Wednesday, 5 August 2015

05.08.15: Day 20: Part 3 - The Results

Well something I have been doing the passed week has been working because today's weigh in was...

*more dramatic music*

11 stone 2.75 lbs

That's a pound and three quarters from my last weigh in on the 30/07. And that is despite this being on my heavy week. Am very pleased with this, just hope I can keep it up! Or rather down.

My goal is to be under 11 stone by next week's weigh in!

My previous goal posts have shifted btw. At the start, I said I wanted to be down to size 10 by my holiday on the 15th of August, but we have had to cancel this holiday and rearrange for October due to my partner's work commitments. This works out great for me considering how badly I have been doing, but am still aiming for around 2lbs off per week. 

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

05.08.15 - Day 20 part 2

05.08.15 - Day 20

Just a wee add on to my earlier post. I thought I would outline some of the changes I have made since my bad patch the other week.

  • Breakfast biscuits: I love breakfast biscuits and cereal bars as they are so handy and yummy. However, the idea that they fill you up for a long time to keep you going just doesn't seem to work for me, probably because I am a greedy git! So for work days, I have resorted to bringing a pack of breakfast biscuits with me and as there are four in a pack, I spread them throughout the morning. sometime between 5:30 - 6am I have a cuppa in my wee quiet spell and have two of the four breakfast biscuits then. This is enough to give me a little energy and keep me going during my busy period of 6am-7am. Around 7am I usually manage to get a little break in my work for long enough to make another cuppa and have a third biscuit. Sometime after 8am the last of my morning tasks are completed, so the final biscuit is consumed and this should keep me going for another hour, at which time I can have a piece of fruit to tide me over until lunch break.
  • Glucomannan: Having done a little research into diet supplements meant to help you shred the pounds, I found only three recommended by a nutritionist as being some minor assistance to dieting while not having nasty side effects. One was green tea as it detoxes and increases the metabolism. I have this already at home but I do not like on its own but is good in some smoothies (recipes to follow ;-) ), although I have to be careful because it contains a small amount of caffeine. Caffeine is also meant to be good as it boosts your metabolism as well as aiding you in keeping fit as it makes you feel you are more energetic and able to exercise. However, this is not good if you have a caffeine sensitivity, or like me, a minor heart issue like mine that is aggravated by caffeine. I may even start blaming the fact that I have gone decaf for my eight gain! The third one that was mentioned is a herbal fibre based extract (or something...) that you can buy in capsule form and when taken before a meal with a glass of water, this Glucomannan helps to keep you by making you feel fuller, therefore aiding in portion control. Now, for me this could be useful, but also is pointless. On the one hand, sometimes I eat too much because I still feel hungry despite having eaten a decent meal. In these instances this Glucomannan may work for me. On the other hand, however, a lot of the time my over-eating is down to pure greediness, like yesterday when I was filled up by the chicken poppers I had gobbled on the way home from the shops, but still went home and snacked. In these cases, the feeling full factor won't be much use because I am eating for the sake of it. However, I went out and got myself a bottle of capsules and am giving it a go. 
  • Drinking more: Reading up on all these diet supplements you take before a meal with a glass of water made me think; surely you don't necessarily need to be filling your stomach with fibre to make yourself feel fuller if you can get the same effect - if not so long lasting - with water alone. Plus it is good for you, keeps your system flushed and costs next to nothing (unless you buy bottled spring water which is majorly over-priced!). So I am going to drink more water, or at least fluids, especially before and during meal times. 
All that is left is for me to have my weigh in later this morning... *add dramatic music here!* Like I said earlier, not only was I very naughty yesterday, but it is also that time of the month when my weight is likely to be a bit higher than usual (also a slight excuse for my binge yesterday). But we will see.

05.08.15: Day 20 - Ups and Downs, quite literally

Day 20 - 05.08.15

So I haven't written in two weeks. This is partly due to my having been really busy, and partly because what I have to admit is depressing.

