Tag Archives: cheat day

A Word About: Triggers

As the title of this post suggests, I want to talk about ‘triggers’. I was thinking about this last night, trying to figure out what sort of things lead me off the LC highway and up the garden path to the gingerbread house – so to speak. I’ve been falling off the wagon a lot since my birthday in September, and there’s a few reasons for that sure, but there’s also specific things that make me go ‘Oh, I want that and I can’t be f*****  fighting off the craving so I’m just going to have the damn thing’ or just make me crave sugar so badly I feel miserable. I’ve come a long way, so my random indulgences these last four months haven’t made too much of a difference – I’m not at my target weight yet, but, as everyone keeps reminding me (myself included!) I don’t need to be there tomorrow, just some time before May (yay, goal set!) – but obviously identifying pitfalls is a good place to start when it comes to avoiding them.

So, obstacles in no real order:

1. CHOCOLATE. It’s taken me a few weeks to realise (and then admit) that. I notice that when I indulge and have those 2 squares of 80%+ chocolate I start to want ‘real’ sweets, with real sugary goodness to them. Tactic? Avoidance when at all possible.

2. CAFFEINE. I don’t drink anything but black decaf coffee when I do drink it, but it happens without fail that whenever I do have it, I want chocolate, or ice cream, or milk. Tactic? Stop drinking the stuff completely.

3. MENSTRUATION. Okay, this one I can’t really do anything about except combat cravings with more regular savoury treats that are higher in fat and thus, in theory, provide more satisfaction. I was reading a blog entry a few weeks ago in which the author had a separate ‘diet’ menu trageting her time of the month just so she could stay on the wagon, it might be something I need to implement.

4. STRESS/ANXIETY/EXHAUSTION. All of these things take a toll on your psyche, and when I’m feeling down and out I’m more likely to just lose control and stuff my face with ice cream or chocolate or both. Tactic? Try to return to a steady sleeping habit and avoid the other issues – not always possible, and often there are elements that are beyond our control, but we do what we can.

5. MIGRAINES/PAIN IN GENERAL. So I used to get really bad migraines. Luckily since I’ve started LCing, I no longer suffer from them much at all. Great! The trouble is, I do sometimes get them – usually if I’ve had caffeine or artificial sweeteners – and the pain can be so bad that it’s a ‘what the hell, I don’t care’ situation. Tactic? Avoid migraine/headache/pain triggers when at all possible, eat clean and you’ll feel clean! Er…better.

6. ‘SAFE’ SWEETS. Artificial sweeteners, or even natural ones like Stevia, make me want sweet things. It’s like I suddenly realise what I’m missing and thus, I want them. Tactic? Avoidance.

7. SOCIAL OUTINGS. I live in a very outgoing family, we often go out for dinner or coffee or whatnot, and it’s not always possible to avoid carbs while we’re out, especially not since I’m the only fool doing this to myself… Kidding, the family is extremely supportive and even intrigued. Tactic? Do the best I can, there’s no point ruining what little social life I have by curtailing outings just because I can’t eat certain things.

8. LAZINESS & SELF SABOTAGE. Not really a thing, per se, but still relevant. I tend to forget to enter things into my My Fitness app at the time of my meals, so I add them later, and that’s fine, except that something I ‘tweak’ the numbers because I ‘can’t have remembered that correctly’. This leads to carb creep. Tactic? BE HONEST WITH MYSELF FFS. >.<

9. CLIMATE. I eat a lot when it’s hot. I want cakes, cookies, and cream. I crave ice cream. I mean, it’s summer, it goes with the bloody season, right? Winter makes me want warm bread, oozing with butter, custards, and chocolate… I also do less in summer physically because I get tired faster in the heat don’t we all? Tactic? Don’t give in so easily; cool yourself down, or warm yourself up.

And I’m going to have to leave it at 9 I think, since I can’t think of any other things at the moment. Unless you guys have any triggers you want to share? I’m sure I’ve got a heap more that haven’t even occurred to me. Food for thought.

