Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sleeping and relaxing ...

I've mentioned before that I am not a good sleeper my head just runs a million miles an hour and I have real trouble switching off. A lot of the time I think this is why I spend my days so tired reaching for sticky buns and chocolate bars to give me some false hope that I can make it through the day.

 Image via: here

So over the process of this journey I have tried a few things to get better sleep.
Namely, cutting off eating at 8pm, which honestly I manage about 80% of the time. The other 20% a cookie or two slips in with a cuppa tea or a hot chocolate. It's a lifetime of habits here I tells yah. It's not gunna just happen overnight.
Anyways I digress ... I have also tired going to bed earlier, switching off t.v computer etc, reading before bed and lastly relaxing oils. Some lavender and bergamot to rub on the neck before bed.
Still, unfortunately no luck. I lie awake staring at the wall listening to hubby snore!

So this week I took myself off to the health food store and got some Valerian root tea.

Image via: here

I'd heard of it's properties before and when I read the packet it said helps stop that internal chatter to promote a healthful night sleep. Bingo. Just what I needed.
So firstly I have to say it smells foul, it taste like a combination of green tea and dirt but beyond that I do believe it's helping. The first three nights of taking it I had some pretty mad dreams. Really lucid, loud, strange dreams and not just one...many. It was like my body hadn't entered a deep sleep for months and was trying to catch up on all that deep dream processing that we do.
Madness. So I was waking up somewhat bewildered trying to catch up with my dreams that seemed to be in fast forward.

As the week has progress the dreams have slowed down to real time and I am definitely sleeping better. Only waking once maybe to go to the toilet, instead of my usual waking 5 to 8 times for no reason. So yeah ... onto a  winner I think.

Now the other point I wanted to discuss was relaxing.

 Image via: here

Not the put your feet up and have a massage type, sorry.

I did a little experiment this week to see what effect it had on my weight loss, that I totally take the foot off the pedals and relax my eating and exercise every weekend. I don't go to gym, I eat what I want.

My weigh in day is on a Friday and on Friday I weighed 106.8 woohoo, new territory seeing that 6 in there.
Then as per usual the weekend progressed as normal and Monday I thought, I might just weigh myself and see if I change at all over the weekend. Sure enough I had gained.
I had gained the entire .8 that I had lost the week before. I was a bit shattered as I'm learning my body will put weight on just from thinking about cake...unfair!

So i let the week progress as it would. Gym every day, eating well and on Fri I had only lost .2.
What I'm seeing is that I work so hard Mon to Fri, lose .5kg ...slack off on the weekend gain .5 then work all week again to lose the .5 I put on over the weekend and hopefully some more.
I know some people can do the whole 80/20 thing and have it work for them but the proof is in the pudding that this does not work for me.
Actually I've come to realize a plan like that is what I would do for maintenance. To stay the same weight once I reach goal. But it won't work as a weight loss plan.

It was even more confirmed this morning when during our Pump class our trainer was giving us a pep talk. The song that plays during stretches is 'Forever' and she was saying 'it is guys'.

 Want to listen to the song, click : here

If you want to look great, feel fit and be healthy, it is forever. Exercise well forever.. it's not a fad or a get fit quick thing, it's a commitment to change your life for the better, forever.

Gosh it probably sounds all a bit extreme, for newbies, myself included. But what I'm seeing is yes you can have carbs, yes you can eat chocolate, but balance it in with a healthy day, and yes you can skip your 30mins exercise today but go harder tomorrow.

If you stop, so does your body.

Gosh you know, none of this is rocket science. None of it and we/I trivialize it so much looking for loopholes and quick fixes and each and every fat girl knows exactly how to lose weight.
Eat less, move more.
It's just applying it and convincing our brains that it wants to do it, that's the struggle.
Man oh man, I tell you what little ol' brain. we'll do it.
Damn it, we'll do it and we'll do it Forever ....
Jay xx

Monday, May 20, 2013

Looking for Energy ...

So we are now up to date. I did a few backdated posts to cover my journey so far and bring you up to speed and now we are at today. Yay.

I started this journey Feb 4th 2013, at 114.5kg and I'm currently 106.9 kg.
My first goal is to get under 100kg. My over all goal is to get healthy. By that I mean, you know those charts that tell you what you are when taking into account your height and weight. Well for the most part of my adult life I have been morbidly obese. Such a yucky term.
But it is what it is!
My aim is to get into the healthy range.

O.k so here is a snazzy table I found.
There I am at clinically obese. aughhh...
and where I want to be is o.k. How funny that they categorized it like that, but there you go.
All I want to be is o.k
So to be o.k at my 5foot6 height means achieving a weight between 58 and 70kg.

I have never been below the 89kg i achieved for a brief stint as an adult, so for some obvious reasons I feel that going for the bottom of the o.k range is very unrealistic. So lets aim for the top of that o.k range and say my ideal goal weight is 70kg.

Sheesh, imagine getting into the 70's
Wouldn't know what it would be like. I remember getting weighed in grade 6 at Primary school during health week and being told I was 69kg.
I was like woohoo, I'm the winner, biggest number there.
My happiness soon faded when the teacher pulled me aside and said Jaylene, I weigh 58kg and I'm grown up. Being heavy is not a good thing.
So I guess I wasn't really winning after all.

