Losing and gaining perspective…

It was a question I got from a friend a few weeks ago.

“Have you stopped losing weight?”

It wasn’t meant in a malicious way at all – it was simply curiosity brought on by observation. Correct observation.

I’ve stopped losing weight.

Of course, if I could count up how many times I’ve lost the kilos between the numbers of 105-102, I would have lost about another 30-odd kilos by now.

I am back to feeling the fraud. Weighed in at 103kg today.

Six weeks ago, my last blog post was full of positivity and joy and enthusiasm.

I’m back to where I was the week before that. At a loss.

I seem to have no control when sweets are put before me. I reach for the cake and the biscuits and chocolate.

It’s hard. I know I can just not have it. So many times people say “Ren, just don’t eat it!”

And yeah, they’re right. I should “just” not eat it.

Wouldn’t life be simple if we could just switch off what’s become almost innate within ourselves? 30 years of eating emotions doesn’t just go away. 30 years of living a certain way doesn’t just stop.

The weight loss industry would be seriously fucked if that was the case.

There would be many a starving personal trainer.

Anyway, the thing I find the hardest to deal with is “occasion eating”. Almost every week for the past six weeks or so there’s been a birthday or an outing or something happening that centres around food. And it’s bloody difficult to not eat. And particularly not eat all those sweet things. I make plans along the lines of “Ok, I will only have a small piece of cake and one small sweet”… but when I get there, control FLIES out of the fucking window.

If I don’t allow myself anything at all, then I turn into an absolute hag because I WANT to eat it then. It becomes deprivation and those of us with experience in this game knows just how well that works.

And of course, I turn into a hag when I come down off the sugar rush too.

It’s a lose-lose.

So, as a result, I will have a huge gain over the weekend, fight through the week to re-balance, then start again the following week only to have another occasion thrown at me.

Of course I fell off the tracking wagon again as a result. I don’t want to know or care. Lazy apathy plays a part and that old feeling of “SO SICK OF THIS!” is back, though at the moment I am fairly certain that has more to do with the fact that I’ve only had a few hours sleep after the flight the manbeast was on last night was seriously delayed. Didn’t get home until about 2.30am. Had to be up at 7.15am. ARGH.

Tiredness makes everything seem so much worse.

All of the above means that some friends are noticing that I am not shrinking anymore, when clearly I have a lot further to go.

I do. I set a goal of 77kg to lose. I’ve got another 28kg to knock off.

Sometimes I feel as though I am disappointing them. So many of my friends have found inspiration from me, just like I found inspiration from those who came before me and now – even though I know they’re not – I feel as if they’re looking at me and quietly asking “What’s happened?”

I’m trying to figure out that bit myself.

Just as an aside, upon reading the above post (originally published today on my WW blog), one of my readers left this message for me:

Perspective, hey?

That there is the reason I started doing this, it’s the reason why I still cling to the hope that I can see it through to the end and lead a long, happy life unhindered by excess weight and the pain and illness that is caused by it.

Turning 50. Again.

Back in August last year, at one of the last meetings I attended, I announced to my WW leader that I had lost 50kg.

“Fifteen kilos? Oh, Ren! That’s great!”

“Err… No.  Fifty. Five-Oh.”

“… Fifty?!”

“Yuh huh.”  You couldn’t have pulled the pleased smirkyface I was doing off for love nor money. I was so chuffed to finally get that goal.

Renlish.com - Weight Watchers Graph

It’s been a battle of ups and downs. The 99.5kg is just the goal to break the 100kg mark at the moment and is the 5% goal of my rejoining weight. The actual end weight goal is somewhere in the mid-70s.

About a month later, my leader handed me an official certificate congratulating me for my efforts.  It now resides with my 10% keyring … in a drawer with my weigh-in books.

And pretty much from the day of getting that certificate it’s been a slow, upwards climb in the numbers on the scale.  Suddenly I was back at -49, then -47.5… then, a particularly low point, -43.  That week it was mostly due to emotional feasting on cheese and bread which now hates my guts. Literally. Can’t eat bread anymore.

The point is I wasn’t the coveted -50 anymore and it sucked.

Sucked big, chocolate salty balls – and I hate salted chocolate.

Salted caramels? Lovely. Salted chocolate? WHUT?

I digress.

