Monday, 29 June 2015

Club Kylie with Thinking Slimmer

Whenever I tried to lose weight my only goal was to lose weight. I didn't do specific goal setting. The 12 week focus group made me realise three things.

There is power in setting specific goals

Writing down when you have stuck to them and what results you have seen is amazing.

Sharing that with others, the successes and the challenges makes it so much easier and more rewarding.

So here is Club Kylie.

You will set some specific goals for the next twelve weeks and you will write them down. You can do this on the Slimpod Club post on the private Facebook group. You will break these up into weekly goals.

You will write down your positives every day, sharing them when you want to. If you have your own blog you can share them there.

You will choose a theme song for your 12 weeks, this is mine!

And you will share a piece of clothing you would like to wear at the end of the 12 weeks!

So how does that sound?

Welcome to Club Kylie

I will do my Club Kylie post tonight see you there!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Slimpod 12 week challenge Phase 2 Week 2

So I have come to the end of my second week of my own Slimpod 12 week challenge. Meh.

We all have meh weeks from time to time and this was mine. Meh.

Weight 17 stone 0 pounds. No change. Meh.
But really I shouldn't feel meh as I had lost 5 pounds the week before which is unheard of and I haven't put any on, so that was a real loss, not water weight etc. So I will just steal 2 pounds from there and average it out! So weight is the same, however my body fat percentage did drop so it's all good.

Exercise Meh. I feel like I haven't done a great job this week. So let's have a look at the step count
Saturday      19 251
Sunday        15 951
Monday       14 591
Tuesday       11 763
Wednesday  13 189
Thursday        8 807
Friday          12 495

I am falling into perfectionism and setting my self unattainable standards. I have been well over 10 000 steps every day bar one, and that was still a very good day. So well done me.

Al in all it's been a great week. Sunday was father's day and we had a pub lunch, I made good choices but ate loads. I also had a meal out with a friend and had chocolate cake.

I am being way too tough on myself. I am continuing to listen to my slimpod I think I might need to listen to chillpod a few times this week in order to remember to be kind to myself and give myself a bit of a break.

This Monday I am starting Club Kylie in conjunction with Thinking Slimmer and invite all of you to participate! Join me tomorrow to find out more!

Monday, 22 June 2015

The Two Year Triathlon Plan

Yesterday I wrote about how I would love to do a triathlon, partly for my dad, but also for Joseph. He is enjoying getting more active with me, and he definitely does plenty of exercise to balance out his screen time, and I know he will love training with me as he gets older. Perhaps we can even do triathlons together if we get the taste for it.

So here is the plan.

Fat Loss - The biggest barrier to my triathlon success is the amount of stored energy I carry around. So part of my triathlon plan is to just keep doing what I'm doing, maintain good nutrition and exercise regularly and get that down. As my stored energy diminishes further opportunities will become available to me. This is what slimpod does! Makes you feel much more positive about your journey, and reframes it into positive steps.

Running - I don't run currently. I am concentrating for the next 6 months on walking distance. I want to get really comfortable with 5k and slowly increase my time. I do a lot of climbing hills to build my cardiovascular strength rather than speed. I will start adding running in but at the moment it's dangerous. I carry a lot of weight and whilst I still have decent joint health I think running will seriously test them. By the end of the year I will start to add more running intervals. Minimising injury risk is important as I have two years to train to do this thing, but I don't want lay offs for injury if I can help it.

Swimming - We have our holiday coming up in 4 weeks so I am going to make sure I do some serious swimming then and on return I will start swimming a few times a week, building up to every day in winter when walking will be less appealing. I will start with pool swimming then next May will start outdoor swimming when the season starts so I will have a few months of outdoor swimming training and practice under my belt. I would love to try outdoor swimming now but I very much doubt I will get a wetsuit to fit and will feel better if I have less stored energy on my body when I am in a wetsuit.

Cycling - Currently my weakest point  biggest area for development and success, I don't ride at all at the moment. My husband has already talked about buying me a bike and getting Ursula (our car) fitted with a bike rack. We have oodles of off road cycle paths near our house, so I know I have everything I need to start cycling and build proficiency before July 2017.

I plan to join a triathlon club to get some support and advice and maybe meet some other people who are total novices, after all we all have to start somewhere, even if we are the wrong side of 40 and slightly out of shape!

I will at some point invest in some personal training as well, but at the moment I am happy just to chip away at the stored energy, look at investing in my bike and enjoy swimming.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Tri for Dad

This was the last moment I saw my father. My mum and Joseph had already gone to the car ready to drive us to the airport. Dad was so excited to be having a selfie. I kissed him goodbye, knowing this would be the last time I saw him. We had already discussed that I wouldn't return for his funeral. 

When dad died in January it wasn't a shock or surprise. But it was and is devastating. My dad was always there for me. It was him that gave me a lot of my strength, certainly my humour and I think my love for children comes from him too.

