Changing Habits, Changing Lives – the day the scales stood still Day #44

Okay. Well. It’s been over two weeks since my last post and sheesh a lot has happened in that time.

For starters, just four days ago I lost more weight and got down to 59kg. It was quite something to see that on the scales. It was my primary goal through this challenge and really something to have that sense of achievement at following through.

I actually stood and stared for the longest time, then got off and on about four times. Just in case. Y’know. Like in case a ‘scale’ MacGyver had been in the neighbourhood. Nup. Turns out it was true. So, I did what all good iPhone owners would do and took a photo of it. I actually hit record and started recording it. Strange the things excitement can do to you. The next day I got on again and hello 58kg! This time round I started laughing. I was in total disbelief at the outcome. I never and I mean never, thought I would feel fit and have optimum health again.

As I mentioned two weeks into this challenge, it was always about the follow through for me, and the weight loss is a fantastic by-product. It means I’ve shed so much emotional baggage, toxicity, negative mindsets and fear. It reinforces that the course of action I took was by far the right thing to do and the reward is… I regained my clarity, calm, clear thinking and optimism back 10-fold. It makes me wholeheartedly believe that it is possible for people to take positive control of their health and wellbeing. And that, makes this journey totally worth it.

I’m staying true to my Top 10 shout outs and splitting them into two parts. This post will recognise the Top 5 friends that supported me along the way. I’ve realised you just can’t gain the best outcomes alone. A posse of the ‘right’ people will get you where you need to go. And that, needs commendation. The other Top 5 are my mentors + business support, who also become evident to me in this process.

Health + what you do = directly correlated.

So here goes (in no particular fashion, I mean playing favourites is what Cadbury’s does right?):

  1. My housemate the amazing Nicole.  I have to say living with an easygoing, insightful, kind and pretty freaking funny person, is going to pay dividends when you embark on crazy challenges to change your lifestyle. When you’re turning your world on its head, you need someone to keep the axis spinning at the same pace. I recommend everybody gets themselves a friend like this. It’ll be the difference between success and failure. The difference between relenting and eating bags of potato chips, or staying strong and thinking of the bigger picture. Only a superstar athlete like Nic, knows what that is about. Home is where the heart is, and you need to be happy there when you’re hungry and wanting to raid a bakery at midnight.nic and lee
  2. My food + new career + journey into the unknown friend Becki. Becki moonlights as foodiecure. If you haven’t checked her out, go on now and do it. Here’s the link again in case you don’t want to go back one sentence: foodiecure. Becks and I used to have many a chat in the kitchen (as all good food fanatics do) at our old ‘corporate’ job discussing how we had these grand plans, amazing visions and what we thought were pipe dreams 7 months ago. By fluke we ended up resigning on the same day and tracking a super similar course of prosperity. We both now wake up every day and do what we love, and that has been the best journey ever. I’m so grateful to have a pal that went on that unplanned drive to who knows where. Moral of the story: follow your gut people. Follow your GUT. If it’s hungry – feed it good food and if it is telling you something, listen to it. me and becks
  3. My best friend ever in the whole wide world Jessica. You totally need a person that is so exactly the same as you, but so immensely different, that they encourage (sometimes force or ‘make’ you) do things that you’re really fearful or anxious about. We’ve been best friends for over 16 years. Yup 16 years. That is like almost half my life (well a bit more) and she’s the most adventurous, driven, well-travelled, social, logical and quick witted person I have the utmost pleasure of calling my buddy. Life has only graced us with 1.5 years of ever living in the same city and we’re testament that true friendship runs stronger than seeing each other every other day. It’s about absolute loyalty. If you have a bestie like this, you’ll know what I mean. If you don’t – you can share and jess
  4. Techno whizz-Terrifically Elegantly Intelligent- Mind Blowing-Best Question asking person ever. My uber cool compadre Terri-Ann has taught me the art of ‘actionable items.’ Espousing less rhetoric and doing more – making extraordinary things happen. She’s also a quintessential minimalist, so I am going to honour that by not banging on and just saying one impactful statement: “Tez takes creative thinking to a whole new utopia of making you feel like you’ve had three of the best espressos of your life and you are gonna be freaking awesome, because she makes you do and not say.” tez the amazing whizz kid
  5. There’s always one person who gets there first. Leah. So it seems poignant that I’m writing this today, as in less than 24 hours my most utterly driven sports-mad friend Leah will be summiting Island Peak. Oh, it’s just part of the Himalayas and you’ve only got to ice-pick  your way up it. Yah, really! So Leah is pretty much of the champion mindset.  This girl will put her mind to it and do it before you’ve even turned around to put your ice-cream wrapper in the bin. We’ve summited Mt Kilimanjaro, trekked part of the Great Wall of China and triathlon trained together – but she’s gone on to do The Ride to Conquer Cancer twice (over 250km), Kokoda, Island Peak and I believe Oxfam next year. Leah  took me to The Wellness Summit and pretty much got the ball rolling for me to turn my health around. Total respect for that. I’m such a grateful friend, that I picked the most flattering photo of her. I mean only some people can pull off a clown outfit? Fit people that’s who. And that rounds up my Top 5. Next post I’ll share my insights of the business savvy women you just can’t do without. If you thought you were productive now, wait till you meet these movers and and leah and sammi-jo

