Sunday, July 6, 2014

Off the wagon, how to get back on

My husband and I took the kids down to the local park yesterday.  We took some family photographs.  I looked at the photos this morning.  It is a hard, swift punch to the stomach to see how fat I have become.  It's the trigger that I need to push myself into doing something, anything.

It's all about respect.

Respect my body, respect myself.

I'm feeling so fucking angry with myself.  That doesn't help with the whole 'you have to love yourself first' bullshit comments usually vomited out by others in times like now.

I'm worried about prep starting next year and being the fat mum and being excluded.  I think that is why I so vehemently reject associating too much with other parents.  If I reject them first, then they won't be able to reject me.  It's fucked. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

When you are down, there is no place but up

I haven't left the house in 6 days as our household has been hit with the gastro bug.  Interestingly, it's given me a lot of time to think about this blog and my journey and my recent self-sabotage (which hasn't quite stopped yet). 

This blog is supposed to be about my journey from fat to thin(ner).  When I first started it less than two months ago, I was filled with enthusiasm and a strong belief that 'this was the right time'.  But when I started writing (without a plan), just writing about my feelings and my experiences, I realised that there is a lot of darkness or emptiness in my soul.  And that's what I've been writing about.  And that's authentic and true to how I'm feeling.  But is it actually helping me?  I don't think that it is.  In times of darkness, I need light to surround me and guide me in the right direction. 

I need to stop making this blog just about the negative feelings that I'm having.  But also the positive emotions, the uplifting interactions that I have with people around me.  I don't mean to have a constant message that this journey is all about shitting rainbows and unicorns (because it's not and won't ever be)....but there needs to be something positive, something to be (eeek) gained from this. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Feeling flat, overwhelmed and tired

Help!  Where has my motivation gone?  I'm self sabotaging and it is making me feel so bad about myself.  I feel like a failure writing these words.  How easy it is to go from feeling in control and making a change to feeling like I am useless and unable to change.  It almost feels like I don't even want it.  I don't even want to put the effort in to make the change. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Oh Poor Poor Me

I really struggled with motivation yesterday, and it feels the same way today.  It didn't help that, confession time, I ate the last piece of caramel mudcake yesterday and I had a (much needed) sleep in yesterday so I didn't get on the treadmill either. 

This generally blah feeling carried on until dinner time and instead of sticking to my usual high vegetable intake, I just couldn't be bothered.  So I ate chicken nuggets and dinosaur chicken things for dinner. 

So now this morning I've woken up still feeling blah.  So blah that I wasn't going to put this in a post.  I feel sluggish and tired.  Our two year old was awake at 3.40am this morning.  I've managed to get him back to sleep but it's a tough gig getting up that early. 

I think that the blah feeling is because I'm feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment.  We are having a birthday party for the kids (they turned 2 and 4 this week) and we have gone a little overboard with the invitations.  There are 21 adults and 15 children expected to attend and that makes my feel very stressed!  I'm worried about the food, whether there will be enough, whether anyone will actually eat.  I'm worried about the birthday cakes.  Our 4 year old wants a ballerina cake and I'm no Martha Stewart.  I was more thinking about a chocolate fudge cake covered in smarties. 

Then there is the getting ready for the party.  The house needs a good clean today and I need to work out what I need to buy from the supermarket.  Plus our daughter has two dance classes this morning that I'm probably not going to be able to watch. 

It's funny isn't it, how your brain makes things into something bigger than they are.  That I act like I'm the one that has to shoulder the whole burden of this birthday party.  When in reality, that's not true.  My husband (bless him) has done so much this week already to get ready for it and my mother-in-law will be coming over today to help as well.  So why do I feel like it is all on me?  Is that because I'm looking for attention, I'm wanting to play the victim?  Is that what I do? 

Is it because I'm lazy and would rather groan and moan about everything there is to be done?  Is this a case of the 'oh poor me' bs.  Now I'm feeling frustrated with myself for not just getting in and getting started.  Instead, I want to make up excuses as to why I'm feeling this way. 

Or am I in a perpetually bad mood? 

Monday, March 10, 2014

It really is a learning journey, isn't it?

It was our son's birthday yesterday.  My little not-a-baby-anymore boy turned two.  I can hardly believe that it was two years ago that we welcomed him into our family.  I also can't believe that I'm still carrying all the cough-cough baby weight two years on!

So in celebration of his birthday we had to have cake, right?  Well I didn't make a cake but I did make something just a sugary and filled with fat - I made cinnamon sugar popovers.  Now if you are an Aussie, like me, you are probably thinking what on earth is that.  If you are familiar with popovers, than you probably can't believe I made those as a birthday cake.

So here's a picture of these delicious not-so-little treats!

They really are a very occasional or rare treat because they are made with lots of butter and sugar. Here's the recipe if you want to try them out for yourself.

I found a blog yesterday and I can't remember what it was called but it was about a lady that fell pregnant and gained a huge amount of weight.  For two years she had been working out and working on being healthy, yet she had lost only a fraction of the weight that she wanted to lose.  The point that she was making was that she had to celebrate the little successes and to just keep on going.

