Monday, July 14, 2014

It's Gonna Happen

I didn't make it through on Saturday. But it's not over yet.

Today I've made it past lunch time, which is probably a record for the past few months. It's like Day 1, Week 1 all over again. I am hungry and having extreme sugar deprivation headaches. My body is all "Hey man, I thought we were cool here? I thought we were all having a good time?"

No, body, we weren't.

I am determined to do this. I am going to see this day out. Those hours are gonna drag, my stomach is gonna rumble and my head is gonna pound. But come what may, I am going to put my head on the pillow tonight with a smile knowing that I made it.

Like that motivational quote goes... "If you're sick of starting over, stop giving up".

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Taking Some Advice

So, hi. I've been a bad blogger. I've lost my direction when it comes to weight loss, and so I've lost my desire to blog. But, a lovely, supportive friend (Optifast Adventurer) said to me that it might be of some use to keep blogging during this time. She's very wise, so I'm betting she could be right. It could help me clear a few things up in my head. And it could help anyone reading to see the hard times that one can go through. Perhaps it might just make one other person feel not so alone.

So, what's been happening? Well, a couple of months ago I got given a $4M project to manage at my work. My usual gig there is Document Control, but I've always been one of those people that do what needs to be done, so I've had a lot of extra involvement in projects anyway. My company has recently realised the importance of allocating an individual person to oversee the projects, and, in the absence of anyone else to do it, they gave it to me. 

It's been a bit of a learning curve and a lot of extra work and responsibility. I have been experiencing a lot of extra stress and anxiety. In the beginning, I decided to shift my focus from dieting to work for a while because I thought that working a bit harder at this time would pay off for me. However, it really seems like it won't. So, that has actually caused me a lot more depression and anxiety.

I haven't been able to get back on track. I sort of haven't wanted to either. I've wanted to have a bit of freedom from restriction for a while. Every time I get stressed my mind says "Eat some chocolate, you need it. You deserve it."

When I was on Optifast, I would tell myself that I didn't need junk food to make me feel better. That it would only make me feel worse. And I was right. I know that it won't make me feel better because every day when I eat it I feel worse. It's only those few moments when I'm putting food into my mouth, chewing and swallowing that I feel absent from fears and sadness. But once it's in my stomach, new fears and sadnesses are there too. I feel like a useless addict. I feel like a slave to something that is trying to kill me. 

I know I'm not powerless. I know I am making choices. I am the one going to the supermarket and buying hordes of secret junk food to hide for myself. I do this because if my boyfriend and I buy junk food for the both of us, I will end up eating it all and he will get none. And then I will feel even more guilt. (He likes to have some biscuits and desserts around for a snack every now and then - he can eat in moderation.)

But, I do feel heavily addicted. I feel sad when I try to make a healthier choice. Like, I'm being torn away from my crutch. I also feel lost. I don't want to eat salads anymore. And I can't think of healthier foods to have easily on hand. I make soups, but I bore of them quickly. 

I have started Optifast again so many mornings. I'll get up and have a bar or a shake for breakfast. Then I'll get into work and read an email that will stress me out or upset me and then I'll just feel desperate and out of control. I have been trying some breathing and meditation. It does help a little. But chocolate helps the best. 

Until I step on the scales again and a few more hundred grams are there. This morning I've crept up to 81.5kgs. The lowest I got down to was around 79kgs. I did hang around that mark for most of May and June. But July I haven't seen under 80. I have been 80.5, 80.2, 80.8 most days. This morning was a bit of a rude shock, actually. I did have a few beers and a lot of pizza last night, though, so perhaps there is 500g or so of carby water weight in there.

I haven't been running in a while. My boyfriend and I both injured ourselves training for a 12km run in August. We have since dropped out, unfortunately. The injuries weren't too bad, but since we needed to follow a plan to progressively run further and further each week, we weren't going to make the 12km (without hurting ourselves again) in time. I think we are going to just stick to around 5km once or twice a week for now. Today is going to be the first run we've done in a while.

I have been walking most mornings for 30mins to try and keep some exercise up. I have found it helps me start the day better and it's helpful for stress management. 

My stress is just through the roof at the moment. It's very tricky. I know that what really helps stress is a healthy diet. But, I am finding it hard to stick to anything when I'm stressed. It's sort of a catch 22.

I need the right attitude back again. I need that determination I had back all those months ago. That girl lost 40kgs! I might have put back on one or two, but that damage isn't insurmountable. 

The plan is to just start doing the Optifast Intensive again (3 meals a day + 4 cup of veg + 1 tsp of oil). Just for a week or two to get re-focussed. Then I'll slip back into Transition again when I have 1 ~400 cal meal a day plus a serve of dairy and a serve of fruit. But, I haven't been able to get that far in all the weeks I've been trying.