Clear skies,

Vee

Then that happened…

I’ve had a weird week, well, fortnight really filled with my birthday, money stress, and many nights with little to no sleep. I blame my birthday indulgences and make a variety of excuses for my inability to deal with the minor bout of carb flu. And while I’m sill low carbing, I know I’m not in keto; also not the end of the world, and wholly my own doing. The trouble when any of us get into this sort of state, is that we end up fighting temptation while also combating exhaustion and stress. Truth is, something has got to give and some days are better than others. I’m not writing a self winging my life sucks entry, I don’t do those. But everyone goes through tough times, it’s all part of life, especially in this day and age with shifting economies and global chaos. So you just roll with the punches and redo your personal budget accordingly; so what if your clothes don’t git anymore because you’ve lost heaps of weight…that’s kind of the point! And if we can’t stick with our program every day of every week, fine, we can work through that.

The important this is to persevere, and not just write off your healthy future because your present isn’t where you want it to be. And yes I may just have eaten an entire block of chocolate, but guilt isn’t going to get me anywhere. Sticking to your guns day in and out can get tiring, sure, exhausting even; but at the end of that rough day – or week – you’ll remember that the guns are in your holsters for a reason and you’ll cowboy up and get back on your horse because guess what? You’re an awesome, strong person and you’re not about to let yourself down.

You’re number one. Don’t ever forget it.

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

A Word About: Diets and Vacations

This weekend, the husband and I are spending a few days away from the home. It’s the first time that we’ve had a chance to travel for fun in about three years. Weird. It’s also the first time that I’ve been really away from home since I started LCing. Also weird. At first it concerned me, I mean, we’re going to be out of the house what am I going to eat? Clearly, two choices were available to me:

1. Should I just cheat the whole way through? It’s only two days right? And there’s such awesome food available! This is what I desperately wanted to do, just lash out and take a short holiday from the weight loss. I wanted to be able to enjoy food the way it’s served, without having to requested complicated food changes. That would be a relief. But then I thought, why should I lose all this awesome progress that I’ve made so far? Sure, I wouldn’t lose it all, but I’d stall again and definitely knock myself out of ketosis. Which lead me to the second option:

2. Do I stick with it and persevere? Deconstructed food is also pretty awesome and it’s not like we’re going to be going to a fancy restaurant – this is low key fun! On top of that I don’t particularly want to be bloated and gassy in my brand new bathing suit, I’m already self-conscious about my thighs at this point, I’m not going to be adding unhappy tummy to that.

So in the end, I decided to stick to my LC, with a few exceptions here and there. I decided to let my hair down a little bit but without putting the overall keto at too much risk!

What should you do when you go on vacation? Really up to you. You’re your own person and I’m not going to dictate one way or the other, but let me tell you: you can’t control the temptations you’ll be faced with while out of your regular port of call (so to speak), so keep in mind that despite the many new tasty options available to you while en vacances you can always say ‘no’ and have the duck salad instead, I’m sure it’s just as tasty.

Clear Skies,
Vee

Weigh Day Blues

Yesterday morning after celebrating a family birthday the night before, the scales showed that I’d ‘gained’ half a kilo again. I know that it’s probably just water weight and it’ll disappear quickly enough, but there’s still that psychological blow that you get dealt when you see the scales going in the ‘wrong’ direction. That psychological affect can be just as detrimental to your health as obesity, so today I want to talk about weighing in, guilt, and the stress that can come along with the battle against obesity.

I used to weigh myself every Monday morning after my shower, before breakfast. I felt like this week-by-week weigh in gave me good oversight of how much weight I was losing. It did. In the beginning I was losing between 1.5kg and 2kg a week, perfectly healthy; but then my husband and I moved homes, and the stress of the move, combined with the new routines and cooking patterns put my weight loss in a stall. It was incredibly frustrating, and in a desperate attempt to keep myself motivated and accountable, I started weighing myself every morning.

