Keep on Keeping on: Health and Fitness (week 1)

Keep on Keeping on: Health and Fitness

It isn’t a great heading for this post and I know it.  There’s a lot of noise about weight loss around these days, and much of it is sensationalised.  If I really wanted to get good click throughs to what I’ve written here, I probably should have titled it something like:

How I Turned from a Frumpy Mummy into a Yummy Mummy

or

The Secret to My Weight Loss

or

5 Tips to Lose Weight

or

Be a Hot New You

or…even better…

I was a FATTY

or wait…just…

FAT

(just like that in big capital letters)

Ack! No, no, no! I’m sick of sensationalism.  But I am interested in health and fitness, and sharing the story of my journey.  Here’s another headline:

I was overweight and I’m grateful for it

The Journey

Stage 1: Realisation aka a crash (1 year)

You see, I never had an issue with my weight before. Not even during my pregnancies.  Then my mum died, and it was like a brick that…fell…crashed…and life suddenly overwhelmed me; it caved in on me, and around me. I was depressed.  The weight crept up on me slowly as did the heaviness in my person.  Anxiety turned into an undercurrent of permanent fear.

I had to learn an entire new set of skills.  It was tough when the usual challenges of life didn’t let up. Still four children to care for. Still moving every year at that point of my life. Still with a husband working very long hours. Still motherless.  Nothing stopped and I felt like I was drowning in bricks, with life throwing more bricks, never stopping.  That peek was over five years ago now and I am different now.  I am different than when I was under a cloud…sure — but what I mean is I am different now, than before was depressed.  And I’m glad for the experiences I’ve had and the opportunities to learn from them.

Stage 2: Small Changes (+2 years = 3 years)

People who haven’t seen me for a while say, “Wow, you’re looking fantastic,” and it always surprises me.  Why? Because losing weight wasn’t my goal.  I didn’t weigh myself (I don’t own scales) or track my progress. I simply changed my life in small and simple ways: learned more; stressed less; moved more; ate better. Losing weight was an outcome, a consequence, not a goal.  I can’t even tell you how much weight I’ve lost between these pics, but I was surprised at what small sustainable changes DO over a long period.  

Then

weight loss journey

Now

Health Journey - before and after

In the first pic below, that was probably close to 2 and a half years ago now, and I think I had already lost some weight at this point.  I tend to carry weight evenly around my body (rather than having problem spots)…which is good — and bad. Good because I tend to hide weight well…and bad for exactly the same reason! 

Health journey - before and after weight loss

Stage 3: Mindset (+1 year = 4 years)

Changing my mindset has taken much longer than simply making small changes.  (It’s taken more than a year — ha — many, many years — but there was a fixed year that I had enough space in my head and seeing the outcome of small changes helped it all click. 

I changed my mindset—> that affected my choices —> which in turn changed my body.

Five Don’ts That Worked for Me

1.Don’t try and lose weight

Do aim for a healthy life.

2. Don’t focus on the number on the scales

Do look forward to feeling well, and strong, and having the freedom to wear swimwear so you can swim without a care with your kids. Don’t focus on how you look (don’t buy into the RUBBISH society loves to splash around – just don’t). Do focus on how obtaining health feels and the freedom that comes with that.

3. Don’t do low fat

Do eat good food.  Whole food is good food.  It it what it is. What matters isn’t high fat, or low sugar, low carbs or other marketing ploys. Over the years, I’ve been trying to introduce more whole fresh foods in my diet, and you know…my ‘fat’ intake may even be higher now. It’s when we mess around the gorgeous food, change it and warp it beyond its form,  that it’s wrecked.  

With the risk of appearing like I’m contradicting myself here, I do eat low fat yoghurt and milk sometimes, but the point is I don’t worry too much about ensuring food is low fat, because when you treat each food with respect, you just accept it for what it is and how it fits in the big picture of overall health.  For example, I love a creamy brie and I’ll enjoy it sometimes in the big picture of my health. I don’t want a low fat version!! Haha.

4. Don’t make big changes

Do make small sustainable changes…and keep on keeping on.  For example, buy natural yoghurt and have it with fresh fruit rather than buying ‘low fat’ (usually WAY higher in sugar) flavoured yoghurt. Swap whole nuts for biscuits.  That sort of thing.  There are a million little ways that make up to big changes.

5. Don’t follow anyone’s ‘plans’

Do learn to listen to your body. I’m not against plans.  In fact, I’m doing one at the moment. However, I follow my own path, and I use programs as a tool, not as a goal. If you don’t have your OWN big picture, a plan will most probably become a fad.

Stage 4: Challenge (+1 year = 5 years)

So this is the fifth year now, and made many changes to the choices I make, and how I approach life in terms of health.  I’m always looking to push myself further.  I found a wonderful PT group here in Brisbane, Phyzique by Lauren Phillips, and I attend 3 classes a week. I’ve been with Lauren for over a year now.  When it came to the start of this year, I recognised the need for some support when it comes to putting more fresh food in my diet so I’m doing a 10 week challenge which will help me to be disciplined about the food choices I make.  It’s just another step.