Not only did I put those 3 lbs I had lost back on, but in just six days I went from 11 1lbs to a new high: 11st 6lbs. Of course, weight can fluctuate a few pounds either was depending on what you've eaten, what is left in your bowels, if you had a pee before your weigh in, periods and what you are wearing... But I have to be honest and realise that this sudden weight gain was because I binged. I ate loads of yumminess, did very little exercise and was generally a really bad dieter!

After that little set back, I got back on the wagon and last week was a massive improvement. I have cut down the amount of food I consume at work and been working on both my portions and content in my evening meals too. Yesterday was a bad day for me, after I went grocery shopping while hungry and ate 5 "chicken poppers", then got home and had a healthy but non-essential 5 wholemeal crackers with ham and cheese. I then had a Slim Fast low calorie chocolate bar (sooooo nice and under 100 calories) and then snacked on cheese and ham while making packed lunches for today. And then I had a substantial meal of grilled fish fingers, beans and jacket potato. Most of this stuff would be fine to have eaten (excluding the chicken poppers which are only 27 calories each but contain over a gram of fat in each one!) if I hadn't binged on quite so much of it! :-/

Other than yesterday's naughtiness and the fact that I have done no exercise since last week although this must be excused as I suffer from sciatica and it flared up this weekend. While gentle exercises like yoga and walking is good for untrapping the nerve and loosening me back up, I find that the exercise bike is very uncomfortable and my pilates exercises were definitely out too. It is still a bit sore but am hoping to resume exercising today, even if it is simply a good yoga session.

Today is also weigh in day... yay?! My last weigh was showing a little progress with my having shred to of the extra pounds I had put on and gotten back to my starting weight of 11 stone 4lbs. This week is a bad week for me to be weighed (once a month is, hint hint) but I still hope to find myself a pound, or possibly even two, lighter than last week and slowly making progress. Saturday is going to be a bit of diet killer for me however, as some work mates and I are going to a hotel in the Lake District for afternoon tea - so I think it is salads and fruit for the rest of the week in preparation for the delicious calorie filled cakes and scones that await me!

Wish me luck...

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

22.07.15 - day 6 - post-weigh in


So yesterday was weigh in day. Due to one of my workmates being on holiday and thus the rest of us being that little bit busier, we were actually a week overdue. I was dubious if there would be a lot of change considering that I only started this blog and really pushing myself last week, and then I shared a bag of toffee popcorn with my boyfriend on Saturday followed by a pub meal that night. But I have been good over the last few weeks other than that and haven't really binged. so maybe 1-1.5 lbs off?


3 lbs off!

Was soooo pleased with that. Works out as 1.5lbs a week, so I could still do a wee bit better and with a bit more hardwork and commitment get it up to 2lbs a week which would be great. Of course, I am less concerned about actually weight, as I am size, and seeing as muscle weighs more than fat and I am trying to work out regularly, I also need to keep a measure of how many inches I am losing. I have my measurements written down somewhere from when I started to try and lose weight months ago without much success, so will dig them out and measure myself tonight to see how i am doing on the getting back to a size 10 goal.

I was a little naughty last night, as I had planned a nice healthy meal of fish, new potatoes and peas, but decided at the last minute to have pizza and chips instead! However, I did give the lion's share to my partner. I also gave into temptation and had a sneaky pack of full fat crisps! Crisps are my downfall because no only do I love them, but I can totally binge on them and have up to four or five packs in one sitting if I being really greedy. But I just had the one pack (at 148 calories and 7.5g fat!) and I must have worked at least some of this indulgence off as I did a lot of housework including dusting and cleaning, and went full throttle at it! I didn't get on the exercise bike or pilates though, so going to have to get my act together today unless I want to throw away all my progress!

Today's plan:

Banana, granola and low fat yogurt for a nice filling breakfast at work
Oat based snack bar mid morning
Soup with Rivita thins for my lunch
Pack of baked crisps (still 102 calories) to keep until as late in my work day as possible so I don't get overly hungry by the time I get home.
[This may seem a lot to some people but i have always been a big eater, and cutting down too dramatically will just leave me hungry and fatigued, resulting in a massive binge in a vain attempt to "get my energy levels back up"! :-/ ]
A good 3/4 to an hour walk with my mother's dogs.
Have a small glass of home-made smoothie if need a snack (0%
Get home and have a quick pilates session followed by exercise bike.
Home-made beef casserole with new potatoes and broccoli.