Let me say right off the bat that weighing yourself every morning isn’t going to give you the best picture of your weight loss journey; we gain and lose entire kilos day in and out while on this LC thing, and trust me when I say it can get incredibly frustrating and depressing to watch yourself go up and down like that despite your best efforts. Now, knowing that – and having told myself that countless times – I’m still stuck in the habit of weighing in every morning. It’s a habit I’m going to have to break, so, I’m going to take a page out of I’m Done Being a Fat Girl and, just like her, make a Weigh-in-Wednesday aside post. I like the way it rolls off your tongue and with any luck it’ll stop me from obsessing over my day-to-day weight and keep me on the straight and narrow during the week!

Which brings me to the guilt and stress I mentioned earlier: no matter how strong we are, no matter how high our self esteem, we all have our pressure points. If we’re trying to get to a target weight, repetitive setbacks and stalling is going to be one of those pressure points. We’re all going to have a month or so where nothing’s changing, hell you might even have a week where you’re putting on  a kilo instead of losing any.

“I know exactly what you mean. It’s frustrating, it’s annoying, and it can be downright depressing! I hate it!”

I know. It’s almost painful, especially when we’ve been so good and then bang! No loss anywhere to be seen, not even in measurements! ‘Frustrating’ doesn’t really cut it. I had a morning last week where I was literally ready to throw the towel in and have that damned piece of toast because nothing had budged for a whole week. Luckily my husband just mentioned off hand that I looked amazing, and that lifted my spirits to the point where I found my willpower again.

The point I’m trying to make is that yes, it can get hard but don’t ever let your new lifestyle get into the way of your happiness. You’re not only taking care of your body here, remember? You’ve got to look after your mental health as well. I’m certainly not saying that you should give up when you have a bad day, instead, I suggest you dig deep and hang in there: you’re a beautiful human being, you’ve put in so much effort already, why waste it? You’ll get there! Find something positive to think about and focus on that, you’re in control here not the diet. We don’t do this to torture ourselves. We’re doing this to become the person we want to be, inside and out. That goes for all genders, male, female, and all other varieties: you’re your own person, don’t let the down and outs of the day depress you, be positive.

“That’s well enough for you to say, Vee, but some of us can’t seem to do that!”

I get it, and I know that I’m stubborn and some of you might find this whole thing a lot harder than I’ve found it. In that case, remember that it’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not losing weight as fast as someone else –no one’s the same. Don’t drown yourself in guilt if you just can’t stay away from those pastries: work on it, one day at a time, cut back one muffin at a time, it doesn’t all have to happen at once. Build your diet the way you think you can handle it and if that means having a cheat day a month, that’s fine. Most of all, and this one is vital to remember: don’t ever let someone else make you feel guilty for eating or not eating, they’re not you, you know yourself best.

Clear Skies,

Vee

A Post-Flu Report

So I’ve nearly kicked the flu to the curb and I finally feel up to writing again. I suppose it’s just as well that I’ve experienced this flu for you and the issues that come along with a low carb lifestyle, especially for those of you who have yet to get sick on LC.  In my previous post – excluding all the pre-scheduled quotes – I was trying to tackle the issue of what to eat while sick, and I’ll confess I didn’t do a great job of sticking to LC while I was down and out. I wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t great either.

