Fake A Smile

I’ve had a bit of a week. I’ll put it down to the ‘let down’ you feel after planning a bit event, there’s a void after having so much to do to nothing, and daylight saving which always messes with me. Anyway I found this quote on Pinterest and thought it was apt. I just gotta take a deep breath, put my big girl panties on, and carry on. IMG_4015.JPG

Wednesday Weigh-In – 15/1/14

Happy with today’s weigh in. I’ve lost a kilo since the last weigh in and have reached the first of my weight loss goals, back to 30kgs lost.

A total of 3.5kgs for the month so far,that’s pretty damn good.

I have been thinking about exercise a bit lately too, I just feel like I need to get moving and I could take advantage of this fine weather. My only hesitation is potentially stalling the weight loss progress as happened last time. I really do want to get working on my arms if nothing else and I know this will be fine, I just need to get motivated to get out of bed a little earlier and do some push ups and planks.

Let’s see if that happens this week, after all it’s only a month until Fashions On The Field and I want to rock my outfit! [Which I don’t even have yet!].

If Jen Aniston can rock arms like this at 44, so can I!

Jennifer Aniston seen on the set of The Bounty in Queens

Goals, Resolutions, and other Good Stuff

It’s the brink of 2014 and, as I’ve done for many a year, I’m setting goals and making resolutions for the New Year. I know making resolutions for many is just lip service, but I like something to strive for. For me it’s a positive way to start the year. I forgive myself for the things I didn’t achieve and resolve to achieve new things.

I also have some rituals I like to do on New Year’s Eve to start the year the right way. This is why I don’t tend to go out on NYE. I like to be in my comfort zone, doing the things I want to, with the people I want to. This year it’s going to be at Cervidae Castle with Mr 8, and a bottle of Moet! A fabulous way to start the New Year I think!

For me, goals are those that I can achieve through hard work and determination, resolutions are those things I would really like to achieve but that may not be possible due to circumstances and events outside of your immediate control.

As I’ve also blogged I do intend to print out some of these goals and resolutions and have them posted around the house as a daily reminder. I know this really worked for my weight loss and I will start that reminder again too.

So enough of all that, let’s get into it!

Firstly, I still feel that weight loss is my main focus for 2014 in terms of personal goals.

Weight Loss Goal

Goal 1 – Get back to 30kgs lost – Achieved 15/1/14
Goal 2 – Reach my original GW
Goal 3 – 35kgs lost
Goal 4 – Reach UGW
Goal 5 – To fit into single digit size clothing (yes, that means size 8 or less) – Achieved 30/1/14 – wore a size 8 skirt to work today!

(I intend to notarise these as I achieve each goal).

I do think UGW will take the best part of the year but I’m in this for the long haul so I’m comfortable with that long range forecast.

Mini-Goal

From 1st January until 14th February I intend to be alcohol-free. I lost a tonne of weight this year whilst being alcohol free for 4 weeks, and as I have BIG goals to reach this year I want to kick it off with some really good losses.

Organised House

I did pretty good in 2013 and having to move twice did make me declutter quite a bit but I do still have a lot of things I don’t use often enough to really warrant keeping them. There are still a lot of things I can let go and as I keep unpacking I’ll also keep decluttering.

I’m also going to have a really organised house. As this house is so old there are many modern conveniences that I don’t have so being clean and tidy all the time will be important to keep the house in a ‘good place’.

Organised Work

After a year in this job, I’ve experienced all of our different race days, and now feel like I have some knowledge behind me in terms of how I can create an even better experience for our race day guests, our sponsors, and the public. 2014 will be the start of some new strategies and systems in order to maximise the experience of each guest on each race day.

2014 offers plenty of scope to develop existing race days and build on the new events from the past twelve months.

Bigger, better, and more beneficial is my aim for 2014.

Oh, and of course there is also that secret project!! < Yes it’s a two exclamation project 😉

Handmade Christmas

Christmas was little underdone this (despite having 5 trees) as I felt like I didn’t get the benefit of the whole experience a) because we moved house so late, b) the trees didn’t go up until December!, and c) I worked so much! So Christmas 2014 starts in January with the handmade Christmas project. Look out for blogs about fabulous handmade items (and no doubt terrible disasters too!).

First on the agenda is knitted bunting (if I can remember how to cast on lol).

