Clothes and Fashion

Many of us have discovered that weight loss, while awesome and self-confidence boosting, comes with a bit of a fashion drama. In a good way! Mostly.

I used to have a pair of jeans that I kept in the bottom drawer. These were my ‘skinny jeans’ (AU16) that I hoped to one day get into. They were that beautiful deep navy blue that some denim can be, hipsters with boot flares. I loved them and one day, just a few weeks after being on LC I found out I could wear them! I was absolutely thrilled to bits. Here was pure proof that my new lifestyle and all my hard work were finally paying off. So I kept going, and after a month I realised these jeans were a little loose around the waist. Bot just that, they were becoming a little baggy around the thighs. They still looked alright but I realised that wasn’t going to last for too much longer. Sure enough, another month later and they were unwearable: to loose, too baggy, and just wrong. Luckily, my mother-in-law had just gone through her wardrobe and I got a whole range of jeans from her, all in great condition and all a good fit. By now I was wearing AU14, a full size down from what I’d been wearing. That was three months ago… And now I’m faced with the same ‘problem’.

This brings us to the issue of transition clothing. Now, ove personally sworn off buying new clothes until I reach my target weight, I just don’t see the point otherwise: my body is changing every week at the moment.

The same goes for underwear – and lingere. Ladies, you’ll probably find that your bust measurements will change – probably not your cup size, but remember that you’re losing fat from your shoulders, back anf sides and that will factor in too. You might also discover that certain cuts of briefs and panties will look more flattering than before. That goes for pantyhoses too! Guys, you might find you need to adjust the sizes of your briefs and boxers – you might notice more erm… ‘showing’ now that your fat has disipated around your thighs and abdomen.

I’ve also noticed that I could suddenly wear long socks, another achievement, and especially for someone for whom casual wear often includes a bit of goth. Random, but an achievement of sorts.

Now, I’ve decided not to go down the road of ‘transition’ clothing; frankly, I haven’t got the money to afford a new wardrobe, especially one that’s likely to change in the next two months when I lose more weight. So I’m just going to wait until I’ve hit my target weight and then I’ll see what I can find – provided it’s in the budget at that point, otherwise I’ll have to make do with what I’ve got. Second-hand clothing shops are fantastic…

What’s your approach? Are you going to go through each stage as it hits you or are you just going to wait and see? Let me know, I’d love to hear about some tactics!

Clear skies,

Vee

Birthday Plans with Psyllium

It’s my birthday today, and I’m determined to not blow myself out of the water completely – so to speak. So far so good, with the support of my husband and my adopted sisters – yes, you know who you are – I haven’t stuffed my face yet with the chocolate cake that I made yesterday for the Cafe, and this despite every opportunity presenting itself. Nor have I eaten a single piece of the amazing rocky road I made – stuffed full of dates, prunes, walnuts, and yes, marshmallows – so, in other words, I believe I’m doing pretty darned good. But it’s only 11:30 in the morning and it’s going to be a long day. In an effort to be mostly good, I’ve just made myself eat psyllium porridge, which tends to keep my hunger and cravings at bay.

2 Tbsp Psyllium Husks
2 Tbsp Thick Cream (make sure it’s not wheat thickened, people!)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract (I always use the organic pure, real stuff, not the fake stuff!)
2 tablets of Stevia (or whatever sweetener you’re comfortable with)
Add hot water to your taste, mix, and endure – I mean, enjoy.

If I’d had a little more headspace and foresight, I’d have made Chocolate Psyllium Puddings instead, but silly me didn’t, so porridge it was. The Chocolate Psyllium Puddings – I think I mentioned them in the previous post – are a tasty treat, completely sugar-free and fill you up while satisfying your brain with the idea that you’ve just had something bad, especially if you add whipped cream to your treat.

2 Tbs Psyllium
1 Tbs Thick Cream
1 Tbs Cocoa Powder (I use Cadbury’s Bourneville)
2 tablets of Stevia
~ 200ml boiling water

That should make around two serves – I split them across two little ramekins so I can fridge them and eat them individually. They do need a little while to set, unless you like them runny, but they are well worth the sit! If you’re throwing a party, they’ll make for tasty desserts that you can enjoy right alongside your guests without feeling guilty!

Psyllium also regularly makes it into my eggs – scrambled, omletted, or otherwise – and after a while you get so used to them you don’t even remember that they’re there. Much awesomeness. Just always remember to drink enough water or you’ll give yourself a stomache-ache from hell, if not worse.