Day #48 of The Amazing Weight (6 days after the end)

And so it ends. The 42-day no processed sugar extravaganza has come to a grinding halt.

I can honestly say from this experience that I have learnt so much. About myself, sugar and it’s many guises (and disguises), food marketing – and how I behave when I am exposed to it and motivation levels (or lack thereof).

The 4 main aims of this ‘experiment’ were centred about improving the quality of food eaten, increasing movement, reducing spending and hopefully as a positive consequence of all of that bodyfat levels go down as well.

Being a Virgo I love a list. Here’s my Top 10 take-outs in no particular order.

  1. The Greengrocers: I reduced my ‘random’ visits to major shops (who shall remain nameless) and started buying from fresh provision outlets again. I bought things haphazardly to reduce buying the usual favourites like spinach, tomatoes, broccoli etc. I ended up with colourful produce and became a lot more creative.
  2. Instead of packaged food, the cafe at my work creates displays with food. Like an edible art exhibition.

    Instead of packaged food, the cafe at my work creates displays with food. Like an edible art exhibition.

    The Kitchen: I started using it! I had a good 2 week stint where I was working at home and cooking became a really fun outlet. I didn’t use recipe books per se, really memorised some good staple dishes and added flourishes here and there. Being super cold weather- heartier fare came into play and even though I felt full afterwards, I didn’t feel that sense of stodge you get when you load up on heavily processed fare.

  3. Organic this and that: I am not going to bang on here. I supplemented my shopping with a trip to an organic store every now and then to load up on goodies. I’ve discovered a new favourite brand and they make a really delicious range of chocolates. Sweetened with coconut nectar! And…. you can order online + they deliver + they are based in Melbourne = winning!
  4. I like to spend it, spend it: I don’t think I was very successful on this front. I didn’t save anything on the eating out front. I do keep a ledger of all my expenses and prior to working part-time this was one of my biggest outlets. I did make better food choices and reduce potatoes, white processed foods, sugar, junk food and fast food. For me personally, this was a big win and I feel less sluggish in the digestion stakes.
  5. Cooking for the community and making food accessible to all.

    Cooking for the community and making food accessible to all.

    Community appeal: I eat at Lentil as Anything a couple of times a week now. Beautiful vegetarian food served near on 7 days a week – breakfast, lunch and dinner at a price you can afford. Literally. You pay what you feel is right and according to your circumstances. It’s a pretty cool philosophy and popularity indicated by how packed out it gets.