Bucket List / Things I Want To Do

2014 will be time to tick some of these off, and I will create a separate blog listing them and write separately as I tick them off, but here are just a few:

– Photography course
– Buy a Grabone ticket to a destination I’ve never been to before
– Blog, blog, and more blogging

DFTBA I

Spring Update

We are incredibly a quarter of the way through November, the last month of Spring and so much has been happening I thought I should write a bit of a catch up blog!

Firstly, I was given notice to move out of Camelot, and that put me into a bit of a spin, I didn’t find a new home in time so I’m staying with a friend but will be moving into my new place at the end of the month. Timing was so bad, I had two major events at work and no enough time to look and although we’re now running into the Summer Carnival season at work I’m feeling relaxed about the move because I have plenty of time to get set up. My new home is very close to work, the park, a playground, and ‘town’. Can’t wait to be back in such a central location. Will have to think of a new name for my Foursquare check-ins lol.

Work has been good, Ladies Day was a huge success and I am so happy. It was a real test for me personally and I guess in some way professionally too. I definitely feel more confident about the events I have planned for the Summer Carnival and although there is literally too much work to fit into a day I love it so much it doesn’t matter. My Sunday is going to be spent putting together  sponsorship packages for our next Ladies events in February, but before then it’s the launch of the Summer Carnival, two Christmas At The Races, Family Fun Day with a new format and a junior Fashions On The Field, a charity race day, and another twilight race day! Oh yeah it’s full on, but I love it!

Personally I’ve been in flux, very unsettled, especially moving house, and it’s been reflected in my weight. Although I’ve tried to stay true to clean, the old ‘comfort’ habits come back when I’m stressed like this. Cannot wait to get into my new place and get back into my routine. In the meantime I just have to manage as best I can and try and try to keep control without slipping too far back into the old ways. I did go to see Jason Shon Bennett and have done a little bit of fasting which I hope to really explore and develop during the Summer and into the New Year.

Christmas will be celebrated in our new home, and I am very happy about that, as there was the possibility that we wouldn’t be in until the end of January and I think that would have been a really bad start to the year for me. The new house is big so allthree trees will be put up, but no new theme this year, well…. maybe a few new decorations! (Can’t help myself!).

Looking towards the New Year I haven’t thought too much about resolutions yet although I want to do some personal development courses both personally and professionally. I think it’s important to keep being educated and I always come away from courses like that with a whole new enthusiasm. As for the rest of them I need to moved in and settled before I can make any other firm decisions.

In the short term I’m looking forward to another fabulous Summer filled with all the things I love – friends, family, beach, and beer (lol), long term I’m excited that Hartleigh can walk home from school, he’ll have plenty of space to play and is close to lots of his buddies, that we’ll be settled into a house that we know we won’t have to move from for a long long time.

elephant harts

Can we stop using the phrase ‘cheat meal’?

Cheat Meal

I know this phrase has been used for a long time, years in some cases, however as I believe words have a powerful impact on our psyche and that using it in relation to diet/lifestyle when many us currently have, or have had, an unhealthy relationship with food is detrimental to the process of developing a long-term, healthy association with what we eat.

The connotation is that choosing to eat something that is outside your day-to-day diet (and by diet I mean the food you eat, not a fad) you are doing something ‘bad’ which, no matter how much of a conscious decision you think you made to eat that food, by linking cheat to it will inevitably cause guilt, whether consciously or sub-consciously and that does not create a positive experience or association.

Many struggling with eating disorders, whether mild or extreme, whether over-eating or under-eating suffer from a negative association with food, and whilst the use of the phrase ‘cheat meal’ is done with innocent intent, it does create a connection within our brain that is not positive and therefore continues that negative association with food.

Should we use words like treat, indulge, reward instead? Definitely not. These are just as damaging. The saying ‘Don’t reward yourself with food, you’re not a dog’ comes to mind. Many of us were brought up with the use of food as a reward – eat your dinner and you can have dessert, sit up straight for the hairdresser and get a lollipop, be good when visiting and you can have can have an ice cream on the way home – all of these things create a negative association with food, despite the intention to associate it with positive actions. Rewards, for children especially, should not be associated with food.

So if we shouldn’t use a negative word or a positive word what should we use? I guess it really depends on your definition of what a so-called ‘cheat meal’ is. For a clean eater it might be having a meal that has processed food in it, for calorie counters it might be eating above your recommended daily calorie intake level, for IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) eaters it might be blowing one of the macros – which if one group looked at the other they may not even consider that a ‘cheat’. As a clean eater, if I chose to eat a cupcake, a IIFYM eater wouldn’t consider that a cheat if I was in my daily allowance, if a calorie counter chose to eat all their calories in chocolate they wouldn’t consider that ‘cheating’ but both the clean and IIFYM eaters would.