And I will measure myself later today to find out if I have got any inches off!

21.07.15 - Day 4 - After a lazy weekend...

21.07.15 - Day 5 - After a lazy weeekend...

Well, after all my planning on Friday, this weekend I have gone completely off plan and eating loads of stuff I shouldn't have! I'm usually pretty good at the weekend as I spend the entire time with my boyfriend and feel guilty if I eat anything bad in front of him. The guilt is borne from the fact that, like so many skinny people, my partner's attitude to weight loss is that if you are unhappy with your size and shape just do something about it. I used to have exactly the same attitude until I found out for myself how hard it is to change your eating habits and life-style. But instead of getting annoyed with him and ranting about how I'd like to see him try it (as tempting as that is!), I tend to instead want to prove to him that I am trying my damnest - if only because it means I am justified when I get upset about not being able to fit in any of my clothes.

But this weekend we decided to have a few days of our usual hectic DIY and gardening. We are trying to get our house and garden done up nice this year, the intention being that next year we can concentrate on saving up for our wedding and children, not to mention actually getting to enjoy our house and garden a bit! but my partner did his back in the week before so it seemed like the perfect time to have a lazy weekend. Of course, this meant that not only was I not burning off as many calories but with a cinema trip and a meal out included in the itinerary, I also ate far more crap. I did have a wee session on the exercise bike and dumbells though which made me feel a little better

However, on Monday I went back to eating very healthy during the day and when my mother had us over for tea, I turned down the chocolate chip muffins with extra thick cream she offered us. This was with a lot of reluctance I admit, but I managed it!

Today, I am off shopping after work, so going to stick with my plan to avoid snacking or over spending, as well as trying to get a good workout session fitted in after housework this afternoon.

Today is also weigh in day. A couple of my work mates and I are all wanting to lose or keep off the pounds so we all chipped in and got a good quality digital scales to keep in the office and have a weekly weigh in. Here goes...

Sunday, 19 July 2015

17.07.15 - day 1 - Here We Go!

17.07.15 - day 1 - Here We Go!

Well, it is the first day of my new blog based diet! And to help matters, I've had dodgy guts for the past three days. A work colleague has it also, so must be a bug going around, but it is not helped by the fact that I have IBS. I am also on medication that causes weight-gain and has a negative affect on my IBS, often leaving me feel bloated and horrible. So am I going to feel sorry for myself and comfort eat? Nope. Am I going to go the other way and starve myself to prevent my stomach ache? Nope. I'm going to plan. Am I going to succeed? Who knows?!

Step 1 of my diet commandments is to plan ahead. This means not only am I thinking of what to cook for me and my partner for our evening meal the day before so I can get things out of the freezer or prepare things in advance where possible, but also I am planning when I am going to eat throughout the day. For me, this is one of my biggest problems because I also have a "blood sugar inbalance" - whatever that means. All I know is that for me, skipping a meal is a no go as I quickly become very shaky, dizzy and nauseous. I've never got to the stage where I have physically passed out, but I have come pretty darn close. This also hinders me in portion control, as cutting down the amount I am consuming by too dramatic an amount would mean a dip in my blood sugars later on. this is where step 4 also comes in. Not only do I need to think about when to eat and what to eat, I need to understand what foods I should be eating and how my body works. I have been trying (unsuccessfully) to diet without too radical a change to my intake and life style for the last couple of months, so I am now thinking of that period as my trial run. I have a better understanding of what my body needs and how it reacts now, so I can use this going forward.