  6. Motivation to exercise: This was the area I struggled the most in. Like, I really battled. I did not go to the gym as much as planned, instead I did a lot of walking, tennis, the odd yoga class here and there and cycling. I felt like it was such a chore and this is an area I am going to explore more. I still hit the quota every week, but only because I ‘had’ to, not because I wanted to.
  7. Bodyfat: I lost about 3 kgs during this little experiment. I had no idea to be honest. Until I went to see my naturopath and then weighed myself. Clothes were a little looser and I felt like I lost a little bit – but not that much. Even though this is important, I feel like the learnings far outweighed the scales.
  8. Leaning tower of slaw.

    Leaning tower of slaw.

    Reduced portion sizes: Prior to this challenge, I was eating mindlessly. Strange food combinations and just sort of filling the void. Once I started eating better quality food, this reduced significantly and I didn’t feel the need to ’emotionally’ eat as so many of us do. I was a champion at that and food marketing really helped me along that journey. Once I reduced watching commercial tv and started watching more documentaries (no food ads!) a shift started.

  9. What food cravings increased: Cheese. (my naturopath told me it’s about the protein). Caffeine (energy). Chocolate (another energy one, but I found some good substitutes). Yoghurt. Soups – lots of veggies.
  10. Wellness experts: I also learnt there are a lot of people out there dishing out specific health advice. This was another massive eye opener, as I think it is pretty scary to specifically tell someone what to do. For me, as a freelance writer and journalist – it is super important to experience things, and now I have a small insight into what it feels like to undertake this.

My housemate made some terrific changes too. It certainly makes it more fun and helps when you have a buddy to support you in the ups and downs of change. That was a big thing for me. Food is such a social elixir and shared journeys are a great way to achieving positive outcomes for yourself and our society as a whole.

Day #31 of The Amazing Weight.

Just over a month ago, it was Easter and I was happily munching away on hot cross buns and sculling deliciously syrupy hot chocolates. Fast forward to ‘May Day’ and I just satisfied my sweet tooth with some slices of crisp green apple and cheese. My, how times have changed. Yes, I near on ate half the wedge of cheese, but at least I am sticking to the no-processed sugar challenge right? Perhaps I need to do a ‘eat less cheese’ experiment next.

Last week I went interstate and celebrated a dear friend’s birthday. We celebrated with a monstrous chocolate cupcake. When it came time for me to celebrate with a ceremonious wedge of chocolate goodness, I put my hand up and said ‘no thanks, I’ll pass’. What happened then was an interesting turn of play that I think entraps most people.



I relented and said “oh okay, just a sliver.” So, I ate said sliver, resigning myself to the fact it would be my cheat meal. What a waste of a good cheat meal! I guess it makes up for the amount of bread I ate on previous occasions. I did not feel that sense of mmmmmmmm, this is hitting the spot. Instead it was sickly sweet, dry and not a good compliment to the Thai food I had consumed.

Very. Interesting.

For the first time in over a month I did not feel satisfied by this ‘indulgence’. Does that mean I’ve changed?


Mohinga. Believed to be the national dish of Burma and the 'reason' of my love of all things savoury.

Mohinga. Believed to be the national dish of Burma and the ‘reason’ for my love of all things savoury.

My mum tells me that part of our heritage (Burmese) is to love all things sour, hot, spicy and bitter. Well. That sure is a polar opposite to the ‘sweet’ challenge. I love how a lot of Asian food seems to stem from medicinal goodness. Bar the oily and salty varieties that have somehow morphed their way into our takeway options. The soup I have pictured is filled with fresh coriander, eggs, fish, banana bark (yes!), garlic, lemon juice, chilli etc. It’s a way that Burmese people start their day. An asian ‘Nutrigrain’ one could say!