I had thought Outside Normal Lifestyle (ONL), but then the use of the word normal does have connotations of this meal being abnormal, a negative association. Perhaps Outside Lifestyle (OL) is as close as we should get to naming it. If you are truly living this lifestyle, these OL occasions will be very rare indeed and therefore I understand the need to acknowledge them in some form.

How Often?

In terms of lifestyle this meal is often associated with calorie counters, and is usually eating a meal that is way higher in calories than their daily limit. I have a real problem with this when that ‘cheat meal’ is on a weekly basis. For a start I don’t think it allows your body enough time to get used to a new lifestyle, particularly if you are new to the change to the way you relate to food – let’s face it, most people have spent years eating unhealthy food which our bodies can easily become addicted to, so why would you keep reminding it of what, in order to live a healthier life, you have chosen not to eat? How can you make a clean start if you keep going back to bad habits? Additionally, you are mentally setting yourself up to fail because you then see the ‘lifestyle’ as the bad guy, and the cheat meal as your reward for persevering through the week, especially as most people do choose to ‘cheat’ on the weekend – which is actually the worst time to do it, and when all the work you have put in during the week to adjust to your new lifestyle is undone. This isn’t at all healthy mentally or physically.

If this is a real change to your relationship with food, to the way you eat, and kinds of foods you consume, if it really is your lifestyle, then these meals shouldn’t even be ‘planned’ until you are fully in control of the new lifestyle, and I would recommend not even thinking about have an Outside Lifestyle meal until at least three months into the process. Give your body plenty of time to adjust to your new healthy relationship with food, to detox from potentially toxic foods such as sugar, (if that’s part of your new lifestyle), give your taste buds time to adjust. Then, if you feel you must, choose one food, not a whole meal, and eat it. Making sure you are giving your body a decent chance to give you feedback too – don’t do it when you have starving, or when you are rushed. Go into the situation with a satisfied stomach and plenty of time. Really taste the food, savour each mouthful, and make a mental note of how you feel. Also make a mental note of how you feel afterwards. For me, my first foray back into my old lifestyle was a packet of potato chips which I couldn’t even finish because they were so salty, and left me with a oily film in my mouth. Gross! I can’t say I’m completely free of my love of potato chips but I am certainly not rushing out to buy another packet!

I also think if you ‘plan’ these occasions in terms of choosing to eat OL because of your own actions, they don’t give you any wriggle room for situations where you feel you simply don’t have a choice but to eat. In saying that, we ‘always’ have a choice! Sometimes it’s just harder to exercise that choice than other times, and I understand that. However, if you feel you can stay within your lifestyle regardless of the situation you are in, then by all means plan them, but I would highly recommend you try and do this when you absolutely ‘need’ to rather than when you want to. For example, if you are going out for an anniversary dinner, you don’t ‘need’ to eat OL, however if you have a sick child who has been hospitalised and your only option is the hospital cafeteria then that is a ‘need’, in my opinion.

How often can you eat outside your lifestyle choice and still be ‘living that lifestyle’? I guess it depends on the lifestyle/diet of the person, what it is they are choosing to eat outside that lifestyle and whether it has a fundamental impact of the core theory of the lifestyle. A ‘vegetarian’ who has a roast meat dinner once a month is not a ‘vegetarian’ – vegetarian’s do not eat meat, ever. However, a clean eater who may have a cupcake once a month, is still a clean eater, but a clean eater who has processed food on a daily basis is not a clean eater. If you truly feel you can control your lifestyle choice in all situations and would like to plan an outside lifestyle meal, once a month should be the maximum. give your body plenty of time to accommodate the meal, balance back out your macros, calories, etc. and this frequency shouldn’t impact negatively on your overall health, well being, and weight. That being said, we are talking about a meal, not a ‘day’ or a ‘weekend’. You will still need to maintain some level of control. It’s not permission for a complete free-for-all. Your body still has to process, the calories do still count, and you may well find if you completely over-indulge that your body will really react negatively to the situation causing you some discomfort.

Summary

Let’s stop the association with this meal being either positive or negative and accept that some times you will eat outside your lifestyle choice, and it shouldn’t even register on your good/bad, negative/positive, guilt radar. Let ‘outside lifestyle’ merely indicate that the meal included food that is not part of your usual lifestyle choice as a mere acknowledgement and nothing more.

