Weigh-In Wednesday 4 and Incentives

This cold got progressively worse and has been my major downfall this week. I’ve spent the majority of the past few days doing uni work or resting in bed and definitely didn’t get out enough… I continued to eat carbs which my body so badly craved and I’m totally gutted because I wanted to lose more weight this week but it just hasn’t happened:

Current weight: 13 stone

Weight loss this week: 0

Accumulative weight loss: 8 pounds

Still feeling rubbish but definitely getting better. I am starting to find it hard when I’m not getting the results I hoped for. I am also finding this really tough whilst I’m right in the middle of writing my dissertation so I think now is the time to really focus on some incentives:

1- Trip to Croatia: at the end of June, I will be going on a trip to Croatia with the majority of my year group to celebrate the completion of our 4 year degree. It’s been a lot of hard work (and there’s still plenty of hard work to be done) so we are really looking forward to it. I haven’t been on a holiday in years so I’m very excited; however, I’m already anxious about how I’m going to feel. I’m not going to be able to hide under big baggy jumpers! It will ruin my holiday if I am uncomfortable so I really need to do something about it. This trip is in about 20 weeks and I have the potential to lose about 2 stone in that time if I really, really work hard. That would be amazing.

2- Graduation: both the ceremony and the ball. This is in about 22 weeks (yikes) and I want to look and feel amazing. Even if I lose around a pound and a half each week up until then, I could be 30 pounds lighter!

3- Trip to Canada: this is in 25 weeks and I’ll probably be visiting some old friends. The last time I visited Canada, it really upset me that I had gained quite a bit of weight and I felt ashamed and embarrassed when meeting old friends. We don’t want a repeat of that. If I continue to lose around one and a half pounds a week until this trip, I could be nearly 40 pounds lighter.

I mentioned that one year from now, I’ll wish I had started today… Even in 4 months from now, I could be wishing that.

So, the plan moving forward… This week, I’m bringing back My Fitness Pal to help me keep track of what I’m eating. Any snacks that I have (that aren’t meals) are going to be fruit or veg ONLY. I’m going to get back on track with high protein meals and lower carbs and I’m continuing to avoid refined sugars. I’m also planning a bit of a challenge which I’ll start/talk about next week!

Until then! 🙂

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Weigh-In Wednesday 3

Hello!

Apologies, this post is a few days late… I’ve been battling a cold this week and am currently working on my dissertation so everything else has just gone out the window.

I haven’t fallen off the wagon but I’ve certainly eaten a lot more carbs lately because I’ve been feeling so rubbish. I know, that’s not an excuse but that’s just the way it is. I’m drawing a line under it and accepting that I probably didn’t lose as much weight this week because of this.

Current weight: 13 stone (on the dot)

Weight loss this week: 2 pounds

Accumulative weight loss:  8 pounds

Not bad. Could be better. Mind you, slow and steady wins the race. It’s going down so that’s the main thing. I have a university ball in one week so I’d really like to lose another few pounds by then. The plan is to cut my carb intake right down, increase protein/veg and go for more walks daily. I really want to FEEL good at this thing, so I’m going to make that happen.

Weigh-In Wednesday 2

So it’s been just over a week now and I am back into the swing of things. Starting isn’t the hard part, it’s being able to come up with a plan that you can stick to long-term! I’m still working that out; however, cutting out refined sugars and cutting back on carbs has worked out just fine for now. I’ve also been going on daily walks and I intend to get back into a more regular yoga routine over the next few weeks!

Anyway, enough rambling. Here’s my weekly weigh-in results:

Current weight: 13 stone 2 pounds 

Weight loss this week: 4 pounds

Acumulative weight loss: 6 pounds

Yippee!

It’s certainly not enough for me to notice a difference when I look in the mirror but I do feel a lot better already. I know, I know… I say this every time.

My goal for next week is to get under the 13 stone mark. Think I can do it?

In other news, I have recently discovered a simple recipe for a kale and chicken caesar salad and I think I am in love! It’s so quick and easy to make and a suitable lunch option for days when you are out and about. I’ve never really liked the taste of kale but the home made caesar dressing is absorbed by the leaves, which in turn breaks it down… and it tastes absolutely divine. I’ve included a photo and the recipe below.

Kale and Chicken Caesar Salad Recipe  (modified version of an original recipe by Hemsley and Hemsley)

Ingredients:

  • 200g of kale
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tspn Dijon mustard
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 50g parmesan (plus more to sprinkle on top)
  • 4 tbspns extra virgin olive oil
  • Cooked chicken breast and/or croutons (optional)

Method:

Combine anchovies, egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, parmesan and oil in a blender until smooth.

Combine with kale – massaging into leaves.

Let salad marinate for approximately one hour. Toss in chicken, croutons or whatever else you fancy, sprinkle with black pepper and enjoy!

