good way to mitigate that. Eat a good breakfast and you start making better food decisions for the entire day–even late into the night.

Click here to see the most AMAZING infogram from the post.

2 down

Lost 2 kilos.  Now that’s what I’m talking about.  And I walked back to the office from a work lunch today.  It took me 40 minutres.  That’s 4 WW points.  EVEN MORE of what I’m talking about.

Thanks for Wade from Flickr for the photo.