That hit a chord for me.  I (and you too probably) am constantly beating myself up for all of my imperfections.  I am measuring myself against an impossible standard.  Impossible to ever reach the lofty heights of what is 'perfection' in my mind.  Constantly comparing myself, not only to other people around me, but to this unrealistic, invisible perfect me.  This doesn't just limit itself to physical attributes like my weight and my hair but also to the intangible - my relationship with my family, my friendships, my work.  Even this little blog - I'm constantly comparing it to other blogs and realising that it comes up short.

The problem with doing this is that it makes me want to give up.  If I can never reach this vision, this 'goal', then what is the point of continuing.  I realise that this is totally messed up.  But this is what I fight against every single day.  I don't know how to stop the self-loathing and practice self-love. 

Recipe: Cinnamon sugar popovers

This recipe is from David Lebovitz

Makes 6 regular popovers and 9 muffin tin popovers.

for the popovers:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs, at room temperature (I used jumbo eggs)
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon salt (I used Maldon)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup flour

for the sugar coating: 
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees C and liberally butter a popover pan. If you don’t have a popover pan justnuse a standard muffin tin. Note: You will want to heavily butter your pan, even if it’s a non-stick popover pan, otherwise the popovers will stick and be hard to get out.

In the blender, add 2 tablespoons melted butter, 3 eggs, 1 cup milk, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar and blend for a few seconds.  Don't add the flour yet!

Add the 1 cup flour and blend for about 10 seconds, just until smooth.

Pour the batter into the popover cups filling them 1/2 to 2/3rds full. If you’re using a muffin tin then divide the batter among the 9 greased molds, filling each to 2/3rds full.

Put the popovers into the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until the popovers are deep brown. Do not open the oven door during baking, as this will cause the popovers to deflate.

While the popovers are baking, prepare your sugar and cinnamon mixture by combining 2/3 cup of sugar with the 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a large shallow bowl and mix the two together (I used a fork).   Cut the butter into small pieces, so it melts faster, and set it in a ramekin or small bowl. Set these both aside until the popovers come out of the oven.

Remove the popovers from the oven, wait a few minutes until they are cool enough to handle, then remove them from the pans and set them on a cooling rack.

Melt the butter in the microwave and brush a popover with the butter.   Then roll the popover in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on a wire rack to cool. 

We ate them straight away and they were more than delicious!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Recipe: Salmon with Cauliflower Curry and Beans

I have never really liked cauliflower.  Except if it has been cooked in a really really cheesy sauce that kinda takes away the purpose of eating cauliflower!  Our kids like their vegetables plain, no sauces at all.  Just steamed.  Even cauliflower. 

So cauliflower is in season in Australia at the moment and I grabbed an enormous one from the fruit and vege shop with the intention to steam it for the kids.  But before I could make that happen I decided to do some research into meat-free monday.  It's been something that has been on my mind for a while.  I think that I could definitely reduce the amount of meat that I eat but I'm not sure how I would go transitioning to a full vegetarian diet.  So I looked for vegetarian recipes on Monday to see if there was anything that tickled my fancy. 

And I found a cauliflower kedgeree (?) by Jamie Oliver.  I thought that it would be the perfect way to use up the massive cauliflower and try something different at the same time.  We were also cooking steak and sausages so this wouldn't be the main meal.  And just for note, the cauliflower dish has been eaten for dinner on Monday, Tuesday (which is the salmon, above), Wednesday nights and I'm taking some for lunch today.  Yes, it was that big. 

My mother-in-law also made some curried baked beans.  They are divine.  I don't have the proper recipe for them though, so I will have to post that separately. 

Cauliflower Kedgeree

Blend - 2 garlic cloves, a small knob of ginger, fresh chili (if using), 6 spring onions (trimmed), bunch of coriander (stalks only). 

Cut - cauliflower into one centimetre sections and 'fry' without oil in a pan over med-high heat until it starts to turn brown. 

Remove cauliflower from pan.  Add 1tsp of tumeric, 1 tsp of mustard seeds and a tsp of oil and cook the spices.  Add the spring onion mixture to the pan and cook for a minute or two (until it becomes fragrant). 

Add either 2 chopped tomatos or a tin of whole tinned tomatoes. Then add a tin of light coconut milk.  Mix together. 

Throw in the cauliflower, put on the lid and let it simmer over a lowish temperature until the cauliflower is cooked to how you like it.  I like mine a little crunchy. 

To serve, top with lots of fresh coriander leaves. 


We used frozen salmon fillets and cooked them in the oven.  My husband likes his food to be cooked well, so I thought that they were a little overdone, but they were delicious still. 

To serve, just take a large handful of mixed salad leaves (I use rocket and baby spinach leaves); place salmon on top with a good squeeze of lemon juice.  The vitamin C in the lemon juice will aid in the absorption of iron in the green leafy vegetables. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

20 minute treadmill workout for beginner runners

Running, to me, is exhilarating.  The way that you have to get all parts of your body working as one, together.  But running is really hard when you are unfit.  Trust me, I'm feeling it.  Too many years ago to count, I used to be a better than average runner.  I ran all through high school and university and then on and off again throughout my working life.  Back then, I wouldn't say that it was easy.....but the challenge was more around pushing myself to better my time or to run further.