Every time I looked at that certificate I felt like a fraud. Every time I logged into WW and saw that little star with the 50 in it, I felt ashamed of myself and my lack of self control and persistence.

For the past couple weeks I’ve been back, I’ve taken the bull by the horns – or the fat girl by the love-handles, as it were – and made a concentrated, determined effort to eat well, eat healthy and move my arse.

It’s worked.  Things seem to be moving again.  It makes me happy to think that maybe by Christmas I’ll be lighter than when I was in middle high school and fitter than I’ve ever been.

My goal at the moment – my only goal – is just to lose something every week. Doesn’t matter what, just something.  I am not setting any big numbers anymore.  I refuse to set myself up for a fall.

My goals have now shift from a number on the scale to doing something I would have been horrified at the thought of a few years ago but now, in some freakishly twisted way, look forward to…

Tough Mudder.

Yep.

THAT is my end goal. Fit enough to do 20km worth of killer obstacle courses.

Fucking. INSANE.

Goal Settin’…

(NB: Posted originally on my weightloss blog a few days ago.)

Last night I set one.

See, I had a major case of the munchies and I belatedly realised that the munchies occur more often due to excess sugar I’ve consumed. And then I’m not just craving sugar  -  I am craving ANYTHING.

I ate a whole packet of cheese at midnight last night.

Gouda.

It was goodah.

Sorry, bad pun.

Fortunately it was just ten pre-sliced sandwich slices.

Anyway… I’m eating this cheese and I am actually mentally asking myself, “Ok, you’re eating cheese at midnight and your stomach is going to feel like lead and you’re not going to be able to sleep for another couple of hours… why did you want this cheese?”

And myself, still eating the cheese, says “I thought I was hungry. I knew as soon as I opened the fridge that I wasn’t really hungry. I just remembered what cheese tasted like and I wanted to taste it again…”

This is starting to sound like a dirty novel.

50 Shades of Cheese.

Actually… the real books could have been called that…

I digress.

So me asks myself, “So… you needed TEN slices of cheese to remember?”

And myself hangs her head in shame.

So me nods and says “You’re only eating because of the sugar thing and how it’s put you back in the habit of just constantly wanting something in your mouth”.

Ooooheerrr, back to the cheesy novel…

But you get the picture. I realised that I have let myself slide back into old habits. Emotional eating only achieves one thing – adding weight.  It does not make you feel better. It feels nice, sure, but so does a good orgasm – and neither of them last forever.

The really funny thing is that nothing I eat actually tastes all that freakin’ wonderful. I’m just… eating. (And eating and eating…)

So I made the conscious decision that today I was going to eat clean for one day. Or at least my version of clean which is only slightly less dirty.

The goal was to do JUST ONE DAY.

I did it.

My food consisted of a really yummy high fibre cereal (GoldenVale “Fruit & Fibre” from ALDI, it’s actually really yummy), a caesar wrap and a cup of tea from Muffin Break and dinner was a huge serve of pumpkin and broccoli, my two favourite veggies, ever.  I also had a couple pieces of fruit and some dried dates throughout the day but that’s natural sugar, not cakes and lollies.

I am WAY under my Weight Watchers points but I don’t care because right now, as I am typing this, I am full to bursting.

I was surprised that my cereal kept me really full for much of the morning, and it may have also been the distraction of being dragged along to the shops with my family but I wasn’t feeling actual hunger until about 12.30pm.  And once I’d had my wrap and tea, I was alright again.

And then I got hungry at 5.30pm for dinner and decided to cook at about 6pm.  To be honest, I was going to make my pumpkin frittata thing but the eggs were old and I got a case of the CBFs, so I steamed my pumpkin and broccoli. It was yum.

As a reward, tomorrow I am going to try to make oven-baked sweet potato chips and have them with some salsa for lunch.

Because tomorrow I am planning on a repeat of today.

Second goal – do it again and get a minimum of 5AP (Activity Points) for the day.

These are the most infantile of baby steps but I think it’s what I need.  At the moment it’s hard for me to see past the next hour, let alone the next day or week, given everything that’s been going on.

Anyway, that’s it.

Cheesits!

Ah hah!

Ah hah!

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

Last night I had the opportunity to do something that I LOVE to do.

The Nut Bush.

“Let me ‘splain… No, there is too much. Let me sum up…”

In losing a shitload of weight, I’ve suddenly found the confidence to run onto a dance floor – by myself – and dance with a bunch of people that I don’t know from soap.