Things I’ve discovered that worked for me:

Firstly, I upped my intake of water. Not tea, for some reason I just didn’t feel like tea, I just wanted water. Cool, refreshing water. I mainlined about 3liters a day. At night I made myself have a cup of fennel tea, just because it soothed my headache and my stomach.  Higher Living do a marvellous ‘Evening Tea’ that has a variety of different herbs in it ranging from lavender to peppermint, and it’s marvellously relaxing. Keep in mind that I was still working during the day – no staff meant I couldn’t leave my husband to run the Cafe alone, especially not over the weekend – though I did get to take Thursday off and spend it on the couch like I wrote about last week. I thought I had it beat then, I’d maintained my low weight despite the cheat day on Wednesday; but our power went out and didn’t come back on until Saturday. Now, I live in the Dandenong Ranges, it’s winter time and no power meant no heating. Friday night was awful, actually the coldest day we have had in a long, long time; and I remember thinking that your breath shouldn’t be fogging in the middle of your lounge room. I was wearing around five layers of clothes, and when I finally braved the icy bed I wore two. We had five blankets on the bed, plus a dog and two cats. And yet…still freezing!

Needless to say, that didn’t do my flu any good, and it was back in full force on Saturday. I spent every spare hour at home after work napping on the sofa, an absolute ball of miserable snot. I couldn’t focus on my lc, I just felt too awful, so I ate what came across the table – not that I was eating much, as something – I suspect it was the Olive Leaf Extract I’d taken in the morning – had set off my phantom gallbladder pain.

I ate around 900kj that day. Not good. I knew it wasn’t going to be good because the lack of kilojoules, my flu, and of course, the cold, were bound to have slowed my metabolism down considerably. So the next day I stuffed myself a little silly, and yes, I had a little bit of bread. My sweet spot for a comfortable kj deficit appears to be around 3500kj at the moment, and without trying I ended up around that mark. So, day post-900kj the scales read 63.3kg (just over a 2kg increase!); day after upping intake of food to ~3500kj, the scales weighed back in at 61.3kg. Much better.

In other words, what I’m trying to say is that while you’re sick, you’ve got to feel out what you can manage and don’t stress too much if you find you can’t manage to stick to your extreme low carb count: boost it up a little, you’ll bounce back!

Clear skies,
Vee

 

Low Carbing and the Real Flu

So, I’ve got the flu. Much yayness! I suppose it was only a matter of time, what with a sick husband and the majority of my customers going through the same thing. Mind you, I’m very impressed with how long I’ve managed to keep it at bay, and on top of that, it doesn’t seem to have crippled me the way a flu would’ve done a year ago. I attribute this to the LC diet – the lack of sugar weighing down my immune system really seems to have made one helluva difference!

The next issue, is of course: what can you eat on this diet to get better? Let’s just explore this for a second; before LC when I’d get sick I’d eat mashed potatoes, pasta meals, lots of soups – my favourite sick food is my mother-in-law’s French Onion Soup – and lots of gelati to soothe my throat. I’m sure most of you have similar things when feeling icky. Nowadays, of course, the majority of those don’t fit into my diet – especially not the French Onion Soup. So, this being my first time combating any real flu since the start of my LC odyssey,  I hopped online and, through feverish eyes, scanned through my regular ports of call for advice. A few interesting questions have come out of my research:

  1. Should you raise your carb intake while sick?
  2. Should you fast?
  3. Should you just power on and stick to your regular carb restrictions?

Well, one thing that everyone agrees on is to increase your fluid intake to as much as you can handle – for me it turns out that that is just on 4litres of water throughout the day. I’ve been swapping between plain water and sparkling mineral water, just to give myself a break. The added goodness of the mineral water is that I can carry the bottle around with me with a drinking glass, so it’s never very far away.

Now I’ve always been one of those people who doesn’t believe in fasting while you’re sick. The argument for fasting runs to the theory that your body spends a lot of energy digesting, energy which is could be using to combat whatever bug has got you down. I see the logic in it, and if it works for you I’d love to hear about it, but I’m of the opinion that you should eat and lots if you can manage it. I don’t know how accurate it is, but I figure the more you put in the more fuel your body’s got to fight off the flu and you’re flushing out the bug while you’re at it. I think of it like sending supplies to the front lines.

“Which supplies shall we send? Are we upping our carb intake?”

