Saturday, March 1, 2014

Back on the wagon again!

Well, I'm back. I was seriously disappointed in myself. I lost a lot of weight but did not manage to keep it off. It was frustrating and upsetting. But life happens, right? I'm an emotional eater and my emotions have been on a roller coaster lately. It's not really a good excuse but it's the only one I have. Anyway, I'm back on Motivation because it worked so well for me before. I just bought a bike using the bike to work scheme. It's pretty fabulous; it's retro style. The hardest part is going to be sticking to the diet and sticking to an exercise plan. I'm going to have to make up an exercise plan that I can fit into my work and school schedule. Thankfully, school is over after April 26th.

I'm going to try to post some tips and tricks that I have learned in my diet battle. Watch this space!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pleasure and happiness

When I joined Motivation Weight Management last year, one of the things I needed to do was read a book written by the doctor who started the Motivation program and clinics.

The book was made up of stories about his clients who were facing challenges with weight loss and how they overcame those challenges. It was quite inspiring as these people had to deal with a lot of hardship in their lives which made them turn to food for comfort or to hide.

What I liked about the stories was that not all of them were successful. It made it more real to me. There were some people who simply could not give up on their old lifestyle choices.

What I didn't like at first was that none of them really seemed relevant to me. I had a good life growing up. My parents were very loving and took an interest in my life. I had and still have a lot of good friends and my extended family are very close and supportive. I ate simply because I like food.

I took an assessment at the Motivation clinic of which the outcome was that I am a perfectionist but also have issues with guilt. This means that if I try something and fail, I feel guilty to the point that I am demotivated and will be less willing to try that activity again. This is true, though I have overcome this for the most part. I found that I was very cautious about doing anything because I was too afraid I would make a mistake. This was true of dieting - if I failed, I simply stopped.

Anyway, I digress. As I read on in the book, there was one message that really stood out to me and spoke to me. It's so simple but it was something that had never occurred to me.

People tend to equate pleasure with happiness. So if something brings you pleasure, it makes you happy, e.g. if I eat deep fried fish and chips, it's making me happy because I like it. However, this is far from true because the end result of unhealthy eating is that I became overweight. And I am not happy being overweight. There are things I can't do and clothes I can't wear.

So I challenge you to think about this. What is more important to you and your happiness? Eating something you like or having a healthy lifestyle and being at a healthy weight? Now step away from the Snickers bar...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Getting it off and keeping it off!

The funny thing about losing weight is that losing weight is the easy part compared with keeping the weight off and maintaining your healthy weight.  Trust me, I'm an experienced yo-yo dieter.

Once you start dieting and exercising and really getting into the groove of it, the weight will come off.  You have to be diligent and patient; it took a long time to gain the weight so it stands to reason that it will take a long time to come off.

It will come off, though.  Before you know it, you're a few clothing sizes smaller and it's time to go shopping.  Does this mean you can abandon your diet?  Stop exercising?  I'm afraid not. This may seem like common sense, but trust me, there are people out there who think that once they reach their goal weight, they can go back to their old habits. 

Maintaining a healthy weight means you have to change your lifestyle.  You may have to give up things you like but you can in turn develop new, healthier habits and start being more active which can be very rewarding.  I took up running which I now love.  I also hauled out my bicycle last spring which hadn't seen daylight in a shameful amount of time and instead of taking taxis to the next town over when I needed to go there, I cycled

You don't have to do those things; simply going for a walk a few times a week will be enough to get you started.  Once you get outside, it's hard to go back in.  Give it a try.  If you're interested in running, check your area for local runs, like charity runs or fun runs and sign up.  It will give you something to train for.

With regard to food, you can have a treat every once in a while; it won't do you any good to deny yourself something you really want if you're just going to be miserable.  If you want something, have it.  Just watch your portions.  After I had been dieting for about 5 or 6 months, I really wanted fish and chips one night, so I ordered it at a restaurant.  I LOVE fish and chips; it was always one of my favourite things to eat.  That night, however, I couldn't finish it.  It was suddenly too greasy for me and I instantly regretted ordering it.  You'll find that this might happen with you as well; something you loved may not taste as nice when you get used to eating healthy food.

I hope this has been helpful.  Feel free to email me if you have specific questions.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Back on the Wagon

It appears I haven't blogged in a while... my last post was in 2009. Scary.

A lot has happened since then. I'll skip to November 201o. At this time, I had been on and off dieting for a while and I had gained a lot of weight. I was afraid if I didn't do something, I'd be back up to my heaviest weight again and wearing clothes you can only buy in certain shops.

I was depressed. I felt bad about myself and the way I looked. Exasperated and not wanting to do any more fad diets, I searched online for something that would help me and found Motivation Weight Loss clinics. I called them to set up an initial consultation in the hopes they could help me.

I arrived at my appointment full of hope and anticipation. I was warmly greeted and taken through the program step by step. They were very friendly and up front about the cost which I thought was high at first, until I calculated it and found it was nearly the same as what I forked out for Lipotrim which I tried 2 or 3 times and didn't work at all.

That night I discussed it with my husband. He was initially put off by the cost but I reasoned with him that it was worth it for my well-being and I promised him this would be the last thing I tried. If it didn't work, I wouldn't spend any more money on trying to lose weight. He agreed.

I started my diet which is a high protein, low carb and restricted calorie plan. I was allowed beer or wine as a replacement for my carbs, but I chose not to drink. I went in every week for a weigh in and did very well. My main motivation was my upcoming trip to Africa, India and Australia. It's not nice to be overweight in warm weather.