Another reason that planning my meal times is important but a pain in the neck is my work hours; I leave the house at 4am to start work at 5am, my "lunch break" is around 10am, and I finish at 1:30pm, getting home for 2:30pm (provided I have no errands to run), my partner gets home just after 5pm, and I go to bed at 7:30-8pm weeknights (although I try to stay up as late as I can on Fridays to get my body out of this schedule for the weekend!). This is a pain because:

  1. I need to eat some kind of breakfast within the first two hours of my day to avoid low blood sugar, but have issues dragging myself out of bed with enough time to get anything at home before I leave for work.
  2. Even when I have some kind of breakfast when I get to work, I always get hungry by 9am and cannot wait til 10am to start picking at my lunch.
  3. When I have lunch at 10am, I get am hungry again by about 2pm! This is bad in two ways; if I go straight home  I have a habit of snacking (or just plain pigging out), and at least once a week I go to the supermarket for groceries on my way home, meaning I shop when hungry - never a good idea!
  4. I don't get much time with my partner during the week as he gets home from work just a couple of hours before I have to start thinking about heading to bed, and by the time he has sorted himself out, done a few chores and we sit down together, it is usually just an hour before my bed-time. So for me, it is important that we are at least sitting down to our evening meal together. This is an old-fashioned ideal perhaps, but it was instilled in me at a young age that sitting down to a meal together is an important family activity. Of course, this means I am having tea 6-7 hours after my lunchtime, and just an hour or two before bed, not ideal.
So I have to think carefully about how to plan my meals and snacks in such a way as to minimise bad habits, over-eating, and also low blood sugar. So far, these are my ideas:
  • An oat based cereal bar with my morning cup of tea around 5:30-6am. Oats are great for filling you up and releasing energy slowly, while having a cereal bar is just so easy! Many cereal bars are high in sugar content, but, in my opinion, it is common sense that your body is going to be able cope much better at having most of your daily allowance of sugar based calories as early on in the day as possible, that way you have all day to burn off the sugar. I find these cereal bars can keep me from feeling hungry or shaky for up to two hours, so I try to have it as close to 6am as possible, usually making my tea in the small lull I always have in my work just before 6am, and nibbling on my cereal bar as I work. The bars, especially the oaty ones, tend to be quite dry which is why I always try to have a cuppa too. I have also found that breakfast biscuits are yummy and have the same effect.
  • There is another lull in my work that often occurs around 8am, when things quiet down a little bit but I can't get on with my next tasks quite yet. This is the perfect time for a little healthy snack, so I am going to try to have a piece of fruit or a low-fat yogurt around this time. (Tip: be careful with low fat yogurt, they often have lots more sugar that full fat yogurts. Natural low fat yogurt is best, but I find it a bit bland for my liking, although it is lovely with some granola or chopped fruit.)
  • This should get me through until my lunchbreak at 10am, but I know this isn't always the case but will avoid snacking too much between 8-10am if possible. The best way to make sure that I don't snack would be to not pack another snack, but I know if I do this and get peckish, I'll just start munching on my sarnies! So a bit pack of nuts and raisins in my desk drawer is my solution. This is great because unsalted nuts are great for you, they are fatty but apparently they contain "good" fat. People on diets often try cutting out fat completely, but your body needs fat and sugar in order to burn fat. Fat and sugar are parts of a healthy diet, it is all about avoiding what is bad for you and not going over the top! Nuts also are slow release energy, keeping your filling full for longer and fueling you over a longer period. Also, I hate them. The only nuts I really like are peanuts, and then only covered in salt or chocolate. So having nuts in my desk drawer is great because I only eat them if I really need an energy boost or to fill a rumbling stomach, and not just because they are available, like I would with most snacks.
  • Lunchbreak is simple - sandwiches made with wholemeal "sandwich thins" which are yummy, much better for you than bread, and also stop even the most boring sandwich tasting too dry (I'm sure I am not the only one who has tried to eat a plain cheese sandwich without a drink and thought I was going to choke.)
  • Then in the early afternoon, I need to snack so will resort to the nuts and raisins I love so much or another piece of fruit. This will give me the energy to get through the last of my work day, keep me from being hungry when I pop to the supermarket, and hopefully, stop me from snacking when I get home.
  • Exercise when I get home is a must. I try to do a 10 minute pilates workout followed by 20 mins on the exercise bike. 
  • Then for our evening meal, I'll be cooking something for both me and my boyfriend, but will keep my portions small and exchange unhealthy foods for a healthy alternative where possible.