Honestly, I think this is a personal decision that has a few factors to take into account. For starters, how sick are you? If you’re so sick you don’t have the energy to stay on target I think you should definitely be upping your carb intake, if only for a few days; give your body a fighting chance and focus your own mental energies on getting better rather than on staying on target. You can win back any lost ground in a day or two.

If that’s your chosen path, I highly recommend foods laden with garlic, ginger and chilli (if you can manage the heat). Garlic is an amazing cure-all, fighting off infections and inflammation throughout the body. Ginger has  a similar affect, while chilli is loaded with vitamin C. I also recommend taking a double dose of any multivitamin you’re taking – I take one in the morning and one at night – just be careful and check the labels: you don’t want to overload your system with too many heavy metals, that’ll just make you sicker. Also, stay away from dairy – it’ll only add to the congestion. I was lucky enough to find some sugar-free liquorice at my local chemist in Upwey, with an incredibly low carb count per serve, so if my throat does that awful, painful closing up thing and I can’t turn to obvious lozenges, I have some of that. I’ve also added in some apple and orange – not strictly in line with my carb count – for the extra vitamins and nutrition. I’m not taking any chances with this thing; my husband and rely on each other to run our Cafe and with no staff it means that one of us has to be in all the time.

I’ll admit that on the first day of this flu – two days ago now – I went a little carb crazy. I had spent the day at the Cafe alone while the hubby was at home nursing his flu, and by the end of the day I could barely stand up. Up until that point I’d just assumed I’d be fine – yeah, right! I managed to get some flu tablets – along with the liquorice – but discovered that they just made my phantom gallbladder pain flair up so I only took one dose. When I got home my throat was so sore I could barely speak, so I gave in and had several serves of the lemon-lime gelato that my husband had bought for his throat a few days before. It was heaven. I ate too much for dinner, including half a rice-ball I really shouldn’t have had, and then I had more gelato after dinner. I simply caved and gave in. I even had a slice of bread with dinner. Yeah, I was bad. I was so miserable I didn’t feel any negative side effects; I didn’t even feel guilty.

I didn’t bother weighing myself in the morning; I took the day off and spent it drinking chicken broth and sparkling water. I didn’t feel like any of my herbal teas – not even the Higher Living Ginger Kick one – or eating much at all. After the seventh episode of Bones, which saw me lying on the couch only half awake, covered in a blanket,  my darling mother-in-law came home with pies specially for me, and because she was so lovely about it I couldn’t say ‘no’. So I deconstructed my pie; i.e. just ate the filling and adding a note for ‘hidden carbs’ in my food diary. I felt better with some solid food in my stomach; chicken broth is all well and good, electrolytes and all, but it gets really boring after your second cup. I made myself have some macadamias and walnuts around lunch time, just because I knew that if I didn’t eat I’d feel nauseous and sicker.

So all in all, that day was a pretty in-line with diet day, which reflected itself on the scales when I weighed in this morning. I feel better – not great, but better, good enough to come into the Cafe. Today the plan is to stick to my goals, I’ve got my willpower back if not my physical strength, and power on. I’ve never recovered from a flu this fast, and while I’m not quite 100% just yet, I’m doing better than I would have a year ago.

Clear Skies,
Vee

Oh, and I might slow down with posting, just while I’m getting over this flu. Bear with me. Kthanx.

Psyche Up!

Motivating yourself isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Even the most confident among us sometimes need a little help, a little push. This goes for everything, not just weight loss. It goes for the athletes, the recovering addicts, the student – those essay won’t write themselves, you know! – and just about every walk of life out there. Without motivation we fall into a lazy lump and often refuse to get out and do anything.