Right now the challenge is just to run - for any amount of time. I hear a lot of people tell me that they can't run at all.  But I would challenge that way of thinking.  Running is doable, but you have to take it slowly.  Very slowly.

Go too fast and your body will be aching and sore and you won't want to get back into it.  A colleague at work in his 50's decided that he wanted to get fit.  He had never run in his life but that day he put on his running clothes, laced up his shoes and jogged to the mailbox and back.  Then he went inside, put away his clothes and patted himself on the back for taking, literally, the first steps.

Every day he would put on his clothes, lace up his shoes and go a little further.  Day two was to the first light pole and back; day three was the second light pole and so on.  By the time I met him, he had been running for years and was a marathon runner.  And a good one at that.  Running was his thing.

My Dad did a similar thing.  He has been pretty fit his whole life - very competitive with himself and others and when he sets himself a goal, well he does everything in his power to achieve it.  He plays squash competitively and wanted to raise his level of cardio fitness so that he would 'run all day' on the court.  So he took up running.  He dedicated himself to running - starting off slowly - and eventually was able to run 10 km non-stop!  I'm pretty proud of that.  Plus, he also got my Mum into running as well - something I'm sure she never thought that she would do.

So, running is contagious!  It's amazing.  Even if you don't think you can do it, just give it a try.  If you haven't exercised in a long time, then just go for a brisk walk for the first week or two.  Then, in week three, try jogging for just 30 seconds.  Then rest (while walking) for a minute or two and then do another 30 seconds or a minute (if you can).

Once you've been doing that for a while (how long depends on your own body and level of fitness), try out my beginner workout.  Although I work out on a treadmill (it's easier to find the time to run on a treadmill for me), you could easily adapt this to an outdoors run.

This is what I've been doing over the past week or so.  It's not always 20 minutes, it's been 18 minutes and 22 minutes.  But this is just a guide.  Have a go at it and change it if you need to so that it suits YOU.

To use it, print it out and put it on the treadmill so that you can refer to it, if you need to.  

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Date, oatmeal and walnut balls

Lately I have been only eating three meals a day - and it is really hard some days, especially when I have gone for a run in the morning.  Plus I need something for my daughter to snack on in between her dance classes on a Saturday morning.  We had a meltdown last week when the hunger monster overtook all sense and reason (and that was just me!). 

So I decided to jump on the ol' bandwagon and make some raw balls.  I know that most people, who converted to this way of living waaaaay before me, use fancier ingredients like medjool dates and organic produce. 

I have made these using the garden variety, available at the supermarket ingredients.  It's more economical - which is really important for us because kids can be expensive! 

So, these are around 80 calories per ball.  The exact calories will differ each time because you may need to add more dates (for example) to get the mixture more 'wet' so that the balls combine well and don't fall apart. 

So I put around 24 dates (just the normal kind), 1/3 cup of walnuts and 1/3 cup of quick oats (oats that have been ground up a little so that they cook a little faster) in the blender and blended until the mixture came together. 

Then I the mixture into little balls (this time I made 15, normally I would make 12) and put them in the fridge to set hard.

You could vary the ingredients - try almonds instead of walnuts or try adding some coconut. 


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Today I am one day further away from my old self

My son woke me up very early this morning - 3.47am to be exact.  I managed to put him back to sleep and then instead of my normal routine of making myself a coffee and then catching up on the news, I decided to put on my running clothes and do a session on the treadmill. 

While I was running, I had the tv on in the background.  They have an interview with the Toronto mayor that was caught last year doing drugs and being a bit of an arse I think.  They showed a bit of an interview done in November last year where he said something about reinterviewing him in 5 or 6 months and he would show you that he has made changes in his life.  I couldn't really hear what he was saying because the treadmill was too loud but I heard him say that he had lost some weight. 

I started thinking about how I might have approached that interview if I were him.  And as I was thinking I translated it into my own journey towards finding and building my inner spirit.  Change is difficult.  It's very easy to revert back to your old habits and your old way of being. Especially if you have been doing something for many many years.  So while I was running I had a thought pop into my head. 

Today I am one day further away from my old self.

It was kind of like a light bulb going on in my head.  This is going to be a long journey.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.  I find that it is really easy to get discouraged and give up because the destination seems so far away and that it feels like it is so hard to achieve.  Really, I am looking for a massive shift in the way that I live (of course I haven't defined what that is yet, but I know that I don't want to continue how I have been in the past). 

There's a concept out there called the two degree shift.  Basically, imagine you are in a space shuttle hurtling towards Earth.  Just a two degree shift in direction can mean that you can completely fly past the Earth and never be able to get home again (dramatic, right?).  So two degree shifts can make a huge difference.  What that means for me is that I have big changes to make in my life but I can succeed by making small changes that are easier to achieve and the cumulative effect of all of these makes a massive difference in my life - in time.  It is all about time. 