Really, that’s all you need to know.

The slightly longer version involves a $35 blow-wave that was spoiled three hours later as it was an outdoor wedding and it was raining and there ain’t no anti-humidity hair spray in the world that can take care of that shit, yo. It also involved a change of outfits and two changes of boots because I realised my perfectly planned ensemble was not going to work out at all.

So, one minor melt-down later, we were at Werribee Park Hotel & Spa and heading off to the wedding venue.

Where it proceeded to rain.

Rain?

Fuck that. This wasn’t just rain. It was a biblical fucking downpour.

Last weekend I was praying for an end to the heatwave Melbourne had been stuck in for over a week. But then I remembered, hey, we’re in Melbourne and when the weather shifts in Melbourne, it does so with spectacular force.

Needless to say, we got wet. Most folks were glad when the wedding was over to be able to get back to reliable to shelter and some warming …err… beers.

I had tea.

And spent pretty much the whole night freezing because I was wet from the rain and had the misfortune of being seated near doors and windows with draughts.

Ugh.

Once the reception was finally underway (delayed by the rain), it was great fun. Lots of people, lots of conversation and a couple of very cute babies and an infant sitting right behind me – one of whom I instantly fell in love with and who fell in love with me.

Seriously, I felt sorry for mum – her husband was the Best Man so she had the job of looking after all three kidletts on her own. Not easy with seriously young children. It looked like she had all three in quick succession, with the oldest being no more than about three at most and the youngest being maybe a couple months old. So I helped her pick up the mess when the mess got huge and occasionally pulled faces at and played tickles with the eldest when he started to get a bit bored. On the whole, considering they’d been confined to prams and chairs for the better part of seven hours, they were doing spectacularly well not to have any sort of melt-down.

Actually, they loved the rain. FUCKING LOVED IT. It was the best trick ever that there was WATER – WATER FALLING FROM THE SKY! And it was WET! And their pants were getting wet and OMGTHATSSOCOOL! DOITAGAIN! DOITAGAIN! I swear, their giggles and squeals were making the ovaries of every female of child-birthing age within a 50 metre radius go off like popcorn in a microwave.

Anyway… back to the reception…

The DJ was rather good. A local lad and friend of the couple, he knew his audience. No crappy stuff for us! No! ACDC and Cold Chisel all the way! All the great pub sing-a-longs for the boys and all the dancey tunes for the girls.

Including the Macarena for which I was torn between loving the DJ and wanting to throttle him.

But then the Nut Bush came on.

I was up on that floor like… something that wanted to dance very much.

It was fun. And it certainly wasn’t something I’d ever have considered doing when I was at my full-sized best. I would have sat there in my little corner just wishing to go dance. I lost count of how many times I’d been invited out onto a dancefloor by friends just to sink further into my seat and say no.

Not anymore.

I find myself able to do a whole bunch of things I never thought I’d do these days.

Renlish.com - Ren and Manbeast

A very beastly-looking manbeast and I.
My dimple is doing its thing.
Again.

Including dragging manbeast into the photobooth.

Maybe I can get it tailored?

Flashback to September 2008.

A girl stands in the back room of a dress shop, watching in horror as the dress-maker pulls and tugs at the sides of a dress that simply will not come together. The dress-maker laces the corset up, giving up at trying to push and prod rolls of fat into the dress.

The dress itself is beautiful. A medieval inspired creation of lace over gold satin and layers and layers of creamy white skirt in silk.

The girl sighs unhappily. She’s gained all the weight she lost at the beginning of the year and more. The dress-maker had foolishly made the corset smaller after the first fitting when it was discovered to be slightly too large for the bride-to-be. Those inches of fabric are now sorely missed.

Flashback to November 29, 2008.

It’s The Day.

After fighting an epic battle of Diet Shake vs Binge Eating for two months, she’s managed to lose enough weight to get into the dress and do the corset laces up – mostly. But it’s going to be an uncomfortable day. Not even the beauty of the dress or the fun of the occasion can distract her for very long.

The day is fun, but she’s still fat and uncomfortable. Everything’s tight. The corset feels like it’s just getting tighter. The girl starts to feel ill towards the end of the reception and loses over half an hour of what should be a festive occasion in the bathroom being quite sick.

Yes. That's me. In a lake.

Yes. That’s me. I’m in a lake. A very, very cold lake.