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Weigh-In Wednesday 1

So it’s only been 3 days and I’ve already lost 2 pounds. That’s to be expected really and it’s likely just water weight but… it’s still nice!

The sweet cravings come and go but it’s getting easier. Unfortunately, I feel grumpy as hell. Probably safe to warn people who might come in contact with me over the next few weeks… Be warned!

Anyway, here’s my first weigh-in:

Current weight: 13 stone 6 pounds

Total weight loss so far: 2 pounds

I decided to be brave and also post some more photos. It’s so great for motivation and comparison further down the line:

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I never wear fitted clothing when I’m overweight so it’s always a surprise when I do see myself like this… Not great. That’s going to change though.

I’m really excited about what’s to come and I have a lot of incentives this year, starting with a ball in just under a month.

I’m also graduating this year and would love to look and feel amazing for that!

Lots to look forward to… I’m going to do this!

New Start

I’m still here!

It’s been such a struggle to get back on track since my last post. I started to lose momentum as my third year at university progressed and by exam time, healthy eating and weight loss was unfortunately no longer a priority.

By the time summer rolled around, I was back where I started and feeling more frustrated and upset than ever. I was so fed up that I couldn’t find the motivation within me to even try again. I had such a negative mentality: “why start again when I’ve failed countless times before?” 

Since then, I’ve had a bit of a wake-up call. It wasn’t just the way I looked, it was the way I felt. I started to have panic attacks at night because I felt so unhealthy. I didn’t feel good.

I spent a long time planning this time. I’m about to go into my fourth and final year of a tough degree. If I couldn’t stick with it through second and third year, how the hell am I going to make it work in my fourth honours year? I was a bit stumped.

I decided to start with small changes and go from there, incorporating more health foods into my diet and trying to walk more regularly (getting those 10 000 steps a day!).

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Yogalosophy by Mandy Ingber is a brilliant book by the way!

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Then the naked issue of Women’s Health Magazine came out and it all clicked. The magazine featured a variety of beautiful, inspirational women of all different shapes and sizes who don’t diet. They are healthy and happy… and that’s all that matters:

“I simply want to be the best, healthy, toned, happy version of myself.” – Iskra Lawrence, Model (I completely idolise this woman right now)

“Eating all the kale in the world isn’t going to make you happy.” – Madeline Shaw, Nutritionist & Writer

“Eating well and getting fit is about feeling amazing.” – Gemma Atkinson, Actress

Those were just a few quotes from the feature. It was so inspirational and made me realise that above all else, I need to be happy. That’s when I decided that I wasn’t going to “diet” anymore. I’m not going to put sole emphasis on losing weight this time and create more pressure for myself (note that the name of this blog has changed from “weight loss adventures” to “lifestyle adventures”). I’m not going to cut any specific foods, I’m just going to be more mindful when it comes to eating. I’m reducing my intake of refined sugars and carbs, eating more health foods and exercising more.

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Avocado, eggs and tomatoes feature very heavily in my breakfasts these days…
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More home cooked meals

I’m about three weeks in and I already feel so much better. By eating more fruit and veg, keeping a food diary on MyFitnessPal and doing more exercise, I no longer have the desire to eat sugar and carbs… and as a bonus, I’ve lost around 7 pounds. It doesn’t even feel like I’m trying.

With the Great British Bake Off about to start, my friends and I have decided to try baking something once a week, sticking to the show’s weekly categories. I’ve set myself an even tougher goal: to make all of my bakes refined sugar-free. I thought it might be fun to share my recipes with you each week, letting you know what worked and what didn’t!

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Raw, vegan cacao and hazelnut cake and wholewheat apple and cinnamon muffins (all refined sugar-free)

This week is cake week and I’ve got a recipe in mind, so I will let you know how that goes!

In the meantime, here’s a recipe I tried on Sunday for raw millionaire shortbreads (vegan and refined sugar-free). They turned out brilliantly and taste amazing (see photos and link below).

Until next time!

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Looks good!
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Tastes good!

Recipe for Raw Millionaire Shortbread (The Wallflower Kitchen): http://wallflowerkitchen.com/nakd-raw-millionaire-shortbread/

Weigh In Wednesdays

I have decided that from this point onward I will be weighing myself on a Wednesday morning and I will do my best to write an update that same day. With this, I am also going to start with a clean slate and new/updated goals. So, I’m essentially starting again – but I’m okay with that.

Without further adieu, here are today’s numbers:

Current weight: 12 stone 11 (179 pounds)

Goal weight: 9 stone 7 (133 pounds)

Goal weight loss: 46 pounds (around 3 stone)

So during assessment time I managed to gain around 11 pounds (probably more in fact as I have since started back on my diet). That’s not great… But we’re not going to dwell on it any longer.