So where I was going with my original thoughts on the treadmill was that each day is a chance, an opportunity for me to rid myself of my past bad habits (both food, relationships etc) and to make a change on that day.  It might be a simple as not putting butter on my toast that day or showing real joy and happiness when I see my husband and kids in the morning and to look them in the eye and tell them that I love them.  Little changes can mean big results. 

I also like to think that it is a bit organic.  What I mean by that is I don't want to write a list of all of the things that if I do right now will change my life.  It's too forced.  It's too much of ticking off a list.  It's too easy to set the expectations too high and to fail.  Today I want my husband and my children to feel love and happiness from me.  No grumpy mum. 

What is your focus?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Eating too much

I've eaten too much today.  We went to a friend's house for a birthday lunch and I overate.  I've noticed that in just two short weeks, my stomach seems to have shrunk.  I actually feel much fuller after eating a big meal.  Normally I would have felt full but then would have come home and had something for dinner as well.

There will be no dinner for me tonight.  Just a cup of tea or coffee if I can fit in it.

I hate overeating.

This morning though, knowing that we were going for lunch, I ate my normal breakfast of Special K and banana.  Then I exercised for 20 minutes (running for 10 minutes) and burned off 188 calories.

For lunch I ate roast chicken breast, roast lamb, roast potatoes, steamed beans, asparagus and carrots.  All with gravy (of course).  The lunch probably wasn't too bad.  It was probably the same amount that I would have eaten (now) for lunch and dinner.

Where I went wrong was the sweet stuff.  I ate a piece of orange cake and a piece of lemon slice.  I also had some custard, blueberries and figs.  Oh my gosh, fresh figs!!! Fresh figs are amazing!  It is the first time that I have ever tried them and for those that haven't had them, I can't describe how deliciously soft and sweet these little morsels from heaven are.

I also had two glasses of wine - which probably contributed to the over eating because I let my guard down.

I'm too tired to write much more.  It's only 6pm and I'm desperately waiting for my almost four year old to finish eating so that I can get her to bed and then I can get some much needed sleep!  

Meal Plan: 1,200 calories (summer)

So instead of posting a screenshot of my daily calories from, I've decided to do up some basic meal plans of the types of meals that I am trying to eat on a regular basis.  I don't do this every single day - especially the lunch meal.  For me, it is easier to bring salad ingredients into work (rocket, baby spinach leaves, carrot, capsicum, cucumber and mushrooms) and make a salad at lunchtime (adding some protein - usually tinned tuna because it is quick and easy).

The dessert by the way is delicious!  My four year old daughter doesn't like bananas - avoids them like the plague - loved her special ice cream.  I added a tablespoon of low-fat greek yoghurt on top (after blending) so that it was a little creamier.  But it is tasty even without it.  

Here are the links to the recipes:

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Friday, 21 February 2014 - 947 calories

Roast chicken recipe here.  

Recipe: Slow cooker beef and vegetables - 493 calories (a lot of meat)

So before I get into how I made this deliciousness of dinner, I have no idea how much beef I actually ate.  I recorded it as five large slices (50g each; 250g in total) but I don't think that it weighed quite that much.  And, for the record, the photograph above is not all of the meat that I ate.  I went back twice.  

Making a beef roast in the slow cooker is so simple and it is destined to become one of my favourite quick and easy winter meals (although winter seems so far away after such a hot and humid night).  

I didn't take any photographs while I was making this, sorry.  

First I took a few potatoes and, leaving the skin on, I sliced them length wise - about1/2 a centimetre wide.  Then I laid these on the bottom of the slow cooker.  They are supposed to soak up the oils and juices that come out of the beef when it is cooking and stops the beef from sitting in a layer of liquid which would make it all mushy I guess.  

I placed the beef on top of the potatoes and then threw in, for flavour, chopped carrots and celery.  I then added 1/4 of a cup of beef stock.  

Then the lid went on and I cooked it on automatic for around 8 hours.  

When I got home from work, my husband and the kids had eaten some of the beef.  So I steamed some frozen vegetables and made some gravy (using a powdered gravy mix).  

The beef was so tender and just broke apart when it came time to serve it.  We didn't have any leftovers, but it would have been delicious pulled apart and added to a sandwich for lunch the next day.  

Recipe - Egg and Vegetable Omelet - 556 calories

The above monstrosity was an attempt to make a 'packed to the brim with vegetables' omelet.  It looks pretty unappealing in this picture and I will admit that it was not the tasty delicious meal that I was looking forward to.  And it had a lot of calories - 556 to be exact. 

So why did I cook this?  For starters I was unorganised.  They day before I had defrosted a split chicken to be cooked in the slow cooker all day so that I would be able to walk straight in the door after work and have a delicious and healthy dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.  So didn't happen.