My wedding day was so hard for me.

Even after indulging in a “Trash the Dress” photoshoot the following March – which admittedly went a long way to helping with self-esteem issues – it still didn’t detract from the fact that I was still fnarkling huge.

It shocks me today that I gained another 25kg after that point.

So a couple weeks ago I had the urge to see what my wedding dress looks like now.

Slightly shamefaced, I pulled it out of the cloth bag and cringed a little as some twigs and branches fell on the floor. Nope, it hasn’t been cleaned since it was dragged around various muddy forest paths and dunked in large bodies of water.

I laced the corset up completely and then stepped into the neckline, wondering how far I could get it up my legs before I needed to undo the laces.

Over my calves, knees, up my thighs… wait? What? Over the hips… ok, this is interesting… alright, suck the belly in a bit to get it up further (not much effort there) and then… oh my god. It was on. Not only were the laces completely tied as tight as the corset would allow, but I had inches of space inside the corset.

Obscenely huge.  The dress, that is. Not me.

Obscenely huge. The dress, that is. Not me.

I didn’t know whether to feel happy or sad about that. I loved my dress. I hated me in it but I adored the dress. I still love it, but I don’t ever want to pass on something this big to my kids (if they ever happen). I don’t want anyone to feel the way I did on what was supposed to be such an awesome day.

And it’s stuff like this that make me remember why it is that I am going to this effort to lose the weight, particularly when I’m having such a rough time of it as I have for the past six months.

I want to look good, I want to be healthy. I never want to feel that sort of humiliation again.

The Naked Truth

One of my Weight Watcher girlpals recently posted up a link to Mamamia and in particular an article about photographer, Julia Kozerski who, over the past 12 months has lost over 70kg and has documented the changes in her body and lifestyle via her photography.

She’s created a record of her fantastic weight loss but also has a series of photographs showing the brutal truth of what losing half of yourself actually means on a physical level. It brought tears to my eyes but they were not tears of pride in the successes of my now healthy sister in arms. It was tears of shame and realisation that I will forever be living with a body that is essentially damaged goods.

The real toll of having been an obese person is painfully obvious and it’s a reality that I now face every day when I look in the mirror and I happen to be naked. A belly apron that hangs low, with skin so stretched that it’s not even bothering to dimple back up anymore. Ribs (or the vicinity of the ribs) that are marred with scars and lines of stretched out skin that, when relaxed, is a crumpled mess. Wrinkles on my face that weren’t there until I lost 30kg and become more apparent with every kilo that I’ve lost since.

People say not to think of stretch marks as a negative thing but rather, take them as a mark of how far you’ve come… a “tiger that’s earned her stripes” as it were.

No.

Renlish.com - body mess

The mess that is the skin over my ribs.

I will never look at my stomach or breasts and think of those marks as anything but a sign of my weakness, my laziness and the emotional turmoil of my life and how I couldn’t deal with it any other way than by eating. And no one gets to as large as I was without having to deal with collateral damage. As fit as I have become, as better as I feel physically, the mental toll of seeing what is left after I’ve lost the weight is not empowering.

So while you see a shapely, curvy girl strutting down the street in heels, what you’re really seeing sometimes is a woman who is afraid to walk out of the bathroom naked in front of her husband, who often shies away from physical touch beyond a hug, who knows beneath the smarter, smaller-sized clothes, lays a wreck.

Clothes can hide a multitude of sins and create brand new lies in and of themselves through pure false advertising. I can wear girdles and tummy tuckers and thigh smoothers. I can wear bras that are beautifully shaped and deeply padded. I can wear jeans with built-in hidden mesh panels that flatten and lift and hug. All of it serves as a tight, uncomfortable reminder of the shape that I can create an illusion of but will ultimately have to make some surgeon very rich to actually get.

And it sucks.

Losing weight is wonderful. Don’t get me wrong, as much as I am hating the left-overs of my previous life, I LOVE where it’s taking me now. I am rediscovering that my body is capable of far more than I give it credit for, even with my bad hips and back and everything else. Just don’t look to closely.

I just wanted to tell the truth – the naked truth, as it were – about the realities of being obese. It doesn’t ever end. Not even when you lose the weight. It just becomes more a more private issue when you present a facade that’s in line with social acceptability.