Just the day after he died I had my regular doctor's appointment and that appointment I told the doctor I wanted to work on my weight. You see dad had type 2 diabetes, mum does too, and neither of them are or have ever been morbidly obese. Dad died at 89 after having a reasonably healthy life although with some serious co morbidities.

The doctor wanted to refer me for bariatric surgery and my brain and heart screamed no. I know for some it's the right thing, but I was seriously worried if I didn't work on my reasons for being fat I would cheat the surgery. I used to be a very bad comfort eater. My meals have always been healthy, I've always been fairly active, but medicating my feelings with sugar got me into this mess, and even with surgery I could still have resorted to that.

I begged my GP to give me six months. Kate from Striking Mums saw my struggles on social media and recommended I apply for the Thinking Slimmer 12 week focus group. Finally after a few listens, my comfort eating was in check and my confidence in my ability slowly started rising,

Which brings us to the point of this post. Here I am around 12, with mum, dad and Kang, one of our dear Malaysian host students. Kiat and Kang were like brothers to me. I am delighted to still be in touch with Kiat through the magic of Facebook.

My dad taught a very frightened young girl to swim. In fact over the road in mum's best friend's backyard, and then pools and the beach. I am a confident, strong swimmer. Slow but good at distance. I love to swim anywhere and everywhere.

He taught me to ride a bike. This took ages. My balance and coordination aren't great. Nobody knows why, it was suspected I had some form of cerebral palsy when I was little I think nowadays I would be diagnosed with dyspraxia but no matter. I manage very well and eventually learnt to ride a bike. However I never got truly confident.

My plan is to do a traithlon. Not now in 2017. I want to be a healthy weight, I want to be strong, and I want to finish in the middle, not last. So that means some serious long term training. 

I would welcome any advice, especially on cycling, as I currently don't cycle and know that I need to start soon in order to build my confidence and ability in this area. 

So dad, your daughter will compete in her first triathlon in July 2017, hopefully either Llandudno or Chatsworth House.

How's that for a goal?

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Slimpod 12 week challenge Phase 2 Week 1

The week that was with Slimpod!

Let's start with the scales. So I went to my beloved Boots for weigh in yesterday. I jumped on the scales looked down and thought "really? no can't be right"

Weight: 17 stone 0 pounds 108 kg (I'm gonna ignore the 0.3 lol) I take two off for my GPs official weight as their scales are 2 kilos different. But 108 kilos. 12 kilos down from Christmas. That's an average of 2 kilos a month or 4 pounds. I am more than happy with that!

Exercise: I am so happy with my step count this week I will set it out here, so I can reflect on it and see where I can increase it a little this week.

Saturday        13 557
Sunday          25 746
Monday        20 618
Tuesday        14 223
Wednesday   15 678
Thursday       10 232
Friday           30 874

Friday included equivalent of 124 flights of stairs as I walked up Holcombe Hill.

I'm in a good routine with walking in the week. I do 5000 steps before work 2000-4000 at lunch time and usually a walk after work. As well weight loss I have noticed my stress management vastly improving and my general well being is much better. I have always had days where I walked a lot but now every day is a good day for walking.

Exercise goals: I have signed up for two races. The 5k Cancer Research UK in July and the 5k Elelectric Run in September. I really want to do Tough Mudder, but I have decided that's a goal for next year. The other thing I want to do is increase my swimming, but I am going to hold off until the weather gets revolting and replace my morning walks with a swim. I think that's sensible. I have also decided to ask Father Christmas for a bike so I can start bike riding next year. We can see where this is headed, wait for the blog post on that one!

Food: My nutribullet is now firmly part of my routine. I have a smoothie ever morning. Generally they consist of 30-40% veggies 30-40% fruit, some seeds and nuts and topped with non dairy milk. These keep me satisfied til lunch time and help fuel my exercise. I am not snacking mid morning at all. I am drinking water and herb or green teas during the day. Lunch is either a salad from home or crudities and a homemade dip, or I get a salad and soup from our friendly bicycle delivery lady at work who has recently started. I love her salads as they don't have dressing and they're really fresh. My dinners vary, but my portion sizes have vastly decreased. I no longer need something sweet after meals, and occasionally have chocolate in the evening especially if I notice I have exercised a lot and not eaten a great deal.

My diet is quite low carb. This isn't a conscious thing, I don't fancy bread at all at the moment, or pasta very often. I do have some grains but not loads, it's just a matter of listening to my body. I did have bread yesterday on my 20k walk day as my body asked for it. It's clearly working so I am just letting my body ask for what it wants. This is really new for me and exciting.