Instead, I came home - starving - and there was nothing for me to cook.  This is usually when disaster strikes.  I'm starving, tired and the kids are banging on that they are hungry.  My usual go-to meal is pretty lame - pasta with a jar of pasta sauce.  So I made my husband (the poor thing) and the kids pasta while I dry fried (without oil or water) broccoli, capsicum and onion.  Then I fork-whisked two jumbo eggs together and added them to a small frypan with a 1/2 tablespoon of oil.  The oil is what really pushed up the calorie count, adding an extra 73 calories.  Perhaps I should have used a spray of oil or cooked the eggs on a very low heat to stop them from sticking and burning?  Anyway, lesson learned!

Once the eggs had started to set a little, I added the cooked vegetables plus a chopped tomato (fresh from our garden) and stirred together.  At the same time, I toasted two slices of grainy bread.

To, hahaha, serve, I just heaped (obviously) the cooked egg mixture over the toast and added some hot tomato sauce over the top.

It wasn't really tasty at all.  My husband was complaining that he had to eat pasta and he would have preferred my egg mixture thingy.  Once I started eating though, I assured him that he was definitely NOT missing out.

So I will just put this one down to experience and perhaps try to find a recipe next time? 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Energy crash - BOOM!

It's 7.27pm and I feel so tired.  I have no energy.  Not enough spark in me to exercise tonight.  I know why too.  I am not eating enough.  I said to my colleague at work a few weeks ago that I wasn't so good at calorie counting because I become all obsessive and make it a point to eat under my calories (until I binge because I'm staving and the binge lasts for at least a week and then I give up). 

Today I've only eaten 997 calories.  So that's about 300 calories less than what my plan is.  Yesterday I ate 828 (net) calories. 

It's funny though how your body can adjust to eating smaller volumes.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still hungry.  I'm hungry right now.  But I am also feeling very obsessed.  Obsessed to push past the hunger.  I know that these aren't good thoughts.  I just really want to see results.  I feel for the first time in a long time that I am not letting food control me.  I'm taking charge of myself and my eating.  I'm taking charge of my lack of impulse control.  I'm letting my head, not my stomach, make decisions about what I eat and how much I eat. 

But deep down I know that I am not doing this the right way.  I know that I am setting myself up for failure.  I know that I bloody well have to write another tip / hint out of this.  It is to eat all of your daily calorie allowance.  Don't become competitive with yourself.  You idiot. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Saturday - 15 February 2014 - 1534 calories

I ate a lot yesterday - going over my calories by a few hundred. By calorie counting, I can really see the impact that drinking wine has had on my waistline.  I use alcohol to relax - sometimes drinking a glass or two during the week while I'm making and eating dinner.  I never thought much about it because it was such a small amount.  What I didn't realise is how many calories are in wine.  Yes, I'm not completely daft.  I know that alcohol adds lots of calories and that dieticians recommend that you reduce or cut it out completely.  But it's only after seeing that it added another 272 calories to my day - contributing almost all of the amount that I was over my calorie budget - that I realise that alcohol can't be a weekly vice.  It has to be budgeted into my daily meal plan.

Just 35 minutes on the treadmill, walking uphill, will burn enough calories to make up for the additional wine calories.  I'm adding this one to the list of ideas / hints.  

So here's what I'm going to do.  I'm not going to stop drinking alcohol altogether.  But I'm going to limit it to once a week - either a Friday or Saturday night.  And I'm going to limit it to two glasses of wine.  To make up for the additional calories, I'm also going to do more exercise on that day. 

Friday 14 February 2014 - 862 calories

Friday, Valentine's Day, was a very low calorie day - with a total of only 862 for the day - completely unintentional.  I have every Friday off and have been using the time to sort out the mess that is our house and to get working on the garden (we live on 5 acres).  Friday's job was to get into our bedroom (almost literally!) and to clear our the walk-in cupboard and finally unpack the boxes that have been sitting in there since we moved in almost six months ago.

But the childcare centre called at around 10am and said that she was running a temperature (around 38.5) and only had half of the panadol that they tried to give her (she hates the taste of the children's panadol, preferring the more bitter baby panadol).  So while my husband went to get her I pulled her mattress of her bed and laid it in the lounge room so that she could rest (in front of the tv, I know, bad parenting).  I had also wanted to get to the supermarket that day as well as we did not do a full shop the week before.  My mother-in-law came over and watched our daughter while we went and did the shopping.  How this all relates to what I ate, I will explain shortly!  By the time we returned home, it was around 2pm.  I took our daughter's temperature and it was 40 degrees.  She was sick.  By the time I gave her medicine and sat and comforted her, it was 2.30pm.  So I had a quick lunch of toast with cottage cheese and fresh tomato.

By the time dinner time came around, I wasn't starving (like I normally am) after such a late lunch.  So I didn't haven't any snacks or drinks that day which contributed to such a low calorie count.  But never mind, I made up for it on Saturday.

Here is Friday's dinner:

This is how I did it.  

I roasted an already prepared split chicken from Woolies (they are great!) in the oven for about an hour and a half.  While it was resting, I prepared a really basic salad of spinach and rocket leaves, grated carrot, fresh tomato (from our garden), raw broccoli and four olives.  I had to count the olives because they are high in calories and I love them so much that I would just eat an olive salad!  Then I pulled apart the chicken and added some of the breast meat to my salad.  I didn't weigh it so I just estimated it be 170g of chicken.  That's another note to go into my hints and tips - always weigh your food!