Week One

Clean Eating -- Weekly FoodDay 1: 

Breakfast: Whole apricot

Snack: Blueberries with small amount of greek yoghurt

Lunch: Quoina & almond salad with egg 

Snack: Almonds, carrot & celery sticks

Dinner: Black Rice, whole steamed vegetables, tuna, drizzle of soy sauce

Day 2:

Breakfast: 1 piece of 9 grain toast with peanut butter, lady finger banana

Snack: 1/2 cup fruit smoothie

Lunch: Black quoina & rice salad with a carrot

Snack: 2 chocolate date balls

Dinner: Deconstructed taco: lean mince, cooked with onion, herbs and baked beans, raw beetroot, raw carrot, lettuce

Day 3

Breakfast: Natural yoghurt with blueberries with half an orange

Snack: Tuna sushi (out)

Lunch: Roast vegetable cous cous (150g)

Snack: 1 homemade ginger biscuit

Dinner: Warm chicken salad: with avocado, capsicum & vinaigrette dressing (out)

Day 4:

Breakfast: Porridge with sunflower seeds, wheat germ & small lady finger banana

Snack: Carrot & celery sticks

Lunch: Black rice with corn bok choy, dressed with cream cheese and a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce 

Snack: 6 cherries

Dinner: Homemade chicken & ginger wonton soup with carrot and bok choy.  After dinner: Apricot & oat ball

Day 5:

Breakfast: Porridge with blueberries and sunflower seeds

Snack: -

Lunch: Black rice with tuna, cherry tomatoes, corn and kale

Snack: 2 chocolate date balls

Dinner: Ham, spinach, avocado & fetta with sweet potato chips

Day 6:

Breakfast: High bran weet-bix with sunflower seeds

Snack: Almonds plus a few dates

Lunch: 9 grain bread with ham, avocado, cottage cheese, spinach, cucumber & tomato 

Snack: Cherries

Dinner: Warm chicken salad (out)

Day 7

Breakfast: Porridge with blueberries, natural yoghurt, sunflower seeds

Snack: Celery with peanut butter & snow peas

Lunch: Black rice, tuna, spinach salad, parmesan cheese (instead of dressing)

Snack: Apricot & Oat Ball

Dinner: Wholemeal muffin with lean bacon, egg, wholegrain mustard and spinach

Exercise

3 Group PT Sessions, 1 x 7K Run

Note: I have more time to exercise now my kids are older.  When they were younger, I couldn’t manage as much, but still found ways to maintain fitness and I shared some in this guest post for Diminishing Lucy.

Changes and Observations

Week one down.  I honestly like the food I’m eating and it hasn’t been too difficult because I’ve already made many small changes to the way we eat as a family so for my meals, I’m just tweaking them a little. The trick is taking the time to fit in more (smaller) meals during the day and being smart about preparing food (so I don’t get caught out).  I don’t have a diet to follow or anything like that — I choose my own food — but am trying to eat more whole foods, less refined, and making the calories count (like choosing quinoa instead of white rice; that sort of thing).

After a week, I’ve noticed a difference in the clarity of my skin.

I’ll update again next week.

HERE’S THE SECRET TO MY WEIGHT LOSS!

Five hard years learning, changing & growing. It’s as simple as that. ;)

Wherever you are on the journey, keep on keeping on. Just start somewhere. Onward. 

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for sharing your journey Kelly, I and I’m sure many more women can relate. I am in the midst of TRYING to take care of myself, but as you said with young kids it basically feels impossible. Plus with a shift-working husband, gym is unrealistic. I love the idea of little steps over time :-)

  2. Rebecca says

    Loved the article. On a similar journey and was glad for the encouragement. Really want it to be a sustained lifestyle change and not a momentary fad

  3. Kat says

    You look great – healthy, glowing and toned, but most of all you sound happy and strong mentally and emotionally.
    Well done you!
    It is a journey isn’t it? Especially after four babies.
    I joined a gym last year when my youngest of four started kinder and I can see the difference in myself – exercise, eating better, having more time for me, time to slow down after years of rushing and juggling little ones.
    It feels good, it just does.
    I am going to continue to work on the food part this year, so it is great to read what you are doing.
    I also want to say that your post from last year about your little one heading off to fulltime school struck a chord with me as I send my baby off fulltime this year.
    That post has been on my mind ever since I read it this time last year. One of the most touching posts I have written.
    In fact I think I will go and re read ready for my baby starting on Wednesday.
    How have you found having a year of all four at school? Did it take long to adjust?
    Keep up the fantastic work.

  4. Susan says

    I liked the article and menu ideas… However, at the beginning where you wrote “I was a FATTY
    or wait…just…FAT” I found offensive. My body looks like yours did In the before pic. I don’t think you don’t look fat or even overweight in that pic. I agree with focusing on health and eating healthy, nutritious food, but calling yourself ” a fatty ” isn’t a very respectful or healthy way to title the article. Isn’t it important when we talk about health to talk about loving ourselves and out bodies?

    • says

      Susan, that’s exactly my point. My point is that I WOULDN’T title an article like that (and I didn’t). I chose to title the article ‘Keep on keeping on: Health and Fitness’ which won’t get the attention of the other titles I could have picked to get people reading. It was me being blunt about how our society is increasingly using sensationalism and part of what I wanted to achieve with this post, is to stand against that. So it was an important part of this post.

      My point is, if I DID title the post with FATTY (which is ridiculous – yes – I agree with you!) then I prob would have a lot more attention…but I didn’t want that. I wanted to share my journey with people genuinely interested in the topic.

      Hope that makes sense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>