Food challenges this week: There was only one, a bring a plate lunch at the London office. I just totally relaxed about it, and found there was oodles of healthy choices. I had a small plate of salad and that was enough. However sweets were a challenge. My office is legendary for cakes and treats. I have decided in terms of sweets I am only eating homemade not commercial and only if something looks really appealing. There was a container of gulab jamun made by one of my colleague's Indian aunties. I couldn't say no, so I had it, enjoyed it, felt a huge sugar rush that scared me, and that was enough. It's really nice to be about to have a treat as a treat and not feel compelled to eat more just because it's there.

On Thursday one of my friends brought some Twirl sharing chocolate to work, and I said no. I felt really rude, but I'm not eating dairy at all really apart from the odd bit of cheese and I knew it wouldn't make me feel good, so I just said no. I am really proud as it's the first time that situation has happened and I dealt with it easily. One bit of Twirl isn't going to make a difference to anything, however it's the pattern of behaviour I need to change, and I have. And I'm really proud.

Non scale victories: I've got a huge pile of clothes that need to go to the charity shop. I tried on a dress for my upcoming holiday and it's a tent, so i am going to attempt a refashion into a skirt and top. I feel amazing about the changes. When I walked into the office in a loose size 18 dress everyone stopped and looked. I look different and I am proud of that.

I was nervous about losing my team of slimpodders, but I know I can do this and I have all of you supporting me for which I am so grateful. Charting my weightloss on Instagram has been amazing. I have so much support and love out there I know I will do this!

So a huge thank you to all of you.

Weight loss journey supported by Thinking Slimmer

Monday, 15 June 2015

Good News, Bad News and Good News

I had blood tests last week and for the first time I had the HbA1c test for diabetes. I have blood tests every year as I am on blood pressure medication, but this was the first time for this particular one. I was nervous as I had recently had an assessment at Diabetes UK in one of their caravans which showed I am at very high risk of Type 2 diabetes. As per the NHS website

Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes is increased if:
  • you're over 40 years of age (over 25 if you're South Asian)
  • you have a close family member with diabetes (a parent, brother or sister)- two parents and my sister had gestational diabetes 
  • you're overweight or obese, with a waist size of over 80cm (31.5 inches) for women and 94cm (37 inches) for men, or 89cm (35 inches) for South Asian men 
  • you're of South Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or black African origin (even if you were born in the UK) 
  • you've ever had a cardiovascular disease, such as a heart attack orstroke
  • you're a woman with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and also overweight
  • you're a woman and you've had gestational diabetes or given birth to a baby of over 10 pounds - I've cheated on this as I had my baby 1 week before my glucose tolerance test! 
  • you have a severe mental health condition, such as depression,schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and you're taking medication for it
  • you've been told you have impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glycaemia

I rang on Friday and was told my tests were fine. I felt uneasy as it was the new receptionist so I rang again today and asked to speak to the GP, and asked him to check my HbA1c result. As I expected it was raised at 41 right on the cusp of being pre diabetic. The GP went on to explain the dietary and lifestyle changes I needed to make. I could happily tell him I was well on the way. He looked at my records and said "well done keep going".

I am so glad I have made a start on this, and it's not as daunting as it could be. I am well on the way. I know I am doing all the right things, eating a good diet, getting plenty of exercise, and lowering my BMI from 45 to 42 so far. I know I need to stick with it and be steadfast.

Slimpod says it's inevitable I will look how I dream, however this isn't about looks, it's about health and watching that number go down. The good thing is I don't need to make any lifestyle changes as I've done that already. I can continue with how I am and watch my health improve. I will do this. I have to.

I want to be a fit healthy old person watching my son achieve is goals and dreams, and I need to be fit and healthy to do that. I won't fail this time. 

Sunday, 14 June 2015

A Dint in the Armour

I walk a lot. I actually always have, but now I am walking consistently and often, every day reaching 10 000 steps and sometimes more.

Last night I went for a walk, it was 8pm, I walked towards the country park and then up to the main road, called in at the garage for bananas and milk, and continued walking. I heard a bit of a bang from a passing car. A vodka bottle had been thrown in my direction (empty, in case you were curious) Then a young man, about 22 or so started yelling at me aggressively over and over calling me a "fat s*g". He continually gave me the finger, so I smiled and waved. Frustratingly the cars were so close together I couldn't see the number plate.

I won't lie. It's shaken me. I have finally got the courage to wear a t-shirt and exercise pants when walking. They are tight and my bottom probably does look like it could eclipse a small planet. I am not Tess Halliday, I can't just shake it off, but maybe she can't either. Maybe every jibe, every debate hurts her just as much as last night hurt me.

Calling someone fat should be a hate crime. If you call someone a word we associate with being black or Jewish or Muslim, that's hate crime. Being fat isn't really a lifestyle choice. I didn't exactly choose to be fat, I didn't choose to use food as a coping mechanism, it could quite as easily have been alcohol or drugs.