I don't have any salad dressing at home (I forgot to buy) and I don't want to add extra calories by making one with oil, mustard and vinegar, so I just added some hot tomato sauce.

And voila!  Dinner was served!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Thursday 13 February 2014 - 1076 calories

My week one progress post is here


Same as Tuesday's breakfast - cold cereal. 


Same as Tuesday's lunch - tuna salad and a grainy breadroll.


Rump steak with potato, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes (from our garden) and, gravy, of course! 

This meal is delicious!

We buy all of our steak from a butcher located in Coomera (between the Gold Coast and Brisbane) called Springbok Foods.  My husband is South African, so this little South African supermarket is a familiar, comforting taste of home for him.  The bonus is that they sell the most tender, delicious AGED rump steak for around $17-$19/kg.  It is also cheaper if you buy a whole side of rump.

For this dinner, my husband seasoned the meat with Spur Seasoning Salt (also from Springbok Foods) and then sealed it on both sides on the BBQ.  Then he bastes the steak while it is grilling with Spur Marinade Grill Basting sauce (which I've just realised that I forgot to add to my calorie count for the day).

While he was grilling the meat, I boiled potatoes (with the skin on - lose so many nutrients when you peel it off, plus it just takes longer to prepare) and steamed fresh broccoli and carrots.  I also chopped up some tomatoes from our vegetable garden.  Then I made the gravy (straight from a packet with boiling water, I'm not fancy).

Here are the delicious results....


Hmm, I didn't exercise.  My excuse was that our (almost) four year old was awake for 1.5 hours in the middle of the night and I was too tired after putting them to bed to go downstairs and walk on the treadmill.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014 - 1173 calories


Same as Tuesday's breakfast - cold cereal. 


Same as Tuesday's lunch - tuna salad and a grainy breadroll.


Chicken with rice, vegetables and gravy.  We used our stainless steel AMC Classic frypan to 'fry' the chicken breasts - which allows us to cook our food without adding any water or oils/fats.  I also added some cooked brown rice and boiled peas.  Lastly, gravy, I added gravy.  Gravy would have to be my favourite sauce of all time - I don't care if it is chef made or made from powder in a box mixed with hot water.  I love all of it.


Another 15 minutes on the treadmill - walking at an incline. 

Tuesday 11 February 2014 Meal Plan - 1360 calories


I'm pretty boring when it comes to breakfast.  I don't have a lot of time in the morning so I like to eat something that doesn't take very long to prepare.  Hence cold cereal.  In the cooler months, I usually switch to quick oats in the microwave.

A few months ago, I discovered 'bobby calves' - which are calves born to dairy cows (who need to be pregnant to produce milk).  The calves are taken away from their mom almost immediately after birth and transported (usually) to an abattoir and made into dog food (amongst other things).  There are millions of bobby calves slaughtered each year so that we can drink milk.

I did some google searching and emailed a few smaller dairy farms in Australia and found a couple that don't slaughter their bobby calves immediately after birth.  Barambah Organics is a company based in Brisbane that sources its fresh organic milk from its own farm at Glenarbon, situated on the Dumaresq River, on the NSW/QLD border and they don't send their bobby calves to the abattoir.  And the milk is unhomogenised.  Cream top people, cream top!  By the way, I wasn't perked or paid by Barambah Organics, I'm just a happy, loyal and vocal customer!


Lunch this week was a a very simple and easy affair.  I went to the supermarket on Monday and stocked up on spinach and rocket leaves, 2 carrots, 1 cucumber and small tins of tuna.  I also grabbed some grainy breadrolls.  Then, each day at lunchtime, I used a quarter of the ingredients to prepare a delicious and healthy salad.  I only work four days a week, so that worked out great for me.


As I said in my first progress post, I ate eggs on toast for dinner.  So I knew that fats and oils had a lot of calories - I didn't realise quite how many!  I haven't buttered my toast or bread since Tuesday, once I discovered how many extra calories it was adding to my day.


As I said in my first progress post, the treadmill finally got some use after sitting mostly dormant for almost a year.  It was just 15 minutes walking on an incline.  I'm not sure that the km/hour that I've entered into calorieking is correct - but the calories are about right (based on what the treadmill calculated for me).  My plan here is to exercise at least four days a week, building to 30 minutes running.  Ultimately I'd like to do something every day but it's important that I start slowly to avoid injury.  Plus it makes it easier to commit to doing it if I know that I don't have to slug it out for 30 minutes straight away.

Week 1 - Mid Week Progress

I started my 'diet' on Monday morning.  Self-sabotage had kicked in by Tuesday evening.  Here's how it went.

After eating really well at breakfast - natural muesli with full-fat milk (more on that in another post) and lunch was a spinach and rocket leaf salad with tinned tuna and salad vegetables.  I also added a small grainy breadroll and a handful of grapes.