But onward and upward ...

This post is about looking for energy.
I have tackled the exercise, the calories and learnt about the maths behind losing weight and even though I am watching my calories, I was still putting the wrong things in to have this engine of mine running with any gusto.
Just barely getting by really.

So after hitting a wall, yet again ... rather then give up I had a chat to one of the trainers at the gym. I didn't pay for her advice so I was very humbled that she took me under her wing and could see the utter desperation in my eyes. Her advice was ... you'll never guess?
Jay, you gotta eat breakfast.
You just gotta and even if it feels unnatural and your not hungry, tell your body that it is an appointment or meeting that even though it may not want to go to it, you have to. It can't be missed. So schedule it in and force yourself to do it.
Image via: here

The ideal run down of food for a day is:
In your break fast at 7-8am, include protein and carbs.
In your first snack at 10am have protein and fruit
Lunch at 12 have carbs and protein and veg
Snack at 3 have protein
Dinner have protein and veg

Don't have dessert.

Load the beginning of your day up with protein and carbs and ease off in calories as your day progresses. We do not need a big calorie dense dinner, just so we can sit on the couch and go to bed.
As of course... what happens is your body works overtime trying to process it all, you don't sleep well, you wake up tired, rush around skip breakfast and the whole vicious cycle starts again.

So I have been changing the way I eat, big time.

Brekky is porridge, or eggs and spinach or peanut butter on toast.
Morning snack is natural yogurt w' blueberries and seeds.
Lunch is ham or turkey or fish with salad
Afternoon snack is a choc protein bar, or tuna and crackers
dinner is meat and three veg.

well ideally that's what it is. Sometimes we have eaten out or I've made the old favourites like enchiladas or lasagne so the carbs are still creeping in at night, but for the most part and my big aim is to make sure I'm eating breakfast and a morning snack and trying really hard to have protein at every meal.

I lost .8 this week which has been my biggest loss for one week and I don't wake up so groggy with an instant headache.
so fingers crossed I can make it stick.
Jay x

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dealing with food...

So I have hit hump day/week/month recently and overcome it, Yay me.
What's hump day?
Well it's that magic 3 month mark, round about the time I would usually give up.
The time I would usually say that I am working too damn hard and getting too small a result, so I quit.

But I didn't quit, I have kept pushing myself to stick to this plan.
I Gotta see the year out even if it kills me!
Image via: here

What my focus has been on this month is food.
I know I have been 100% with my exercise. Mixing cardio, resistance and even meditation and Yoga. So that side of things is spot on. As per usual I seem to have trouble coordinating the two. The whole eating well AND exercising.

So I googled away to figure out my BMR. What it is that I consume in calories on a daily basis just to be me, present status.
It would seem fat me at current activity level eats 2200 calories a day. Which seems a lot considering I skip breakfast, don't eat snacks and essentially just have lunch and dinner.
What I myself know about my food choices for lunch and dinner are that they are stodgy. I love my breads and pastas. So even though I'm only eating twice a day ... it's calorie dense food all at the back end of the day.
A period of time when my activity has stopped and life is about cooking dinner, hanging with the kids and sitting on the couch.

So as I'm backtracking here to tell you what I did for the month I can say I thought what I was doing was good ... but it hasn't entirely been working!

Firstly, I've been counting my calories.
For the first week I just ate as normal as I wanted to see what I was doing wrong.
Now I am not the typical biggest loser contestant who has a table full of golden brown fat laden food as my before shot. I eat relatively nutritionally well, mainly as a result of having irritable bowl syndrome.
This means if I was to have nachos for dinner, washed down with some cider I'd make myself very ill for the next two days.
So my problem is not fat. I have a low fat diet ...
My problem is sugar. Sugar and refined carbs. Is that what they're called?
Not the good carbs you get from whole grains and vegetables. The bad carbs you get from white pasta, foccacias and such.

Image via: here

They supposedly turn to sugar in your system and are calorie dense. So even though I think I eat like a bird...guess what it still adds up to 2200 a day.

So after week 1, I could see 2200 was my daily average which is what one would eat if they want to stay 114.5kg. As I was working out so much I was earning 500+ calories per day to act as a deficit to my 2200, bringing me down to 1800 calories a day.
Which meant a 2500 to 3500 deficit over a week, which da da da equals a .5 weightloss.

Any wonder I'm not losing big numbers? I learnt...that 1 pound/.5kilo equals 3500 calories.
So if you want to lose 1 kilo a week you need to eliminate 7000 calories a week either through eating less or moving more.

Now I don't know about you, but for me, losing 500 calories in one day takes about an hour and a half at the gym.
This has been my tactic this month. To work out mon to fri and eliminate 500 cals a day so I can continue to lose .5 per week.

It has been working as I'm down another 2kg ... but ... I'm so bloody tired all the time. Waiting for this mystery boost in daily energy that all these weight loss programmes promise.

So at the end of this month, I hit another wall and decided that next month my focus needs to be on building up my metabolism, to have more energy and so I can start to manage more then just exercise and eating.

We all know how to do this:
Sleep well. 7.5 hours plus.
Drink plenty of water
eat 3 square meals, and 2 snacks
build muscle

I'm only doing the last two!
Go figure why I have no energy Hey!
So onward and upward, next month is all about energy building.
Jay xx