H option 1

Motivation Monday – What Works For Me

I haven’t done a Motivation Monday post for a while so I thought I would do one about my motivations. I’ve posted these in MLFC a few times but thought it time to actually write a formal blog about them.

When I first started this WLJ most of my motivation came from the hurt I felt at the party I went to as documents in this blog. and that motivation lasted quite a long time, I also put a picture of one of my girl crushes, Ms Jennifer Love Hewitt, onto my fridge. After a while the hurt wore off as I started to see results, and having the same pic on my fridge soon also stopped having an impact, so I needed something else.

In came in the Vision Board, something I do every at the beginning of every year, but these ones were specific to my weight loss. I set the images as the screen savers and backgrounds on my computers and iPhone. I still have these now, although I haven’t created a new one for a few months. Perhaps I should do one for this last push to goal.

Again, after a while these have less impact than when they are first created so I decided to get into the numbers. I added a whole lot of calculations to the spreadsheet that I record my weight in each day. Basic calculations like; how much I have lost so far, the percentage of my original weight that loss represents, and the percentage I am to my goal weight. It also shows my weight in pounds, and pounds lost. It also calculates my BMI. Each day I put my weight in and all the calculations change to reflect the new weight. Having all of those totals means that I reach mini-milestones along the way and that really helps to keep me going.

I also love visual reminders (hence the vision boards), so I also started using window chalk to write how far to goal I am on my kitchen window, and often something motivational. On the mirror in my bedroom I also have my goal weight, to help my mind accept that that is my weight. I’ve previously written about the episode of The Biggest Loser where they talk about you being at your goal weight and that your body just needs to catch up. This had a real impact on me and I think that was another turning point for me.

This motivator I haven’t done yet, but I did post about it in MLFC last week as I thought it was a great idea. I think I might do it when I get to goal. The idea is based on a similar event during The Biggest Loser but in my version you go to your kitchen, load up your benches with enough food to match how much you’ve lost. take a photo of it, then load it all into grocery bags and carry those bags around your house for ten minutes. My son weighs around 25kgs and I can tell you right now, there’s no way I would want to carry him around for ten minutes, and that’s less than I have lost! Put copies of the pic where you can see them, on the fridge, cupboards, where ever you might be tempted. It’ll serve as a reminder of all the hard work you have already done!

The last thing I recommend is a cheer team. As those from the MLFC group will attest to, that group offers so much love and support, no matter where you are in your journey there’s someone there to offer advice, a shoulder to cry on (albeit virtually), and to acknowledge all your hard work. Those ‘likes’ and comments are recognition that you aren’t doing this alone, having positive supportive people along the way is instrumental in success..

Now, don’t get me wrong, I lose motivation, I make bad food choices, and I want to give up, but at the end of the day I am making progress – it stops and starts, some weeks I feel like it’s completely uphill and I’m never going to get there, and other weeks (like last week) I just feel like I have this nailed, of course I don’t, but each backward step is a lesson, and taking those lessons and applying them going forward makes everything a little bit easier. Having those small motivational triggers helps me to get back into it. So, there you go, if you have been struggling, mix up your motivation, find something different to give you a little push in the right direction.

Keep Going

Weigh-in Wednesday – Bob Harper

The Huff Post printed this article from Bob Harper, of Biggest Loser fame, this week and I just love how it ties in with our philosophy about weight loss and the in terms of the use of the word ‘skinny’.

I know many people aren’t going to like the use of that word, but it has resonance with me and I hope as you read my blogs and understand where I am coming from you will learn to understand why I use #skinnylove as my tag.

So, in case you don’t follow me on Twitter, haven’t seen this posted in MLFC, or didn’t read it directly from the source, here ‘s Bob Harper’s view on Diet versus Exercise.

My favourite quotes are

Diet trumps exercise every time.

It is all about your diet,

When you find your passion, it makes for a good life.

Bob Harper

And from Dr Mark Kelly who also contributes to the article

Kelly agrees that diet is the main factor that can lower weight, but it’s exercise, he adds, that allows that lower weight to stick.

biggest-loser-logo

Motivation Monday | The Rose

Saturday night I went out for a few drinks and ate waaaay too much food. I had driven into town and left my car there so I would have to walk in to get it on Sunday. Sunday was a beautiful day and I set off at about 7.45am and was even able to break into a jog for some of the route. Felt really good as I haven’t run in a long while, will wait to see if my foot shows any adverse effects. On my way home in the car the Bette Midler song ‘The Rose’ came onto the radio. It’s such an uplifting song I immediately decided to use the some of lyrics for today’s Motivation Monday post.