The important question is: what am I going to do to fix this?

Well! You’ll be very pleased to know that I have already made some positive changes this week:

I have cut refined sugar yet again and am already feeling the benefits. I’ve missed feeling less bloated and more energetic – and my skin is certainly much clearer already! Why did I ever stray? There are still so many delicious foods which I can enjoy, for example, today’s lunch and raw afternoon treats (one for today and one for tomorrow) from Food Story:

I’ve returned to the gym and will attempt to go at least 3 times a week (alongside yoga). I’ve noticed that going to the gym makes me want to be healthy and more body confident which in turn, motivates me to eat more high-protein meals and snack less. I’m not sure if it’s because I feel less bloated or just because my body craves protein post-exercise, but either way this certainly helps. We all know that exercise is extremely beneficial in more ways than one.

I have also started using the My Fitness Pal app which I am finding extremely useful. I thought long and hard about the reasons why I struggle to maintain a diet and I realised that perhaps I need to take more controlled measures to really put my daily intake into perspective. Well, this app certainly puts things into perspective and gives you a good kick up the a** when necessary.

I used My Fitness Pal many years ago when it was relatively new but found it to be quite limiting and time-consuming which really put me off. Since then however, inputting information has become a lot quicker and more automatic. A wide variety of brand names and products are now automatically recognised which saves you from having to manually input every bit of information (which can often become quite tedious, especially around meal times when all you want to do is eat!).

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The app is also just much more accessible in general. It sets weight-loss goals based on your lifestyle and monitors this through calorie intake by providing you with a daily allowance. This is so helpful in monitoring portion control and also makes you realise just how much you are eating every day.

My Fitness Pal also allows you to record daily exercise (with which you can gain additional daily calorie allowances) and also monitors nutritional levels and water intake which has proved to be particularly useful for me, because I am rubbish at drinking enough water.

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At the end of each daily entry, the app estimates what your weight will be in 5 weeks, based on what you ate that day (if you were to eat like that every day). This is when it gets really real…

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If you haven’t tried this app before, I highly recommend it!

Weeks 13, 14 and 15

As you may have noticed, it’s been a while since my last post. This is partly because I started my 3rd year of uni and things have been busy/stressful, but mostly because I have actually gained 2-3 pounds over the past few weeks and I am so disappointed. I understand this is normal and that it’s not the end of the world as long as I don’t let myself slip – but it’s still discouraging and the one downside to writing this blog is that when I do go through a rough patch, I’m not only letting myself down but the people who have been supporting me on this journey so far. It’s tough! What makes me most upset is that I have not touched refined sugar since I have started this journey – the only reason for my weight gain is that I’ve tried to gradually re-introduce good carbs like rye bread and wholewheat foods back into my diet and now I’ve blown up like a balloon. So, it seems that as long as I want to lose weight, carbs are pretty much off the menu. That’s just the way my body works… Lesson learnt.

I’ve decided that there’s not point in getting myself down about it any longer however, and I’m ready to move on and hopefully push myself to finally get below 12 stone once and for all! That’s the next short-term goal.

I have also spent some time this week trying to identify triggers – my moments of weakness. Here are the 5 biggest triggers I have identified this week:

Summer is over and the weather is getting colder: when the weather is cold, all I want to do is dress in oversized jumpers, curl up in a blanket and eat nice, warm, comforting food. Unfortunately, salads aren’t very warm or comforting and the “curling up” that I’m doing is not the kind that’s going to give me big strong muscles.

Good TV: there is a lot of great TV returning to our screens at this time of year and with that comes couch surfing (again, not the same kind of a workout you’d get from actual surfing) and the desire to eat and drink nice things whilst watching… Sometimes carrot sticks just don’t cut it.

Student deals: there have been lots of great deals and events on this past month which have been very tempting but also very high in carbs and alcohol – they tend to trigger cravings.

Yummy food: unfortunately we are faced with a lot of delicious high carb/sugary foods in time for Halloween and Christmas. It’s just the way things are and it becomes very difficult to avoid – so then come the cravings and the next thing you know, you’re sneaking a few extra carbs in under that oversized sweater of yours, until you realise you look like Santa Claus (maybe that’s it, maybe I AM Santa and I just naturally gain weight at this time of year?!).

Stress: going back to uni means stress, stress and more stress, and when I’m not stressing? I’m sitting on my butt writing coursework and preparing for classes. I prioritise my degree over everything else which means that dieting and exercise are often put on the back burner when I have a lot of work to do.

So those are my obstacles. My next task is to try to figure out how I can overcome them this year in order to get below 12 stone and avoid looking like Santa Claus… If anyone has any tips/advice, as always, get in touch!

I’m also away on a 7 week placement as of next week so please bear with me as it’ll be a particularly busy time and I may not manage to post anything for a while! Until next time… 🙂