I often need to give myself a reason to get out of bed, especially in winter when there’s a temperature difference between my snugly, warm bed and the real world. I remember when I was a kid I’d remind myself of at least one fun subject at school that day – “Oh it’s Friday, that means library time after recess!” or “Oooh, Thursday, history class!” – which would be enough to get me out of bed before my poor mother had to come and drag me out again. Nowadays it’s not that easy, but I still get out of bed, motivation or no, because well, I believe in getting in to work. It’s an ethics thing. Mind you, I will get out of bed if it’s baking day  – Wednesdays – because baking is one of the most relaxing things I do now. Other days, I don’t need to psyche myself into anything, I’m just so ‘up’ that it all just happens! Like today, I thought today was going to suck, but I feel great, I’m doing things, I’m keeping up with the dishes at the Cafe and I’m not having to work at being friendly to my customers – it’s just happening.

Days like this are awesome and I find that they come when I’m settling into a proper ketosis.  The brain fog has lifted and I’m thinking clear as a bell, I’m feeling more active and there’s no need to push. Sure, I’m tired – I’ve been working all week – but it’s a tired I can deal with because I’m happy.

What do we do on days when we’re not feeling up to anything? Days when it all just seems too much and the diet can go #$%@ itself? I had one of those last week. I’d just had it. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, I just didn’t want to be doing this anymore: I wanted to be at the weight I need to be and just be done with it. I wanted to eat that damned piece of bread sitting on the table, and I wanted to stuff my face full of chocolate without bothering to keep track of it. Above all, I wanted a real coffee, with real milk. But no, I couldn’t do that. It was a day where everything I put in my mouth was not what I wanted. I was depressingly sick of eggs, and even the organic smoked ham we get for the Cafe wasn’t at all enticing. I wanted to eat cake, and cookies, and drink a creamy glass of the Jersey milk we have at the Cafe.

But I didn’t.

It takes some serious willpower to not give into days like that, and there have been days when I have just thrown it all in the air and gone for broke. Some days there’s a good reason for it, most of the time there’s not. That last one was a doozy, but I survived it with minimal damage.

“But…how?” you ask, desperately stuck in the same problem, “I really want to give in and just eat whatever I want! It’s not fair!

Honestly? I took a break. I went to the bathroom, washed my face and glared at my grumpy self in the mirror. We had a serious discussion, my reflection and I that went something like this:

“I want the damned cake we just baked. It’s fruity and chocolatey, and we’ve got our period. Can’t we cheat just a little today?”

“We can’t, because if we do we’re going to cheat more and more and more.”

“So? We’ve been doing this since November. That’s too long!”

“We’re making such awesome progress though! Just look at yourself! Seriously, three months ago, did you have this gorgeous hour-glass shape that other women desperately want? NO! We worked really hard for that and we’re going to keep working hard at it until our arms are beautiful, and our hips sit right. We’re also going to keep working at it until our thighs slim down. We are going to spectacular and don’t you dare wreck it now!”

After this talking to, the grumpy reflection subsided somewhat and I was able to face the rest of the day without doing anything to sabotage my progress. Sometimes I find you’ve got to work yourself through the stage of weight loss, kind of like the stages of grief: first you feel loss, then denial, then anger, etc. It’s kind of like it is grief in a way: you’ve cut out something you’ve relied on for so long it’s a little bit like losing a loved one. Don’t fool yourself, though, it isn’t like losing a loved one. You’re regaining yourself! Keep that in mind.

My motivation comes from seeing the great affects from the lifestyle: every week there’s something new, something better. I take courage from people’s compliments, however small or large they are. I comfort myself with the knowledge that my husband can now pick me up without straining his back. And I find motivation in the fact that my sex life has improved. Oh yes, ladies and gents, your libido will sort itself out, you’ll be way more flexible, and your stamina will shock your partner. There’s nothing quite as motivating as sex.

Having now shocked your sensibilities – or not, and oh, dear I just remembered my parents read this…um. Hi parentals! – other things I use to motivate myself with are the promise of dark chocolate. I try to have one day when I can build in some 90% dark chocolate treat. No more than two or three squares because I really can’t stuff my face with it, but just enough of a treat that it makes me feel good. Extra special treat motivations include a single cheat meal a month of ice cream or frozen yoghurt. I know that it’s not strictly in line with the diet, but sometimes you’ve gotta lose the belt a little bit in order to keep going.