Clear skies,
Vee

A Word About: The Dangers of Boredom and Cookies

So I’ve noticed that I have a tendency to get bored. Not just with what I can eat but just in general: I get bored. The boredom really hits home when there’s nothing going on at the Cafe and I’m surrounded by food that I shouldn’t be eating. No fun really. The troubling thing is, the boredom tries to translate itself into eating. This might also be because I tend to start baking when I get bored and there’s nothing going on. For example, the other day the Cafe was dead and I really do mean ‘dead’; a handful of customers, nothing to do, all the cleaning done, nothing to tidy up…so. bored. So, to alleviate said boredom, I decided to bake cookies. In this case, Chocolate-Marbled Shortbread. I can’t eat it on my current carb count, but they sell quite well and I was out so hey, what the hell.

Hurdle 1: do not eat the cookie dough. Easy enough with a little bit of stubborness. Hurdle 2: do not ‘accidentally’ make a tiny cookie that you can’t sell so you need to eat it. Also done. Hurdle 3: don’t eat the batter while you’re making the cookies! Harder, but done. Into the oven they went. Awesome, twenty whole minutes of not being able to eat a cookie even if I could! I busied myself tidying up the mess I’d made while getting the cookies together; boredom alleviated for ten minutes.

Made some Cocoa-Pysllium Pudding for tomorrow – that’s another five minutes gone, and at least I’ll have a guilt-free treat for tomorrow if I feel the need for something sweet (yay for stevia!). And then the oven timer goes off, and the cookies are ready.

Nothing in the world is harder to resist than freshly baked, straight out of the oven, shortbread chocolate cookies. At least for me. They are my nemesis right alongside cranberry-chocolate scones. That nemesis-status gets amplified tenfold when I’ve got nothing to keep myself occupied: boredom is evil! So they were sitting their cooling on the rack while I wrote a little bit, mulled over the wording of a poem, got bored with that and scrubbed some dishes instead. They’re still cooling in the background, spreading their delicious, decadent perfume through the Cafe – hopefully inducing customers to come in, but no such luck. Just me, the husband, and these damned cookies.

Hurdle 4: do not eat the cookies. 

That’s it. Just don’t. Don’t let the boredom win. Find something else to do, even if you’ve already done it: polish a window, scrub the floor, take out the trash, go for a run, make up a game using chopsticks and a hairdryer (safely!) but whatever you do: do not let the boredom make you eat those cookies!

Clear skies,

Vee

A Word About: Falling off the Wagon

I’ve had a very naughty week. September is a hard month for me, full of birthdays (including my own) and Father’s Day all of which tend to involve either eating out and cake or just high carb meals at hone….and cake. Usually I make the cake, and usually I’ve got the willpower to withstand the temptation. This last week, however, started with our little holiday. I behaved mostly, save for on our last night when I ate that bloody cake. It was awesome cake and you’ve got to be able to indulge yourself every once in a while or you’re bound to go crazy. Unfortunately for me, it also broke down my willpower for the next few days: my brother-in-law’s birthday was on Friday and I made the most awesome cake. I was actually extremely impressed with myself; so impressed I had two pieces. Again, I felt I needed to let off some steam, and in all honesty I didn’t/don’t feel guilty about it at all, but the physical reaction was quite impressive as well.

I could barely sleep that night: too much caffeine from the chocolate frosting and way too much sugar. Basically, I’d overloaded my system with carbs that it was no longer really equipped to handle. The next morning, my skin was gross – okay, not ‘gross’ but definitely not as pretty as it has been since I started LCing – and my hair was having a bad day. I also noticed that my lymphnodes were swollen and actually quite painful. In other words, all that bloody sugar had instantly compromised my immune system and my body was doing its best to fight off whatever I’d picked up from the Cafe that week. Yay, much fun.

Next problem: birthday cakes tend not to get completely eaten at parties right? And you can only send so much home with your guests. So that meant that there was left over cake in the fridge just begging to be eaten. And guess what? I did. Not all of it, luckily it was such good cake that my non-sweet-tooth husband ate most of it! Phew!

My point is, there’s going to be a week here or there where you fall off the LC wagon. I’ve done it before and I’ve done it again; I’m back on it now, but I know I’ll fall off again. This isn’t always an easy lifestyle decision we’ve made, and I think we all know that by now. We’re going to face temptation, whether it’s at a private birthday party or just at work when someone’s bought everyone coffee with cream and sugar just because. You’re not going to be able to plan the unforeseeable. The only thing we can do, as humans, is navigate those temptations as best as we can and if you fail once or twice that’s okay. I’ve been saying it a lot lately, and I’m not just trying to justify my week of bad eating here; we’re not just looking after our bodies here, people, but we’ve got to look after our minds too and if that means that once in a while you’ve got to eat that cookie: then eat the damned cookie. Just try to hold back and not devour the whole pack okay? And once we’ve had our little day(s) off, we have to climb back on that horse and get back to where we we were heading. Yes, it means you’ll likely have to face a little bit of carb flu again, and yes it means you’ll have cravings, but ask yourself this: isn’t it worth it? Remember where you’re going, not where you fell off your pony.

