Thursday, July 4, 2013

Taking Charge: The Challenges

Moving towards a healthier lifestyle has its challenges: there are days when I don’t feel like exercising, eating healthily, where I’m feeling demotivated… I can deal with these but I have found that my biggest challenge is eating enough protein.
I know, right? I can just see your looks of puzzlement and surprise. How can I, a self-confessed carnivore, have a problem eating enough protein? Well, it’s harder than you think. With my new eating plan I’ve had no problems reducing my carb intake, but eating protein has proven a challenge especially as I have high cholesterol. It has been out with fatty meats - not that I ever ate much because I prefer lean meat but I do miss bacon! Red meat is a rarity as I only like the good cuts (read pricey and out of my budget) and I’ve therefore been eating a lot of chicken and fish. And then I went of chicken (it just tastes weird).
So what options am I left with? Not much it turns out. Beans and pulses are not an option for me because they are very starchy. Tofu is revolting and belongs in the same category as brussel sprouts and beetroot. I don’t eat eggs and there is only so much cottage cheese or ricotta anyone can eat. When my dietician told me how much cottage cheese I should eat in a sitting I thought she must be mad: a quarter to half a tub!
I’m starting to think that my disinterest in meat may be due to the fact that I am tired of cooking. There is nothing more demotivating than cooking for one person. No wonder single people live off ready-made meals. Woolworths knows what it’s doing.
On a positive note though: I’ve reached an incredible achievement in that I do not actually beat myself up or feel guilty if I don’t stick 100% to my eating plan, or if I decide to not go to gym on a gym day. I think that not feeling guilty is not only good for the soul but it can help me achieve more because I do not view the slippages as failures any more. For someone with ingrain guilt complex, that’s major.
Now to get my taste buds back into gear.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Taking Charge: The Wellness Journey

Last month one of my decisions was to find a health and fitness buddy. Lucky for me, my friend Kerri told me that she also wanted to improve her health and fitness. We therefore decided to go on a Wellness Journey together. Part of this journey is to motivate each other on a daily basis and help each other through the tough cravings and the lack of motivation. We decided to call it a wellness journey because that’s the ultimate goal to be healthy and fit and to feel good in our own skins, physically as well as emotionally.
In order to not lose focus we’ve set ourselves a bunch of targets which we would like to achieve.   My aim is to become fit, have automatic healthy eating habits, reach my 70kg goal weight and drop from a 36 top to a 34 and from a 40 bottom to a 36. I will achieve this by:
·         Sticking to my eating plan. This means:
o   Preparing meals in advance.
o   Drinking 2 litres water / day.
o   Eating out as little as possible and then only having healthiest options on the menu.
o   Not exceeding my 2 cheats a week.
o   Logging everything I eat.
·         Hitting the gym 3 x week:
o   When running I will gradually increase running time intervals. Currently two 5 minute intervals in a 20 min treadmill session.
o   Get a strength training workout from the gym.
o   Alternate between classes and strength training.
·         Walking for at least 1 hour once a week to train towards the 702 Walk the Talk.
So far I’m not doing too badly. I’m going more regularly to gym and one of the trainers has been very generous to show me exercise sets that I can do. Full body workouts that just kill me but I actually am starting to enjoy them and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with it.

This is me lifting 15kg (The trainer only told me afterwards how much it was.  Sneaky!)
Last night Kerri sent me an email asking if I would be keen to do the Tougher than Dirt Run in November. My first reaction was “You have got to be kidding! Are you mad?” and then I thought about it. This is the year where I’m setting myself new challenges. After all, I decided to do the 15km 702 Walk the Talk. I’ve even started to attempt running, and I’m not coughing my lungs out when I do. So I said yes. It hasn’t quite sunk in, but crickey, yes, I’m going to do this and finish it.
See you at the finish line!