For those of use who are on a weigh loss journey, transition from unhealthy to healthy, lifestyle change, call it what you will, at times it gets tough, really tough. I struggled mentally yesterday with allowing myself to eat so much on Saturday night and spending money on booze! I woke up and was mentally berating myself about it. I’ve worked too hard to do dumb shit like that but I had to let it go and the run did help with that. Time like that it feels like the winter part of my journey, it’s a bit dark, it’s a bit cold, and you feel a bit low. But no matter how cold, dark, wet, and miserable your ‘winter’ might be no matter what spring is always going to come. Sometimes you don’t even notice it and then all of a sudden the scale shows a loss, your clothes feel looser, you run a bit further, you workout for longer, lift heavier, what ever it might be and this is the spring of your journey. For us in New Zealand spring is less than two weeks away and I know I have worked hard over the winter, OK not my ‘absolute’ hardest but I’ve made progress, I’ve improved my diet, my fitness, my self esteem, and my lifestyle. Just like the season I am in my spring and am absolutely looking forward to my summer!

So if you are feeling a bit wintery, hang in there, spring is on it’s way!

Motivation Monday The Rose

What is skinny love anyway??

This question was posted on Twitter earlier today when I stated that I have created a Twitter account (@skinnyloveNZ) for this blog.

So from this question

to this answer

to this response

This, is #skinnylove

I guess the idea started somewhat from Gala Darling and her Radical Self Love blogs, and then I fell in love, not only with another person, but also myself.

Skinny Love is not about loving being skinny, despite what the name might suggest! It’s far bigger than that. It’s about accepting that even the thinnest amount of love for yourself should be embraced. It’s about believing that that ‘thin end of the wedge’ actually leads to a much bigger wedge, and so it’s worth the effort to hang in there through the ‘thin’ because the ‘thick’ is coming. Now this thick is different for every person. It might be getting through a health scare, it might be paying off one more debt, it might be achieving a life goal, it might be having control of a section of your life that in the past you’ve felt was wildly out of control. It might even be accepting the fact that you have no control of things and that is actually OK.

The first line of the song goes

Come on skinny love just last the year

I think this line means the most to be because I feel like if I can hold this love for a year, I can hold it forever.

To me #skinnylove means controlling the things I can, and not stressing about the things I can’t (sounds like that AA thing but it’s a good philosophy).

Skinny Love is about believing that things will always get better, even if some times they have to get worse first.

Skinny love is about understanding that sometime shit ain’t gonna go your way – in fact it’s not going to go your way in the worst way possible! Someone I went to school with is about to lose her battle with breast cancer, yesterday a promising young man from a well respected family in our community lost his life, and there is a little girl in Starship Hospital who isn’t going to have Christmas this year.

This shit is real, this shit makes you hug your children, this shit makes you care less about bills, this shit makes you focus on what is important to YOU! These priorities are not going to be priorities of those around you and that’s ok. Don’t judge your priorities by others, their shit is different to yours!

So NO #skinnylove is not about loving being skinny. it’s about being positive. For me right now – losing weight is my #skinnylove BUT by Summer my #skinnylove is going to be about making a stronger body that will maintain it’s health. #skinnylove is about being here for my son, it’s about being fit and healthy, living a great lifestyle that I can pass  on to him. I want to be here for his important days, as well as his mediocre. When you have a child at 35, as I did, you are on the back foot when it comes to time, health, and experiences. It’s my parental obligation to be here as long as I can for him. He’s in the skinny of his life, and I want to be here for the thick!

Yes, my tweets and blogs about #skinnylove are about diet, clean eating, lifestyle changes, and eating healthily, but that’s because to me, those things are vital to ensuring our longevity. With 1 in 4 New Zealanders ‘obese’ we have a major problem in this country, so if I can help one person to choose a healthier lifestyle then that’s such a great thing. Yes, most of the #skinnylove posts are about weight loss, diet, fitness, clean eating, healthy living, etc but there’s nothing wrong with that. I know from experience that being overweight is not a happy place to be. Yes, excess weight can be a manifestation of deeper issues, but sometimes the release of some weight can make you feel good enough to seek treatment, to delve into why the weight is there in the first place, and it can empower you to keep losing, keeping finding something about yourself to love, and to keep yourself healthy.

So, wow, that is Skinny Love! I hope you understand now that’s it’s not about loving being skinny, it’s about loving the skinny because when you love in the thing, you are rewarded in the thick!