So, the mini-plan is just to take a deep breath and take one day at a time. One MEAL at a time! Today is the challenge. I can make it through one day. I can follow the plan for one day. I can do this. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Checking In

Just a quick note to let you know I'm alive!

April, May and now June have been a bit of a non-event in terms of weight loss. That is - I've stayed around about 79kgs or less for the duration.

I have been eating a lot off plan, although I've kept up the regular exercise.

Things have been new, stressful and exciting at work, and I've been working long hours with new responsibility. I've just been trying to get my head above water and have prioritised work over weight loss for now. As long as I'm maintaining, I'm not too fussed. I'm still not BMI-wise a "healthy" weight, but I feel great and feel that I look great.

Perhaps when things at work settle down a bit I'll be able to re-focus on weight loss.

Hope you're all well and happy. xo

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Heart Health

Yesterday we had a free Heart Health check. It was provided by my work, which was pretty awesome. They had a lady come in and take a finger prick test for blood glucose and cholesterol, as well as taking our blood pressure and waist measurement.

I'm pleased to say that my results were quite good! My blood glucose was 4.9, which the lady said was really great considering I'd eaten lunch within the last two hours. Under 5.5 is the "Normal" range for a fasting test, so even having eaten I was still good! My cholesterol (they only tested total cholesterol) was also under 5.1!

My blood pressure was a little high - 130/80. But, the lady said that if I'd sat in the the chair a little longer, it might have got down closer to normal (120/80). But 130/80 isn't too bad. It's considered High/Normal. I am a bit of a stresshead, so I guess I should just be careful and watch those levels. The good thing was that it also showed my heart rate was at 60bpm - which is right at the lowest end of 'Normal'. With a bit more fitness I could get into 'Athlete' territory! Woo!

The one part I failed was waist measurement. They measure right around the belly button, which isn't my smallest part (some places just take the smallest part of your torso as your "waist"). But, I would have been over 80cms anyway. I was 93cm, which, to me, was great. I know I was 120cm when I started my Optifast journey 6 months ago. So, I really can't complain about that. I'm not sure if I'll ever be one of those people that get below 80cm around the belly button. I guess I'll see when I get closer to goal weight, and have lost a few more cms from my resistance training.

All in all, I was really pleased with my results. I remember my blood glucose levels being around 7, which is getting into Type 2 Diabetes territory. I am so glad that I made some changes to my health before I got to that point.

I think it's really important to see these kind of changes in my health. It's made me stop and reflect on how much healthier I feel and how much easier it is to just be alive now. Walking, running, getting out of bed, standing for extended periods of time, doing housework, cleaning myself, getting dressed, putting on makeup, tying my shoes... all these things are so much easier now.

Really, in just 6 months I have completely turned my health around. When you put that in perspective, that really is inspiring. I was obese for years. I have had issues with eating and been at least overweight my entire teenage and adult life. But, with 6 months of hard work, I've been able to make huge changes to my health. So, if anyone is out there reading and wondering if it's worth it...? It is. It really is.

My body has put up with a lot of rubbish from me in the past. I think it deserves to be feeling better these days. And I'm promising it now that I won't stop here. I'm going to get to a healthy weight. I'm going to continue to put good, nutritious foods inside it. And I'm going to continue to give it the exercise it needs to stay strong and healthy. My body and I are worth it!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 27

...Oops. I messed up. I ate badly Friday, Saturday and Sunday and have gained. The result? I'm back up to 80kgs. So, the 800gms I've so painstakingly lost over the last 2 weeks have been plopped back on again.

Ok, enough. I have been beating myself up about this all day. And, despite the fact I've given myself a real working over, it hasn't burnt any calories! I need to just learn what I can from this and move on.

So, why have I gained?
- Building muscle? Maybe a little.
- Water retention? Well, I did eat a lot of carbs and sodium - perhaps there is some water weight in there. Ok.
- (TMI) Backed up a bit? Yep. Got that going on.
- Eating too much food and, especially, too much high calorie junk? Check. There's your man.

It probably is a combination of factors. And eating too much junk has contributed to the water retention and being back up. Yuk. I really do feel sluggish and horrid. But, at the same time all I want is to go and eat MORE of that rubbish. Why?!? Especially when I know that eating that stuff is the direct cause of me feeling so bad?

Perhaps it's the nature of food addiction. Or perhaps it's because I have fallen into that negative cycle of feeling bad and bingeing and feeling bad and bingeing. I need to break it.

I decided this morning that I need to get re-focused. So, I was going to do at least 3 days to a week of the Intensive plan (3 meal replacements + 1tsp oil + 2-4 cups of veggies). I think I will allow myself an extra serve of protein too since we are back to the gym this week (cringe).