I’ve had a great opportunity to learn and evolve during this challenge and especially, awaken myself to better food choices. I’ve noticed that by cutting out ‘sweet’, I craved carbs and starch for sugar. I’ve noticed now I am reducing carbs and starch, I’m craving caffeine for energy. One by one, my body is working it’s way through to find a fuel source.

So, I am going to turn things on it’s head. For the next few months, I’ve decided to eliminate a lot of the stuff I crave and try to eat as unprocessed as I can. I thought this ‘no-processed-sugar’ challenge would wreck me, but instead I’m really keen to see how far I can modify things to gain optimum health.

Frittata me that - Quinoa, fetta, kale and cheese. Chased with a fennel, pea,  cabbage and citrus dressing. Gone in less than 5 minutes.

Frittata me that – Quinoa, fetta, kale and cheese. Chased with a fennel, pea, cabbage and citrus dressing. Gone in less than 5 minutes.

I re-read Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar  e-book again last night, as I’ve been thinking about doing that challenge next. This one will be more involved as you need to kiss fruit goodbye (eek!) and also sugar in general. Two things I read last night, really resonated with me from her e-book:

After I quit sugar I was able to drink coffee again. I’d gone off it for three years because it got me too racy. Now I metabolise it just fine.


I’ve lapsed. Several times.

I love how there is acknowledgement of lapsing and that it is a good moment to see whether you have enjoyed it. Unlike this challenge, which comes with a monetary penalty! But what a great incentive that has been for me.

One of my mum's easy peasey meals. Grilled chicken with haloumi and pan fried kale. Chilli olives and vinegary fresh white anchovies to snack on. YUM!

One of my mum’s easy peasey meals. Grilled chicken with haloumi and pan fried kale. Chilli olives and vinegary fresh white anchovies to snack on. YUM!

And lastly, the meal above shows that even a 70 year old Diabetic 2 woman (my mum!) can make better food choices after more than a decade of being diagnosed with it. Good on ya mum.


Day #23 of The Amazing Weight

I went to see my Naturopath on Monday, the great James at The Good Life clinic. After my last few blog posts regarding my penchant for potatoes, bread, cheese and all things savoury was getting the better of me, I thought a good chat was in order.

Well. What an hour of power that turned out to be. I learnt more in that hour about nutrition than I have in pretty much all the years I’ve been consumed by food marketing and health magazines. My cheat meal on Friday night is indicative of what I learnt:

Mexican beef crepes.

Mexican beef crepes.

I’m a starch junkie. Wow, what a revelation that was. Insulin is an interesting old thing isn’t it? Until I had the purpose explained to me in the simplest form possible and how it works, I wasn’t quite getting my strong desire to inhale all things starchy. Sugar. The culprit again.

So, by trying really hard to eliminate what I see as the ‘obvious’ processed\refined sugar food products – ie, chocolate, biscuits, cakes, ice-cream, lollies and the like, I’ve gone onto the other end of the spectrum and started craving and I mean craving all things starchy.

You might recall my 5 days of potato bingeing? Well, I haven’t touched one since then, so doing good on that front. I did start seeking out bread based cheat meals and also starch-based foods to eat. I’m absolutely fascinated by this behaviour and how my body\mind is actively looking for energy sources.

Until I started this little sugar challenge 23 days ago, I had a very poor idea on how sugar masquerades. I take a Chromium based supplement and a Vitamin B6 supplement to assist with my blood sugar. This wager with my housemate has far more serious ramifications for me than just being a friendly bet. My mum has Diabetes 2 and I, really want to prevent the same thing happening.

Haigh you! Eat me, eat all of us. It might be a rocky road, but you will enjoy the journey.

Haigh you! Eat me, eat all of us. It might be a rocky road, but you will enjoy the journey.

I bypassed this lovely window dressing in the CBD on Friday night. En route to my cheat meal. This was a pivotal moment for me, as I realised something interesting. Unless you put it in front of me, I am generally okay. Generally. If I see an ad on tv, guaranteed, I’ll get a hankering for that product. Or for something to eat. I am still yet to decide if it is FOMO (the classic ‘fear of missing out’), some sort of reward mechanism (all those years of sales!) or emotional.