Clear Skies,

Vee

Fibre Is Your Friend

First off, a remembrance to those who lost their lives on the 11th of September. Thoughts, wishes, and hopes to all the families and loved ones.


Most of us don’t get enough fibre in our diet, whether we’re LCing or not. Fibre is a vital part of anyone’s diet, nutrition and yes, overall health.

“…it seems everything at the moment is ‘vital to overall health’,” you might grumbled sarcastically.

You’re not wrong, a lot of things in the weight loss scene tend to go through phases where they are the most important, bestest thing you can do or your body. And in truth, a lot of them are important, just not to the exclusion of all other things. That goes for fibre as well: it is important, very even, but not in place of everything else thats good for you.

So first up, what the hell is fibre really? Must of us assume that it’s ‘ruffage’, the stuff that’s physically fibrous and helps clean out our intestines as it passes through. You’re not wrong. Basically, fibre is stuff that the body doesn’t conpletely digest – certain seeds, husks, grains and certain vegetable fibres that the body has trouble dealing with. These ‘pesky’ things work their way through your digestive system as a goop that clears everything out. Think of it like a scrubbing brush that cleans out your insides.

“Sure, whatever…why is it important then?”

It’s important because if you’re not getting enough fibre in, you’re going to get stopped up. And by ‘stopped up’ I mean constipated like hell.

Constipation isn’t just irritating, its unhealthy. Think about it, you end up with waste just stocking up in your bowel where it’s not just sitting, by the way, but decomposing, fermenting and going through all manner of chemical changes that are causing gas, bloating and stomach aches. Worse, you leave it there long enough and certain bacteria and other elements can sneak back up into your digestive system and cause all sorts of havoc. In serious cases, some studies have shown that repeated constipation can lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome and/or cancer.

So what is the recommended amount of fibre a day? I’m sure there’s a whole lot of data put there that gives out a specific number, but I’m of the firm belief that if you’re having bowel movements daily or every other day and they are smooth and easy to pass, you’re getting enough fibre. If you’re struggling with regularity, you’re going to need to add in some more fibre and likely up your water intake as well.

Regular exercise also helps. Myself I go for a good combination of insoluble and soluble fibre, just to make sure I’m covered. That means I eat a lot of green leafy veggies and I have two table spoons of psyllium husk every day – in some form or another. Psyllium husk is cool because you can do all sorts of things with it like eat it as a porridge – with dairy alternatives or cream and hot water – or you can mix it in with some egg and make a faux pancake. Just be careful to go slow if you start taking it! I had the misfortune a few months back to go a little crazy with it. The result was not pretty, and trust me, you do not want to lose 2kg in a day by puking and er…flushing your guts out. It’s not fun and it’s not good for you! My advice is: yes, lots of exciting recipes about ‘psyllium bread’ and the like but remember that this stuff turns into a gel-like substance that absorbs liquids! This means that if you’re not drinking enough water, you’re eating too much of it, or both you’re going to get a serious bowel obstruction and that is not fun. So go slow! Most people advice that you start off with one tablespoon and plenty of water and do that for a few days before upping your intake. Pay attention to how your body reacts. You can buy psyllium husk (and flaxseed meal, which has a similar effect and a slightly different taste!) in most health food shops and some supermarkets; for those of you in the area, I do have a stockpile here at the Magpie Cafe (48 Main St., Upwey VICTORIA) for a reasonable price. If you’re looking for recipes, a quick Google search will yield plenty of results, just keep my advice in mind and go slow to start with.

And I think that’s all I’ve got for you today. I hope it helped some!

Clear Skies,

Vee

Hypertension and Insulin Resistance

Here’s something interesting to read about! Blood pressure, insulin resistance and some other interesting points; definitely worth a read.

Clear Skies,
Vee

Dr. Adam Nally (@DocMuscles)

Blood Pressure SurpriseHypertension (elevated blood pressure) is one of the triad symptoms of metabolic syndrome.  I see this to some degree a very large majority of the people seen in my office.  Many people are so used to having borderline or elevated blood pressure, and not successfully controlling it through caloric restriction, they are told it is a “genetic problem,” placed on blood pressure medication and sent on their way.  The problem is that most of these people will have a progressive elevation in blood pressure over time and these medications are continually raised until the person is on four or five different blood pressure medications at maximal doses.  Again, their genetics are blamed and that is the end of it.  Or is it?!

When I first started treating the insulin resistance problem in the human, rather than the blood pressure problem, I began to see immediate reductions in blood pressure…

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