It was after I got home from work that the problems started.  It took me more than 40 minutes to drive home and because I was later than normal, the meal that I had planned to make (chicken drumsticks baked in the oven) took more than an hour to cook.  It was the first day that I hadn't eaten a big lunch and, to be honest, I was starving.  I couldn't wait around that long for dinner to be ready.  Plus the kids needed to be fed and put to bed.  So my husband had cooked some meat patties earlier that day and we decided to eat these instead.  I ate too many.  I had two burger essentially.  Two breadrolls, two lots of cheese and two burger patties.  Too much.  I should have just had one and not had the cheese. That was the beginning of self-sabotage. 

After we put the kids to bed, I resisted the habit / temptation to wander back down to the kitchen and graze for a while.  But that didn't last very long.  Within 30 minutes I had taken the box of favourites chocolates that we received from our neighbour and started to eat them.  A lot of them.  Probably at least 10.  I don't even want to know how many calories I ate while lying in bed.  It's disgusting.  I know why I ate them.  First of all, they were there.  Second, I wasn't officially tracking calories on Monday (I only started using calorieking on Tuesday).  And thirdly, in my gut (haha) I thought that I had already failed by eating too much for dinner.  It's that whole, 'oh well I stuffed up and ate one biscuit, I may as well finish the whole packet' (stupid) mentality. 

It's self-sabotage.  It always seems to me that no matter how hard I try, I always end up sabotaging myself. 

So I started Tuesday off a little differently.  I logged onto (I've had an account for many years) and decided to track all of my food.  The reason that I didn't do this on Monday is that I am an 'all or nothing' kinda gal.  So I know that by tracking my calories, I will become obsessed with it and that's not where I really want to head.  Plus, it makes self-sabotage way more extreme. So say I have a 1200/day target for food.  Well because underneath me, there does exist a competitive spirit, I don't want to exceed that at all.  I want to come in under it.  That's my first mistake.  So that makes me hungry right.  Cause I'm eating less that 1200 calories per day.

Now say that I'm not organised (I'm not) and I come home from work late and I'm too tired to cook or, more likely, I'm too hungry to wait for dinner to cook - I make something that is quick, easy and usually high calorie (like pasta).  Then I don't measure my portion size.  Usually I'll put a small amount (probably too small) and I eat it quickly and feel completely and utterly unsatisfied.  Unsatisfied because the meal sucks (pasta sauce from a jar...blech) and because I didn't eat enough.  Then I go back and get another serving.  Still not satisfied.  So I might go back again.  Then I have eaten way more calories than I was supposed to and I'm still not freaking satisfied because the meal was not a tasty, well balanced dish!

That's when self-sabotage has kicked in.

At this stage, I want something nice.  Something delicious to eat.  My fall back is something sweet and high fat.  The two things that, when eaten together, are to a fat person, like heroin is to the junkie.  That's when I raid the cupboard/fridge at night.

So after a few paragraphs of navel gazing, I've come to an important realisation.  To stop the self-sabotage I must be organised.  I must plan my meals ahead.  I must also have a Plan B for those days when I am late home from work etc.  I must also eat my calories - all 1200 of them.  Otherwise I will get to hungry and just binge away.  I'll copy these ideas and put them in another post so that I can reference my 'shit, duh' moments along the way.

Anyway, I'm happy to say that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday have been great days!  I've stuck to a 1200/day eating plan.  And I've exercised two days this week!

The 1200 per day eating plan hasn't been too difficult to stick to.  For the first time in a long time, I woke up hungry, really hungry.  I can't remember when I last felt really hungry.  That makes me feel a combination of both sad and extremely disgusted in myself.  Seriously, who eats so much food that they never feel really hungry when they wake up?

Now I can't believe that I actually did some exercise this week!  High five to me!  The girl that I sit next to at work has started a bit of a health kick.  IMO, she doesn't need to lose any weight but she is giving healthy living a red-hot go.  I told her that I was counting my calories and she suggested that I just do 10 minutes on the treadmill.  Just 10 minutes.

Tuesday night

I had planned to pick up some ingredients to make a basil and lemon chicken dish.  Because I was late (and starving) I decided to go straight home and make something else with the chicken.  After spending 10 minutes searching through my completely unorganised pantry, I decided to whip up something special for my husband and the kids.  Sarcasm alert!  I grabbed a bag of dry pasta and threw it into some boiling water.  Once the pasta was cooked, I drained it and added a jar of pasta sauce.  Yes it was that bad.

I really couldn't eat this pasta - pasta and I are not so good together.  We love each other too much.  It's bad for my health.  I really can only eat pasta if I measure it out before hand and cook it separately.  So I decided to make myself eggs and toast.  For Tuesday's, ehm, meal plan, click here

That Tuesday night after we put the kids to bed, I did what I haven't done in many many months.  I put on my workout clothes (the shorts are so tight that I couldn't wear them out of the house), went downstairs, turned on the treadmill and walked.  I walked!  This is epic, really.  I walked for 15 minutes on an incline.  Not fast enough to get myself red, hot and sweaty.  But enough that my heart rate went to 140bpm.  I can't describe how satisfied I felt after just 15 minutes of really light exercise.  I had overcome that barrier.