My housemate couldn’t bypass her cheat meal though. It always fascinates me how people are drawn to completely different flavours, yet can derive the exact same level of enjoyment. I guess presentation of food plays a big, big part in visually stimulating our minds and in turn our appetites. No wonder food photography is going gangbusters! I’m a sucker, I admit it. I never used to take photos of food, I’d just eat it. Now, my Instagram is a collection of candid culinary shots.

Sugar and spice and all things nice.

Sugar and spice and all things nice.

With regard to advertising, I found these guys in our work kitchen the other day:

It's good for your health. Or is it?

It’s good for your health. Or is it?

You might recall a few blog posts ago, that I had a similar conundrum when it was post-Easter, with all the Easter eggs strewn across the table at work. I went to grab some for my housemate and then realised it was of no use. We’re in a no-sugar challenge. This little snack-a-thon above confused me though. A marketing campaign for health insurance company on cupcakes? Would a really yummy fresh vegie platter or berries with natural yogurt have worked as well? Maybe some slices of fruit?

Again, I go back to my comment about FOMO. It took a bit to walk away. Oh, but I don’t want it to go to waste. One won’t hurt, they’re not very big and I can burn it off. They look so de-li-cious! My boring apple is not the same. I ended up making a green tea and drinking that instead. I think I went back and scoffed a piece of fruit, some dried broad beans and cheese instead. 

I also did a little experiment and cut caffeine out for about 4 days as well. Slept. Really well. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Continue reading

Day #15 of The Amazing Weight

Just over 1/3rd of the challenge completed. I’ve found the last few days extremely difficult to be honest. I did a course over the weekend and attached to the venue was a French Patisserie. A beautiful haven of all things buttery, sugary and flavoursome. It truly was torture to bypass the fresh almond croissants laden with icing sugar, pain au chocolat and scrolls. Instead, I drank black tea and ate the sliced melon, *sigh*.

Saturday night my housemate and I did a little trip to the shops to find her ‘cheat meal’ and I had a hankering for biscuits. Well, no luck on the biscuit front as everything had sugar in it. I elected to go for a sugar free chocolate bar instead. Yes, sugar free! Sweetened with stevia instead. Eureka, I felt like I had found gold. I’m partial to mint, so you can imagine my surprise, standing there in my tracksuit with chlorine-smelling-hair and flip flops on (height of inner suburban fashion) perusing the ‘natural foods’ aisle for dark chocolate goodness and finding success.

I can't believe it's not chocolate!
I can’t believe it’s not chocolate!

Earlier on that week, I’d passed an organic store on ‘the other side of town’ and opted to duck in. I actually wanted some yummy savoury treat, but instead, walked into an Aladdin’s Cave of organic gems. I have a tendency to get overwhelmed when I am presented with a lot of choice. In this case being food, I felt giddy. I methodically set about balancing kale, tins of beans, felafals and rainbow chard in my arms.I conceded defeat when the cardigan wearing, floppy blonde-haired surfer guy noisily munching on a bag of corn chips, grinned idiotically at me and my balancing act. I  realised I was not a juggler and better get a basket to put my goods in.

While struggling to hold the overflowing basket of organic goodies and contemplating if I had to take out a loan to pay for it all (why is it so expensive?) I spotted paleo chocolate. My housemate would love that I thought. Her verdict? Delicious. Clearly not as sweet, but not a bad option if you truly are a chocoholic.

All that glitters is not gold. It can also be an astounding amount of kickboxing trophies to blind your guests when they come over to borrow a book.

All that glitters is not gold. It can also be an astounding amount of kickboxing trophies to blind your guests when they come over to borrow a book.