So that's the plan...

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Size 10 - Size 14: A stone in five months!

Hi there!

I'm LJ and this blog is basically my weight loss diary. If you are reading this you are probably thinking, "why the hell would you pubically share your progress on a blog?". Or maybe you aren't thinking that because let's face it, it is the 21st Century and people are writing blogs about more personal or crazy things than losing weight. But anyhow, I digress. I have three reasons for this blog:

  • In the rare occasions that I have nothing else to do (haha, wonder when that ever is as I have very little free time but nevertheless) it is something I can do to keep my hands and mind busy so I don't fall into the dangers of snacking when idle. (See step 3 below!)
  • I think that publically stating you are going to loose weight and having to admit when you are failing will help motivate me. It's like having a little competition with myself! (See step 2 below). 
  • As someone who has always been thin, I am finally understanding how difficult it is to loose weight and want to share my struggle and learning curve in the hope that it will help someone else out there.
So first off, a little about me. First off, I have, until the beginning of this year, always been naturally slim despite having a good appetite, junk food addiction and comfort-eating habits. At 5ft 9", I had been a pleasant size 10 since my teenage years, and maintained a healthy weight of between 9.5 - 10 stone. At the time, I could still look at myself and see a flabby tummy, thunder thighs and a fat knees of course, no matter what size we are, very few people are completely happy with their bodies. But looking back I can appreciate my size 10 figure a little more now! My stomach wasn't perfectly flat but it wasn't a muffin top either and if I had wanted it flat, it would have took just a little bit of effort and regular sit ups to get it that way. My thighs weren't very toned but looking at photos of myself in a short dress and high heels, my 33 inch legs look awesome! I can only say that now because this is no longer the case... I wish I had appreciated my body a little more when I was naturally slim, and I wish I had made a little bit of effort to maintain it, but alas, I didn't. 

I'm still not fat. I would like to make it clear that this isn't a "woe me" or "I'm so ugly" kind of blog. I'm now weighing 11 stone 4 lbs and am just about squeezing into size 12 clothes (I know I am technically a size 14 now, and would be a lot more comfortable if I bought a size up, but I just refuse to admit it and have only purchases a few size 12 clothes since my weight gain in my determination to loose the weight.) I know this is not particularly bad, especially as I am now in my late twenties. My poor mother has struggled with her weight her entire life. She had the same eating habits and cravings as myself, but without the metabolism. So this has always made me appreciate my own good luck in the weight department, and I can see clearly that with my height, my increase in size still does not make me FAT. Curvy yes, fat no. But I can appreciate now how hard it is to maintain a healthy diet, to exercise regularly and to loose weight when your body isn't naturally inclined to do so!

The final part of my introduction is this: My Plan. I have come up with five steps to aid me in my weight loss. I will go into more depth about them in future blogs, but for now, here is a brief outline. I've written them as commandments to myself, but take them as tips if you will:
  • Step 1: Plan, plan, plan! Think ahead and plan meals so you don't fall into bad habits like snacking or popping "something quick" in the oven; i.e. pizza; chips; chicken dippers; ready meals etc
  • Step 2: Tell people you are going to lose weight! If other people know it will encourage you to loose.
  • Step 3: Keep active; idle hands make for temptation to snack. Keeping active not only burns more calories, but even just having something to do with your hands like doodling or knitting or something will stop you reaching for the crisps.
  • Step 4: Learn about nutrition! Instead of falling for fad diets and hearsay, it is best to know what is actually healthy and what isn't, like learning the difference between good fats and bad fats. Also, everyone is different, so you need to tailor a diet and exercise regime that suits you.
  • Step 5: Have a clear goal! Pick a date. Pick a weight. Work out what the average weight loss you need each week is, and head for that finishing line giving it all you've got. But be realistic!

And so without much further ado, I set my goal. 

Current weight: 11 stone 4 lbs
Current dress size: 12/14
Current date: 17.07.15
Target weight: 10 stone 
Target dress size: 10
Target date: 29.08.15
Average weight loss required per week: 2.25lbs

I'll let you know how I get on...