Cher: … she’s a full-on Monet.
Tai: What’s a Monet?
Cher: It’s like a painting, see? From far away, it’s okay, but up close it’s a big old mess.
– Clueless, 1995

Ren’s Rules for Losing Weight (Part 3 – The Advice Bit)

Ok, this is the last installment. If you want to read the other rants on this topic…

Part 1 – The Food Bit

Part 2 – The Exercise Bit

So now onto part three and the whole reason I decided to write this little rant-series.

When people ask for advice these days, I sort of cringe because I know more often than not I am not going to give them the answer that they want to hear in order to help. I would happily discuss Weight Watchers and weight loss all day if you want me too, just not in the realms of providing advice – unless it’s someone that’s already committed to their journey and then I try to be EVERYTHING helpful.

So here’s my advice for people seeking weight loss advice…

Listen to what’s being said. Take it on board. Whether you agree with it or not is beside the point. What you are being told is what you have asked for. It’s advice from a person who’s methods have worked for THEM.

The worst part of this is that I have given advice to someone who has then proceeded to argue with me.

Um… ok. Which one of us has lost 50kg and which one of us… hasn’t?

But anyway, if that person’s methods ring bells with you, great! If they don’t, thank your friend for their wisdom and move onto more fun topics of conversation.

There are folks who will tell you that eating a small meal eight times a day will help you lose weight.

There are folks who will tell you that regular fasting and detox is great for you.

There are folks who will swear black and blue that the “energy out/energy in” equation does not exist and the key to weight loss is all in our genetic makeup or our environment.

There are some who will swear by drinking odd vegetable juice mixes for 60 days and others who will believe that having bacon at every meal is the answer to your weight loss prayers.

Fact is, all these things work – but they work on an individual level. You need to find what works for you.

The worst thing you can do is ask for advice and then merrily proceed to pick apart that advice, particularly in the presence of the person you’ve asked for help.

Be respectful. Someone’s just opened up and shared part of themselves with you in order to help you out.

As uncomfortable as it makes me I will still tell anyone who asks what has worked for me because I may just be the one who helps that elusive “light bulb” moment happen for someone else in the same way it happened for me.

Ren’s Rules for Losing Weight (Part 2 – The Exercise Bit)

Exercise used to be a dirty, dirty word in my house.

To some extent it still is.

I dislike the actual doing of exercise but it’s something that must be done.

It’s a necessity. I am sorry to admit it but it’s one of those things that you need, not only to keep your bits working like they should but it’s actually great for brain health as well.  I can’t believe I am saying this, but as someone who is depressed a lot of the time, exercise floats my boat almost as well as a good session between the sheets – y’know what I’m sayin’?  Good hormones are released when you exercise and all your bits feel better for being used… I feel spasmodically awesome when I leave the gym all sweaty and doing an impression of a tomato in ill-fitting workout gear.

In other words, you need it.

Don’t make excuses to avoid it.

“Oh, I’m too unfit/injured/unwell!”
No you’re not.  If you have legs that work, you can use them.  If you have arms that work, you can use those.  And even if they don’t work as well as they should, you can still use them a bit.

I know someone who has very bothersome knees and she’s managing to get around the block on a regular basis.  My friend Janet busted her ankle earlier this year and deals with daily pain and soreness and puts me well to shame with going to the gym every day bar Sundays …or… one day… I am sure she rests at least one day a week… Anyway, point is, you can do it.  I started off with chronic back problems and I still have very bad hip and lower back problems that I need to be very careful of but 50kg lighter makes doing exercise a hell of a lot easier.

The trick is to start with baby steps.  Throwing yourself into a gym routine can be overwhelming, particularly if you’re starting big, like I did.  I lost 20kg before I even thought about doing water aerobics or going to the gym. That was a long time.  I was seeing a personal trainer though – less daunting to face one fit person rather than a whole room of them.  I also hired a treadmill for a few months and then bought a $50 exercise bike off ebay.  I bought a freakin’ dog that needs walks almost every day!  These are the sorts of baby steps anyone could handle.

“I don’t have enough money to hire gym equipment/see a PT/go to gym.”
Oh yeah?  Rubbish.  Ok, maybe personal trainers are a bit of an expense, and hiring a treadmill can hit the back pocket rather hard, but there are alternatives to everything.