My housemate is also a former kickboxing champion. The trophy’s in our dining room are a culmination of years of hard work, relentless training and maintaing a specific nutrition intake. Noticed how I steered clear of the words ‘diet’ and ‘clean eating’? I read a post once where someone took a great deal of offence to the latter set of words. I’m still not entirely sure why to this day. I gave up reading after it started getting novel-esque.

2 days ago could've looked very different.

2 days ago could’ve looked very different.

She was actually lined up to fight last Saturday night. Unfortunately it did not go through and instead we found ourselves standing in the harsh fluorescent lights of the shops, perusing aisles and contemplating dvd choices. It’s called downtime folks.  ‘Going in’ is the new ‘going out’. This challenge has been a turning point for her too. Accustomed to quite a rigorous training schedule, the last 2 weeks of this challenge has seen her out running most mornings and getting into the gym again too. It’s a good feeling she tells me. When sport has been such an intrinsic part of your life, once that mindset kicks back in, the athlete mentality returns.

Nutrition on the other hand has required a bit more planning. She’s discovered cooking in batches helps prepare for the week and reduces temptation to eat out. We have a saying where we like to “burn money”. It’s easy to do. Being methodical and having variety also alleviates buying the same thing. ie coriander, (Why do shops always run out of this? No-one liked it when I was a kid), spinach, tomatoes, cucumber. We’ve became fans of the throw it all in and see what happens.

Okale-y oh. Souperb.

Okale-y oh. Souperb.

Well, I have anyway. I’m now trying to buy more seasonal and unusual produce and ‘invent’ hearty fare. It’s working so far. My intake of vegetables has increased dramatically and I find if I ‘hide’ food in soups and the like, I’ll devour the lot.

With respect to my housemates work and study schedule, she’s done extremely well in keeping to her goals. I think this is the area she has achieved the most breakthrough in. A great deal of sacrifice goes into studying as most would know, and I admire the drive and focus to get assignments in. I’ve always been the last-minute-joe. Staying up till all sorts of a.m. hours bleary eyed, writing or typing away into oblivion.

Speaking of which I’ve noticed a few things changed for me too.

Coffee intake increased.

Desire to eat cheese (a lot) returned and

I got carried away and spent the money reserved for the end on a recent Adidas sale. Whoops. Not a good move when you are also finishing up work in a week!

Day #9 of The Amazing Weight

9 is my lucky number. Purely because I was born on the 9th of the 9th month and that kinda seems fortuitous right? Well as luck would have it, today got designated cheat meal day and I managed to devour a fairly decent sized burger and chips. Not just any ol’ burger, but a whopping ‘country-style-bought-from-a-diner-type-burger’. Well. Now we wait another week to absolve my guilt and do it again. This deprivation & satiation pendulum is starting to eat at me. (pun intended. please groan and laugh accordingly)

Leaning Tower of Burger

Leaning Tower of Burger

Chips. For those savvy readers and now regular followers, you will have come to understand and sympathise with my unbridled passion for the potato. Affectionately known as spud, dirt candy or ‘the vegetable that tastes bloody brilliant any way you cook it‘. 9 days in and I have noticed, and not subtly either, that I have an unwavering hankering to eat chips. I don’t actively seek them out, but somehow, just somehow they have worked their way into  4 of my dinners over the last 5 days.

I had a very enlightening chat with my friend about this processed sugar incarceration and I learned about some  research done into the artificial sweetener domain as well. Our clever little addictive brains and body, will find the calories\sugar any way they can. ie I’ve reduced my processed sugar intake, now my desire to eat potatoes has skyrocketed. 

So, I’m facing a conundrum. Cave in to my highly addictive personality and marry a potato farmer? Or introduce a new rule into the remaining 33 days and cut out potatoes? I’m leaning towards the latter. I mean, why the hell not? What’s another little challenge within a challenge. I’m finding it really interesting that my desire to eat them so often is becoming paramount. Massive exaggeration I know, but relative to this social experiment. As of tomorrow, good-bye my favourite vegetable and hello it’s cousin sweet potato. Now there’s an irony in titles.