I am choosing to work on my weight, and I want to be a normal weight, not to get acceptance, as I don't care about that, and morons like the lad in the car last night would probably pick something else anyway.

I want to be a normal weight so I can ride a bike with Joseph, run around at sports day, swim with him in the ocean, watch him graduate and be there when he has a family.

I don't want an old age punctuated by doctors appointments, being unable to move freely, being poorly. I want to give this body the best chance of being young and vibrant for a long time.

And yeah, I want to look good in exercise clothes but hey, most people already think I look good. I get smiles and encouragement on line and in real life.

This moron represents all those who have done this over the years. All my life I have experienced episodes of this. When I lived in Tasmania I would go home and cry and then not go out for ages. I would console myself with food.

I haven't done this this time, I have had a whine on Twitter and here, and I am carrying on, putting on my exercise clothes and hitting the streets. He'll still be asleep shaking off his vodka induced hangover.

I am the better person by far, I can lose weight, he is stuck with being a moron. 

Saturday, 13 June 2015

The next 12 weeks

So my 12 week programme with Thinking Slimmer has come to an end, but of course my journey continues. I seem to have acquired two sets of weights. My GP's scales weigh me 3 kilos lighter than Boots scales, bless them. So if I seem to fluctuate by 3 kilos that's why!

So let's go by Boots weights as they are on a print out.

Today I weigh 110 kilos (woo!)

12 weeks from now: Sunday 6th September (ok it should be the Saturday, but as the 6th is my wedding anniversary lets go with that!

My 12 weeks goals

* To fit into my size 16 dress by my wedding anniversary
* To walk 10 000 steps every week day
* To reach 30 000 most weekends
* To reach 50 000 on one weekend
* To try 3 new foods
* To listen to my simpod and fitpod every day

I feel very positive that I can achieve these goals, although the new foods is quite challenging, but I am sure there are things at the health food store or grocer that I have never tried, or have had once and disliked and not had again. Maybe.

I'm really happy now my weight loss seems to have levelled at 1-2 pounds a week, that's just right for me I think and the exciting thing is that my body fat is going down quickly.

22nd May    51% body fat
1st June       48.5% body fat
12th June     47.4% body fat

Proof that I am using my stored energy to fuel my exercise!

I'm really enjoying the process now, which makes it much easier, and to know that I can eat in "normal" situations, without it derailing me, is very empowering.

I don't back to the GP now for 2 months, he's given me a break from going in monthly, so hopefully I can make good inroads into my goals by then!

Friday, 12 June 2015

12 weeks changed my life

* I was selected to be on a Thinking Simmer focus group.
* I started listening to a bloke called Trevor once or twice a day telling me I could lose weight
* I started to believe him
* I met some amazing people through our Facebook group and got to know some people a lot better.
* I began to stop resenting having to lose weight and realise that lots of us are overweight and want to be slimmer.
* I started to really enjoy packing my own lunch, finding interesting things for breakfast, eating more widely, and experimenting with flavours and textures.
* I made more opportunities for exercise.
* I took a holiday in Germany for a week and came back 2 kilos lighter. I kept listening, I walked a lot, and I let myself eat instinctively without dieting. And it worked.
* I learnt I could trust myself.
* I bought a fit bit. I really didn't want to and argued with Sandra about it initially.
* I fell in love with my fit bit. Not so much the steps but the really motivating thing for me is seeing how many floors I have climbed. My top is over 80 in a day, and I always get over 15. No wonder my thighs and bottom are so strong!
* I bought a NutriBullet. Another thing I have resisted, but its such an easy breakfast thing, as porridge gets boring after the 200th time, and I get to squish in some great sources of protein and micronutrients as well.
* I bought my first ever 50's style dress and got millions of comments on line and on the street. I felt like a 50's movie star.
* I got my hair cut short and discovered my face is a lot slimmer than it was.
* I found my clothes getting loose.
* I bought new clothes in smaller sizes.
* I started smiling a lot!
* I broke out my make up collection for days when I want to accentuate my new smile and confidence.
* I went to see my GP 6 months after he told me I wouldn't be able to lose weight without bariatric surgery. I think his smile was almost bigger than mine when he saw me and weighed me.
* For the first time in my life I can see that weight loss is a process and a long one and that's ok. It takes what it takes and my mind and body know what they are doing.
* I will look how I dream to look. It's ok to want to be slimmer, and I do want this now.
* It's all about goal setting and recording success, not deprivation and punishment.

I have lost 10 kilos in 12 weeks (yikes)
I have lost 2 dress sizes
I have reached my 10 000 steps every day
I have climbed 500 flights of stairs (equivalent) in the two weeks I have had my fit bit
My blood pressure is stable and happy

I probably have another 2 years or so before I am at a normal weight for my height. I have decided to continue to do "focus 12" and set myself mini 12 week goals.

I will keep you all up to date!