DVDs are a great way to work out in the privacy of your own home. Most of them are priced between $10-$50 depending on the theme of the program.  You can get everything from fun Zumba routines to step aerobics to complete body shreds.  Minimal outlay to maximum benefit.

No one says you have to leave your house and spend more money, either.  You can use kitchen chairs, benches or coffee tables to do squats, sit-ups, push-ups and more. Hell, I do stomach crunches laying on my bed! You can use soup cans, bottles of water, a couple of small cats or books as weights.

And you know… walking is free.  Find time. I used to go walking during my lunch breaks at work. I found a nice trail by the Yarra and I walked it. And I made it a game – there were other regular walkers too who I made the effort to beat to certain points along the way.  I’m sure some of them thought me quite insane and a bit stalkery…

And seriously… my gym costs me $11.50 a week.  I can go in there as much or as little as I like. It’s open 24/7.  It’s not THAT big an expense.  Look up Jetts or Snap Fitness.  An aerobics session costs me $10.50 for 45 mins.  A personal trainer costs me $35 for a 40 min session.  Weigh up what works for you… um, no pun intended.

“But everyone will be watching me and thinking bad things about me!”
Well, yeah, maybe.  There are shitheads and douchbags everywhere. But you’ll find that they are not the majority.  I can promise that most folks in the gym are too busy doing their workouts to care if a yet another fat sweaty person is on the treadmill beside them.  From personal experience most will probably approve of your presence, particularly if you become a regular. You might even make some new friends and inspire others.

“But I don’t want to!”
TOUGH TITTIES.

Do it.

My routine is generally a 30-40min run on the crosstrainer or an up-hill walk on the treadmill and then 10 mins on a rower, and then weights, weights and weights.

Cardio is great for heart health however in order to lose weight effectively you also need to build muscle mass – that involves muscle building and toning exercises.  If there is one piece of advice I would impart it would be to make sure you get the all clear from your doctor before starting any gym routine.  I would also invest in at least ONE session with a trainer so you can learn to use the equipment safely and get a basic routine set up.

 

Ren’s Rules for Losing Weight (Part 1 – The bit about Food)

Preamble:  When I first started writing this blog post, I had no idea how long I’d be writing for, so I am breaking it up into parts. Enjoy and take from it what you like.

I’ve been doing this weight loss thing for a while now.  Pretty much all my life if you wanted to count the number of times I’ve attempted and failed and from what age I started – which would be around 13, if I remember vaguely correctly – so 20 years worth of knowledge there.  I pretty much know what works and what doesn’t.

I am totally an expert at what doesn’t, as it happens.

Just so you know.

YEARS of study there too.

Because I’ve lost a fairly substantial amount of weight this time around, more and more people have been asking me what my secret/method/process/whatever is. It’s always so disheartening for me because I know what the reaction to what I have to say will be.

Oops. Unintentional rhyme.

Anyway, the reaction is always disbelief and disappointment or a telling silence.

I will be honest and say that it’s starting to get to the point where it’s making me angry.

I got an email from a friend of a friend who was very impressed with my weight loss and, I quote: “You’ve got to have some advice!”

I do. But I’ve come to the conclusion that most folks don’t want to acknowledge the cold, hard truth of the matter. It’s too simple and it’s too hard.

Source: atalante.co via Erin on Pinterest

 

Look, I am really, really sorry but THERE IS NO MAGIC CURE FOR FATNESS. There really isn’t.  I WISH there was.  I, of all people, know how hard it is to be huge and deal with the mental and physical ramifications of being morbidly obese, let alone deal with what society at large thinks of fat people and what it can do to relationships.

It hurts. A lot.  All of it fucking hurts.

But it’s fixable if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to do it.  I have friends who’ve proven that a little effort on your part reaps great rewards.

And that’s the key; EFFORT.  Not “will power”.  EFFORT.  Having “no will power” is just a quick way of saying “I am too lazy to put in the effort I know it will take to do this”.

Ok, so here I will break down what you need to do to be successful in getting fit and losing weight according to Ren.

Because it’s all about me, after all.

Disclaimer: I am speaking as a middle-class female in her mid-thirties who got up to 152kg at her heaviest but was still mostly healthy (heart, lungs, blood pressure, etc).  This works for me but it may not work the same for you. Consult a medical practitioner before you do any program that involves food and exercise to make sure there are no particular health concerns you need to be aware of.