Mexican Tortilla Stack. The higher the better. Bean me up Scotty!

Mexican Tortilla Stack. The higher the better. Bean me up Scotty!

My other cheat meal (last week, woah… steady on folks, I ain’t givin’ up a hundred that easily, didn’t cave twice in 1 week) was the delightful stack pictured above. The easiest meal to make when you have no time and want something delicious. This shopping experience was insightful too. Not only did I learn that the gluten free wraps I checked out ranked sugar as their 5th ingredient, but the wholewheat ones had them down as 11th! No guesses as to which version I went with there.

Burgerless Turkey burgers

Burgerless Turkey burgers

It hasn’t been all food and gloom though. One of my friends kindly introduced me to her Turkey Burgers. Well, when I say introduced:

She made them

I ate them

I loved them

When I get the recipe off her I will post that as well, because you can’t go wrong with a burger right? Well, let’s just be fancy and call it a patty because that seems to have a healthier tone to it. Far less formidable sight than the burger I inhaled tonight. I will concede defeat and admit that I backed the turkey burger meal on friday night with chips after. Maybe it was the vodka, sparkling water and fresh limes I had been consuming.

The wah? No, I haven’t gone all poshie mctoshie in the drinks stakes, just experimenting again. I have to say I felt bloody brilliant the next day with no hangover. Great way to hydrate whilst you are dehydrating at the same time. Up there in the thinking stakes right? Wait till I start depraving my brain of sugar. It’ll be a false sugar economy for my brain and far less verbose blog posts.

All this talk of food, sugar, good meals, bad meals leads me into my new found love. 2 words. Cardio Tennis.I mean a girl’s gotta move it, move it right?

The court at sunset. Beautiful backdrop and clean court, devoid of tennis balls that I manage to scatter in every direction bar the one I want it to go in.

The court at sunset. Beautiful backdrop and clean court, devoid of tennis balls that I manage to scatter in every direction bar the one I want it to go in.

Part of my challenge was to get moving more and I decided to not restrict myself to doing the staple things I love (weights, swimming and yoga – let’s get real here, I don’t exactly love yoga, I love the concept of doing it and the feeling afterwards). My friend manages a tennis centre and has been instrumental in getting me to get moving. I’ve had such a battle mentally to be active. I’ve seen it as a chore and not a good time. (Anyone watch Deena in Jersey Shore? This is not a good TIME!)

Cardio tennis has really, really put me in an uncomfortable place. Lack of hand eye co-ordination, stop\start running – often into the net or almost other people, trying to hit the ball, hitting the ball over the net (into the other court – HUGE talent I know), almost hitting the ball……. then spinning around and totally missing it and my favourite hitting it UP UP and AWAY……………

So why am I persisting? 3 things:

  1. Even though I feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest and I breathe like a goldfish flapping about out of water – my cardiovascular fitness is slowly, slowly getting better.
  2. I love the feeling of hitting the ball, in the right direction and having the instructor go ‘great shot’. It was few and far between at first and with that surprised tone of  ‘wow, she actually hit it that time’ to now being more like ‘yes! you got it’.
  3. The variety of the drills is brilliant for me as I like constant variety when I exercise.

I would highly recommend giving it a shot. Again with the puns.

**Next post, I’m updating you with my housemates journey so far.**

Day #3 of The Amazing Weight.

Easter lingers on, lurking around a corner near you.

Easter lingers on, lurking around a corner near you.

It’s now pretty much 72 hours into this challenge. So far, 3 more friends have come on board (one even deciding to do it for 8 weeks and cut out fructose in the last 3 – WOW), I haven’t cracked and eaten Nutella out of the jar (that’s a treat reserved only for my friend Peanut Butter) and I’ve even exercised 3 times. Yes. 1 2 3.