I need to call on all my inner strength here and get this going again. I can't let this be the beginning of the end. This is just going to be a blip on the radar. This is going to be a positive thing, a re-ignition of sorts. I am determined.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Positive Feedback

This week has been a wonderful one for receiving positive comments about my weight loss. I'm going to be a little indulgent and write them all down here so that I can be reminded of what a change I've made already.

  • I went to the doctor yesterday to ask about supplements I could take that would help PMS (Evening Primrose Oil etc). Just before I was about to leave the appointment he said, "You've lost some weight, haven't you?" I beamed and said "Yes, about 40kgs!" He said "Well, it's very noticeable. I almost didn't recognise you." Then, I remembered that I had some blood tests done a couple of months ago so we quickly went over those and everything was looking good! I was particularly pleased about the Liver and Blood Sugar results as they were getting into dangerous areas a couple of years ago. I told him all about how I've started running and how I don't really want to eat the same junk foods that I used to. As I was leaving he remarked, "You really are a whole new person, on many levels!" That was just wonderful to hear!

  • As I had the day off yesterday, I decided to do a little shopping. I went to Myer and saw that one of my favourite brands (from when I was younger and didn't buy Plus Size) called Review had a sale on. Normally their clothes are quite expensive, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to indulge. I bought two beautiful cardigans and a knitted jumper as well as a lovely black top. I felt very special! The best thing was that the sales assistant helping me didn't believe me for a second that I was a size 14, and even thought I might be a size 10! I ended up getting size 12s, which I was rather tickled about!

  • Today at work, one of my colleagues came up to me quietly and said "I hope you don't mind me saying so, but you look fantastic! When you were walking around the other day I nearly didn't recognise you. Well done. You really look great!" I think I went bright red and thanked him a million times. It was just so lovely to hear.

  • Also today, as I was talking to a girl at work I am pretty friendly with, my Project Manager (a lovely older guy about 60 years old, who I have a great rapport with) interrupted us. He grabbed me and whispered to my friend "Doesn't she look, incredible?" My friend agreed, "Absolutely!"

So, while it's a little bit embarassing, I won't say I don't like it. I've started wearing makeup to work in the past couple of months, and I'm sure I'm walking around with a lot more confidence. It really is nice that people have noticed.

The best one was my doctor, though. That he noticed and was proud of me, and that we have the blood work to prove what a difference it has made on the inside. That was the greatest gift.

WIL: A bunch of kgs and dress sizes... but...
WIG: Confidence, health, pride, self-satisfaction, NEW CLOTHES!!!, better habits, better way of thinking about food, more energy, a BETTER LIFE!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Week 26

The weeks seem to be flying by lately. End of Week 26 brings a loss of 500g. I am sitting at 79.2kgs today.
It's weird to say, but I sort of feel like I don't really care. This morning I just looked at the number on the scales and thought, "Is it less? Yes? Good." And that was it.
30 Day Fitness Challenges - screenshotI started three 30 day challenges on May 1st. I bought the 30 Day Fitness Challenges App, which was a slight gamble as there was no free trial option. But, luckily, I'm pretty happy with it. I like that it has a whole bunch of challenges I can try, and links to how to do the exercises.
The challenges are great because they motivate me to do some strength training, which hasn't always been my focus, even though I do enjoy it. The cool thing is that (at least so far) I can get it all done in 5 minutes or so before my morning shower. And I still feel good-sore later, which convinces me that it's working.
Anyway, the point is that this is new(ish) for me, since I've never been too regular about doing my Pump classes. So, I'm expecting some reduced losses for a while due to some muscle building and water retention. That's fine. I am already seeing some changes in the mirror - some streamlining and such. So, if the scales wanna argue, they can go right ahead, I'm not listening.
In other news, the boyfriend and I ran 6km for the first time on Saturday. It was a horrible run - I had a stitch/cramp in my stomach and side the whole time. I had to really dig deep to push through and finish. In terms of leg and chest fitness (breathing/heart rate), things felt good - I felt like I could get into a nice rhythym. The stitch was probably just caused by drinking too much water beforehand. I am proud of myself for getting it done despite the pain though!
We are still working on running a faster 5km. So, our current program is a 5km run on Mondays, a speed/interval run on Wednesdays and an easy "long" run on Saturdays for endurance. I say "long" because we are just working our way up from 5km to something longer. I think the plan for next Saturday is to run for 50mins (whatever distance that ends up being - maybe 6.5km or so) because with a 5min warm up/down either side, that makes it a nice round 1 hour workout.

The program seems to be working. We generally run a PB most runs, unless it's really windy or one of us feels a bit off. Our fastest time (from this morning) is 34:38, which is 7 seconds faster than last weekend! Ideally we'd like to get it down to 30 or below.

Eating-wise, I'm mostly back on track, and keeping to 1200 calories a day. I had one day last week where I went over, but I'm ok with that. Just gotta keep going. Keep moving forward. Keep taking steps in the right direction. Even if they're baby steps!