Ok, food.  You need to eat.  Regardless of how big you are, you NEED to eat and you need to eat a good balance of food. That includes trans, unsaturated and saturated fats – yep, all are good for you in various ways as well as being bad for in vast quantities – vegetables, fruit, dairy, carbohydrate in all it’s forms and water.

If you’re an especially big person, you need a LOT of food.  When I first joined Weight Watchers, the number of daily ProPoints I got to play with was a whapping 51.  That’s a lot of food to play with.  To put in perspective for you, a 36pp day (which is what I am on now) is a three Weetbix and milk breakfast (7pp), a baguette with ham, cheese, egg, mustard, salad (12pp), a fruit & nut bar (7pp) and dinner, say a bowl of tuna casserole worth 10pp. Add to that your recommended serves of fruit and vegetables which are points free and you have a crapload of food.  Imagine 51pp. Fuck me laughing. I was lucky to get to the high 40s most days when I initially started.

 

Yep, I’m spruiking Weight Watchers and the points thing again. NO, I am not being paid to do that.  I have tried EVERY single diet out there from shakes to subscription-based meal delivery to silly TV fad diets. (Anyone remember Kick Start? The Water Diet? The Cabbage Soup Diet? The Fruit Juice Fast?). Nothing worked. Of course I would lose some weight but then I would get bored, or hungry, or just be jacked off with the low quality of the food (do NOT believe those Lite & Easy ads, folks) and I would end up having huge binge-outs and gaining even more weight than I’d lost.

For the record, I am totally against shakes. They’re not good for you. It’s not food, it’s just a chemical compound mixed with water and a little flavour.  You don’t need that shit in your body.  Plus you’re starving yourself and that’s just fucked up.  I did that and got sick and gained back everything that I’d lost and twice that.  DON’T DO IT.

Don’t do anything that starves your body or messes with it’s functions.  That includes diet pills too.

Anyway, I digress…

Contrary to popular belief, chocolate will not hurt a diet, even if you have a little piece every day.  The trick is not eating the whole block, ya know?

EVERYTHING in moderation.  That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned with Weight Watchers.  You don’t have to deny yourself anything, you just need to be smart about it.  Pre-plan for the possibilities of not-so-smart food choices; this I need to do pretty much on a daily basis.

 

The most common thread amongst dieters that I’ve found is the moment that they start thinking of dieting as a system of restriction and denial, they fight against it.  God knows I did. I wanted all the stuff that I thought I wasn’t “allowed” to have.  The more I thought of it as “not allowed” the more I craved – and then I caved and bought a trolley full of shit and ate it… and then felt pathetically ashamed of myself and guilty as hell.

If you look at diets as a restriction you will not enjoy the process of losing weight.

Look at a diet not as a diet but as a guide for both portion sizes and meal content. Nothing is set in stone.  Don’t think of food as what you “can” and “can’t” have because ultimately, our favourite things fall into the “can’t” category. And that sucks.

Source: pinterest.com via Jack on Pinterest

 

Think of alternative recipes or options for favourite meals. If you like chicken burgers from KFC, try a chicken wrap from Nandos.  If you like macaroni and cheese, try a pasta bake that includes vegetables and flourless cheese sauce.   If you love pizza, try throwing one together yourself on a bit of pita bread. If you like to munch something during a movie, go and buy a big bag of grapes and eat those – this is something I’ve just started doing in lieu of popcorn and lollies and ice cream and it’s great.

It will take some practice and time, both of which require a hell of a lot of patience, but you WILL learn what balance works best for you.

You just need to keep at it.

Capsicum Egg Rings

Please don’t think I am stealing anyone’s thunder – I’ve had these photos sitting on my computer for a few weeks now.

Ever since I saw this:

Image from EnjoyYourCooking.com

… I knew I had to try it.

Because I love fried eggs.

Hell, I love any eggs.

Eggs are ambrosia to me.

And this idea was too cute not to try out.

So…

I did this:

Eggs with Bell Pepper/Capsicum Onion Rings - Renlish.com

Then I did this:

Eggs with Bell Pepper/Capsicum Onion Rings - Renlish.com

And ended up with this!

Eggs with Bell Pepper/Capsicum Onion Rings - Renlish.com

Comments about my dirty stove top will be STUDIOUSLY IGNORED.

(And for the Weight Watchers – the ProPoints value of this is 7pp. 6 for the eggs and 1 for the salad dressing.)

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