Pretty sweet (ahem) effort so far. I’ve only got ummmmm 39 days to go. But hey, who is counting? I mean, I’m not the sweet-tooth here right? Nah, I am doing this for the greater good of my housemate the Type-A Choc-oholic. Don’t let anyone tell you that nobility is a dying trait. I’m owning it right here. How’s said housemate going? Bloody splendid chaps! I took a sneaky peek at her weekly schedule (some people are far too organised for their own good) and there are ticks next to training sessions completed, I can hear her leave in the mornings to set about her morning run and most everyone on her floor at work is in on the challenge. I liken it to a collective known as ‘sugar watch’. The friendly neighbourhood ‘sugar police’ community ensuring your every move is monitored.

Speaking of work, I was treated to the picture above (exhibit A) of leftover eggery this morning. I rounded the corner to make my breakfast and green tea and KA-boom!

Temptation Number 1. 

I kept walking. Although I did stop and gaze at them thinking…. free food. I’ll just take them. I’ll take them home and give them to my housemate. Oh wait, she won’t eat them. Damn. Keep walking.

Phew. Bypassed that little in-juncture. Interesting behavioural note – I clearly am wired to like ‘free stuff’ when it comes to food. I think I am geared to not wanting food to go to waste. Again, noble I know – but not going to serve me well in this experiment. Thank you for the self-analysis I tell my subconscious, point noted. My subconscious’s insightful restraint was clearly demonstrated in my dream the other night. Imagine a dream like sequence:

I stood gazing longingly through the window at rows and rows of fresh bread, white loaves, pastries and cakes. All perfectly poised waiting to be removed from the display and into paper bags to be eagerly transported home. But wait, you are on a 6 week challenge with no processed sugar. Keep walking.

I woke up really annoyed that even my ruddy subconscious wouldn’t cheat on me with a nice brioche straight out of the oven or a custard apple danish. Perhaps my subconscious was on a budget.

Temptation Number 2.

Whatever happened to the saying 'cup of tea and a biscuit?'. Now it's like 'box of tea and a plate of chocolate?'

Whatever happened to the saying ‘cup of tea and a biscuit?’. Now it’s like ‘box of tea and a plate of chocolate?’

I went to a wonderful event tonight called ‘Self-Love and Sisterhood’. It’s an event newly set up by Earth Events and featured 4 very well known and popular bloggers\authors\healthy inspirations. As a writer I was there early to interview the speakers pre-event and scope the lay of the land set up wise. Well, being the foodie I am, I naturally gravitate to the back of the room to check out the ‘spread’. Chocolate. A whole heap of it. What is up with today? Let’s sing the chorus together: “Keep walking, keep walking”.

I sidle over to grab a coconut water (the speakers all work in health related avenues) and notice something intriguing……..

Temptation Number 3 – success!

'In achieving wellness and weight loss we need quality clean treats for our sweet tooth monster! These balls were named by one of my dearest clients, when trying them for the first time she said in amazement - these balls are magic!" Sonia Osborne

‘In achieving wellness and weight loss we need quality clean treats for our sweet tooth monster! These balls were named by one of my dearest clients, when trying them for the first time she said in amazement – these balls are magic!” Sonia Osborne

I got chatting to Sonia, and she gave me the recipe for these great concoctions of hers. She even high 5’d me when I told her about my ‘friendly wager’ with my housemate. Gotta love that spontaneous encouragement! So as credit to Sonia, I wanted to chat about this. I will be interviewing her at some stage to talk about all things nutrition. I’ll make them on the weekend and share the recipe next week. I have to say, they are delicious. I went back to get one after the event for my housemate, but alas – devoured.

So what did I do? Kept walking!

**On a side note, stay tuned for my event write-up of Self-Love & Sisterhood. Due to be published next week, I chat to Melissa Ambrosini, Tara Bliss, Amanda Rootsey and Jess Ainscough about their wellness movement.**

Continue reading