Motivation is a funny thing. We need it for a lot of things. Including keeping up the exercise regime – and for that I take another long look in the mirror. Those flabby arms I now have because I’ve lost the majority of my arm fat? Gotta work those weights to get rid of those! Do you want to look smashing or don’t you?  Beauty is pain, people, beauty is pain. Okay, well, maybe not pain, but it’s certainly long-winded and hard-work. We’re here for the long haul, not just for right now, so let’s work towards that big picture, the light at the end of the tunnel: the body we’ve always dreamed of.

Clear Skies,

Vee

The Boring Plateau

I often get asked how I cope with working in the Cafe and not being able to eat the things I make.

When I first started it was actually easier than it is now, for me to just bake without tasting or trying. The trouble starts when I realised I was losing weight really fast and really easily, so obviously my brain has started thinking that it might just be okay to try a really thin slice of that chocolate cake I just made. If I do give in, I pay for it by stalling with the weight loss for that week which frustrates me intensely as at this point I’m stalling more and more.

The stalling – or plateau-ing – is normal. As your body adjusts to its new metabolism, you’re going to need to be patient, the kilojoules/calories you were eating before might have been low enough for them to add fuel to your weight loss, but now that you’ve lost all that weight you might need to drop the count a little bit! Not too much, mind you, you don’t want to put your body into starvation mode, that’ll slow everything down!

The fact of the matter is, everyone will plateau at one stage or another during their weight loss journey, it’s normal so don’t freak out. This week, for example, I’ve been stuck at 62.5kg, I haven’t budged and it’s driving me crazy. I just keep reminding myself that my body is adjusting to my new weight: I’ve lost nearly 20kg in 7months – I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but it is – and no doubt, it’s affected my ability to lose weight. I remember reading an article somewhere – and if I find it again I’ll post it up here – in which the researcher had come across a young woman who had weighed around 120kg. She’d gone onto a diet – not necessarily a LC diet, but just an eat-less one – and cut her regular KJ/calorie intake by 50%. So, let’s make up some numbers here to make it easier; say she was eating 12,000kj a day, well above the average adult 8,700kj (in Australia anyway), and she cut her intake by half so she started eating 6,000kj. Much better certainly, but remember that the human body is like a car: the bigger the car, the more fuel you need; the smaller the car, the less fuel you need. Now, fuel = food, so the lower your weight drops the slower the weight’s going to go unless you cut your kj back even further. For example, at 120kg the woman now eating 6,000 is going to experience dramatic weight loss; assuming she’s losing weight safely at about 3.5kg a month (at most!), she’ll be dropping weight like she won’t believe. Say that she halves her weight in a year and a half, that’s great, but now she faces a new problem: her new kj count is slight too high to maintain the weight loss speed. That’s okay.

Remember this isn’t a sprint race, it’s a marathon. Pace yourself. If you lose weight too fast you risk harming yourself and putting yourself at risk of various health issues! If you feel like you’re losing too much too fast, slow down. You’re in control here, so take charge and make sure you’re doing right by yourself! So make sure you’re eating at least 5030kj per day: any less and you will end up in starvation mode and put yourself at risk of plateauing even more or worse, doing yourself some serious harm.

As your body slows with its weight loss, you can either speed it back up by cutting back on carbs – go back to your earliest limitations, if you like – increase your exercise regime and drink more water. Avoid cheat days until you’re losing steadily again, but above all don’t blame yourself, you’ll get through this! You’re a fantastic marathon runner, not a sprint racer.

Clear Skies,

Vee

Here are some resources you might want to look at:

The Average American Daily Caloric Intake
What does 8,700kj mean?
Kilojoules to Calories
How much weight can you lose in a month?