By August 2011 when I was due to take my holiday, I lost an astonishing 46 lbs (around 21 kg). I was still about 14 lbs (6kg) away from my goal weight but I felt great. I had been exercising; going to toning classes, spinning and pilates, plus working out with a trainer once a week.

During the holiday I put on some weight. Then I came home and put on more weight. Long story short, my clothes stopped fitting and because of the progress I'd made, I had thrown out all of my big clothes.

So now I am back on my diet and exercising again. I am not going in for weekly weigh ins, mainly because I want to discipline myself. I shouldn't have to get weighed in to maintain my diet. I've been back on it for two weeks now and have lost about 10 lbs (4kg).

I will be blogging more often, sharing recipes and tips as I come across them. Currently, I eat 5 servings of protein a day, 3 with main meals and 2 for snacks. For the snacks I use protein shakes or light cheese like Mini Babybel Light. 2 of them make up one protein serving.

Today's menu was:

Breakfast: one poached egg
Snack: protein shake
Lunch: Vegetable and lentil soup (homemade)
Snack: protein shake
Dinner: 30g (1 oz.) steamed boneless skinless chicken breast, steamed asparagus and brussels sprouts and 1 cup of basmati rice.
Dessert: 1 small apple

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'm back on the wagon!

Ok, so I fell off the wagon for a few months and was therefore a bit embarrassed to write. It's happened to all of us at one point or another. The important thing is that I am back in business and ready to lose weight and look foxy. My goal is to look great for my upcoming trip to San Francisco next year.

I've started going back to the gym; staying late at work and being on vacation led to a significant decrease in gym visits. This time, I actually talked to the trainer there and he put together a program for me mixing cardio and resistance training. I was previously only doing cardio for an hour a day and can feel the difference in my sore muscles!

He put together a daily plan for me so I alternate between working arms and legs and always 30 minutes of cardio as well. He explained to me that resistance training can actually keep burning calories longer than just cardio by itself. I've promised to commit to an hour a day 5 days a week.

Today is Saturday and I am trying to figure out what I'll do for exercise today. I should really get back on the Wii Fit but honestly, I know I've put on a little bit of weight since I last used it and I don't want it to yell at me! I suppose I'll just have to face the music.

I'll keep you posted on my progress. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

That Time

I've neglected my blog lately; this is because it was "that time". Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. Downing aspirin like candy, complaining, water weight gain, all that good stuff. I came through with only minor breaks in my diet. Today I'm back down to the weight I was before "that time" so I consider that a small victory.

"That time" is always a nuisance for me. I'll be doing fantastic and feeling very motivated for 3 solid weeks. And then the monthly visitor shows up and I don't feel like doing anything except drink wine, eat salty snacks and talk on the phone. Crying at cheesy TV shows is also an occasional symptom. I managed to still force myself to go to the gym but I did eat more salty snacks than I should have. I believe I also had Chinese food (take out) as well but it wasn't curry and I didn't have chips (fries) with it so I feel like that's something, anyway.

The bottom line is, I have absolutely no tips on how to handle "that time". If anyone does, I welcome them! I get cravings for bad things to eat and drink and can barely control myself. Please let me know if there's a wonder drug out there that will make it all go away! I do have two judgemental cats who look at me in disgust when I reach for the popcorn which helps lay on the guilt a little.

Anyway, that's all I have for you today. Perhaps I'll be more helpful next week.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I couldn't think of anything particularly interesting to write about today so I thought I'd write up a few tips.

I know that most of you who read this will probably already know this stuff but it will be worth it if even one person finds it helpful.

1. Limit the amount of times you go out to eat. Home cooked food has fewer calories and you can control what you put into your body.

2. Pack yourself a lunch for work. This will save money. We have a canteen where I work and I am tempted to get the nice heavy lunches they serve. Bringing my own lunch saves me from myself.

3. Look for the healthy options when grocery shopping. Weight Watchers meals are good and if you're sticking to the points plan, there's no calculation involved. In Ireland, one of our big supermarkets, Tesco, carries their own line called Light Choices which will also tell you how many Weight Watchers points are in their meals. They have nice soups as well.

4. Use a low calorie spray for frying food rather than oil. I like Fry Light.

5. Make your own dressings and dips whenever you can. I love Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing. Unfortunately, I can't get it in Ireland. Friends and family send me the packets to make my own. To mix it, you use milk and mayonnaise. I use soy milk (my husband and I are slightly lactose intolerant) and extra light mayonnaise. I also add hot sauce (low in calories and no fat) and extra spices to jazz it up a bit.

6. Diet with a buddy. It's always easier to have someone with whom you can share all of your dieting ups and downs and tips. I am flying solo at the moment but a friend of mine (you know who you are!) is going to start WW soon and I plan to support her every step of the way.

7. Move more. Take a walk. For those with small children, invest in a jogging stroller. Go shopping and do a few laps around the mall. Anything that gets you up and moving will burn calories. Weight Watchers on its own will work but with exercising you'll see better results and feel healthier.

8. Celebrate milestones! Set a small goal for yourself and get a treat when you reach it. Lose 5 lbs and get a manicure.

9. Don't overdo it. Don't starve yourself. I am still eating three meals a day with small snacks in between. If you feel faint, dizzy, or just really hungry, re-evaluate your food choices. Things like beans and lentils are low in fat and calories and will help you feel full for longer.

10. Lastly, if you really really need a piece of chocolate or another "naughty" snack - go for it! You won't do yourself any favors by denying yourself the things you want. It will only make you binge.

I hope this was helpful!