Wednesday and Thursday

Wednesday was a great day as well - I ate well and did another 15 minutes on the treadmill.  For Wednesday's meal plan, click here

Thursday (yesterday) was also a good one.  Except no exercise.  I don't work on Fridays, so my plan is to do 30 minutes today.  For Thursday's meal plan, click here.  

This post is a little boring, but it is important to me to capture these days and to understand why I do what I do.  Why my sub-conscious is pushing me to fail.  Why I don't feel worthy of success.  It's all fear folks.  Fear that even if I give it my best shot, I still won't be able to lose weight and look good.  It's that whole, why try when you won't be able to make it anyway.  I have to keep pushing through that fear and realise that I can love myself for who I am.  And that what I am is enough.  I don't need to compare myself to others to get a gauge of my self-worth.  It's about focusing on positively on myself and not continually beating myself up over my imperfections.  It's about seeking out those people that have a positive influence on my life.  It's about wanting to help others and to be a positive influence on other people's lives.  I never thought that I could inspire anyone.  Part of me still thinks that (this is just day 4 of a long journey).....but if I were to think about what would make me happy - it would be to show other people, just like me, that you can change your life for the better.  And that you don't need anything fancy.  I don't know what all the 'tools' are that I will use to change my life.  I'm kinda just taking it one day at a time.  Focusing on the vision of who I want to be.

Keep heading towards the light (we'll get there together).

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The First One

This is my fourth attempt at starting this post.  I'm paralysed by fear.  Fear that what I write won't be perfect, fear that other people (who I know) will find this blog and judge me.  Fear that I will open myself up too much, make myself too vulnerable.  I'm scared to shatter any illusions that people might have about me.  I'm scared to shatter the illusion that I have about myself.  I'm scared to face to the truth.  I'm so scared that I don't even want to continue this post.

There are many things that I want to change about myself, my life, my relationships.  I feel a little, a lot, like a fraud.  I put on a brave face and make sure that the walls around me are solid, unable to be broken through.  This is my inner self.  The self that no one gets to see or know.  For everyone around me, I only let parts of the 'real' me come through.  And only those parts of my life that I know appeal to or relate to the person that I'm talking to.  I guess it's a way of trying to bond or connect with that person.  But really, if you think about it, it's fake.  I'm not sure that I even know who the real me is anymore.  I've forgotten what was important to me.  What made me want to take action.  Instead, there is this vanilla version of me.  Someone who doesn't want to rock the boat.  Someone who just wants to be friends with everyone.  Someone who has lost her way.

It's easy for me to know that I've lost my way.  Physically it's very easy to tell - I say that I don't care about my appearance.  And if you look at me, that's obvious.  The most obvious indicator is my weight.  I'm fat.  But if you look (not so closely) there are plenty of other signs.  I haven't had a hair cut in 2 years.  I wear the same clothes all of the time.  I tell myself that I don't care about how I look, that it doesn't define me.  But there is a difference between saying that the way you look doesn't define you and actually caring enough about yourself to give a damn.

There are lots of other reasons why I know I've lost my way.  But it's too much to think about for my first post and I really don't want to face the truth of it.  I don't want to type it because then it is true.  Until then I can just block it from my mind and live in this fantasy world that everything is okay.

I'm writing this blog as a diary because I want to have a better life.  I don't want to pass on this horrible anger to my kids.  I don't want my frustrations to become their frustrations.

My weight is only a symptom of my general 'life is shit' feeling.  I know that I need to work on the inner stuff and find myself again.  I know that just working on my weight is never going to be a long-term solution.  But for now, it seems too hard to focus on fixing all the other stuff.  There's too much going on and I don't know how to address it.  What I do know is that I should be able to do something about my weight.  And I'm hoping that by focusing on my weight and have some victories, it will give me the confidence and the courage to face all my fears.  To make my life, my family's life better.

I want a fulfilled life.  I don't know what that means or how to get it.  I just know that my life is not fulfilling right now.  And if my life isn't fulfilled, then my family's life is also empty.  It's empty of my spirit.  I want to find my spirit, my inner spark.  I want to do things that invigorate me.  Experiences that make me want to do more.  I don't want my life to be about going to a 9-5 job and trying to climb a corporate ladder that does not excite me.  I don't know what excites me anymore.

I block out pain.  I block out pain so much that I don't feel anything.  I don't smile spontaneously.  I hardly ever laugh with true feeling.  It's so empty, almost like a cackle.  To me, my life is best pictured as a dark, empty cavern.  It's so dark that the darkness feels heavy.  But today, because I want there to be, there is a tiny little flame flickering...hidden away in the darkest corner.  It's flickering because I want to change.  I want there to be light within me that bursts out of my pores and infects and excites others around me.  I want to draw people to my light and my life.  I want to authentic.  To be me, whoever that is.  Change is hard.  I know it is.  But I can't be frightened by change.  I can't let my fear that I will never be able to change to stop me from taking action today.  Because then today will just be like every other day.  And today is different.  Today is different.

Seeking the light within.


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